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Italian Cities and Regions

Before you plan your trip to Italy, take a moment to learn more about Italy’s cities and regions.

The most popular cities to visit in Italy are listed below. Included among them are Italy’s five largest cities — Rome, Milan, Naples, Turin, and Palermo — as well as smaller cities with big reputations, such as Assisi and Venice.

Popular Cities to Visit in Italy

Assisi

St. Francis Basilica in Assisi
St. Francis Basilica in Assisi

Assisi, located in the region of Umbria, is a major place of pilgrimage. Here you will find the Basilica of St. Francis, named after Italy’s patron saint.

Bologna

Street in Bologna
Street in Bologna, framed by the city’s famous arcade walkways

Bologna is an elegant town in Emilia-Romagna known for its gastronomy, arcaded walkways, and the University of Bologna, the oldest university in Italy, which was founded in 1088.

Florence

Florence and its Cathedral
Florence is defined by its Renaissance-era architecture, particularly by the monumental Duomo and surrounding complex

Florence (Firenze) is one of the most visited cities in Italy. It is known for its Renaissance art and architecture, which includes its cathedral and the Uffizi Galleries. Michelangelo’s David is located in Florence’s Accademia.

Genoa

Genoa port
The old port of Genoa is now known for its modern aquarium

Genoa, Genova in Italian, is a port city in Liguria. Among its highlights are UNESCO-listed palaces on the Via Garibaldi and its harborside aquarium.

Milan

Piazza del Duomo in Milan
Milan’s Cathedral is the second largest church on the Italian peninsula after St. Peter’s in Vatican City

Milan is Italy’s financial and fashion hub. Its Gothic cathedral is the second largest church on the Italian peninsula.

Naples

View of Naples and Mount Vesuvius

Naples (Napoli) is an ancient city built in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. Its archeological museum, with treasures from nearby Pompeii, is popular with tourists. But it’s biggest draw is its food, particularly pizza.

Palermo

Palermo, Sicily’s capital, has long been a crossroads of many peoples, a fact that is reflected in its Arab-Norman churches and palaces. It is also a fantastic city for food.

Pisa

Piazza dei Miracoli and the Leaning Tower in Pisa
The Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa includes the Leaning Tower (Torre Pendente)

Pisa, home of the Leaning Tower, is popular as a day trip from Florence. But it’s also a city with a rich artistic patrimony and maritime tradition.

Rome

View of the Roman Forum and Colosseum
Roman Forum and Colosseum in Rome

Roma è Roma. That is, Rome is Rome. The Italian capital is home to the Colosseum, the Forum, and hundreds of ruins, museums, and must-see churches. Vatican City, a city-state located within the confines of Rome, is where you will find Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Pope.

Siena

Siena and the Piazza del Campo

Siena, located in Tuscany, is another day trip from Florence, though it merits a visit on its own because of its Duomo and medieval art and architecture. Its traditional horse race, the Palio, is a hugely popular summer event.

Torino (Turin)

View of Turin and the Mole Antonelliana
View of Turin and the distinctive Mole Antonelliana

Turin (Torino) is Italy’s fourth largest city. Known for the famous “Shroud,” which is rarely on display, Turin has much to offer, including its royal palace, Egyptian museum, and the Mole Antonelliana, from which you can see views of the city and surrounding mountains.

Venice

Gondolas on the Grand Canal in Venice
Gondolas on the Grand Canal in Venice

Venice is famous for its canals, which help give the water-borne city an otherworldly feel. In addition to its traditional sights, like Saint Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs, Venice is known for the Biennale contemporary arts festival.

Regions in Italy

Italy is made up of 20 regions, which are listed below in alphabetical order along with their most popular cities and/or sub-regions where applicable.

For a quick taste of what each region has to offer, check out 20 Things to Love About Italy: Abruzzo to Lombardy and Molise to Veneto.

Countries Within Italy

The Italian peninsula is home to not one…not two…but three countries. While you are visiting Italy, you may also want to add these two other countries to your itinerary.