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The 5 Best Cities in Italy

Which are the five best cities in Italy? A very difficult question, which I'm going to do my best to answer.

Being Italian, I know how passionate people can get about their home city so no doubt I will get some rude comments too, especially from those fiery Neopolitans .

If it was about putting your own city first, my family town of Vicenza would be top! Still, if I did that my very rational, sensible and not Italian husband would have never let me hear the end of it.

The five best cities listed are in no particular order. You will notice that many are cities in northern Italy but that bias is perhaps because I have always lived in the north of Italy.  

There are a few great cities in Southern Italy that came very close—I talk about those at the end of the list and if you take our "Find the Best City for You Quiz" you might just discover that one of them is perfect for you.


Best Cities in Italy - VeniceVenice

Venice is the most romantic city on earth; Paris doesn't even come close. And when it comes to uniqueness, this city is unique like nowhere else. It is hard to fully explain just what a city that has no cars or bicycles and has boats for buses, boats for emergency services, and boats for garbage collection is like. Watch this video to understand the significance.  Venice is certainly the greatest of all the cities in northern Italy if not in Italy.

These are some popular activities that you can do in Venice:

—> Legendary Venice St. Mark's Basilica with Terrace Access & Doge's Palace

—> Murano, Burano and Torcello Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

—> 3-hour Venice Small-Group Food Tasting Walking Tour

Where to stay in Venice:

Hotel Danieli

Hotel Abbazia



The city of kings, Turin or Torino (click for photos/video) is an elegant city full of palaces, wide boulevards, great museums, and some of the best food in Italy, definitely one of Italy's, and indeed Europe's, greatest cities. 

What to do in Turin:

—> Piedmont Wine Tasting of the Barolo Region

—> Turin: Egyptian Museum 2-hour guided experience

—> Magic Turin Evening Tour

Where to stay in Turin:

Grand Hotel Sitea

Principe di Piemonte

Get our FREE Guide to Turin here.


Florence, Italy

Many people consider Florence to be Italy's loveliest city. It is a wonderful city indeed but it wouldn't be at the top of my list. I just feel that the uniqueness of Venice and the sheer scale and place in history of Rome give those two cities a slight edge.

 Here is a list of what you can do in Florence:

—> Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano Day Trip from Florence Including Lunch

—> Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence

—> David & Accademia Gallery Tour

Where to stay in Florence:

Hotel David

Hotel Orologio 

Get our FREE Guide to Shopping in Florence


Verona Piazza ErbeVerona

The city is wonderful and the Roman Arena is on my list of things that make Italy so special.  If I had to select a city to live in from any of the cities on this page, it would be Verona.  Far less touristy than the others (except Turin), Verona is really a joy to visit but it is also the sort of place you never want to leave.

What to do in Verona:

—> The Verona Food, Wine & history, Lunch/sunset aperitif & skip the line cable car

—> Sirmione and Lake Garda Tour from Verona

Where to stay in Verona

Hotel De Capuleti

Hotel Gabbia D'Oro


Last but certainly not least is Rome. Some say this is the greatest city on earth. Chaotic and yet wonderful, Rome truly is the eternal city and in my view, it would be either first or second best on the list, competing with Venice for top spot.

In Rome you can almost feel the momentous weight of history in every square, every street and yet, despite that, the way modern Romans celebrate the joy of simply living means this is no boring and dour historical museum of a city.

Here are the top activities in Rome for you:

—> Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Group Tour

—> Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill Tour

—> Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Positano Guided Small-Group Day Trip from Rome

If you are visiting Rome for a few days, a good option would be to stay in my favorite hotel in Rome, the lovely Santa Maria.

Get our FREE Shopping in Rome Guide

Six to Ten

Lucca, Urbino, Siena and Bari were right there on the final list.  So was another great city called Matera (click for details). Matera would probably take the sixth spot.

I'm not crazy about Naples or Milan, but they do have aspects that will appeal to some people. The best way to find out if they are for you is to take our quiz..

Which are the best towns and villages in Italy? Click for the list.

THE eight unforgettable Italian places to visit at least once in your lifetime? Click to find the answer!

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Italy has everything. The Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, Rome, the Coliseum, Venice, the Pieta, David, the Trevi Fountain, the oceans, rivers, canals and …

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I have always loved Italy, studied it, dreamed of going, living and cooking there. But never believed I would go. Nearly seven years ago my daughter …

Which is the Best City in Italy? Not rated yet
While spending five months in Italy last fall I vacationed in a few of the cities you list on your internet site. I would like to share a few thoughts …

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