Italy is arguably one of the most beautiful countries to visit in the world, especially for solo travelers. Italy itself is a fusion of beautiful landscapes, art, history, and various tasty food.
Italy also has hilltop towns, ancient palaces, truffles, and medieval intrigue, not to mention the baroque sculptures, beautiful islands, mountains, beaches, and gelato.
Adding to the beauty, the modern towns of Italy have their modern skyscrapers towering high above the ancient Roman ruins, cathedrals, and streets. The beautiful waterways also make it more appealing to visit.
However, as a solo traveler, you need to prepare well for a trip to Italy and carry all the supplies you need for the period you will stay there. You should also be aware that accommodation inside the cities can be a bit expensive compared to cheaper farmhouses outside the cities.
I have detailed some of the most beautiful cities and places to visit in Italy in the list below. Let’s take a look.
Florence, or Firenze as it is also known, will forever remain one of Europe’s art and culture cities, being the birthplace of the Renaissance.
There are more museums in Florence than you could visit in a month or more. The diverse artifacts and sculptures you can see include the canvases by Botticelli and Bronzino, sculptures by Michelangelo and Giambologna, and the frescoes by Giotto and Ghirlandaio.
Also regarded as the gateway to Tuscany, Florence has quality crafts, making it a living city of diverse cultural backgrounds to showcase. The locals embrace contemporary art, opera, and classical music.
Florence is also filled with elegant clubs and restaurants to keep you entertained and full for a few nights as you enjoy your stay in the city.
If you are looking to stay in the city, most of the hotels might look a bit rusty, but the Plus Florence hostel and the B&B Mosi Firenze are sure to provide all the amenities you need, as well as an elegant décor.
Milan has an international, cosmopolitan outlook and is famously known as Italy’s football, fashion, and design capital. This is a blended city with giant modern skyscrapers climbing high up above the old ruins in the city. Milan is also the commercial capital of the north side and is one of the biggest cities in the country.
Milan is also filled with a vibrant taste of food and drinks and has a wide range of hotels, with many options to suit all budgets. However, the breathtaking malls, designer stores, boutiques, and street shops that sell all forms of designer brands are what attract visitors to the city.
The San Siro football stadium, the famous opera house, La Scala, the grand Gothic Duomo, and Leonardo’s Last Supper are also among the city’s most notable sites.
Milan is also well connected by train to nearby cities and lakes, making it very accessible. Hotels like Combo Milano, Ostello Bello Grande, the Madama Hostel, and Bistort are worth checking out for the best accommodation in town.
Don’t forget to taste Milano’s hot chocolate. You will love it.
3. Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is legendary for its beautiful scenery with a sophisticated yet laid-back style that has been seducing visitors since the 1960s. Although there are super-yachts and large five-star hotels along the coast, the villagers live relatively rural lives atop the adjacent hills.
This coastal stretch has endless beautiful views and towns with diverse cultures. You will need to spend a few days interacting with the locals to fully experience the place.
A drive through Positano to Vietri Sul Mare is a remarkably narrow journey of 1,000 bends, but it is worth a shot for its beautiful views and scenery.
If you visit Italy, you have to visit the floating city of Venice.
Venice has a long history: originally occupied by fishermen, it became a refuge for Italians escaping barbaric invasions and later grew into a trading empire.
Venice is famous for its 118 islands that are separated by canals and its houses with intricate, ancient architecture. Interestingly, Venice is such a tourist magnet that the visitors sometimes outnumber the locals by a ratio of 2:1.
However, to get the best out of Venice, you have to visit the local’s corners and the bustling neighborhoods to experience their beautiful lifestyle.
Among the main centers of attraction are the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge, the Doge’s palace, and St. Mark’s Square. The multicolored houses in Burano Island are also worth visiting.
If you are looking for accommodation, good hostels like the Wombats, Generator Venice, and Combo Venezia will provide you with all the amenities in a modern decor setting within the city.
Also known as the eternal city, Rome has been around for 3,000 years and proudly carries all the history it holds with it. Rome proudly hosts the Vatican, the Colosseum, Palatine hill, the Pantheon, and the Imperial Forum, making it the heart of western civilization for the longest time.
Rome also has a historic art-laden Italian city, with classic ruins and ancient churches standing next to Baroque fountains and Renaissance palazzos.
Rome is full of spots for shopping and dining, with a variety of local foods and cuisines on offer. For example, restaurants spill out to the streets in the Trastevere region, and the people never seem to get enough.
Besides the food, Rome offers excellent views from the Trevi Fountains, Campo di Fiori, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, and the Villa Borghese.
Outside the city are vast underground catacombs, excellent viewpoints from the hills, and a network of Roman roads ideal for trekking and cycling. But to get the best out of Rome, you need to attend their cultural events and church services.
Hostels like The Yellow, Beehive Hostel, and the Generator Rome will offer you accommodation with socializing joints and cool, chill places.
Like Tuscany, Umbria is also celebrated as the green heart of Italy because of its chains of intimate and easily accessible hill towns. Here a few of them: Assisi, Gubbio, Todi, Norcia, Spoleto, and Perugia.
Interestingly, each town is not far apart, but each hill town offers you so much to keep you busy, even for days. So a trip to Umbria should be easy, manageable, and straightforward but should give you plenty to do.
Each town has so much art and many captivating sights, not to mention the local food, wine, and amazing culture. On the surrounding ridges are vineyards, olive groves, high mountain landscapes, and cypress-topped hills, all contributing to the beautiful view of the adjacent hill towns.
7. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is a name coined for five beautiful coastal villages linked together by hiking trails in a national park. The five villages are Vernazza, Manarola, Monteresso al Mare, Riomaggiore, and Corniglia.
Located in a region called Liguria, the Cinque Terre is halfway between Genoa and Pisa and is arguably the home of Pesto, so you should eat as much as you can while exploring the place.
Although parts of the trails are closed for safety reasons or maintenance, there are plenty of alternative paths behind the villages that you can use.
If you need accommodation within the villages, the Ostello Corniglia or the Mar-Mar hostels will offer you good services. However, better hostels like the Ostello Tramonti and 5 Terre Backpackers are situated outside the villages.
If you are looking for a chill environment without much fuss in the tourist-filled north, Puglia is your destination. Unlike the towns in other destinations, Puglia will give you incredible views.
The surrounding land is filled with olive trees, hilltop towns, and beautiful whitewashed houses.
Puglia is also home to Trulli, which are clusters of dome-roofed, hobbit-like whitewashed houses. There are many theories about their origins. Some claim that the houses were built with the aim of evading a primitive house tax.
The region also has a couple of caves, like Castellana Grotte, which are a wonderful and fantastic sight, and offer welcome relief from the scorching heat.
Culture is the root of everything in the Tuscany region. Tuscany connects historic towns like Siena, Pisa, Lucca, Arezzo, and Florence, and has a reputation for good food, art, and culture.
In all the towns in Tuscany, everything is done with an intricate and strict adherence to detail and in an unpretentious and down-to-earth manner.
In ancient times, the communes in the Tuscany region would always do competitions, each conspiring to outdo the rest. Whoever would win would take home an embarrassment of riches.
The string of towns in Tuscany will always give you more than enough to see in a single day, so you should plan to spend several days in the region. Outside the main towns, there are smaller hill towns like Cortona, Volterra, and San Gimignano, which are all part of the Tuscany community.
10. Italian Lakes
Italy is blessed with a chain of beautiful lakes that will, without a doubt, excite a solo traveler.
In the western region, Lake Orta gives an elegant view of deep blue water beside the beautiful sight of being surrounded by Orta San Giulio, an exemplary medieval village. Other lakes to visit are Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Iseo, and the most popular Lake Garda.
All five lakes offer some of the best destinations for solo travelers. The Italians built huge villas around the lakes, forming grand landscapes along the terrain and adding to the Alps’ elegant views.
Although modern tourism might have influenced a little change to the setting of the environment, the mountains, lakes, towns, and general views have been as constant as they were millennia ago.
If you are a food lover, you should visit Bologna. Found in the Emilia Romagna region, Bologna is a historic university city famous for its food delights and has risen to fame as a top culinary destination in Italy because of the high quality of produce from the region.
For example, Mortadella, bologna, prosciutto, stuffed pasta, world-class parmesan, balsamic vinegar, and local wines such as Barbera, Pignoletto, and Lambrusco all contribute to the diverse list of culinary products the area is famous for.
However, Bologna is not just famous for its food. It is also an ancient university town, and famous manufacturers like Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Ducati all have museums and showrooms in the area.
Bologna is also home to one of the best-maintained medieval town centers in modern Italy. What else would better catch the eye of a solo traveler?
For accommodation, the Dopa Hostel and the We Bologna will provide you with all the amenities you need, including a bicycle rental service.
Sicily will give you the Italy-max package to wind your trip in Italy. The island is filled with incredible architectural treasures, elegant coastal stretches and beaches, and a variety of mouthwatering street food and seafood.
Being at the epicenter of the Mediterranean stretch, Sicily has a diverse culture attested to by Greek Temples, Baroque Palazzos, and even Norman Churches.
As a solo traveler, you will always find things to do in Sicily, from visiting plenty of historical sites, the volcanic landscapes of Etna, the fertile wine countryside, temples, and even cultural sites.
For the best accommodation, hostels like Ostello degli Elefanti, The Yard, and the LOL Hostel will provide the best amenities for you in the city.
The list of places you can visit in Italy is endless for a solo traveler. Just ensure you get all your supplies before setting out for the journey and plan your trip well.