Before we start, I have to admit something. When it comes to Italian bucket list, I’m incredibly biased. I just love the country so much. And every time I travel there, I keep on finding new treasures.
If you plan to go to Italy, this list is the best place to get familiar with the must-have adventures in the country. While they are certainly not a few, I’m sure after your visit you’ll be able to add something new.
Italian Bucket List – Rome
Rome is my favorite city in the world. The magical atmosphere that floats around the Italian capital’s tiny winding alleys is unparalleled to any city in the world. With all of its history and culture, It’s not surprising that a big chunk of the Italian bucket list is somehow connected to Rome.
– Take a sunrise photo of the Colosseum in Rome
The ultimate symbol of Italy and Rome, the Colosseum is a must-have on every travel bucket list. To enjoy this incredible historical sight to the maximum, get there around dawn and miss the chaotic tourist crowds.
– Take a sunset photo of the Tiber river in Rome
Yes, another photo adventure. To appreciate the legendary Tiber river, you don’t really need a camera, though. Go to the Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge around dusk and witness the magical combination of purple sky, and the St. Peter’s Basilica.
– Get lost in Rome’s historical center (UNESCO WHS)
For more than 500 years, Rome was the center of the mighty Roman Empire and the world’s most advanced city. With its vast cultural heritage, today, the Italian capital offers a one-of-a-kind adventure every time you take a walk around its historical center. I’m not kidding. Every corner of Rome has something extraordinary to surprise you with.
– Get creeped out at Santa Maria della Concezione Crypts in Rome
A crypt decorated with thousands of human bones. It sounds creepy, yes, but it’s a unique sight that is hard to find anywhere else in the world.
– Pet some cats in Torre Argentina (Roman cat sanctuary)
Located in Temple D of the Largo di Torre Argentina, this unique cat shelter is home to around 350 cutie kittens saved from the harsh stray life. If you’re allergic to cats, you may skip that one, but for everyone else, it’s a great way to spend the afternoon and make some new feline friends.
– Throw a coin in the Trevi fountain, Rome
If the Colosseum is the most popular thing to see in Rome, throwing a coin in Trevi’s waters is the most popular thing to do. The legend says if you throw a coin, it guarantees that you’ll return to Rome. If you throw two coins, you’ll fall in love with a Roman girl, and if you throw three, you’ll marry the girl. No wonder the fountain collects 3000 EUR per day.
– Enjoy a sunset on the Pincio Hill, Rome
The most romantic experience on my Italian bucket list, Pinicio Hill, is best enjoyed with a loved one. An incredible panorama over Rome, combined with the street musician playing classical romantic songs, creates an atmosphere that will melt even the coldest hearts.
– Eat an orange in the Orange Gardens of Rome
To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s allowed, but the locals sure do eats them. The oranges are somewhat sour, but the whole atmosphere and the Orange Gardens’ panoramic view surely compensates the taste.
– Look through the Aventine Keyhole, Rome
I won’t spoil this one for you. All I’m going to say is that the Aventine Keyhole offers the most beautiful keyhole view in the world.
Italian Bucket List – Venice
There is Venice of the East (Bangkok), Venice of the West (Nantes), Venice of the North (Amsterdam), and Venice of the South (Sitangkai), but none of them can compare to the actual Venice. The world’s most unique city is one of the biggest European highlights and a must-have on every Italian bucket list.
– Ride a gondola in Venice (UNESCO WHS)
A bit touristy but certainly a unique experience you can’t miss while in Venice.
– Drink Spritz while watching the sunset over San Marco in Venice
San Marco square is the heart of Venice, and there’s no better way to enjoy it than drinking the trademarked Venetian wine-based cocktail – Spritz Veneziano.
– Get inside Doge’s Palace, Venice
Founded in 1340, the palace was the residence of the Venetian Republic’s supreme authority – the Doge of Venice. Today, the palace is one of the city’s top landmarks and offers one of the most opulent and otherworldly interiors.
– Get inside Basilica di San Marco, Venice
A symbol of Venice, Basilica di San Marco is the most famous church in town. Being one of the best-known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture, the basilica is a must-have for every Italian bucket list. Just make sure you have skip-the-line tickets.
– Celebrate the Venetian Carnival
The Venetian Carnival is an incredibly colorful event that (according to the legend) dates 1000 years back. Held in February, all the locals and the 3 million tourists put on masks and turn the already magical city into more of a fairytale land.
– Enjoy some modern art at Biennale, Venice
La Biennale di Venezia is a contemporary art event held every two years. Contemporary art is not everybody’s cup of tea, but if you enjoy this specific form of art, the Biennale should be the first thing on your Italian bucket list.
– Explore Peggy Guggenheim’s art collection, Venice
One of the most extensive private art collections, the Peggy Guggenheim’s one offers masterpieces from Dali, Picasso, Max Ernst, Kandinsky, and Jackson Pollock.
Italian Bucket List – Florence
The capital city of Tuscany is also the birthplace of the Renaissance and multiple prominent historical figures such as Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, and Niccolò Machiavelli.
– Explore the historic center of Florence (UNESCO WHS)
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982, a walk around the historical center of Florence, is a walk back in time. Consistently ranked among the most beautiful cities in the world, no Italian bucket list is complete without the Florence city center experience.
– Roam around the Uffizi Gallery, Florence
The most prominent art museum in Florence, the Uffizi Gallery, offers an impressive exhibition featuring Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’, Da Vinci’s Annunciation‘, and Caravaggio’s ‘Medusa‘.
– Take a panoramic photo of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
For all photo enthusiasts, Piazzale Michelangelo gives you the iconic panoramic view of Florence. If you’re not that into photos, the piazza and its incredible Florentian atmosphere is still worth it.
Italian Bucket List – Food
I’m no foodie at all, so please forgive me if I miss some of the more specific Italian dishes. The three I listed, though, are world-renounced, and missing the chance to taste their original versions would be unforgivable.
– Eat a lot of pizza in Naples
Trying pizza anywhere in Italy is an incredible treat. Since this masterpiece of culinary was invented in Naples, having one there makes it extra special.
– Eat a lot of gelato
Gelato is like ice cream but tastier. I’m not kidding; there really is something more delicious than ice cream! The Italian cities offer countless of flavors that would suit every taste.
– Eat a lot of pasta
Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Penne, Fusilli with classic Italian sauces. Just typing it made me hungry!
Italian Bucket List – All Around Italy
With 41, Italy tops the world regarding UNESCO World Heritage sites. Besides them, Italy has at least a hundred more impressive sites scattered all around the country.
– Visit the Valley of the Temples, Agrigento (UNESCO WHS)
The Valle dei Templi includes seven temples considered prime examples of Greater Greece art and architecture. Located right outside the town of Agrigento, the Valley of Temples is a definite bucket list attraction for every history enthusiast.
– Climb Mount Vesuvius, Naples
The infamous Mount Vesuvius is the only volcano on the European mainland that has erupted within the last 100 years. Even though it’s considered one of the most dangerous volcanos in the world, Vesuvius is a prime tourist attraction that draws 2.5 million tourists yearly.
– Explore Pompeii (UNESCO WHS)
Speaking about Vesuvius, we cannot miss mentioning Pompeii – the unfortunate Roman city decimated by the volcano’s eruption in AD 79. Today the buried town is one of the most well-preserved ancient sites that offers a unique snapshot of everyday Roman life.
– Take the iconic Cinque Terre photo (UNESCO WHS)
One of the most photogenic sights in the world, Cinque Terre, is a string of vintage Italian towns on the Italian Riviera. The iconic snapshot is from the Manarola village.
– Relax at Lake Como
The glacial lake in Lombardy is known for its high-end resorts and dramatic landscapes. If you can afford it, Lake Como is one of the very best chilling places in the world.
– Wander around the Red City of Bologna
The historic capital of the Emilia-Romagna region is probably the most underrated city in the country. Take my word for it and have a walk around the city center. I guarantee you’ll fall in love, and you won’t question its inclusion to the big bad Italian bucket list.
– Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa (UNESCO WHS)
And take the most cliche travel photo ever!
– See Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan (UNESCO WHS)
The second most famous mural in the world is definitely something you shouldn’t miss. Make sure you’ve booked your ticket online, cause the waitlist is months long.
– Take a selfie with the Duomo in Milan
Milan’s Duomo is a ridiculous building. I’ve seen all kinds of beautiful temples, but the Duomo’s elaborate ornaments are truly on the next level. Make sure to also get to the roof and enjoy the bird-eye view of Piazza del Duomo.
– See Juliet’s house in Verona
O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore
art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not,
be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
– Explore Verona’s old town (UNESCO WHS)
The home of Romeo and Juliet offers a vibrant old town full of numerous historic buildings. Featuring the above-mentioned Juliet house, one of Italy’s largest amphitheaters and the magnificent Piazza dei Signore, a visit to Verona is a must-have.
– See the Blue Grotto in Capri
Grotta Azzurra is one of the less popular items on this Italian bucket list but also one of the most impressive ones. The natural sea cave, known as the Blue Grotto, features some of the world’s bluest waters. The cave trip is a bit on the expensive side, but I promise the experience is as unique as it gets.
– Wander around the magical town of Alberobello (UNESCO WHS)
The small town of Alberobello is another unique Italian UNESCO site. The unique parts about it are its traditional Trulli houses. Exclusive for the region, the white conical buildings create a one-of-a-kind experience for every visitor.
– Explore the Amalfi Coast (UNESCO WHS)
The 50-kilometer stretch of coastline known as the Amalfi Coast is Italy’s premium vacation spot. Amalfi offers one of the most beautiful sea landscapes in the entire world, but vacation there requires a healthy budget.
– Have a photo trip around Sassi di Matera (UNESCO WHS)
A city made out of caves? Count me in!
– Marvel at Siena’s Cathedral
I know we have plenty of churches already on the list but, I mean, it’s Italy, the bastion of the Catholic fate. Why is Siena Cathedral on the Italian bucket list? Just look at it! Such a gorgeous piece of architecture cannot be left out.
– Explore the incredible interior of Rocchetta Mattei
The fortress known as Rocchetta Mattei is located on a hill in the Northern Apennine Mountains. The peculiar castle is a blend of Moorish, classical Italian and modern (for the 19th century) Italian architecture styles.
– Dive to the Sunken City of Baia
The ancient Roman town of Baia used to house the villas of the super-rich Romans, but due to some volcanic activity, a big part of it is now submerged underwater. Unfortunate for the ancient Romans but a great threat for the modern diving enthusiast like myself.
– Go ski/snowboarding in the Alps
Even if you’re not that inro winter sports (like me), the Alps are the perfect combination of stunning nature and western comfort that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime.
That’s all from me, I hope you enjoyed the big bad Italian bucket list.
If you haven’t planned your trip there yet, find out how I plan my trips!
I have 439 more bucket list ideas for Europe. See my impossible bucket list of 1700+ adventures!
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