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I've traveled to many of the most popular spots in Italy. Here are the 4 places I'd return to and the 2 I'd skip next time.

Michelle Swinea   

I've traveled to many of the most popular spots in Italy. Here are the 4 places I'd return to and the 2 I'd skip next time.
Florence was one of the many cities I visited in Italy.Catarina Belova/Shutterstock
  • While working on an Army base in Vicenza, Italy, I got to visit many of the country's hot spots.
  • I'd love to return to places like Vicenza, Verona, Florence, and Cinque Terre.

While working on the US Army base in Vicenza, Italy, I had the unique opportunity to visit many of the country's most popular destinations.

After getting a real taste of Italy's varied landscapes and experiences — from swimming in the Blue Grotto to hiking through Cinque Terra — I'm not surprised that Italy is such a popular travel destination. In fact, the country saw record tourism numbers in 2023.

Still, Italy has 20 regions and many cities to explore. To help you narrow down your options when planning your dream trip, here are the four places I'd return to and the two I'd skip next time.

Vicenza is a charming city with delicious local cuisine.

Vicenza is a charming city with delicious local cuisine.
Vicenza was my home base during my time in Italy.      imagesef/Shutterstock

Because Vicenza was my home base during my time in Italy, I had lots of opportunities to explore the city's offerings. I often found musicians playing their cellos outside and charming cafés where I'd sip a cappuccino.

I loved stopping by one of my favorite restaurants, Regina's, for delicious and authentic Italian cuisine at affordable prices.

I would definitely return to Vicenza again for the great food, warm, welcoming people, and charming atmosphere.

Verona has a lively arts scene.

Verona has a lively arts scene.
Arena di Verona is an opera house in Verona.      Kanuman/Shutterstock

Verona is home to a gorgeous outdoor opera house called Arena di Verona. Here, patrons can enjoy Italian vocalists, symphonic music, and ballet.

The city is also known as the setting for Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." While in Verona, I loved visiting a popular tourist attraction called Casa di Giulietta (Juliet's House), which celebrates Shakespeare's fictional character, Juliet Capulet.

There are lots of things to do in Florence.

There are lots of things to do in Florence.
Florence is a beautiful city.      Catarina Belova/Shutterstock

Florence is best known for Michelangelo's "David," which is located in the Accademia Gallery of Florence. Although I'd seen pictures of this iconic sculpture over the years, it was breathtaking to see in person.

The cathedrals in Florence are gorgeous, but if you'd like to visit, be mindful of the dress code. For example, bare legs and shoulders, sandals, hats, and sunglasses are not permitted inside Santa Maria del Fiore.

Cinque Terre is the perfect place for hiking and swimming.

Cinque Terre is the perfect place for hiking and swimming.
There are 48 different hiking trails in Cinque Terre.      Gaspar Janos/Shutterstock

Cinque Terre is a string of five small seaside villages in northwest Italy. The area has 48 different hiking trails connecting the five villages.

In addition to hiking, the coastline is a perfect place for swimming and enjoying the area's popular beaches.

For these reasons and more, Cinque Terre is a spot I'd definitely like to return to.

Venice is a gorgeous city, but I probably wouldn't go back.

Venice is a gorgeous city, but I probably wouldn
Venice is known for its gondola rides and iconic waterways.      Cristi Croitoru/Shutterstock

Known for its gondola rides and iconic waterways, Venice is undoubtedly a beautiful city. However, I found it to be overpriced and overcrowded.

In fact, in an effort to combat over-tourism, the city recently imposed an entrance fee of 5 euros ($5.40) for some day-trippers traveling to Venice at certain parts of the year.

Next time I'm in Italy, I'd rather explore new places or visit some of my favorite cities again.

Next time I visit Italy, I'll skip Pisa.

Next time I visit Italy, I
I found there wasn't much to do in Pisa.      CrackerClips Stock Media/Shutterstock

Pisa is a quaint city best known for its beautiful leaning tower, which can get crowded with tourists.

However, aside from viewing the tower, I found there wasn't much else to do. For that reason, I probably wouldn't go back to Pisa.


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