15 Best Places To Visit In Northern Italy: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the 15 Best Places to Visit in Northern Italy!

If you’re planning a trip to this enchanting region and looking for the most beautiful, must-see destinations, you’ve come to the right place.

Northern Italy boasts a rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and world-famous cuisine, making it a top travel destination for tourists from around the globe.

In this guide, we’ll explore the breathtaking cities, charming towns, and picturesque countryside that make Northern Italy an unforgettable experience.

So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, join us as we discover this beautiful region’s hidden gems and iconic landmarks.

1. Lake Como

Lake Como

Suppose you’re looking for a picturesque and lively destination in northern Italy. In that case, you won’t want to miss out on Lake Como. This stunning lake is surrounded by lush green hills and quaint towns, offering visitors an unforgettable experience.

From boat tours to villas, hiking to dining, there’s something for everyone at Lake Como. One of the most famous towns on Lake Como is Bellagio, known for its elegant villas and charming cobblestone streets.

Varenna is another popular spot, with its colorful houses and stunning lake views. Meanwhile, Menaggio offers a more laid-back atmosphere, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

Whether looking for adventure or relaxation, Lake Como is a must-visit destination in northern Italy.

2. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

Now let’s dive into Cinque Terre, one of northern Italy’s best places. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts five idyllic villages that will leave you in awe.

From the colorful houses perched on cliffs to the stunning view of the Ligurian Sea, every corner of Cinque Terre is a postcard-worthy sight.

You can start your journey from Riomaggiore or Monterosso, the two largest villages. Hiking is the main attraction here, and the trails will take you through the rugged landscape, vineyards, and olive groves.

Suppose you’re not up for a challenging hike. In that case, boat tours will give you a different perspective of the villages from the sea.

Apart from the stunning scenery, Cinque Terre is also a food lover’s paradise. The region is famous for its seafood, pesto, and focaccia. Be sure to try the local delicacies and visit the colorful street markets to sample fresh produce and souvenirs.

To make the most of your visit, consider purchasing a Cinque Terre Card, which gives you access to hiking trails, train rides, and discounts on attractions. With its charm and beauty, Cinque Terre is a must-visit destination on any Venice, Italy itinerary.

3. Venice


As you explore Venice, one of northern Italy’s best places, you’ll discover a city steeped in history and stunning architecture.

The town is built on a series of islands connected by bridges, and its narrow streets and winding canals are lined with beautiful buildings that date back centuries.

One of the must-see attractions is St. Mark’s Square, home to the famous St. Mark’s Basilica and the iconic Campanile bell tower. From the square, you can stroll along the Riva degli Schiavoni promenade and take in the breathtaking views of the lagoon.

Another highlight of Venice is the Doge’s Palace, which was once the residence of the city’s rulers. The palace is a stunning example of Venetian Gothic architecture filled with beautiful frescoes and artwork.

You can also cross the Rialto Bridge, one of Venice’s oldest and most famous bridges, which spans the Grand Canal and offers incredible city views.

As you explore the city, wander off the beaten path and explore its hidden gems, like the quiet canals of Cannaregio or the art-filled streets of Dorsoduro. Venice is truly a city that offers something for everyone, and it’s one of the best places to visit in northern Italy.

4. Milan


You’re about to discover the fashion capital of Italy – Milan. This bustling city in northern Italy will leave you in awe with its stunning architecture, top attractions, and world-renowned shopping and dining scene.

The city is best known for its high-end fashion, with some of the most famous designers in the world hailing from Milan. You can explore this fashion capital by visiting the Quadrilatero della Moda, where you’ll find the flagship stores of famous designers like Prada and Gucci.

Aside from fashion, Milan is also home to some of the most iconic attractions in the world. You can’t miss the Milan Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic architecture and one of the world’s largest churches.

Another must-see attraction is The Last Supper, a masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci that depicts the final meal of Jesus and his disciples.

And after a long day of exploring, you can relax and enjoy some of Milan’s world-renowned cuisine. From traditional Italian pasta dishes to modern fusion cuisine, Milan has something for everyone.

5. Verona


Get ready to fall in love with the charming city of Verona, located in the heart of northern Italy. Verona has a rich history and romantic charm that will capture your heart.

If you’re looking for places to visit in northern Italy, Verona should definitely be on your list.

Juliet’s house is one of the most iconic sites to visit in Verona. This 13th-century house is said to have belonged to the Capulet family. It is believed to have inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Another must-visit site is the Verona Arena, a Roman amphitheater still used today for concerts and operas.

Finally, don’t miss the Piazza delle Erbe, a lively square filled with cafes and market stalls, perfect for soaking up the local atmosphere.

And if you’re lucky enough to be visiting during the Opera Festival, be sure to attend a performance in the stunning outdoor setting of the Arena di Verona.

Verona is a gem of northern Italy, and you won’t regret adding it to your travel itinerary.

6. Turin


Turin is a city in Piedmont, Italy, steeped in elegance and rich history. It’s home to some of the best attractions in the country, such as the Egyptian Museum and Mole Antonelliana.

The former is a must-visit for history buffs, while the latter is an excellent spot for panoramic city views.

Turin is also known for its delicious culinary delights, including chocolate and local cuisine. You can’t leave without trying the famous bicerin, a traditional drink made with espresso, chocolate, and whipped cream.

To make the most of your time in Turin, here are four top things to do:

  1. Visit the Royal Palace of Turin, the Palazzo Reale, to admire its beautiful baroque architecture and extensive art collection.
  2. Stroll through the historic center of Turin, where you’ll find charming piazzas, churches, and cafes.
  3. Indulge in some chocolate tasting at one of Turin’s many chocolate shops, where you can try the city’s famous gianduiotto.
  4. Explore the Piedmont region’s wine country by taking a day trip to the nearby vineyards and wineries.

With so much to see and do, Turin is an excellent destination for those seeking a taste of Italian history and culture. It’s vibrant energy and charming atmosphere will make you feel free to explore and experience all it offers.

7. Lake Garda

Lake Garda

Now that you’ve explored the vibrant city of Turin, it’s time to head to the great outdoors and immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of northern Italy.

One of the must-visit destinations in this region is Lake Garda, the largest lake in the country. With its crystal-clear waters and surrounding mountains, this lake offers a perfect escape for those seeking an adventure-filled getaway.

There’s no shortage of activities you can do around Lake Garda. You can rent a boat and go sailing, windsurfing, or kayaking. If you prefer to stay on land, you can go hiking in the nearby mountains or explore the medieval castles that dot the shoreline.

And suppose you’re looking to relax and enjoy the stunning views simply. In that case, there are plenty of lakeside towns to explore, such as Sirmione, Riva del Garda, and Malcesine.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a laid-back traveler, Lake Garda has something for everyone. So, add this stunning destination to your list of places to visit in northern Italy, and prepare for an unforgettable adventure!

8. Bologna


Suppose you’re craving an authentic Italian experience. In that case, Bologna is the perfect city to immerse yourself in this vibrant destination’s rich history and culinary delights.

Here are four reasons why Bologna should be on your list of places to visit in northern Italy:

  1. Piazza Maggiore is the heart of Bologna’s historic center, and it’s a must-visit spot for anyone interested in Italian architecture. The piazza is surrounded by stunning buildings, including the Basilica di San Petronio and the Palazzo dei Banchi.
  2. The Two Towers, or Due Torri, are another iconic landmark in Bologna. These towers date back to the 12th century and offer breathtaking city views from the top.
  3. The University of Bologna is the oldest in Europe, founded in 1088. The university’s historic buildings and libraries are open to the public and are worth exploring.
  4. No visit to Bologna is complete without indulging in the city’s culinary delights. Be sure to visit the local markets, such as Mercato di Mezzo and Mercato delle Erbe, to sample traditional dishes like tagliatelle al ragù and tortellini in Brodo.

Bologna’s rich history, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine make it a must-visit destination in northern Italy. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore all these vibrant city offers.

9. Dolomites


Explore the stunning Dolomites with their breathtaking views, unique geological formations, and natural beauty. As part of the Alps, the Dolomites offer visitors a range of activities, from skiing and hiking to scenic drives.

With its jagged peaks and clear blue skies, the Dolomites are a haven for adventurers and nature lovers alike. If you’re looking for must-see spots, don’t miss Tre Cime di Lavaredo, a trio of peaks that offer incredible views of the surrounding area.

Val Gardena is another favorite destination, known for its charming villages and world-class skiing. And, of course, no trip to the Dolomites would be complete without a visit to Cortina d’Ampezzo, a picturesque town nestled in the heart of the mountains.

Whether you’re looking to hit the slopes or enjoy the area’s natural beauty, the Dolomites offer something for everyone.

10. Bergamo


You’ll be transported back in time as you wander through the streets of Bergamo, a charming medieval city in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy.

With its picturesque architecture and historic landmarks, Bergamo is a must-visit city for anyone looking to experience the beauty and culture of Italy.

One of the top attractions in Bergamo is the Città Alta, the city’s upper town surrounded by Venetian Walls.

Here, you’ll find narrow cobblestone streets, stunning views of the surrounding landscape, and numerous shops and restaurants to explore.

Piazza Vecchia, the main square in the upper town, is also a must-visit destination, with its beautiful architecture and lively atmosphere.

Whether you’re strolling through the streets or enjoying a meal at one of the many outdoor cafes, Bergamo is a city that will capture your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories.

11. Florence


Get ready to immerse yourself in Florence’s rich history and art as you discover one of the most beautiful Italian cities.

Florence is a true masterpiece of the Renaissance era, boasting an impressive collection of art and architecture that will leave you breathless.

The city’s most iconic landmark, the Florence Cathedral, also known as the Duomo, is a must-visit attraction. Its impressive dome symbolizes the city’s power and wealth during the Renaissance, and its intricate façade is an actual work of art.

Another must-visit location is the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous art museums in the world. Home to an extensive collection of Renaissance art, including works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci, the Uffizi Gallery is a paradise for art lovers.

Don’t forget to stroll along Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence, which offers stunning views of the Arno River.

As you explore the city’s streets and alleys, you’ll also want to venture into the Oltrarno district, where you’ll find hidden treasures such as artisan shops, local markets, and traditional trattorias.

Florence is a true gem of Italy; you’ll be glad you visited this beautiful city.

12. Genoa


If you’re looking for a city that beautifully blends history, art, and maritime heritage, Genoa is a fantastic choice. As a historic port city in northern Italy, Genoa has much to offer its visitors.

Here are three top reasons why you should add Genoa to your travel list:

  • Palazzi dei Rolli: These are a group of palaces once owned by the most prominent families in Genoa. The palaces are now a UNESCO World Heritage site open to the public. They’re a must-visit for art and architecture enthusiasts.
  • Genoa Cathedral: Also known as the Cathedral of St. Lawrence, this stunning cathedral is one of the most prominent landmarks in the city. The cathedral is famous for its black and white striped façade and impressive interior. It’s a great place to explore Genoa’s religious heritage.
  • Via Garibaldi: This street is home to some of the most beautiful palaces in the city, including the Palazzo Rosso and the Palazzo Bianco. The road is also lined with stylish cafes, restaurants, and boutiques, making it an excellent place to soak up Genoa’s vibrant atmosphere.

13. Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore

Let’s explore the breathtaking Lake Maggiore, the largest lake in Italy, located in the northern part of the country.

This beautiful lake offers a range of activities to indulge in, from boat tours to botanical gardens and cable car rides. You cannot miss the must-see islands of Isola Bella, Isola Madre, and Stresa, which have captivated travelers for centuries.

To make the most of your Lake Maggiore experience, consider visiting Isola Bella, known for its stunning palaces and magnificent gardens that will leave you in awe of its beauty.

On the other hand, Isola Madre is home to lush vegetation and rare species of exotic plants. Lastly, the charming town of Stresa offers a picturesque view of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, Lake Maggiore has something for everyone. So, pack your bags, and let’s embark on a journey of a lifetime.

Boat ToursExplore the lake and its beautiful surroundingsMultiple locations
Botanical GardensAdmire the lush vegetation of Isola MadreIsola Madre
Cable Car RidesGet a panoramic view of the lake and the mountainsStresa
Isola BellaVisit the stunning palaces and magnificent gardensIsola Bella
Isola MadreAdmire rare species of exotic plants and lush vegetationIsola Madre
StresaEnjoy a picturesque view of the lake and the surrounding mountainsStresa

14. Padua


Padua is a city full of history and culture, located in the Veneto region of Italy.

The city is known for its stunning Scrovegni Chapel, which features a series of beautiful frescoes painted by Giotto. This masterpiece is a must-see attraction for visitors to Padua, as it offers a glimpse into the artistic and religious history of the region.

Another top attraction in Padua is the Basilica di San Antonio, dedicated to the city’s patron saint. The church’s interior is adorned with impressive art and architecture, and visitors can also view the tomb of Saint Anthony himself.

In addition to its historical and religious significance, Padua is known for its aperitivo culture. The city has numerous bars and cafes to enjoy a refreshing drink and light snacks before dinner.

So, suppose you’re looking for a city that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and relaxation. In that case, Padua is the place to be.

15. Trento


Now that you’ve explored the historic city of Padua, it’s time to head further north to the charming town of Trento. In the heart of the Italian Alps, Trento offers a unique blend of history and nature that will captivate any traveler.

As one of the best places to visit in Northern Italy, Trento boasts a range of must-see attractions.

These include the stunning Buonconsiglio Castle, the beautiful Piazza Duomo, and the interactive MUSE Science Museum. But the city’s authentic charm lies in its proximity to the breathtaking Dolomites and renowned wine regions.

So, take some time to explore the surrounding areas and indulge in the local culinary and wine offerings. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for an escape, Trento has something for everyone.


Congratulations! You’ve just finished reading about the 15 best places to visit in Northern Italy, and you must be excited to plan your next trip.

As you sit back and contemplate your itinerary, you can’t help but notice that your favorite places on the list coincide with those of your travel buddy. What a coincidence!

You agree that the stunning Lake Como and charming Cinque Terre should be on your list. Venice’s romantic city and Milan’s fashion capital are also must-see destinations. And who can forget Verona, the city of love and home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet?

The list continues with Genoa, Lake Maggiore, Padua, and Trento, each offering unique charm and beauty. As you plan your trip, you can’t wait to explore these incredible locations with your travel buddy and create unforgettable memories.

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