Italy

Things to do in Italy

There are endless possibilities for things to do in Italy. As the seat of Western Civilization, there are many museums and historical sites that are not to be missed. The ruins from the Roman Empire can be seen across the land, but nowhere as well as in Rome itself. Standing inside the Coliseum as the sun sets over the City of Seven Hills is an experience not soon forgotten. There are many beautiful ecclesiastical sites—the foremost being the illustrious Vatican, seat of power for the Catholic Church and former Holy Roman Empire. It’s worth a visit to admire St. Peter’s Basilica and gaze at the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

If you are wondering what to do in Italy for shopping—look no further than the cobblestone streets of Via de' Tornabuoni in Florence. Stroll through the designer shops and save an hour for a turn through the Ferragamo Museum before hitting the picturesque Ponte Vecchio. For high fashion, Milan is the go-to city, especially during fashion week when models and designers arrive in droves to roam the streets in their seasonal finery.

There are many outdoor things to do in Italy, from stunning beaches to gorgeous hikes and bike rides through vineyards and olive groves. Check out the Travel + Leisure guide to discover what to do in Italy.

Follow the pathway up the Salita di San Giorgio, past the yellow Church of San Giorgio, to the 16th-century castle, named after a British consul in Genoa, Montague Yeats Brown. Tip: This is the best place to take spectacular photographs of the town.

Take a “time out” from the hustle and bustle of Rome and wander the gravel paths of public park Villa Sciarra, named after the adjacent 17th-century Barberini family villa.

Created in 2006, the FPS has hosted a clutch of exhibitions that have earned international praise; 2010’s Bronzino retrospective—the most comprehensive to date of the Mannerist painter’s work—garnered unprecedented attendance and requests from major American and European museums to host it.

The contemporary art dealer's eponymous gallery.

The Sicily-based school doesn’t teach much dialect, but there are plenty of ways to absorb local culture in the sun-soaked, seaside town of Taormina: students take classes in the kitchens of residents. Courses range from one to 24 weeks.

Since its reopening in 2005 following 50 years of neglect, the 10-acre Gardens of the Villa Bardini in the Oltrarno have become a favorite with Florentines seeking a moment’s repose in the heart of the city.

One-day market and culinary tours of Florence with Tuscan-food expert Faith Willinger.

The shop crafts beautiful decorative glass objects—starfish, coral, animals, and dragonflies.