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.

The Capri Palace Hotel has a candlelit al fresco bar, which is one of the few spots on the island where you can watch the sun set over the Mediterranean. Though it's always crowded, the bar is the place to be seen at aperitivo time.

The Rufolos were Ravello’s most powerful family in the Middle Ages. Their 13th-century villa has a distinctly Moorish courtyard and is anchored by a 100-foot stone tower tinged with Islamic architectural details, signifying the long history of Arab influence in southern Italy.

François Pinault recently commissioned Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando to turn this ornate 18th-century palace on the Grand Canal into a steamlined art exhibition space complete with white, freestanding walls.

The jewelry shop is divine with a 17th-century safe, bright frescoes, and its outstanding collection of silver, watches, and unusual objects such as Neapolitan corni (horns), amulets carved out of red coral that are imputed to ward off the evil eye.

Owner Francesco Antano organizes tastings by appointment amid metal and wooden barrels in a modern farmhouse cellar. The Sagrantino Colleallodole red is a limited-edition 14-degree cru reminiscent of wild berries.

For a great view of the city, take the old funicular railway to this church.

The unification of Italy and fall of the Vatican political state reinstated the civil rights of the Jewish people of Rome, and they celebrated with the construction of the Great Synagogue.

What to Expect: Romans erect elaborate presepi (Nativity scenes) across the city, from life-size tableaux on the Spanish Steps and before St.