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.

Built into a cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, this full-service bar has a bright, simple interior and an outdoor wooden terrace, shaded by a canopy of thick-green vines.

The chic island of Capri is no stranger to high-end fashion shops, and this top-shelf clothier holds its own alongside brands like Ermenegildo Zegna, Prada, and Gucci.

The Abbey at Fiastra is one of the most serene, with a shaded portico and an ample courtyard that has a well at the center. The windows of the monks' cells line the story above the arches.

Located in Old Rome, just a short stroll from the Gothic, Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Piazza della Minerva, this little shop sells beautiful sacred art and religious items that will appeal to the devout and collectors alike.

Moderate and challenging walks (and a few small-ship cruises) in 80 destinations around the world with a roster of insider guides, such as Morocco native Saida Ezzahoui, an expert on native flora and fauna.

Visit this frescoed cave church, arrows point the way. Some caves are locked to protect against vandalism and require a key from an authorized tour guide. Ask your hotel clerk for a reference.

Legendary designer Mariano Fortuny assigned the colors for his fabrics’ poetic names: “Rembrandt rust straw and silvery gold,” “Bayou lime green and old ivory,” “seafoam green.” You’ll find these and more at this factory and shop, where 16,000 yards of Egyptian cotton are handcrafted every year.

Only about 35 percent of ancient Rome is in open-air excavations; the rest of it lies hidden below street level.

Italian brands from Gucci to Pucci tout their latest collections of beach, cruise, and yachting wear in the tiny boutiques lining Portofino's Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta and surrounding streets.