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.

Named after King Louis IX, this church was built as a house of worship for French people living in Rome in 1518. The Italian marble façade and interior with touches of gold was constructed with funds from Catherine de Medici, who was married to King Henry II of France.

Along with Loretta Caponi, this antique pharmacy—in a frescoed side-chapel of the Santa Maria Novella church—is one of the most gorgeous shops in

One of Italy's legendary opera houses; its season runs from January to mid-April.

Stop by for a degustazione in the bio-architectural headquarters, constructed with radon-free travertine stone. Taste the Montefalco Sagrantino red, made from Sagrantino grapes, with sweet hints of blackberry and persimmon.

There is the museum in Castello di Rivoli, about 45 minutes outside the city, where modern pieces such as Charles Ray's Revolution Counter-Revolution are on view in a medieval setting.

Located in the Olympic Village, the Parco della Musica (Music Park) is the largest and most visited concert facility in Europe. Designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano, the venue consists of three concert halls surrounding an ancient Roman—style outdoor theater.

Reserve a tour of a privately owned palazzo through well-connected cultural association Città Nascosta, and you may get to meet the owner and try out the family wines.

Here, Carla Galli produces some of Modena's best traditional balsamic, aged for a minimum of 12 years in wooden barrels in her attic (warning: a 3.3-ounce bottle costs $58).

The Site: In the year 590, as he prayed for Rome's deliverance from a plague, St. Gregory the Great had a encouraging vision of an angel sheathing its sword above this massive brick castle built atop the drum of Hadrian's first-century mausoleum.

This contemporary gallery showcases Tuscan artist Sandro Chia and avant-garde duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Select a bottle of syrupy black vinegar—make sure it’s labeled tradizionale, which means it’s made from aged grape must with no added sugar.

The Romanesque cathedral features several examples of Sorrento's traditional craft of intarsio, or inlaid woodwork. There are also marble tombs and some gory saints' relics, several of whose bones lie interred in one of the chapels.