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.

This wine store's deep selection of books (in many languages) on Piedmontese wine and food complements a cellar of excellent, hard-to-find bottles.

Fabrizia Lanza teaches at a 19th-century country house with four rustic rooms. You'll learn to make a sweet cassata, a traditional sponge-cake dessert filled with ricotta cheese and covered with candied fruit and a sugar glaze.

Once farmacia to the 17th Century Papal court, this pharmacy is still run by Carmelite monks and remains adjacent to Trastavere's Santa Maria della Scala church. The classically designed space is worth a visit for the decor alone: a marble room decorated with murals of medicinal herbs.

Rome’s oldest ice cream parlor, Giolitti has a history dating back to 1890, when dairy farmers Giuseppe and Bernadina Giolitti opened a small creamery near the Pantheon. Soon after, the Giolittis established a series of shops and began producing ice cream using secret family recipes.

Piece together glass mosaics in Venice under the tutelage of artist Antonella Gallenda in an 1888 glass foundry. Walk away with your very own masterpiece.

The museum has a collection of paintings by Pietro Longhi, is a Modernist reprieve from the city’s Gothic architecture.

The musuem has held Medici collections of Etruscan, Roman, Greek, and Egyptian art since 1870.

Balbianello is owned and maintained by the Fondo Ambiente Italiano—the Italian National Trust. In addition to the gardens, a magnificent 18th-century loggia, which has columns delicately laced with well-tended garlands of ficus, is open to the public.

Imagine Palm Beach's Worth Avenue transplanted to a Tuscan hillside with prices slashed up to 70 percent.

Cooking classes are offered at the private estate of Gabriella Becchina, where the robust olio verde is produced.