Italy is one of the world’s great destinations. There is so much to see and do here that it can leave you feeling dazed and confused when it comes to putting together a proper travel itinerary. So in this article I will be outlining the 10 best places to visit in Italy for 2022 to help you on your merry way.
I was born in a little city near Salerno called Cava de’ Tirreni – the so called “Little Swisse of Italy” because of its urban architecture and healthy lifestyle. I lived the quiet and small town life until I was 18 years old. At that time, I wasn’t yet doing photography. This came later in life when I started going to university in Naples. Here my photography passion exploded!
These days I can’t walk around the streets and not take a photo! So I decided to buy my very first Nikon camera (an old d80). So my love story with photography began. Through my photos (and words) I will try to show you some of the best places to visit in Italy – from charming small towns to bustling cities to beautiful little islands and everything in between.
Italy, A Wonderfully Complex Country
My travels in Italy have taken me from the north of the country to the extreme south. I have visited amazing places like Venice, Palermo, Florence and Rome. Still on my bucket list though is the absolutely beautiful and colorful small town of Manarola and the charming region of Abruzzo. I actually want to see so many places here that my list could go on forever.
I have visited many big cities and little villages of Italy and I believe these are two faces of the same coin: Italy and Italians. We are such complex people – the Florentine guy is so different from a Palermitan one. And the Neapolitan person is all together different. Every destination in Italy can teach you something about the life that you aspire to live.
The first thing you notice in the villages is that time goes slow. It’s like a hourglass in which sand never falls. In these villages, there is no such thing as “full time” shops. I remember my first trip to a small island in the Gulf of Naples. I thought I could buy some bread early in the morning but the baker was closed. Sunday also is a holy day, dedicated to family and affections. Cities, on the other hand, are a lot more modern and vibrant.
10 Best Places to Visit in Italy (2022)
If this is your first time to Italy, I recommend the classic “Grand Tour”. Yes, the one that poets made in the past centuries. Start from Venice because your first impression should be architectural perfection. Then you should visit Bologna: the red, the fat and the learned (as we used to say).
Next, head to the east and visit the underrated Abruzzo, Campo Imperatore is such a magical place. After that you need to lose your senses of what a city is in Tuscany. Val d’Orcia, with its golden hills in late summer, is a wonderful choice. After a good taste of wine, you should head to Florence and stand in awe in front of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral.
I actually live in Florence now and am so glad to have this experience regularly. Florence is truly an extraordinary city. Then Rome – the city of cinema and art – is the next obvious choice. I usually say that Naples is old fashioned theatre but Rome is pure cinema across its cobblestone streets.
The other half of my heart, Naples, is your next port of call. It’s a volcanic city. I owe Naples all of my joyful and welcoming personality traits. The little island of Procida in the Gulf of Naples is certainly my favorite place here. By now you might have thought that you have seen everything: false! You need to go deeper now and discover Matera, Lecce and Palermo.
Sharing a Favorite Travel Memory of Italy
I remember every single experience I have in Italy for a specific reason. The light, the people and the story of that village. I do have one favorite memory that I would like to share. It was when I visited this little village called Grizzana Morandi because there was this strange castle on a hill.
The name of this castle? Rocchetta Mattei. It’s impressive because it’s the only example of Moorish, Arabic architecture in Italy. Visiting was like being in Morocco, Alhambra and Arabian Nights (one thousand and one nights) all at once. A curious doctor made this castle because it was his centre of study for alternative medicine. Even Princess Sissi herself came here to visit.
What Time of Year to Visit Italy?
We have so much to offer but you have to be careful about timing. Florence is torrid in summer and cold in winter. I would visit in May, for example, when all the gardens are blooming but it’s not too hot. Naples is better in summer because it has a mild climate. Palermo gets hot in summer – this year it reached 44°C and I was there when it happened! So I guess it depends on where you are going to choose the right time of year to visit.
Tips for Visiting the Best Places in Italy
My first tip is the most important for traveling in Italy: comfy shoes. If you want to live out a unique experience (and take some impressive photos) you need to walk a fair bit. In fact, you need to walk a lot. When I visit Italian cities or villages, I can walk as much as 15-20km each day. Walking is the only way to ensure that you don’t miss anything and find unique views.
Always search for a strategic high spot because I think that every city can give you a breathtaking view. I remember seeing Verona from Castel San Pietro, for example. And if you can, enjoy the company of older people of my country – they are so rich with stories and experiences to share with you. They are the most precious cultural treasure of Italy. Thanks for reading my article on the best places to visit in Italy for 2022. Enjoy your travels!