Italy is one of those classic travel destinations you could return to again and again and still find something new. But if it’s your first time to Italy, there are some must sees to make it the perfect trip. Taking a tour will help you get the best possible introduction to this beautiful country. Trafalgar tours are 5 star rated, which is why we think you should consider joining us for your first Italy tour.
You absolutely must spend time in the “Big Three” cities of Italy: Rome, Florence, and Venice. These cities are all distinct from each other, yet each is distinctly Italian in look and vibe. You can’t leave without seeing the Sistine Chapel, and enjoying a glass of wine in the vineyards of Tuscany. Italy has so much to offer, but these are the top 5 sights in Italy every first time traveler should see.
What can one say about Rome? This city is magical at any age, and has some of the world’s most recognisable travel attractions. The history buff is going to feel right at home in Rome, as is the foodie, and the film buff; the adventure traveller…maybe not so much.
Of all the must sees in Rome for the first time Italy traveller, the Colosseum is the irrefutable top of the list. This powerful structure dates back to 70AD. Even though portions of it are often under construction for conservation or archaeological study, entering the massive amphitheater transports one back in time.
Then there’s the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Mouth of Truth (famously depicted in Roman Holiday), and the experience of simply walking around with a fresh cone of gelato.
Most Trafalgar tours to Italy include a few days dedicated to Rome’s many incredible sights. With a Local Specialist to help guide you through, you’ll gain a deeper look into the sprawling history of this city.
Ahhh Venice. A romantic vibe radiates from this beautiful city with its maze of canals and sigh-inducing landmarks. The city of delicate glass figurines, elaborate 19th century masks, and the pigeon-covered square outside St. Mark’s Basilica, beautifully situated against the water, is as timeless as it is historic. Everyone who visits Venice creates their own Baroque themed fairytale.
Even if you don’t find churches particularly compelling as a traveller, there’s no denying the splendour and impressive beauty of St. Mark’s. Be sure to bring something to cover your shoulders, and ideally wear long pants – they take dress code fairly seriously.
With Trafalgar you dive deeper even deeper into Venice, appreciating the amazing city beyond the tourist sites. Meet glassblowers who still follow traditional methods on the island of Giudecca, and have free time to stroll the maze of canal bridges at your own pace.
There can be no other countryside experience for first time visitors than a stroll down a Tuscany road. Here, rustic charm meets truly spectacular wines, views of rolling vineyards and sunflowers, with the friendly Italian spirit tying it all together.
Meandering through small villages, enjoying leisurely picnics, touring enormous villas and wineries, Tuscany is the place that makes it’s hard to leave Italy.
Home also to the delightfully quirky Leaning Tower of Pisa, where you will regret it if you don’t take one of the supremely goofy tourist force perspective photos. Really, just do it. You know you want to. Siena with its enormous central square “Piazza del Campo”, and the wonderful, historic medieval town of San Gimignano, a frequent stop on Trafalgar tours to Italy.
Tuscany is a large region, also home to the city of Florence, which deserves it’s own section.
Art lovers rejoice for you shall have found your dream city. Florence is the capital city of Tuscany and home to many art museums, but the one you should make sure to see is the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze – where the statue of David can be seen. (Note – if you’re a purist, don’t take pictures in front of the one outside. It’s a replica!).
Also in Florence, shoppers will have a wonderful time strolling through the many streets of fine clothing shops, Italian leather, and jewellery choices.
Lastly, the dominant feature of the Florence skyline is the bright orange, domed Duomo cathedral. You absolutely should visit this amazing representation of Renaissance architecture, and one of Italy’s largest churches, during your trip.
On Trafalgar tours in Florence, you can visit a traditional vineyard home and enjoy a leisurely lunch with a local family.
Technically a sovereign city-state within Italy itself, Vatican City holds allure even if you are not a religious person. And art lovers, we have another one for you. The Sistine Chapel is a sight to behold. And really, you can do almost nothing but that: behold it.
Traveling on a tour is one of the best ways to experience the Vatican. Nothing ruins this incredible sight like jostling among a large crowd, everyone craning their neck to see the famous ceiling. Trafalgar’s top rated Italy tours give you priority access with a local specialist so all you have to do is enjoy the majestic, and truly remarkable, painting.
Tip! Don’t spend all your time just looking up. The far wall of the chapel is also heavily decorated with dramatic scenes, arguably more emotional than the more famous ceiling depictions.
This is a guest post by Samantha Scott of Stride Travel. Read traveller and expert reviews on trips and tours. Find your perfect professionally planned trip.