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Where to Stay in Italy: 13 Incredible Options

Updated December 7, 2020

Where to stay in Italy is a tough decision—you have so many incredible options! That’s why, with some local input, we created this list of 13 places to stay in Italy. 

For personalized recommendations on where to stay in Italy—and what to do once you get there—work with a local to build your trip. Learn more

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Kate, Recent Traveler
Kate, Recent Traveler

#1: Rome

Rome | Cristina Gottardi/Unsplash

Of course, Rome had to be #1! Gorgeous, historical, classic Rome is a fantastic place to stay in Italy.

Love history? Locals say there's nothing better than exploring the Colosseum or the Roman Forum. Into food? Rome has some of the best pasta carbonara that you’ll ever eat. Want to visit the world’s smallest country? Just hop over to the Vatican.

Basically—locals say you’ll never run out of things to do in Rome, and the combination of excellent, immersive history and delicious food makes it a wonderful place to stay. Plus, it's a big city full of diverse neighborhoods. Get some local advice about where exactly you should find a hotel or Airbnb. Our trip planners tell us that the Trastevere neighborhood is hip, young, and full of locals.

Local Tip:

Keep an eye out for trapizzino, a popular Rome street food. It's basically a bread pocket filled with fresh, classically Italian ingredients. 

#2: The Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast | Sander Crombach/Unsplash

Do photos of colorful Italian villages stacked upon a cliff give you major wanderlust? Traveler, meet the Amalfi Coast. 

Locals rave about Amalfi's beautiful towns. Each one is a bit different, so getting personalized recs on where to stay can help. 

What should you do in the Amalfi Coast? Locals recommend sipping Limoncello in Sorrento, visiting the seaside cathedral in Amalfi, and taking in the view from mountainous Ravello. There's a lot of wonderful places to explore here.  

Local Tip:

In the South of Italy street food is very popular, and it's usually fried, tasty, and inexpensive.

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#3: Venice

Venice | bogitw/Pixabay

Venice is an incredible place to stay because of its unique formation—locals tell us the city is made up of 118 islands! They say that, in Venice, you can spend your days traversing beautiful bridges—including the iconic Rialto bridge—and exploring the network of canals that crisscross the city. 

A popular city among tourists, Venice is a wonderful place to get advice from locals. They recommend visiting the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo for an "incredible view over Venice's roofs" and eating as much fresh seafood as possible. 

#4: Lake Como

Lake Como | iKLICK/Pixabay

Enjoying Lake Como is not restricted to the rich and famous (but keep an eye out for George Clooney, who has a home there).

Because of its sweeping nature and the surplus of amazing activities, locals say it's an excellent place to stay in Italy. Especially if your dream Italian vacation involves lake-kayaking.

Locals suggest riding the Brunate funicular for an incredible view (our trip planners note you can also hike—it takes about two hours), taking a boat tour, or exploring the towns around the lake like Cernobbio and Bellagio.

Basically, if cities aren’t your thing, then locals say that Lake Como is an excellent place to call home for a bit. 

Local Tip:

If cities are your thing, Milan is about 90 minutes away. 

#5: Naples

Naples | StockSnap/Pixabay

Naples is a fantastic place to stay in Italy if you want to do everything. Everything. Here, locals say that you can find some of the world’s best pizza, enjoy easy access to popular sites like Pompeii and Capri, and enjoy a vibrant nightlife scene.

Naples is a bit grittier than Rome and less popular with tourists—which means the city is the perfect place to get off the beaten path. Locals recommend doing this literally, by hopping on a ferry and visiting the nearby island of Capri.

Local Tip:

Italy is safe for travel (crime rates have plummeted in recent years) but keep an eye on your belongings while in Naples, especially in crowded places or train stations. 

#6: Florence

Florence | Noric Laruelle/Unsplash

If you’re all about classical art, Florence is the city for you. Locals tell us that in Florence, you’ll find treasures like Michaelangelo’s famous statue of David and Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus.

The beauty of Florence reflects its artistic treasures—the grand Florence Cathedral (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore) looms spectacularly over the city, and Giorgio Vasari’s Last Judgement fresco in the Cathedral’s dome is breathtaking.

Locals rave that you’ll find magnificent classical architecture all throughout Florence, and the city’s allure and rich culture make it an excellent place to stay. 

Local Tip:

Florence is the capital of Tuscany, which means you'll find excellent Italian wine throughout the city.

#7: Tuscany

Tuscany vineyard | chetanls/Pixabay

...which leads us to Tuscany itself. Tuscany contains Pisa (and its famous leaning tower) and Florence. Locals note that the region is also home to many fantastic small towns: medieval hamlets like San Gimignano, Siena, and Lucca, where you can walk along old stone ramparts. 

Since we're all about sustainable travel, we'd recommend staying at a Kind Traveler property. They're the first socially conscious hotel booking and sustainable travel media platform—staying with them empowers travelers to positively impact communities and the environment in the destinations they visit!

Local Tip:

Be sure to try Chianti, Italy's classic red wine that is made in this region.

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#8: Milan

Milan | IgorSaveliev/Pixabay

Milan may be known for its glitz and glam (the famous shopping center, Gallerie Vittorio Emanuele II, feels like a palace), but locals tell us that Milan is much more than a gorgeous face.

The city is well-traveled, but our locals can offer some insider advice to see a new side of the city. For something a bit eerie, they suggest checking out the stacked skulls at San Bernardino alle Ossa church. For an incredible view, check out the Parco Sempione. And they highly recommend indulging in Milan’s twist on the Negroni—Negroni Sbagliato, which uses prosecco instead of gin. If Negronis aren’t your thing, then locals say to check out Milan’s surprising great craft beer scene

Of course, there’s plenty of glitz to explore. La Scala Opera house is jaw-droppingly beautiful and feels like something out of a glamorous film. Its elegance is matched only by the incredible artists that perform on its stage.

Local Tip:

Don't let a huge suitcase cramp your Milan style. You can store it in one of LuggageHero's Milan locations for the day.

#9: Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre | Kookay/Pixabay

Cinque Terre is often compared to the Amalfi Coast—both boast colorful, cliffside villages and stunning ocean views. But locals tell us that the two regions are really different.

For one, Cinque Terre is over 400 miles north of Amalfi. And whereas Amalfi is best known for sunbathing, boating, and high-end vacations, locals say that Cinque Terre has a more rugged feel. People go to enjoy nature, and especially the excellent hiking trails that connect its villages.

So if you’re looking for gorgeous views, a unique experience, and the chance to explore some of the best hiking in Italy, then our trip planners say that Cinque Terre may be the place for you. 

#10: Bologna

Bologna | Bboyangel/Pixabay

Bologna is less visited than places like Rome or Florence. But locals say it's definitely where you should go in Italy if you love food. 

The city is considered one of the ultimate destination for foodies and has been called Italy’s greatest gastronomic treasure! Yum. 

You'll have a lot of choices of things to eat and where to eat them—so don't miss out. Our trip planners tell us that Bologna is known for tortellini al brodo (tortellini in broth), tagliatelle al ragù, and piadina (flatbread stuffed with ham and cheese). 

Local Tip:

For a sweet treat, check out the Carpigiani Gelato museum in Bologna. 

#11: Sicily

Torre Faro in Sicily | Luca N/Unsplash

Known as the "toe" of Italy's "boot", Sicily is a large island just off Italy's southern coast. 

Locals tell us it's a favorite place in Italy to stay even among locals. Here, you'll find incredible historical sights, enchanting nature, and fantastic beaches.

Take a tour of Mount Etna, explore ancient ruins at the Valley of the Temples (a UNESCO World Heritage site), relax on some of Sicily’s best beaches, or spend the day exploring one of the island’s awesome towns—such as Palermo, Catania or Cefalù.

#12:  Puglia

Puglia | Daniele Testa/Flickr

If Sicily is Italy’s “toe”, then Puglia is Italy’s “heel”. Locals say that this hidden gem is an awesome place to stay if you want to enjoy southern Italy. Life moves at a slower pace in this sun-soaked town, but there are still plenty of things to explore. Check out the gorgeous town of Gallipoli (not the same as the film), hike through Terra Delle Gravine Natural Park, and take a dip in the azure pools of Poetry Cave

Locals tell us that any tourists you’re likely to encounter in Puglia are Italians—it’s where they go for vacation! But this means that most people do not speak English. When you work with a local to build your trip, they'll make sure you know a few keywords and phrases to make navigating a breeze. 

#13: Bergamo

Bergamo | Daniel Chodusov/Flickr

Located in between two popular Italian destinations—Milan and Lake Cuomo—Bergamo often gets overlooked. But this hidden gem is an excellent place to stay.

Locals suggest taking the funicular for a spectacular view of the medieval city—they tell us it's been in use for over 100 years—walking along the ancient city walls, and grabbing an espresso or an Aperol spritz at Piazza Vecchia, the town’s gorgeous main square.

Because Bergamo is smaller and less visited, it’s the kind of place where getting local advice can be especially advantageous.  

Get personalized recs on where to stay in Italy

Couple in Italy | Alessia Cocconi/Unsplash

What's your travel style? Are you looking for romance and history, without the crowds of Rome? Rome and Juliette took place in Verona, and locals tell us that you'll also find a well-preserved Roman arena there. Maybe you're hoping for the charms of Venice, but don't want to contribute to overtourism? Our trip planners note that nearby Padua is packed with Venetian charm (and fewer tourists). 

Still have questions about travel to Italy?
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