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5 Must-See Places in Italy

Foro Romano

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Italy is a traveler’s paradise. Timeless, enchanting and brimming with history, a single visit doesn’t provide nearly enough time to experience all this country has to offer. On your first trim to Italy, which cities should you visit, and which sites should you see? In the end, choosing an itinerary based simply on your budget isn’t good enough. Consider planning your trip around at least one of these must-see Italian destinations to make memories of your journey last a lifetime.

5. Rome

Coliseum, Rome - Italy

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Rome is called the Eternal City for good reason. No matter how many visits you make to this city, you can always find another street to explore, another fountain to sit by or another restaurant to try. Rome is ancient history with a modern soul. Forego some of the monuments and museums to experience the parks and the cafes. Visit a local church in the early morning as residents stop in to say prayers. Buy flowers from a street vendor, shop for shoes or handbags in a trendy neighborhood or enjoy a quick drink at a stand-up workers bar. Experience life as the natives do. Because, when in Rome…

4. Assisi

Front view of the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

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There’s a quiet, majestic feeling when wandering through Assisi. It’s as if nature and architecture, the hills and the animals, the locals and the tourists converge in harmony. As the rolling hills of Umbria give way to the grandeur of the Basilica of San Francesco, the beauty is enough to take your breath away. You’ll find a slower pace than elsewhere, an enjoyment of simple pleasures such as a leisurely lunch in one of the town’s unique restaurants. Assisi is filled with tourists, many of them religious pilgrims, and you can’t help but feel moved if you visit the grotto where St. Francis is entombed with his brothers in the lower reaches of the basilica.

3. Portovenere

Portovenere - Liguria Italy

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This picturesque village on the Italian Riviera not far from Genoa, and just southeast of the better known Cinque Terra, is a jewel. Its buildings look as if they were colored by a group of preschoolers, and they march up the side of the steep seaside cliffs to a castle and an ancient city gate just daring you to come exploring. There’s a 4-star hotel, and there are traditional seafood restaurants, friendly locals, and a welcoming bar at the head of the harbor. An adjacent island, Palmaria, has nice beaches and a blue grotto. Portovenere is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once a favorite of writers, including D.H. Lawrence.

Anna enjoys blogging about a variety of topics, from fashion and beauty to food and travel. Find Anna on LinkedIn!

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