Famous Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi once said, “You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” As he understood, there are beautiful places throughout the universe, but Italy rivals them all. The large country is a mix of landscapes and seas, all of which come together to create beautiful settings. Though there are too many beautiful places in Italy to count, this list is a good start.
1. Positano, Amalfi Coast
Pictures of the cliffside village of Positano on the Amalfi Coast always do well on social media, as it’s a beautiful sight to behold. Known as a “vertical town,” thanks to the steep steps and roads throughout the city, the colorful buildings in whites, pinks, and yellows, contrast with the stark stone and beautiful greenery of the Italian cliffs and blue ocean to make a most picturesque setting. It’s no wonder that this pretty seaside town draws thousands upon thousands of visitors every year.
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2. Gran Paradiso National Park
The Gran Paradiso National Park was the first national park to be established in Italy, and it’s a stunning example of the diversity of beautiful places in the country. Located near the French and Italian border, the park includes Alpine mountains, 57 glaciers, five valleys, and woodlands. Visitors are welcome to take hikes throughout the park -- including snowshoe hikes -- and ski in the winter.
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3. Lake Garda
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and offers stunning deep blue waters that attracts visitors during the summer months. It’s surrounded by hills and mountains and experiences a fairly lovely Mediterranean climate. For a lake, it’s quite transparent, and it's a popular place for boating and water sports. To enjoy the beautiful lake, book a vacation in one of the lakefront towns like Sirmione or Riva del Garda. Biking along the 620 miles of trails around the lake or climbing up one of the nearby mountains also makes for great views.
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4. Aragonese Castle
Set on the Gulf of Naples is the jaw-dropping structure the Aragonese Castle. This beautiful landmark stands large and strong on a rocky volcanic islet that connects to the island of Ischia. The stone walls of the castle combined with the blue of the sea makes for a dramatic setting that must have been just as impressive to visitors in the fifth century as it is to today's visitors. You can behold this wonder by visiting the castle year-round -- entrance costs small fee. But for no price at all, coastline of Ischia will offer great views of this attraction, perhaps none more so than at the Guevara Tower.
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5. Furore Fjord
Hidden away on the Amalfi Coast is a beautiful Italian sight -- the Furore Fjord. Furore is a small village located in the fjord, a narrow gorge that cuts inland from the ocean. Large cliff walls with splotches of greenery rise above the water. A bridge that crosses over the fjord and a charming small beach that can be reached by stone stairs cut into the wall add to the beautiful experience.
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6. Hot Springs of Saturnia
Tuscany is home to the enchanting Hot Springs of Saturnia, another beautiful spot in Italy. They were known to the ancient Romans and Estrucans, and is a popular spot with locals and tourists today, especially as it’s free to visit. Warmed to 98 degrees Fahrenheit, the lovely blue springs cascade down a set of rocky steppes. They’re rich in mineral deposits which can sometimes give off a sulfuric or egg-like odor.
7. Mt. Etna
On the east coast of Sicily sits an active volcano, Mt. Etna. As a stratovolcano, it creates a picturesque pyramid-like shape along the horizon. Mt. Etna is the highest volcano in Europe and one of the most dangerous, covering 459 square miles. Today, the volcano still erupts, and it even killed 10 people in March 2017. Despite the volcanic activity, there is a cable car that takes visitors up the mountain where they can then hike to a crater for some phenomenal views. If hiking near an active volcano is not for you, enjoy views of Mt. Etna safely away from the ancient amphitheater in Taormina.
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8. Grand Canal of Venice
Venice is already unique among the cities of the world for its extensive canal system. However, it’s the Grand Canal of Venice that offers the most beautiful scene during the day, and especially as the sun sets at night. Along the waterway are stunning palaces and a mix of Venetian Gothic and Early Renaissance architecture. These buildings, the gondolas on the water, and charming bridges all show just how lovely Italy truly is.
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