Whatever city you are in Italy, you don’t have to worry about one thing. You can eat well everywhere! Which cities you want to visit mainly depends on where your interests lie. Below I discuss the ten largest cities in Italy and what makes them interesting to visit.
Catania is the second largest city on the island of Sicily in terms of size. This city is the base if you want to visit the famous Etna volcano. The volcano is located about 30 kilometers north of the city. The old city center is also worth a visit. Because of the many historic churches, palaces and theaters, this is an interesting destination for culture and history lovers.
In the south of Italy you will find the city of Bari. More than 300,000 people live in this port city and the city is connected to Albania, Croatia and Montenegro via ferry services. Are you going to Bari to take the ferry to one of these countries? Then take some time to see the city itself. In Bari there are interesting museums and a number of beautiful old palaces. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of this city (yes, our Sinterklaas) and that means that from 7 to 9 May there will be a big party in Bari to honor him. Near Bari you can also visit the special stalactite caves Grotte Castellane.
Florence is located on the river Arno and has a lot of works of art and buildings from the Renaissance period to offer. The most notable building in the city is the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, or Duomo. This beautiful cathedral attracts many tourists. The Ponte Vecchio is also a popular attraction of the city. This special bridge was built in 1345 and is best known for the shops that are located on the bridge.
This is the city where the famous Bolognese sauce comes from. The mortadella sausage also originates from Bologna. Because of this, and because of the production of various wines and cheeses, the city has developed into a culinary city over the years. The historic center of the city, including the oldest university in Europe, is more than worth a visit. Moreover, you can walk in the shade in a large part of the center during the warm summer months. Arched galleries run along many streets that you can walk under.
Genoa is Italy’s largest port city and is located in the Liguria region in the northwest. The city has a medieval center with beautiful palaces and a number of interesting museums. Genoa is a nice base for visiting the surrounding seaside resorts on the Ligurian coast. You can also easily travel by train from Genoa to the various villages of Cinque Terre. This way you avoid the winding roads through the mountains and from the train you can enjoy a beautiful view of the hills and the sea.
The capital of Sicily is Palermo and is located on the northwest side of the island on the Mediterranean Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Just like in most cities in Italy, you can also indulge yourself in beautiful churches, palazzos and squares. The Palazzo dei Normanni, built in the 9th century, is a special palace to visit because the Arab-Norman architecture is still clearly visible. It is located on the Piazza del Parlamento where you will find more impressive buildings. For culture lovers, there are also a number of beautiful theaters in Palermo, of which Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele is the largest in Italy. Nature lovers can escape the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting Monte Pellegrino, four kilometers away. From this hilly area you have a view of Palermo and the Mediterranean Sea.
Turin is the capital of the province of Turin and of the Piedmont region and is located in northwestern Italy. Although almost all of Italy has a pleasant Mediterranean climate, Turin has a continental climate. This means that the summers are not very hot and the winters are cold and dry. An excellent climate for beautiful walks in the Alps or through the hills of Monferrato, which surround the city. From the Basilica di Superga you have a beautiful view of the city and the surrounding hills.
In the region in which Naples is located, Campania, Neapolitan is spoken. This dialect deviates so much from standard Italian that you can almost call it a language. Many typical Italian dishes originate from this city, such as Neapolitan pizzas and spaghetti Napoletana. From Mount Capodi you have an impressive view of the city and surroundings. What is also special is that you can also see Mount Vesuvius from there. This volcano is 1281 meters high and has a diameter of about eight kilometers.
Milan is located in the middle of the Po Valley and that is where the name of the city comes from: Mediolanum. It is the capital of the Lombardy region. In terms of fashion, the city can easily compete with Paris, for example. Fashion designers such as Armani and Versace, for example, come from here. In addition, Milan is a real cultural city, with, for example, the famous opera house La Scala and one of the largest conservatories in Italy: the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi. In the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Graxie you can admire the fresco The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci.
With about 3 million inhabitants, Rome is the largest city in Italy. And even if all the sights in the city were closed, there is still more than enough to see in Rome. The city is located in the center of Italy, in the Lazio region. Countless churches, forums, squares and museums can be admired and visited in this city. The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Roman Forum are just a few of the long list of historical sites.