15 Best Places to Visit in North Italy

The northern region of Italy is known locally as Il Nord or Settentrione and consists of eight separate regions – Peidmont, Liguria, Aosta Valley, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto. In terms of population, this region of Italy has an estimated population of at least 27.2 million inhabitants. Northern Italy has a diverse geography due to its two coastal regions, and the mountainous region of the Alps and Apennines. Parts of the region are packed full with dramatic mountain landscapes, whilst other areas particularly on the eastern coast are flat on entering the Adriatic Sea. This part of Italy is actually the most economically productive and has a host of important manufacturing regions that help give it one of the highest GDPs per capita in Europe.

For the budding tourist, this region of Italy is simply bursting with historical cities waiting to be explored. In the far north, you can explore the Alps, try your hand at skiing and visit some of the quaint mountainside towns. On the east coast you can visit the enchanting island city of Venice or the historical port of Trieste. Furthermore in the central regions of Northern Italy you have several magnificent and immense cities such as Milan, Turin and Bologna that have a myriad of interesting sites and attractions. Due to the regions varied landscape, rich history and plethora of fine cities, there is something for everyone’s tastes.

Let’s have a look at the best places to visit in Northern Italy:

1. Milan


Source: Boris Stroujko / shutterstock Milan

Milan is one of the largest cities in Italy and is renowned for its culture, history, economy and also its plethora of high-end designer shopping outlets.

This vast metropolis boasts some absolutely sublime architecture and a myriad of historical buildings that have played an important role in the shaping of Italy.

Notable sites include the unbelievable gothic Duomo with its intricate façade and gorgeous stained glass windows, the epic Sforzesco castle with its huge grounds and gardens, the infinitely interesting Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology, and the opulent Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This city has something for everyone – from shopping to sight-seeing and museums.

2. Venice


Source: Phant / shutterstock Venice

Venice is dubbed as one of the most romantic cities in the world and it is easy to see why when you walk through its many narrow cobbled streets and canals.

Located in the Venetian lagoon, Venice is an island city that is formed from hundreds of individual islands all joined together by a network of canals and bridges.

The central Grand Canal is a magnificent site and the buildings that line it look simply beautiful.

Furthermore, St. Mark’s Square is an absolute must see with the opulent cathedral, the immense bell tower and the flocks of pigeons.

Alternatively, if you want to relax and soak up the sun you can travel via water taxi to the Venice Lido and enjoy the long stretch of golden beach.

Don’t forget to visit the Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs and Doges Palace too!

3. Turin


Source: Fabio Lamanna / shutterstock Turin

Although an economic powerhouse and one of the main industrial centres in Italy, Turin still retains much of its history and charm and has an amazing amount of sites and attractions.

Located in the western part of Northern Italy, Turin was once the capital of the country and has always been an important cultural and economic stronghold.

Today you can see some amazing sites such as the decadent Palazzo Reale and Palazzo Madama, the gigantic and domineering Mole Antonelliana and the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista.

Additionally ensure to take a trip to the fascinating Turin Egyptian museum and see the face of Jesus in the fabled Turin Shroud.

4. Bologna


Source: bellena / shutterstock Bologna

Bologna is one of the largest cities in Italy and is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region.

This city has a strong economic presence in the manufacturing and financial industries and is also a major transport hub.

In terms of tourism, Bologna is known as the city of towers due to its plethora of historical high-rise structures.

The leaning towers of Bologna and Torre Prendiparte for example are fascinating and beautiful structures that dominate the skyline of the city.

Aside from the towers, Bologna also has some amazing Piazzas and religious buildings such as Piazza Maggiore and the Cathedral of San Petronio.

Finally, for those who enjoy the arts and culture, Bologna has a selection of fine museums and galleries such as the Archaeological Museum and the National Gallery.

5. Genoa


Source: Alex Tihonovs / shutterstock Genoa

Genoa is a magnificent city located on the southern coast of Northern Italy on the Ligurian Sea.

As the 6th largest city in the country, and as a major port, Genoa has major significance for the economy of the country and has always played a prominent role in the history of Italy.

The city walls of Genoa were once expansive and the Porta Soprana is one of the remaining gates from this once impenetrable fortress.

In the city centre you can admire some fine architecture in public spaces such as the Piazza Ferrari and the Piazza Matteotti.

Moreover the Aquarium and Maritime Museum are fantastic for those who want to learn about marine life and the history of Genoas port.

Don’t forget to walk around the immense port and see the hectic hustle and bustle of commercial shipping activitiy!

6. Parma


Source: iryna1 / shutterstock Parma

This northern city is located in-between Bologna and Milan and is renowned for its beautiful Prosciutto Ham and cheese varieties.

Due to the cities long history and involvement with various factions and wars throughout the years it has a range of impressive structures, beautiful Piazzas and intriguing museums.

Parma Cathedral is considered one of the finest Romanesque structures in Italy and the adjoining Baptistery is just as opulent.

This city also has several fantastic theatres such as the Teatro Farnese and the Teatro Regio that offer the perfect venue to see a show.

Also consider visiting the national gallery that contains an immense collection from individuals including Da Vinci and Van Dyck.

7. Verona

Source: Catarina Belova / shutterstock Verona

Verona is often overshadowed by other major Italian cities but it has one of the finest historical centres in the country and some absolutely stunning sites.

The main site of Verona is undoubtedly the Arena – this huge structure rivals the Colosseum of Rome and is just as spectacular.

Furthermore the Castle Vecchio and the connecting Ponte Vecchio are amazing structures to visit and provide a look at the history of Verona.

This city also features some impressive religious structures such as Verona Cathedral and the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, but also a myriad of gorgeous Piazzas such as the Piazza Delle Erbe and the Piazza Bra.

Finally, Verona lies in close proximity to Lake Garda which is a brilliant region to explore.

8. Lake Garda

Lake Garda

Source: fotomika / shutterstock Lake Garda

Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and is a hugely popular destination for both locals and tourists.

The landscapes and scenery surrounding Lake Garda are simply jaw dropping – the combination of forest covered mountains and small terracotta roofed villages create an idyllic setting.

Towns such as Sirmione and Bardolino provide perfect venues to explore the lake from and offer a myriad of sites and high quality eateries.

Consider taking a boat trip on this immense lake and travelling between some of the gorgeous lakeside villages whilst taking in the sublime scenery.

9. Trieste

f Miramare castle, Trieste, Italy

Source: JRP Studio / shutterstock F Miramare Castle, Trieste, Italy

Trieste can be found in the eastern part of Northern Italy on the coast of the Gulf f Trieste – this city lies in close proximity to Slovenia and the border can be reached in under 20 minutes.

Due to its close proximity to Slovenia, Trieste actually has a different feel and culture to the rest of Italy and has been influence greatly by its close ties to its neighbouring country.

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The harbour of Trieste is a fantastic place to explore and the connecting Canale Grande has some beautiful surrounding architecture.

This city also features a series of castles, Roman ruins and opulent religious structures.

When exploring the Harbor, don’t forget to take a stroll down the Molo Audace which is a 300m long promenade that juts out into the sea.

10. Alessandria

Source: Claudio Giovanni Colombo / shutterstock Alessandria

Alessandria can be found in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy and is a fantastic place to visit despite its smaller size.

With great transport links to Milan, Turin and Genoa the city serves as a transport hub and is easily accessible.

The impressive Cittadella di Alessandria sits proudly on the banks of the River Tanaro and can be reached by crossing the modern Ponte Meier footbridge.

If you like military history and displays, the Museo delle Divise Militari provides a fantastic insight into the operations of the Italian Military.

Alternatively, if you enjoy walking and architecture, the Piazza Garibaldi and the Piazza della Liberta are great places to explore in the centre of the town.

11. Brescia


Source: Renata Sedmakova / shutterstock Brescia

Only a stone’s throw from Lake Garda and Verona, Brescia is a beautiful city in the heart of Lombardy.

This city is one of the main industrial regions of the country and contributes a great deal to the GDP of Italy.

Brescia combines fantastic historical sites together with some gorgeous areas of natural beauty to create a city that everyone can enjoy.

In terms of architecture, Brescia boasts the ancient Roman Tempio Capitolino, the impressive Duomo Nuovo, and the historic Broletto.

Furthermore, in terms of natural sites, Brescia is located in close proximity to Lake Iseo which contains the beautiful Monte Isola, and also only a short distance away is the magnificent Mount Maddalena.

Brescia is also ideally located to venture to Lake Garda and the neighbouring city of Verona.

12. Ferrara


Source: ermess / shutterstock Ferrara

Ferrara has a favourable location between Bologna in the south and Venice in the north.

This city offers the perfect base to explore the eastern side of Northern Italy and also contains some beautiful structures and historical sites.

The main site of Ferrara is the Estense Castle – this gorgeous wooden castle sits on its own lake and has become a symbol of the city.

Also found within the city centre is the interesting Archaeological museum, the Palazzo dei Diamanti and the Cathedral of Saint George.

Finally, Ferrara was once a medieval city and had a complete defensive network – today you can see sections of the city walls and admire their design.

13. Monza

Source: alessandro radice / shutterstock Monza

Located within the greater metropolitan area of Milan, Monza is a fantastic tourist destination in its own right and has some amazing sites.

If you are located in Milan and want a day trip, Monza offers the perfect location.

Possibly the best known attraction of Monza is the historic Formula One Racing Track and the immense Parco di Monza.

The park covers a vast area and as some beautiful villas, gardens and wooded areas – you could spend hours walking through its many trails.

Inside the park, the Autodromo is also a great place to visit and if you are lucky enough, watching a Formula One race here is a true treat.

Aside from the park, Monza also features the opulent Duomo di Monza and the gorgeous Ponte dei Leoni.

14. Como

Source: Boris Stroujko / shutterstock Lake Como

Como and the lake of the same name is considered to be one of the most beautiful areas in Italy and is known for its jaw-dropping mountainous landscapes.

Como itself features some grand architecture such as the 14th century Cathedral and the Basilica di Sant’Abbondio.

If you want to see some epic mountain landscapes then take the Brunate funicular to look down onto the expanse of the majestic lake.

When you have seen all the city has to offer, take to the waters of Lake Como and enjoy a sublime boat ride or visit one of the lakeside towns such as Bellagio, Lierna and Dervio – these towns offer some amazing views across the lake and the chance to relax in a fine restaurant or café.

15. Udine


Source: Marco Lissoni / shutterstock Udine

Udine is located in the eastern part of Italy near the Slovenian border.

This city has been influenced greatly by other cultures crossing the Italian border and has an extensive history.

The castle of Udine is a mighty structure created in the 16th century and sits as a major landmark in the historic town centre.

Other interesting structures of note include the Loggia del Lionello, the Cathedral of Udine and the Chiesa di San Giacomo.

Aside from the architecture, Udine has several important museums, a selection of beautiful public parks, and several gorgeous Piazzas.

10 Top Destinations in Northern Italy

From Alpine mountains and glacial lakes to the sunny shorelines of the Riviera and Adriatic, the geographical diversity of Northern Italy is its most striking characteristic. Nestled within the cities and landscapes of the region are a host of culinary pleasures and cultural treasures as well, including Leonardo de Vinci’s masterpiece, “The Last Supper.”

Encompassing Italy’s wealthiest provinces, Northern Italy is a premier destination when it comes to luxury resorts and upscale shopping too. Whether sampling fine wine and dining on world-class cuisine or exploring ancient castles, cathedrals and churches, the region offers all the memorable travel experiences visitors want from a holiday in Italy.

Map of Northern Italy

Map of Northern Italy

© OpenStreetMap © MapTiler © Touropia

10. Bologna [SEE MAP]


Goldmund100 / Flickr

Called “La Rossa” for its red brick buildings and tile roofs, Bologna is the capital and largest city in Northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. It’s also an architecture lover’s dream. Although Bologna is best known for its medieval towers and extensive porticoes, thanks to extensive restoration, Bologna’s architecture includes Etruscan and Roman structures as well.

Founded in 1088, the University of Bologna also demands a visit. It’s the world’s oldest institution of higher learning and still enrolls thousands of students each year. No trip to Bologna is complete without a visit to Piazza Maggiore where the still-unfinished façade of the Basilica of San Petronio makes its beautiful interiors appear all the more remarkable.

9. Gran Paradiso National Park [SEE MAP]

Gran Paradiso National Park

Fulvio / Flickr

One of Europe’s largest and best preserved wilderness areas, Gran Paradiso National Park is named for Italy’s highest peak, Gran Paradiso, the only mountain in the Alps that lies entirely within the country’s boundaries.

The area was designated Italy’s first national park in 1920, in part to protect the dwindling population of ibex, a mountain goat best known for horns that can grow up to 3 feet long. The park is a hiker’s paradise in late spring and summer when the flowers are in bloom, and it’s a great holiday destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoe hikes during the winter.

8. Bergamo [SEE MAP]


Nestled against the foothills of the towering Bergamese Alps, Bergamo is comprised of two distinct cities. The Città Alta, or upper city, is a medieval town surrounded by 16th-century walls while the lower section known as Città Bassa is a relatively modern city.

Most visitors head straight to the old town to explore the beautifully preserved Medieval and Renaissance architecture and picturesque piazzas, including the ornate Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the final resting place of the composer Gaetano Donizetti. With its extensive collection of paintings by Raphael, Botticelli and Canaletto, the Accademia Carrara is a can’t-miss attraction too.

7. Verona [SEE MAP]


Best known as the setting for Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet,” Verona is a picturesque city filled with Roman ruins, Renaissance palaces and medieval buildings. Located between Milan and Venice, the city receives a bit less attention from travelers than its more celebrated neighbors but not for lack of attractions.

Verona offers visitors the chance to enjoy all of the charms of an ancient Italian city without constantly battling crowds. Although the first stop for many visitors is “Juliet’s House” with its recently added balcony, it’s important to remember that Romeo and Juliet were characters from fiction, not reality.

6. Genoa [SEE MAP]


Cebete / Flickr

Sometimes overshadowed by the popularity of other Italian cities like Rome and Venice, Genoa nevertheless is one of Italy’s true hidden gems. As the capital city of the Liguria region on the northwest coast of Italy, Genoa is most associated as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.

The city’s shining crown is its historic center, which features narrow, winding streets that reveal surprising gems at every turn like marvelous architecture and artistic treasures. At the base of the city center is the historic seaport. Docked with cruise liners, yachts and fishing boats, Genoa’s seaport today sports a trendy renovation of new features such as a bustling marina, waterfront bars and the Aquarium of Genoa.

5. Milan [SEE MAP]


© Spongecake / Dreamstime

Nearly destroyed from heavy bombing during WWII, Milan has since reconstructed and now shines as the country’s financial and fashion capital. Milan’s most famous site is the Santa Maria della Grazie where da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” is on display. The 14th-century Sforzesco Castle houses the exhibits of the Museo d’Arte Antica, which includes Michelangelo’s “Pietà Rondanini.”

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Decked out in sumptuous red and gold, the 18th-century La Scala opera house is a must-see attraction too, as is the Duomo, known as one of the world’s largest Gothic cathedrals. When it comes to shopping, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the place to go for the best of Italy’s haute couture designs.

4. Portofino [SEE MAP]


With its picture-perfect harbor, verdant scenery and haphazard rows of hilltop and waterfront homes, Portofino is one of the prettiest towns on the Italian Riviera. Located just a short drive south of Genoa, the little village has been a popular day-trip destination for centuries.

It’s a favorite stopping point for cruises along the Italian Riviera too, and the cluster of yachts floating in the harbor only adds to Portofino’s visual appeal. Short climbs up the hillside to the medieval Castello Brown, the historic Church of San Giorgio or the lighthouse at Punta Portofino offer photographic views of the charming city.

3. Lake Garda [SEE MAP]

Lake Garda

Ezeew / Wikipedia

The largest of the glacial lakes of the Lombardy province, Lake Garda is bordered by Alpine peaks to the north and flat plains to the south. Gardens, orchards and forests rim the shore, providing a scenic backdrop for visitors seeking rest and recreation.

The southernmost town of Sirmione features natural hot springs, a small castle and the Grotte di Catullo, the largest collection of Roman ruins in Northern Italy. On the northern shore of lake lies Riva del Garda, which is the destination of choice for visitors interested in outdoor activities, including sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and swimming.

2. Cinque Terre [SEE MAP]

Cinque Terre

© Muststr / Dreamstime

Cinque Terre is undeniably one of the most beautiful areas of Italy. A visit to just one of the five villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso and Corniglia will confirm this.

Made to grace picture postcards, the towns are built on steep hills and atop high cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. It doesn’t get much more scenic than this. Most towns are reachable only by train. Comfortable walking shoes are a must since cars aren’t allowed in the older sections of these towns.

1. Venice [SEE MAP]

#1 of Destinations In Northern Italy

The perfect destination for a romantic getaway, Venice is a city where canals replace roads and buildings rise up out of the Adriatic Sea as if by magic. There’s a timeless quality to Venice that has attracted and engaged travelers for hundreds of years.

When not enjoying the enchanting experience of being serenaded while gliding down a canal on a gondola, visitors flock to the sidewalk cafés of St. Mark’s Square. Inside the Basilica of San Marco lies a treasure trove of jewel-encrusted altarpieces, icons and holy relics, including the marble-canopied tomb of St. Mark.

18 Best Places to Visit in Northern Italy (Ranked!)

18 Best Places to Visit in Northern Italy (Ranked!)

Also known as Settentrione or II Nord, the Northern part of Italy has eight separate regions. These eight regions include Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Veneto, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto, and Lombardy. Northern Italy is known for its picturesque locations and rich history. It has coastal regions and an impressive mountainous region. It is known for the dramatic and impressive landscapes of the Adriatic Sea and the Alps. There are many cities that are the best places to visit in Northern Italy.

For the tourist, the best of Northern Italy is all about historical sites that are yet to be explored. Right from the Alps in the North to the enchanting island city of Venice, there are endless places to see in Northern Italy and things to do.

In the central part of Northern Italy like Turin and Milan, you will see various interesting attractions and sites that are a must-see. Due to the varied landscape of the area, its history, and fine cities, there is something for every traveler in Italy.

Venice In a Day

Enjoy a guided tour of Venice by foot, boat, and bike. Explore the winding backstreets of Venice’s charming neighborhoods as your guide reveals hidden gems and explains the city’s history. Hop aboard a gondola for a romantic ride along the Grand Canal, enjoy skip-the-line entry to St Mark’s Basilica and explore the magnificent Doge’s Palace on a guided tour. With no language barrier to contend with and an expert guide at your side, you’ll feel safe and confident in this unique city.

Bologna City Center Walking Tour

A walking tour is a great way to explore the city and get an introduction to a new place. The walk will last 2 hours and at the end of the tour you’ll be able to see the most important sights of Bologna. It’s also a great way to meet people who share your interests, learn about local culture and customs, try new food, and find out more about the history of your destination.

Milan Da Vincis Last Supper Guided Tour

The Last Supper is one of the most famous paintings in the world. It is an icon, a symbol – and it is also a masterpiece. This tour will take you inside the old refectory of an ancient monastery where you can admire this fresco for 15 minutes with a guide who will tell you all about its incredible history and fascinating myths.

Table of Contents

Best Places to Visit in Northern Italy

Let’s get into our ranked list of places to see in Northern Italy.

18. Friuli Venezia Giulia

Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy

Bordering Germany, the Adriatic Sea, and Slovenia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia has a unique position. Its geographical position makes it a popular wine region. There are several hills nestled between the two rivers and the Slovenian border.

You will notice many family-run vineyards across the valley in different directions. As the seasons change, the landscape changes and the color will also change.

17. Bergamo

Old Town of Bergamo, Italy

Located in Lombardy, Bergamo is known as The City of the Thousand. It is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage site. The upper town of the city is a maze of medieval streets enclosed in a Venetian wall.

You will see medieval buildings and Majestic Baroque looking out on the southern plains. Include it in your itinerary when you visit Northern Italy.

16. Udine

Colorful Square in Udine, Italy

Udine is a must-visit for its castle. The 16th-century castle is a major landmark. Udine is close to the border of Slovenia and is influenced by other cultures that cross the border.

Other important structures include the Cathedral of Udine, Loggia del Lionello, and Chiesa di San Giacomo. There are many parks, museums, and Piazzas to explore here too.

15. Ferrara

Castello Estense in Ferrara, Italy

Ferrara is located right between Bologna and Venice. It is an ideal base for those who want to explore the eastern part of Northern Italy. Ferrara has many sites that are worth visiting and it is known for its beautiful structures. It is famous amongst tourists for Estense Castle which sits on a lake and is an important symbol of Ferrara.

You will also find the Palazzo dei Diamanti, an Archaeological museum in the city center. The Cathedral of Saint George is also a must-visit. A medieval city in the past, Ferrara had a very defensive network and is a Northern Italy must-see.

14. Monza

Square in Monza, Italy

Located in the metropolitan part of Milan, Monza is a great tourist destination. You can take a day trip to Monza from Milan. It is an ideal location and one of the best places to visit in Northern Italy. Monza is popular for the Formula One Racing Track in addition to the Parco di Monza.

This park covers a huge area and has some stunning wooded areas, villas, and gardens. You can spend hours at the park walking through its trails.

Autodromo, inside the park, is a great place to visit and if you are fortunate enough, you can get to watch the Formula One race here. Besides the park, there is Ponte dei Leoni and the gorgeous Duomo di Monza.

13. Alessandria

Duomo di Alessandria

Located in the Piedmont area of North Italy, Alessandria is a place you must visit. It is small in size and is less touristy. It has efficient transport links to Genoa, Milan, and Turin.

You will find the Cittadella di Alessandria here. It is a very popular site and it is located on the banks of the Tanaro River. You can reach here by crossing the footbridge. Head to the Museo Delle Divise Militari if you are a lover of military history and displays.

12. Trieste

Panorama of Trieste Bay, Italy

Located in the eastern part of Northern Italy on the coast of the Gulf of Trieste, the city of Trieste lies close to Slovenia and its border can be reached in less than 20 minutes. It has close proximity to Slovenia ad has a very different feel and culture to the rest of Italy.

Trieste has been influenced by Slovenian culture due to its close proximity. Its harbor is an excellent place to explore and it connects Canale Grande and is known for beautiful architecture. Trieste is one of the must-see places in Northern Italy.

Trieste also has several castles, religious structures, and Roman ruins. Take a stroll down the Molo Audace which is a 300m long promenade that goes out into the sea.

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11. Brescia

Lonato del Garda in Brescia

Located near Verona and Lake Garda, Brescia is in the heart of Lombardy and is a beautiful city. It is an important industrial region. One of the best places to visit in Northern Italy, Brescia has various historical sites and some gorgeous places of natural beauty.

When it comes to architecture, Brescia has the Roman Tempio Capitolino, the historic Broletto and Duomo Nuovo.

10. Verona

Sunset View Over Verona, Italy

Often overshadowed due to major Italian cities, Verona sees fewer tourists as compared to other cities. It is one of the best historical centers in the country and has some stunning sites.

An important site of Verona is the Arena, which is a huge structure that rivals the Colosseum of Rome and is equally spectacular. There is Castle Vecchio and Ponte Vecchio which are exceptional structures to visit. They give a peek into the history of Verona.

The city also has some impressive structures like the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, Verona Cathedral, and several Piazzas like the Piazza Bra and Piazza Delle Erbe. The city is located close to Lake Garda which is a great place to explore.

9. Parma

Parma, Italy

Parma is located between Milan and Bologna. It is known for its incredible prosciutto and various cheese varieties. Because of the long history of the city and its involvement in various factions and wars over the years, it has a range of structures and Piazzas.

One of the finest Romanesque structures in Italy is Parma Cathedral. The adjoining Baptistery is also very opulent. Parma is one of the best places to visit in Northern Italy. It has many fantastic theaters like Teatro Regio and Teatro Farnese which offer an ideal venue to see the show.

When in Parma, do visit the national gallery to take a look at the collections from Van Dyck and Da Vinci.

8. Turin

Cityscape of Turin, Italy

One of the main industrial cities in Italy, Turin is an economic powerhouse. It retains its charm and history and has several attractions and sites. Turin is located in the western part of Northern Italy and was once the capital of the country. The cityscape is set against the breathtaking outline of the Alps.

You will see cafes and baroque buildings line the boulevards and squares of the city. The dreamy villas and elegant townhouses are decorated with geometric stained glass windows and plasterwork with floral motifs.

You will see some exceptional sites like Palazzo Reale, the gigantic Mole Antonelliana, Palazzo Madama, and the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista. Do not forget to visit the Turin Egyptian Museum.

7. Bologna

Old Town of Bologna, Italy

One of the largest and the best places to visit in Northern Italy, Bologna is the capital of the Emilia Romagna region. It is popular for its strong economic presence in the financial industry. Bologna is known as the city of towers and it has several historical high-rise structures.

Visit the Torre Prendiparte and the leaning towers of Bologna for beautiful structures that are a prominent part of the skyline of the city. Besides the towers, there are several amazing Piazzas and buildings like Piazza Maggiore that are a must-visit.

If you want to enjoy arts and culture, head to the galleries and fine museums like the Archaeological Museum and the National Gallery. The place is famous for its architecture and culinary prowess. When in Bologna, hike to the San Luca monastery at the sunset for the most amazing view of the city.

The red brick architecture will glow in the warm light and will give you an experience of a lifetime. From this height, the city appears in all its glory.

6. Portofino

Bay in Portofino, Italy

Portofino is a picturesque harbor town that is a must-visit for all. It has a bright harbor front and is a great place for designer shopping. You will see beautifully colored houses, several seafood restaurants, and high-end boutiques. There are several things to see and do here.

A path will lead you from the Piazzetta to the Castello Brown, which is a fortress and a museum. Most importantly, you will be able to enjoy panoramic views of the Ligurian Sea and the town.

Apart from the fortress, you can visit the Parco Naturale Regionale di Portofino, La Cervara, and Christ of the Abyss which is an underwater statue and a huge attraction.

Portofino attracts tourists from across the world and is a popular destination for celebrity spotting. It is famous for its pleasant weather and beautiful location.

5. Lake Garda

Lake Garda and Mountains

One of the best places to visit in Northern Italy, Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and it is a popular destination for tourists and locals. The scenery and landscape around Lake Garda are simply jaw-dropping. You will see the perfect combination of forest-covered mountains and small terra cotta-roofed villages here.

There are towns like Bardolino and Sirmione that provide ideal venues to explore the lake from. Take a boat trip to the lake and travel between the beautiful lakeside villages while soaking in the beautiful scenery.

The largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda is in Lombardy. On the northern side of the lake, there are Gruppo del Baldos mountains that create an exceptional backdrop and in the middle, you will see small islands home to villas. Garda is famous for several lakeside villages and the town drip with Mediterranean plant life and fishing boats.

You do not need to worry about where to stay in Northern Italy when in Lake Garda, there are several options for you to choose from.

4. Como

House on Lake Como

Como is a must-visit place in Northern Italy. It is known for its natural beauty and jaw-dropping mountainous landscapes. It is popular for its Renaissance architecture and the upside-down Y-shaped lake.

Every town and village gives a spectacular view of the Alps and the lake. The architecture in Como is popular amongst tourists. Take the Brunate funicular to look down on the majestic lake and enjoy mind-blowing views of the mountain landscapes.

You can also visit lakeside towns like Lierna, Dervio, and Bellagio if you have time. These towns offer excellent views across the lake.

3. Genoa

Church in Genoa, Italy

A magnificent city located on the southern coast of North Italy, Genoa lies on the Ligurian Sea. It is the sixth-largest city in the country and is a major port. Genoa has a strong significance for the economy of the country and has played a strong role in the history of Italy.

The walls of Genoa city were expansive at one point in time and the Porta Soprana is one of the remaining gates of this fortress. When in the city center, you will get to see some fine architecture in public spaces like Piazza Matteotti and Piazza Ferrari.

Genoa, Italy

Head to the Maritime Museum and the Aquarium to learn more about the history of Genoas port and marine life. Walk around the huge port and see the commercial shipping activity. Genoa is perfect for those who want to relax and spend time exploring the beauty of Italy.

2. Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy

One of the largest cities in Italy, Milan is one of the best places to visit in Northern Italy. It is popular for its culture, history, economy, and a range of shopping outlets.

Milan is famous for its architecture and various historical buildings that shaped Italy. Some important sites include the Duomo, the Sforzesco Castle, and the Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology. ‘ Milan is an excellent city to visit and it offers the best things to do in Northern Italy for everyone- from museums to shopping.

1. Venice


No trip to Italy is complete without visiting Venice. Dubbed the most romantic city in the world (something I’m sure Paris has a bit to say about), Venice does justice to its name. You can spend days walking through the canals and cobbled streets.

An island city, Venice is located in the famous Venetian Lagoon. Since it is an island city, it is formed through a network of various islands joined together through bridges and canals. Venice has something for everyone. You can relax and soak up the sun at Golden Beach or you can make the most of the stunning architecture and history of Venice.

Visit the Bridge of Sighs, Doges Palace, and Rialto Bridge. One of the must-visit sites is the Grand Canal. Head to St. Mark’s Square to see the huge bell tower and get mesmerized by the opulent cathedral.

Include these best places in your itinerary whenever you head to Northern Italy. There is so much more to Italy than the touristy destinations and there is something for every type of traveler. Every town and city will give you a peek into the rich architecture and unique culture of the beautiful destination.

Source https://www.thecrazytourist.com/15-best-places-visit-north-italy/

Source https://www.touropia.com/destinations-in-northern-italy/

Source https://viatravelers.com/places-to-visit-in-northern-italy/

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