Things to Do in Venice, Rome, and Florence in Italy

A visit to Italy will 100% be worth your time, energy, and money!

Italy is worth a visit at least once in your lifetime, as it is home to world-famous cities, historical art galleries, and dramatic landscapes. Listed below you’ll find things to do in Venice, Rome, and Florence in Italy!

  • Facts About Italy:
    • Located in south, central Europe
    • Shaped like a boot
    • Greatest number of Roman Catholic churches per capita
    • Slightly larger than Arizona
    • People have lived in Italy for over 200,000 years
    • The longest river is the Po
    • The ice cream cone, the typewriter, and eyeglasses are an Italian inventions
    • Over 75% is mountainous or hilly
    • The Roman Emperor was Augustus Octavian who came to power in 27 BC
    • The national dish is pasta
Venice, Italy

My Experience: I have gone to Italy once in my life where I was able to see Venice. Venice is a super unique place in that the city is surrounded by water. I highly recommend taking a gondola ride or boat ride through the city, as you will see the place from a different perspective. The pasta and pizza in Venice, Italy is not as great as in NYC. I would love to go back to Italy and see Rome and Florence! The list of things to do in these cities is all based on research.

Florence, Italy:

Florence is a place to immerse yourself in art, history, and architecture. Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region. The charming city has a ton of beautiful, historic attractions.

Facts About Florence, Italy:

  • Purchase a Firenze Card to skip the lines at major museums
  • Birthplace of the Italian Renaissance
  • More than 15 million visitors explore Florence each year
  • The Ponte Vecchio bridge is a famous landmark of Florence
  • Birthplace of the Gelato in the 16th century
  • Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most famous artists of the Renaissance, was born in Florence

Things to Do in Florence Italy:

1. The Best Tours to Book:

Adventurous Tours:

Hot Air Balloon Above Florence

Hot Air Balloon Tour over Florence– What better way to see Florence than a hot air balloon ride above it?

Uffizi + David Accademia Tour Exclusive- Sometimes it is better to see museums and art galleries with a guide in that you will learn so much more in return!

-David and Duomo Tour– Who doesn’t want to skip the line? This tour enables you to see these Florence Duomo and Accademia Gallery without having to wait!

Food/ Drink Tours:

Florence Sunset Food Tour- Set off as the sun dips over the horizon and spend an unforgettable 3.5-hours eating, drinking and walking around Florence’s hippest neighborhood.

-The 10 Tastings of Florence with Locals: Private Food Tour– Sample signature dishes that are local favorites on this tour with guides from Florence!

Pasta Making Class- Learn how to make homemade pasta in Florence as the tour guide promises they will provide the secret to making the best pasta dough!

Outside of Florence Tours:

-Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence– This one-day tour will stop at some of the most iconic places in Tuscany. This tour covers the following: ((Visit Siena with a guided walking tour, taste wine in the Chianti region, explore medieval San Gimignano and snap photos in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa))

Tuscany Wine Tour- Enjoy a stress-free day trip to the Chianti wine region all while trying different types of wine without worrying about transportation on this wonderful day trip from Florence!

Cinque Terre

-Cinque Terre and Pisa Leaning Tour Tour from Florence- Go for a swim at the Cinque Terre and get free time to admire the Leaning Tower of Piazza dei Miracoli on this wonderful day trip from Florence!

2. Cathedrals and Religious Buildings:

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Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore
  • Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore- The Florence Cathedral is one of the main landmarks of the city and took 140 years to be completed. Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze  
San Miniato al Monte
  • San Miniato al Monte- This church is one of the oldest in Florence and has Romanesque architecture. Views from this church are nothing short of incredible, as you will be able to see the surrounding countryside of Florence. It is also a great spot to witness the sunset.
  • Siena Cathedral- This gothic church is historic and stunning. The church has elements of both Romanesque Gothic style as well as Florentine Gothic style. Inside you’ll find a black and white color theme as well as artistic masterpieces. Address: Piazza del Duomo, 8, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
  • Basilica di Santa Croce- This Franciscan Church was built in the 19th century and here you’ll find some of the earliest Renaissance paintings. This church also has tombs that you can go and see of some of the city’s most famous people including Michelangelo. Address: Piazza di Santa Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
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The Bapistery of St. John
  • The Bapistery of St. John– This religious building is one you will not want to miss. Did you know? The eight lower panels of the south doors depict the virtues of hope, faith, charity, humility, fortitude, temperance, justice, and prudence. Address: Piazza San Giovanni, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

3. The Heart of the City

Piazza del Duomo
  • Piazza del Duomo– This place is located in the heart of the historic center of Florence. The square is home to various monuments, churches, and historical must-see places. Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

4. Museums:

Uffizi Galleries
  • Uffizi Galleries- This gallery is one of the world’s best museums in the world. If you love art and architecture a visit to this art gallery is most definitely for you. Get there early at around 8:15am, as this museum tends to be overcrowded. Address: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Bargello National Museum- This museum in Florence has stunning sculptures inside a historical building that dates back to 1225. The sculptures were created during the Renaissance by infamous artists known as Michelangelo and Donatello.
  • Galleria Dell Accademia- This art museum is absolutely breathtaking. Address: Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

5. The Best Views:

Sunset at Ponte Vecchio
  • Watch the Sunset at Ponte Vecchio- This medieval stone closed bridge does get packed with tourists; however, it is important to experience walking along it at least once in your lifetime due to the fact that it is super historic. The bridge was built in 1345. You’ll find small, historic shops that sell jewelry or gold along the bridge.  Address: Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
  • The Boboli Gardens- This beautiful park has sculptures that date back to the 16th to 18th centuries Address: Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
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Piazzale Michelangelo
  • Piazzale Michelangelo- Find the best panoramic view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo!  Address: Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Piazza della Signoria- The L-Shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio is unforgetable. Address: Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
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Palazzo Vecchio
  • Palazzo Vecchio- Don’t forget to visit the town hall in Florence.  Address: Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Pitti Palace – This royal residence is gorgeous and a place to be added to your Florence Bucket List. Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

Rome, Italy:

Rome is the capital of Italy located in the region of Lazio. It truly is a cultural experience, as the city is a mix of history, archeology, art, religion, and delicious food.

Facts About Rome:

-Population: 4.3 million

-Tourism: Most visited city in Italy

-Languages: Greek and Latin were the official languages of the Roman Empire

Best Things to Do in Rome

Tours:

  1. Skip the Line: Colosseum Small Group Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
  2. Small Group Tour of Colosseum Underground-Arena and Forum
  3. Skip the Line: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Small Group Tour
  4. Pompeii, Almafi Coast and Positano Guided Small-Group Day Trip from Rome
  5. Rome by Golf Cart Private Tour
  6. Rome Food Tour by Sunset around Prati District
  7. Small-Group Rome Food Walking Tour: Trastevere, Campo de’ Fiori, Jewish Ghetto

Historical Sites:

Colosseum

Colosseum- The Colosseum is an oval amphitheater in the center of the city of Rome. This is the largest amphitheater ever built and still standing today. Construction began in 69AD and was built to hold 50,000 spectators. This place is mostly known as an arena where many gladiatorial fights took place.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain- Visiting this fountain is a must-see on many travelers’ bucket list, as it was featured in the Lizzie McGuire movie. Okay, but in all seriousness… the Trevi is a powerful example of a baroque design with a distinctly mythological character.

Roman Forum

Roman Forum- The Roman Forum is comprised of Ancient Rome’s most important structures from shrines to government houses and monuments. Ancient ruins that you will be able to see include the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titris, and the House of the Vestal Virgins.

Baths of Caracalla- These were the city’s second largest public baths in Rome. They are an example of imperial spas in Rome. The baths were built between 211 and 224.

Churches/Religious Buildings:

St Peter’s Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica- This church is free to visit, and you can climb the 551 steps to the summit for a fee of $10.00. This view is worth it, as you will be able to take in a panorama view of Rome’s spectacular landscape.

Pantheon- The Pantheon is a former Roman temple and now a church. While you are there, you can pay respects to Italian kings who were buried there.

Basilica di San Clemente

Basilica di San Clemente- This church is free to enter, however there is a small fee to go down to the lower levels, which is worth the price. If you are into archeology, then visiting this church should be on the top of your to-do-list in that it’s a veritable nesting doll of churches.

Neighborhoods/ Public Areas:

Trastevere- This is one of the most adorable neighborhoods in Rome to visit, as it is home to restaurants, bars, and cobblestone streets. This neighborhood is one that you do not want to miss out on!

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona- This is one of the best-known public squares in Rome, as it is filled with street performers and artists. Cafe’s, shops, and restaurants abound. The square is also home to infamous monuments including Sant ‘Agnese in Agone.

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps- The Spanish Steps are also known as Piazza di Spagna is a place where visitors can tread the same stairs that writers Balzac and Byron climbed for inspiration. Okay, let’s be real… They are just steps, however, it is absolutely stunning during the spring, as blooming azaleas are flourishing and stunning.

St Peter’s Square- This area was designed by architect Bernini and is one of the most elegant areas in the world consisting of over 140 statues and a few fountains.

The Jewish Ghetto

The Jewish Ghetto- This is one of the most beautiful hidden treasures of the city. It truly shows the religious, social, and cultural life of the Jews in Rome. Visiting this small neighborhood should be on your Rome Bucket List!

Piazza del Popolo- Piazza del Popolo is a large urban square in Rome. 

Museums:

The Vatican Museum + The Sistine Chapel- Reserve your ticket to the Vatican Museum in advance to save yourself time. The best way to see the museum is with a guided tour in that they offer a host of knowledge about the place. The Sistine Chapel, spiral staircase, and Raphael Rooms are treasures housed within the museum.

Galleria Borghese

Galleria Borghese- This museum has a massive art collection filled with famous works of popular sculptures.

National Museum of Rome- This is a group of museums scattered in several places of the city. The museums showcase antiques preserving the ancient culture of Rome.

Castel Sant’angelo- This former castle now a museum has a terrace offering stunning views of the city.

Capuchin Crypt- This place contains the skeletal remains of 3,700 bodies

Shopping:

Porta Portese- This is a sunday morning market that you do not want to miss, as vendors sell everything from books to antiques. The main focus is clothes.

Campo de’ Fiori- This free market is bustling with numerous pizzerias, cafes, and gelaterias that line the periphery.

Hiking:

View from Gianicolo Hill

Gianicolo Hill- This view at the top of this mountain has panoramic views of the Eternal City. At the top you will be able to see some of the most famous buildings in Rome including St. Peter’s Basilica. It is not considered one of the seven hills of Rome, as it sits right outside of the ancient city.

Parks:

Villa Borghese Gardens- This park is a landscape garden in Rome containing a number of buildings and museums surrounding it. It is the third largest park in Rome after the Villa Doria Pamphii and Villa Ada.

Food/Deserts:

Try Gelato- The best place to enjoy gelato in Rome is at Fatamorgana. Also, I heard that Neve di Latte is in a class by itself.

Make Pasta– Take a cooking class in Rome and make pasta.

Venice, Italy

Venice is one of Italy’s most picturesque cities in that it is a city surrounded by the sea and canals and over 400 bridges. There are many unique things to do in the city that I will list below!

Best Things to Do in Venice:

Tours to Book:


Venice Private Food Walking Tour with Locals– What better way to experience the taste of Venice than by getting advice from the locals who live there?

Wine Tasting in Venice

Wine Tasting Tour in Venice– The wine in Venice is nothing short of delicious. This tour will enable you to try various types of wine in a fun environment!

Murano Island

Murano and Burano Islands Fully Guided Small Group Tour by Private Boat- These islands are nothing short of stunning and what better way to go see them then with a professional, friendly guide who will take you there on a private boat?

Kayaking in Venice

Real Venetian Kayak- Venice Tour– Kayaking through Venice sounds like SO much fun to me!

Legendary Venice St. Mark’s Basilica with Terrace Access & Doge’s Palace- The best way to visit a museum, palace, or church in another country is to see it with a professional guide in that they will have the answers to all of your questions.

Dolomite Mountains

Dolomite Mountains and Cortina Semi-Private Day Trip from Venice– This tour from venice will enable you to see incredible mountains and places that you never thought you would otherwise!

Musici Veneziani Concert: Vilvaldi Four Seasons- Looking for a concert to keep you entertained? This one will do just that!

Boat Ride:

Gondola Ride

Gondola Ride- What better way to see the city and float through the canals and under bridges than to go on a boat or a Gondola? There is not one. A friendly, knowledgeable tour guide who also sings is an experience you do not want to miss.

Views:

Sunset

Catch a Venetian Sunset- The sunsets in Venice are absolutely stunning, as the sky turns pink, yellow, purple, and orange colors.

Scala Contarini Del Bovolo- If you are looking for a hidden attraction in Venice than look no further than to climb up this spiral staircase and get a beautiful view of Venice from above. You will see the domes and Campanile of San Marco from up above.

Landmarks:

St. Mark’s Square

St. Mark’s Square- This is the city’s main public square and is home to the Clock Tower, St. Mark’s Basilica, Doges’ Palace and the Winged Lion of Venice. There are a ton of public events held in this space.

Ponte Di Rialto Bridge- This bridge is one of the most famous ones in Venice due to the architecture of it and the fact that the view at the top of it is stunning.

Go to the Top of Marco Companile- The view at the top of this landmark has a stunning observatory deck and view of Venice. Did you know? Drones are banned in Venice. This will be the best view you’ll get!

The Grand Canal- This is the largest channels running through the city. Some of the most spectacular buildings can be seen from this canal. As you pass, you will see private water taxis, locally owned motorboats as well as police boats.

Cross the Bridge o Sighs- The Bridge o Sighs is famous in that the bridge is made of white limestone that spans the Rio di Palazzo in Venice. It once led to a Venetian prison. It was a convict’s last sight before losing their freedom. Hence the “sighs” as they passed.

Canareggio District- Stroll along the narrow streets in the northernmost of Venice’s six historic districts, where the last of Venice true residents call home. This is also known as the former Jewish Ghetto of Venice.

Churches:

St. Mark’s Basilica- This is the most famous church in Venice to visit. The church is unique, as it has a mix of influences. The beautiful domed ceilings and gold-leaf mosaics stand out the most.

Basilica Di Santa Maria Della Salute- Venice suffered the bubonic plague in the 17th century. Post plague, Venetians built this basilica to honor Virgin Mary, who they believe saved them from much worse. The result was a beautiful baroque style structure with a dome. This building has become an iconic part of the Venetian skyline.

Famous Buildings:

Doge’s Palace

This Doge’s Palace- Did you know? The Doge was also known as a chief magistrate elected for life by Venetian nobles. This palace is where the doge lived. Now the Palace is home to a museum and happens to be one of the most famous landmarks in Venice to date.

Stores:

Libreria Acqua Alta Book Store

Libreria Acqua Alta Book Store- This is perhaps the most picturesque library known to man in that there are quirky little “backdrops” for photos around the store. All of their books are placed in bathtubs that have waterproof containers. There is even a full-sized gondola!

Day Trips from Venice:

Glass Making Museum- Stop into Museo del Vetro and learn about the history of Murano glass and how it is made. The museum of glass is located in Murano, which is a city outside of Venice.

Day Trip to Burano- Burano is a smaller city also on water and is reached by a 40-minute taxi from St. Mark’s Square. The area is filled with bars and outdoor restaurants.

Carnivals/ Cultural Events:

Festival: What better way to experience Venice, than to attend a carnival. The carnivals are where citizens dress up in anonymous costumes making fun of the aristocracy without fear. The festival backfired, as criminals were able to get away with crimes behind the masks. The carnival was banned in 1797. The celebrations returned in the 1960’s.

Buy a Venetian Carnival Mask: Even if you are not visiting Venice during an annual festival, the masks are spectacular and super unique to Venice. The masks were created to shrug off the structure of class. The upper class and peasants would mingle together to hide their true identity. They allow people to engage in gambling, robbery, assassination and other illicit activities. Pick up your own as a souvenir. You can even take a class to build your own! How much fun does that sound?

Food/Drinks:

Hotel Danieli- Grab a drink at this 14-century palace hotel and grab a drink at Bar Dandolo. This 5-star hotel lobby bar was featured in 3 James Bond films.

Have you been to Italy? Comment down below your favorite places to visit in Italy!

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