20 Regions of Italy – All You Need To Plan a Dream Trip

Knowing the regions of Italy, their main cities, local culture, and history will give you a better and deeper understanding of Italy’s diversity. With each Italian region boasting its own traditions, languages, dishes, and unique past, a trip to Italy is never the same, no matter how many times you come.

Some of the regions of Italy are mainly known for their capital but their smaller towns are much less visited. This mainly applies to Lazio, where tourists mainly visit Rome and hardly end up in, let’s say, Isola del Liri. Other regions are more known as a whole and smaller towns or the countryside are also an attraction. These include Tuscany, Sardinia, or even Trentino Alto Adige.

While you can reach all the regional capitals and also smaller towns by train, if you want to explore the countryside or little villages, you will need a car. Most villages are served by local buses and coaches, but they are not so often so you would have to play a lot trying to match the bus schedules and what you want to visit.

Make sure you read our article on how to plan a perfect trip to Italy.

Image: Rome in the Lazio region of Italy

How many regions are in Italy?

Italy is divided into 20 administrative regions. The smallest region in terms of size is Valle d’Aosta while the largest is Sicily. In terms of population, the most populated Italian region is Lombardy and the least inhabited is Valle d’Aosta.

Each region has its own capital (capoluogo di regione) and is divided into provinces (province). Each province has its own capital (capoluogo di provincia) and several smaller towns managed by local councils (comuni).

Five Italian regions have larger autonomy than the rest and are called “a statuto speciale” (special statute). These are: Valle d’Aosta, Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Sardinia, and Sicily.

Italy has three official languages: Italian (spoken all over the country), French (spoken in Valle d’Aosta), and German (spoken in Alto Adige/Südtirol). All regions of Italy have their own dialects. Sardinian is a minority language recognized by the European Union.

Which region is Roma in?

Rome is in the Lazio (Latium) region, of which is the capital, apart from being the national capital since 1870.

Which region is Venice in?

Venice is the capital of the Veneto region. Ancient powerful marine republic, Venice is now one of the biggest tourist draws in Italy.

The regions of Italy and their highlights

All the regions of Italy are listed in alphabetical order. For each of them, I’m going to reveal the local highlights and practical info on how to travel there.

Abruzzo

Abruzzo is a beautiful region of Italy nestled between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennines mountain range. It’s a big region and most of its land is occupied by natural parks and picturesque medieval towns.

If you are into a slow, traditional way of living and experiencing the true Italian style, any city in Abruzzo is a fantastic travel destination.

Between lush green forests, dramatic mountain views, wonderful lakes, and thermal springs,

You can get to Abruzzo by plane landing in Pescara, one of its main cities, from many Italian and European cities including London, Manchester, Frankfurt, Warsaw, Tirana, and Brussels.

If you are coming from other Italian regions and capitals, you can reach Abruzzo by train and by coach. However, if you want to travel around optimizing your time, your best bet is to drive your own car. Click here for options for car renting in Italy.

Abruzzo provinces:

  • L’Aquila
  • Chieti
  • Pescara
  • Teramo

Abruzzo highlights:

  • Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso
  • Sulmona
  • Ortona
  • Lago di Barrea Lake
  • Santo Stefano di Sessanio medieval town
  • Caramanico Terme
  • Roseto degli Abruzzi beaches

Visit Abruzzo for:

  • Nature
  • Outdoors
  • Culture

Basilicata

A region of southern Italy bordering Calabria, Puglia, and Campania, Basilicata hit the headlines when its scenic city of Matera was appointed as the European capital of culture in 2019. Since then, from a relatively unknown Italian region, it has become a popular tourist destination.

A cluster of towns perched on dramatic cliffs, Basilicata offers fantastic views, interesting historical landmarks, and a slow way of living. This makes it a favorite holiday spot for the in-the-know-traveler on the lookout for offbeat and more authentic experiences.

If you want to include some beach relaxation, the Basilicata region boasts a coastline on the Mar Ionio and the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Basilicata provinces:

  • Potenza
  • Matera

Basilicata highlights:

  • Matera
  • Castelmezzano town
  • Maratea coastal town
  • Melfi
  • Metaponto and Policoro archaeological sites

Visit Basilicata for:

  • Culture
  • Outdoors

Calabria

Calabria is the “toe” of Italy’s boot and borders Basilicata on its northern side and Sicily’s Messina strait on the south. One of the wildest regions of Italy, Calabria is not too touristy and all to be explored. Mysterious and fascinating, this is the old Magna Grecia.

Food-wise, it’s the region of Italy with the spiciest dishes. A famous sausage from Calabria is the ‘nduja, very hot and soft enough to spread on a piece of bread.

Apart from its cities, there are plenty of small towns and natural countryside to visit, so you either join a local tour or drive your own car. You can reach Calabria by plane (Reggio Calabria and Lamezia Terme airports), by train, and by car.

Calabria provinces:

  • Reggio Calabria
  • Catanzaro
  • Cosenza
  • Crotone
  • Vibo Valentia

Calabria highlights:

  • Tropea coastline
  • Aspromonte mountain range
  • Parco Nazionale del Monte Pollino
  • Bronzi di Riace in Reggio Calabria
  • Lamezia Terme thermal baths and Castello Normanno-Svevo
  • Parco Naturale della Sila
  • Stilo ancient city

Visit Calabria for:

  • Outdoors
  • Nature
  • Culture
  • Food

Campania

One of the most famous regions of Italy due to pearls like the Amalfi Coast, important historical sites like Pompeii, and the beautiful cities of Naples and Caserta, Campania is a big tourist draw.

Campania is probably as famous for its scenic coast as it is for its regional culinary pride, the pizza. One of the most copied dishes in the world, pizza as we know it was invented in Naples.

You can easily reach Naples with an hour and a half high-speed train ride from Rome. If you are in other Italian or European cities, you can fly to Naples and Salerno-Costa d’Amalfi.

Campania provinces:

  • Napoli (Naples) – capital city
  • Caserta
  • Benevento
  • Salerno
  • Avellino

Campania highlights:

  • The Amalfi Coast
  • Reggia di Caserta (Caserta Royal Palace)
  • Pompeii archaeological site
  • Paestum ancient Greek city
  • Capri island
  • Ischia island
  • Maschio Angioino in Naples
  • Cappella Sansevero and Veiled Christ in Naples
  • Naples underground

Visit Campania for:

  • Art
  • History
  • Beaches
  • Food
  • Outdoors

Don’t miss my complete Italy travel guide.

Emilia Romagna

The Italian region of Emilia Romagna is famous worldwide for so many reasons. The hometown of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, and Ducati, Emilia Romagna is known also for its culinary tradition.

The local foods include Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic vinegar, lasagna, ragout tagliatelle fresh pasta, and Prosciutto di Parma ham. Apart from enriching your local experience, they are fantastic souvenirs to bring home from Italy.

A trip to Emilia Romagna is a sensory overload.

Image: Bologna's Piazza Maggiore in Emilia Romagna, one of the regions of Italy

The cities and towns of this northern Italian region show elegant buildings and age-old historical landmarks, relics of a long, stormy past. Emilia-Romagna attracts solid summer tourists thanks to its famous beach resorts of Rimini and Riccione, symbols of fun and nights out.

Emilia Romagna provinces:

  • Bologna – capital city
  • Modena
  • Ferrara
  • Forlì-Cesena
  • Parma
  • Piacenza
  • Ravenna
  • Reggio Emilia
  • Rimini

Emilia Romagna highlights:

  • Ravenna mosaics
  • Bologna’s quadrilatero
  • Rimini and Riccione beaches
  • San Leo town
  • Rubicone Valley
  • The Estense Castle in Ferrara
  • Rocca Malatestiana and Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena
  • Val Trebbia

Visit Emilia Romagna for:

  • Art
  • History
  • Food
  • Beaches

Friuli Venezia Giulia

A little like Calabria, Friuli Venezia Giulia is a wild and utterly gorgeous region of Italy. However, being a northern region, it has a completely different culture, history, and background than Calabria.

Visiting Friuli Venezia Giulia you will experience a fascinating cross-cultural environment where the Latin civilization lives side by side and is strongly influenced by the Slavic one.

Whether you are looking for a vacation hiking and trekking in the wild, or a more urbanite tourist, Friuli Venezia Giulia has something for everyone. Wherever your fancy goes though, do devote one or two days to its capital Trieste, a charming crossroad between the Mediterranean culture, the Orient, and central and eastern Europe.

You can reach Friuli Venezia Giulia by plane landing at Trieste’s international airport or by train from the main Italian cities to all of Friuli’s provinces. You will either find direct high-speed Freccia trains or a combination of Freccia and regional/InterCity trains.

Of the other regions of Italy, Friuli Venezia Giulia borders only Veneto, while on its northern and eastern sides are Austria and Slovenia.

Friuli Venezia Giulia provinces:

  • Trieste – the capital city
  • Gorizia
  • Udine
  • Pordenone

Friuli Venezia Giulia highlights:

  • Trieste
  • Marano Lagoon
  • Udine historic center
  • Trekking in Tramonti di Sopra
  • Aquileia
  • Cividale town

Visit Friuli Venezia Giulia for:

  • Nature
  • Outdoors
  • History

Lazio

The Latium region (Lazio) is mostly famous for its capital, Rome which, in my own very biased opinion, is the world’s most beautiful city. Baroque fountains, beautiful piazzas, and churches packed with artwork make Rome eternal and amazing.

However, if you are into offbeat and adventure, you will be happy to know that the whole Lazio region is a great place to explore and to spend your holiday. A combination of small medieval towns, long beaches, dramatic views, and long hiking routes, Lazio is a fascinating region to explore.

Image: Rome in the best Italy tours, Lazio region

Lazio borders many other Italian regions. From north to south, they are Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, and Campania, as well as the Tyrrhenian Sea lapping its western coastline.

You can reach the Lazio region by landing at one of Rome’s international airports, Fiumicino or Ciampino, by train, or by coach. Like in all the regions of Italy, if you would like to explore the countryside and the smaller villages, driving your car is the best option.

Lazio provinces:

  • Rome
  • Viterbo
  • Frosinone
  • Latina
  • Rieti

Lazio highlights:

  • Rome – capital city
  • Bracciano Lake
  • Anguillara Sabazia
  • Viterbo’s San Pellegrino medieval town
  • Bolsena Lake
  • Villa d’Este in Tivoli
  • Villa Adriana in Tivoli
  • Cerveteri
  • Isola del Liri
  • Ostia Antica
  • Castelli Romani
  • Amatrice
  • Bomarzo Park
  • Calcata
  • Civita di Bagnoregio

Visit Lazio for:

  • Art
  • History
  • Food & Wine
  • Nature
  • Outdoors

Liguria

Famous for the Italian Riviera coastline, Liguria shares a border with France, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, ad Tuscany. Its coastline, famous for its sunset and views, is on its southern part and is lapped by the Mar Ligure.

Thin and long, Liguria is one of the Italian regions that welcomes summer tourists, even though its cities will enchant you also in winter. Visit Genoa around Christmas and you’ll understand why.

Image: Liguria, Cinque Terre cycling tour in Italy

A trip to Liguria will offer a range of diverse experiences from trendy cities for the urbanites to incredibly scenic hiking with sea views. And whether you are a foodie or not, the light and delicate Ligurian cuisine will please the most demanding palates.

Liguria provinces:

  • Genoa – the capital city
  • La Spezia
  • Imperia
  • Savona

Liguria highlights:

  • Cinque Terre
  • Portovenere
  • Genoa historic center
  • Abbazia di San Fruttuoso
  • Portofino
  • Rapallo
  • Santa Margherita Ligure
  • Chiavari’s old town
  • Sestri Levante
  • Lerici

Visit Liguria for:

  • History
  • Outdoors
  • Food & Wine

Lombardia

One of the richest regions of Italy, Lombardia is famous for its busy cities and beautiful natural landscapes that range from tall mountain peaks to scenic lakes. While the weather might not be ideal (cold in winter, hot and foggy in summer), there are so many great places to visit in Lombardy that it’s one of the most popular Italian regions.

Image: Milan capital of Lombardy, one of the 20 regions of Italy

Even though home to the “Wall Street of Italy” known for its financial center and for being a fashion Mecca, Lombardy truly is one of the most diverse regions of Italy. Milan is fast-paced and trendy, but many are the slow-paced and more traditional towns around.

While the region has some of the most modern cities in Italy, places like Lecco, Mantova, and Lodi show off intriguing historical sights and scenic natural landscapes.

Lombardy is well connected to Rome and other main Italian cities via high-speed Freccia trains and via air with airlines landing in its many airports such as Milano Linate, Milano Malpensa, and Bergamo Oro al Serio. Malpensa and Linate are busy international airports connecting Lombardy and northern Italy to many European and world capitals.

Lombardia provinces:

  • Milano (Milan)
  • Bergamo
  • Brescia
  • Como
  • Cremona
  • Lecco
  • Lodi
  • Mantova
  • Monza e della Brianza
  • Pavia
  • Sondrio
  • Varese

Lombardia highlights:

  • Lake Como
  • Lake Garda
  • Sirmione
  • Milan historic center
  • Milan’s Duomo
  • Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan
  • Palazzo Ducale in Mantova
  • Bergamo’s medieval town
  • Certosa of Pavia monastery
  • Cremona’s city center
  • Lago Maggiore lake
  • Sabbioneta
  • Valtellina mountains

Visit Lombardia for:

  • Art
  • History
  • Outdoors

Marche

One of the little touristy regions of Italy, Marche is a mix of popular and lesser-known destinations. It might not include big tourist draws of the likes of Rome, Venice, and Florence, but if you are into a slow-paced holiday, a rural experience, authentic local dishes and genuine ingredients, Le Marche region is a fantastic option.

Apart from exploring its natural beauty and visiting its quaint towns, a great experience you can have in this area of Italy is to stay at an agriturismo instead of a hotel. Agriturismi are usually family-run, a rustic farmhouse in the countryside where meals are always prepared using locally sourced ingredients, either produced on the same farm or from nearby local producers.

You can reach the main cities by train or by plane landing in Ancona’s airport. To get around Le Marche region I definitely recommend a car to be more independent and manage your time better.

Marche provinces:

  • Ancona – the capital city
  • Ascoli Piceno
  • Macerata
  • Pesaro e Urbino
  • Fermo

Marche highlights:

  • Urbino historic center
  • Fonte Avellana monastery
  • Loreto
  • Frasassi Grottoes
  • Recanati town
  • Lame Rosse canyon
  • San Benedetto del Tronto
  • Sibillini mountain range
  • Fermo

Visit Le Marche for:

  • Nature
  • Outdoors
  • History

Molise

Among the smaller regions of Italy is Molise. Sharing borders with Abruzzo, Lazio, Campania, and Puglia, Molise is also an offbeat destination and one of the lesser-known Italian regions.

Molise is the land of quaint towns, ancient history, and a rooted culinary tradition. Important archaeological sites, scenic beaches, and long hiking routes will make your holiday relaxing and unforgettable.

Are you traveling to Italy in winter? If you want to enjoy the snow, in Molise you will find great ski resorts less touristy and probably less expensive than those in the northern Italian Alps.

While you can reach Molise’s larger cities such as Campobasso and Isernia by train, to fully enjoy your trip to this lesser-tapped Italian region you will definitely need a car.

Molise provinces:

  • Campobasso – the capital city
  • Isernia

Molise highlights:

  • Termoli
  • Collemeluccio-Montedimezzo natural reserve
  • Castello di Monforte in Campobasso
  • Fornelli town
  • Prato Gentile
  • Campitello Matese
  • Oasis of Guardiaregia
  • Castles of the Matese area
  • Bagnoli del Trigno
  • Castel Vincenzo
  • Saepinum archaeological site

Visit Molise for:

  • Outdoors
  • Nature
  • History

Puglia (Apulia)

Puglia is Italy’s “heel”. Sharing its borders mainly with the Mediterranean Sea, it’s naturally blessed with gorgeous beaches and a mild climate.

One of the most popular regions of Italy in summer, Puglia offers delicious fish and seafood-based cuisine, breathtaking views, and lovely quaint towns. Its strategic position between western, central and southern Europe has always played a pivotal role in shaping the Italian culture. Through this region, influences from the Greek civilization as well as the Persian Empire became part of the Roman civilization.

Thanks to the huge variety of sights and experiences, Puglia is a fantastic destination all year around.

You can reach Puglia by train from the main Italian cities including Rome, Milan, Turin and Naples. Coming from Europe, you will find airlines landing in Bari airport with direct flights from many cities such as London, Brussels, and Paris.

To travel around Puglia, I would recommend renting a car. However, most cities and also smaller towns can be reached by train or a combination of train and local buses. If you use public transport, you will have to work on your schedule depending on how many places you want to visit.

Public transport is ideal if you are into slow traveling while renting a car gives you more freedom but also more headaches in looking for parking, driving through tiny alleys, and paying attention to local ZTLs (limited traffic zones).

Check out Omio website for some schedules and to book your tickets.

Puglia provinces:

  • Bari – capital city
  • Lecce
  • Foggia
  • Taranto
  • Barletta-Andria-Trani
  • Brindisi

Puglia highlights:

  • Alberobello
  • Tremiti Islands
  • Santa Maria di Leuca
  • Castellana Grottoes
  • Salento Peninsula
  • Ostuni
  • Gravina di Puglia
  • Polignano a Mare
  • Bari city center
  • Gargano Promontory
  • Otranto

Visit Puglia for:

  • Beaches
  • Food & Wine
  • History

Piemonte (Piedmont)

One of the largest Italian regions, Piedmont shares borders with Liguria, France, Valle d’Aosta, Switzerland, Lombardy, and Emilia Romagna.

Very rich in history and natural landscapes, a holiday in Piedmont can be both relaxing and hectic. Turin, its capital, is a large city packed with landmarks but also busy and fast-paced. For a more complete trip, you should totally include a wider range of activities such as visiting smaller towns and cycling through its countryside.

In Piedmont, you will find pretty much everything you need to design a perfect holiday. Delicious food paired with great wines, unforgettable Alpine views and experiences, lakes, art and history, large cities and small towns is some of what make Piedmont a fascinating destination to include in your northern Italy itinerary.

Just like for other regions, also to explore Piedmont I suggest renting your car if you are visiting the countryside and smaller villages. If you are planning a trip to Turin only, I definitely recommend sticking to their very efficient public transport.

Piedmont provinces:

  • Turin – the capital city
  • Alessandria
  • Asti
  • Cuneo
  • Biella
  • Novara
  • Vercelli
  • Verbano-Cusio-Ossola

Piedmont highlights:

  • Lake Orta
  • Venaria Royal Palace
  • Acqui Terme
  • Fenestrelle Fort
  • Basilica di Superga
  • Borromee Islands on Lake Maggiore
  • Alpi Marittime Natural Park
  • Garessio town
  • Parco del Mottarone
  • Villa Taranto
  • Antrona Lake
  • Staffarda Abbey
  • Neive

Visit Piedmont for:

  • History
  • Outdoors
  • Food & Wine

Sardegna (Sardinia)

One of the largest Italian islands, Sardinia is a wonderful travel destination all year. I might be a little biased because it’s my hometown, but try and see for yourself.

In summer, Sardinia is a paradise for beach lovers, in winter you are going to discover the culture and traditions of one of the wildest regions of Italy.

With each province and each town boasting its own culture, dialect, and food, a trip to Sardinia is as diverse as it gets. July and August are very crowded, while June and September are much less and the weather is still great for some beach time. Plus, not being super hot, you can also explore the inland for more insightful experiences.

Image: Sardinia, one of the regions of Italy

Public transport in Sardinia is not very frequent and matching timetables between buses and trains is quite hard. Unless you want to spend your whole holiday in the larger cities, I suggest you rent a car upon arrival. This is the only way you can visit also the archaeological sites that are one of the most famous attractions in Sardinia and that are usually outside the urban centers.

You can reach Sardinia by ferry from Civitavecchia (Rome) Livorno, Genoa, Naples and Palermo. In the high season, also from Barcelona and Toulouse in France. If you want to travel o your own car or campervan, coming by ferry is ideal.

Otherwise, you can book a flight from most European cities including London, Barcelona, Paris, Frankfurt, and Marseille, to any of the Sardinian airports Cagliari Elmas, Olbia-Costa Smeralda, Alghero Fertilia.

Sardinia provinces:

  • Cagliari – capital city
  • Nuoro
  • Sassari
  • Oristano
  • Sud Sardegna

Sardinia highlights:

  • Cagliari old town
  • Sinis Peninsula
  • Carnival of Mamoiada (in February)
  • Nora archaeological site
  • Tharros ancient Phoenician city
  • Alghero city
  • Grotte del Bue Marino (Sea Ox Grottoes)
  • Emerald Coast
  • La Maddalena archipelago
  • Monte d’Accoddi archaeological site
  • La Pelosa beach
  • Carloforte and San Pietro islands
  • Santa Cristina sacred well (Paulilatino territory)
  • Su Gorropu canyon
  • Ispinigoli Grottoes (Dorgali)
  • Orgosolo town
  • Nuraghe Su Nuraxi
  • Dismissed mines in Porto Flavia and Carbonia
  • Bosa town

Visit Sardinia for:

  • History
  • Beaches
  • Food & Wine

Sicilia (Sicily)

Sicily is the largest Italian island and, covering some 25832 sq km, it’s also the largest among the regions of Italy. Just like Sardinia, Sicily, too, is more of a summer destination in Italy. Between the main island and the smaller ones, Sicily is full of beautiful and cozy inlets and beaches.

Sicily, however, is a charming destination all year long. Boasting a mild Mediterranean climate, all seasons are pleasant to walk around its cities, admire its architecture, visit several landmarks, and, of course, sample the delicious cuisine.

Image: Temples Valley in Sicily in the best south Italy tours

In winter or the low season in general, prices will be lower, but in summer there will be a better tourist organization.

You can reach Sicily by plane from many Italian and European cities, by ferry from many Italian ports, and also by car by crossing the Messina strait by ferry from Calabria. Extra-urban public transport is seldom seen, so unless you want to spend your whole holiday in big cities such as Palermo or Catania, I suggest renting a car.

Sicily provinces:

  • Palermo – the capital city
  • Catania
  • Messina
  • Agrigento
  • Caltanissetta
  • Enna
  • Siracusa
  • Ragusa
  • Trapani

Sicily highlights:

  • Taormina
  • Mount Etna
  • Valle dei Templi
  • Ibla, Ragusa old town
  • Cefalù
  • Aeolian Islands
  • Ortigia Island
  • Panarea
  • Caltagirone
  • Stair of the Turks rock formation and beach
  • Monreale
  • Erice
  • Selinunte
  • Segesta
  • Egadi Islands
  • Pelagie Islands

Visit Sicily for:

  • Beaches
  • Food
  • History

Toscana (Tuscany)

Tuscany is everyone’s dream, Italian and foreign visitors. Whether it’s a city or the countryside, Tuscany is just too pretty.

Even though Florence has been for years one of the undisputed stars of tourism in Italy alongside Rome and Venice, Tuscany has so much more to offer. If you head to the countryside, you won’t even feel in the heart of the Italian cosmopolitan tourism scene.

Photo of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Tuscany, one of the 20 Italian regions

Medieval towns, smaller quaint villages, evergreen soft rolling hills and cities packed with art and historical sights make a trip to Tuscany one of those Italian experiences that no one forgets.

Tuscany is well served by trains so if you want to visit Siena, Pisa or Lucca from Florence, you can reach everywhere via railway. If you want to explore the countryside, on the other hand, you are better off driving your own car or joining a local tour since there are many places like Chianti and San Gimignano.

Tuscany provinces:

  • Florence – the capital city
  • Siena
  • Lucca
  • Pisa
  • Arezzo
  • Grosseto
  • Livorno
  • Massa-Carrara
  • Pistoia
  • Prato

Tuscany highlights:

Visit Tuscany for:

  • Art
  • History
  • Food & Wine
  • Nature

Trentino-Alto Adige

Proudly claiming their belonging to either the more Italian Trentino or the German South Tyrol, Trentino-Alto Adige is one of the most breathtaking regions of Italy and shares borders with Lombardia, Veneto, Switzerland, and Austria. It will suffice to say that until I visited Trentino Alto Adige, I didn’t consider myself a “mountain person”.

A fascinating alternation between natural landscape, historic cities, gardens, and fairytale castles, Trentino Alto Adige is all to be enjoyed. I have been three times and counting. Every time I go I set my bar of places to visit so high that I never manage to complete it, and somehow I realized that maybe I do it on purpose to have an excuse to keep going back.

Image: Trento in Trentino Alto Adige, one of regions in Italy

Between the thermal baths of Merano, the dramatic Dolomites peaks, the gorgeous lakes, and the vibrant cities, everyone will find something to like. High tourist seasons in Trentino Alto Adige are winter for ski lovers and summer, while fall and spring are a sort of break and services for tourists are limited.

In Trentino, too, larger cities are served by train and bus connections but for more offbeat paths, the car is necessary, provided that you are confident driving on narrow and winding mountain roads.

Trentino-Alto Adige provinces:

Trentino-Alto Adige highlights:

  • Dolomites
  • Val di Non
  • Lake Tovel
  • Lake Braies
  • Bressanone
  • The Iceman Otzi in Bolzano
  • Merano
  • Gardens of Trauttmansdorff
  • Rovereto
  • Castel Thun
  • Castel Beseno
  • Riva del Garda
  • Madonna di Campiglio
  • Lake Molveno
  • Stelvio Pass
  • San Romedio Sanctuary
  • Ledro Lake
  • Val di Fassa
  • Levico Terme

Visit Trentino Alto Adige for:

  • Nature
  • Outdoors
  • History

Umbria

Umbria is a region of central Italy and shares borders with Tuscany, Marche, and Lazio. Being close to Tuscany, its hilltops landscape will certainly remind you of its more famous neighbor, but Umbria boasts its own charm.

Art, culture, delicious food, and calming landscapes are the reasons why many visit one of the greenest regions of Italy. A holiday in Umbria means relax and plenty of nature time, but depending on when you go, you can also join famous festivals such as Umbria Jazz usually held in July or Eurochocolate held in Perugia often twice a year around March/April and October.

Image: Perugia rooftops in Umbria, one of the regions in Italy

You can reach Umbria by train from Rome and travel around by local train or with local coaches, but like for the other Italian regions, you would be more independent and better set your own schedule if you rent a car. Click here to see where you can rent your car in Perugia.

Umbria provinces:

  • Perugia – the capital city
  • Terni

Umbria highlights:

  • Marmore waterfalls
  • Assisi
  • Perugia city center
  • Castelluccio di Norcia
  • Gubbio
  • Lake Trasimeno
  • Spello
  • Spoleto’s Duomo and city center
  • Orvieto
  • Gubbio
  • Todi medieval town
  • Città della Pieve
  • Montefalco

Visit Umbria for:

  • Nature
  • History
  • Relax

Valle d’Aosta

Covering a territory of only 3260,85 sq km, Valle d’Aosta is the smallest among the regions of Italy. With only 126,000 residents, it’s also the least populated.

Even though rich in history and culture, Valle d’Aosta in mainly popular for being one of the best regions of Italy to spend a holiday immersed in nature. The dramatic alpine landscape and peaks offer breathtaking views and fantastic hiking opportunities.

Valle d’Aosta shares borders with France, Switzerland, and Piedmont, and residents speak French and Italian. You can rent a car upon landing at Aosta international airport and explore this small Italian region at your pace.

Valle d’Aosta provinces:

  • Aosta

Valle d’Aosta highlights:

  • Mont Blanc
  • Gran Paradiso National Park
  • Castel Savoia
  • Hike Val Ferret
  • Bard Fort
  • Pré-Saint-Didier thermal baths
  • Mont Avic Natural Park

Visit Valle d’Aosta for:

  • Nature
  • Outdoors

Veneto

Veneto is one of the most popular regions of Italy attracting international tourism mainly for its capital, Venice. The region as a whole, however, is a treasure trove of important historical landmarks, hiking and trekking routes, as well as art cities to explore.

If you are on a city mission and looking into the art and history of the region’s urban centers, you will be fine traveling around by train. A car becomes necessary if you wish to visit the Dolomites and smaller villages. For this, however, you can find also many private tours such as this one, this one, and this one, and the transport is usually included.

Image: Venice canals in the Veneto Italian region

Veneto shares borders with Trentino-Alto Adige, Lombardia, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, and Austria, along with a coastline on the Adriatic Sea.

Veneto provinces:

  • Venezia – the city capital
  • Verona
  • Belluno
  • Padova
  • Rovigo
  • Treviso
  • Vicenza

Veneto highlights:

  • Venice and its islands
  • Verona city center
  • Lake Garda
  • Cortina d’Ampezzo
  • Peschiera del Garda
  • Bassano del Grappa
  • Este
  • Legnago
  • Caorle
  • Frescoes in Padova
  • Prosecco vineyards
  • Gardaland for kids

Visit Veneto for:

  • Art
  • History
  • Outdoors

Extra-territorial states in Italy

Apart from the 20 Italian regions, within the national borders are also two tiny states. Administratively, these are not regions of Italy but independent and sovereign nations.

Vatican City

The Vatican is the world’s smallest state and is located in the heart of Rome beyond the Tiber river. Vatican City is basically a monarchy and the Pope is the chief of state. Even though it has a very long history, it’s a pretty young state because officially established in 1929 with the Lateran Treaties between Benito Mussolini and Pope Pius XI.

Vatican City is a small state but so packed with art and history that its landmarks are among the most popular in Rome. You can visit world-renowned sights such as the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square and Saint Peter’s Basilica on your own or by joining one of the many Vatican tours available in the city.

San Marino Republic

Located between the Italian regions of Emilia Romagna and Marche, San Marino is a tiny mountain state and one of the world’s oldest republics. Pope Nicola IV recognized the Republic of San Marino in 1291, and since then, the small nation always managed to protect its independence also thanks to its small dimension.

San Marino is known for the high quality of life and the efficiency of its services, including free healthcare, great infrastructure, benefits for students and retired people. San Marino is not a member of the European Union but they can travel around Europe with only the local ID and not the passport.

The territory of San Marino is divided into “Castelli” (castles), roughly what in Italy we call provinces. Some of the largest “castles” include the capital, Città di San Marino, Borgo Maggiore, Serravalle, and Domagnano.

If you decide to travel to San Marino, visit its main cities, some of the most important museums such as Museo di Stato and Museo di San Francesco, and the main landmarks including San Francesco church located near Porta di San Francesco, San Marino’s main gate, San Quirino church, and Santa Chiara Monastery.

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