Travel

4 Of The Dreamiest Spots In Italy To Check Out On Your Next Vacay

By Morgan Reardon
2nd Mar 2022

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International travel is (finally) back on the agenda and to celebrate we’ve teamed up with the good folk at Qatar Airways to curate the ultimate travel itineraries so you can start living the good life again! 

When it comes to planning your next Euro vacay, the first dreamy destination that pops into our minds is without a doubt Italy. Drenched in culture, postcard-perfect villages, sparkling azzure beaches, incredible eats and more, this country is pure bucket list-worthy material. Not sure where to start? We’ve picked our four favourite Italian cities for you to explore. 

Book in that annual leave and lock in your flights gang, these are the best places to visit in Italy right now. 

Rome

We’re kicking it off with the Italian city everyone knows best—and for good reason—it’s seriously stunning. If you’ve never been to Italy before, you can easily make Rome your first port of call via a stopover in Doha with Qatar Airways. The capital city is teeming with historical gems that will leave you in awe. Think: the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain (all of which are must-dos). And let’s not forget that Rome also has a whole state inside it to explore—the Vatican City. But, what makes this city so special (and the reason people keep coming back time and time again) is that somehow it also somehow manages to ooze the charm of a small Italian village with its cobblestone streets, pavement dining, intimate trattorias and hidden courtyards nestled alongside thousand-year-old churches. Pro tip: for pure fairytale feels, check out the neighbourhood of Quartiere Coppedè—a secret gem tucked away in the Trieste district. Unknown to most tourists, this special spot boasts a frenzy of architectural styles from Ancient Greek and Roman Baroque to Art Nouveau. We’re talking details like outdoor hanging chandeliers and endless mosaics and frescoes. Rome is also home to a vibing aperitivo scene. So expect to spend a lot of time sipping Aperols. Our faves include Minerva Roof Garden (which has 16 types of martinis on the menu) and Il Goccetto, a Rome institution that serves 30 different wines by the glass. You know the saying, do as the Romans do…

Venice

The capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, Venice has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Oozing romance and charm, a trip to Italy is not complete without a visit here. Filled with colourful Venetian Gothic buildings, sprawling piazzas packed with market stalls, performers and trattorias and of course, ornate bridges framing their famous canals—the entire city looks like something out of a film set. For a true “pinch me” moment you can’t not kick off a trip here without a ride along said gorgeous canals. There are regular water taxis that will get you from point A to B but for something a little special you can organise a gondola that includes an aperitivo or two on board. Yes, it’s pricier but think of the potential Tiktok content. Another must-do in Venice is carving out some time to explore the famous Rialto markets. Here you’ll find stalls slinging the freshest eats in all of Venice. Their speciality is seafood so the fishmongers are where you’ll want to head, there’s also pasta, fruit and vege plus leather goods and cashmere. Nearby you’ll find All’Arco, a tiny hole-in-the-wall eatery known for their mouth-watering cicchetti (bar snacks) and wine. Think: cured meats, pickled veggies, cheese and creamed cod (a local fave) all placed atop slices of crusty bread. There are only three tables inside, so it’s likely you’ll be devouring your treats on the cobblestones with the rest of Venice but that’s part of the experience. Lastly, be sure to grab a vaporetto (water bus) to Murano Island. Just a 40 minute ride away, it’s the perfect day trip. The colourful buildings have to be seen IRL to be believed. 

Milan

Italy’s fashion capital Milan boasts jaw-dropping architecture, award-winning eateries and of course, one of the world’s best shopping experiences. This bustling cosmopolitan city is a tale of two halves. Here you’ll find historical delights like Duomo, Santa Maria delle Grazie and Sforzesco Castle sitting side by side a soaring modern skyline. The result? Pure magic. After you've paid a visit to the aforementioned landmarks, head to the Navigli District. Crafted over hundreds of years ago with help from Leonardo da Vinci, you’ll see Milan’s incredible systems of interconnected canals fringed by bars, restaurants and cafes. Pro tip: come here at sunset and stop by La Vineria for an aperitivo and cheese. For an area a little less touristy, check out Isola. Once cut off from Milan, this achingly cool hood is filled with vibrant street art, creative spaces, hidden galleries and public art installations. Get cultured with a night at the 18th century Teatro alla Scala, one of the most beautiful and ornate opera theatres in Europe drenched in red and gold. Those looking for their fashion fix should make their way to the “Golden Triangle”, an area that comprises Via della Spiga, Via Sant’Andrea and Via Montenapoleone home to Prada, Versace, Armani, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. At night, eat your way around some of Milan’s best restaurants—Langosteria, Dongiò and Piz are our faves—before hitting the city’s famous Tunnel Club. Housed in a former railway shed underneath Central Station, this spot has been serving beats and good times since the early 90s. The best part? You can make your dreamy Milan adventure a reality with Qatar Airways flight direct to Milan via a stopover in Doha.

Florence

This terracotta-hued city is one of the most dynamic places in Italy. Home to the statue of David, Santa Maria del Fiore and the Uffizi, Tuscany’s capital is known as one of Europe’s greatest art cities. Non-negotiable museums and monuments to check out on your visit obviously include the aforementioned spots but you also need to add Palazzo Vecchio, ​​Stibbert museum and Cappelle Medicee to your hit list. For an incredible view of the city head to Piazzale Michelangelo, where you’ll score sweeping views of Florence including the Duomo and Arnolfo Tower. This city is also home to some stellar fresh produce and markets. Top of your must-do list is Mercato Centrale where you’ll find two stories of absolute foodie heaven. On the first floor, you’ll find stalls bursting with cheeses, oils, meats, fruit and wine. While the upstairs food court will see you gorging on pizza slices so thin you’ll have to fold them in half, bowls of delicate melt-in-your-mouth pasta and towering scoops of gelato. Post feed check out Piazza Santo Spirito in Oltrarno. A local’s fave, you’ll find it jam-packed with street markets in the morning but when the sun goes down the bars and restaurants that line the square come alive. If you want to see a spectacular sunset, head to the balcony of Hotel Palazzo Guadagni for a cocktail. Are you seeing a pattern here?

It's official. Italy is the creme de la creme of dreamy European escapes. Head to Qatar Airways to start planning your Italian summer with flights into Florence, Rome, Milan and Venice, with a stopover in Doha. 

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Qatar Airways and proudly endorsed by Urban List. To find out more about who we work with and why read our editorial policy here.

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