20 Reasons to Visit North Italy

North Italia: If you had to pick just one region in Italy, which would it be? South Italy, perhaps? The obvious answer might seem to be yes, given the abundance of sights and culture found there. However, after reading this article on North Italy travel destinations, you may change your mind.
North Italy is not only home to some of the country’s most famous landmarks (from Venice’s canals to Verona’s Romeo and Juliet-inspired romance), but also lesser-known gems. From Lombard spa towns to Piedmont vineyards and alpine lakeside villages, here are 20 reasons to visit North Italy – or anywhere in this underrated corner of the country.

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20 Reasons to Visit North Italy

North Italia: BusinessHAB.com

North Italy includes some of the country’s most impressive cities, but also some of its least-known destinations. The northwest quadrant of the peninsula is home to everything from Renaissance art museums to modern ski resorts and everything in between. If you’re planning your first trip to Italy, or want to add a little more variety to your next Italian vacation, here are 20 reasons why you should consider North Italy as your next destination.

Renaissance art

Italy’s cultural history goes far beyond the Roman Empire and the Vatican. The Renaissance period is perhaps best known for its artistic achievements, which are still celebrated throughout North Italy. Milan – the country’s financial capital – has multiple museums with collections of Renaissance art. Florence’s Uffizi Gallery is one of the world’s most famous art galleries, showcasing key pieces from the period including Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus.” Venice is also home to a number of Renaissance art museums, including the Venice Academy and the Corner Museum.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

North Italia: Up to half a million heritage sites are listed each year by UNESCO, but only a select few are given the title of “World Heritage Site.” In North Italy, you’ll find two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Venetian City Walls and the Tuscan City Walls. Both sites were awarded the designation in 1996 and represent the only examples of their kind in the whole of Italy. You’ll find the Venetian City Walls in Venice, which are among the best-preserved in the world. The Tuscan City Walls are found in the picturesque city of Florence.

Scenic train rides

Traveling by train in Italy is always enjoyable, but a few routes are more scenic than others. The ‘Treno Verde’ (Green Train) is one of the most scenic train journeys in Europe, passing through the stunning Italian Alps and ending at the Swiss border. Another popular train route is the ‘Treno Bianco’ (White Train), which travels through the Alto Adige region and passes within sight of the Austrian border. The ‘Treno Rosso’ (Red Train) is another scenic journey that covers almost the entire length of Italy’s eastern coast, passing through stunning landscapes formed by the rising and falling of the coastline.

Mouthwatering food

There are few better ways to get to know a culture than through its food. North Italy’s cuisine is not only delicious, but also very diverse due to the region’s rich history. You’ll find everything from classic staples like pasta and pizza to more unique dishes like polenta and risotto. Venetian cuisine is also worth exploring, with a number of dishes that combine fresh seafood with chili peppers, like the ‘Bocconcini di Branzino al Forno’ (Breaded baked bream).

Skiing in the Italian Alps

Italy’s reputation as a warm, sunny vacation destination is well-earned, but it’s important to remember that the country is also home to some of the most impressive alpine ski resorts in Europe. The Italian Alps are renowned for their dry conditions and reliable snow cover, making them an ideal destination for skiers of all levels. The Dolomites are a particularly popular area for skiing and snowboarding, with the resorts of Sesto, Cortina and Santa Cristina the best-known destinations.

Beautiful architecture

North Italy’s cities are packed with architectural gems, but some are more famous than others. Venice is home to the 15th-century Basilica di San Marco, as well as the famous “Piazza San Marco” – one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Milan boasts the Gothic-style Milan Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in the world. Florence is home to the iconic “Duomo” (cathedral) and “Battistero” (baptistery), as well as the “Piazza della Signoria” – a stunning square that’s often referred to as the “Square of the masterpieces.”

Breathtaking natural scenery

North Italy is best explored by road, rail or water, but it’s also worth keeping an eye out for the region’s many natural wonders. The Alpine lakes of Lago di Como, Lago Maggiore and Lago di Garda are some of the most beautiful water bodies in the world. The Dolomite Mountains also make for an impressive natural backdrop, with their distinct reddish hue and imposing peaks. The peninsula’s largest lakes are found in the far north, including Lago di Iseo and Lago di Garda.

Famous festivals and events

Depending on the time of year, you may be able to attend a famous festival or event when you visit North Italy. The world-famous “Venice Carnival” takes place annually in February, while the “Sesto Alto Festival” takes place in May. In June, the “Ferragosto” (Feast of the Assumption) is celebrated all over Italy, including Milan and Florence. The “Trophy of the Italian Sport” is hosted in Milan every year, while the “Ragusa Festival” is hosted in Sicily.

Simply relax on the beach

Italy’s northern beaches are less famous than those found on the country’s southern coastline, but they’re no less beautiful. The Ligurian coastline – which stretches from the border with France to the border with Tuscany – is home to some of the country’s most stunning beaches. The city of Genoa is also worth exploring for its beaches, with the large sandy expanse of “Rivoli Beach” being the most popular destination. If you’re looking for something more secluded, the beaches of the Cinque Terre are among the most beautiful in the country. You’ll find them in the rugged stretch of coast between Genoa and the border with France.


North Italia: There are many reasons to visit North Italy, but there are also many reasons why you should consider visiting Southern Italy, Central Italy, or any other part of the country. Italy is best explored through its many different regions, each with their own unique culture, cuisine, and scenery. There really is something for everyone in Italy, you just have to pick which region you want to visit. For more information on Italy, visit

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