10 Top Destinations in Northern Italy

Martina Rosado
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Map of Northern Italy

In the North, it’s all about getting away from the problems of the city of Milan and making new discoveries.

We have tried our best to make a list of the best places to visit to feel like a tourist in Northern Italy and share the most historical and impressive locations.

Stresa

Stresa is unquestionably one of the best destinations in Northern Italy.

Stresa is part of the Lake Maggiore region and is an Italian city on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Stresa is very important for tourism because it has been selected as European Capital of Water for 2017.

In Stresa, you can enjoy numerous routes for outdoor tourism, such as walking and cycling, as well as many attractions, cultural exhibitions, and other sporting, sport and recreation events.

Other nearby destinations along the Lake Maggiore include Varenna, Isola Bella, San Giovanni cartoon, Santa Margherita di Staffora, Golf, Romeo.

Varenna

Varenna is a small town in the province of Lecco located on the west side of Lake Como. It is a town with a well-preserved old center and pedestrian areas, with some palaces overlooking the water.

Varenna is definitely worth visiting because it has many attractions such as the church of Santa Maria in Valle, its fine botanical garden, the Sella Tower and the parks.

Bologna

Italy’s bustling city full of green parks and historic architecture. The city is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, as well as many delicious cafes and restaurants.

The Cathedral of San Petronio in Bologna, which is one of the largest cathedrals in the world and one of the best examples of Romanesque art in Italy, has an elevator, a museum, and a library. After exploring the building, visitors can step out under a spotlight for a stunning view of the rotating interior of the building.

If you’re interested in men who work so hard building bridges that they drop dead, go to the city of Piacenza. You can walk across the Piacenza Bridge, constructed by builders just for this purpose. Earlier, when the builders worked on the construction of the bridge, one of them was killed on the job. The dead man was a particularly good worker, so the others used his body as the scaffolding to build his replacement.

When you visit, keep an eye out for the four pillars used as scaffolding. No one knows what was actually on these pillars but there is a great story behind it.

Gran Paradiso National Park

It is an area that is protected by the regional authorities, and many of the national parks are managed directly by the authority of Abruzzo.

The park features stunning landscapes- landscapes often covered by snow and speckled by dense tree plantations.

The area has a particularly high percentage Gran Paradieso of old-growth forest, many of the trees dating back to the last ice age.

Many of the main attractions of the park are accessible only by foot, but there are also trails that allow long-distance cyclists to access some of the villages.

Bergamo

Italy.

Bergamo is the third largest city of Northern Italy. It’s known as the Bergamaole and the Bergamini. Both are name with etymological roots to show the cultural reminiscences of the area’s history.

Bergamo is known for the “Fourth House,” a medieval defensive structure that was tired for the defense of the city.

The Gothic cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary is considered one of the biggest religious monuments of the city.

In the countryside you can find the monasteries of Monza and the abbey of Caldiero.

Bergamo is an artsy city with a lot of attractions. Its major industrial and commercial areas include the Valtellina, the Valchiavenna, and the Val Brembana. Cities such as Cremona, Pavia, and Milan are also in its vicinity.

The Renaissance style of architecture that can be seen in Bergamo and throughout the rest of the region derives its influence from German and Swiss architecture.

Verona

Italy.

Imagine a town of jealousy, betrayal, intrigue, and unrequited love. The town of Verona, Italy has all this and more. Verona is the capital of the independent Veronese region and the second largest city of the Veneto region.

The historic center is influenced by Roman times. It was once the Roman Empire’s most important east-west traffic artery. Verona was occupied by Gauls during the first and second century, as part of the Roman Empire.

In AD 326, the Vandals took control of Verona and over the subsequent two centuries, they replaced the city’s total population with their own (not unlike what happened in England with the Saxons).

At the start of the fifth century, Verona became the capital of the kingdom of the Burgundians. Verona was the western capital of Italy between the Vandal era and the Lombards.

The Lombards invaded the province of Veneto, and Verona became the capital of the Lombard kingdom.

During the ninth century, the city’s power was dominated by the Venetians, as in other areas of Veneto.

During the tenth and eleventh centuries, the town of Verona had the privilege of being a Byzantine fortress, the Bulgarians, and, later, the Franks.

Genoa

Even though it’s a big city in its own right, Genoa is more often overshadowed by the illustrious cities of Geneva (Switzerland) and Milan (Italy), but Genoa’s location makes it a great alternative for anyone on a budget.

Genoa is a major port city, right off of the Mediterranean Sea, spread out along the banks of the river Chiave. It’s an interesting town with old and new sides.

Side Trip: Side Trip: Routes of the Cinque Terre, Italy

Chiavarese Terme (Puglia, Italy) is a relaxing and beautiful Greek-inspired spa town. If you’re visiting Pisa, Florence, and Rome, then you should make Chiavarese Terme a side trip.

When in Genoa, you have the famous Lanterna Magica (Magic Lantern) to thank for. The Magic Lantern is a little mountain at the northern end of Genoa where the top is the form of a giant hand holding a lantern.

To get to the top of the Lanterna Magica, you have to take the funicular railway. From there you can enjoy a hike up the top for a scenic trip.

Milan

Milan, the country’s capital, is a bustling metropolis boasting some of the country’s most distinct museums, elegant streets, and exceptional architecture. Thanks to Milan’s strategic position, you can explore Italy’s northern coastline or some of the country’s most spectacular mountain ranges within an easy and affordable trip. From art to fashion to roving bands of gelato-eating street performers, Milan has the men and women of all ages and walks of life looking to unwind.

Not only is Milan one of the best destinations in Italy for shopping, but it also has the country’s largest international airport and provides convenient transportation to the rest of Italy.

The floating population of the Duomo is truly a sight to behold, and though it may be impossible to view all of the city’s historic delights in one day, a weekend in Milan may just be what you’ve been looking for.

Whether you’re looking for an amazing coffee, a meal to die for, or a little culture in your day, Milan has got exactly what you need.

Portofino

Lake Garda

Lago di Garda is one of the largest glacial lakes in Italy, and it’s about 45 miles from Verona and about 150 miles north of Venice. With a surface area of 2058 km², it is the largest lake in Italy.

Along with the town of Riva del Garda, the lake is surrounded by a picturesque mountain landscape. If you are looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of life for some outdoor relaxation, Lake Garda may just be the place you need to be.

The climate of Lake Garda is cool and dry in the summer and mild and humid in the winter. It’s situated at an altitude of 477 m so the water that circulates in the lake is always fresh and tastes great. With its clean and healthy water, Lake Garda is a favorite of people from all over the world. You can find lakeside resorts, of course, but there are also plenty of hotels and B&Bs to choose from.

Cinque Terre

Located with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and geographic center of Italy, the Cinque Terre region is situated on a series of 40 interconnected villages perched along a stunning coastline.

In Italian, the name refers to the five lands, rooted in the history of this region. Stunning Cinque Terre hotels provide a backdrop for vacation experiences that are just as memorable by day as they are at night.

Accommodations in the Cinque Terre range from individual B&B cottages to five-star hotels that can accommodate as many as 1,000 guests. Most accommodations cater to an international clientele and offer an array of amenities, from private balconies overlooking the countryside with luxurious bath tubs to children’s pools and playgrounds.

Cinque Terre contains several UNESCO World Heritage Sites — including Monterosso al Mare (the Maiori / Corniglia), Riomaggiore, Manarola and Vernazza. Each Cinque Terre village is situated along jagged coastline by the sea, connected by short roads and pathways.

These villages radiate out from their central sights, perfect for stops for late-night gelato, long walks along the beaches that wrap completely around each town, swims in the clear ocean water and scenic gondola rides.

Venice