There are so many beautiful places around the world just waiting to be explored. Exploring beautiful destinations in Northern Italy has always been on my bucket list so it was time to tick it off. I wanted to meet the friendly locals, taste the delicious cuisine and have adventures of a lifetime that I would never forget. I spent a week exploring different locations in Northern Italy and made a list below of some of my favourite destinations along the way.
In this blog post, I am going to share with you my top four destinations I discovered in Northern Italy, along with my top tips of what to see and do in each location.
Venice was my first stop on my Northern Italian adventure. A vibrant and enchanting city which is known as one of the most romantic parts of the world and it definitely captured my heart. Venice has 117 islands, 400 bridges and 150 canals to explore!
• Explore St. Mark’s Square. This is Venice’s only square with the title ‘piazza’. It is packed with people and by far one of the busiest parts of Venice. The perfect place to take a stroll and soak up the Italian atmosphere.
• Visit St. Mark’s Basilica. St. Mark’s Basilica is one the most famous cathedrals in the world. It is located off grand canal and is bursting with fabulous architecture. At the top, you can overlook St. Mark’s square for a beautiful view of Venice.
• Hop on a Gondola. When you think of Venice, you automatically think of the famous gondola rides through the canals. Float down secret passageways and get a taste of the local life in Venice. Note: If there are only two of you in Venice, I would recommend asking another couple to join your gondola tour. It reduces the price for both couples as it can be expensive tour.
• Visit the islands of Murano or Burano. Murano and Burano are two beautiful islands off Venice. You can get a water taxi or ferry to explore. Murano is well known for its glass-blowing workshops, while Burano is extremely photogenic with colourful houses all around.
Venice can be extremely busy and packed with people but what I really loved about it is the fact that you are never too far from a hidden gem. As you stroll through the city you stumble upon beautiful churches, impressive architecture and secret paths.
The Dolomites ended up being my favourite spot in Northern Italy. The Dolomites are a mountain range formed more than 224 million years ago, with 18 peaks rising to above 3,000 metres. It is an amazing ski location in the winter but it definitely wasn’t ski season when we were there so we decided to go for a hike and admire the spectacular views.
• Take your time driving up to the Dolomites as it is a breath-taking drive with spectacular views all around.
• In ski season, it would be an amazing place to get some lessons or dust off your ski skills and hit the slopes.
• Outside of the ski season, there are lots of trails clearly marked to explore. The perfect hiking spot for a day of adventure.
• Stop off in the charming Italian village of Cortina d’Ampezzo on your drive to the Dolomites. This pretty town is surrounded by the Dolomites and is a picture-perfect town.
• Head up the mountain on a cable car. As you go up, the views are breath-taking and when you reach the top, you can explore and take one of the trails to admire the views even further.
Tip: It can be a little colder up the mountain so bring extra layers with you!
The metropolitan city of Verona in the Veneto region should definetly be on your list when visiting Northern Italy. A city known for being the destination for Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet", this is a medieval town just waiting for you to explore.
• Explore the Verona Arena. This first century Roman amphitheater is located in Piazza Bra. What makes it so special is that it is still used today for concerts and opera performances.
• Explore Verona’s historic center. Exploring a city by foot is always best and in Verona it is even more special as you can walk the narrow streets and admire the medieval and Renaissance buildings, along with the impressive architecture all around.
• Juliet’s Balcony. You cannot go to Verona and not pay a visit to Juliet’s Balcony. Be prepared for it to be busy as it is one of the most popular places for all Shakespeare lovers.
Lake Garda is one of the most popular destinations in Italy and I can see why. This is the perfect location to base yourself as you can plan day trips from here to other destinations in Northern Italy. It allows you to have part of your holiday in adventure mode, while also having a relaxed side to your holiday in the sunshine by the pool or on the beach.
We paid a visit to the town of Sirmione which is located on the southern shore of Lake Garda. It is a charming, picturesque town with a striking moated castle in the centre. You get a real relaxed holiday vibe as you walk through the narrow medieval streets with a pop of vibrant colour around every corner.