Italy’s insane beauty comes from the statues, the seasides, food, history, and much more. Throughout the country, small and large cities have a magical allure about them. Moving from the French bordering side and moving toward the Austrian and Slovenian bordering side, we have put together a list of the most spectacular cities of very North part of Italy.
Turin – PIEDMONT
Torino, in Italian, is one of the main working cities of Italy, always involved in a rivalry with the main Italian city of Milan, also in the north. This city is known for its cultural value and studies. The Egyptian Museum is one of the main sites of Turin along with the National Cinema Museum, and over 40 more galleries and museums to choose from! Additionally, the Holy Shroud and the Mole Antonelliana are great attractions you won’t want to miss. Come during one of the international events of books or the Film Festival for a unique atmosphere in the city. Lastly, certainly visit the Basilica of Superga for a panoramic view of this capital of the ancient Kingdom of Savoy after crossing the bridge over the Po River.
Pavia – LOMBARDY
A short distance from Milan and on the way from Turin, is Pavia. It’s a tiny town with a historical center well worth the walk through. It’s full of statues, churches, important monuments, and small shops. It’s a young city, full of clubs and bars, as it is also home to a number of universities. The main feature of Pavia, however, is the massive park and bridge that makes every moment there feel romantic. This park is along the Ticino River and with the typical foggy weather, it’s a true sight to be seen.
Milan – LOMBARDY
The major economic power of Italy comes from Milan. The city is a mecca of culture, fashion, international business, and entertainment. It is home to the famous Teatro della Scala, a beautiful opera house in the city’s center. The main attraction, however, is the Duomo, one of the world’s largest gothic cathedrals dedicated to Saint Maria Nascente. There are a system of canals that were designed by Leonardo DaVinci in order to transport the stone used for the building of this enormous cathedral. Pieces of these waterways still exist as random places throughout the city, the main section called the Navigli area. The canal is lined on both sides with restaurants, bars, and shops. If you’re a fashion-lover, Milan will be the greatest destination for you. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a huge open air structure with four wings, of designer shops and fully equipped with restaurants and cafes also. Down the street, only about 15-20 minutes at a slow pace, is the Castello Sforzesco which is one pilar of a large park called Parco Sempione. During the summer months, all of Milan is lounging on the grasses tanning and playing sports in the fields.
Como – LOMBARDY
About a 45-minute train ride from Milan, and an easy day trip, is Lake Como. The lake itself is in the shape of a Y, allowing a view of the coast across the lake from any of the lake towns. It’s largely known for its celebrity homes and its presence in the book “Promessi Sposi.” With a beautiful mountainous view, it has incredible scenery all the way around, even the Alps on one end.
MantUa – LOMBARDY
This Medieval town is quaint, cozy, and magnificent. The San Giorgio Castle and its four corner towers sits on the bank of the Mincio River. The main attractions are the two large palaces within the small town. The Palazzo Te and Palazzo Ducale hold treasures and history that is an absolute must to experience.
Ferrara – EMILIA ROMAGNA
This is an example of one of those magical small towns that will captivate any person regardless of age or travel preferences. It is undeniably romantic, and has sweet surprises in the smallest of corners. It’s small enough to experience in one day but is much better when you are not pressed for time. Wandering around walking or riding a bike is the best way to see it. The center of the city is tiny and easy to get through but the charm comes from the smaller streets leading to the Po Delta or a large Charter house.
Verona – VENETO
The mega-spot of romance is this small city on the way toward the Austrian border. It is famous as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Her balcony and the bronze statue, which is said to bring luck in love if you touch the breast, drive tourists here year round. The Arena in the center is a Roman amphitheater, the third largest. This building holds cultural and entertainment events all year also. Piazza delle Erbe is worth checking out as is nearby Lake Garda and its scenic village towns.
Venice – VENETO
Last but not least, we come to the floating city. It’s known at the Serenissima, which means intense calmness. The system of canals and waterways replace streets with boats and gondolas transporting tourists and locals alike. The major canal is called Canal Grande. Here you will find the three most famous bridges in Venice, the Scalzi, the Rialto, and the Accademia.
Check out “Acqua Alta” while you’re here, a spectacular book shop you will have to see to believe. The famous Piazza San Marco features a view of the water, numerous historic structures, and the main Basilica. Additionally, on one end of the square we find the Doge’s Palace, a major city symbol. Every year in February, Venice hosts the famous Carnival festival, known for the masks and unique wear of the people. Experience the magic of these 150 narrow water channels which connect 118 islands for a one-of-a-kind trip.