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Travel Tips: 5 Great Places to Visit in Northern Italy

Updated on April 4, 2019
Robie Benve profile image

Robie is an Italian artist who now lives in the US. She loves to share useful vacation tips and first-hand knowledge about Italy.

5 of the top places to visit when you travel to Northern Italy. What to see in Trieste, Venice, Verona, Lake Garda, and Genoa.
5 of the top places to visit when you travel to Northern Italy. What to see in Trieste, Venice, Verona, Lake Garda, and Genoa. | Source

My 5 Favorite Italian Cities to Visit North of the Po River

Italy is full of beautiful places to visit, from North to South, including islands. Some are well-known tourist destinations, others not as famous, but just as stunning.

Here are 5 of the top places to visit when you travel to Northern Italy.

  1. Trieste
  2. Venice
  3. Verone
  4. Lake Garda
  5. Genova

Keep reading for more details.


Trieste - Piazza Unità d'Italia
Trieste - Piazza Unità d'Italia | Source

Visiting Trieste, Italy: What to See

Trieste is a beautiful city on the Adriatic Sea, and it lies at the feet of the hilly region of Carso. The city is full of history, with beautiful buildings and monuments reminding of a majestic past.

Geographically Trieste is very close to Slovenia and to the Carso plateau, with its natural beauty and spectacular natural phenomena.

Miramare Castle, once the residence of the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg, still preserves the original furnishings. It stands on the peak of a rocky promontory about 10 Kilometers from Trieste, overlooking the blue sea.

Piazza Unità D’Italia (Square of the Unification of Italy), the heart of Trieste, is considered by locals Trieste’s Living Room. This is the largest European square that opens to the Sea, and it is surrounded by beautiful and historical buildings. The square gets particularly stunning after dusk, when its special lighting comes on. Among the most important landmarks of the square is the famous Caffè degli Specchi.

Grotta Gigante (Giant Cave), an exceptionally large cave that you can tour with a guide. The cave is crossed by a geodetic pendulum for the study of earth tides, one of the few in the world. The floor and the ceiling are covered in stalactites and stalagmites of all sizes.

I visited this cave when my kids were younger and they absolutely loved it! Tip: it’s always cold, even in summer, bring a sweater or a coat.

Map of Northern Italy

Trieste, Venice, Verona, Lake Garda, and Genova.
Trieste, Venice, Verona, Lake Garda, and Genova. | Source



Visiting Venice, Italy: Main Attractions

If you go to Italy, Venice is one of the cities you must see. Every corner, every bridge, every church in Venice provides an opportunity to admire beauty, architecture, and history.

Some of the main things to see in Venice:

  • St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, the heart of Venice.
  • The Rialto Bridge, with its stunning shop and astounding view of the Grand Canal.
  • Rialto’s Market, with fresh veggies, daily caught fish, and all goodies.
  • Peggy Guggenheim’s Museum, for the art lovers.
  • La Fenice, the wonderful Opera theater.

The most pleasant periods of the year for a trip to Venice are from the end of March to end of May; and September-October.

To experience the high tide (Acqua Alta), when some areas of Venice can be flooded for few hours a day in winter, go in the months of November or December.

Venetian food is also a delightful thing to try, however, try to get out of the tourist routes and find the places where the locals eat. They are much cheaper and amazingly good.

In Venice, the "Vaporetto" serves the same purposes as a bus, only on water. Below is how a Venetian bus stop looks like.

Venice, view from the Ponte della Stazione
Venice, view from the Ponte della Stazione | Source


View of Verona, Italy
View of Verona, Italy | Source

What to See in Verona, Italy

Famous world round for the Arena and the everlasting love of Romeo and Juliet, Verona is a city with a historical flavor. The history of the city goes back to thousands of years ago. It lived through the Roman Empire, the Barbaric invasions, and domination of different rulers.

Things to see:

One of the most visited destinations in Verona is the Home of Juliet.

From the outside, you can admire the balcony, from which the girl whispered love words to her beloved Romeo and a bronze statue of Juliet. Inside the building, you can see Italian furnishing from the XVI-XVII century, frescos depicting Juliet and Romeo’s story, and antique ceramics.

In truth, it is not certain that the XIII century building was home to the Shakespearian heroine, but the fact that it belonged to a family with a similar last name, has started the belief that it was truly Juliet’s home.

We visited during the Christmas Holiday and really enjoyed entering the ancient Arena, a Roman amphitheater, home of a renowned yearly Opera season.
The structure, with the old stones and amazing architectural details, is pretty cool. Also, when we went, there was an exhibit of nativity scenes inside the Arena, in the rooms where the gladiators got ready before battles; pretty intriguing. Nowadays, most people go to the Arena to attend a concert od an opera, they put on some amazing shows every year.

Sightseeing buses are available to tour the city and the main locations:

  • Corso Porta Nuova (Giardini Pradaval)
  • Pozza Square - Basilica San Zeno
  • Castelvecchio
  • Roman Theater
  • Porta Leoni
  • Bra Square
  • Via Pallone – Tomb of Juliet
  • Castle Saint Peter

Verona, view from inside the Arena.
Verona, view from inside the Arena. | Source

Most visited place in Verona

Balcony of Juliet's home and Statue
Balcony of Juliet's home and Statue | Source

Lago di Garda (Garda Lake)

The Garda Lake is a jewel situated in between the Alpes, with stunning views and a magic atmosphere.

Many are the things you can enjoy at the Garda lake, here are a few:

  • Sirmione, a beautiful and cozy town on a peninsula on the southern coast of the lake, with ancient origins, full of history, it’s an archeological site, with appealing ancient buildings, like Rocca Scaligera, le Grotte di Catullo, le Terme.
    The town center is full of shopping and dining opportunities.
  • Gardone Riviera, on the western coast of the lake, is full of green and nature but offers also villas, luxury hotels, parks, and cute old districts. Cultural events are always on the agenda, especially in the open theater of the Vittoriale and in Villa Alba.
  • Gardaland, an entertainment park full of fun activities for the whole family.

Two views of Verona, near the Arena

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Verona, Via MarsiniPiazza Bra is right below the Arena. This is the view of the Holiday market at sunset from above the Arena. Verona, Italy
Verona, Via Marsini
Verona, Via Marsini | Source
Piazza Bra is right below the Arena. This is the view of the Holiday market at sunset from above the Arena. Verona, Italy
Piazza Bra is right below the Arena. This is the view of the Holiday market at sunset from above the Arena. Verona, Italy | Source

Lake Garda

Lake Garda is surrounded by striking destinations.
Lake Garda is surrounded by striking destinations. | Source


Genova, Piazza de Ferrari
Genova, Piazza de Ferrari | Source

Visiting Genova (Genoa), Beautiful City in Northern Italy

Genova, the capital of Liguria is a city with a glorious past as a powerful maritime Republic, and the sign of the ancient power can still be admired in the historical center of the city, one of the largest in Europe.

The narrow alleys wind throughout the city; filled with small shops, preserve an old time charm well worth a visit. The city, surrounded by ancient protecting walls, with monumental gates, is full of historical and charming buildings.

Not to be missed in Genova is the Aquarium, with 800 different marine species and a total of 10,000 different animals including aquatic mammals, reptiles, and of course fish.

Genova has a tasty and yummy typical cuisine, and the world famous Pesto alla Genovese sauce, with basil, olive oil, nuts, and cheese is originally from Genova.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Port of Genoa.The beautiful area of Boccadasse, in Genoa.
Port of Genoa.
Port of Genoa. | Source
The beautiful area of Boccadasse, in Genoa.
The beautiful area of Boccadasse, in Genoa. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Robie Benve


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    • lizmalay profile image


      13 months ago from USA

      An excellent article. Speaking from my experience studying in Italy, I have had a great opportunity of visiting some of the places you've mentioned above. However, I would love to visit Italy anytime soon! Thank you for sharing, it reminiscence my past trip to Italy!

    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you Eman. Egypt is not bad either. I've never been there, but it's on my travel wish-list. :)

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      3 years ago from Egypt

      Italy is one of the most beautiful places all over the world.

    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Sally, trace some of the steps your dad took while in Italy sounds like a wonderful plan! How fun! If you have photos of him during his Italian stay, maybe it wood be fun to go to the same spots and recreate the picture, just a thought. I hope one day you can check this trip off your wish list. :)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      3 years ago from Norfolk

      Italy is definitely on my wish list of places to visit. I would love to spend time photographing some of the amazing places you have listed. My father spoke fluent Italian and it would be wonderful to trace some of the steps he took when he was there.

    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Shinkicker, thanks a lot for your feedback. I'm glad you like the article. :)

    • Shinkicker profile image


      6 years ago from Scotland

      Great choices

      I'm glad you picked Lake Garda instead of Lake Como. And Verona is one of my favourite places. I also visited the Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice and was pleasantly surprised by the great art.

      Cheers for an interesting hub.

    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      7 years ago from Ohio

      Glad to be of help. I wish I could have done more travel when I was your age! Enjoy and have fun! :)

    • Cassidydt profile image

      Cassidy Dawson-Tobich 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the list :) I am currently living in Milan and am in need to see more of Italy. I have defiantly caught the travel bug. Am now 19 and have been traveling since I was 17 (coming from NZ). Love being able to write about my travels

    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      7 years ago from Ohio

      apartmentsinminsk, thanks a lot for bookmarking my article as future-go-to travel guide, that's flattering! Hope you get to visit Northern Italy soon and enjoy every bit of it! :)

    • apartmentsinminsk profile image

      Nata Eberhart 

      7 years ago from Minsk, Belarus

      I have bookmarked this hub in my time I will go to Italy this one will be my travel guide

    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      7 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks a lot travelholidays, I'm happy you liked the hub and found useful info in it. :)

    • travelholidays profile image


      7 years ago from India

      Thanks for sharing such a useful article about northern Italy. The points below 'Sightseeing buses' are really useful for the visitors :)

    • RaymondLPeters profile image


      8 years ago from Burlington, Kentucky

      I made the trip to Italy last year. I loved every moment! We were actually on the western side of Italy. We were in Livorno, Tuscany, Cinco Terra (the five villages), Civitiveccio, Roma, Napoli and Amalfi. I loved the food, the wine, the people. Traffic was crazy and the Policemen, traffic lights and the signs were all just for decoration. I want to go back so as to visit the Eastern coast. Check out my Art. I do a lot of Italian Landscapes.

    • Billionaire4545 profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for a great article and the pictures to captivate the beauty of the places.

    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      8 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Marcy, I think Northern Italy is amazing too, but I'm from there! ;)

      Thanks a lot for stopping by and your super positive comment.


    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      8 years ago from Planet Earth

      It's amazing to me that, aside from Venice, many people don't think of Northern Italy when they plan a trip - it has such a wealth of features and places to see. Thanks for this excellent guide! Voted up!

    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      8 years ago from Ohio

      Hi bdegiulio, if things go as planned I'll go to Venice next week. A visit that will probably turn into several hubs in the future. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I love your hubs about Italy too. :) Ciao!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Robie. Thanks for the tour of northern Italy. We are heading to Venice in September so this will come in handy. Doesn't matter where you go in Italy, it's all beautiful and amazing.


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