Italy is a beautiful country located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. It has been home to the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Greeks, and it saw the birth of the Roman Empire which emerged in the 1st century BC. Italy attracts millions of visitors each year for multiple reasons. In the summer of 2017, over 48 million people visited Italy, according to the Italian Hotel Trade Association. As of 2021, you can visit the best places in Italy with the ETIAS visa waiver.
Currently, US citizens can travel to the marvelous Italian soil without applying for a visa or any other form of entry permit. The ETIAS visa waiver is a travel authorization created by the EU to protect the external borders of the Schengen Zone. ETIAS stands for Europe Travel and Information and Authorization system and is expected to contribute to Europe’s security. US nationals will have to obtain an ETIAS travel authorization before traveling to Italy, or other countries in the Schengen Area.
Similar to the American ESTA, the ETIAS for Europe can be obtained by completing the ETIAS online application. Travelers will be required to provide their personal details, passport information, and answer a series of security questions. Once approved, ETIAS will be valid for a period of 3 consecutive years and can be used for multiple entries. Travelers with a valid ETIAS can stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
Explore the Best Places in Italy
Officially the Italian Republic, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, Switzerland, and Vatican City. The fourth most populous EU member state, Italy enjoys of a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. Visitors can have a glimpse of the past while walking the streets of its cities and towns and will learn about Italy’s legacy by visiting historical sites. At a point in time, it was the leading cultural, political and religious center of Western Civilization.
The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to other parts of Europe, bringing about new concepts, ideologies, and art. The renaissance period allowed Italian culture to flourish and a wave of thinkers and artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, and Machiavelli were able to grow. If you are passionate about history, Italy has numerous sites, museums, monuments and architectural structures that tell its story beautifully. The country is home to 53 World Heritage Sites and is the fifth most visited country in the world.
A large country, there’s much to be discovered in Italy. Food, fashion, culture, art, and much more make Italy a great travel destination. Read further to find out about the best places in Italy to visit, explore and enjoy.
One of Italy’s most vibrant cities, Naples is located in the south of the country. This colorful city boasts an abundance of historic sites, artwork, restaurants, and lively nightlife venues. Pizza, spaghetti, and parmigiana originated in Naples, and visitors will not be disappointed with the fresh flavors found in this city. Naples city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, that dates back to 470 BC. Visitors can head to the seafront promenade packed with attractions and spots to eat. While visiting Naples, travelers can go to Pompeii, an ancient Roman city that was buried under 4 to 6 meters of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The event has been depicted in films and books.
Italian Lake District
Italy might be famous for its bustling cities, however, in the Northern part of the country visitors will find the Italian Lake District. In this area, the lakes are surrounded by mountains and the lakes reach deep into the Alps. Featuring breathtaking views, Garda is the largest lake in the region. The climate is mild in the summer and winter making it possible for unique vegetation to grow in the area. Some of the gardens worth visiting include Isola Madre, Isole di Brissago, and the Alpinia botanical garden above Stresa. Lake Maggiore is the longest lake, measuring 65 km. The main points of access to the lake region are Milan, Bergamo, Brescia, and Verona.
The seductive Amalfi Coast is a treat to anyone’s eyes. This region of Italy exudes beauty and invites visitors to stay and discover its chic boutiques and great restaurants. Set in the South, the Almafi Coast is in the Province of Salerno. In 1997, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The coast was featured in many films, including Under the Tuscan Sun. Positano is a must. Houses in this city feature bright colors and fill up the mountains that meet the sea.
Tuscany is an ideal location for those who wish to stay away from the crowds. Italy’s countryside offers travelers incredible landscapes dotted with romantic and secluded villas. Tuscany is fairly close to Pisa, Florence, and Cinque Terre. The region has an artistic legacy worth exploring, and Tuscany is recognized as the birthplace of the Renaissance. Visitors can appreciate the art Tuscany has to offer when walking along the streets, visiting churches, art galleries, and museums.
One of the best places in Italy, Milan is a leading global city that exudes luxury. The capital of fashion was heavily bombarded during the Second World War, but today it’s one of the wealthiest cities in Europe. Milan is the epicenter of fashion in Italy and attracts many fashionistas all year round. The city is home to many treasures, especially precious works of art from Leonardo da Vinci. The capital of Lombardi, Milan, has unique architecture and has a different feel than Rome or Venice. Milan is ideal to learn about its most recent history, visitors can head to the Royal Palace and the Castello Sforzesco.
If you have a US passport and are thinking to travel to Italy in 2021, bear in mind that you will need to apply for the ETIAS travel authorization for Europe. Besides Italy, 25 other countries that are part of the Schengen Zone will also require that American travelers have a valid ETIAS upon arrival.