22 Awesome Photos of Italy

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This is a post in my new “Awesome Photos” series.

Awesome photos

My very first trip to Europe was to Italy in the autumn of 2005. On that trip, I visited Rome, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast — and I fell in love. With the food, the history, the architecture, the culture… (I could have done without the cat-calling Italian men, of course, but I suppose that's just part of the culture, too).

After a week in Italy, I vowed that someday I would go back and see more of the country.

It took me nearly a decade to return to Italy, however; I didn't go back for a second time until 2013. But that second trip was just as good as the first — maybe even better.

Here are 22 of my favorite photos from my second trip to Italy, highlighting some of my favorite destinations and experiences:

The Grand Canal in Venice

Venice is everything you've heard about it — and yet completely different at the same time. Yes, it's crowded and confusing and maybe a little bit smelly. But nothing compares to crossing a bridge over the Grand Canal for the first time.

Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo

Birthplace of art and culture and the Italian Renaissance, Florence is a must-see in Italy. And for an unforgettable vantage point, head to Piazzale Michelangelo for views out over Florence (complete with Ponte Vecchio bridge) like this.

Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo

Ruins at the Roman Forum

Rome is obviously the center of the former Roman Empire — and some of the most impressive ruins can still be seen at the Roman Forum, including columns like these.

Roman Forum

Burano Canal

One of my favorite day trips from Venice was to some nearby islands (because Venice isn't the only island in the Venetian Lagoon!). This photo is of the main canal in Burano, a small island known for its colorful homes.

Burano, Italy

Inside St. Peter's Basilica

I don't care if you're religious or not — visiting St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City is a MUST in Italy. The massive church is filled with marble and gold and precious stones (most of it pilfered from other great empires of the world) and is nothing short of breathtaking.

Inside St. Peter's Basilica

Monteriggioni

Built by the Sienese during Siena's wars with Florence, Moteriggioni is a small fortified city in Tuscany with its medieval stone walls still partially in-tact.

Monteriggioni in Tuscany, Italy

Duomo di Siena

Italy has no shortage of impressive, jaw-dropping churches. And the Duomo in Siena is definitely one of these. This one dates back to the 1200s; I loved this part of its facade.

Duomo di Siena

Venice architecture

Spend time in Venice, and you will immediately be able to recognize its architecture. I love these buildings along the Grand Canal (gondola included, of course).

Venice, Italy

Vatican City

It's usually crowded, but St. Peter's Square in Vatican City is still worth stopping by.

St. Peter's Square in The Vatican

Florence Duomo from afar

This photo — with Florence's Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore dominating the scene — was also shot from Piazzale Michelangelo.

Florence Duomo from Piazzale Michelangelo

Inside the Roman Colosseum

The Colosseum is an Italian icon recognized worldwide. But have you seen it from this vantage point before? This photo was snapped from the highest remaining level of the ancient amphitheater.

Inside the Roman Colosseum

Wine tasting in Chianti

No trip to Italy would be complete without wine tasting. This tasting table was set up at a small, family-owned winery in the Chianti wine region, and we tasted wine and had dinner as the sun went down over the vineyards. Blissful doesn't begin to describe it.

Wine Tasting in Chianti

Italian life

The laundry on the line makes this one of my favorite photos from Italy, I think. It was shot on the island of Burano.

Burano, Italy

Lone gondolier

In the summer months, it's common to see “traffic jams” of gondolas in Venice's canals. That's why this scene – of a long gondolier – caught my attention.

Gondola in a canal in Venice

Arno reflections

Can you name this city? It's actually Florence. I love the reflections of the buildings and clouds in the Arno River here.

Arno River in Florence, Italy

The Pantheon

In Rome, be sure not to skip the Pantheon. I love this shot because of the addition of the white-robed nuns in the front left.

Pantheon Rome

Dining al fresco

This little cafe was spotted in the medieval town of Monteriggioni. It just screamed “Italy” to me with the colors and overall ambiance.

Monteriggioni in Tuscany, Italy

Orvieto

Located in southwestern Umbria, Orvieto sits atop a volcanic bluff — making views from here especially dramatic.

Orvieto, Italy

A view from a dome

If you make your way to the Vatican, be sure to spend the extra time and money to climb to the top of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. From there, you get THIS incredible view out over the Vatican and Rome.

The view of Vatican City from the dome of St. Peter's

Siena

Famous for its Palio horse races and its UNESCO-protected historic center, Siena caught my eye because of its color — the muted browns and terracottas and oranges… they made for a great image.

Siena, Italy

Up close with gondolas

Here's an up-close look at gondolas on the Grand Canal in Venice. You can't just show up here and buy one — competition to become a gondolier is intense, and the right is often passed down from father to son.

Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

Here's a closer look at Florence's Duomo. It's massive and makes you feel very, very small when walking beside it.

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence

 

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Which photo makes YOU want to go to Italy the most?

 

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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43 Comments on “22 Awesome Photos of Italy

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  1. These pictures of Italy are all awesome. I love the one of the Durano Canal. Those colorful house remind me of Willemstad Curacao. And the wine tasting picture just looks so serene and relaxed. I could sit there for hours day dreaming!

      That Burano photo is one of my favorites, too! I love all the colors.

    Wow, such amazing photos. I’ve never been to Italy and tend to sort of skip over Italy photos, thinking I’ve seen pics of pretty much all the big things there, but these photos made me slow down and appreciate it a lot more. I loved all the ones that show the massive scale of the huge old buildings!

      Thanks so much, Rika! So good to hear that my photos made you slow down a bit. 🙂

    Although I love Venice and Burano for the beautiful architecture and colours, I think I will have to say Monteriggioni. It just captures the essence of the Italian countryside, which I adore 🙂

      It definitely does – the perfect quiet place to enjoy the history and countryside!

    Love all the photos as it brings me back to our extensive trip to Italy in 2010. That said, a correction is needed in your text above. The Pantheon is in Rome, Italy. The Parthenon is in Athens, Greece.

      D’oh, right you are! And of course I know that. But this is what happens when you put posts together at midnight!

    Oh how could I possibly pick one? All of those photos are incredible. I fell in love with Italy as well, especially Rome, and cannot wait to go back. I think if I really had to pick it would be the Wine Tasting in Chianti. I had not developed my taste for wine yet when I was there and so I can’t wait to go back and try some! It looks like such a wonderful place to have a meal. But seriously all of those photos are amazing and really really make me want to go back to Italy and experience a different side. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Thanks, Veronica! Italy is pretty easy to fall in love with, if you ask me!

    The Parthenon is in Greece. The Pantheon is in Rome!!!! Shame on you, editor!!!!

      Settle down, settle down. Mistakes happen. It’s been corrected.

    All beautiful photos of Italy. Ah the laundry photo – it just made me wonder if anyone ever snaps photos of my laundry while its hanging out to dry. My blanket has been hanging on my line for a week now. Every time it’s nearly dry, the daily storm bursts without warning and soaks it again. The joys of living in Italy…

      Haha, who knows. Maybe one day you’ll see a photo of your own laundry on a travel blog!

    Having been to Italy three times I have a lot of similar photos but I have to say that yours are somehow much more stunning! I’m still learning though and will be using your pics as inspiration.

    Italy is fantastic, my favourite city in the world is Venice. There is something simply magical about the city. Beautiful photographs.

      Venice IS kind of magical! I was totally surprised by how much I loved it.

    Hey these photos are amazing! Venice is a unique city in the world! My wife and I lived 3 years there and we still don’t know the entire city and its islands! 😀

      It IS really unique! There’s definitely no other place in the world quite like it.

    Great shots – it’s like taking a photo tour of Italy. I’ve only spent 5 days there so far, but I loved it and can’t wait to go back!!

      I can’t wait to go back, either – there are still so many spots on my Italy bucket list!

    So beautiful!!! Can’t wait to be in Italy. I love the transportation through the water. Is it cheap?

      The gondolas? No, gondola rides in Venice aren’t cheap. About 80 Euro an hour, I believe. Though you can have I think up to 6 people in a boat. So I suppose it wouldn’t be too bad if you have 4 or 5 people. But it’s pricey for just 1 or 2!

    Wow! Beautiful photos! Makes me want to pack a bag and take off to Italy. Thanks for sharing!

      Thanks! Putting this together had me plotting a return to Italy myself…

    I love the photo of Orvieto, as it reminds me of all the places I haven’t been in Italy! While I’d love to see Venice, Florence, and Rome again, I really want to head farther south next time, to see Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast.

      I’ve been to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast, but I would love to go back again and spend more time there (and take better photos!). I would also love to go to the Cinque Terre.

    I feel this is going to become of my favorite series! Gorgeous photos Amanda. Currently in the process of ditching my dSLR for a mirrorless, and I believe you have an Olympus?

      Aww yay! I have at least 3 more posts planned in the series – maybe more as time goes on. Glad you enjoyed this one!

      And yes, I have an Olympus E-P2 right now, and really love Olympus’ mirrorless cameras (I’ve also used the E-PM1 and the E-PL3 – also good).

    Beautiful photo’s Amanda. One of these days I will make it to Italy!

      I highly recommend it! I’m already plotting where I’ll go when I’m there next time.

    Gorgeous photographs! I love the idea of this series 🙂 My favourite is your Burano shot – lovely colours and a taste of real life too.

      Thanks, Jesse! I’m looking forward to putting together another “awesome photos” post soon! It’s fun to go back through all the photos I’ve snapped over the past few years.

    some great pics! if only i could pack my bags and take off to Italy now

      Choosing the photos to include in this made me feel the same way!

    Your picture are incredible! Each of them defines how different and beautiful Italy is. I’m planning my very first solo trip and chose Italy to be the place. I’m trying to get a kick in a butt. Can you give me one but telling me how safe it is there? I plan to go from Venice all the way to Sicily alone. Any tips?

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