Historical sites in Italy

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Start planning your historical tour of Italy

Italy's civilization can be traced back all the way to the time of the Etruscans. From the ancient Roman empire to the birthplace of the Renaissance, Italy's history is steeped in culture and is perfect for those who enjoy historical tours. Italy historical sites can be found across the country, from the varied elegant architecture of its north to the vibrant cities in Sicily to the south.

What makes Italy a great destination for history lovers?

Italy is the country with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites (currently around 50). The preservation of Italy's historical sites gives travelers the chance to stumble across ancient Greek ruins at the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, walk by the ancient Roman arch of Constantine in Rome, admire the Italo-Byzantine architecture of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, or even be enchanted by the Renaissance architecture in the streets of Florence. 

The best historical sites in Italy

Although many travelers will tell you that the cities of Rome, Florence and Venice hold most of the treasures of Italy's historical past, there are many smaller towns and cities with extensive historical importance. Here are some of the finest lesser-known historical sites in Italy.

  • Stroll around the magical village of Alberobello

    The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberobello, located in Puglia, is mostly known for the many trulli which characterize the village. These trulli are houses that were created in the 1500s with a prehistoric building technique which is still traditionally used in the region.

  • The mesmerizing Valley of the Temples

    The Valley of the Temples has been standing since around the 4th and 5th century BC and provides some of the finest examples of Grecian art in the world. During the times of ancient Greece, this part of Italy was known as the Magna Graecia (Great Greece), and the third-largest city was Akragas, now known as Agrigento, in Sicily.

  • Get lost in the archaeological sites of Syracuse

    The city of Syracuse is home to many historical sites that can be traced back to both the ancient Roman and ancient Greek civilizations. Just like the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Syracuse was also part of the Magna Graecia, being the largest and most important city in it.

  • Admire the stone town of Matera

    The historical city of Matera (Sassi of Matera), is famously known for the particular cave dwellings which were inhabited in the Paleolithic period. This historical site has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993.

  • Visit the sunken city of Baia

    During the ancient Roman civilization, Baia was the place where powerful icons would go enjoy baths and debauchery. Because of its location over natural volcanic vents, the city has now been submerged as the water level began to rise. With some scuba gear, travelers can now visit the remains of the incredible underwater city.

Tips for planning a historical tour of Italy

When traveling around Italy, it is possible to use public transport but renting a car provides the most convenient method to reach smaller sites. Travelers should also note that if they wish to visit lesser-known Italy historical sites, they should look to book tour guides that can speak excellent English.

Evaneos is here to help set you up with the finest English-speaking guides across Italy, advise when is the best time to go and all-around make sure that your historical tour is engaging and informative.

When to go in Italy?


Spring and autumn are the best times of year to visit Italy. In summer, the central and southern parts of the country experience a few weeks of very hot weather; and it can get very cold in Northern Italy in winter, especially in the Alpine region. Take the area you intend to visit and explore into consideration when choosing the time of year for your trip. And avoid the month of August at all costs: the cities are absolutely teeming with people at that time of year.

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