Instagram Guide to Italy
Italy is a country with immaculate vineyards sprawled across rolling hills and pastel-colored buildings clinging to coastal cliffs. It’s where you’ll find pristine lakes admired best with a gelato in hand, medieval walled cities perched atop hills and the most gratifying meals to ever grace a table overlooking the Mediterannean.
If these sights don’t cause the Instagram likes to come rolling in, your followers need to get their eyes checked!
From the eternal charm of Rome to the picturesque canals of Venice to all the winding secrets in between, Italy is filled with so many photo opportunities that you won’t know where to start. That’s why we’re here to guide you in the right direction.
These are the best places to capture Instagram photos that are, in a word, bellissimo.
If you’re a lover of wine and the good life, Italy’s most renowned wine region is calling your name. The vast landscapes of Tuscany are home to countless vineyards, olive groves and a wide diversity of grape varietals. (The Sangiovese here is especially sublime.)
Pass the time by watching the sun rise and set over the horizon with a glass in hand, accompanied by the finest and freshest olives, pasta, focaccia and Caprese salads you’ll ever taste.
You may have seen these canals on oh, you know, the Instagram feed of every human being who’s ever been to Italy. Venice is a photographer’s dream for good reason; cruising on a gondola through narrow waterways, gliding under elegant bridges and past impressive architecture, makes you feel like you’re living in a postcard.
If this lake is good enough for George Clooney, who famously owns a posh villa here, you better believe it’s good enough for your Instagram feed. The luxurious Lake Como is surrounded by the colorful buildings and dramatic cliffsides that Italy is known for. For optimum results, sip limoncello while admiring the scenery.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
One of the most recognizable photo backdrops in Europe is famous (or perhaps infamous) for the many tourists who snap a photo of it while seemingly trying to push it up straight. This may seem like an impossible feat, but the real challenge is trying to get the shot without unintentional photo-bombers making the exact same pose in the background.
If you didn’t post a photo of your food in Italy, did you even go to Italy?
Italian food is the most delectable cuisine you’ll ever taste, and if you don’t find yourself in a carb coma by the end of your trip, you’re doing it wrong. Pizza, pasta, gelato, limoncello, wine — you’re on vacation, you’re allowed it all.
(Pictured here is the particularly Instagrammable Neapolitan pizza, shot in its home city of Naples.)
The iconic bridge of Florence that was once a hub for merchants and traders is today a hub for Instagrammers. Its yellow and orange buildings jutting out over the Arno River make for memorable shots guaranteed to inspire envy in your friends.
If the canals of Venice are too cliché for you and your Instagram followers, Burano is another fantastic option that’s just now starting to land on the radar of tourists. The fishing village’s canals, lined with chromatic buildings and bobbing boats, are easily accessible via day trip from Venice.
These five cliffside towns lining the coastline capture the very essence of Italian beauty.
Coming from the hub of La Spezia, you will find the towns of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia and Monterosso — all equally breathtaking but with distinct personalities.
Train between the towns or take a scenic hike through the hillside. Either way, have your camera or iPhone handy.
The birthplace of pizza undoubtedly deserves an appearance on your Instagram feed. But make no mistake: It offers so much more than the food it’s famous for. Visit Naples for its architecture, museums, shopping and surprising edge. This is a place where locals will show you a good Italian time!
You’ll have to visit during the wee hours of dawn or dusk if you want to get a photo without photobombers, but this impressive fountain is worth the early call time (or, alternatively, the throngs of tourists you’ll rub elbows with).
Legend says to throw coins behind your shoulder into the pool: One coin means you will return to Rome, two coins promise a new romance and three coins are the ticket to marriage. Results have yet to be scientifically confirmed.
There are few islands as Instagram-worthy as the gem of Capri, located a short boat ride away from Naples on the Amalfi Coast. Capri’s staggering hills are lined with fragrant flowers, kaleidoscopic buildings, narrow staircases, lemon trees and olive groves. It’s a dream of a Mediterranean escape.
Italy’s fashion capital is the largest metropolis in the country, and it provides a unique mix of bustling business and traditional culture. Come here for high-end dining, the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie featuring Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” and of course, all the shopping your suitcase can handle.
If you’re looking for pebble-stone beaches, rugged cliffsides, sparkling turquoise seas and freshly caught seafood, look no further than Sicily. Italy’s largest island is a paradise for lovers of architecture, nature and breath-catching photography.
St. Mark’s Square
The central square of Venice, Piazza San Marco is a prime spot for people-watching. It’s surrounded by impressive architecture, including St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Campanile bell tower.
Spend some time soaking in the atmosphere here, but watch out for the pigeons!
If you’re tired of sipping wine and staring out onto the rolling hills of Tuscany, first of all, what’s wrong with you? Second of all, head over to the charming historic city of Lucca to get your fix of cobblestone streets, old-town charm and Renaissance city walls.
The north of Italy is home to a picturesque display of Mother Nature known as the Dolomite Mountains. This is a perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of Italy’s cultural hubs, get out into nature, and let’s face it — work off all those carbs.
This gem in southern Italy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that invites you to step back in time. It is known for its sassi, or cave dwellings, which have been converted into hotels, restaurants and other attractions for visitors to enjoy. If you love caves (and who doesn’t?), you can’t miss Matera.
Lake Garda attracts everyone from high-class aristocrats to adventurous travelers to families looking for some fun on the water. With beautiful resorts and ample beaches, it’s the perfect destination to soak up the sun on your Italian holiday.
Strolling through the charming streets of Ostuni is a treat for the eyes and the Instagram feed. Puglia’s “White City” features whitewashed buildings perched at the top of a hill, surrounded by verdant landscapes, overlooking the turquoise sea. These views are of the see-it-to-believe-it variety.
Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Well, Verona is a good place to check! The setting for Shakespeare’s most famous play is in the medieval Italian town of Verona, and strolling through its streets will take you right to Juliet’s balcony. Make sure to write your name on the wall for good luck in love.
Tucked amid the rolling landscapes of Tuscany, you will find the medieval hill town of San Gimignano. This town is highly recognizable due to its 13 medieval towers standing tall over the cliffside, which are surrounded by fortified walls. The architecture and the surrounding vistas make for spectacular photo opportunities.
Located in southeast Sicily, Modica is known for chocolate and churches. Visitors must (yes, must) check out the Chocolate Museum and stroll through the city’s many Baroque churches. A stroll through Modica’s winding alleys, near crumbling architecture stacked on the hillside, is also a wise addition to the itinerary.
Ravello, Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is a living, breathing postcard, and Ravello offers the panoramic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea that you and your Instagram page have been craving. Ravello is known as the City of Music, as it hosts open-air concerts throughout the summer.
Attention Instagrammers, honeymooners, limoncello enthusiasts and everyone who appreciates impeccable beauty: Positano awaits. With lilac-framed alleyways and colorful buildings stacked up onto the cliffside overlooking the yacht-dotted Mediterranean sea — not to mention some of the country’s friendliest locals — this is what your Italian dreams are made of.
Few displays of preserved history compare to what you’ll find in Pompeii. This ancient city was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius 2,000 years ago, but many of its architectural structures remain intact — as do the petrified bodies of those who tried to flee the eruption. It all makes for a fascinating, if chilling, experience.
Mulino di Saturnia Waterfalls
Cascading bodies of water always make for prime Instagram photos, and the salt pools of Saturnia are no exception. Tucked into the hills of Maremma in western-central Italy, these thermal pools are also ideally suited to a refreshing dip. And they’re free for visitors!
Located on the Sorrentine Peninsula overlooking the Bay of Naples, Sorrento is another coastal Italian treasure. It’s an easy one-hour bus or boat ride from Naples, and makes a great addition when visiting the neighboring Positano or Capri. With its quintessentially Italian cliffside, coastline and historic center, Sorrento is a popular resort destination for out-of-towners.
The region of Puglia hosts several towns made up of unique buildings. Alberobello is highly recognizable for its hundreds of whitewashed huts with conical straw-covered roofs known as trulli. Perched on the hillside and decorated with wild vines, these traditional residences are a captivating display of Italian architecture.
This national park and World Heritage Site inspired many of the Italian impressionist works of the Renaissance, and visiting here will feel like stepping right into a painting. It’s hard to capture the magic of these hills with a camera, but it’s definitely worth a shot!
The streets of Rome are one winding tangle of photo opportunities, but the most Instagram-worthy neighborhood has to be trendy, artsy Travestere. Wander the cobblestone streets, admire the warmly-toned buildings, and snap photos of the vine-adorned doorways and checkered tablecloths. Travestere is classic Rome.
Monte Isola, Lake Iseo
This lesser-visited lake in northern Italy is peaceful, serene and blessedly removed from the crowds. Visit the charming mountainous island of Monte Isola, the largest inhabited lake island in Europe, for marvelous landscapes and villages — and even better wine.
The island of Capri is rife with photo opportunities, but perhaps the most photographed spot is the Grotta Azzurra, or Blue Grotto. Time it right between the tide and the crowds, and you can catch the sunlight beaming through the cave to turn the water a bright fluorescent blue.
A trip to Italy isn’t complete without a stop in its Eternal City — and a trip to Rome is definitely not complete without a photo of the Colosseum. Where gladiators fought to the death 2,000 years ago is now a renowned spot for sightseeing.
Tour groups surround the amphitheater from every angle, but here’s a hot Instagram tip: Head up to the stairs on the northeast side to capture a photo without hordes of people crowding your shot.
Florence’s iconic cathedral certainly wasn’t designed in the 13th century with Instagram in mind, but its intricacy and grandeur are perfectly suited to the modern medium. The dome is a defining feature of Florence’s skyline and a magnificent work of Renaissance art.