7 Things You Must See as an International Student in Italy | FindAPhD.com
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Posted on 23 Jun '23

7 Things You Must See as an International Student in Italy

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, the list of things to see and do in Italy is endless. While studying, you may not have as much time as you’d like to see all parts of the country. So, to help you prioritise, we’ve put together a list of cultural sites, natural beauties and exciting festivals so you can get a true taste of what Italy has to offer.

#1 The Sites of Rome

We may be cheating by putting all of Rome’s sites together but there were just too many to choose from! With 28 centuries of history, Rome has countless spots to visit including the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Roman Forum. We also recommend trying the country’s world-famous gelato on a hot summer’s afternoon and scouting the side streets for some soulful Italian cuisine.

#2 Pompeii and Herculaneum

If you find yourself with a free weekend, head towards Naples to visit the renowned sites of Pompeii and the lesser-known Herculaneum. Both towns were destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD and they each have something different to offer.

Herculaneum is smaller and quieter than Pompeii but many of the buildings are better preserved and the site displays over 300 skeletons. You can easily travel between the two locations by bus, train or taxi.

#3 Carnival of Venice

Another must-see is the yearly two-week Carnival of Venice. Every February, the streets of Venice are flooded with live music and people in traditional costumes and masks.

Having begun in the 11th century, this festival runs masked balls, dinners, carnival shows and tours. The height of the event is the contest for the most beautiful mask. While some of the official events can be quite expensive, much of the festival takes place on the streets making it free to attend.

#4 Duomo di Milano

If you want to soak up some of the impressive architecture in Italy, the Duomo di Milano, or Milan Cathedral, should be on your list. This impressive gothic building took six centuries to complete after construction begun in 1386. Make sure to head to the top of the tower to view the city’s impressive skylines.

#5 Lake Como

If relaxation in natural beauty is more your scene, make sure to plan a getaway to Lake Como. Located at the foot of the Alps, you can enjoy romantic and picturesque sceneries. Multiple villages hug the shore of the lake making it easy to visit several throughout the day. Rent a boat and go swimming or find a private beach to lounge on, then head to the villages for an authentic Italian lunch.

#6 The Dolomites

If hiking or skiing is more your speed, we recommend spending a few days in the Dolomites. This UNESCO World Heritage mountain range spans seven provinces of northeastern Italy so there are plenty of places to stay depending on your budget and university location.

While there are ample remote areas in the Dolomites to stay if you can drive, many small towns and popular hiking trails are also accessible by train or bus.

#7 The Vatican

Lastly, if you want to get a sense of Italy’s important religious history and culture there is no better place than the Vatican. In the heart of Rome, the Vatican is the smallest state in Europe and you can see all the major sites within a morning.

Of course, we recommend planning a whole day to make sure you get a chance to take in the beauty of St Peter’s Square, St Peter’s Basilica and the world-famous Sistine Chapel.

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Last Updated: 22 November 2023