I'm a great fan of maps. Maps are a way to see how geography is structured, how cities are put together and how people move between them.
With a map I can show you places you couldn't search the Internet for, because they are unknown to you, so you'd never think to search for them.
We'll start with public transportation maps and then list our Italian places maps.
We'll start with the basics: how big is Italy, and how far apart are the attractions? Our first map shows you how big Italy is compared to the U.S. The second is interactive; it allows you to find the direct distance between any two points on a map of Italy. The Hilltowns map shows the distances between 25 top Tuscan hilltowns. The cities map shows the top cities to visit on a large, detailed map of Italy and the regions map is interactive and allows you to check out the differences between each Italian region and their attractions.
See the major train lines in Italy and learn how to use the rail system in Italy with our Italy Train Map. Zoom in to a popular route: Torino to Trieste, which takes you on an itinerary of many of Italy's great cities.
Transportation by car on the toll roads
Know how to get around Rome by metro, bus or train?
The most popular Italian region in the south of Italy is Campania. Renowned for its food, especially for pizza and bufala, the Buffalo milk mozzarella that folks swoon over, as well as some of Italy's most compelling archaeological sites and the stunning Amalfi Coast, Campania comes out a winner for tourists that want to stray just slightly off the well-beaten tourist track in the north. Head for the south to see the amazing Greek temples at Paestum; the area is called the Cilento, and it's known for clean beaches and mountain scenery.
Lots of folks stop in Rome, then go on the another of the big three, Florence or Venice. It's a mistake if you've got the time, Lazio is full of Roman and Etruscan ruins, castles, seaside resorts, and more; Romans have always played in Lazio's plains and beaches.
See a map of Sicily showing the train lines and best cities to visit as well as lodging recommendations and information on some of the best archaeological sites on Italy's largest island.
Italy's largest region is the most popular. There's a lot of diversity in Tuscany, from the seaside resorts, luxurious spas, rustic mountain villages, and cities full of Renaissance art. Discover it with our Tuscany Guide. Inside Tuscany is the Val d'Orcia, a very compelling place to spend a week of your Italian vacation.
Also within Tuscany, a is the traditional territory called La Lunigiana. It's rural and seldom visited, but has over 160 castles and castle ruins and food you won't find elsewhere. People make their own food, butcher pigs in winter, and enjoy kilometer zero meals all the time. It's the antidote to modern living with industrial food.
Also lesser known is Pitigliano and its Vie Cave, "roads" carved out of rock, a fascinating city and surroundings. The town is shown in the picture below.
Always slated to be "the next Tuscany", Puglia has its own, different charms. It's all about the southern Baroque, beaches all around, Italy's best vegetables and citrus fruits, Byzantine monasteries and way more. Besides, it's flat. You can walk everywhere. Oh, and the food? Fabulous! See our Puglia Maps and Travel Guide.
The Gargano Peninsula is a unique land mass, once an island way back when the sea was higher. If you're looking for something to do in Puglia, our Gargano Itinerary features a map and suggested attractions and places to stay.
Take a ride from the Tuscany border to the Adriatic sea with our northern Le Marche itinerary through the beautiful Metauro Valley. For an overview of the Marche region, see our Marche Map and Guide. Our favorite city? Ascoli Piceno, a gem few American tourists know about.
Tourists don't exactly flock to the Molise, and that's a shame. But think of this: if you are looking for idyllic, look no further. The poverty of long ago caused folks to leave for industrial centers and the remaining population lives in a slice of Italy not blemished by industrial uglification, leaving an unblemished land softly yielding its bounties on the remaining population. You'll find ancient livestock trails Called Tratturi to trek, prehistoric archaeology to wonder over, and simple, hearty cuisine.
Italy's Green heart brims with interesting hill towns, religious art and architecture, unique wines and more. It is less populated than Tuscany, so there's room to roam. Take a language class in Perugia, trace the path of St. Francis in Assisi, Sip Grechetto in Todi, and enjoy the Italy's fourth largest lake.
Calabria dangles off the Italian Peninsula, sometimes a pass-through route for tourists heading from the mainland to Sicily via ferry. But there is plenty of charm, 500 miles of coastline, tons of Greek ruins, and food that's charming, simple, fresh, and sometimes spicy.
The culinary and automotive heart of Italy has a lot to offer, from the haunting beauty of the Po Delta to the great Renaissance cities of Parma and Ferrara. It you've seen Rome, Venice, Florence and the Cinque Terre, you might want to look into this sprawling and wondrous land.
The Veneto is a land of Palladian villas, San Daniele Prosciutto, and artisan Grappa that sits pretty between the Dolomites and the Adriatic. Many tourists don't escape the lure of Venice and the villas, but Bassano del Grappa and the easily accessed Walled wine town of Soave stand as excellent examples of the little gems that make the Veneto region special. And what can you say about romantic Verona? It's all here.
The region borders the Adriatic and the countries of Austria and Slovenia. To the north are the craggy Dolomite Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site added in 2009. Some of Italy's best white wines come from the region. The Roman city of Aquileia, founded in 181 BC, once served as capital of the region. Now the small village hosts a walk through the ruins and a spectacular Paleo-Christian basilica with the largest mosaic floor in the Western Christian world. The town is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Want to get out of Italy and into a brave new world born of a different, isolated set of people who have a different past, a different history and eat a different food? Take the ferry to Sardinia. You won't be disappointed.
Perhaps the most front of Italy's "back doors," the Cinque Terre can be frightfully overtouristed in the summer, but it's still a prime destination for wanderers. We've made a printable map of not only the main trails, but of some of the more difficult trails near the ridge-top, with spectacular views.
The Via Francigena is part of a medieval pilgrimage route that went between Canterbury and Rome, first recorded by Bishop Sigeric on his first trip to Rome in the year 990.
The cities along the route are some of the best cities to visit in Italy. Each usually got its wealth from the pilgrims and the commerce that came with them. You could do worse than to walk the Via Francigena, but you can also visit the cities along the way by car, of course.
Need to see the neighborhoods of Rome in order to find a place to explore or a place to stay? Our interactive Rome Map and Neighborhood Guide will show you what's where. We've created a Rome Transportation Map that shows all the forms of public transportation routes. Individual maps provide detailed information on the best neighborhoods for the traveler, like the ever popular Trastevere.
Rome Neighborhood Guides: Map, Lodging, Eating and Attraction Recommendations
Flying into Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino Airport? We have a map, transportation information and recommended places to stay near the airport.
Rome's second airport is Ciampino, between Central Rome and the Castelli Romani.
Following this interesting alternative to the Via Appia along the coast in Puglia in your rental or lease car offers a fantastic number of interesting sites to visit. Our map will show you how to have a great time in the region that's perpetually poised to be the "next Tuscany".
Northern Italy's Valcamonica has one of the world's richest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs (rock engravings)--over 140,000 artworks covering 8000 years have been discovered. Although few people visit, the Valcamonica can be one of the most interesting destinations of your vacation.