It will come as no surprise that Italy is one of the world’s most photogenic destinations. Here’s where to fill your Insta-feed with jaw-dropping, jealousy-inspiring photographs.
With its colorful buildings, winding canals, gondolas and pretty bridges, Venice is ever Insta-worthy. You may find it a bit too crowded for great photos during the day, so consider getting up early when the tourists have dissipated, and the light is fantastic. While you’re there, head to the island of Burano, where the most poplar spot for dramatic photography is from the Tre Ponti bridge, at the junction of two canals. With palaces built on water, the Bridge of Sighs and charming storefronts like the Acqua Alta Bookshop, there are interesting angles for photographers of all abilities.
2. The Colosseum, Rome
Some of the best photos of the symbolic Colosseum are taken from the Parco Del Colle Oppoio (Oppian Hill Park), which overlooks that most iconic of Roman landmarks. Take a shot from the fountain at the park entrance – extra points for late-day sun. As you wander about the Colosseum, you’ll have countless more opportunities for various angles and views of this archaeological wonder. The structure lights up at sunset and after dark, making for even more dramatic photography.
3. The Roman Forum
Not to be outdone by the Colosseum, the Roman Forum is a fantastic structure to photograph. Stroll through the massive area and find your favorite angle on the Temple of Antonio Pius, the Arch of Septimius Severus and the House of the Vestals.
4. Lake Como
Head into the Italian Alps to visit this lake paradise. You’ll get the deep blue of the water, plus the stunning alpine scenery as a backdrop. Ride one of the many ferries regularly cruising the lake for unfettered vantage points. Perhaps the pearl of Lake Como, Bellagio begs your attention. Wander the narrow alleys, visit old churches and enjoy lunch on the waterfront – all perfect photo ops. Nearby, explore the Villa Melzi palace. In Cernobbio, enjoy an aperol spritze at the luxurious Villa d’Este hotel and ponder your next photo.
5. Amalfi Coast
The postcard-perfect Amalfi Coast just begs to be photographed. How can one not want to capture those precarious cliffside villages, awash in colorful homes and buildings. You can pull out along the twisty road that connects the various towns or hop on a ferry that goes from town to town, giving you a fantastic view from the Gulf of Naples. The most popular Amalfi Coast towns are Positano (the most photogenic), Amalfi, Ravello (for its fantastic gardens), Maiori and Minori. In Positano itself, head to Spiaggia Grande, the marina Fornillo Beach for beautiful shots.
The stuff of daydreams, Tuscany is a photographer’s dream, any time of day, with its vast green fields and olive groves. Throughout the Tuscan countryside, you’ll find small towns like the photo-worthy San Gimignano, historic villas, misty vineyards and the larger cities of Florence, Pisa and Sienna. Professional photographers love Tuscany Grove at sunset (along the road from Sienna to San Quirico d’Orcia), Podere Belvedere and the Cappella della Madonna di Vietaleta chapel. The entire Orcia Valley in southern Tuscany will leave you speechless – don’t miss the villages of Pienza, Montalcino and Radicofani and the many castles, tower and ancient churches between them.
If you’re into architecture, Florence will load up your camera roll. Snap shots of the iconic Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (or climb the 414 steps to the top of the bell tower for a panorama). The church is typical Florentine Gothic style and you’ll be hard pressed to find just one angle – inside, outside, from the top, it’s all breathtaking. Move on to the Piazza Duomo, the Baptistry of Saint John, the Uffizi Palace and Gallery and the Palazzo Vecchio. People watch in public squares and take candid photos of Florentine life. Other great photo ops in Florence include the Arno River, Piazza Michelangelo, the Ponte Santa Trinita and the antiques market at Mercado delle pulci.
8. Cinque Terre
As fabulous as the Amalfi Coast, the five towns of the Cinque Terre national park, on the Ligurian Sea, make for breathtaking photography. Hike between the towns (also connected via railroad or narrow road) for the best vantage points. One option is to take the train to Monterosso al Mare and walk back toward Riomaggiore and Manarola. Some of the most beautiful segments are Monterosso to Vernazza (don’t miss the colorful fishing boats in the harbor) and Manaroloa to the Corniglia walking trail.
One of Italy’s most beautiful regions, the island of Sicily offers ancient ruins and villages, secluded beaches and natural beauty. In charming Ragusa, photograph the old town center, the historic piazza, the Duomo di San Giorgio or the Giadino Ibleo botanical garden. Head to the Valley of the Temples outside Agrigento for the seven temples dating back to approximately 400 to 500 BCE. For a natural stunner, visit Scale Dei Turchi, a dramatic rock formation rising out of the sea – the juxtaposition of the blue water and the white rock is stunning.
Off the coast from Sorrento, photogenic Capri awaits to show off its charms. Take the Monte Solaro chairlift to get a striking view of the entire coast. Take a boat tour that includes the famous Blue Grotto, an incredible sea cave. From the Gardens of Augustus, you can frame the towering sea stacks off the coast. When you arrive on Capri, you’ll immediately start snapping photos of the colorful boats and houses of Marine Grande. And don’t miss the scenic overlook at Punta Tragara, an Intagrammer favorite.