Both for its history as the capital of much of ancient Europe and for its present day role as one of Europe's most vibrant cities, for most tourists traveling to Italy, Rome heads the list of places to visit. Relics of its ancient glories–the Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon, the Appian Way, and the Palatine Hill–vie with the vast riches of the Vatican as the top attractions.
The showcase of the Italian Renaissance, Florence can at times seem like one giant art museum. The Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is a landmark of world architecture, topped by its gravity-defying massive dome.
Together with its marble-inlaid bell tower by Giotto and the octagonal Baptistery with its incomparable bronze doors by Ghiberti, this is one of the world's finest ensembles of Renaissance art.
Who could fail to love a city whose streets are made of water, whose buses are boats, and where the songs of gondoliers linger in the air? It is a magic city, and its major attraction to tourists is the city itself.
Although Milan is a major entry point for tourists because of its airport, it's often overlooked as a destination of its own. That's a shame, because Milan has one of the highest concentrations of artistic and architectural attractions in all Italy, and for those interested in design and fashion (not to mention shopping), it's a must.