You can find magical places in Italy all around you when you visit the country. Wherever you go, whether it be the best Italian destinations or a hidden spot you’ve chosen for a quiet weekend in Italy, you’re bound to find some of the most magical places in the world. Discover the most stunning fairytale destinations in Italy.
I love Italy. I’ve moved to Rome almost a year ago and I’ve loved discovering all the fairytale honeymoon destinations that surround the city. I’ve been lucky to find ruins and necropoleis, islands, and hidden castles in Italy I never suspected even existed. Now it’s time I passed the ball and made you discover all the prettiest fairytale places in Italy I’ve been able to come across so far.
15 Most Fascinating Magical Places in Italy
Are you ready to discover 15 fairytale destinations you’ve never seen before? Together, we’ll travel virtually to the fairytale hot springs Saturnia Italy, Lake Como, and amazing destinations close to the Italian capital. Get ready for the ride! Here come the best destinations in Italy!
1. Fairytale Island Lake Como Italy: Isola di Loreto
One of the best Italian destinations is hiding in the midst of the world – or so it seems. This fairytale island of Lake Como Italy is planted in Lake Iseo and goes by the name Loreto Island. If you’ve never been to Brescia, do pay a visit to the island for a fun and magical day trip. If you want to stay at Lake Como, you can find plenty of beautiful hotels too!
The fairytale island Lake Como Italy is not open to visits – it is privately owned today. There are records of Loreto Island as far back as the Medieval Times when the Romans supposedly used the island for trading and fishing. It was even a nun convent in the 15th Century. Very occasionally, today, the owners host special occasions and events such as concerts on the Loreto Island. Dreamy! Ready for more of the best destinations in Italy?
2. Alberobello in Apulia
If you type “magical destinations travel Italy” on Google, chances are you’ll come across Alberobello. The first time I ever came to Italy was in the Apulia region. That’s why I am very much attracted to the warmth of the people and the villages down South. Puglia is one of the most magical regions, packed with beautiful towns, beautiful beaches, and great food.
One of the top fairytale places in Italy, Alberobello is very famous for the Trulli scattered all around the village. The Trulli are houses made from dry stones and then painted white. The sun reflecting on the houses creates an outstanding effect, unlike any vision you’ve ever had before while traveling solo or on your honeymoon. The village is definitely a romantic destination in Italy – Instagram pictures are allowed and recommended, of course!
3. Popular Italian Destinations: Abbazia di San Galgano
I feel like the best Italian destinations almost always encompass a religious building, like a convent, an abbey, or a monastery. The Abbazia di San Galgano in Tuscany is a perfect example of the ethereal feels that religion lends architecture. The abbey is mostly famous for its unusual structure without a roof, as well as the legend of the sword in the stone.
We might wonder if the abbey is free to visit given its roofless architecture – it’s not. However, the tickets are very affordable so dig in. Plus, it’s a great joy to wander this great element of Italian history!
4. Necropolis di Cerveteri
I’ve been to the Etruscan necropolis of Cerveteri. I have felt not only very aware of human history but impressed as well. Although the place is a necropolis – Necropoli della Banditaccia in Italian, I feel it could be one of Italy’s great fairytale honeymoon destinations. Why? Because of its ineffable quietness and grandeur.
When you wander the huge necropolis, you can hire a guide or just walk along the trails on your own. The silence and peace there make you wonder about our origins and history. The Etruscan city of Caere’s inhabitants used the space for the burial of their deads well before the Roman Empire. Now, when you see how much time has passed until we have arrived and trodden the paths in our modern era, it just makes you fall in love with history (again).
5. Villa d’Este, Tivoli
Villa d’Este is one of the most unique places to visit in Italy. I have talked about amazing villas around Rome in Lazio before – and even included this villa in Tivoli. If you love magical places on Earth, the centuries-old villas are spots you don’t want to miss in your life. But one of the real fairytale places in Italy is this villa in Tivoli, with its countless fountains and breathtaking views.
A true symbol of the Italian Renaissance, Villa d’Este is part of the UNESCO world heritage structure. It’s easy to understand why – it’s one of those magical destinations with sculptures and water plays scattered across the whole – and huge – villa. The park is romantic and makes for a beautiful romantic date if you’re around Rome. All the charm of the 16th Century is still standing and dandy at the Villa d’Este. If you’re already in Tivoli, make sure you also know where to eat in Tivoli by checking our list!
6. Wonderful Places in Italy: Monastery of San Benedetto in Subiaco
The Monastery of San Benedetto in Subiaco is one of the popular Italian destinations, even for Italians. When you spend a weekend in Italy near Rome, Tivoli is not the only touristic destination you should keep in mind. The Monastery of San Benedetto is carved entirely into the mountain rock, which makes it fascinating and unique.
It’s one of the most magical places in the world for something who loves architecture and art. Art? There, you can find frescoes painted dozens of decades ago. This beautiful religious place was the home of Saint Benedict for three years, and that’s where it took its name. It might look very lost in the middle of nowhere, but the Monastery of San Benedetto is actually just an hour’s drive away from Rome.
7. Gardens of Bomarzo in Viterbo
The Gardens of Bomarzo – also called the Sacro Bosco or the Park of the Monsters is one of the most unique places to visit in Italy. Luckily enough, it might be deep in nature, but it’s also not too far from Viterbo. The gardens are one of the most magical places on Earth. They are filled with giant sculptures of monsters and giants that make you wonder about the meaning of art.
The artist who made the sculptures, thus transforming Bomarzo and upgrading it to one of the magical destinations in Italy was called Pier Francesco Orsini. They are the proof that time and patience are fruitful – the beautiful gardens took three decades to build. It’s a pleasure to come across all the different types of sculptures, including Aphrodite, giants, and battle scenes. Let’s see some more magical places in Italy, some of the best destinations in Italy!
8. Magical Places in Italy: Villa Adriana in Tivoli
I’ve already written about Villa Adriana – Hadrian’s Villa – in Tivoli, and dubbed it one of the top magical destinations travel in Italy. Like the Villa d’Este, it earned the status of a World Heritage site by UNESCO, in 1999. This is a very different villa from the Villa d’Este, as this one dates back between 118 and 138 A.D.
When you arrive at the villa, you can spot all the differences and enjoy the fascinating ruins of an Ancient Roman villa. Thermal baths, gardens, arches, and water sports all make the Villa Adriana one of the dreamiest and best Italian destinations.
9. Fairytale Destinations: Matera in Basilicata
Matera in Basilicata is definitely one of the most beautiful fairytale honeymoon destinations in Italy. It’s a very famous city today because of its apparition in the background of movies such as No time to die, the last James Bond movie, and the otherworldly Passion of the Christ.
15 fairytale destinations definitely wouldn’t be complete without Matera. If you’re a history and architecture lover, Matera is the postcard vision you need. Also, if you appreciate nature and landscapes for what they truly are, the city of stone is your next dreamy destination.
10. Giardino di Ninfa
The Giardino di Ninfa is one of the most fascinating, magical places on Earth and it’s located close to Rome. Ninfa used to be a very lively medieval town, and after it was left to die and became an Italian ghost town, the gardens were elevated to some of the best English garden designs. I feel like it’s one of the best Italian destinations if you are one of those romantic people who take life as it comes.
The greenery and flowery background coupled with the ruins now declared a Natural Monument set the Giardino di Ninfa as one of the unique places to visit in Italy. I personally love this kind of place, engraved in history and nature at the same time.
Pompeii might feel like a strange choice for fairytale honeymoon destinations. Still, since I’ve been twice and loved it, I know the great feeling it could bring to couples spending their honeymoon in one of the most magical places in the world.
Even for a weekend in Italy, spending a day at Pompeii before heading towards the Amalfi Coast or grabbing a bite at the best restaurants in Naples is an amazing outing. Thermal baths, forums, theaters, and bakeries – you can visit the entire huge ancient town of Pompeii.
The dead city feels endless under the Italian sun, and the entry ticket is worth absolutely every cent. To be fair, I’ve stated more than once that I’d still go to Pompeii even if the ticket cost twice the actual price. Pompeii is definitely one of the best destinations in Italy if you want to discover something unique!
12. Wonderful Places in Italy: Villa Demidoff and Appennine Colossus near Florence
The Villa di Pratolino is one of the 15 fairytale destinations I’ve chosen because of the love I have for Renaissance-style arts and architecture. Florence is one of the popular Italian destinations, is it not? But what about all that’s around Florence? It is quite empty, and you need to take a bus to reach the Villa di Pratolino – also going by the name Villa Demidoff.
The villa used to belong to Francesco de’ Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who had it built in the midst of the 16th Century for his mistress. The Mannerist artistic style of the garden resembles that of the Gardens of Bomarzo, built in the same style.
The Appennine Colossus is one of the sights you cannot miss when visiting the Villa di Pratolino. Ten meters tall and carved straight into the mountain rock, the giant sculpture has been around for more than five centuries. The whole villa has been classified World Heritage Site since 2003.
13. Fairytale Hot Springs Saturnia Italy
The fairytale hot springs Saturnia Italy are a very famous Italian destination for foreigners and Italians alike. Located in the South of Tuscany, the hot springs have been healing and relaxing people for about 3.000 years. Can you imagine a spa day outdoors in one of the most magical fairytale destinations in Italy?
The whole place is very Instagram-worthy, although I would recommend leaving phones and working out of your mind when you go. The waterfall Cascate del Mulino would impress even the non-nature lover, and the thermal waters, with their temperature of 37.5°C, are bound to leave you feeling exhausted and satisfied at the end of the day.
Calcata is one of the best day trips from Rome, and an all-around city for magical destinations travel. This medieval village sits on a volcanic cliff, and it feels like it’s about to crash at any moment. I felt very invigorated when I first visited Calcata in the North of Rome.
It’s a town famous for its fairytales and stories of witchcraft and artistry. Most of the inhabitants were urged to leave around the 1950s and 1960s because of foundations that were believed to be breaking down. As such, this is one of the popular Italian destinations that could have become a ghost town.
It is very quiet and eerie, with ruins of a castle and a church, and really an amazing feel of a medieval city in which many people have passed throughout the years. One of the top destinations in Italy in my opinion, and when you go, you’ll understand me.
Verona is one of the wonderful places in Italy that I never hear about from Italian people’s mouths, for some reason. Located in the Veneto region, Verona has been a romantic destination in my eyes since Romeo & Juliet. The very famous Arena is something you should see when you’re in Verona. However, I prefer lazying around the fountains and the river – like I said, romantic all the way.
The historical center of Verona is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it sets the perfect background for a romantic weekend in Italy. Thanks to Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, Verona is world-renowned as a city for lovers. Read also our post for the best things to do in Verona!
15 Most Fascinating Magical Places in Italy
There we have them, fifteen of the most magical destinations travel in Italy. Cities, parks, gardens, and ruins – Italy has it all, and we’ve proven it once again. When you plan a trip to popular Italian destinations like Rome or Milan, think big. I like finding the detail, like the hidden hiking spots around Rome or the most magical medieval towns in Italy.
It doesn’t make sense to me to not stray from the trodden path. I want to discover new stunning magical places in the world. Is that not the only way to grow, to test your limits outside of your comfort zone? If you think like me, take a look at the most amazing day trips from Rome – there are some fascinating places in Italy that you’re bound to feel attracted to!