The best of Italy: Art, history, and art history by rail

It’s not all beach! Well… Italy has a lot of beach, but if you have a mindset to explore, and a student’s wallet, Italy has a country full of cultural landmarks that are all accessible by rail.

The facade of the cathedral in Milan

If you want to explore all of Italy, we recommend moving down the peninsula north to south, making Milan the perfect city to start your trip. In Milan, Duomo di Milano (aka the Milan Cathedral) is the clear #1 tourist spot. Even if religious sites aren’t your thing, this cathedral is A) stunning to look at both inside and out, and B) an even blend of art and history. Don’t miss Da Vinci’s Last Supper while you’re there! 


Roof tops of buildings in Genoa

There are literally scores of art museums, installations, and galleries in Genoa. The art is never something you’ll have to go out of your way for, and the history of the city is well worth looking into. Keep an eye out for historical buildings as you walk, and preserved ships when you’re near the water. 


The red roof of the duomo in Florence

The Baptistry of St. John, the Neptune fountain. Sure, sure. But if you’re setting out for art and history, there are few pieces more coveted than the statue of David. Seriously, you skeptics might think it’s a tourist trap. It is. Go see it. 

That’s not to say the statue of David is all Florence has to offer. If you’re looking for a hidden gem and more of a relaxing stroll, check out the Boboli gardens and Pitti Palace. 


The Trevi Fountain in Rome

Rome is one of the best cities in the world for art and history. You will have no trouble finding beautiful buildings, historic monuments, and ancient masterpieces. Since it’s so easy to find the art and culture hotspots in Rome, allow us to direct you to the free ones: 

  • Most churches. Not all of them, but many of the churches are beautifully built and house some variety of relics. The cathedrals are the ones that might charge you to enter. 
  • The Pantheon: The pantheon has been preserved since ancient Rome. A must for anyone interested in the Roman empire. 
  • St. Peter’s: St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica are both quintessential examples of Roman architecture that are free to visit. 


Get the best flight deals to Italy with ScholarTrip student fares, and discover Italy by rail with the Eurail Italy Pass.

Search for Flights


There's more to discover

We picked these articles for you

Exploring the Windy City: Chicago Museums

Are you a college student in the bustling city of Chicago? Well, some of Chicago’s top attractions are its 67 impressive museums and what better complement to your education than spending a day at Chicago museums. Whether you’re into art, history, or science, there is a collection or gallery for you! So keep reading to […]

Read More

The International Origins of Singles’ Day

Are you unlovable? A proud single person? A lone wolf? Thankfully, there’s a holiday for you. November 11th (11/11) was chosen as the date for Singles’ Day for the four numerals to resemble your singleness. The holiday originated in China from the number 1 referred to as a “bare stick,” an unkind name for an […]

Read More

Best Hostels in South Korea

South Korea is an amazing choice for student travel as you can experience a wide variety of culture, nature, and cities through the country. For a student, it is important to find affordable, but safe housing. Therefore, researching hostels is an important. We have taken some of the work out of the way and compiled […]

Read More