As dynamic as the travel industry is, there are a couple of things that always remain constant – France being the most visited country on Earth is one of them.

The iconic European hub has topped travel destination rankings for decades now, but as travelers start to grow tired of the overcrowded streets and ever-increasing prices, other, just as gorgeous destinations are setting themselves apart as the most popular hubs of the moment.

And that’s exactly what the latest Places To Travel report revealed.

The company analyzed recent Google Trends data in an effort to find out the most popular vacation destinations in every U.S. state, and the findings were as interesting as you’d expect.

The most fascinating result to come out of the report, though, was the fact that the most popular country overall, securing the no. 1 spot in over 10 states (including New York, Arizona, and Massachusetts), was not France, but Italy.

View of the Colosseum, Rome, Italy

So, it’s worth exploring – why have Americans fallen in love with this stunning Mediterranean hub more than ever?

One Of The Most Attraction-Filled Countries In The World

The thing that keeps Italy always trendy is that there isn’t just one stand-out place responsible for most of the country’s tourism.

View of the Rio Marin Canal with boats and gondolas from the Ponte de la Bergami in Venice, Italy

Because if you take a look at France, yes, there are plenty of cities that have long made their way into the international tourism scene like Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille, and Nice, but all of them combined don’t attract as many people as Paris most years, which is clearly the stand-out destination.

Whereas in Italy, cities like RomeMilan, Venice, and Florence are all comparable in terms of visitor numbers, so instead of one city doing all the heavy lifting (and, in turn, getting too overcrowded for its own good), tourism in Italy sees a more even spread.

View of Florence, Italy

That’s because you’re going to one of the most attraction-filled countries in the world.

What do you see first?

The historic streets of Rome, the rolling hills of Tuscany, the jaw-dropping museums of Florence, or the movie-like beaches of Capri?

In Italy, you’ll never be out of stunning sights to take in.

Capri, Italy

Contrary To Popular Belief, A Budget-Friendly Trip To Italy Is Doable

When most travelers hear of an “Italian holiday,” they immediately assume that it’s a high-end experience only a lucky few can afford.

However, even as the world experiences rapidly increasing inflation rates, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Euro bills

For starters, flights from the U.S. to Italy start at just $185 this June according to Skyscanner, which is less than what most of us pay for domestic airfare.

Even if getting that cheapest possible ticket isn’t what you’re after, you can still realistically expect to pay less than $500 per person for your trip to and from Italy.

Once you actually get there, you’ll find that most hotels and Airbnb have pretty reasonable rates, and that goes for food, transportation, and experiences, too – that’s especially true if you stick to places that aren’t exclusively touristy.

People eating Italian food

During my trip to Rome a couple of months back, for example, I managed to keep my daily costs under $100 (including my share of accommodation expenses), and I exclusively ate out, though I tried to choose more budget-friendly places most of the time.

Whether You’re Looking For A City Break, A Mountainous Retreat, Or A Beach Getaway, Italy Has It All

Not only are there plenty of cities and regions to explore in Italy, but they’re also so wildly diverse that just about everyone is guaranteed to have a good time in the country.

We’ve already established that there’s no better place for a culture-filled city break, but Italy is also the ideal destination for that dream beach getaway this summer.

View of Scopello, Sicily, Italy

The sun-drenched beaches of the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, and Sardinia are really as gorgeous and idyllic as they say, though doing some research to avoid tourist traps while vacationing here is always a good idea.

What if the thought of a typical beach vacation doesn’t excite you?

You can always arrange for a rejuvenating retreat among the Dolomites or a refreshing getaway in the Italian countryside.

Foggy landscape in Tuscany, Italy

Getting Around The Country Has Never Been Easier

Since there’s so much to explore in Italy, you’re probably wondering how much of it you’ll actually get to explore during your time here, and the answer is – probably more than you’d think.

The country boasts a pretty extensive public transportation system, complete with buses, trams, metros, and high-speed trains.

Freccia Rossa fast trains in Milan

The latter are managed by Trenitalia, and they’re the best mode of transportation I could recommend – they’re punctual, comfortable, and cheap!

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