7+ Captivating Countries Near Italy You Will Enjoy Visiting

Countries near Italy

Sticking out into the Mediterranean Sea, boot-shaped Italy is one of the largest countries in Western Europe. But can you name some countries near Italy or those which border Italy? Of the four countries that have a land border with Italy, France is probably the one we can all name immediately. But Italy’s longest land border is actually with Switzerland (434 miles). Austria separates Italy from Germany and the shortest of its land borders is with Slovenia (135 miles).

But I hear you cry,” What about the other two countries on the Italy map that have land borders?” “Quite right,” I reply, “what about the Vatican and San Morino?” What is unusual here is that two of the countries nearest to Italy are actually within its borders. The Vatican and San Morino are not Italian cities, but enclaves, as Italy surrounds them. Isn’t that interesting?

So, to continue with this interesting idea, we will be taking a virtual tour of a handful countries near Italy. Andiamo!


First up is France or “Francia”, a European country that shares a 296-mile border to the northwest of its Italian neighbor. The two nations share a border that is framed by the Alps and starts at Mount Dolent. The French border then extends to south until it meets the Mediterranean. The region of Provence, with its lush lavender fields, is just a stone’s throw away from the Italian border. Since the Italian-French border is so mountainous, most of the access is through tunnels like the Frejus Road Tunnel, the Tende Tunnel, and the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Or, you can also pass through marvelously named passes such as the Maddalena Pass and the Little Saint Bernard Pass.

The cultural ties between Italy and France run deep, with both countries having influenced each other’s art, architecture, and intellectual movements over the centuries. The French Riviera, a glamorous stretch of coastline along the Mediterranean, has been a playground for artists, writers, and celebrities, echoing the allure of Italy’s own Amalfi Coast.


As mentioned before, Switzerland (“Svizzera” in Italian) has the longest border with Italy. Starting at the Italy-Switzerland-France tri-point of Mont Dolent, the border runs eastwards to culminate at the Austria-Switzerland-Italy tri-point near Piz Lad. The Swiss-Italian border is marked by picturesque towns like Lugano, where the cultures of both nations intermingle effortlessly. Italian is one of Switzerland’s official languages, underscoring the historical and cultural ties between the two countries. Well-known regions of Italy which lie along the Swiss border include Aosta Valley, South Tyrol, Lombardy, and Piedmont.

countries near Italy


East of Italy, we find Austria. The current border was cemented after Austria was forced to surrender territory to Italy after the end of World War I. Relations between Italy and its eastern neighbor have not always been amicable. The recent migrant turmoil in the European Union has caused tensions with Austria deploying military vehicles and personnel along the border in 2017 to prevent what it saw as undesirable immigrants crossing over from northern Italy. Suffice it to say, this did sour the relations further between the two nations.

That being said, the shared Alpine landscape between Italy and Austria provides an opportunity for year-round recreation, from skiing in the winter to hiking and mountain biking in the summer. The region of South Tyrol, where German and Italian cultures blend, showcases this duality, allowing visitors to savour both strudel and pasta in the same meal.


Sharing a 135-mile-long border in the northeast region of Italy, Slovenia is a compact country with heaps of character. Although the Italian Republic and its neighbor have had their arguments over the region of Trieste on the Adriatic Sea, as both are signatories of the Schengen Agreement, there are usually no border controls between the two countries. There have been a few hiccups caused by the aforementioned European migrant commotion in recent years, but Slovenia remains a fairy tale country just waiting to be discovered.

Slovenia countries near Italy


Just along the French Riviera, Monaco is one of the world’s smallest countries, often associated with luxury and extravagance. Despite its size, it’s a magnet for the rich and famous, drawing them with its upscale casinos, yacht-filled harbor, and the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix. While the map shows Italy not directly bordering Monaco, its proximity along the Mediterranean coastline makes it a notable neighbor.


Off the east coast of Italy lies Croatia or “Croazia”, a nation celebrated for its stunning Adriatic coastline and historical riches. Cities like Dubrovnik and Split showcase a blend of medieval charm and Mediterranean beauty. The proximity of Italy and Croatia has resulted in centuries of cultural exchange across the maritime borders, evident in both countries’ cuisine, architecture, and way of life.

San Marino

The microstate of San Marino is an independent enclave surrounded by the Italian peninsula. It’s one of the world’s oldest republics, with a history dating back to AD 301. Ranking as the world’s third-smallest state, San Morino’s border extends 23 miles. Rimini and Pesaro are two Italian towns near the border that can only be crossed by road as the state has no railways or airports.

countries near Italy

Vatican City

Officially the world’s smallest state, the Vatican has a border with Rome running 2.1 miles and is completely engulfed by the capital city of Rome. It is where the Pope lives. The Italians call this country as “Città del Vaticano.”

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