One of the most popular countries in the world is Italy. The boot-shaped country is widely known not only for its historical and cultural background but also for its delicious cuisine, its stylish fashion industry and its natural wonders such as lakes and mountain ranges. Commonly referred to as the Beautiful Country, Italy has so much to offer. Here is the list of sights you don’t want to miss while wandering the grounds of this amazing country.
Being the capital city of Italy, Rome or Roma is one of the outstanding cities you have to visit. The only city to have an independent country/state in it, Rome houses the Vatican City. Being the center of the Roman Catholic Church, Vatican City is the home of the Pope. Here, you can visit the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica or the Basilica di San Pietro with its dome that was designed by Michelangelo. Or have a stroll across St. Peter’s Square, which is actually an ellipse, and have an encounter with the colorful Swiss Guards who are responsible for the security inside the world’s smallest state. And don’t forget to see the Vatican Museums. Another favorite tourist spot in Rome is the Colosseum. It is the largest existing monument from Imperial Rome. It is a colossal amphitheater and was used for gladiator fights. It is an important ancient ruin that is awe-inspiring for everyone. Other sites you might want to see is the Roman Forum, an important archaeological site, or the Pantheon, a well-preserved archaic church, or the famous Piazza Navona and its beautiful fountains, where tourists visit its cafes and restaurant.
Venice or Venezia is one of the country’s most beautiful and most romantic cities. It is a favorite destination for visitors. What’s really fascinating is the fact that the city is actually built on water in the middle of a lagoon. No wonder gondolas are famous in this part of Italy. The heart of this city is Piazza San Marco where the majestic Basilica di San Marco or Saint Mark’s Basilica is located. The church is said to be the most exotic cathedral in Europe and one of the most visited too. The Venice trip is not complete without seeing this structure. Many imposing churches are worth visiting such as San Giovanni e Paolo, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta in Torcello and many more. Another experience that is “a must” is the Canal Grande or Grand Canal. By riding a vaporetto or water bus, you can enjoy the picturesque views of its cityscape, the splendid architecture of palaces and the elegant designs of bridges such as the Rialto Bridge. The Palazzo Ducale, home of the governing councils, is a must-see. There are also many museums you can experience, and one of the finest collections of European art is found in the Galleria dell’ Accademia.
Another important city to explore is Florence or Firenze in Tuscany. Being the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is an open-air art museum with its marvelous sculptures, exquisite cathedrals and duomos and other architectural wonders all around the city. Piazza Signoria is a significant site in Florence. The square exhibits numerous statues including the “Fake David”, a copy of Michelangelo’s David. For the original David, go to Academia Gallery. A world famous gallery is also found in Florence, The Uffizi or Galleria degli Uffizi. The collections include Sandro Boticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera and Titian’s Venus of Urbino. The symbol of this city of art is the Duomo di Firenze. The huge dome by Brunelleschi is an important engineering accomplishment from the Renaissance era. The famous bridge Ponte Vecchio is another sight to behold.
Milan or Milano in Lombardy is another unique Italian city. It is the most fashionable city in Italy and one of Europe’s richest cities. The world’s largest Gothic church is found in Milan’s center, the Piazza del Duomo. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the fashion hub of the city. It is a glass-roofed shopping mall with high-end boutiques and expensive shops. The architecture is stunning. La Scala is a world-renowned opera house, another majestic structure to see. Milan is to Da Vinci as Florence is to Michelangelo. It houses one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpieces, The Last Supper. The iconic fresco is found inside the equally famous Santa Maria delle Grazie Basilica. There are lots of churches to visit in this city. It is also home to the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology. A notable art museum to visit is Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan’s most prestigious art gallery that holds important collections of Italian paintings.
Verona was made popular by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and it is not surprising that people visit this city to have a glimpse of the famous Juliet’s Balcony in Juliet’s House. This is a favorite among teenagers. The Arena is a huge Roman amphitheater that was preserved and is now used as a venue for opera festivals and other theatrical performances. To see the whole of Verona, climb the Lamberti Tower and enjoy the breathtaking views of the city. Relax while taking a walk at Piazza delle Erbe or Piazza dei Signori.
Genoa or Genova is the principal seaport of Italy. The city’s Aquarium is one of the largest in Europe and is worth paying a visit. The Palazzo Reale is an impressive mansion turned museum that houses collections and arts from Genoa’s sea exploration era. The Rolli Palaces in Genoa’s center were restored and are now included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is also an interesting experience wandering around the carrugi or narrow alleys.
This list could go on for there are so many interesting places to explore and experience in Italy!