Italy is located in Southern Europe and shaped just like a boot. It happens to be one of the most popular destinations for travel in the world. Tens of thousands of tourists flock to Italy every year to look through the amazing collection of historic relics to be found in this place. Some of the world's finest artisans, scientists, artists, and inventors originate from Italy. The country also boasts of delectable cuisine, charming people, and mesmerizing cities. Here are some of the most magnificent places to visit in Italy.
Though all roads lead to Rome, the easiest way for you to go there unless you are wandering through Europe would be by flight or train. It used to be the capital of the roman empire and is now the capital city of Italy. Rome is located in the central portion of the city. If you are an ardent traveler you can walk through the streets of Rome for months, but still would not be able to go through all the wonders this magnificent place has to offer.
Rome offers you a glimmer of a city both modern and traditional. Ancient structures, the Vatican City- Rome has it all since it has survived over 2500 years as a center of power and religion. The city is divided into 4 districts with the central Colosseo district having the most ancient structures such as the Pantheon, magnificent cathedrals, and a shade of Renaissance architectural styles. St. Peter's Basilica is one of the most striking features you will find in the Vatican. One of the best ways to go through all these wonderful places is to get on a hop-on bus. Thee buses traverse through the major tourist destinations in Rome and you can get off or get on at any spot.
Florence is the capital city of Tuscany and can be regarded as a gigantic museum from the outside. This is because Florence is a storehouse of art and the architecture displayed throughout the city is grand. Florence could also be regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has produced many inventors, artists, scientists, philosophers, explorers, and so on. The Medici dynasty of Florence is known throughout the world since they had produced a range of popes and kings who had culturally, politically, and even economically affected the entire world.
Every corner of Florence would have a masterpiece dangling about. The best way to go through this city is on foot. There are numerous museums stocked with stunning artwork. Some of the most notable artworks that you could find in the museums of Florence are Cellini's Perseus with the Head of Medusa and Michelangelo's David.
The city looks terrific at all times and one of the best places to take a soothing walk in the city is Ponte Vecchio. The Arno River passes along through this place and you could walk through a terrific bridge passing across it. The place is lined with jewelry shops where you are sure to find something intriguing and steeped with a story. The markets in the city are also great to walk through, especially the San Lorenzo markets. It is very popular among tourists because of the array of locally handcrafted goods and local cuisine available.
Venice is one of the most unique cities you will see in the world and is rightly one of the most popular travel destinations in Italy. The city is located on a lagoon in the north-eastern part of the city and is an archipelago comprising 118 islands. All of these islands are connected beautifully through bridges and canals. The Grand Canal, as the name suggests is the major one among all the canals and divides the city into two sections.
St. Mark's Square and Basilica, Rialto Bridge, and Doge's Palace are some of the most impressive places to see in Venice. There are no car services available throughout the city and you have to either walk or take the water taxi. One of the most unique and amazing things to do in Venice is to take a gondola ride through the canals- it is something that you will surely remember for a long time. It is a very romantic city and is highly enjoyable with a romantic companion.
Italy’s most jovial carnival is held every year in Venice and is something worth watching. People adorned in vibrant costumes and impressive masks flock through the streets and even the gondolas and boats are entirely decorated. As a souvenir, you can take home one of the crated masks.
Pompeii has a mystical charm attached to it making it one of the most popular destinations in Italy. It is a Roman city that was buried under volcanic ash when Mt. Vesuvius erupted and stayed so for more than 1700 years. The excavation of this site started in 1748 and has not been entirely unearthed yet. It is very close to Naples and taking the train is the best way to go to Pompeii.
Walking through Pompeii you will be fascinated to really see how the Romans used to live. If you are a history buff, then this is one of the most terrific places you can visit in the world. Remains of homes, bars, brothels, bakeries, baths, and magnificent structures such as the Amphitheatre, the Forum, and the Temple of Apollo together tell the story of the ancient Roman civilization. There are several small food shops as well as shops to collect souvenirs near the entryway to Pompeii. Cafes and restaurants are outside the city and near the railway station.
The city of Sienna was established right at the center of Tuscany atop three hills. The city is filled with historic delights and gives visitors a taste of the medieval ages. It used to be a wealthy city and retains aspects of its former glory, especially the masterful artwork.
One of the places to definitely visit while you are in Siena is the Piazza del Campo. It is one of the finest examples of medieval squares in the entirety of Europe. It has many notable architectural structures which include the Fountain of Hoy and the Mangia Tower. The Piazza is also the place to go to if you are looking for restaurants, cafes, bars, and gelatos or just want to interact with the locals. Duomo in Sienna is an exquisite structure- this cathedral in black and white features stunning Italian Romanesque design with its marble floors, sculptures, stained glass windows, and so on. The Piazza also hosts the Palio horse race which welcomes many viewers from all around the world. One of Italy’s oldest universities, the University of Sienna, is recognized throughout the world for its terrific School of Law and School of Medicine.
Sicily is a large island on the Mediterranean Sea, in fact, the largest one out there just outside the southern tip of Italy. It has a unique location and has therefore served as a crossroad since ancient times. Thus, you will see great variation in the cuisine, culture, as well as the history of the city from the rest of Italy.
Sicily's capital, Palermo, has survived for more than 2700 years and has been ruled by a variety of dynasties ranging from the Phoenicians to the Romans and from the Arabs to the Nomads. Each of these civilizations has left behind a bounty of artistic styles in the city under which Sicily has thrived.
Of the many places that you can visit in Sicily, there is a range of archaeological excavations. Ruins of places such as the Theatre of Taormina and the edifices of the valley of Temples owe their existence to the ancient Greeks while the castles in Erice are a mark of a more modern, medieval time. It also houses Mt. Etna, the highest peak in Italy and one of the most active volcanos in the world.
Italian Lake District
The northern part of Italy hosts the Italian Lake District consisting of numerous lakes. While the southern regions of the lakes are flat, they originate in the deep mountainous regions of the Alps on the northern side. Due to this reason, the Italian Lake District has very appreciable weather which brings in many tourists from around the world.
Lake Maggiore is narrow and 65 km long originating in the Southern Alps. It reaches into the Canton of Ticino n the southern part of Switzerland. Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore is a beautiful island that you can visit and it is famous for its intricate gardens and magnanimous castles.
Next comes Lake Como, which boasts of extravagance and a lavish lifestyle. It is the hub for celebrities and royals and they are housed in the many Renaissance villas. Bellagio is a quaint town at the center of the lake with cobbled streets and vibrantly colored mansions and could be the perfect romantic gateway.
Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake and the best of the lakes to treat yourself to a lesson of history, outdoor activities, and culture. Limone has heavenly lemon grooves, while the waves at Riva del Garda offer quite an adventure. You could even go through the amusing castles built in ancient times in Malcesine. Sirmione in the southern part of the lake is also a popular tourist spot with many Roman ruins and castles.
If you are looking for a peaceful weekend away from the cacophony of daily life, Lake Iseo is a great spot. It is one of the lesser-known lakes and is home to the largest of the lake islands in Italy. This place also boasts of 15-century architecture taking you down a historical lane.
Pisa is one of the most well-known places from Europe around the world because of the stoic Leaning Tower of Pisa. However, this terrific place has so much more to offer to tourists than just the Leaning Tower. It is a goldmine of architectural marvels and its former glory can be easily traced through the artistic styles prevalent throughout the city. It is located in the north-western part of Tuscany along the Arno River.
The Campo del Miracoli or the Field of Miracles is one of the most striking squares you will find in Italy. You can easily see traces of the Italian Renaissance in this square. The Duomo Cathedral, the Baptistry and Composanto Monument, and other magnificent structures are located in the square. You will find terrific works of marble along with frescoes and other historic relics in these monuments. There are many shops scattered throughout the plaza that sells keepsakes and a variety of bakery items such as biscotti.
Many cultural events are hosted in the streets as well as the waterways in the city. Some of the festivals that you can see and take part in are the Luminara festival, the Game of Bridge which is a friendly contest between the two sections of the city, and the Ancient Maritime Republic boat race competition.
The city of Milan was nearly destroyed due to heavy bombing during the second world war. However, it has recovered much since those dark times and is renowned as one of the wealthiest cities in Italy and Europe. Milan has become an interesting blend of the modern as well as the medieval. Some of its most renowned historical features are da Vinci's The Last Sipper, the Castello Sforzesco, the La Scala Opera House, and one of the most magnanimous Gothic cathedrals.
Milan is located in the north-western region of the country very near to the Alps and the picturesque Lake District. It is a center for fashion and displays a fast-paced modern existence. There are shopping malls and major businesses in Milan and it is also world-renowned for football. In some ways, because of the modern lifestyle, Milan is somewhat less Italy-like compared to the other cities steeped in ancient history and historical features.
Naples, in southern Italy, is another metropolitan city and is the capital of the Campania region. It is one of the busiest Italian cities with amazing places such as Pompeii and the Bay of Naples nearby.
Along with being a modern city, Naples is also a humongous historic center. It ranks among the highest in the concentration of historical monuments and thus is the perfect place for a history lover r an art enthusiast. There are several Baroque churches as well as Roman ruins spread throughout Naples. The Piazza del Plebiscito is one of the top attractions in Naples. You could also visit some of the volcanic craters found along the outskirts of the city along with grand castles, Roman baths, and so on. You could also find extravagant works of art and artifacts which were excavated from Pompeii in the National Archaeological Museum and the Capodimonte Museum.
Naples is very serious about the food that they serve. Some of the most renowned Italian delicacies such as pizza and spaghetti originate from Naples. If you want to have an Italian culinary experience, Naples is the place for you. You will find locally or homegrown, fresh ingredients in the food they serve in Naples. Certain other specialties that you will find in Naples are mozzarella cheese, fresh seafood, and a variety of pastries.
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