For millennia, the land that is called Italy now has been an incubator of culture, art and civilization. While the country has modernized during the last few centuries, it still has a wealth of places that are of great historic and cultural significance. Here are some places in Italy that you must explore when you’ve got a chance.
As the country’s capital and also the heart of the Ancient Roman Empire, Rome is the first stop you should make in Italy. The majestic Colosseum is perhaps the best place to start in this city; it was the famous arena where gladiators fought to their deaths to entertain the public and the Emperor.
Next, you should visit St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City – this is the epicenter of Roman Catholicism, the Papal seat. The Piazza di Spagna also merits exploration, providing you a delightful view of the city’s center. A nighttime walks at Piazza Navona, which has some of the most exquisite fountains of the city, crafted by talented artists and in great shape even today.
Conclude your Roman adventure by visiting the Pantheon, an ancient Roman temple which has doubled up as a tomb for influential Italians in recent years. The location is filled with tourists, and has an energetic, buzzing vibe to it throughout the day (and for much of the night).
Built in a pool of water, with canals instead of roads and boats instead of cars, Venice is one of a unique cities in the world. It is steeped in art, history, and romance, the city is famous for its Carnaval, its San Marco square, its multitude of bridges and Palazzos, and its quaint gondolas.
As opposed to popular belief, the best time to visit this city is during the spring or when the Carnaval is on. Visiting it in winter may be a turn-off, since the cold can cause dense fog to develop, which saps some of the charms out of the city.
The literal translation of this place is ‘The Five Lands’: it is a collective of five villages sitting atop a stretch of cliffs along the Italian Riviera. Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The only one situated on the cliff’s side is Corniglia, while the most picturesque one is Vernazza, thanks to its brightly painted houses. The coast line, along with Cinque Terre, has been made World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The villages are connected by a scenic hiking route called the Sentiero Azzuro or ‘Light Blue Trail’. The part of the trail which links Riomaggiore to Manarola is known as the Via Deli’Amore or ‘Love Walk’. You’ll find the Corniglia – Manarola route to be the least taxing, even though it finishes after a 368-step climb.
This city became a center of art, architecture, culture and intellectualism during the Renaissance era. Start by visiting the Piazza Della Signoria, a centuries-old market square which provides the finest specimens of Florentine construction e.g. the Palazzo Vecchio, a political nexus during the days of the Florentine Republic. On the other hand, the Piazza del Duomo is worth visiting due to its religious importance during the same era.
The Uffizi Gallery, situated inside the Palazzo Degli Uffizi, holds some of the most famous artistic achievements of the likes of Raphael, Leonardo, Titian, Caravaggio and Giotto. Other places worth visiting include Santa Maria del Fiore’s Basilica and the Giotto’s Bell Tower present adjacent to it.
Amalfi Coast and Capri
The Amalfi Coast is a fine place to relax amidst greenery, culture, and a stunning coastline. The oldest villas in this place were constructed during Roman times, but over the centuries, the Coast has adopted influences from several different cultures. It rose to prominence during the 10th through 13th centuries, as the Marine Republic that ruled Italy. Be sure to visit Positano, Ravello and the Amalfi Cathedral whilst you are there.