Top 5 Places to Visit While in Italy

There are so many beautiful, romantic, and historic places to visit while in Italy.  In fact, compared to other major countries, Italy boasts more World Heritage Sites than any other.

Italy is a tourist wonderland filled with some of the most intriguing, dynamic and culturally stimulating places on the planet. Scenic coastlines, regal lakes, mountains and superior art, not to mention the incredibly fragrant cuisine, are nothing less than a visitor’s dream paradise.

When traveling to Italy, its best to focus on regions that will offer you a diverse, pleasurable and satisfying experience.

Rome

The very first stop should be the Colosseum. This monumental structure – an oval shaped amphitheatre, is the most popular tourist attraction in Italy.  The Colosseum can be dated back to 70 to 82 AD, and was able to hold 50,000 viewers as they watched many events including the infamous “Fight of Gladiators.”

Another famous structure and monument in Rome is the Vatican, the official home of the Pope.

Aside from its religious significance, the Vatican attracts a vast number of tourists due to its captivating architecture.  The Sistine Chapel, which was painted by Michelangelo is an architectural wonder in itself with its impressive dome structure and mirrors.  Why mirrors?  Mirrors are used to make it easy for you to view the amazing architecture without straining your neck or back.

Many travelers who have been to Italy say you haven’t experienced Italy until you’ve thrown a coin in the Trevi Fountain!

Venice

A trip to Italy must include the Grand Canal in Venice.  As it sits on a bed of water, Venice embodies incredible canals which form main traffic passages throughout the city.  The best way to take in the Grand Canal is by water bus or private water taxi.  However, the ultimate romantic experience is viewing Venice by gondola.

Other fascinating sites include Neoclassic and Byzantine 13th to 18th century architecture.  Stop by the Doge’s Palace to experience wonderful art including frescoes and carvings.  This is also the palace which held captive, Casanova, the infamous lover and con artist.

It’s also worth seeing the Bridge of Sighs.  With its beautiful white limestone base and stone bars, it over overlooks the Rio di Palazzo and adjoins to the old prisons and interrogation room within Doge’s Palace.

Capri

The Island of Capri is quite simply put, a glorious oasis!  This destination, which is a hot spot for celebrities, covers beautiful beaches, lots of warm sunshine and a relaxing atmosphere.

Tour the island by boat to experience its crystal blue waters; lush flora and rich in fauna; and its many creeks, caves and bays. 

Pisa

The Pisa Cathedral is the highlight of this great city.  The famed Cathedral which is tiled and freestanding, was constructed back in 1173 but the structure began sinking by 1178.  With construction continuing some 100 years later, engineers attempted to balance the tower by building floors which were higher on one side versus the other.

The structure’s maximum height is 186 ft (57 meters) at one end and stands 183 ft (56 meters) on the other.

Now that Pisa Cathedral was been steadied using displaced excavated soil and counterweights, visitors and tourists may climb to the top and take in a grand view of Pisa.  

Florence

With its archaic buildings and striking flower gardens, this medieval town features an array of colored marble with various masterpiece highlights from Michelangelo.

A must see is the Rose Garden which is within close proximity to Michelangelo Square, as well as the Boboli Gardens at the Pitt Palace.

Speaking of Michelangelo, you’ll find the tombs of the famed painter as well as the renowned scientist, Galileo – all in Florence.

Another wonderful architectural piece of mastery is the 17 ft (5.2 meters) Statue of David located at the Accademia Galleria.

Experiencing Florence is indulging one’s self in the local Florentine Cuisine.  Many restaurants feature traditional Tuscan food rich with local produce, beans, grilled meats and mild cheeses.

Some dishes to consider are:  Crostini di fegato – Chicken liver crostini, Fettunta – Toasted bread with olive oil, Lasagne al Forno – Lasagna, Ravioli nudi – Naked ravioli, Pasta e fagioli – Pasta with beans, Ribollita – Vegetable and bread soup, and Trippa all fiorentina – Florentine-style tripe.

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