Italy is one of the most complete destinations in the world; full of exquisite gastronomy, cities full of history, and World Heritage sites. Musement brings you to 15 of the most iconic sites that you can’t miss.
It is difficult to select the most beautiful country in Europe, but it is more than likely that Italy is near the top of the list. A large reason for this is due to its ancient cities, for example, Rome, Florence, and Venice. In these cities, we find some of the country’s most iconic symbols such as the Roman Colosseum and St. Mark’s Basilica. But that’s not all, because Italian beauty is also present on its coasts, islands, and even volcanoes. Here are the 15 most incredible places to visit in Italy from north to south.
1. Lake Como
The third-largest lake in Italy is undoubtedly the most well-known. Located in the region of Lombardy, Lake Como is surrounded by towns that you may have never heard of such as Bellagio, Tremezzo or Varenna, but as soon as you step foot on them, it is like love at first sight.
2. Duomo of Milan
With an area of almost 130,000 sq ft (12,000 m2), the Milan Cathedral is one of the largest Gothic temples in the world. Easily the most emblematic monument of the Italian capital of fashion, it is one of those sites that doesn’t go unnoticed. In addition to admiring its beauty from the square, climb up to the panoramic terrace and enjoy the views of the city from above.
3. Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan
This 15th-century church may not stand out on the outside, but it hides one of the greatest treasures of all time inside. We are referring to one of the most famous paintings in the world by Leonardo da Vinci, “The Last Supper”, which measures a whopping 15×29 feet (880×460 cm).
4. Verona Arena
Verona is one of the most romantic cities in Italy, because, among other reasons, it was the scene of the romance of Romeo and Juliet. Besides that, this city in the Veneto region is home to the magnificent Arena, a Roman amphitheater built more than 2,000 years ago and still in perfect condition.
5. St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice
St. Mark’s Basilica, located in St. Mark’s Square, is one of the most famous sights in the city of canals. While the exterior façade is captivating with its domes and its grandiosity, its interior is marvelous, thanks to its stunning golden color and more than 86,000 sq feet (8,000 m2) of mosaics.
St. Mark’s Basilica
6. Grand Canal in Venice
Venice is a city that seems to stand still in time. Its canals dot every corner of the city, while the dozens of gondolas that cross it rock. The 2.5 mile (4 km) long Grand Canal is the most extensive and without a doubt the most important canal in the city. Take time to admire it from the Rialto Bridge, the oldest of four bridges that crosses over the canal.
Venice, Photo: Visual hunt
7. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is made up of five beautiful villages that overlook the Mediterranean. Formed by Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, it is difficult to choose only one of these small villages because they are all full of color and joy; representing one of the great jewels of Italy.
8. Duomo of Florence
The Florence Cathedral was built between the 13th and 14th centuries. Its white façade shines in the sun, and its huge 375 foot-high (114m) dome can be seen from many points in the Tuscan capital. You can enjoy panoramic views of the city if you head to the top, but not before climbing more than 450 steps, definitely worth the hike.
9. Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Tower of Pisa or leaning tower, is one of the indisputable emblems of Italy. It is constructed in eight different levels plus the bell tower. Judging by the number of visitors, it is one of the most photogenic monuments in the country as people come from all over to pose next to it as if they were holding it up.
10. Towers of San Gimignano
San Gimignano is a small town surrounded by vineyards located in the Tuscany region. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this town is particularly attractive for the 14 towers that attest to its medieval past and are still standing today.
11. Rome Colosseum
The most iconic symbol of Rome is the Colosseum, a spectacular ancient amphitheater that allows you to travel back to the times of the Roman Empire. Gladiatorial combats, animal shows and even prisoner executions were a constant feature here. In its golden age, the Colosseum could hold more than 50,000 people.
12. Vatican Museums
On any visit to Rome, you can’t miss a visit to the Vatican Museums, whose origins date back to the 16th century. The complex is divided into several rooms where you can see thousands of works of art related to the Catholic Church that have been collected over several centuries. The Vatican Museums also represent the gateway to the entrance for the Sistine Chapel.
The history of this Ancient Roman city ended in 79 A.D. when it was buried after Vesuvius erupted. Today, Pompeii is a ghost town that invites visitors to wander through its streets and imagine what life was like for these people before they were struck by lava.
Just an hour by ferry from Naples is the island of Capri, a paradise located in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is a destination that invites you to try out its beaches, take a boat ride, and to explore the famous “farallones”, large rock formations that emanate from the water.
15. Mount Etna
Standing nearly 11,000 feet (3,342 m) high, Mount Etna is the largest volcano in Europe. Located in Sicily, the volcano occupies a good part of the eastern part of the island. There is a natural park in its surroundings where it is possible to walk among craters, with the amazing sight of this dormant volcano in the background.