Pantheon, Rome, Italy
Ceiling of the Sistine chapel in the Vatican Museum, Vatican City
Grand Canal in Venice at the sunset, Italy
The attraction of the Amalfi coast – Green grotto with colorful walls and emerald water
- Often referred to as “the Boot” due to its shape, Italy is a wealth of culture that spans centuries. Italy is home to the beginning of the Renaissance, which brought a restoration of humanities and art throughout Europe. This resurgence of culture, and the history that came before and after, is still found to this day all over Italy. Rome is one of the many cultured cities in Italy, and also its capitol city. Home to many popular sites and attractions, visiting Rome while touring Italy should be on your travel destinations list. The Colosseum is one of the most well known monuments located in Rome, Italy and also one of the most visited. The amphitheater’s construction was completed in 80 AD, and stands as the largest amphitheater in the world, with an estimated average general audience of 65,000 people! Take a guided tour of the arena and imagine the gladiator battles that once took place within its walls. Another well-known Roman landmark of importance to visit is The Pantheon, one of the most well preserved Ancient Roman buildings of all time. The architecture of The Pantheon is one of the many incredible features of this once Roman temple; with Corinthian columns brought all the way from Egypt and the giant dome of perfect proportions, The Pantheon is a sight that should not go unseen when visiting Italy’s capitol.
- Though much of the beautiful art in Rome is found in the monuments and buildings that date back centuries, there are other types of influential and important art in the city. The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world, and the largest Baroque fountain located within the city. Though the fountain has a thought talked about in the early 1600’s it wasn’t actually brought to life until work began in 1732. At this time competition was a popular thing in Rome, so a competition was held to decide who would get to build the fountain. Even more interesting is the fact that the contest’s original winner did not end up building the fountain! The fountain was completed in 1762, with restorations beginning in 1998. Do not miss the chance to toss a coin into he Trevi Fountain and remember, right hand over left shoulder. To really see a vast collection of art, including some of the most important and influential Renaissance and Classical paintings and sculptures, be sure to spend an afternoon at the Vatican Museums. With 54 galleries full of work, the Vatican Museums is one of the largest museums in the world, also one of the most visited museums. Gaze upon paintings from some of the most talented artists of their time, like Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael.
- Don’t leave the Vatican Museums before spending some time seeing one of the pinnacle works of high Renaissance art: The Sistine Chapel Ceiling. Painted by Michelangelo, one of the most highly regarded painters to exist, the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling depicts scenes from the Book of Genesis; The Creation of Adam is the most known of these paintings, and has been compared equally only to The Mona Lisa. When you are finished exploring the art of Rome on your tour of Italy, head on over to Venice. A group of islands that are connected by bridges while separated by canals, Venice is another Italian city worth a trip. Because of all the waterways and canals that snake between the islands it is no wonder Venice has some absolutely wonderful bridges to see. The Rialto Bridge is one of the four that span the main canal, and is also the oldest bridge spanning the canal. Completed in 1591, the Rialto Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges of Venice, despite the prediction that because of the architectural design and structure of the bridge it would quickly become ruins. The Bridge of Sighs is another noteworthy Venetian bridge to cross when visiting the northern city. Built in 1600, it was actually designed by Antonio Contino, the nephew of the man who designed the Rialto Bridge. Made of white limestone, this bridge connects the prison with the interrogation rooms of Doge’s Palace. Before conviction the last view that criminals had of the city of Venice was from this bridge, even though the windows were barred.
- While in Venice, be sure to take a gondola ride through the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal is one of the major waterways of Venice, and can be explored from private water taxi, gondola, or a public water bus. The canal is shaped in a backwards “S” and has an average depth of 16.5 feet. The Grand Canal is one of the most interesting parts of Venice due to it being such an important, and unique, channel of transport. The Amalfi Coast is another popular Italian destination. A stretch of coastline off the southern coast of the Salerno Gulf, the Amalfi Coast as a whole is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Imagine being on vacation and having the opportunity to visit an entire CITY World Heritage Site. One of the most incredible sites located in this coastline area is the Grotta dello Smeraldo. Italian for Emerald Grotto, this cave is flooded with a magnificent blue light. For years the cave was unknown due to the positioning of its mouth, and was not actually discovered until 1932. Take a boat tour through this glimmering cave and marvel at this nature-made artwork. For a more active afternoon on the Amalfi Coast, check out the Castello di Arechi: a medieval castle overlooking the city of Salerno. Walk along one of the many trails located on the site. Or, spend the afternoon learning about the many artifacts found from excavation of the site in its castle museum.
- Florence is another city in Italy you should consider spending time with as you trek through the boot. The capital city of the Tuscany region of Italy, Florence is considered the birthplace of Renaissance and was an important center of medieval European trade. Giotto’s Campanile is one of the most well-known landmarks in Florence. Part of the Florence Cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo, Giotto’s Campanile is one of the shining points of Florentine Gothic Architecture, and offers incredible views of the city below. With niche sculptures from different periods and marble lozenges depicting allegorical representations there is no shortage of varied art in Giotto’s Campanile. The Florence Cathedral is another landmark building in Florence, and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which also contains Giotto’s Campanile. Known for its polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink, the Florence Cathedral is one of the most visited spots in Florence and should not be missed on your Italian vacation. For a city with shopping unlike any other, fit some room in your trip for Milan.
- Milan is the city capital of the Lombardy region of Italy, and stands as the second most populous city in Italy. Widely regarded as the global capital in fashion it is no wonder that the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is located in Milan! The Galleria is the world’s oldest shopping mall, and is also home to the world’s only 7 star hotel. The structure of the mall alone is worth the visit, as its roof is made of two large glass-vaulted arcades. Home to hundreds of shops and restaurants, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II has something for everyone to enjoy. The Milan Cathedral is another structure in Milan you should not miss the opportunity to see up close and personal during your Italian getaway. It is the largest church in Italy, and took six centuries to complete. It is also the third largest church in the world. Generally considered to be composed in the gothic style, this cathedral contains multiple different techniques and characteristics due to it being constructed over such a long period. This is one of the features making the cathedral so unique.
A vacation to Italy with the help of Globus will be nothing short of an adventure. Don’t miss your chance to see Italy like you have never seen it before.