Tourist Attractions in Italy – Italy is rich in art and architecture, and it has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country in the world. This is not surprising, considering that Italy is the birthplace of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance.
Italy has many beautiful landscapes. The country is blessed with lakes and mountains. It also has a coastline, which provides natural attractions. Some of these include art and architecture. If you’re considering a trip to Italy, you might feel overwhelmed with all the options. You could plan one itinerary based on your single interest in Renaissance art, or hike the Cinque Terre. But most people like to sample several different types of experiences when they visit Italy for the first time.
Tourist Attractions in Italy
Are you planning on visiting Italy soon? Here are the best known attractions in Italy. Make sure to book tickets online in advance to avoid standing in a long line.
1. Grand Canal in Venice
Venice is known as “The City of Water.” It is the most famous water city in the world. In the past, Venice was a vibrant city, but now it has more tourists than residents. If you want to visit Venice, make sure to take a gondola ride on the Grand Canal and visit Saint Mark’s Square.
There are two ways to experience the Grand Canal: on foot or in a boat. Locals use water buses called vaporetti, but many tourists opt for private water taxis or even romantic gondolas.
This massive amphitheater, the largest of its kind ever built by the Roman Empire and the largest of their constructions to survive, was a model for sports facilities right up to modern times. Built in 72 AD by Vespasian, the Flavian Amphitheatre was an important site for spectacles and shows. The son of Vespasian, Titus, expanded its capacity by adding a fourth story. The Flavian Amphitheatre was even used for mock sea battles.
Underneath the Colosseum were two stories of tunnels, chambers, cells, and passages. These were used for storage and wild animals, as well as housing gladiators and workers.
The Coliseum is a historical building, an ancient structure in the middle of a modern city. It’s a reminder of Rome’s long history, the way it was built, and the way it has changed through the ages.
3. Florence Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is the most famous building in Florence and dominates the skyline. It was built between the 13th and 15th centuries, with the most famous piece being the dome, completed by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1434.
The bell tower of the cathedral, which stands beside the cathedral in Piazza del Duomo, is a typical Tuscan Romanesque design that is patterned like marble.
Giotto’s campanile is built 82 meters tall, and you can climb up the 414 steps to a viewing platform with views of the city and the dome.
The cathedral’s museum is full of art. It’s not just the original, exquisitely crafted bronze panels that were the inspiration for modern doors by Lorenzo Ghiberti. The entire building is full of art.
4. Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius
The lethal volcano Mt. Vesuvius destroyed the city of Pompeii in 79 AD. However, the volcano also preserved many of the city’s art treasures, such as frescoes, mosaics, and sculptures.
The ruins of Pompeii reveal the remains of houses, markets, baths, temples, theaters, streets, and human remains. Travelers can tour the site, walk along the old streets scarred by the tracks of chariots, and see engineering used by Romans more than 2,000 years ago.
If you want to visit the city of Pompeii, you can combine it with a trip to the nearby city of Herculaneum. You can visit both sites in one day, but a longer stay will let you ascend to the very top of an active volcano.
5. Leaning Tower of Pisa
One of the most famous landmarks in the world, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, started sinking when it was only three stories high. The tower became famous not because of its elegance but because of its flaw. Work on the tower began in the 1100s, and it began leaning as soon as it reached the third story.
People have been leaning against the Leaning Tower of Pisa for centuries, but it was in danger of falling over by the year 2000. Nowadays, you can climb up to the top and enjoy a wonderful view of the city.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa stands in a place of great beauty. The Piazza dei Miracoli, as it is known, is home to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and a round baptistery. These places have been carved with outstanding works of medieval stone.
Positano is a gorgeous town on the Amalfi Coast. It is famous for its rugged coastline, beautiful scenery, and picturesque towns. After the medieval era, Positano’s population grew and prospered. By the mid-19th century, however, more than half of its residents had left. In the 20th century, Positano went from being a poor fishing village to a tourist paradise. This happened thanks to author John Steinbeck, who wrote about its beauty.
7. Lake Como
Lake Como is a gorgeous, popular tourist destination in Northern Italy. Lake Como is shaped like an inverted ‘Y’, with two branches starting at Como in the south-west and Lecco in the south-east, which join together half way up and the lake continues up to Colico in the north. The lake is famous for the villas that have been built here since Roman times. Many have lovely gardens which benefit from the mild climate and are able to include tropical as well as temperate plants.
8. Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre is a beautiful coastal region with steep hills overlooking the Mediterranean. The five picturesque villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore are connected by walking paths, a railroad that tunnels through the headlands to emerge at each town, and a scenic road high on the hillside above.
One of the most popular things to do in the area is hike in the countryside. The small villages make travelers feel as if they’ve stepped back in time. Even though they are now popular tourist destinations, they still have a sense of remoteness and old-world charm.
9. Vatican City
The Vatican contains some of the most priceless art and sculptures in the world. It is famous for its The Great Basilica of St. Peter, with its grand tomb of St. Peter and Michelangelo’s Pieta, one of the world’s most renowned sculptures.
The Vatican is a major tourist attraction in Rome. The Basilica of St. Peter’s Square is a beautiful place, where the Pope speaks to his followers. Michelangelo painted the famous Sistine Chapel ceiling and walls, as well as other famous works in the Vatican Palace.
The Vatican Museums are now filled with more art. The Museums is a collection of individual collections. The sacred art, the Etruscan antiquities, the sculptures, the maps, the papal carriages, and the vintage cars are now part of the Museums.
10. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence
The Uffizi is a one-stop shop for art history. Not only is it an art museum, but it’s a place where you can observe the evolution of art in Italy. It contains a wide range of masterpieces, but its true treasure is its collection of paintings that demonstrate how Renaissance artists painted in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries.
Here, you will see the first experiments with perspective as well as some of the earliest portraits in Western art. You will also see some of the first landscapes and naturalistic backgrounds in religious art.
11. San Gimignano
San Gimignano is famous for its 14 towers, which are preserved in the town’s medieval era. The city was once wealthy and powerful and built 70 towers to defend itself. After a plague hit the city in 1348, San Gimignano’s power faded, which kept enemies away and preserved many of the city’s towers.
12. Valley of the Temples
The Valle dei Templi is a world heritage site located in Sicily. It is the perfect place to see many Greek temples, all in the Doric style and most of which were built around 2,400 years ago. The Temple of Concordia is the most popular tourist site, and was restored in the 18th century. It is now better preserved than other structures.
13. St. Mark’s Basilica
Venice is famous for its beautiful St. Mark’s Basilica, a work of art that overlooks Piazza San Marco and the city’s landmarks. This magnificent building was influenced by the Byzantine Empire, which heavily influenced Venice’s art, architecture, and trade with the East.
The interior of the cathedral is gorgeous. The domes and vaults are covered with mosaics, and the high altar is covered in gold and jewels. The Treasury is even more dazzling.
Climb to the top of the clock tower for a view of St. Mark’s Square that will take your breath away. The famous tall campanile and the clock tower are on the porch, along with the four famous bronze horses. Next to the basilica is the Doge’s Palace, which is also filled with priceless masterpieces of Italian art.
14. Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is a little hard to imagine today. It’s not exactly clear what this area looked like and how it was used in ancient Rome. However, its historical significance as the heart of the Roman Empire is undeniable.
After Rome conquered the Italians, it was decided that a center of government should be built. Temples were the first structures built. Over time, the Forum became a governmental center and eventually, the heart of all Roman life and commerce. Today, the only remaining structures of Ancient Rome are its pillars, which were built a long time ago.
15. Milan Duomo
The majestic cathedral in Milan, Italy is the best example of flamboyant Gothic style in the world. The exterior of Notre Dame is adorned with 2,245 marble statues. The crowning glory (pun intended) is its roof, which is topped off with 135 stone pinnacles.
The ceiling of the nave is supported by fifty-two pillars. The world’s largest stained-glass windows decorate the walls. The tomb of Gian Giacomo Medici is one of the highlights, along with a 12th-century bronze candelabrum.
The cathedral is home to the relics of San Carlo Borromeo. Under the plaza and reached by stairs, an ancient baptismal site was discovered. The original baptistery dates back to the fourth century.
Atop the spire is a rooftop garden with an elevator that will take you to the top.