10 Most Underrated Destinations in Italy

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10 Most Underrated Destinations in Italy

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Category : Europe , Italy

Italy is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. However, many visitors spend most or all of their time visiting the major attractions within the country. The historical landmarks in Rome and Florence are undeniably remarkable, but Italy has a lot more to offer. Veering just a little off the beaten track can deliver spectacular rewards. Try local prosciutto in Parma, see the baroque buildings in Lecce and relax on the beach in Cefalu. All of these experiences are possible when you explore some of the underrated destinations in Italy. Pack your itinerary with as many of these highlights as your schedule will allow.

10. Trieste

Trieste

 

The city of Trieste was once considered to be a hub of politics and culture. Today, it is overshadowed by larger cities, but it is still an underrated and fascinating destination in Italy. Located on the border with Slovenia, and situated right on the water, Trieste has a culture that is all its own. Be prepared for quadrilingual residents and a very sophisticated, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Trieste is home to a mostly pedestrian old town called the Città Vecchia, which features winding cobblestone streets and plenty of medieval homes. You’ll also want to explore the Austrian Quarter and the 2,000-year-old Roman Theater.
WHERE TO STAY IN TRIESTE?

 

9. Turin 

Turin

 

A large city of about one million inhabitants, Turin was the first capital of modern Italy. It is less than an hour’s drive from the Mediterranean Sea, an hour’s drive from the French border, and it is even home to the former royal family. Sprawling tree-lined boulevards set the scene, and you could spend several days admiring the vast collection of baroque churches and castles. Piazza Castello is largely considered the heart of the city, and it is just a short stroll from the plaza to the Porta Palazzo Market. The market is a bustling spot where you can buy everything from antiques to food.
WHERE TO STAY IN TURIN?

 

8. Ragusa

Ragusa

 

Ragusa is an incredible destination on the island of Sicily. It can be divided into two major sections: Ragusa Superior and Ragusa Ibla. Ragusa Superior is the newer part of the city, while Ragusa Ibla is where most visitors head in order to admire the historic architecture. Although the city has struck by an earthquake in the 17th century, many buildings were restored or rebuilt using the original materials. Be sure to check out the beautiful Duomo and the baroque Palazzo Bernini. Then, stroll across the Ponte Vecchio, built in 1825, to cross between the two sections of Ragusa in style.
WHERE TO STAY IN RAGUSA?

 

7. Parma 

Parma

 

The region known as Emilia-Romagna is home to Parma, a small city that is easy to traverse on foot. While Parma has plenty to offer for anyone, it is a must-visit spot for foodies. You’re probably already familiar with Parma’s most famous exports, but they will certainly taste best right from the source. You can spot cows grazing right out of the city, and then see Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese being made from their milk. Dig into the salty cured ham known as Prosciutto di Parma, and pair with a glass of the sparkling local red wine called Lambrusco.
WHERE TO STAY IN PARMA?

 

6. Perugia

Perugia

 

Head to the center of Italy, and you’ll arrive at Perugia. Home to a large university, this Umbrian city boasts a diverse, educated and youthful population. It’s known for its medieval art and its chocolate production, which makes it an obvious place to explore! While the architecture in Perugia is impressive, even more spectacular is what’s underneath. Walk through the remains of a fortress called Rocca Paolina, and you can actually walk right underneath the heart of the city. Above ground, make your way to the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, which stands right next to the 13th century Gothic-style Palazzo dei Priori, or Town Hall.
WHERE TO STAY IN PERUGIA?

 

5. Cefalu

Cefalu

 

The coastal resort of Cefalu, located on the northern shores of Sicily, was once little more than a small fishing village. While fisherman still haul in their catches each day, Cefalu is now a bustling resort with plenty to offer visitors. If you make it to Sicily, Cefalu is the perfect place to get active outdoors and soak up the sun. Climb The Rock, or La Rocca, for a brief hike that promises spectacular views over Cefalu. Take a dip in the sea at the beach, and then catch sunset at the harbor before an oceanfront Italian dinner.
WHERE TO STAY IN CEFALU?

 

4. Urbino

Urbino

 

There are many destinations in Italy packed with Renaissance culture and architecture, but Urbino still stands out as one of the most significant. It is home to one of the largest medieval palaces in Italy, called Ducal Palace. This so-called Duke’s Palace is open for public tours, and it is also home to the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, an art museum filled with Renaissance works. Continue your art adventures by visiting Raphael’s House, where the famed Renaissance painter Raphael was born and raised. In addition to the magnificent art in the city, Urbino is home to fantastic nightlife.
WHERE TO STAY IN URBINO?

 

3. Sardinia

Sardinia

 

Anchored between the Italian peninsula and North Africa’s coastline, Sardinia has been home to a succession of civilizations, many of which have left their mark on the second largest island in Italy. From prehistoric stone structures to medieval castles and churches, visitors interested in history, architecture and culture won’t be disappointed. The capital of Cagliari is home to an impressive archaeology museum as well as the Bastione di Saint Remy, which boasts amazing views. In the medieval town of Alghero, don’t miss the historic Palazzo d’Albis. With its quintessential Mediterranean beauty, the island is also loved for swimming, boating, windsurfing, hiking and camping in the wilderness.
WHERE TO STAY IN SARDINIA?

 

2. Lecce

Lecce

 

Lecce may be one of the most underrated destinations in Italy. Known as the Florence of the South, Lecce is full of baroque buildings and cultural attractions. Start your sightseeing in the Piazza S. Oronzo, a medieval plaza that is the hub for city residents. Then, walk over to the baroque cathedral, which you can enter and explore on your own. Walk through the city’s famed 16th century arch called Porta Napoli, and then find one of the many bakeries in the Lecce. If you only eat one thing in Lecce, make sure it is the pasticciotto cake. This cake is sweet and rich, but it is still easy to eat as you walk through the streets.
WHERE TO STAY IN LECCE?

 

1. Genoa

#1 of Underrated Destinations In Italy

 

The birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Genoa has always played a big role in Italian maritime trade and is still one of the largest ports in Italy. Though Genoa is often overlooked as a tourist destination, it is a wonderful Italian city, and definitely worth visiting. The aquarium in Genoa is the largest in Europe, and it is perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in the city. If you gravitate more towards art and architecture, then the art galleries found at the Prince’s Palace and in the Raccolte Frugone are well worth a visit. Foodies love Genoa, and it is easy to see why. Pesto originated from Genoa, and the affordable flat-bread called focaccia is also delicious and readily available throughout the city.
WHERE TO STAY IN GENOA?


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14 Gorgeous Small Towns in Italy

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Category : Europe , Italy

Small isn’t necessarily bad. When it comes to the small villages of Italy, small is grrrrreat! While small towns may lack the amenities and sheer number of historical sites the big cities have, they more than make up for this with the spectacular water views you’ll find in Castelmola, the fields ablaze in colorful flowers of Neive and villages clinging to eroded pinnacles like Civita di Bagnoregio. If picture-postcard medieval villages appeal to you, it’s time to head to one of the many small towns in Italy.

14. Dozza

Dozza

 

Not too far from Bologna, you’ll find Dozza, a small village that is famous for turning itself into an artist’s canvas. This medieval village is like an open-air art museum, with colorful paintings adorning the houses, walls, streets and squares. Anytime is a good time to visit this charmer, but the third week of September is especially good since the Biennial Exhibition of the Painted Wall, drawing artists from all over, takes place then. The village also is known for its summer wine festival and its old fortress, which served as a private home until 1960.
Where to Stay in Dozza?

13. Castelmola

Castelmola

 

Castelmola is a small village on Sicily. Although it overlooks Taormina, a popular tourist destination, it gets few visitors outside of Sicilians. This may or may not be a good thing. The good thing is this means that Castelmola is relatively unspoiled. The bad thing is that people who don’t make the trek up to Castelmola are missing out on views that are more spectacular than Taormina’s. The climb is steep, so reward yourself with locally made almond wine at the top.
Where to Stay in Castelmola?

12. Cortina d’Ampezzo 

Cortina d'Ampezzo

 

If you’re into winter sports, then Cortina d’Ampezzo is the place to visit. Located in the Dolomite Alps, Cortina is a winter resort known for its skiing – it hosted the 1966 Winter Olympics – as well as après-skiing activities. It’s popular with the jet set because of this. The alpine village has been a tourist destination since the late 19th century. A major attraction is the 18th century Basilica Minore dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo built on the site of two earlier churches.
Where to Stay in Cortina d'Ampezzo?

11. San Leo

San Leo

 

If you’ve read Dante’s Divine Comedy, San Leo in Marche may be familiar to you. That’s because the renowned poet based purgatory on this small mountain village, particularly the fortress, parts of which were built by the Romans. . The village is famous for this castle that sits on a steep cliff above it. Listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, you won’t want to miss the 7th century Parish Church on Piazza Dante nor the 12th century Romanesque San Leo Cathedral.
Where to Stay in San Leo?

 

10. Neive

Neive

 

Neive, located in Piedmont, is considered one of the loveliest villages in Italy. It has it all: narrow cobblestone streets, medieval architecture and colorful flowers climbing the stone walls of quaint cottages. Most people don’t visit Neive to experience this charm, though; they come to drink its famous wines. Comfortable walking shoes are a must if you plan to explore beyond the wine bars. There’s an old watchtower; the Baroque Chisel di San Petro is considered one of the most important churches in the city.
Where to Stay in Neive?

 

9. Bosa

Bosa

 

Bosa, on the island of Sardinia, is one of the more colorful towns you’ll come across in Italy. That’s because the houses are painted in a rainbow of pastel colors. The settlement was established by the Phoenicians and later raided by Arab pirates. Bosa’s charm is enhanced by fishing boats, though once tanneries were its main economic base. Strolling through the town is a pleasant way to while away the hours, then walk up to the town’s impressive ruined castle for panoramic views of where you’ve just been.
Where to Stay in Bosa?

 

8. Alberobello

Alberobello

 

Southern Italy’s Alberobello is bigger and younger than most small towns in Italy, many of which date back to Roman times. This town, founded by 40 families in the 16th century, has more than 10,000 people. It’s a trulli picturesque town, with buildings having conical roofs often tipped with white. The white-washed houses also are unique because they were built with stone without the use of mortar – a ruse to get out of paying taxes on them.
Where to Stay in Alberobello?

 

7. Castelmezzano

Castelmezzano

 

Castelmezzano, in southern Italy, is another charming place that’s designated one of the most beautiful small towns in Italy. Because it’s surrounded by mountains with good hiding places, it became a refuge for bandits in the 19th century. It has a year-round population of about 1,000 people, a number that swells to many thousands in the summer when visitors come here to zip-line through the mountains At night, when everything is lit up, the village has been described as a living nativity scene.
Where to Stay in Castelmezzano?

 

6. Malcesine

Malcesine

 

It’s hard to believe that Malcesine, on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, has never been anything but picture-postcard beautiful. It’s past hasn’t been all that peaceful, however. . It was fought over by everyone from the Romans to the Ostrogoths and Franks to Napoleon. Perhaps that’s why it’s most important landmark is the Castello Scaligero, a 13th century fortress that replaced one built in the 5th century. It’s marked by a medieval tower made of white stone; an Etruscan tomb was found inside its walls.
Where to Stay in Malcesine?

 

5. Castelluccio

Castelluccio

 

Castelluccio is a tiny village (less than 200 people) that is the highest village in the Apennines of Umbria. Located adjacent to Monti Sibillini National Park, the village is known for growing fabulous lentils in the cultivated fields surrounding it. Mother Nature is at her finest here from May through July when the fields bloom with brightly colored flowers, including poppies and violets; this time is known as “Florita” or “the flowering.” Florita feast days are the third and last Sundays in June.
Where to Stay in Castelluccio?

 

4. Positano 

Positano

 

Be prepared for stunning scenic beauty when you visit Positano, a small village in the hills above the Amalfi Coast. Positano transformed itself from a poor fishing village to a tourist hotspot after John Steinbeck wrote about it in Harper’s Bazaar in 1953. A key sight is the church of Santa Maria Asunta, home to a black Madonna and a spectacular dome made of majolica tiles. Positano has been featured in several films, and hosts an international cartoon festival.
Where to Stay in Positano?

 

3. Pitigliano

Pitigliano

 

Pitigliano is a small town in Tuscany that is known as “little Jerusalem” because of its strong Jewish community over the centuries, though few Jews live there now. A 16th century synagogue in the town is a top sight. For a region with less than 4,000 people, there are a number of Catholic church, including the Church of Saints Peter and Paul a 16th century Catholic church also known as Pitigliano cathedral. Another must see is the Medici Aqueduct with its Fountain of Seven Taps.
Where to Stay in Pitigliano?

 

2. Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio

 

Founded by Etruscans 2,500 years ago, Civita di Bagnoregio sits on a pinnacle buffeted by winds and erosion. Nonetheless, it offers some pretty amazing views from on high. Erosion caused parts of the town to tumble over the cliff, and worn away land access, but you can access this gem by footbridge. This charming town oozes a Middle Ages atmosphere, from the cobblestone streets to centuries’ old ivy-covered arches. The village hosts donkey races in the main square in July and September.

 

1. Manarola

#1 of Small Towns In Italy

 

Located in northern Italy, Manarola is a small Cinque Terre town. This, however, doesn’t make it any less worthy of a visit. It’s a picturesque coastal town with a name that translates as “large wheel” in reference to its mill wheel. The village has been famous for its wines since Roman times; be sure to try its signature Sciacchetrà. Houses are colorful hiking trails abound, either to Riomaggiore or around the vineyards and hills.
Where to Stay in Manarola?


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5 Beautiful Villages of Cinque Terre

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Category : Europe , Italy

Cinque Terre is undeniably one of the most beautiful areas of Italy; a visit to just one of its towns will confirm this. Cinque Terre was just made to grace picture postcards. Located in northwest Italy, its five towns are built on steep hills and atop high cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. It doesn’t get much more scenic than this. Most towns are reachable only by train. Comfortable walking shoes are a must since cars aren’t allowed in the older sections of these towns. Visiting the Cinque Terre villages is not only exercise for the body, but exercise for the soul.

5. Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso al Mare

 

Monterosso al Mare is a small village on the northwest coast with the best beaches on Cinque Terre. Monterosso has the best beaches of the Cinque Terre villages and the most wine shops, artisan shops, hotels and restaurants. It is divided into Old and New Town that are connected by a tunnel used mainly by pedestrians. The best way to get there is via train unless drivers have nerves of steel enough to navigate a narrow, steep and winding road. A top sight is the Church of San Francisco, a monastery that boasts a Van Dyck painting. The village is well-known for its lemons, olives and white wines, so travelers will want to be sure to sample some.
Where to Stay in Monterosso al Mare?

4. Corniglia 

Corniglia

 

Corniglia feels smaller and quieter, but is just as charming as the other towns. Sitting on top of a cliff that falls off abruptly into the ocean and surrounded by vineyards, Corniglia nonetheless provides stunning views of the Mediterranean. It’s best reached by climbing 382 steps, though sometimes buses are available on the road. Corniglia is characterized by the same narrow streets and quaint buildings as the other Cinque Terre towns. The main historical artifact, aside from the colorful homes, is some Genoese fortifications built in the 16th century.
Where to Stay in Corniglia?

3. Riomaggiore 

Riomaggiore

 

Riomaggiore, the southernmost town in Cinque Terre, has lots of wow! factor as the sight of houses clinging to step hills will immediately invoke this exclamation. The town is known for its historic buildings and, of course, its locally produced wines. Riomaggiore has a small beach as well as lots of shops and restaurants. Hiking the Via dell’Amore to Manarola is considered a top tourist activity, but visitors won’t want to miss seeing the Church of San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist), a medieval church that oozes serenity on the hillside on which it is built.
Where to Stay in Riomaggiore?

2. Manarola

Manarola

 

Like the other Cinque Terre towns, Manarola sits atop a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. It is the second smallest town in the group, and also is considered to be the oldest. Manarola is filled with the same narrow stone streets and charming colorful buildings. Manarola is a fishing village that is also long-famous for its wines; the village’s wines were even mentioned by the Romans. Manarola is a great place for hikers, who can take to the hills and vineyards, as well as walk to Riomaggiore, which is perhaps the most famous walk in Cinque Terre.
Where to Stay in Manarola?

1. Vernazza 

#1 of Villages Of Cinque Terre

 

After devastating flooding and mudslides in 2011, Vernazza has reclaimed its reputation as the most picturesque town in Cinque Terre. This small fishing village is loaded with charm. Not only that, but it has the best harbor in the Cinque Terre. The picture-postcard village sits atop a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a great place to explore by foot – indeed, foot is the only way as cars aren’t permitted on the narrow streets that are marked with frequent steps. Walking between Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare is a special treat for visitors; the hike takes about 90 minutes.
Where to Stay in Vernazza?


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10 Best Places to Visit in Tuscany

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Category : Italy , Tuscony

Visitors to Tuscany come for many reasons. Many come in search of fine art and medieval history, others to explore the extraordinary countryside and its rolling hills. Food lovers visit Tuscany to enjoy the wonderful cuisine and famous wines. Summer vacationers the beautiful beaches and islands. Students come to learn the Italian language and culture. Whatever the reason, the best places to visit in Tuscany offer something for everyone.

10. Arezzo

Arezzo

 

Once an important Etruscan trading post, Arezzo sits atop a hill at the crossroads of four valleys. Even though the medieval center was destroyed during the World War II, Arezzo has plenty of monuments, churches and museums remaining that offer visitors a chance to step back into history. Arezzo is also home to an annual medieval festival called the Joust of the Saracens. During the festival virtually all the town’s people dress-up in medieval costume and enthusiastically cheer on the competitors.
Where to Stay in Arezzo?

9. Montepulciano

Montepulciano

Situated on a 600 meter (2,00 feet) high limestone ridge, Montepulciano is a medieval town in southern Tuscany. The city, full of elegant Renaissance palaces, ancient churches, charming squares and hidden corners, boasts vast panoramas all over the wonderful Val d’Orcia and Val di Chiana valleys that surround it. The city is also famous for its wine. Connoisseurs consider its Vino Nobile among Italy’s best.
Where to Stay in Montepulciano?

8. Val d’Orcia

Val d'Orcia

 

Val d’Orcia is a picturesque region that includes several amazing villages, castles, hamlets, and farmhouses. The entire area is protected as a natural park. The medieval castles are not to be missed, nor is the village of Pienza, called the “Ideal City”. Other famous villages include Radicofani and Montalcino, which has a 14th-century fortress offering stunning views of the valley and some of the region’s finest wine.
Where to Stay in Val d'Orcia?

7. Elba

Elba

 

Part of the Tuscan Archipelago off Italy’s western coast, Elba is best known as a place of exile for Napoleon, and most people include a visit to his summer and winter homes while visiting the island. Italy’s third largest island boasts more than 150 beaches too, from wide stretches of sand to sheltered coves. The most popular beach destinations include the resort of Marina di Campo, the ultra-fine sand of Procchio and the dreamy blue waters of Fetovia.
Where to Stay in Elba?

6. San Gimignano

San Gimignano

 

San Gimignano delle Belle Torri is a small medieval town dating back to the eighth century. It is perhaps the most famous of Tuscany’s small towns. San Gimignano boasts 14 medieval towers of the 72 that once existed and overlooks picturesque olive groves and vineyards. Travelers who want to know what Tuscany was like in medieval times must visit San Gimignano and stroll along the narrow cobblestone streets.
Where to Stay in San Gimignano?

5. Lucca

Lucca

 

One of the best places to visit in Tuscany, Lucca is probably best known for its imposing Renaissance walls and the medieval center that its encloses. Inside the city are many beautiful churches and gardens. The Duomo San Martino houses many historical treasures, such as Tintoretto’s Last Supper and the Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto. The Pallazzo Pfanner has beautiful baroque gardens and the San Michele church has a cute museum.
Where to Stay in Lucca?

4. Chianti Wine Region

Chianti Wine Region

 

Arguably the most stunning area of Tuscany. The Chianti region includes Florence and Siena and all the area between, but it also includes the area to the west through Val d’Elsa and to the east through Valdarno. Within Chianti, travelers can drive past vineyards, charming parishes and country homes, olive groves, and rolling green hills. In addition to the adorable villages and breathtaking countryside, Chianti also offers wine tasting to die for.

3. Pisa

Pisa

 

Located along the Arno River in the northwestern region of Tuscany, the city of Pisa still bears the striking remnants of its former golden days as a commercial empire during the Middle Ages. While Pisa is best known for its famous Leaning Tower, there a lot more attractions in this city worth a visit.
Where to Stay in Pisa?

2. Siena

Siena

 

Established upon three hills in the heart of Tuscany, Siena offers tourists a step back into the Middle Ages with its well-preserved historic center and medieval horse racing tradition, known as Il Palio. The historic center of Siena is one of the most popular places to visit in Tuscany as it still retains many of its stunning works of art and architecture from that time period.
Where to Stay in Siena?

1. Florence

#1 of Best Places To Visit In Tuscany

The capital of Tuscany, Florence is often described as a colossal outdoor museum because of its mass of art and architectural treasures. Florence’s hoard of art masterpieces are found all over the city, contained within the large numbers of museums, stunning churches, like the domed Santa Maria del Fiore, and internationally esteemed art galleries like the Ufizzi and Pitti Palace.
Where to Stay in Florence?


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25 Top Tourist Attractions in Rome

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Category : Italy , Rome

Ah, Rome. The city where hope springs eternal. It is a city that is proud of its ancient glorious heritage, a city that once expanded its empire throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. Rome is a city drenched in history and Christianity. First-time visitors may be easily overwhelmed by all this magnificent city has to offer. After all, one can find history and art on almost every street corner. That’s why visitors may want to do their homework to narrow down what they want to see and do before they get on a plane or train bound for the Italian capital.

Rome is divided into several districts with its center, the Colosseo district, containing the most ancient attractions like the Colosseum, Capitoline Hill and the Roman Forum. On the outskirts of the center is Old Rome, featuring the Pantheon, stunning cathedrals, plazas and Renaissance architecture.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to see all the top tourist attractions in Rome in a few days or even a few months. Wise travelers won’t even attempt to see everything in one trip. To ensure they’ll return to Rome, they’ll toss a coin into the Fountain of Trevi. Legend has it that those who do will return to Rome again.

25. Baths of Caracalla

Baths of Caracalla

 

The Baths of Caracalla, the second largest public baths in Rome, were built by Emperor Caracalla in the third century for political propaganda purposes: The emperor simply wanted people to like him. The baths were functional for over three hundred years. Negligence, looting and an earthquake turned the complex into ruins but their sheer size and ingenuity continues to impress visitors.

24. Villa Farnesina

Villa Farnesina

 

Visitors who want a peek at how the wealthy lived during the Renaissance may want to visit Villa Farnesina, a villa located in the Trastevere district. The Villa Farnesina is well known for the frescoes depicting the myths of Cupid and Psyche that were painted by Raphael. Works by various other artists were commissioned by a banker who was also a papal treasurer, and who had the villa built in 1506.

 

23. Appian Way

Appian Way

 

The Appian Way is the most famous ancient road in Rome, connecting the city with Brindisi in southeastern Italy. Named after Appius Claudius Caecus, a Roman censor, it was originally a military road. Many historical monuments can be found along the first 8 km (5 miles) of the 560 km (350-mile) stone road today. This old highway has heavy vehicle traffic at the beginning, but is safe for pedestrians after a couple of miles.

 

22. National Roman Museum

National Roman Museum

 

If you want to soak in as much of Rome’s history, heritage and culture as possible, then don’t miss the National Roman Museum, or the Museo Nazionale Romano. This Roman museum does not house its entire collection in one spot. Instead, exhibits are located in multiple destinations throughout the city. Find amber, Roman artifacts and jewelry within the incredible Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, admire breathtaking use of marble and stunning sculptures within the Palazzo Altemps and get an up-close look at Roman baths at the restored historic site of the Baths of Diocletian.

21. Victor Emmanuel II Monument

Victor Emmanuel II Monument

 

Built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, this bombastic monument may appear to be solid white marble but actually contains many rooms inside. It was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885 and completed in 1925. There are two permanent museums, one on Italian Reunification and one on emigration from Italy, as well as other spaces that host rotating exhibitions. The Victor Emmanuel Monument is not exactly known as one of Rome’s most beautiful structures but it is nevertheless well worth the visit, even if only for the great views from the top.

 

20. Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo

 

The Piazza del Popolo is a large oval square in northern Rome that has been around since the days of the Roman Empire. At one time, it was the start of the most important road north. Three churches border the square but the eye-catcher is an obelisk from ancient Egypt. On the north side the square is dominated by the Porta del Popolo, which leads to the Via Flaminia, a road connecting Rome with the Adriatic coast.

19. Santa Maria in Trastevere

Santa Maria in Trastevere

 

Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches in Rome, with most historians believing it was first built in the 4th century. The church has impressive mosaics from the 12th and 13th centuries; it has been enlarged and restored over the years. Located in the popular Trastevere neighborhood, its atmospheric piazza is enhanced by the mosaics on the façade, especially at night when the church and its tower are illuminated.

18. Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica

 

Ostia Antica is an important archeological site that once was the seaport for Rome. It is located less than 20 miles from Rome at the mouth of the River Tiber. The site has well-preserved ancient buildings, some of which date back to the fourth century BC. Ostia Antica is known for the outstanding frescoes and mosaics on these old buildings, as well as ancient public toilets that turned bathrooms into a social setting.

17. Basilica of San Clemente

Basilica of San Clemente

 

Located just a few blocks from the Coliseum, the 12th century Basilica of San Clemente is built on top of a 4th century Church and older Roman temple. The present church is noted for its fabulous frescoes and mosaics. For an admission fee, it is possible to explore the excavations of the lower two levels, which is a fascinating journey into the history of Rome.

16. Capitoline Museums

Capitoline Museums

 

It may have taken the Romans 400 years to build the Capitoline Museums, after they were designed in 1536 by Michelangelo, but the wait was worth it. This outstanding collection of art and archeological museums, which started with a papal donation in the 15th century, can be found at Piazza del Campidoglio atop Capitoline Hill. The collections include medieval and Renaissance art, old Roman statues and jewels.

15. Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill

 

Palatine Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Rome, has links to Roman mythology, as it was here a wolf allegedly found the twin boys Romulus and Remus, and cared for them until a shepherd rescued them. Even if this legend is not true, Palatine Hill is still the place where Rome was founded. Today only ruins remain but during the Imperial era, the hill was completely built up with large palaces.

14. San Giovanni in Laterano

San Giovanni in Laterano

 

San Giovanni in Laterano (St. John Lateran) is one of four major basilicas in Rome. Dedicated to John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, it is the home cathedral for both the archbishop of Rome and the pope. It is believed to be the first Catholic church built in Rome. Its exterior doesn’t seem as ornate as other churches, but inside it’s beautiful decorated, with wall ornaments, columns, mosaics and paintings.

13. Galleria Borghese

Galleria Borghese

 

The Galleria Borghese is an art gallery that was built as a party house by Cardinal Sciopione Borghese in the 17th century. A nephew of Pope Paul V, the cardinal also was a patron of the arts. The galleria today houses many pieces of paintings, sculptures and other antiquities from his collection. Paintings by Titian, sculptures by Bernini, and the National Museum of Musical Instruments can be seen here.

12. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

 

Founded in the 4th century, the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major) is considered one of the most important Catholic churches in Rome. Its 18th-century exterior conceals one of the best-preserved Byzantine interiors in the city. Travelers who are in Rome on August 5 may want to attend the Miracle of the Snows celebration when thousands of white petals are dropped from the ceiling.

11. Saint Peter’s Square

Saint Peter's Square

 

Located in Vatican City, St. Peter’s Square is the most famous square in Rome. Hundreds of thousands of people gather here to hear messages from the pope. Created in the 17th century by Bernini, the square has an elliptic shape, surrounded on two sides by colonnades before St. Peter’s Basilica. Statues sit atop the colonnades. At the center of the ellipse stands an Egyptian obelisk that was transported from Egypt to Rome during the reign of Emperor Augustus.

10. Campo de’ Fiori

Campo de' Fiori

 

Campo de’ Fiori is a rectangular square south of Piazza Navona used as a marketplace during the day, and party central for college students and tourists at night. The name means “field of flowers” and was first given during the Middle Ages when the area was actually a meadow. Today the market is a lively place, especially when the daily vegetable market is held here (every morning except Sundays). Visitors can buy fresh produce at the market, as well as fish, meat, flowers and spices. The square is surrounded by cafes and restaurants, making it a good place to eat after shopping or just wile away the afternoon.

9. Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona

 

One of the most famous of Rome’s many squares, Piazza Navona was established towards the end of the 15th century, and preserves the shape of the Stadium of Domitian that once stood here. Built by Emperor Domitian in 86 AD, the stadium, which had a larger arena than the Colosseum was mainly used for festivals and sporting events. The buildings surrounding the square stand where the spectators once sat. Today, the square features no less than three magnificent fountains and is an immensely popular place to sip a cappuccino, shop, and watch street performers.

8. Castel Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant'Angelo

 

Castel Sant’Angelo was built to be a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian and his family. Built in 123 BC, it later was turned into a fortress and castle by the popes. It was once Rome’s tallest building. The ashes of other emperors were buried there, but scattered when the Visigoths invaded in 410. It also served as a prison, but today the castle is a museum. Among the most well known sights in Rome, film buffs will recognize it as a setting from “Angels and Demons”.

7. Roman Forum

Roman Forum

 

Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, The Roman Forum (or Forum Romanum in Latin) was for centuries the teeming heart of ancient Rome: the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, and nucleus of commercial affairs. The Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and includes the Arches of Septimius Severus and Titus, the Temple of Antoninus Pius and Faustina and the Temple of Saturn.

6. Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps

 

A truly monumental stairway of 135 steps, the Spanish Steps were built with French funds between 1721‑1725 in order to link the Bourbon Spanish embassy to the Holy See with the French church, Trinità dei Monti. The steps are usually very crowded attracting tourists as well as locals who use it as a gathering place. Each year in May the steps are decorated with pink azaleas. At the foot of the Spanish Steps is the Piazza di Spagna (Spanish square) and the Fontana della Barcaccia, a sober fountain designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

5. Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

 

Completed in 1762 to a design by Nicola Salvi, this world famous Baroque fountain features a mythological sculptural composition of Neptune, god of the sea, flanked by two Tritons. The location of the Trevi fountain marks the terminus of the ancient Aqua Virgo aqueduct and is so named on account of its position at the junction of three roads (tre vie). The fountain was the setting for an iconic scene in Fellini’s film Dolce Vita starring Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni. Since than, it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome. The legend says that one who throws a coin in the fountain shall one day return to Rome.

4. Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums

 

The Vatican Museums began in the 16th century with a collection of sculptures by Pope Julius II. Today, they encompass several museums inside the Vatican City and include some of the world’s most important relics. Attractions of the museums include the spiral staircase, the Raphael Rooms and the exquisitely decorated Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo painted the chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512. Today the ceiling, and especially The Last Judgment, are widely believed to be Michelangelo’s crowning achievements in painting. To keep the massive crowds under control, the museums have 4 itineraries that range from one and a half hours to more than 5 hours. All itineraries end in the Sistine Chapel.

3. Pantheon

Pantheon

 

One of the best preserved Roman buildings, The Pantheon was built in 126 AD as a temple for all the Roman gods. The temple has served as a Roman Catholic Church since the 7th century. Eight graceful granite Corinthian columns extend across the front of this circular building, with lesser columns in back. Though it is 2,000 years old, the Pantheon’s famous dome remains the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. It is believed Marcus Agrippa built the Pantheon to be his private temple. The current building was reconstructed by Emperor Hadrian in the second century.

2. St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica

 

The center of the Catholic world and a major tourist attraction, the Basilica of St. Peter is a huge church: with an interior height of 120 meter (400 feet), the space shuttle, together with its booster rockets, could fit inside, as could the Statue of Liberty. The basilica stands on the traditional site where Peter, the apostle who is considered the first pope, was crucified and buried. Construction on the current building began in 1506 and was completed in 1615. Many famous artists worked on the complex and its surroundings: Michelangelo designed the dome while Bernini designed the great St. Peter’s Square.

1. Colosseum 

#1 of Tourist Attractions In Rome

 

The Colosseum is another of Rome’s major tourist attractions. Its construction was started by emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty in 72 AD and was finished by his son Titus in 80 AD. The elliptical amphitheater could hold up to 50,000 people who turned out to watch gladiators do battle, people be publicly executed and enjoy other forms of entertainment. This stone and concrete structure, built in the first century, was the largest amphitheater in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the Romans’ greatest architectural and engineering feats.

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Hotels in Rome: 4 stars

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Hotel Artemide

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258142

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216200

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18897

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323261

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243174

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180118

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155142

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144123

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12048

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13092

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Rome Life Hotel

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15799

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236170

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165138

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16898

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14592

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Hotel Nazionale

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149139

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Hotel Diocleziano

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156128

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  • -

10 Top Tourist Attractions in Florence

Tags :

Category : Florence , Italy

The capital city of Italy’s Tuscany region, Florence is internationally esteemed for its high concentration of Renaissance art and architecture. Because it served as a wealthy and important center for medieval trade and commerce, the city gave birth to the Italian Renaissance movement. Florence is also credited with propagating many artists, inventors, writers, scientists and explorers as well as inventing opera and the florin currency, which lifted Europe from the Dark Ages.

Simulating one enormous outdoor art museum, the city of Florence attracts millions of tourists every year. Walking is the best way to see the major sites in the city center. Some of the best places to walk include the Ponte Vecchio, a beautiful bridge spanning the Arno River and featuring a number of high-end jewelry shops. An overview of the top tourist attractions in Florence.

10. Palazzo Pitti

Palazzo Pitti

 

The Palazzo Pitti is a large 15th century palace situated on the quieter south bank of the Arno river The palace was long the residence of Florence’s rulers until 1919, when it was handed over to the Italian state, which transformed the palace into a museum complex. In spite of its metamorphosis from royal residence to a state-owned public building, the palazzo, sitting on its elevated site overlooking Florence, still retains the air and atmosphere of a private collection in a grand house.

9. Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo

 

The Piazzale Michelangelo is a large, partly pedestrianized square located across the Arno River from the center of Florence. From the square visitors have a magnificent view over the city. The spacious square was laid out in 1860 by Giuseppe Poggi, a local architect who is also known for his creation of boulevards around the center of Florence.

8. Boboli Gardens

Boboli Gardens

 

Located behind the Palazzo Pitti, the Boboli Gardens were created by the Medici family in the 16th century. The beautiful and varied Italianesque garden is home to a large number of statues and fountains. The gardens have passed through several stages of enlargement and restructuring work. They were enlarged in the 17th century to their present extent and have come to form an outdoor museum of garden sculpture that includes Roman antiquities as well as later works.

7. Basilica di San Lorenzo

Basilica di San Lorenzo

 

Situated at the center of the city’s main market district, the Basilica di San Lorenzo is one of the oldest churches of Florence and was the burial place of all the principal members of the Medici family. The church, originally designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 15th century, is an early example of ecclesiastical Renaissance architecture. The façade of this church was never completed, giving it a striking, rustic appearance. Inside the church is pure Renaissance neoclassical splendor.

6. Galleria dell’Accademia

Galleria dell'Accademia

 

The Galleria dell’Accademia or “Gallery of the Academy” is certainly the most famous for its sculptures by the great Renaissance artist, Michelangelo. His Prisoners (or Slaves), his St. Matthew and, above all, the outstanding statue of David are what draw most of the hundreds of thousands of visitors the museum welcomes every year. Other works on display are Florentine paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries, including works by Sandro Botticelli and from the High Renaissance such as Giambologna’s original plaster for the Rape of the Sabine Women.

5. Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

 

One of Florence’s most significant buildings is the Palazzo Vecchio, a grand palace overlooking the Piazza della Signoria. Built in the 12th century, the Palazzo Vecchio housed the powerful Medici family as well as Florence’s supreme governing body for six centuries. Since 1872, it has served in part as a museum and as the city town hall. This impressive palace packs a wealth of artifacts and art works that include beautiful frescoes, sculptures, painted ceilings, intricate carvings and tapestries that all depict historic and Biblical events.

4. Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria

 

Serving over the centuries as an important center for politics and the site of several historic episodes, the Piazza della Signoria is a beautiful square centered among some of the top attractions in Florence. It is here that tourists can visit remarkable places like the Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Museum, the Palazzo Uguccioni, the Loggia de Lanzi and the nearby Ponte Vecchio bridge. This town square is also a treasure trove of notable sculptures such as a replica of Michelangelo’s Statue of David, the Fountain of Neptune, Hercules and Cacus as well as Perseus with the Head of Medusa.

Uffizi Gallery
Regarded today as one of the world’s greatest art museums, the Uffizi Gallery is located off the Piazza della Signoria. This former palace was first built in 1560 to house the offices of the city magistrates. After the ruling dynasty of the Medici family relinquished its power, the palace evolved into an art gallery to showcase its stunning collection of Renaissance art treasures. Opened to the public since 1765, the museum offers thousands of art works by masters like Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Titian.

2. Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio

 

Spanning the Arno River, the Ponte Vecchio is one of Florence’s oldest and most photographed bridges. Noted for its three segmented arches, the bridge was first built by the Etruscans and later rebuilt in the 14th century. The bridge’s most striking feature is the line of high-end jewelry shops flanking along each of its edges. Many visitors come here to shop and take photographs. Night time presents stunning views when the lighting from the bridge is reflected upon the water.

1. Santa Maria del Fiore 

#1 of Tourist Attractions In Florence

Dominating the panoramic view of Florence is the Santa Maria del Fiore, the domed cathedral that is often called the Duomo. Known today as the world’s largest masonry dome, this majestic cathedral features 600 years worth of stunning architecture and art works. From its beautiful Gothic facade of red, green and white marble to its elaborate interior of stained-glass windows, mosaics, frescoes and bronze statues, the Duomo complex also includes the impressive structures of the Baptistery and Giotto’s bell tower. A climb to the top will reward tourists with incredible views of Florence and outlying valley.

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Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

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Mexico City

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Medan

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07.03.2019

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Lahore

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San Jose

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20.12.2018

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14.12.2018

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15.04.2019

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Hotels in Florence: 5 stars

Hotel Stars Discount Price per night, from Choose dates

Four Seasons Hotel Firenze

★★★★★

-11%

698619

View Hotel

Villa Cora

★★★★★

-19%

425345

View Hotel

Hotel Lungarno - Lungarno Collection

★★★★★

-19%

422344

View Hotel

The St. Regis Florence

★★★★★

-8%

411379

View Hotel

Golden Tower Hotel & Spa

★★★★★

-19%

247201

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J.K. Place Firenze

★★★★★

-14%

482417

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Relais Santa Croce by Baglioni Hotels

★★★★★

-18%

348286

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Hotel Bernini Palace

★★★★★

-23%

255196

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Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy

★★★★★

-9%

380346

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Ville Sull'Arno

★★★★★

-23%

161124

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NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa

★★★★★

-9%

257234

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The Westin Excelsior

★★★★★

-17%

321266

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Villa La Vedetta

★★★★★

-44%

276154

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Hotel Helvetia & Bristol

★★★★★

-11%

217192

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Villa Tolomei Hotel&Resort

★★★★★

-33%

13389

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Hotel Regency-Small Luxury Hotels of the World

★★★★★

-30%

164114

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Sina Villa Medici, Autograph Collection

★★★★★

-10%

329297

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Hotel Montebello Splendid

★★★★★

-28%

180130

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LHP Hotel River & SPA

★★★★★

-15%

147126

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  • -

10 Top Tourist Attractions in Venice

Tags :

Category : Italy , Venice

A city built on 118 islands off the coast of northeastern Italy, Venice is unlike any other city in Europe or, for that matter, the world. Virtually unchanged in appearance for more than 600 years, the City of Canals looks more like something out of a picture book than a modern metropolis. It’s a place where the entire city is viewed as an attraction in itself.

A city packed with great art and architecture, millions of visitors come each year to enjoy the experience that is Venice. Even at the height of tourist season, however, Venice is a travel destination that manages to exceed all expectations. Here are the top tourist attractions in Venice that make a visit to this Italian city so special.

10. Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs

 

Built in 1600, the Bridge of Sights connects the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace to the New Prison across the Rio di Palazzo. It was designed by Antonio Contino whose uncle Antonio da Ponte had designed the Rialto Bridge. According to one theory the name of the bridge comes from the suggestion that prisoners would “sigh” at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window on their way to the executioner. In reality, the days of summary executions were over by the time the bridge was built and the cells under the palace roof were occupied mostly by small-time criminals.

9. San Giorgio Maggiore

San Giorgio Maggiore

 

Best known as the home of the 16th-century church of the same name, San Giorgio Maggiore is a small island located across the lagoon from St. Mark’s Square. Designed by the great Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, the church features a façade clad in gleaming white marble and an open and airy interior that’s refreshingly bare of over-ornamentation. The main alter is graced by two of Tintoretto’s best paintings, the “Last Supper” and “The Fall of Manna.” Visitors can ride an elevator to the top of the church’s Neoclassic bell tower to enjoy a spectacular view of Venice.

8. Ca’ d’Oro

Ca' d'Oro

 

Originally known as the Palazzo Santa Sofia but now commonly known as the Ca’ d’Oro,the 15th century palazzo was designed by architect Giovanni Bon and his son Bartolomeo. Although the façade of this splendid structure no longer features the ornamentation that earned the place its “house of gold” nickname, the now pink-and-white building is a treasure trove of art. Located on the Grand Canal, the Ca’ d’Oro is home to the Museo Franchetti, named after the man who donated the palazzo and its entire contents of Renaissance paintings, antiques, sculpture and ceramics to the city.

7. Santa Maria della Salute

Santa Maria della Salute

 

Commonly called La Salute, this 17th-century church stands at the point where the Grand Canal meets the Venetian Lagoon. The white stone edifice with its massive dome was constructed as a shrine to the Virgin Mary for saving the city from a plague that killed one third of its population. In addition to the altar sculpture that depicts the “Madonna of Health” driving the demon Plague from Venice, there’s an extensive collection of works by Titian on display, including ceiling paintings of scenes from the Old Testament.

6. Ca’ Rezzonico

Ca' Rezzonico

 

Of all the stately palazzos that line the Grand Canal, no building better illustrates what life was like in 18th-century Venice than the Ca’ Rezzonico. Used as a setting for the 2005 film “Casanova” starring Heath Ledger, the palace’s Grand Ballroom has played host to over-the-top parties for more than 200 years. English poet Robert Browning was one of the last to make the palazzo his home. Today, the entire building is open to the public as the Museo del Settecento. While many of the paintings on display are reproductions, the fabulous ceiling frescoes by the Tiepolo family are authentic and have been restored to their original glory.

5. Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco

 

As the only public square in Venice, the Piazza San Marco has been the city’s main gathering place for centuries. Surrounded by open-air cafés and landmark attractions, including San Marco Basilica and the Palazzo Ducale, it’s the natural epicenter for any visit to the City of Canals. The square is actually laid out in a trapezoid shape that widens as it approaches the basilica. Despite the crowds that throng it in summer and the rains that flood it in winter, St. Mark’s Square offers a memorable Venetian experience in every season.

4. Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge

 

The Rialto Bridge is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal. For nearly three hundred years, it was the only way to cross the Grand Canal on foot. The stone bridge, a single span designed by Antonio da Ponte, was completed in 1591 and was used to replace a wooden bridge that collapsed in 1524. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious that some architects predicted a future collapse. The bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.

3. Doge’s Palace

Doge's Palace

 

During the prosperous centuries of the Venetian Republic, the city’s magistrates, or doges, ruled the city like royalty. The Palazzo Ducale was not only the residence of the doge but the city’s center of power and its administrative hub as well. The building was constructed in two phases. The eastern wing, which faces the Rio di Palazzo, was built between 1301 and 1340. The western wing, facing the Piazetta San Marco, took an additional 110 years to build and was completed in 1450. Visitors who take the Secret Itineraries tour can also walk through hidden passageways to view the private council rooms, torture chambers and the prison cell from which Giacomo Casanova made his escape in 1756.

2. Grand Canal

Grand Canal

 

There’s no better way to begin an exploration of Venice than with a gondola ride down the Grand Canal. In a city where cars are banned, gondolas, water taxis and public vaporetti (water buses) are the primary sources of transportation. The city’s aquatic thoroughfare snakes through the center of the city from Saint Mark’s Basilica to the Church of Santa Chiara. Lined on either side by Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance structures, the Grand Canal is crossed by four bridges, the most famous of which is the 16th-century Rialto Bridge. The best time of the day for a gondola ride is in the early morning when the canal shimmers with golden light.

1. St. Mark’s Basilica & Campanile

#1 of Tourist Attractions In Venice

 

Situated in St. Mark’s Square, the soaring 30-story Campanile and the massive basilica behind it are two of the most popular tourist attractions in Venice. Both date to the 9th century but have been rebuilt and embellished extensively over the centuries. San Marco Basilica serves as a showcase for the wealth that Venice accumulated as a military power. Its design mixes Byzantine and Gothic architecture styles in a unique way. Elaborate medieval mosaics cover much of the cathedral’s walls and vaulting. Behind the tomb believed to hold the remains of Saint Mark stands the altarpiece Pala d’Oro, a jewel-adorned screen of gold that is considered one of the finest works of Byzantine craftsmanship in the world.

The Campanile is the bell tower of the St. Mark’s Basilica and one of Venice’s most recognizable landmarks. The current tower is an early twentieth century reconstruction of the original tower, which collapsed in 1902. An elevator brings visitors straight to the top of the campanile, where they have a great view over Venice and the lagoon.

Cheap Flights to Venice

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

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30.01.2019

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Hotels in Venice: 5 stars

Hotel Stars Discount Price per night, from Choose dates

The Gritti Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel

★★★★★

-35%

855557

View Hotel

Hotel Londra Palace

★★★★★

-29%

416296

View Hotel

Baglioni Hotel Luna - The Leading Hotels of the World

★★★★★

-33%

469313

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Ca' Sagredo Hotel

★★★★★

-26%

323238

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Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel

★★★★★

-28%

428306

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Bauer Palazzo

★★★★★

-54%

289134

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Hotel Metropole

★★★★★

-47%

358188

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Grand Hotel Dei Dogi, The Dedica Anthology, Autograph Collection

★★★★★

-11%

244216

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Sina Centurion Palace

★★★★★

-32%

339229

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Bellevue & Canaletto Suites

★★★★★

-12%

156138

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Hilton Molino Stucky Venice

★★★★★

-44%

263146

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PalazzinaG

★★★★★

-32%

428290

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  • -

10 Most Amazing Destinations in Southern Italy

Tags :

Category : Europe , Italy

The Mezzogiorno, or “midday” region of Italy refers to the Southern section of this historically and artistically important nation. The area boasts some of the oldest cities in Italy, as well as a number of important sites from what was once part of Ancient Greece. The historical importance of the area draws some tourists, while others flock here for the warm Mediterranean climate and island life. Here is a look at some of the top destinations in Southern Italy:

10. Maratea

Maratea

 

The attraction of this town is easy to explain. From its position along the rocky Mediterranean coast to its Medieval town to its ritzy harbor, this is one of Southern Italy’s top resort sites. Staying here in the summer requires pre-planning as many places are booked a year or more in advance. Maratea, however, is a very seasonal town, and much of the area closes between October and March. Sunbathing, watersports, and high-end amenities are just part of the reason that this is a perennial favorite for tourists.
Where to Stay in Maratea?

9. Sorrento 

Sorrento

Sorrento is the perfect blend of designated resort town and tourist-friendly old Italian city. It is easily reached from Naples via rail, and has both the amenities that tourists find comforting as well as unique and higher-end antiquities for sale in the old town. A ferry leaves from here to the isle of Capri, and it is a great jumping off point for Pompeii. However, Sorrento is also known for excellent gourmet cuisine, stunning cliff dwellings (though no beaches), and stunning views of Mt Vesuvius.
Where to Stay in Sorrento?

8. Paestum

Paestum

 

This ancient Greek city was originally called Poseidonia for the god of the sea. The side boasts three well preserved Greek temples. The oldest temple in Paestum is the Temple of Hera, built around 550 BC by Greek colonists. Paestum is often visited as a day trip, as the sites to see are limited. Besides the three ancient Greek temples there is a museum, and some enchanting buffalo farms. However, hotels are good here, and so is the food, so it’s worth an overnight.

7. Alberobello 

Alberobello

 

This fairytale town is the world’s best example of Trullo architecture. Trulli homes are known for their conical stone roofs that are made without mortar. These dry-stone buildings are made from local limestone; none are older than the 14th century. Though the homes can be found across the Itria Valley in Apulia, Alberobello is the only town truly marked by this type of construction. In addition to Trulli-gazing, visitors here can also stay in trullo homes, drink in trullo bars and shop in trullo shops.
Where to Stay in Alberobello?

6. Tropea

Tropea

 

This ancient and stunning town sits among sugar sand beaches and stark cliffs. Once believed to be founded by Hercules, Tropea’s natural beauty still maintains an otherworldly draw for lovers of sand and sun. Not to miss are the town’s two most notable churches- the Santa Maria del’Isola, a medieval church that was built on its own island just off the coast (though siltation and years has built a land bridge between it and the mainland). The second church to see is the local cathedral, with two unexploded bombs from WWII sitting right outside their front door. It was believed to be protected by the local patron saint.
Where to Stay in Tropea?

5. Sassi di Matera

Sassi di Matera

 

The Sassi di Matera are cave dwellings situated in the old town of Matera in the region of Basilicata. The Sassi originate from a prehistoric settlement, and are among the first human settlements in Italy. Many of the houses, which are dug into the tufa rock, are really only caverns, and the streets in some parts of the Sassi often are located on the rooftops of other houses. These dwellings were inhabited by farmers and their livestock until the 1950’s. Today, the jumble of stone buildings and their interior caves are a haunting and beautiful site.

4. Naples 

Naples

 

Naples, or Napoli, is the third largest city in Italy. To some it is huge, filthy, crime-ridden and falling apart, to others it is edgy and atmospheric. This coastal Southern city definitely has its own personality. Many favorite Italian foods originated in Naples and its surrounding area such as pizza, and spaghetti. These dishes are taken seriously here and usually feature fresh, locally grown ingredients. Tourist attractions in Naples include a huge Medieval castle, Castel Nuovo, as well as the seaside fortress of Castel del’Ovo. The city is also next to the Vesuvius, the only active volcano on the European continent.
Where to Stay in Naples?

3. Capri

Capri

 

Located in the Bay of Naples, Capri is an island rich in mythology and history. Sirens were said to have lured sailors to their death here with their sultry songs. The Roman emperor Tiberius lived here until his death in 37 A.D. Villa Jovis, the emperor’s imperial residence, is one of the island’s most popular attractions. Capri’s most famous natural attraction is the Blue Grotto, a waterfront cave that’s accessible by boat when the tide is right. Riding the Seggiovia chair-lift in the city of Anacapri to the summit of Monte Solaro is a favorite activity too. The 15-minute trip offers spectacular views of the island and sea.
Where to Stay in Capri?

2. Pompeii & Herculaneum 

Pompeii

 

Along the shadow of volcanic Mt Vesuvius sit several Roman towns that were destroyed by a sudden eruption in AD 79. The most famous of these is Pompeii, whose ruins can be viewed extensively. Archaeologists found the remains from 3,000 holdouts from this town of 20,000 who had refused to flee and paid the price. The ash buried the town, but in many ways preserved a day in the life of Roman times. Nearby is the wealthier, smaller town of Herculaneum, who suffered a similar fate. The population was smaller, around three hundred, but the homes are a better example of how the wealthy once lived, and are worth seeing.
Where to Stay in Pompeii?

1. Amalfi Coast

#1 of Destinations In Southern Italy

 

For anyone who has ever wanted to imagine themselves in a James Bond coastal car chase, a rented convertible and drive along the Amalfi Coast roads is a must. This patchwork of lush forests, and sheer cliffs over the jewel-toned Mediterranean is stunning and familiar, as it is the backdrop of many a Hollywood classic. There are many small towns in which to stay, shop, and eat, with their own beautiful white-walled stone cliff dwellings. For those who are nervous about driving along the narrow coastal roads, beautiful water tours between Sorrento and Salerno are easy to find and beautiful in their own right.
Where to Stay in Amalfi Coast?


  • -

30 Top Tourist Attractions in Italy

Tags :

Category : Europe , Italy

With so many amazing sights, putting together a compilation of top tourist attractions in Italy is no easy task. The following list however should give a good indication of why over 40 million foreign tourists visit Italy ever year.

30. Verona Arena

Verona Arena

 

The city of Verona is largely known for its role in the play Romeo and Juliet, but dating back even further is the Verona Arena. This incredible arena is actually a Roman amphitheater constructed 2,000 years ago. Despite its age, the Verona Arena is remarkably well preserved, and at its peak it hosted performances for more than 30,000 people. Today, visitors are still able to attend musical performances at the arena, bringing Italian culture and history to life.

29. Herculaneum

Herculaneum

 

At the base of Mount Vesuvius is the ancient Roman town of Herculaneum. Nearly 2,000 years ago, a volcanic eruption destroyed Herculaneum. However, just like its larger rival Pompeii, the eruption and resulting layer of mud preserved and fossilized much of the architecture. Visitors to Herculaneum can see original homes, refurbished to appear as they did 2,000 years ago, as well as fossilized skeletons, ancient advertisements and beautiful mosaics that showcase art from millennia past.

28. Elba 

Elba

 

The island of Elba has a long history, and it was previously inhabited by Ligures Ilvates, Greeks, Etruscans and Romans. Elba’s most famous resident, however, was Napoleon, who was banished to Elba in 1814. Napoleon’s winter and summer homes still stand, and they are available for the public to tour. Italy’s third largest island boasts more than 150 beaches too, from wide stretches of sand to sheltered coves.

27. Gran Paradiso National Park

Gran Paradiso National Park

 

Nestled in the Graian Alps is Gran Paradiso National Park, a gorgeous destination with stunning mountain views and incredible hiking opportunities. The Gran Paradiso National Park was first established as a way to protect the local ibex population, and wildlife today includes those ibex as well as badgers, wolves, lynx, ermine and more than 100 bird species. Seasonal activities include summer hiking, spotting the foliage in autumn, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in winter and photographing flowers come spring.

26. Palazzo Ducale (Urbino) 

Palazzo Ducale

 

Palazzo Ducale, or the Ducal Palace, is a Renaissance building located in the city of Urbino. Built in the 15th century, the palace is enormous, housing an average of 600 residents at its peak. The Palazzo Ducale is now open to the public, with many of the rooms refinished to look like they did in the 15th century. The palace is also home to the National Gallery of the Marche, which displays an enormous collection of Renaissance paintings.

25. Trevi Fountain (Rome)

Trevi Fountain

 

One of the must-see attractions in the city of Rome is the Trevi Fountain. The fountain was constructed in 1762 by Nicola Salvi, and it depicts the god Neptune surrounded by underwater creatures in battle. Trevi Fountain is known as a place to throw in a coin to secure a return trip to Rome, and throwing two coins can secure a loving relationships with a Roman man or woman. At night, the fountain is illuminated, making it a magical and romantic place to visit.

24. Santa Maria delle Grazie (Milan)

Santa Maria delle Grazie

 

The Holy Mary of Grace, or Santa Maria delle Grazie, is a convent and church located in Milan. The structure is a striking example of Renaissance architecture, boating details like a decorative nave and a bright, light-filled entrance. Most notably, the Santa maria delle Grazie is home to the famous mural The Last Supper, which was painted by Leonardo da Vinci. Many visitors come to the church specifically to see this iconic painting in person.

23. La Pelosa

La Pelosa

 

Off the western coast of the mainland, and in the heart of the Tyrrhenian Sea, is the island of Sardinia. While Sardinia boasts a number of stunning beaches, none is so picturesque or well-known as La Pelosa. The beach is so spectacular because of its sandy shores and shallow waters, making it easy to see right down to the ground through crystal-clear sea. La Pelosa is often compared to the Caribbean, bringing some of the tropics to Italy. Surfing, kayaking and even scuba diving are all possible at or near La Pelosa.

22. Basilica of San Vitale (Ravenna)

Basilica of San Vitale

 

The city of Ravenna in Northern Italy was once the capital of the Western Roman Empire, and today it is best known for the Basilica of San Vitale. The basilica was constructed in the sixth century, and it is home to an extensive collection of mosaics. These mosaics depict stories from the bible, and they cover every inch of the available surface in certain rooms. Bold designs and a cacophony of color make these Ravenna mosaics a popular spot for religion, architecture and art enthusiasts in Italy.

21. Dolomites

Dolomites

 

The Dolomites are a mountain range located in Northern Italy, and they are a popular spot for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Whatever the season, the Dolomites beckon thanks to incredible scenery. At sunset, the peaks can look a pink or purple hue that is almost otherworldly. Visitors can hike in the region or shop at Trento, a charming town in the Dolomites with a spectacular castle.

20. Basilica di San Francesco (Assisi) 

Basilica di San Francesco

 

The Basilica di San Francesco, or Basilica of Saint Francis, is one of the most significant religious pilgrimage sites in Italy. Located in Assisi, the basilica was constructed in the 13th century to honor Saint Francis himself. Although Saint Francis was a man of simplicity and poverty, the basilica is anything but. The Romanesque structure was built with two levels as well as a crypt, ornate windows and thousands of pieces of art.

19. Sassi di Matera

Sassi di Matera

 

In the town of Matera, there are a collection of ancient cave dwellings known collectively as the Sassi di Matera. These dwellings are thought of as the very first human settlement in all of Italy, and they may be as many as 9,000 years old. The dwellings are carved right out of the rock, and many of these caves still house homes, businesses and cafes today. It is an incredible experience to tour ancient caves from early humans and then sip local wines from a similar cave just a short walk away.

18. Mount Etna

Mount Etna

 

On the island of Sicily, one landmark towers over everything: Mount Etna. The volcano is one of the highest peaks in Italy, and it erupts frequently. Surrounding Mount Etna is a national park called the Parco dell’Etna. Visitors to Mount Etna can walk along the craters and fissures, often getting close enough to see the lava or steam. The volcanic soil is renowned for growing grapes, which means the visitors to Mount Etna will have access to an array of fantastic local wine.

17. Duomo of Orvieto 

Duomo of Orvieto

 

A shining example of Italian Gothic architecture is the Duomo of Orvieto. The 14th century Roman Catholic cathedral was commissioned by Pope Urban IV, but it took nearly three centuries to complete the structure. Today, visitors remark upon the staggering seven stories, the detailed facade and the horizontal stripes of marble used in the construction. Much of the artwork in the Duomo of Orvieto, which depicts apocalyptic stories and tales from Revelation, were done by Luca Signorelli.

16. Pizza Napoletana

Pizza Napoletana

 

While you’ll find excellent pizza all over Italy, there’s one place that’s absolutely the best: Naples. This is where pizza was born and where it’s still king. Unlike pizza in places like the United States, Neapolitan pizza is generally very thin-crusted and saucy and is expected to be eaten as a whole pie while sitting down. Although every pizzeria in Naples makes a decent pizza, some places display the label “Vera Pizza Napoletana” which indicates that the pizzeria follows the standards of The Naples Pizza Association.

15. Portofino

Portofino

 

With its picture-perfect harbor, verdant scenery and haphazard rows of hilltop and waterfront homes, Portofino is one of the prettiest towns on the Italian Riviera. Located just a short drive south of Genoa, the little fishing village has been a popular day-trip destination for centuries. Portofino is home to landmarks like the 16th century fort called Castello Brown and the 11th century church called St. Martin, but the real attraction in Portofino is the relaxed way of life. Visitors come to stroll along the Ligurian coastline, shop for souvenir glass jewelry and dine on Italian cuisine paired with the local Pinot Grigios.

14. St. Mark’s Basilica (Venice)

St. Mark's Basilica

 

St. Mark’s Basilica, known to locals as the Basilica di San Marco, is the crowning jewel of the Piazza San Marco in Venice. The enormous church was completed in the 11th century, and it boasts more than 500 columns, several stunning domes and countless Byzantine mosaics that use gold extensively. Also of note are the bronze Horses of Saint Mark, which date back to antiquity and watch over the basilica’s entrances. Be sure not to miss the treasury or the Museo Marciano, both of which contain a staggering collection of early gifts like jewels, sculpture and tapestries.

13. Capri

Capri

The island of Capri is just three miles from Naples, but it is a unique destination with its own culture and atmosphere. After arriving by boat, visitors often flock to the Blue Grotto, a spectacular cave that has been appreciated since Roman times. In addition to beautiful beaches and wonderful hikes, Capri boasts some historic architecture. Not to be missed is the Baroque Church of San Michele Arcangelo and the Villa Jovis, the former residence of the Emperor Tiberius.

12. St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome)

St. Peter's Basilica

 

The star attraction of the Vatican in Rome is St. Peter’s Basilica. The magnificent basilica is topped with a dramatic dome, on whose ceiling Michelangelo himself painted. Built in the early 16th century, St. Peter’s Basilica is now a huge church with an interior that could fit a space shuttle together with its booster rockets. While the facade and the proximity to the Pope are reasons to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, it is the art that is so memorable. Expect paintings and sculptures by the likes of Bernini and Michelangelo.

11. Valley of the Temples

Valley of the Temples

 

Valle dei Templi, or the Valley of the Temples, is an archeological site located in Sicily. The destination is home to several Greek temples, all constructed in the Doric style, and most of which date back more than 2,400 years. While it is worth touring the entire site, the most popular of the temples is the Temple of Concordia, which was restored in the 18th century and is now the best preserved of the structures.

10. San Gimignano

San Gimignano

 

Nicknamed the medieval Manhatten, San Gimignano is a village in Tuscany famous for its 14 stone towers. At the height of San Gimignano’s wealth and power, more than 70 towers were built to defend the town against enemy attacks. After the plague devastated the city in 1348, San Gimignano’s power faded, which kept enemies away and preserved many of the city’s medieval towers.

9. Manarola (Cinque Terre)

Manarola

 

Mestled in the Italian Riviera, Manarola is one of the oldest towns in Cinque Terre. The “Five Lands” comprises of five villages noted for their beauty. Part of Cinque Terre charm is the lack of visible modern development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach it from the outside. The towns sprout out of the mountainside to provide a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean sea.

8. Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

 

The world famous Pisa Tower was built over a period of about 177 years. Soon after the construction started in 1173 the tower began to sink due to a poorly laid foundation and was left alone for almost a century. When the construction resumed the engineers built higher floors with one side taller than the other to compensate for the tilt and the tower was finally finished in the 2nd half of the 14th century. Since 2001, the famous tower in Pisa is again open to those wishing to climb it’s 296 steps.

7. Lake Como (Italian Lake District) 

Lake Como

 

Lake Como is part of the Italian Lake District an area popular with visitors for well over 100 years for its combination of fresh air, water, mountains and good weather. The lake is shaped much 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 attractive villas which have been built here since Roman times. Many have admirable gardens which benefit from the mild climate and are able to include tropical as well as temperate plants.

6. Positano (Amalfi Coast)

Positano

 

Positano is a small town located on the Amalfi Coast, a stretch of coastline renowned for its rugged terrain, scenic beauty, picturesque towns and diversity. The city seems to be scattered from top to bottom down a hillside leading to the coast. Though Positano grew and prospered in medieval times, by the mid 19th more than half of the population was gone. In the 20th century it went from being a poor fishing village to a very popular tourist attraction with the help of author John Steinbeck who wrote about its beauty.

5. Pompeii 

Pompeii

 

On August 24, 79 AD, the volcano Vesuvius erupted, covering the nearby town Pompeii with ash and soil, and subsequently preserving the city in its state from that fateful day. Everything from jars and tables to paintings and people were frozen in time. Its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of people living two thousand years ago. Today Pompeii is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year.

4. Piazza del Campo (Siena) 

Piazza del Campo

 

One of Europe’s greatest medieval squares, the Piazza del Campo is the principal public space of the historic center of Siena, Tuscany. It is renowned worldwide for its beauty and architectural integrity. The Palazzo Pubblico and its famous tower, as well as various palazzi signorili belonging to the wealthiest of Siena families surround the shell-shaped piazza. The twice-per-year horse-race, Palio di Siena, involves circling the Piazza del Campo, on which a thick layer of dirt has been laid, three times and usually lasts no more than 90 seconds.

3. Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence) 

Santa Maria del Fiore

 

Begun in 1296 in the Gothic style and completed in 1436, The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is Florence’s beautiful cathedral and symbol of the city. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white. The basilica is one of Italy’s largest churches, and until the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.

2. Grand Canal (Venice)

Grand Canal

 

Referred to as “The City of Water”, Venice is the crown jewel of water cities. Though, Venice has decayed since its heyday and has more tourists than residents, with its romantic charm it remains one of the top tourist attractions in Italy. The central waterway in the city is the Grand Canal, and it snakes its way through the city between the lagoon and the Saint Mark Basin. While strolling through Venice offers plenty of opportunities to see the Grand Canal, the best way to experience it is on the water. Locals get around via the water buses called vaporetti, but many travelers prefer the private water taxis or even the romantic gondola.

1. Colosseum (Rome) 

#1 of Tourist Attractions In Italy

 

The Colosseum in Rome is the largest and most famous amphitheater in the Roman world. Its construction was started by emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty in 72 AD and was finished by his son Titus in 80 AD. The Colosseum was capable of holding some 50,000 spectators who could enter the building through no less than 80 entrances. Spectators were protected from the rain and heat of the sun by sails called the “velarium”, that was attached around the top of the attic.


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11 Most Amazing Hotels in Italy

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Category : Europe , Italy

From centuries-old palaces converted into luxury suites to small boutique hotels equipped with every modern amenity, Italy offers a wide range of options when it comes to hotel accommodations.

The best of the bunch offer rooms with views that are so spectacular, guests needn’t venture farther than their balconies or terraces to go sightseeing. Whether decorated in a minimalist style or with antique furniture, rich tapestries and hand-blown chandeliers, the hotel interiors can be just as breathtakingly beautiful. Add superlative services into the mix, and a great luxury hotel becomes a world-class travel destination in its own right.

The following hotels in Italy offer all the modern conveniences and pampering features that guests want from a luxury establishment, but it’s their standout style, prime locations and historic settings that make them truly amazing.

11. Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello

Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello

 

Located in a former 11th-century palazzo on the Amalfi Coast, the Belmond Hotel Caruso sits on the highest point of the village of Ravello, providing guests with a breathtaking panorama of the Bay of Salerno. The landmark hotel was completely renovated in 2005, transforming the medieval structure into luxury accommodations equipped with every modern amenity. Terraced gardens planted with roses, jasmine and orange trees invite leisurely strolls. Situated at the highest point of the property, the views offered by the infinity pool make it the hotel’s star attraction.

10. Grand Hotel Minerva, Florence

Grand Hotel Minerva, Florence

 

A central location and a rooftop swimming pool make the Grand Hotel Minerva an appealing option for anyone traveling to Florence during the warm-weather season. Situated on the recently renovated Piazza Santa Maria Novella, this four-star hotel gives guests easy access to all the attractions of the city’s historic center, including the magnificent 15th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Novella located next door. The sixth-floor terrace on this stylish hotel offers sweeping views of Florence and the countryside beyond.

9. Grotta Palazzese Hotel, Puglia

Grotta Palazzese Hotel, Puglia

 

Carved into cliffs and caves overlooking the Adriatic Sea in the town of Polignano a Mare, the Grotta Palazzese Hotel provides visitors with a truly unique travel experience. Situated inside a large limestone cavern, the hotel’s famous Grotto restaurant is the establishment’s main draw. Guests dine by candlelight while watching waves crash on the rocks below and the sun slip over the horizon. Although the 25 rooms and suites in this four-star hotel are small, they’re equipped with all the modern comforts and offer guests easy access to the region’s best beaches.

8. Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina

Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina

Considered one of the best hotels in the world, the Grand Hotel Timeo is situated in the heart of Taormina, right next door to the ancient Greek Theatre still used for theatrical productions today. The five-star hotel is not only prized for its antique elegance but also for the panoramic views of Mount Etna and the Sicilian Coast offered from its sea-facing terraces. Air conditioned rooms are beautifully appointed with fine art, rich textiles and modern amenities, but it’s the hotel’s stunning vistas that make a stay at the Grand Hotel Timeo such a memorable experience.

7. Castello di Casole, Tuscany

Castello di Casole, Tuscany

 

Located conveniently close to Siena and Florence, the Castello di Casole offers ideal accommodations for travelers who want an authentic Tuscan experience without having to compromise comfort and convenience. The expansive property includes acres of olive trees and grapevines centered around a completely renovated and thoroughly modernized 10th-century castle. The earth-tone décor in the hotel’s 41 rooms is an artful mix of contemporary and Old World style. A well-stocked wine cellar, pizzeria restaurant and a pampering spa round out the hotel’s amenities.

6. Hotel Hassler, Rome

Hotel Hassler, Rome

 

One of the world’s most famous hotels, the artfully refined Hotel Hassler is situated at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome, offering guests the best views of the Eternal City. Although the 19th-century hotel has been recently renovated, it remains a sterling example of Old World luxury. Each of its 82 rooms and 14 suites is ornamented with antique furnishings, Venetian lamps and masterpieces of art. Along with an on-site gymnasium, spa and salon, a Michelin-starred restaurant and garden café surrounded by stone walls adds to the attraction of the celebrated Hotel Hassler.

5. Caesar Augustus Hotel, Capri

Caesar Augustus Hotel, Capri

 

Few hotels in Italy can rival the Caesar Augustus Hotel when it comes to rooms with a view. Perched on a cliff high above the Bay of Naples, this former summer home to Russian royalty offers panoramic views of Mount Vesuvius and the Capri shoreline. Sweeping vistas can be enjoyed from nearly every room, and the infinity pool and poolside restaurant in this five-star hotel are all about the expansive views they offer as well. Mediterranean-style décor, attentive service and full-service spa make a stay at the Caesar Augustus Hotel a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

4. Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como

Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como

 

Located on the west shore of Lake Como, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo has been a popular destination for world travelers since it opening in 1910. In addition to uninterrupted views of the water and the town of Bellagio, this fine hotel with its century-old style features three restaurants, three swimming pools, a fully equipped wellness center and a park with tennis courts and jogging paths. From the architecture of the hotel’s grand Sala Musica to the fresh flowers in every room, no detail is overlooked. Everything at the Tremezzo comes together to deliver an elegantly pampering and comfortable experience.

3. Belmond Hotel Splendido, Portofino

Belmond Hotel Splendido, Portofino

 

Housed in a 16th-century monastery, the Belmond Hotel Splendido is perched high atop a hill overlooking the Ligurian Sea. The hotel has been a favorite stop for the rich and famous since it opened in 1902. Celebrities from Clark Gable and Frank Sinatra to Winston Churchill and the Duke of Windsor have enjoyed luxurious stays in one of the hotel’s 64 individually designed rooms and suites, which feature expansive bathrooms, large wardrobes and an abundance of high-tech gadgets. Three restaurants, a swimming pool and a wellness center round out the hotel’s amenities.

2. Gritti Palace, Venice

Gritti Palace, Venice

 

With its Grand Canal location, extravagantly refurbished rooms and beautiful dining room, the recently reopened Gritti Palace offers guests a classic Venetian experience. Situated across the water from the Guggenheim Museum and lovely Santa Maria della Salute, this 15th-century palazzo occupies one of the best locations in Venice. Lavishly appointed with Old World antiques, Murano glass lamps and silk damask wall coverings, the five-star hotel’s rooms have been upgraded with every modern convenience. The Gritti Palace is the place to stay for visitors who want to experience true Venetian period splendor.

1. Le Sirenuse, Positano

#1 of Amazing Hotels In Italy

An 18th-century villa turned into a hotel by the aristocratic Sersale family in 1951, Le Sirenuse offers visitors to the beautiful Amalfi Coast accommodations that are both elegant and homey. Filled with family heirlooms and mementos, the seaside hotel also boasts a Michelin-starred rooftop restaurant, a swimming pool and a designer spa. As author and former guest John Steinbeck wrote in a 1953 article for Harper’s Bazaar: “Every room has its little balcony and looks over the blue sea to the islands of the sirens from which those ladies sang so sweetly.”

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