Italy is the best blessed country known to mankind. With honing rare artists like Michelangelo to creating the capital of romance, to preserving the eternal city, to the modernity of Milan, and finally a home to the most number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Italy is oozing with talent and excitement. Obviously the list of places to see in this country is never-ending; you will probably need over a month to explore the true Italian land. But fret not, here is the list of things you cannot miss on your visit to Italy. It is a long one, but be warned – this is the shortest it can get!
One of the wonder of the world, this amphitheatre was built around 80 AD. Popular for dangerous battles between gladiators, lions and criminals who fought for their lives, the Colosseum is an engineering wonder because such a magnanimous circular structure was built on marshy lands and it still stands tall. This is the Italian postcard spot and sees over a million tourists each year.
- Mark’s Basilica
This is a reflection of ancient Italian legacy! Sitting like a perfect puzzle piece in Piazza San Marco of Venice, St. Mark’s Basilica is a wonderful mix of magnificent architectural designs Italy has witnessed. The beautiful Byzantine dome architecture, mosaics mix with precious marbles, oriental adornments and the treasurer of vast art pieces, are collectively responsible for making this a top tourist choice.
- Duomo Cathedral, Florence
Begun building in 1296 and completed in 1436, the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the brightest star on the Florence Skyline! The explicit use of colours of green, pink and white depict the various talented artists who have collectively built this glorious structure. One of the largest brick dome in the world, this Basilica is of great significance to the Italians.
- Trevi Fountain
Completed in the 17th century, there is no other depiction of fables and myths like this one. This iconic fountain is one of the most popular ‘wishing fountains’ of the world. Well, a wish or no wish, stand in front of this wide and wonderfully carved structure and you will understand the depth of Roman culture at a glance.
- Vatican City
Visit Italy and not walk into Vatican City, how is that even possible? You will find a horde of attractions like the St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museums filled with a feast of artwork, Sistine Chapel and of course the most popular leader of Catholic Church, Pope Francis. A walk down the cobbled streets will be overwhelming as you cannot imagine a place that is home to one classical piece of art after another.
- Spanish Steps
Italy has such an in-depth history that you will get lost in all its ancient stories. One such chapter in Italian history is baroque. The Spanish steps are a reflection of Baroque artistry which had a strong influence on architecture in the past. So when you wish you simply soak in the daily Italian culture grab a seat at local cafes of Spanish Steps, relish some Italian bread or Gelato and casually observe the locals live their life!
- Venice Canals
Stitched together on a thread of 150 canals, Venice is the number one water city in the world. Gondola rides on endless canals with the background of picture-perfect colonial architecture creates an incomparable amorous charm. Flocked with lovers for years on end, the Grand Canal has lost it purity, but the aura of romance continues to linger!
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
The tilt is what has put this tower of Pisa of the tourist map. Built in the 1100s, the tower started titling to one side during its construction due to a faulty foundation. They say that every year it sinks by 1mm. It was predicted to crash in 2000, but it stands strong even today. Only time will tell when this leaning tower will give way and bid us farewell. All tourists will most certainly hope for never!
- Lake Como
Lake Como in Italy’s Lake District is a painting from a storybook! The serene waters, endless green landscapes splashed with colourful flowers, and clouds crowing the mountains, is a scene that will make your heart skip a beat! The cherry on the cake is the quaint, picturesque towns which border Lake Como; oh! It feels like you are re-living the opulent times of our ancestral days. Take in the pure air in this region and you will know what utopia feels like!
- Amalfi Coast
A holiday paradise, you will sink into the beautiful shades of blue on the Amalfi Coast! The Lattari Mountains falling willingly into the ocean forming an indented and beautifully carved coastline and the hillside town cascading down the steep mountains adding a palette of colours to the landscape will be a love-at-first-sight-moment!
- Cinque Terre
The Italian coastline is probably the most colourful ones you will witness during all your travel. The Cinque Terre, which is a group of five villages nestled comfortably on the rocky, steep ocean-line, is all set to sweep you off your feet! To get an authentic experience, you must walk or trek through these villages to enjoy the landscapes, mingle in some Italian hospitality and capture breathtaking sunsets!
A place where the royals and influencers of Italy rest in peace, the Pantheon is one monument which has been awarded several records such as the largest brick dome, best preserved ancient structure, most replicated monument and so on. What makes this impeccably brilliant is the construction which is precise- the height and diameter are accurate and the beam of light from the dome falls at an angle which gives an immaculate character to the interiors.
- Uffizi Gallery
An art-lovers paradise, the Uffizi Museum restores the finest artworks of world-renowned artists namely Giotto, Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Durer, Rembrandt and Rubens and so many more. The Museum is built so creatively that it opens up beautifully to the Arno River. The Uffizi Gallery is beauty at its best!
Like the world knows, Italy is the home of ancient Roman culture. And every sightseeing spot has immense significance. Pompeii is a preserved city from AD 79, where you will see spectacular remains of markets, baths, temples, houses and old streets. Walking down these glorious sights is simply awesome!
- Chianti Wine Route
Apart from history, architecture and legacy, Italy is famous for its wine too! Sitting pretty between the historic and artistic cities of Florence and Seina, Chiante is filled with intertwined roads lined with rustic country homes, clad with colourful flowers and huge vineyards. The friendly smiles on locals is an invite to go and mingle with these beautiful people over a glass of home-made wine! Don’t miss such an opportunity!
There is so much more to see in this wonderland that you will have to make more trips to get a comprehensive Italian experience. From the fashion of Milan to the landscapes of Tuscany, you surely do not want to miss out of anything. So make a toast to Bella Italia!