Venice, Italy, is known to be one of the most magical place on earth. Sitting in the Adriatic Sea like a vision (especially if one first approaches it from the mainland by boat), the city is an emblematic symbol of art, culture, and evokes the power of imagination.
The Sistine Chapel in Rome is named for Sixtus IV della Rovere, who was Pope from 1471 to 1484. The interior walls of the chapel are covered in exquisite frescoes painted by some of the greatest Italian artists in history, including Perugino, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Rosselli, and of course Michelangelo, who painted the stunning frescoes which adorn the ceiling.
You are standing in a courtyard, surrounded by hundreds of other people who are equally awed by the majesty of the sights that you are all seeing. Before you, over 400 feet tall and almost 400 years old, rises the magnificent Saint Peter's Cathedral.
Located in the Liguria region of Italy, the predominant portion of the Cinque Terre is located on the coast of Italian Riviera. It also comprises of five villages: Riomaggiore, Monterosso al Mare, Corniglia, Vernazza and Manarola.
The Pisa Tower, otherwise known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, really was a labor of love, taking well over a hundred and fifty years to build. This tower is the campanile of the cathedral of Italy, which means that it is a freestanding bell tower.
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
The skyline of Florence (Firenze), Italy wouldn't be the same without the stunning Cathedral or Duomo that so personifies the grandeur and elegance of the city. The Duomo, which translates to "the Cathedral" or "Dome Cathedral", has a long and regal history dating back to the end of the 13th century.
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most popular, and photographed, fountain in the world. This grand fountain, most likely the most beautiful one in Rome, is located in the Quirinale district and is clearly the masterpiece of the small Trevi square.
The Spanish Steps is another very popular attraction that is located in the heart ("Centro Historico") of Rome. It is also one of Rome's favourite romantic spot and one of the most popular's city landmark.
The Basilica di San Marco ("Saint Mark's Basilica" in English), right next to Saint Mark's Square and near the Doge's Palace, is the most famous of Venice's churches, and is among the world's best-known examples of Byzantine architecture. The basilica is today considered a living monument to the heritage of the Byzantine, Roman, and Venetian cultures.
Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, surrounded by the city of Rome, is a sight that delights the eye and captures wonder and beauty from every angle. With a dome that may have helped to inspire Saint Paul's Cathedral in London among others, Saint Peter's rises over Vatican City like a shining star.
One of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, the Rialto Bridge is the oldest and serves as the dividing line between the San Marco and San Polo districts. It began as a floating pontoon bridge built by Nicolò Barattieri in the late-12th century and was named Ponte della Moneta due to its proximity to the entrance of the mint.
Officially titled Palazzo Santa Sofia, the Ca’ d’Oro (or “Golden House”) is one of the oldest palaces on Venice’s Grand Canal. It was nicknamed due to the gilt and polychrome decorations that once adorned the walls, with delicate marble filigree by Bartolomeo Bon on the façade that would have made an undeniably impressive vision.
Considered one of "the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre”, Teatro La Fenice is an opera house in the heart of Venice. It was here that some of the most celebrated operas were premiered during the 19th century, including those by composers such as Verdi, Bellini and Rossini.
An iconic symbol of Venice, gondolas are a traditional, flat-bottomed rowing boat that was once the preferred means for Venetians to get around the city’s canals. These wooden boats are made by hand in special workshops known as squeri, with a few still in operation today.
Dating to the 16th century, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco is one of the most beautiful buildings in Venice. It was constructed from white marble to house a charitable society dedicated to San Rocco, regarded by many as a protector against the plague.
Located on the Grand Canal in the Dorsoduro sestiere, Palazzo Rezzonico (also known as Ca' Rezzonico) is an opulent palace that provides a fascinating glimpse into 18th-century Venetian life. It was designed by the Baroque architect Baldassare Longhena, but not completed until 1756 (almost 100 years later) by Giorgio Massari.
Situated on the Campo dei Frari in the heart of the San Polo district, the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is one of the most important churches in Venice. Affectionately known as the “Frari”, construction began on the church around 1340 by the Franciscans and its immense campanile (the second tallest in the city) was completed in 1396.
Considered the “parent island” of Venice, Torcello lies at the northern end of the Venetian Lagoon. It was first settled in the 5th century, developing into a bustling commercial town with its own cathedral by the 12th century and believed to be from where Venice’s population originated.
Nicknamed the “marble church”, Santa Maria dei Miracoli is one of the best-preserved examples of early Venetian Renaissance architecture. It was designed by Pietro Lombardo and built between 1481 and 1489 to enshrine a picture of the Virgin Mary, with the plans expanded in 1484 to include a new convent.
Separating the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea, the Lido di Venezia is a 12-kilometer-long strip of sand that is considered Europe’s first beach resort. It was once the place to be seen for celebrities and royalty, with grand hotels and Art Nouveau villas lining its golden sands.
Located overlooking the water in Piazza San Marco, the Colonna di San Marco e San Teodoro are two columns topped with bronze and marble statues that honor Venice’s patron saints. San Marco Evangelista is depicted as a winged lion on the Column of the Lion, while San Teodoro is seen atop the other.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Venice, the Campanile di San Marco is the soaring bell tower of Saint Mark’s Basilica. It stands alone in a corner of Piazza San Marco near the front of the basilica and towers to a height of almost 100 meters.
Towering on the northern side of Piazza San Marco near the entrance to the Merceria, the Torre dell’Orologio adjoins the eastern end of the Procuratie Vecchie. This Renaissance clock tower dates to the late 15th century and was designed to exhibit the wealth of Venice and strategically placed to be visible from the lagoon waters.
One of the largest churches in Venice, Santi Giovanni e Paolo is located in the Castello sestiere and was built on the remains of an earlier church. Doge Jacopo Tiepolo donated the land after he experienced a vivid dream in which white doves flew over it.
Situated near the University of Venice, Campo Santa Margherita is a prominent city square in the Dorsoduro sestiere. It is named after a church that once stood on its northern side and has long been home to fisherman’s stalls and a small vegetable market.
Located in the lively Dorsoduro sestiere of Venice, Campo San Barnaba is a small square named after the San Barnaba Church. This Neoclassical church was dedicated to the Apostle Saint Barnabas and dates to 1776 when it was reconstructed based on designs by Lorenzo Boschetti.
Renowned for its long tradition of glassmaking, Murano is a series of seven islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon. Jump aboard a vaporetto and make the short ride across the lagoon to visit Murano’s Museo del Vetro and shop for locally crafted glasswork.
One of the biggest attractions in Venice is the spectacular Doge's Palace, also known as the Palazzo Ducale. Much of the present building dates from the 15th century – although an earlier building on the spot may date back to the 9th century - and has been rebuilt and added on to several times.
Positioned on the narrow Punta della Dogana that lies between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, Santa Maria della Salute is a Roman Catholic church in the Dorsoduro sestiere of Venice. Construction began in 1631 following a devastating outbreak of the plague and the church was dedicated to Our Lady of Deliverance (“Salute”), with many of its art works referencing the “Black Death”.
Established by the Italian Royal Navy in 1919 (just after the end of World War I), the Museo Storico Navale (Museum of Naval History) is located in the Castello district of Venice. It highlights the naval and maritime history of the city and its famous Arsenale (Arsenal), with a fascinating collection of ship models and old weapons.
Dedicated to pre-19th-century art, the Gallerie dell’Accademia is one of Venice’s most famous art museums. It’s situated on the southern bank of the Grand Canal and originally served as the gallery of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia until the art school was relocated to the Ospedale degli Incurabili in 2004.
Along with the distinctive Duomo, or cathedral and the famous statue of David by Michelangelo, the Ponte Vecchio has become one of the symbols of the beautiful Italian city of Florence.
The Ponte Vecchio – or Old Bridge – is the oldest bridge of several that span the River Arno, and the only one to survive World War II.
Piazza Navona Fountain & StatuesFrom always, the Piazza Navona is synonymous with joy, festivities and popular entertainment. Today, Romans and tourists go hang there day and night besides street artists, musicians and portraitists.
The Castel Sant'Angelo, also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, is located in the district of Borgo, in Rome. This cylindrical building was built on the right bank of the river Tiber between 135 and 139 AD.
When we say opera, there is probably none greater than the La Scala (or more formally known as Teatro alla Scala). Undoubtedly, it is one of the most important and popular opera houses in Italy and the world.
Castello Sforzesco in Milan, Italy is a splendid palace that holds a significant place in Italian history. This fortified palace is a much beloved landmark, as it stood witness to the ebbs and flows of the city of Milan.
Undoubtedly one of the best public squares in the world, Piazza del Campo is a sloping scalloped-shape area that stands as the heart of Siena, Italy. Its elegant beauty sweeps you off your feet, as it had captured the hearts of many for several centuries now.
One part of the eternal city that epitomizes the free willed spirit of Rome is the Piazza Campo de'Fiori. A large languid city square in the heart of Rome, it is a place where you can hear the Roman heart-beat.
Lago Trasimeno is the largest lake in Central Italy. Thanks to its warm climate, with long summers and moderate winters, you can swim in the lake from May to September (and is safe for children as well).
The Riviera del Brenta connects Padua with the lagoon of Venice by 36 km of beautiful and unique countryside: a landscape which portrays art and culture, nature and history.The construction of the canal began in the 16th century.
"What a wonder it is! So grand, so solemn, so vast! And yet so delicate, so airy, so graceful!"
With these words, Mark Twain captured the essence of the Duomo di Milano. This elegant and enormous Gothic Cathedral ranks high in the "Must See When in Europe" list.
A landmark in the rebuilding of Naples, Galleria Umberto is probably the oldest shopping mall and by far one of the grandest in Southern Italy. The gallery was built starting from 1887 and it took four years to complete this cross-shaped building with its high and spacious glass vaults.
Overlooking the colorful Piazza Malpighi, the beautiful Basilica di San Francesco in Bologna, Northern Italy is an excellent example of the interplay of Gothic and Romanesque features. This church dates back to 1236 when it was built by the Franciscans (also called the Grey Friars).
The emperor Napoleon supposedly described it as "the finest drawing room in all of Europe" and if you visit Piazza San Marco in Venice, it's easy to agree with him. The square, also known as Saint Mark's Square – dedicated to the city's patron saint - is one of the most beautiful public squares in Europe.
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