|Total States||20 regions|
|Airport City||Rome Airport Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa Airport, Milan Linate Airport, Bergamo Airport, Venice Airport|
|Offical Languages||Italian, Imbrian, French, German, Greek|
|National Animal||Grey Wolf|
|Food||Pizza, Lasagna, Pasta|
Autumn : Sep - Nov
Summer : Jun - Aug
Winter : Dec - Feb
Sprint : Mar - May
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy (named Comune di Roma Capitale). Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi),it is also the country's most populated comune.Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City (the smallest country in the world) is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe. The city's early population originated from a mix of Latins, Etruscans, and Sabines. Eventually, the city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded by many as the first ever Imperial City and metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City (by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, and the expression was also taken up by Ovid, Virgil, and Livy. Rome is also called "Caput Mundi" (Capital of the World). Beginning with the Renaissance, almost all popes since Nicholas V (1447–1455) pursued a coherent architectural and urban programme over four hundred years, aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, and then the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters, sculptors and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city. In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic.
As of 2019, Rome is ranked as an Alpha- global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. In 2016, Rome was the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist destination in Italy. Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is also the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The city also hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p.A., and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL. Rome’s EUR business district is the home of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and financial services. The presence of renowned international brands in the city have made Rome an important centre of fashion and design, and the Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies
Florence (Firenze) is one of Italy's most important Renaissance architectural and art centers. Its Duomo and Baptistery are magnificent but crowded with tourists, as is their large piazza. Florence has several excellent museums with many famous paintings and sculptures, including Michelangelo's "David" and Botticelli's "Birth of Venus." There are also Medici palaces and gardens. Florence is in the region of Tuscany and is the gateway for exploring Tuscany's smaller cities and countryside.
Florence is believed to have the greatest concentration of art (in proportion to its size) in the world. Thus, cultural tourism is particularly strong, with world-renowned museums such as the Uffizi selling over 1.93 million tickets in 2014. The city's convention centre facilities were restructured during the 1990s and host exhibitions, conferences, meetings, social forums, concerts and other events all year.
Milan (Milano), one of Europe's wealthiest cities, is known for stylish shops, galleries, and restaurants and has a faster pace of life than most Italian cities. It also has a rich artistic and cultural heritage. Its Gothic Duomo, with its beautiful marble facade, is magnificent. Da Vinci's painting of The Last Supper is one of Milan's top attractions and La Scala is one of the world's most famous opera houses.
Milan is home to many cultural institutions, museums and art galleries, that account for about a tenth of the national total of visitors and receipts. In addition, even though Milan is located in one of the most urbanised regions of Italy, it's surrounded by a belt of green areas and features numerous gardens even in its very centre. Since 1990, the farmlands and woodlands north (Parco Nord Milano) and south (Parco Agricolo Sud Milano) of the urban area have been protected as regional parks. West of the city, the Parco delle Cave (Sand pit park) has been established on a neglected site where gravel and sand used to be extracted, featuring artificial lakes and woods.
Padova is a city and comune in Veneto, northern Italy. Padua is on the river Bacchiglione, west of Venice. It is the capital of the province of Padua. It is also the economic and communications hub of the area. One of the oldest cities in northern Italy. With one of the most ancient universities in Italy along with daily food markets, stunning buildings, and the claim of being the inventor of Aperol (the essential ingredient for a Spritz), Padua is the perfect alternative to Venice.
Padova offers a wide variety of sights. If you choose to visit it, it means enjoying classic itineraries with frescoes by Giotto, historical museums, the old city center with its charming buildings and institutional headquarters. Churches and monuments give a sense of history and culture; shops, markets and the locals, a sparkling vitality and a vibrant modern life.
Unlike anyplace else in the world, Venice (Venezia) is a unique city built on water in the middle of a lagoon. Venice is one of Italy's most beautiful and romantic cities as well as one of the most popular for visitors to Italy. The heart of Venice is Piazza San Marco with its magnificent church, Saint Mark's Basilica. There are numerous museums, palaces, and churches to visit, and wandering along Venice's canals and getting lost in its maze of narrow streets is always enchanting. Venice is in the northeast of Italy and historically was a bridge between East and West – its architecture retains a Byzantine feel not really found elsewhere in Italy.
Venice is regarded by some as a tourist trap, and by others as a "living museum". Unlike most other places in Western Europe, and the world, Venice has become widely known for its element of elegant decay. Today, there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marco. The Lido di Venezia is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics, celebrities, and others in the cinematic industry. The city also relies heavily on the cruise business
Naples (Napoli) is one of Italy's most vibrant cities. It lies on the coast south of Rome and is the most important city in southern Italy. Naples retains much of its Baroque character and is a starting point for trips to Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Amalfi Coast. It holds many historical and artistic treasures, and is famous for its pizza and desserts!
Naples' historic city centre is the largest in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a wide range of culturally and historically significant sites nearby, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Naples is also known for its natural beauties such as Posillipo, Phlegraean Fields, Nisida, and Vesuvius. Naples' 2,800-year history has left it with a wealth of historical buildings and monuments, from medieval castles to classical ruins, and a wide range of culturally and historically significant sites nearby, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The most prominent forms of architecture visible in present-day Naples are the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque styles. Naples has a total of 448 historical churches (1000 in total), making it one of the most Catholic cities in the world in terms of the number of places of worship.
Verona is known for the story of Romeo and Juliet and for its Roman Arena, the third largest in Italy and the venue for a top opera festival. Verona has a good medieval center, Roman remains, an interesting castle complex, and lots of high-end shopping. It's the fourth most visited city in Italy and well worth a stop.
Verona is famous for its Roman amphitheatre, the Arena, found in the city's largest piazza, the Piazza Bra. There is also a variety of other Roman monuments to be found in the town, such as the Roman theatre of Verona. Because of the value and importance of its many historical buildings, Verona has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Verona preserved many ancient Roman monuments (including the magnificent Arena) in the early Middle Ages, but many of its early medieval edifices were destroyed or heavily damaged by the earthquake of 3 January 1117, which led to a massive Romanesque rebuilding. The Carolingian period Versus de Verona contains an important description of Verona in the early medieval era.
Turin (Torino), in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, is a major cultural hub with excellent museums, elegant shops, and good restaurants. There are also some very nice examples of Baroque architecture and historic palaces, famous coffee houses, artisan workshops, and streets with covered arcades. it is a city and an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy. It is the capital city of Piedmont and of the Metropolitan City of Turin, and was the first Italian capital from 1861 to 1865. The city is located mainly on the western bank of the Po River, in front of Susa Valley, and is surrounded by the western Alpine arch and Superga Hill.
Turin, as the former capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Kingdom of Italy, is home of the Savoy Residences. In addition to the 17th-century Royal Palace, built for Madama Reale Christine Marie of France (the official residence of the Savoys until 1865) there are many palaces, residences and castles in the city centre and in the surrounding towns
Bologna is known for its beauty, wealth, cuisine, and left-wing politics. Its flat streets are lined with arcades, making it a good walking city in every kind of weather. It has one of Europe's oldest universities. a nice medieval center, and several attractive squares, lined with buildings with porticoes. Bologna is the biggest city in northern Italy's Emilia-Romagna region and its Piazza Maggiore is one of the biggest squares in Europe. Even among Italians, it's considered the culinary capital of the country.
Until the late 19th century, when a large-scale urban renewal project was undertaken, Bologna was one of the few remaining large walled cities in Europe; to this day and despite having suffered considerable bombing damage in 1944, Bologna's 142 hectares historic centre is Europe's second largest, containing an immense wealth of important medieval, renaissance, and baroque artistic monuments.
Genoa (Genova), in Liguria on the northwest coast of Italy, is Italy's principal seaport. Genoa has a fascinating modern aquarium, an interesting port area, and a historic center said to be the largest medieval quarter in Europe, with a wealth of churches, palaces, and museums. Genoa is also famous for its numerous tapestries, which decorated the city's many salons. Whilst the patrician palaces and villas in the city were and still are austere and majestic, the interiors tended to be luxurious and elaborate, often full of tapestries, many of which were Flemish.
Genoa is probably best known as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, although it has plenty of other things to shout about. One such accolade is its cuisine, which includes both pesto and focaccia – two of Italian cookery's most popular (and tasty!) exports. The city of Genoa during its long history at least since the 9th century had been protected by different line of defensive walls. Large portions of these walls remain today, and Genoa has more and longer walls than any other city in Italy.
Perugia, in central Italy's Umbria region, is a very cosmopolitan city and home to two universities. It hosts a world-famous jazz festival in the summer and its University for Foreigners is a great place to learn Italian. It's a walled city on a hilltop with great views over the valley and has several important monuments and a good central square. Its history goes back to the ninth century BCE.
Perugia is an Italian city and the capital of the Umbria region. It’s known for its defensive walls around the historic center. The medieval Priori Palace exhibits regional art from the 13th century onward. Looking onto Piazza IV Novembre, the Gothic cathedral houses Renaissance paintings and frescoes. In the square's center, Fontana Maggiore is a marble fountain with carvings of biblical scenes and zodiac signs. Perugia has had a rich tradition of art and artists.
Colosseum, also called Flavian Amphitheatre, giant amphitheatre built in Rome under the Flavian emperors. Construction of the Colosseum was begun sometime between 70 and 72 ce during the reign of Vespasian. It is located just east of the Palatine Hill, on the grounds of what was Nero’s Golden House. The artificial lake that was the centrepiece of that palace complex was drained, and the Colosseum was sited there, a decision that was as much symbolic as it was practical. Vespasian, whose path to the throne had relatively humble beginnings, chose to replace the tyrannical emperor’s private lake with a public amphitheatre that could host tens of thousands of Romans.
The Colosseum was damaged by lightning and earthquakes in medieval times and, even more severely, by vandalism. All the marble seats and decorative materials disappeared, as the site was treated as little more than a quarry for more than 1,000 years. Preservation of the Colosseum began in earnest in the 19th century, with notable efforts led by Pius VIII, and a restoration project was undertaken in the 1990s. It has long been one of Rome’s major tourist attractions, receiving close to seven million visitors annually. Changing exhibitions relating to the culture of ancient Rome are regularly mounted.
The Roman Forum was ancient Rome's showpiece centre, a grandiose district of temples, basilicas and vibrant public spaces. The site, originally a marshy burial ground, was first developed in the 7th century BC, growing over time to become the social, political and commercial hub of the Roman empire. Signature sights include the Arco di Settimio Severo, the Curia, the Tempio di Saturno and the Arco di Tito.
Like many of ancient Rome's great urban developments, the Forum fell into disrepair after the fall of the Roman Empire until eventually it was used as pasture land. In the Middle Ages it was known as the Campo Vaccino ('Cow Field') and extensively plundered for its stone and marble. The area was systematically excavated in the 18th and 19th centuries, and excavations continue to this day.
The Vatican museums were born with the private works of pope Julius II that once elected pope in 1503 moved his collection to the Octagonal Court. Among the works we have the Apollo Belvedere, the Venus Felix, the Sleeping Ariadne and the Laocoon group. New buildings were constructed with galleries and passageways to connect them to the existing ones. Julius II commissioned the decoration of Raphael’s room and the Helical Ramp designed by Donato Bramante as access to the upper floors from the garden of Belvedere. In 1580, Pope Gregory XIII commissioned the Gallery of Maps on the west side of the Belvedere Courtyard.
Vatican City, in full State of the Vatican City, Italian Stato della Città del Vaticano, ecclesiastical state, seat of the Roman Catholic Church, and an enclave in Rome, situated on the west bank of the Tiber River. Vatican City is the world’s smallest fully independent nation-state. Its medieval and Renaissance walls form its boundaries except on the southeast at St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro). Of the six entrances, only three—the piazza, the Arco delle Campane (Arch of the Bells) in the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica, and the entrance to the Vatican Museums and Galleries in the north wall—are open to the public. The most imposing building is St. Peter’s Basilica, built during the 4th century and rebuilt during the 16th century. Erected over the tomb of St. Peter the Apostle, it is the second largest religious building (after Yamoussoukro Basilica) in Christendom.
The Sistine Chapel is one of the chapels of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City State, where the pope's official residence is located. Originally it worked like the chapel of the Vatican fort and was known like Cappella Magna. Its name comes from Pope Sixtus IV who ordered its restoration between 1473 and 1481. Since that time this chapel has served to celebrate.
Currently the Sistine Chapel is the seat of the conclave, the meeting in which the College of Cardinals chooses a new pope. The fame of the Sistine Chapel is due mainly to its spectacular fresco decoration, especially to the barrel vault and wall behind the altar with The Last Judgment, two works by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.
The restoration of the Sistine Chapel during the 1990s demonstrated the incredible technical mastery of this artist and painter who had no assistants to perform the paintings but only relied on some workers in charge of preparing the ceiling. The large size of the figures and the difficulty of applying the paint following the curvature of the ceilings have made this fresco a unique and exceptional creation.
The Villa Adriana (at Tivoli, near Rome) is an exceptional complex of classical buildings created in the 2nd century A.D. by the Roman emperor Hadrian. It combines the best elements of the architectural heritage of Egypt, Greece and Rome in the form of an 'ideal city'. The Italian town of Tivoli, just east of Rome, is home to luxe residences, splendid villas, and two famous UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Trevi Fountain, Italian Fontana di Trevi, fountain in Rome that is considered a late Baroque masterpiece and is arguably the best known of the city’s numerous fountains. It was designed by Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini in 1762. According to legend, those who toss coins into its waters will return to Rome.
The fountain is located in Rome’s Trevi district, abutting the Palazzo Poli. An earlier fountain on the site was demolished in the 17th century, and a design competition for a new fountain was won by Nicola Salvi in 1732. His creation was a scenic wonder. The idea of combining the palace front and fountain was derived from a project by Pietro da Cortona, but the grand pageantry of the fountain’s central triumphal arch with its mythological and allegorical figures, natural rock formations, and gushing water was Salvi’s. The Trevi Fountain took some 30 years to complete, and after Salvi’s death in 1751, Giuseppe Pannini, who slightly altered the original scheme, oversaw its completion in 1762.
The Uffizi Gallery will grant itself to visitors just a little bit at a time: from the initial uncertainty on where to get tickets, getting through lines to get inside and at the metal detector, then taking two flights of Renaissance-era stairs before you arrive at the actual entrance to the museum. Finally, the Gallery unveils its stunning frescoed ceilings and the start of its collections.
The museum is organized as a long labyrinth of rooms with amazing works of art displayed roughly in chronological order along a U-shaped Renaissance building which was never created to be a museum. Cosimo de’ Medici had entrusted his favorite architect Giorgio Vasari to create a grandiose building right next to Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of power, to host the magistrates, the seats of the Florentine Guilds, a vast theatre and judiciary offices.
Florence's cathedral stands tall over the city with its magnificent Renaissance dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, with the baptistery right across. The cathedral named in honor of Santa Maria del Fiore is a vast Gothic structure built on the site of the 7th century church of Santa Reparata, the remains of which can be seen in the crypt.
The first stone of the façade was laid on 8 September 1296 to a design by Arnolfo di Cambio. Arnolfo worked on the cathedral from 1296 to 1302, designing a basilica with classical volumes based on three broad aisles converging in a vast choir hosting the high altar, itself surrounded by tribunes subsequently crowned by a dome.
Santa Maria del Fiore, designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, is the third largest church in the world (after St. Peter's in Rome and St. Paul's in London) and was the largest church in Europe when it was completed in the 15th century. It is 153 metres long, 90 metres wide at the crossing, and 90 metres high from the floor to the bottom of the lantern. The third and last cathedral of Florence, it was dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore, the Virgin of the Flower, in 1412, a clear allusion to the lily, the symbol of the city of Florence.
The Garden that extends from the hill behind the Pitti Palace as far as Porta Romana, reached its current extension and appearance, becoming one of the largest and most elegant Italian style gardens, through several stages of enlargement and restructuring work carried out at diffrent times. The first works initially affected the area that was closer to the palace, after the buildung had been purchased by Cosimo I de´ Medici and by his wife Eleonora di Toledo, who had chosen this place for new grand ducal palace. The initial plan was drawn by Niccolò Tribolo, although the works were completed, after his death in 1550 by other architects including also Giorgio Vasari (from 1598 to 1561) along with Bartolomeo Ammannati and Bernardo Buontalenti under the reign of Francis I, who succeeded to his father Cosimo.
The Boboli gardens are a spectacular example of "green architecture" decorated with sculptures and the prototype which inspired many European Royal gardens, in particular, Versailles.
Built very close to the Roman crossing, the Ponte Vecchio, or Old Bridge, was the only bridge across the Arno in Florence until 1218. The current bridge was rebuilt after a flood in 1345. During World War II it was the only bridge across the Arno that the fleeing Germans did not destroy. Instead they blocked access by demolishing the medieval buildings on each side. On November 4, 1966, the bridge miraculously withstood the tremendous weight of water and silt when the Arno once again burst its banks.
onte Vecchio (Old Bridge) connects the city centre to the district of Oltrarno on the south bank of the river Arno. It is the first bridge ever built in Florence, surely one of the great icons of the city and one of the most famous bridges in the world.
It is best known today for the wooden-shuttered goldsmiths’ shops that line both sides of it, and for the Vasari Corridor that runs over it.
The Galleria dell’Accademia, or Accademia Gallery, is an important art museum in Florence, Italy, and is most notably home to Michelangelo’s David. It also holds other sculptures by Michelangelo, a collection of Renaissance paintings, and one of the greatest collections of gold background paintings.The Galleria dell’Accademia, or Accademia Gallery, is an important art museum in Florence, Italy, and is most notably home to Michelangelo’s David. It also holds other sculptures by Michelangelo, a collection of Renaissance paintings, and one of the greatest collections of gold background paintings.
The Accademia welcomes the visitor in the Hall of the Colossus, name taken from the huge models of the Dioscuri of Montecavallo which were displayed in this large hall in the 19th century. It now hosts in the center the plaster model for the stunning marble sculpture of Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women. Giambologna prepared the model as an exercise in creating a tightly-knit group of three figures from just one large block of marble. He did not actually name the sculpture, it was meant to be as a “simple” exercise of skill and it became the first example of such magnificent talent.
Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the best and most famous lookouts for a stunning view of Florence, day or night, and best of all it is free! It just takes a little legwork and there are a few easy ways to get there.
One is a lovely walk along the south side of the river upstream towards the Torre San Niccolò, an old tower of the now destroyed medieval city walls which visitors can see jutting out over the rooftops from afar. Here, visitors are directly underneath the piazza, simply follow the looping ramps up to the top of the hill. Another nice walk is from the Porta San Miniato gateway, accessible from Via San Niccolò. Go through the gateway and up a short but steep street; in front of visitors is the “shortcut,” picturesque stone steps that will lead you straight up to the piazza in a matter of minutes. Visitors will pass by the entrance to the lovely rose garden on the way up. Don't forget to take a peek behind visitors to catch the growing panorama of Florence.
The Piazza della Signoria has been the center of political life in Florence since the 14th century with the prominent Palazzo Vecchio overlooking the square. It was the scene of great triumphs, such as the return of the Medici in 1530 as well as the Bonfire of the Vanities instigated by Savonarola, who was then himself burned at the stake here in 1498 after he was denounced by the Inquisition as a heretic. A marble circle inscription on the piazza shows the location where he was burned.
The sculptures in Piazza della Signoria bristle with political connotations, many of which are fiercely contradictory. The David (the original is in the Galleria dell'Accademia) by Michelangelo was placed outside the Palazzo Vecchio as a symbol of the Republic's defiance of the tyrannical Medici.
The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci (Cenacolo Vinciano) is one of the most famous paintings in the world. This artwork was painted between 1494 and 1498 under the government of Ludovico il Moro and represents the last "dinner" between Jesus and his disciples.
In order to create this unique work, Leonardo carried out an exhaustive research creating an infinity of preparatory sketches. Leonardo abandons the traditional method of fresco painting, painting the scene "dry" on the wall of the refectory. Traces of gold and silver foils have been found which testify to the artist's willingness to make the figures in a much more realistic manner, including precious details. After completion, his technique and environmental factor had contributed to the eventual deterioration of the fresco, which had undergone numerous restorations.
The most recent restoration was completed in 1999 where several scientific methods were used to restore the original colors as close as possible, and to eliminate traces of paint applied in previous attempts to restore the fresco.
Milan Cathedral, called Duomo di Milano in Italian, is a vast Gothic-style cathedral, located in the heart of Milan. It is 515 ft (157 metres) long and 302 ft (92 m) wide. It can house up to 40.000 people. Il Duomo di Milano is one of the largest Catholic churches in the world.
Milan Cathedral is a vast structure made of large darkened marble plates. The interior is elegant and stately thanks to its large sculpted marble columns that reach the ceiling. Large paintings adorn the walls of the temple, representing scenes from the Bible and the skeletons of various saints lie in glass caskets spread throughout the building, all dressed in their best attire.
The site where the Cathedral is currently situated was previously occupied by the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio. In 838 the Basilica di Santa Tecla was founded next to the first church, but in 1075 a fire devastated both buildings and a few centuries later, the Duomo was established in the same location. The construction of Milan Cathedral began in 1386, which coincided with Gian Galeazzo Visconti coming into power. The purpose of this impressive construction was to modernize the area and to celebrate the expansion of the Visconti territory.
Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle) was built as a fortress during the fourteenth century and is one of the most famous landmarks in Milan. Presently, it houses one of the best museums in the city.
The first fortification on this site was built in 1368. Years later it was enlarged and became a splendid ducal palace, which was then practically completely destroyed during the Golden Ambrosian Republic. The Sforza family reconstructed the castle and made it into one of the most magnificent residences in Italy. Years later, the castle was used once more as a fortification under the Spanish and Austrian domination. Napoleon ordered the demolition of the castle in 1800 and a year later the Spanish bastions and towers were destroyed.
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is sometimes nicknamed “il salotto di Milano” (Milan’s drawing room), is an elegant nineteenth-century shopping arcade. It houses some of the most luxurious boutiques in Milan.The structure built between 1865 and 1877 is formed by two arcades shaped like a Latin cross covered by a glass and iron dome. The Galleria is located between two of the main monuments in Milan: il Duomo and the Teatro alla Scala. In our opinion, this magnificent shopping arcade is one of the most interesting sights in Milan.
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II contains brands such as Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, as well as other high-end boutiques. It also houses numerous well-decorated restaurants, including some of the oldest establishments of Milan such as Café Biffi, founded in 1867. Surprisingly, visitors can also find a McDonald’s in the Gallery. This said, the fast-food restaurant is beautifully decorated with black columns and gold decoration to blend in with the other establishments. It has a comfortable terrace to sit in and have an inexpensive drink, while enjoying the atmosphere and elegance of this stunning building.
The Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio was consecrated in 387 by St. Ambrose, who it was named after, and restored in a Lombard Romanesque style in the 11th century.The Basilica di Sant’ Ambrogio was consecrated in 387 by St. Ambrose, and it was later named after this same saint. During the eleventh century, it was reconstructed in a Lombard Romanesque style. It was the first church to adopt this style and consequently, it became the model for this kind of church for years to come.
The Basilica’s exterior is very original and curious. It has two red brick bell towers, one taller than the other, and an enormous atrium, which is nearly as large as the entire church and contains a few archaeological remains. The Basilica’s interior houses the Stilicho’s Sepulchre, a magnificent fourth-century sarcophagus with decorated high reliefs. The Basilica’s crypt contains the remains of three saints: Saint Ambrose, Saint Gervasus and Saint Protasus. They are all dressed head to toe in elegant attire.
At the end of the southern nave is the oratory of San Vittorio, a chapel built before the first basilica. When the site was still a cemetery, a small structure was built in honour of the local martyr Saint Vittorio. During the construction of the Basilica, the structure was added to the temple.
The Scala Theater in Milan is one of the most important Opera theaters in the world. It is located in the town hall square next to the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery and the Duomo Square in Milan.
Since its construction, and for more than two centuries, La Scala Theater in Milan has acquired prestige throughout the world. Here the works of the greatest composers, famous singers, concert directors, conductors and choirs have been presented, whose names will remain written for ever in the history of classical and lyric music. Among them we can name, Alfredo Catalani, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Gaetano Donizetti, Gioachino Rossini, Arturo Toscanini, Victor de Sabata, Guido Cantelli, Tullio Serafin, among many others.
Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci.
The refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie forms an integral part of this architectural complex, begun in Milan in 1463 and reworked at the end of the 15th century by Bramante. On the north wall is The Last Supper, the unrivalled masterpiece painted between 1495 and 1497 by Leonardo da Vinci, whose work was to herald a new era in the history of art.
Padua's version of the Sistine Chapel, the Cappella degli Scrovegni houses one of Italy's great Renaissance masterpieces – a striking cycle of Giotto frescoes. Dante, da Vinci and Vasari all honour Giotto as the artist who ended the Dark Ages with these 1303–05 paintings, whose humanistic depiction of biblical figures was especially well suited to the chapel Enrico Scrovegni commissioned in memory of his father (who as a moneylender was denied a Christian burial).
It's a simple brick building, with little indication from the outside of what lies within. It took Giotto two years to finish the frescoes, which tell the story of Christ from Annunciation to Ascension. Scrovegni's chapel once adjoined the family mansion (demolished in 1824) – the city of Padua acquired the chapel in 1881.
Giotto's moving, modern approach helped change how people saw themselves: no longer as lowly vassals, but as vessels for the divine, however flawed. And where medieval churchgoers had been accustomed to blank stares from saints perched on high thrones, Giotto introduced biblical figures as characters in recognisable settings. Onlookers gossip as middle-aged Anne tenderly kisses Joachim, and Jesus stares down Judas as the traitor puckers up for the fateful kiss. Giotto also used unusual techniques such as impasto, building paint up into 3D forms. A 10-minute introductory video provides some helpful insights before visitors enter the church itself.
At the southern edge of the historical centre, this odd, elliptical garden was long used as a communal sports ground. Today it's a popular spot for locals wanting to soak up some summer rays and students swotting for exams. Framing the space is a slim canal lined by 78 statues of the great and good of Paduan history, plus 10 empty pedestals. Ten Venetian doges once occupied them, but Napoleon had them removed after he took Venice in 1797.
One of the highlights of a visit to Padua is a stop on Prato della Valle. To walk around among 78 life-sized marble statues of spiritual and intellectual leaders from the 18th century. Cross a low stone bridge to watch mesmerizing reflections in the canal. Sit down and lean on Galileo Galilei or Francesco Petrarca, while children, dogs, and groups of friends and students fill the lawn with balls, bicycles, books and chatter or circle the lush green island to study the elegant palazzos and monumental churches lining the square. Prato della Valle is an urban space emitting beauty, culture and zen in equal measures.
Villa dei Vescovi is located in Luvigliano di Torreglia, in the heart of the Euganean Hills and set in a beautiful natural landscape surrounded by vineyards, hills and ancient woods. Built between 1535 and 1542 as a summer residence of the then bishop of Padua Francesco Pisani, Villa Vescovi soon became a reference point for writers and enlightened humanists who routinely chose it as their meeting point.
After being enlarged several times over the past centuries and thoroughly renovated in recent years, today Villa dei Vescovi in Torreglia is one of the top-rated and most visited Venetian villas thanks to its architecture and the magnificent frescoes kept inside it. Because of its beauty, Villa dei Vescovi at Luvigliano di Torreglia has been declared a national monument and, since 2005, has been owned by FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano).
The Musme, Museum of the History of Medicine at Padova, will illustrate the century-old history of medicine. It is currently under construction and will be housed in the buildings of the former San Francesco Grande hospital complex. San Francesco Grande hospital was built in 1414 to provide health care to poor people; it represented a leading organization at that time, especially considering that 15th-century hospitals were primarily hospices for the poor. The building of the hospital was promoted by Baldo da Piombino, called Bonfari, and his wife, Sibilla de’ Cetto, who was a wealthy couple close to the da’ Carrara court. In 1798, the new Nicolò Giustiniani hospital was built (today the old city hospital) and San Francesco Grande complex lost its position as major city hospital facing an inevitable decline and several conversions over the years. In 1959 the administration of the Province of Padua decided to acquire the complex and, later, to house here the new Museum of the History of Medicine over an area of 2700 square metres. The collections will include books, scientific and didactic instruments, equipment and pieces of furniture, and some rooms will be organized to host exhibitions, conferences and meetings.
Grand Canal, Italian Canale Grande, main waterway of Venice, Italy, following a natural channel that traces a reverse-S course from San Marco Basilica to Santa Chiara Church and divides the city into two parts.
Slightly more than 2 miles (3 km) long and between 100 and 225 feet (30 and 70 metres) wide, the Grand Canal has an average depth of 17 feet (5 metres) and connects at various points with a maze of smaller canals. These waterways carry the bulk of Venetian transportation, as automobiles are banned throughout much of the city. Traditional poled gondolas are a favourite with tourists but are now vastly outnumbered by motorized public-transit water buses (vaporetti) and private water taxis. Siren-equipped boats belonging to the police, fire, and emergency medical services traverse the Grand Canal at high speed, and barges are responsible for the delivery of goods throughout the city. The connection between Venetians and their city’s main thoroughfare does not end at the grave: funeral barges can be seen transporting the dead to Isola di San Michele, an island northeast of the city that has been the site of Venice’s largest cemetery since the early 19th century.
San Marco Basilica, Italian Basilica di San Marco, English Saint Mark’s Basilica, church in Venice that was begun in its original form in 829 (consecrated in 832) as an ecclesiastical structure to house and honour the remains of St. Mark that had been brought from Alexandria. St. Mark thereupon replaced St. Theodore as the patron saint of Venice, and his attribute of a winged lion later became the official symbol of the Venetian Republic. San Marco Basilica, built beside the Palazzo Ducale, or Doges’ Palace, also served as the doge’s chapel. It did not become the cathedral church of Venice until 1807.
The basilica’s interior is decorated throughout with mosaics on gold ground and with many varieties of marble; the floor is of inlaid marble and glass. In the restricted light their colours glow. The screen separating the choir from the nave has marble statues, masterpieces of Venetian Gothic sculpture by Jacobello and Pier Paolo dalle Masegne.
Doges’ Palace, Italian Palazzo Ducale, official residence in Venice of the doges, who were the elected leaders of the former Venetian republic. This impressive structure, built around a courtyard and richly decorated, was the meeting place of the governing councils and ministries of the republic. In its successive rebuildings, the palace incorporated characteristics of Gothic, Moorish, and Renaissance architecture.
Doge’s Palace was probably built between the 10th and 11th centuries on the basis of a fortified central core. This nucleus was constituted with a central body with towers in the corners forming one of the masterpieces of the Venetian Gothic. In the 12th century, the first restructuring was carried out with the duke Sebastiano Ziani, who transformed the fort into an elegant palace. Later in 1200 a new expansion was realized.
Piazza San Marco was constructed in the ninth century as a small square dotted with trees. The square was laid out in front of the original St. Mark's Basilica, at the time a small chapel which was part of the Doge's Palace.
The square was separated from the palace by a small canal, the Rio Batario. Already a central gathering place for Venetians, the piazza was enlarged in 1174 after the canal and an adjoining dock were filled in. The square became paved with bricks in 1267 in a herringbone pattern. In 1735 the bricks were replaced with natural stone and laid in a more complicated pattern according to a design devised by architect Andrea Tirali. The design marked the location where merchants could set up their stalls.
Rialto Bridge, Italian Ponte di Rialto, stone-arch bridge crossing over the narrowest point of the Grand Canal in the heart of Venice. Built in the closing years of the 16th century, the Rialto Bridge is the oldest bridge across the canal and is renowned as an architectural and engineering achievement of the Renaissance. It was designed and built by Antonio da Ponte and his nephew, Antonio Contino, following a design competition in the city.
The first bridge at that location, known as Ponte della Moneta, was a wooden pontoon bridge designed in 1178 by Nicolò Barattieri. The structure was rebuilt in 1255 and 1264 and, following a number of collapses, was eventually replaced by the Rialto Bridge to provide better access to Rialto, the primary financial centre of Venice. The bridge served as the only fixed structure crossing the Canal until the 1850s; prior to that, pedestrian crossings at other locations were done by gondola ferries.
Murano is a major island in the Venetian Lagoon about 1.5 km north of Venice, and is worldwide famous for its glass making. Murano is composed of seven islands (two of which, Sacca Serenella and Sacca San Mattia, are artificial), which are linked together by bridges and separated by eight canals. Measuring about 1.17 km2, it is now home to less than 4.500 inhabitants.
The origins of Murano are thought to be similar to those of many other islands of the Venetian Lagoon, that is a refuge to the citizens of Altino escaping the barbarian invasions. The first document mentioning Murano (Amorianas) is the Pactum Lotharii, an agreement signed in 840 A.C.E between Venice and the Carolingian Empire. At first, the island prospered as a fishing port and through its production of salt. It was also a center for trade through the port it controlled on Sant’Erasmo, another important island of the lagoon.
Islands of tradition and nature, places where the authentic spirit of life in the lagoon is still preserved. Venice islands are different and each one has its unique characteristics. And size has nothing to do with these scattered pieces of Venice. Minor islands does not mean in any way less beautiful or important.
Venice islands have all unique qualities on offer, something truly and deeply special. This is Venice too. Islands that are like museums, ancient villages and beautiful gardens. It would be a great shame to miss out on the atmosphere infused with tradition and history which reigns almost undisturbed in these places.
Lying halfway between San Marco and the Lido is San Servolo. Today home to the International University of Venice, in the past it has hosted one of the oldest monasteries in Venice, a hospital, and a mental asylum. The reappropriation of the island began in 1980 and now is destination for thousands of students, teachers and visitors.
Naples Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di San Gennaro or Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta) is a beautiful medieval cathedral in southern Italy that features the remains of an Early Christian basilica, many notable artworks, and the miraculous blood of San Gennaro.
Naples Cathedral was founded in the 4th century on the site of a Greek temple dedicated to Apollo. Only the baptistery (5th century) survives from this early period. The core of the present building was built in the French Gothic style in 1294-1323, begun by Charles I and completed under Robert the Wise. Several reconstructions and renovations have altered the building since its completion. In 1407, the west facade was rebuilt by Antonio Baboccio after it was destroyed by an earthquake. The rest of the building had to be rebuilt after another earthquake in 1456.
Piazza Trieste and Trento (formerly Piazza San Ferdinando) is a meeting point between the famous streets Toledo, Chiaia, San Carlo and Piazza del Plebiscito. Its architectural features are the result of the transformations that took place until the turn of the nineteenth century.
The square is dominated in the middle by the Fountain of the Artichoke, built on the will of Achille Lauro in the fifties of the last century.
On the square, moreover, overlooks the famous bar Gambrinus, literary coffee temple of the Neapolitan intellectual elite and beyond, which saw the passage of important personalities such as Benedetto Croce, Matilde Serao, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Giovanni Agnelli and Oscar Wilde.
Built by the Normans in the 12th century, Naples’ oldest castle owes its name (Castle of the Egg) to Virgil. The Roman scribe reputedly buried an egg on the site where the castle now stands, warning that when the egg breaks, the castle (and Naples) will fall. Thankfully, both are still standing, and walking up to the castle's ramparts will reward you with a breathtaking panorama.
Used by the Swabians, Angevins and Alfonso of Aragon, who modified it to suit his military needs, the castle sits on the rocky, restaurant-lined 'island' of Borgo Marinaro. According to legend, the heartbroken siren Partenope washed ashore here after failing to seduce Ulysses with her song. It's also where the Greeks first settled the city in the 7th century BC, calling the island Megaris. Its commanding position wasn't wasted on the Roman general Lucullus either, who had his villa here long before the castle hit the skyline.
Naples is a large port city located in southwest Italy and is the capital of Italy’s Campania region. A Naples cruise port of call is an excellent way to visit Italy’s third largest city and experience everything this famous city is known for, including pizza, history, and it’s close proximity to several of Italy’s most famous places.
Due to its location, Naples is a unique port city for travelers on Mediterranean cruises. It has the allure of an energetic city since Naples is home to a vibrant historic center and famous culinary scene, but it is also the gateway to some of the most alluring places in the world. The Amalfi Coast, the island of Capri, and the lost city of Pompeii are all an easy day trip away.
Bay of Naples, Italian Golfo Di Napoli, Latin Sinus Cumanus, semicircular inlet of the Tyrrhenian Sea (an arm of the Mediterranean Sea), southwest of the city of Naples, southern Italy. It is 10 miles (16 km) wide and extends southeastward for 20 miles (32 km) from Cape Miseno to Campanella Point. The bay is noted for its scenic beauty, which is enhanced by the steep, mainly volcanic hills surrounding it (including the still-active Mount Vesuvius). The major port is Naples; other coastal towns along the bay are Pozzuoli, Torre Annunziata, Castellammare di Stabia, and Sorrento. Along the bay shore are the extensive ruins of the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. At the bay’s entrance are the islands of Ischia, Procida, and Capri. The Gulf of Pozzuoli is a northwest inlet.
This grandiose square, symbol of a renovated Naples, is surrounded by buildings of great historical and artistic importance. Reduced for a long time to a parking role, yet in the heart of the city, its rehabilitation took place in the early 90s to finish at the G7 meeting in 1994.Until 1860 the square was called “Largo del Palazzo” (square of the palace) ; its current name recalls the plebiscite of October 1860 under the Kingdom of Two Sicily to consent to the annexation into the recent union of Italy.
Today, it is a large pedestrian area that even allows the occasion to receive events or concerts. The square is framed by four buildings: the Royal Palace, the Basilica of St. Francis of Paola, and the two symmetrical buildings that are the Prefecture and the Palace of Salerno.
The Neapolitan artistic and cultural heritage is immense. Every corner exudes magic and emotions. Between castles, historic streets, palaces and squares our eyes fill with wonder at every step. But the symbol of Naples is definitely Piazza del plebiscito. Located in the heart of the city, surrounded by the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola, the Royal Palace, the Prefecture’s Palace and the Salerno Palace is one of the largest squares in Italy and it is here that at the end of the 800 was founded historic and renowned bar “Gambrinus”.
Naples' oldest and most sacred catacombs became a Christian pilgrimage site when San Gennaro's body was interred here in the 5th century. The carefully restored site allows visitors to experience an evocative other world of tombs, corridors and broad vestibules, its treasures including 2nd-century Christian frescoes, 5th-century mosaics and the oldest known portrait of San Gennaro, dating from the second half of the 5th century.
The catacombs are home to three types of tomb, each corresponding to a specific social class. The wealthy opted for the open-room cubiculum, originally guarded by gates and adorned with colourful wall frescoes. One cubiculum to the left of the entrance features an especially beautiful funerary fresco of a mother, father and child: it's made up of three layers of fresco, one commissioned for each death. The smaller, rectangular wall niches, known as loculum, were the domain of the middle classes, while the forme (floor tombs) were reserved for the poor.
1 ) Carnevale
Festival Month - April
Carnevale is the last celebration before lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Lent has historically been the time before Easter when many Catholics deprive themselves of something they enjoy. The thought is to party until you drop and spend the period of Lent recovering. Celebrations are held all over Italy from Venice and Milan down to the villages and towns of Sicily. The celebration of Carnevale is the Italian version of Mardi Gras in New Orleans with oranges instead of beads. Many of the biggest celebrations are on Martedi Grasso or Fat Tuesday.
2 ) Festa della Donna
Festival Month - March
3 ) Feast Day of San Giuseppe
Festival Month - March
4 ) Calendimaggio
Festival Month - May
5 ) Tuscan Sun Festival
6 ) Verona International Horse Show
Festival Month - November