Top 5 Places to Go in Italy (Part 2)
Italy is such a great place that there is no way to fit it into one post.The first post covered just Rome, but the following will attempt to cover as much of the rest of Italy as possible!
The city of Venice is so popular that it even has its own hotel in Las Vegas.There is few less iconic things in Europe than sitting in a gondola with your significant other and floating through the city of Canals.In the previous posts we said that both Bruges and Amsterdam are often called the Venice of the North, and that is with good reason: Venice has over 100 canals and over 400 bridges.
Venice was an important trade center for many years in pre-modern times, but now the city thrives off of its visiting tourists.It is consistently one of the top 30 most visited cities in the world for tourism.One of the most visited sites in the city of Venice is the Piazza San Marco, which features the Church of Saint Mark.
Florence is a city steeped in culture and history (sounds like every city in Europe).Part of what helps set Florence apart from other cities is that, along with Milan, these two cities dominate the fashion world and are a must see for any fashion enthusiast.As with almost every major city, there is an extremely famous cathedral with brilliant architecture called the Cathedral of Santa Maria, or sometimes the Florence Cathedral (visible in photo above).This Cathedral dates back to the mid 1400s and has been a staple in the city of Florence ever since.
Another one of Florence’s largest draws is the Uffizi Gallery.This is one of the oldest and most famous/visited art museums in the world.Some of the most famous artists featured in the museum are Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Rembrandt, to name a few.
Naples is known for many things, but probably the most famous is their Pizza and their Ice Cream (Neapolitan).A great date night for a couple would involve getting some Neapolitan Pizza for dinner, having a night out seeing an opera at the Teatro di San Carlo, Italy’s oldest and largest opera house, with some Neapolitan ice cream for desert.
Naples is the largest city located closely to remnants of Mt. Vesuvius.When it erupted in AD 79, it destroyed both the cities of Pompeii and Herculeum.There are terrific ruins at both sites, however Pompeii is the more tourist heavy location.Herculeum, though, has arguably the better ruins as many of the bodies have been kept in their uncovered state.When Vesuvius erupted, Herculeum was instantly covered in a large layer of ash and preserved people exactly in the position they were when the volcano erupted.Because of this, archeologists and anthropologists alike hold the ruins at these locations as some of the most important windows into life in the first century.
Hardly needing an introduction, Pisa is famous almost exclusively due to its leaning tower.The Leaning Tower of Pisa was constructed as a bell tower to the nearby cathedral, and became famous for being built on soft ground and literally leaning towards one side.It slowly moved year after year to its current position.There are many leaning towers around the world, but nearly all of them were intentional.Pisa is now a national monument/icon for the whole country of Italy.
Milan, as mentioned before, is well known in the modern world for being one of the biggest contributors to the fashion world.Milan is one of the largest cities in northern Italy and, as with all of Italy, you will easily be lost in all of the architecture and culture throughout the city.But the one thing you would be amiss to miss in a visit to Milan is da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper.This mural is housed in the monastery of Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan and probably the main attraction for the casual traveler.