The most beautiful cities in Italy: 13 gems of the boot-shaped country
Like in any other country, in Italy almost every town can impress the traveler with two or three striking sights.
But the Italian "boot" has such "delicious" settlements that every self-respecting tourist needs to visit. So let’s get to the most famous and beautiful cities of Italy.
Rome – The Eternal City
Let's start with the Eternal City. Once the unassailable capital of the millennial empire, nowadays welcomes millions of tourists with open arms. One of the oldest settlements in the world (founded around 753 BC) is full of ancient monuments.
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An enormous amphitheater of the ancient world – the Colosseum (Coliseum) got its name from the Nero's statue "Colossus". The heart of the Eternal City is a Palatine hill. According to the legend this is the place where she-wolf Lupa was feeding Romulus and Remus. Pantheon, the "Temple of every god" is dedicated to worshiping all of the gods. The Triumphal arch in the Roman Forum is the spiritual predecesor of the famous Parisian sight.
And also, it is impossible to pass past Vatican – the smallest state in the world, located in the clawed paws of the Roman she-wolf. Here you will find a huge St Peter's Basilica (Basilica Sancti Petri), which is the biggest of the Christian churches in the world. St Peter's Square that can accommodate 400 thousand of faithful. A lot of museums, including the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, The Gallery of Maps and of course, the famous Sistine Chapel.
You can read about ten of the best sights in Rome in the article by Anna Kobyliatska.
Milan – the Capital of Shopping
The second largest city in Italy is also a capital of finance and fashion. It is famous for its nightlife, shopping and gastronomy. You can read about shopping in Milan in the article by Olena Yarimko.
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You will probably like the gothic Cathedral of Milan, which is a fifth in the size temple in the world. The Sforza Castle (Costello Sforzesco) was a home of the Dukes of Milan's Sforza dynasty and now it is the shelter for various museums. Church Santa Maria delle Grazie (Holy Mary of Grace) is the main church of the Dominican monastery, which houses the famous "Last Supper" by Da Vinci. Teatro alla Scala (La Scala) is the centre of the opera culture all around the world.
Venice – the City on Water
If we hear about the beautiful cities in Italy, we think about Venice. The unique floating city consists of more than a hundred small islands that are connected by a bunch of bridges. There are no roads in the historical center. Instead famous gondolas, as well as less known, but cheaper river buses vaporetto float on channels.
Do not miss the Grand Canal, a 4-kilometer "highway" that runs through the whole Venice. The shores of the Canal are built up by beautiful palazzos from different eras, among which there is the Golden House (Ca’ d'Oro).
Photo source: © Iakov Kalinin - Fotolia.com.
The Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) has been a residence of the rulers of the Republic of Venice from 8 till 18 century. It is connected with the prison by the Bridge of Sighs (so you can guess why there would be sighs). The Rialto Bridge is the most famous crossing over the Grand Canal. San Marco Square and Cathedral, with its pigeons, Campanile (bell tower), the old and new Procuratie. On the Torre dell’orologio (Clock Tower) you can see the time, the lunar phase and position of the Sun in the Zodiac.
Learn about 15 places in Venice that are definitely worth visiting, from the article written by Yuri Perebaev.
Verona – the Homeland of Romeo and Juliet
One of the oldest and one of the most beautiful cities in northern Italy. Thanks to the great bard, Verona became one of the most romantic cities in the world. Here everyone can find a corner to their liking. For somebody, it will be the noisy area, full of tourists, while for others, there are quiet narrow streets leading to the stunning beauty of ancient Verona. Some people will follow the route of Romeo and Juliet.
Photo source: tourister.ru.
The Juliet's House is 13th-century building where Dal Cappello family lived (prototype of Capulet). Now it is a museum that has a sculpture of Juliet in the courtyard. Actually, it is an exact copy of the original. The sculpture was nipped because of hundreds of thousands of hands that touched it (rumor has it that touch will help with the love life). After this, it was moved to the storage. Piazza delle Erbe is a square surrounded by Renaissance palaces, as well as small pizzerias and cafes. The amphitheater Arena di Verona is perfectly preserved predecessor of the Roman Colosseum. An enormous Palazzo della Ragione with hundreds of exquisite frescoes. Castle Castelvecchio (Old Castle) gave shelter to museums housing paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo.
Florence – an Interesting Town in Italy
The capital of Tuscany, Italian Athens, famous for creators, philosophers, thinkers, explorers and... poisoners. Nowadays, it combines the features of a modern, entertainment metropolis and the "open air museum", crowded with masterpieces of architecture.
Photo source: © Mihai-Bogdan Lazar - Fotolia.com.
Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore is the symbol of Florence, which construction process lasted for about 6 centuries. Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in the city that is densely cluttered with workshops and shops. Palazzo Medici Riccardi, that was a residence of the notorious family, is now the home for Biblioteca Riccardiana. Accademia Gallery (The Galleria dell’Accademia) is a place where the originals of world-famous masterpieces are stored. For example "David" by Michelangelo.
Pisa – №1 City for a Creative Selfie
This Tuscan city is known as one of the most fun and youthful centers of the country. It is thanks to the University and to the 60 thousand students that study there.
And, of course, we cannot forget about the infamous tower. Leaning Tower of Pisa, or rather the bell tower of the Duomo di Pisa. Its slope is now almost 5 degrees from the vertical axis. It is all due to the too soft ground on the Field of Miracles. Be sure to pay attention to the Duomo, that is consecrated in honor of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, and its ancient relics. Selfies taken on the background of the Tower of Pisa are very nice.
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Besides this, you will find the Baptistery of San Giovanni. It is an amazing place of the sacrament of Baptism, which height is almost 55 meters.
Campo Santo ( "Holy Field") is "memorial cemetery", which was built in the place, where in the 12th century the Archbishop of Pisa threw a handful of the Holy Land after his return from the 4th crusade.
And plenty of beautiful palazzos and churches, situated further from the Cathedral Square.
Siena – the Medieval City
The City is famous for the solicitous attitude to its architectural appearance that was created in 12–15 centuries. It is considered to be the place where the atmosphere and spirit of the Middle Ages is almost completely preserved. This is one of the Italian cities that is not well-known, but it does not make it less interesting.
Here you will see the beautiful Cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo is full of exhibits relating to the cathedral. The unique library Piccolomini is situated inside the Siena’s Cathedral.
Photo source: wikimedia.org, author – Myrabella.
You should definitely see a paved red stone Piazza del Campo, which is built in an interesting form of a concave shell. Around this square famous Palio di Siena (horse race) takes place twice a year. 102-meter Torre del Mangia ("Tower of Food") is one of the symbols of Siena, from which you can see a great view of the city.
Palermo – the Capital of Sicily
The capital of Sicily is the homeland of the bloody Cosa Nostra. But this is not what attracts tourists. They are interested in a wonderful mix of rich shopping malls and old, run-down houses. Modern slums and medieval monuments.
Festivals and carnivals in Sicily deserve individual attention. Read the material prepared by Sofia Myrna.
Photo source: darsik-dasha.livejournal.com.
One of the landmarks of Palermo is Piazza Pretoria, with an elegant fountain, sculptures and 17th century churches. Beautiful Palatine Chapel, which is located inside of the Norman Palace, was built in honor of the Apostle Peter. Teatro Massimo is widely known among fans of Melpomene. The Capuchin Catacombs is the last resting place of the Friars of the Order of Capuchin, as well as other prominent Sicilians.
Naples – the Homeland of Pizza
The third largest city in the country and the birthplace of pizza, famous for Italian gesticulation and expressive body language. Has developed organized crime system, which in these parts is named "Camorra".
Legendary and mysterious Castel Nuovo (the residence of Charles of Anjou) and Castle dell’Ovo on the island Magaride are waiting for you. According to the myth, in the place of the Egg Castle poet Virgil buried an enchanted egg. As long as it stays intact – the castle and the whole city is in complete safety. The Royal Palace was a home of the native Neapolitan monarchs in the 17th century. Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano that is situated in15 km from the city. It is open as the National Park until the next eruption. The most famous victim of Vesuvius was Pompeii, the city that ceased to exist on 24 August 79 AD. Now it is the open-air museum.
Photo source: nice-places.com.
Nearby, in the Bay of Naples, the most popular Italian seaside resort – Isle of Capri is located. With its stunning Blue Grotto, old and modern villas, mountain Monte Solaro (589 meters in height), great food and not existent winter. Besides, no matter what place in Italy you go, cuisine is always on the highest level.
About the best seaside resorts in Italy, see in the article by Olena Yarimko.
Genoa – the Port City
Genoa is one of the most interesting cities in Italy. Homeland of Ligurian shipbuilders and sailors, that for a long time were one of the owners of the Mediterranean. The largest port of the country. One of the possible locations of Columbus birth.
Photo source: © Alex Safronov.
- Lighthouse Lanterna, the 76-meter symbol of the city.
- Piazza De Ferrari, the main square of Genoa with the famous fountain and plenty of historic buildings facades.
- Palazzi dei Rolli, a quarter of the aristocracy. In the 16th century it was built up with high-rise palaces (over 40 buildings). The most famous street of the quarter is Via Garibaldi "Street of Kings" (250 meter long).
- Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, one of the religious centers of the city.
Tivoli – the City of Paradise
Distinctive settlement located near Rome. It is the old town, where you can enjoy the beauty of Rocca Pia and the Cathedral of St Lorenzo. It can be described as a small beautiful town in Italy.
In Tivoli you will find the villa of the Emperor Trajan, Hadrian Publius Aelius, built in the 2nd century AD. Sure, time is relentless and from the former estate there are only ruins left. However, they give an excellent idea about the arrangement of the ancient dwellings. Villa Gregoriana, a beautiful garden, which was created in 1835 thanks to Pope Gregory XVI is definitely worth visiting.
Italian cities are beautiful! You will be convinced when you see Villa d'Este in Tivoli. The masterpiece of 16 century, that consists of the palace, the garden and one of the most beautiful parks in Europe. A great number of fountains here inspired the designers in Peterhof.
Photo source: transfer-ekskursii-italy.com.
San Remo – the Beach Mecca
One of the most luxurious resorts in Italy can impress its guests not only with beaches and the 24 km of cycle paths, but also with plenty of architectural delights. Such as San Siro Cathedral which is the oldest church in the city. Santuario della Madonna della Costa has an extraordinary interior and a great view for exploring the surrounding area. Pinacoteca Rambaldi is an art gallery that stores hundreds of magnificent paintings from different ages. Villa Nobel has been the place of residence of the inventor of dynamite from 1890 to 1896, and now is a museum and a library. Italian cities can impress you with very unexpected things. For example, the oldest municipal casino and one of the largest "gambling houses" throughout Europe is the San Remo.
Photo source: advent-club.ru.
Cinque Terre – the "Five Lands"
Perhaps, the most attractive and beautiful places in Italy are by the sea. Cinque Terre is one the most beautiful National parks in Italy. It is situated on the coast of the Gulf of Genoa and consists of 5 small towns. No cars, clean air, marvelous colorful architecture, beautiful nature, beaches, vineyards, man-made terraces. Everything is on the close distance, each city offers tourists its "gems", ancient churches and castles. The Natural Paradise is the right way to describe it.
Photo source: © Sasha.
Those are only few of the hundreds of charming Italian cities. And impressions from them will last you several lifetimes. One of which you will really want to spend here – between the sun and the sea, in the “Land of Cattles”, beloved by Gods.