It could be that, by being Italian, my view is quite biased, but if you are looking for your next travel and you want to immerse yourself in beautiful culture and history, amazing food, nice people and gorgeous cities, then Italy is the place where you should go!
While the choice is quite vast among localities worth visiting, if you are on a tight schedule, and have never been to Italy before, there are for sure four cities, besides Rome of course, you should visit: Florence, Milan, Venice and Pompeii.
Florence is considered one of the richest cities in the world from a cultural and artistic point of view, and it is widely regarded as the cradle of Italian art and architecture, thanks to its many churches, museums, sculptures and paintings. Florence is the birthplace of Renaissance and it was in this city that the root of the Italian language as we know it today where set.
During the medieval age it was an important commercial and economic centre and for a period of time it has also been Italy´s capital, right after its unification in 1861.
If you have time and get the chance, it is very worth also to visit the beautiful nearby Chianti Region, which offers amazing landscapes and the possibility to visit many wineries and to taste delicious wines.
– Piazza del Duomo
– Galleria degli Uffizi
– Santa Croce
– Santa Maria Novella
– Boboli Garden
– Palazzo Vecchio
Milan´s history starts in the 400 BC after the Etruscans defeat and during the century it has witness and has been host of many artistic and historical happenings that, although had been heavily bombed during WWII, can still be seen in its beautiful architectures and masterpieces disseminated all around its streets and museums.
Nowadays Milan is the second largest city in Italy, after Rome, and the true heart of the Italian´s business and fashion industry. Milan is probably the only Italian city that it is truly projected into an international network and the launching point of the nation towards a European and worldwide market.
The city hosts countless museums, theatres and monuments; it is both a city of art and cultural movement as well as the Italian fashion capital, where strolling around the main shopping streets is always an astonishing and unforgettable experience.
– View from the Duomo Roof
– Da Vinci’s Last Supper
– Pinacoteca di Brera
The strangest thing about Venice is that “However often you return, you are staggered by its beauty as when you saw it for the first time”.
– William Somerset Maugham
The first settlements of Venice goes back to 800 BC. Its particular position in the Adriatic Sea, which brought many contact with the external world, has favoured the population to grow into specialized fishing, salt production, glass production, maritime transports and many other mercantile activities.
Venice is a real pearl; with its narrow streets, calli, the canals, the lagoon and many small squares disseminated all around the town, this city has the most artistic masterpieces per square kilometre and it is probably one of the most romantic cities in the world.
It is a truly artistic city, where people walk (cars are not allowed) or use ferries to move around. Abode of many artists such as Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Tiziano, Paolo Veronese and Tintoretto, Venice has been a boarder city and Republic to many different cultures and people.
– St. Mark’s Square
– The Rialto
– Bridge of Sighs
– Gondola Tour
– Rialto Markets
Pompeii is located at the slope of one of the most famous and still active volcanos: Vesuvius, near Naples.
The city was a Roman town that was partially buried by circa 5 meter of ash and pumice in 79 AD, due to the eruption of the Vesuvius. Subsequently to its destruction, Pompeii was for long forgotten (around 1700 years) until it was discovered again in 1748, and unfortunately deprived and raid of many of its beautiful art pieces. It wasn´t until the beginning of the 19th century that extensive restoration work started. Thanks to a special technique (with the use of melted plaster) discovered and used by Giuseppe Fiorelli in 1860, it was possible to discover and preserve plants, animals and even human bodies, as in their last position before they were buried by the Vesuvius’ ashes. The city is still intact in many regards, and it is possible to walk around and visit the numerous villas and temples vestiges giving an intense picture of the daily life and society of the time. Nowadays Pompeii is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and it attracts around 2.5 million visitors per year.
– The House of the Faun
– The Temple of Venus
– The Amphitheatre
– The Temple of Apollo
– The Temple of Jupiter