Landmarks of Italy
Italy has always been known for its unparalleled beauty. Squares, cathedrals, fountains and Roman remains have turned this country into a place everyone should visit at least once in their lives. The atmosphere here is amazing. For this contributes not only the amazing architecture, but also the local cuisine (considered as one of the best in the world), sunny Mediterranean climate and elevated mood of the Italians and unparalleled sounding of the Italian language. There is hardly to find any book or manual that can fit all the sights in the country for the simple reason that the list would be endless. Here, every square meter of land and every stone bear their history and past. However, here you will find some of the most important sights in Italy, who bring the glory of the country all around the world.
1. Tower of Pisa / Pisa. Leaning Tower is a symbol of Italy and old Europe. Its construction began in 1173. Soon after completing all noticed that the structure designed to serve as a bell tower of the nearby cathedral began to tilt to one side. The reason lies in the fact that in those days it was not required to test the stability of the soil before construction. In this case, however, that was serious mistake. The ground around the almost 56 meters high tower was not stable and the heavy marble construction began gradually to sink into the ground. In 1987, the Leaning Tower was added to UNESCO World Heritage List.
2. Pompeii / Campania. At the foot of the Italian volcano Vesuvius there is a unique place. One day in the first century BC the inhabitants of Pompeii were occupied with their daily activities when suddenly a colossal explosion quaked the Italian province of Campania and covered the town under millions of tons of falling from the sky volcanic dust, ash, lava and pumice fragments. Today the city is under the auspices of UNESCO and is a real monument under the open sky. It is astonishing to see how the locals are trying to protect their eyes or to cover their faces lying on the floor. Today more than 2,000 years after this horrible disaster, you can still see the victims petrified as in the day of this natural disaster.
3. Trevi Fountain / Rome. There is a belief that says that anyone who threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain will someday come back to Rome again. Some people do it to return to the Eternal City, while others do it to comply with the romantic tradition. This is one of the places in Rome that really worth seeing. Completed in 1762, this work of art consists of several statues of human figures, one of which represents the protector of the seas – the god Neptune.
4. The Coliseum / Rome. The Coliseum is probably the only structure in Italy that can be competed with the Leaning Tower of Pisa in terms of its popularity. It was started by Emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 years of AC during the reign of Emperor Titus. Its main purpose was to serve as a fun place for Roman society. Here were fought countless gladiatorial combats, and the building were a place for everyone – from the emperor to the people with the lowest social status. Today even the arena no longer exists. Inside the Coliseum is almost nothing else with the exception of the walls of the premises which were built below.
5. Grand Canal / Venice. Grand Canal is one of the romantic symbols of Europe. This is the largest of all channels and plays the role of a major transport corridor in the city. In some places its width reaches 80-90 meters and its depth varies about 5 meters. Over Grand Canal there are many crossing bridges that will amaze you with their beauty and originality of architectural solutions. One of the most spectacular places along the few miles long Grand Canal are “Bridge of Sighs” and “Ponte Rialto”. You should enjoy also the beauty of magnificent palaces, which are located along the water artery.
6. Mount Etna / Sicily. 3323 meters high, the Italian volcano Mount Etna is the largest in Europe (not counting the Teide volcano on the Spanish Canary Islands). It can reasonably be called a “the horror of Sicily”, because according to the historical data it destroyed dozens of towns and villages and has claimed thousands of lives. The active volcano is considered as one of the most important tourist destinations in the country. Buses filled with tourists regularly climb its rocky slopes. It is believed that the volcano located in the eastern parts of the island dates back 300,000 years, although the first documented eruption was in the 5th century BC.
7. The Spanish Steps / Rome. The famous Spanish Steps are between two of the most beautiful squares in Rome – Piazza di Spagna and Triniti dei Monti. At the top of the stairs is a beautiful church which brings the same name as the square – Triniti dei Monti. Along the 138 meters long staircase is housed a market for flower. This makes the place very beautiful and attractive for tourists. The Spanish Steps are obligatory for tourist route of every visitor of the Eternal City. It is important to know however, that visitors are forbidden to eat on the stairs, and for offenders there are very large sanctions.
8. Lago Maggiore / Alps. Italy has amazing architectural wonders, but its nature is simply unique. Lake Maggiore (Lago Maggiore) is located in the northeast. It is the second largest in Italy and part of it lies within the borders of neighboring Switzerland. On all sides the lake is surrounded by the wild and harsh landscapes of the Alps. Steeply descending to the water slopes are covered with lush greenness. Steep banks suggests a greater depth of Lago Maggiore. The deepest part of the lake lies 372 m below the surface. One look is enough to realize that few places in the world can match the beauty of Italy. Around the lake shores there are many small towns that will captivate you with their beautiful architecture, cleanliness and orderliness.
9. Piazza San Marco / Venezia. For connoisseurs of beauty this is one of the most important stops in Venice. On this magnificent square is lokated the city cathedral, named also San Marco. With its gorgeous architecture, it testifies to the past glory of Venice as a world power. Today, millions of tourists eager to experience this place, bearing the charm of old times. But 43 meters high cathedral and its golden mosaics are not the only thing that will impress you. Here you will find some of the oldest cafes in the city that you should visit if you really like classic European lifestyle. Sipping a cup of coffee before you will be one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, all cluttered with pigeons and surrounded by venerable old buildings.
10. Lago di Garda / Alps. Lago di Garda is located in northern Italy and in southern Alps. Undoubtedly this is one of the most beautiful places in Italy and is the largest lake in the country. It reaches a depth of 346 (less than Lago Maggiore) meters. The lake is surrounded by very beautiful mountain scenery with plenty of greenery. Here grow a wide variety of plant species ranging from thermophilic Mediterranean plants to more resistant to low temperatures conifers. The surroundings of Lago di Garda, are known for their beautiful architecture and magnificent resorts that serve as a very important tourist destination of world class. Here is the place to say that even if Lago di Garda is not your purpose of visit Italy, you will be wrong if do not separate time for it.
11. Sistine Chapel / Rome (Vatican). Sistine Chapel is located in the Vatican and is the Pope’s official residence. The building has the same measures as the Temple of Solomon. It is completed in the late 15th century, and its construction is ordered of Pope Sixtus fourth. One of the most exciting facts is that the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was painted personally by the hand of the great Michelangelo. The building complex is part of the Apostolic Palace. Sistine Chapel is open to visitors, although the crowds of tourists cause a negative influence on the paintings and drawings.
12. Vesuvius / Naples. Vesuvius is the only active volcano, located in mainland Europe, and its last eruption dates back to 1944. Situated next to one of the most beautiful cities of Italy – Naples, Vesuvius volcano is among the most important landmarks in the country. But except for admiration to the Mother Nature, however, it inspires and a little fear in the residents of Naples. Most residents and guests secretly hope that the volcano will never erupt because it would be a major disaster. The volcano is 1277 meters high, but in comparison with the city looks much more impressive.
13. Porto Istana Beach / Sardinia. Near the small and charming Mediterranean town of Olbia is one of the most beautiful beaches not only in Italy but across the continent. The place is popular with its bright fine sand and crystal clear sea. The beach offers beautiful views of the nearby rocky island Tavolara. All this makes Porto Istana the perfect place to relax and collect sunlight near the Mediterranean coast.
14. Lampedusa (Island). The miniature and exotic Italian island of Lampedusa is a real jewel of mother nature, situated among the emerald waters of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily. It is famous with the most beautiful lagoons in Europe. The waters are crystal clear and during the long hot summer thousands of boats anchor near the rocky shores. Lampedusa is an extremely attractive destination for diving and observing the richness of the underwater kingdom.
15. The Pantheon / Rome. The building of the Pantheon in Rome is one of the obligatory stops in the Italian capital. Its majestic facade bears the spirit of the past glory of Italy. It was built by Emperor Adrian in 126 and its facade resembles that of the Parthenon in Athens. Perhaps no matter how long you are looking for, but you will not find better preserved buildings from Roman times. The Pantheon exercised religious functions, but only in the 7th century began to serve to the Christianity. The building was unique and one of the most distinctive features is its opening in the dome, called the “eye”. It helps sunlight enters directly into the temple.
16. The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore / Florence. Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral is located in one of the most beautiful Italian cities – Florence. Its dome and the adjoining tower were considered as symbols of the city. The first stone was laid in 1296 and is completed in the form we know it today in 1887. It is no accident that the construction took so long – the building was built in stages, but the end result is a real masterpiece. It is the work of the genius Filippo Brunelleschi. Sheer red colors of the dome harmonize to perfection with the roofs of the buildings across Florence. The architectural style is a perfect combination of Gothic and Renaissance. Even today, the cathedral remains one of the largest in the world.
17. Dolomites (mountain range). Dolomites are a mountain range, which is located in Northeast Italy. That mountain range is considered to be one of the strangest and most bizarre places in the Alps. Dolomites are distinguished by their jagged silhouette and that is like no other mountain range in the composition of the Alps. The scientists today know quite a lot things about the origin of the mountains, but most important is to say that the mountains are former coral reefs. It would surprise almost everyone, but the truth is that this place was once the bottom of a sea. Today the mountains are covered with thick snow during the winter months, and the proximity of the Mediterranean not in the least attenuate the local climate.
18. Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square). Located in the smallest country in the world, St. Peter’s Square is one of the most important places to be visited by tourists in Rome. Here on holidays like Easter and on Sundays tens of thousands of visitors are flocking from all over the world. Sometimes there are congregated so many people, that person is hard to imagine how so many people can fit within a square. In the middle of St. Peter’s Square rises 40 meters high obelisk, which was brought from Egypt by Emperor Caligula.
19. St. Peter’s Basilica. Located on St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest and most important church in Italy. The building is a true marvel of architecture that makes the tourists to hold their breath in awe! On the roof there are statues of Jesus and the eleven apostles. The building was built from 1506 to 1626 (120 years). Since it is built in a very long period of time, the basilica is a work of many great architects. One of the most renowned names who have labored over this masterpiece is the famous Michelangelo.