Italy is steeped in history, beautiful architecture and stunning cities that open up to some of the best experiences the world has to offer. Here are just a few examples of the most historic sites you'll find in the alluring cities of Italy.
The Pantheon is one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome. The structure is hugely impressive, dating back to 126AD. It was constructed in respect to the pagan gods of Rome. In the 7th Century it became a Roman Catholic Church. There are many sculptures and frescos to enjoy as you move around the building and take in every breath of history and culture.
This is a popular attraction in Rome today. It was equally as popular during Roman times when over 50,000 spectators would watch gladiatorial contests and mock seat battles. This was the biggest amphitheatre in the world and proves just how capable the Romans were when it came to design and construction.
Located on the Tiber River, the Vatican is rich in history and is certainly influential in the world we know today. Its religious history stretches back centuries while today, the city-state is sovereign from the rest of Italy. It is home to the Pope but also many museums that house priceless artwork as well as beautiful architecture. It enables visitors to take a look at our shared past while experiencing a place that is vibrant with a real atmosphere.
The eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD prevented Herculaneum from prospering. The city was hit with pyroclastic blast, which included clouds of hot gasses that caused statues to be lifted and thrown some distance. The damage can still be seen, but there is plenty to see such as stunning architecture. The House of Galba is a beautiful mansion with an interesting design. The Suburban baths are also worth a visit. Situated near the ancient beach they are well preserved and will give you a feeling of bygone centuries.
Pompeii is famous for being destroyed by the volcanic blast of Mount Vesuvius. However, as daunting as this might be, the destruction also stopped time. And so, you can view the preserved buildings, streets and even casts of residents who felt the force of the explosion almost 2,000 years ago.
Mount Vesuvius is every bit impressive but this menace really did impact the look of the land and towns surrounding it. It is a real focal point of Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio. Here you can sample nature walks while taking in the grandeur of this powerful beast. Its violence through the years has altered and scarred the landscape much of which can still be seen today.
St Marks Square
St Marks Square is without a doubt the most important square in Venice. Given that the city is entwined with waterways, the vast, open land has been the meeting point for the citizens of Venice and for its aristocracy. Adjacent is the Doges’ Palace which is bordered by Procuratie Vecchie and Procuratie Nuove both of which were built in the 12th and 16th centuries. St Marks Square is amongst some of the most beautiful squares in Europe.
It took just three years to build the current Rialto Bridge between 1588 and 1591. It was built as a replacement for the Boat Bridge and wooden bridges that spanned the canal from the 12th Century. In 1854, the Accademia Bridge was built containing three separate walkways. Two along the outer side of the bridge and one central walkway. Here visitors can take in a number of shops selling jewellery, glass and many other items.
Piazza del Duomo
The Piazza del Duomo towers over the city with the impressive Renaissance dome that was cleverly designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The cathedral was named in honour of Santa Maria del Fiore. The Gothic looking structure was built on the old site of the Church of Santa Reparata. Visitors can still view the remains of this in the crypt. This stunning building is steeped in history and has a unique feel to it.
Pisa is located close to Florence, which means that visitors will have access to a city that is rich in history and filled with stunning design. This city houses many cultural attractions such as centuries old culture, ancient settlements and commercial adventures. However, as everyone knows, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is an absolute must for every visitor.
These are just a few of the historic cities in Italy. Just from these cities you can see and feel the fascinating history throughout the country. So if ancient history is something which you appreciate be sure to visit Italy.