Italy has always been at the center of civilization and is known for its art and culture. This southern European country is home to snowy mountains, green pastures, golden beaches and most importantly, beautiful people who are sure to mesmerize the visitors with their charm.
Cinque Terre is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. In each of the 5 towns, colorful houses and vineyards cling to steep terraces, harbors are filled with fishing boats and trattorias turn out seafood specialties along with the Liguria region’s famous sauce, pesto. The Sentiero Azzurro cliffside hiking trail links the villages and offers sweeping sea vistas.
Florence, capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. One of its most iconic sights is the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. The Galleria dell’Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture. The Uffizi Gallery exhibits Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.”
Italian Alps – Dolomites
The Italian Alps sweep in an arc from Monaco in the west to Trieste in the east, covering the northern tip of Italy. They are made up of 3 main areas. The western side is the southern end of the high Alps: a dramatic playground of snowcapped mountains bordering France and Switzerland.
Lake Como, in Northern Italy’s Lombardy region, is an upscale resort area known for its dramatic scenery, set against the foothills of the Alps. The lake is shaped like an upside-down Y, with three slender branches that meet at the resort town of Bellagio. At the bottom of the southwest branch lies the city of Como, home to Renaissance architecture and a funicular that travels up to the mountain town of Brunate.
Lake Garda, in northern Italy, is known for its crystal clear water. At the south end, the town of Sirmione is dominated by the Rocca Scaligera, a fortress with harbor views. The nearby Grotte di Catullo archaeological site includes a Roman villa. On the lake’s western shore, in Gardone Riviera, is Il Vittoriale degli Italiani, former home of poet d’Annunzio. The Dolomites frame Riva del Garda, a resort in the north.
Milan, a metropolis in Italy’s northern Lombardy region, is a global capital of fashion and design. Home to the national stock exchange, it’s a financial hub also known for its high-end restaurants and shops. The Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral and the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, housing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper,” testify to centuries of art and culture.
Pisa is a city in Italy’s Tuscany region best known for its iconic Leaning Tower. Already tilting when it was completed in 1372, the 56m white-marble cylinder is the bell tower of the Romanesque, striped-marble cathedral that rises next to it in the Piazza dei Miracoli.
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy, as well as the capital of the Lazio region. The city has been a major human settlement for almost three millennia. With 2,860,009 residents in 1,285 km², it is also the country’s most populated comune.
Favorite sites to visit are:
- Forum Romano
- Spanish Steps
- Trevi Fountain
Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.
Favorite sites to visit are:
- St. Mark’s Square
- Doge’s Palace
- St. Mark’s Basilica
- Rialto Bridge
- Canale Grande, etc.
Verona is a city in northern Italy’s Veneto region, with a medieval old town built between the meandering Adige River. It’s famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” A 14th-century residence with a tiny balcony overlooking a courtyard is said be “Juliet’s House.” The Verona Arena is a huge 1st-century Roman amphitheater, which currently hosts concerts and large-scale opera performances.
Various different choir and band performances can be scheduled throughout Italy.
Arena de Verona
The Verona Arena is a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra in Verona, Italy built in the first century. It is still in use today and is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given there. It is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind.