Top 10 Most Famous Italy Landmarks Travelers Talk About
One can hardly take a step in the boot shaped country of Italy without discovering something that bears some historical relevance. Situated in the old world where some of the earliest civilizations came into being, Italy is full of beautiful old buildings and historic ruins. Both tragedy and innovation can be felt here and is further emphasized by the preservation of important Italy landmarks that attract millions of visitors annually. The ten best according to past visitors follow, however anyone considering a trip there should remember that less than a dozen important landmarks barely puts a dent into the wealth of beauty the country has to offer.
1. Trevi Fountain Rome: Considered to be the most gorgeous baroque fountain in the entire world, The Fontana di Trevi, as it’s formally known, is one of the most recognizable of all Italy landmarks, and guests who toss a coin into it are said to be guaranteed a return to Rome. Over two million cubic feet of water spill over the eighty foot tall fountain each day, but it’s not necessarily the moving water that draws a crowd here. The statuaries that comprise the Trevi are what make it one of the most famous landmarks in Italy and from the muscular carrara marble Ocean statue to the travertine sea reef, all the details depict an epic and spectacular frozen scene. Wildly rearing horses and commanding generals all seem to come to life without moving at the Trevi Fountain.
2. Roman Colosseum: It is quite possible that of all of the Italy landmarks for tourists to explore, the one that always seems to make it onto the agendas of first timer’s places to visit in Rome is the Colosseum. There is something incredibly awe inspiring about the structure (also referred to as “The Temple of Peace”) that served as the city’s central amphitheater in ancient Rome. Nearly one hundred thousand spectators could pack this stone stadium to watch sea battles, live animal hunts, battle re-enactments, mythological plays, gladiator contests and of course, executions. The Colosseum is a World Heritage Site and still considered an impressive engineering feat in contrast to the time period and skill level of the people in 70 A.D. when its construction began.
3. St. Peter’s Basilica: Known quite simply as the center of Christianity and among the most famous landmarks in Italy, the beautiful religious building took over a century to build and was designed by some of the most well respected and revered architects of the day. This largest church in the entire world can be found on Vatican Hill and can be seen from miles away. The surrounding statues and square along with fountains and other structures are popular with tourists and faithful locals alike, drawing millions of visitors each year. St. Peter’s is considered one of the most significant of all Italy landmarks, both for its historical and cultural relevance as well as its wealth of treasures found inside.
4. Sistine Chapel: This familiar chapel is a part of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City, where the Pope himself resides. The structure was named for Pope Sixtus IV and is best known for being the site of the Papal Conclave and the paintings found inside, some completed by greats like Botticelli and Roselli. The most famous of all paintings found within this chapel however are those done by Michelangelo, such as ‘The Creation of Adam’, a piece that has made its way into numerous literary references and works of media. From both a historical and artistic perspective, the chapel remains one of the most relevant, important and recognizable of all Italy landmarks.
5. Grand Canal Venice: When most people think of Venice, they think of gondola rides down a serene and gentle canal below shops and stores and cobblestone streets above. In fact, few Italy landmarks are as iconic as the canals of Venice, with the Grand Canal amongst the most stunning. Here the waterway takes passengers under a series of bridges like the famous Rialto amongst others and along historic buildings, the majority of which were built by former wealthy residents. The ancient watery passageway is one of the most popular Venice tourist attractions, and the vaporetto (water bus), water taxis and gondolas are the most common form of transport for visitors.
6. St. Mark’s Square: St. Mark’s is the largest square in all the city of Venice, and as a result it is a very busy and very exciting place to visit. The square’s grand size also means that many important Italy landmarks can be found here such as St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. Perhaps one of the most commonly remembered things about the square by guests however are the Venetian Pigeons. They are a nuisance and feeding them is banned as they have caused damage to some of the delicate buildings and art found there. But, like them or not they remain a daily part of the experience at St. Mark’s.
7. Il Duomo Florence: Named for Santa Maria del Fiore and a stunning representation amongst Italy landmarks in terms of Gothic Design, the structure’s first construction began near the turn of the 14th century. Work continued on the cathedral thereafter and it was finally considered close to completion some two hundred years later. There is no fee to enter the building and tour about and notable sights inside include Brunelleschi’s Cupola (the cathedral’s iconic dome) and the entranceway clock (that has been working since the year 1443).
8. Ponte Vecchio Florence: It may seem surprising that an old bridge is one of the most popular of all Florence attractions, but there is something unique about Ponte Vecchio, which is also referred to as “Old Bridge.” Instead of a standard overpass, the bridge actually boasts stores and shops that line its stone sides. Guests can cross the bridge that despite several complete rebuilds is still many centuries’ old popping in to local art dealers and souvenir shops. It’s one of the most interactive of all Italy landmarks and a must see while visiting Florence, especially for fans of historical architecture and design.
9. Milan Cathedral: Guests flock to this most elegant and gorgeous of all Italy landmarks simply to catch a glimpse of the biggest gothic cathedral in the entire world. However, while the elaborate design really draws a crowd, the building remains the Seat to the Archbishop in Milan and houses the current Cardinal. The building is situated on a public square, making it a perfect location for tourists who want to explore the sights and sounds of the city and take in a bit of history as well.
10: Mount Vesuvius: The iconic caldera that completely annihilated the entire leisure city of Pompeii holds the distinction of being the only still active volcano in existence on the European mainland (Mount Enta is still active and nearby but situated offshore on the eastern shore of Sicily). The monstrous lava filled mountain sits along the western edge of Italy, a hair north of the Amalfi Coast, a mere stone’s throw from Naples and nearly parallel to Capri Italy. As was the case in ancient times, many populous areas surround the smoking giant, resting precariously near the volatile hotbed of activity. Guests and visitors can take hiking journeys to get a bit closer to the volcano and also partake in Pompeii tours to explore the city it destroyed centuries ago.