Italy is a country famous for its fine cuisine, romantic language, interesting culture and fascinating history. For centuries, this amazing country was known as the Roman Empire and many considered it the center of the world. Even to this day, this interesting, boot-shaped peninsula attracts thousands of travelers from all around every year. If you’re visiting Italy for the first time, you might want to put these interesting and beautiful cities on your list.
Milan – Fashion
This famous Italian city is known as the fashion capital of the world. As the capital of Lombardy, Milan is the second largest city in Italy and the fifth largest urban area in the EU; it acts as the main industrial, commercial and financial center of Italy. If you really want to feel the spirit of Milan, check out Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the oldest shopping mall in Italy. It’s housed in a beautiful, four-story double arcade in the center of the city with an amazing glass dome and intricate mosaics. The Galleria connects two of the most famous landmarks in Milan: the Duomo (cathedral) and La Scala (opera house). The picturesque Milan Duomo is a must-see landmark and is considered the fifth largest cathedral in the world. If fashion is your thing, you can’t miss out on all that Milan has to offer.
Florence – Renaissance
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence was the center of medieval European trade and finance, and was once the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. I’d consider Florence as one of the most interesting destinations in Europe; the city is rich with the artistic and architectural heritage, which made it the cradle of the Renaissance. The cathedral (duomo), Santa Maria del Fiore, was built by Filippo Brunelleschi and is considered to be the most important architectural landmarks in Florence; its noteworthy brick dome changed the history of the world’s architecture. Another architectural delight is the San Giovanni Baptistery, which is decorated with the Gates of Paradise and is now located in the church museum. There’s no shortage of stunning art and buildings in Florence: the Ponte Vecchio (old bridge) is a unique bridge on the River Arno, the Uffizi carries significant art collections, and if there’s one thing that shouldn’t be missed, it’s none other than Michelangelo’s “David.”
Rome – Archaeology
More often than not, when Italy is mentioned, Rome is what comes to mind. Interestingly, this city is literally sitting on top of the old Roman city, which makes it difficult for them to expand their metro since they keep running into 2,000-year-old structures underground. There are still several parts of the city that haven’t been uncovered, one level below another, new discoveries just keep on popping up. As the capital city of the country, and of Lazio, Rome is the fourth most densely populated city in the E.U. Rome’s history dates back to more than two and a half thousand years, since its founding in 753 B.C. For a great history lesson, visit the Roman Forum to see where it all began. This grand city was once the capital city of Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Historical architectures still stand to this day, such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and so many more. Be careful when in Rome — the bench you might be sitting on could be 2,000 years old.
Vatican City – The Holiest Catholic Site
As the most powerful and the holiest Catholic site in the world, Vatican City is a landlocked city-state walled up within Rome. Vatican City is an amazing destination that can’t be missed. With more breathtaking Italian architecture, luminous sculptures and stunning history, the city has an endless list of things to do and see. Some of the most famous pieces of art are located here, such as the “Pietà” and the “Creation of Adam.” When in Rome, you can’t miss out on visiting Vatican City.
Naples – Pizza
If you like to eat pizza and enjoy history, Naples is the perfect place for you. The city is known as the birthplace of pizza, and with pizzerias everywhere, you might get a little overwhelmed by all the places to eat in Naples. But there’s no need to worry; just try the famous Margherita pizza that’s named after Queen Margherita. There are only three simple ingredients: tomato sauce, cheese and basil. The old town of Naples is still quietly authentic with less tourists than other big Italian cities. If you’re interested in history, take a day trip to either Herculaneum or Pompeii, both of which have one of the most extensive collections of artifacts from the Roman Empire in the world. However, before visiting either of the sites, I’d highly recommend visiting the Naples National Archaeological Museum.
With a country that’s bursting with fashion, history and mouthwatering food, Italy is a destination you really shouldn’t miss. Hopefully some of these tips help narrow down or expand your ideas on what to do in this awesome country.Google+