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The Top 7 Italian Cities To Visit Before You Die
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The Top 7 Italian Cities To Visit Before You Die

Picture of Sophie Muscat
Updated: 27 October 2017
The ambiance and vivacity of Italy certainly leave an impact on its visitors who are foreign to its ways. The culture and way of life of these effervescent natives has always been intriguing. Italy’s vibrancy is presented through its versatility, history, literature, film and art works of all kinds, not to mention its cuisine and diversified landscapes. Here are seven of the top towns and cities to visit while travelling around the archipelago.

Venice

It may seem like an obvious choice, but this breathtaking place is never a wasted visit. With its romantic gondolas maneuvering through the narrow canals and its corner cafes serving some of the best Italian freshly ground coffees. This northern town, the capital of the Veneto region, is geographically placed between the mouths of the Po and Piave rivers. Venice is what it is thanks to its magnificent architecture and artwork. In fact, the whole city and its lagoon are a World Heritage Site. Of course, one cannot think of Venice and not remember the world-renowned annual festival – The Carnival of Venice. The colorful costumes and intricate masks are what make it famous. The main attractions of the elegant city are The Grand Canal, St Mark’s Basilica and Piazza San Marco.

Verona

The home to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet characters, the place of several film locations and impeccable architecture are what make Verona the city of romance and all things Italian. Just like Venice, it is found in the region of Veneto and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides having the huge Arena di Verona and the famous Piazza Erbe, Verona is most famous for its romantic medieval Casa di Giulietta where lovers of literature and romance go to appreciate the history of the Edwardian inamorati and their story. Among the medieval architecture, there are several churches, houses and other notable statues. A trip to Verona is definitely not one to be missed, especially with someone special.

Rome

The capital of this boot shaped peninsula and home to the foundations of the Roman Empire. Rome was once the leading city of all of Europe, and until today is, still is so rich and powerful. It is found in central Italy in the region of Lazio. Yet again, its historic center is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. All government related offices and seats are situated in Rome including palaces. Similar to the rest of the country, Rome is principally Roman Catholic, and due to the location of the Vatican City being within Rome, it has been the destination for religious pilgrimages for centuries. Rome’s architecture has advanced from the Classical and Imperial Roman styles to modern Fascist architecture due to Mussolini’s request for a more imperial look. The Romanesque style was also widely used and later moved onto Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Without a doubt, the most famous attraction is the Colosseum, followed by the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and the Trevi Fountain.

Milan

Milan is the capital of Lombardy and has the third largest economy among EU cities. It is the home of finance, fashion and design. The main fascinations of the city are its museums, theaters and landmarks, including the Santa Maria delle Grazie, bearing Leonardo da Vinci paintings such as The Last Supper.It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and iattracts eight million visitors annually. Milan has also hosted numerous international events like Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, and for the second time hosted the Expo 2015. Moreover, two of the world’s most famous football teams are located here – A.C. Milan and Inter Milan. The most famous architectural site would be the Piazza Duomo containing the Milan Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is the world’s oldest shopping mall. A visit to The Museum of Risorgimento is definitely worth it as it explains how this magnificent country came together and the history of the Italian Unification.

Pisa

Pisa is strategically located on the Arno river before it opens up onto the Tyrrhenian Sea. Pisa is known globally for its leaning tower, but you can also stumble upon several bridges crossing the Arno. It is also home to the 12th century University of Pisa specializing in physics and mathematics. The Pelasgians, Greeks, Etruscans and Ligures are the founders of this community. Besides the leaning tower, there is also incredible and ancient architecture within the city such as the Duomo, the Baptistery and the Campo Santo. These are built in the Piazza del Duomo, or better known as Piazza dei Miracoli. There are around eight main museums in this city, but the most intriguing one would be the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti per il Calcolo. This museum houses a collection of instruments used by scientists like Van Musschenbroek and Galileo Galilei. This antique city contains 15 churches and has bred notable people like Andrea Bocelli, Enrico Fermi, Galileo Galilei, Giosue Carducci, among others.

Naples

The Campania capital has the largest historic city center in Europe with 27 centuries of history. Naples main historic influence was during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. The most popular historic sites are the Palace of Caserta, the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Naples is of course associated with pizza, which originated in the city. Neapolitan music has influenced the world of music and brought with it the invention of the romantic guitar and the mandolin. Naples played a huge role in the unification of Italy. Medieval castles and classical remains have been a result of the wealthy history and architecture of this town. Most of the ruins left today in Naples are Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque. The entire historic center of Naples is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are 448 historical churches, making it one of the most Catholic cities in the world. The main city square is the Piazza del Plebiscito. The Naples National Archaeological Museum is the city’s main museum and house some of the most intricate collection of remains and artifacts of the Roman Empire. It also contains several antiques from Pompeii and Herculaneum besides Greek and Renaissance pieces.