Tourist Attractions in Italy

Tourist attractions in Italy include Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, Milan’s Piazza del Duomo, Venice, Rome’s Colosseum and the Roman Forum, and St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli is a historic walled square within the center of the city of Pisa, adjacent to which are most city’s main attractions:

  • Duomo cathedral,
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa,
  • Campo Santo cemetery, and
  • Pisa Baptistery.

Official name of the square is “Piazza del Duomo” (Cathedral Square), but informally, the square is known as Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles).

Piazza dei Miracoli came from poet Gabriele d’Annunzio, who expressed his views of the square with the words:

The Ardea rotated over the sky of Christ, over the meadow of Miracles

The square is dominated by Duomo, a medieval cathedral, whose construction started in 1063.

Within the cathedral, you can find several architectural influences, including…

  • unique Pisa Romanesque architecture style on the facade,
  • Byzantine style mosaics on the interiors, and
  • Muslim style pointing arches.

The main attraction in the square, however, is the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, located behind the Duomo.

Although this 56.7 meter (186 ft) tall tower meant to be straight, it began to lean already when it was under construction, from 1173, due to the poorly made building foundations and because of the unfavorable soil composition.

The tower is also famous for the fact that Galileo Galilei is said to have dropped two cannon balls of different weights from the tower, in order to demonstrate that their rate of descend is independent of the mass.

You can visit the top of the tower, with the stairs leading to the top having a total of 296 steps. From the top, you’ll have stunning views of the city of Pisa.

Top tourist attractions in Italy include Milan’s Piazza del Duomo, one of the world’s most famous squares, surrounded by several of the city’s main attractions:

  • Milan’s cathedral,
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping center, and
  • La Scala opera.

Of these, Milan Cathedral is one of the world’s most important churches, and also the second largest church, after the Seville Cathedral.

Of the national treasures held at the Cathedral, the most important is one of the nails with which Jesus was crucified. The nail is shown to the public once a year, with a special ceremony, during September.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, in turn, is the world’s oldest still existing shopping center, built from 1865-1877, with an architecture that features a massive glass dome.

Within the shopping center, you can find:

  • many elegant shops,
  • restaurants,
  • cafes, and bars.

La Scala Opera (teatroallascala.org), on the other hand, is the world’s most famous opera house, in operation since 1778.

When visiting the opera, you should also pay a visit to the La Scala Museum, which has an excellent collection of…

  • paintings, sculptures,
  • theater costumes, and
  • documents about the opera and about La Scala’s significance in Milan’s history.

VIDEO: Tour of Milan’s La Scala Museum.

Of the tourist attractions in Italy, Venice (www.comune.venezia.it) is a historical city located within 118 small islands in the lagoon of Venice, as part of the Adriatic Sea, in northern Italy.

Venice, also known as “Serenissima“, “Queen of the Adriatic“, “City of Water“, “City of Bridges“, and “City of Light“, is commonly referred to as one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

The city is a remnant of the major maritime power that was the independent Republic of Venice, in existence from the Middle Ages up to the end of the Renaissance period, whose expansion, for example, led to the historic collapse of the Byzantine Empire.

Venice’s tourist attractions include:

  • Piazza San Marco, which Napoleon called “Europe’s living room”,
  • Rialto Bridge, and
  • a Gondola ride along the city’s many side canals, or via the Grand Canal, the main waterway.

Roman Forum and Coliseum in Rome, as tourist attractions in Italy, are some the most important remains from the ancient Roman Empire.

When touring the places, its best to walk to the Colosseum through the Roman Forum, through the area from where the city expanded to its current massive size.

As you walk the Roman Forum stone streets, it is easy to imagine how ancient Roman inhabitants dressed in togas used to walk here, as the area contains many well-preserved historical buildings from the era.

Forum’s best sites include…

  • Arch of Septimius Severus,
  • Temple of Saturn, and
  • the Arch of Titus.

VIDEO: Tour of the Roman Forum.

VIDEO: European travel journalist Rick Steves’ tour of the Forum.

Colosseum, in turn, was an ancient Roman entertainment center, built in the first century AD, and which was famously used for gladiator fights and other spectacles.

You can visit the Colosseum either independently, or by using one of the available guided tours.

VIDEO: Tour of the Colosseum.

Finally, tourist attractions in Italy also include St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, the world’s largest Christian church, fitting, at best, around 60,000 visitors.

According to Catholic tradition, the church is burial place of St. Peter, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles, with the burial site being located exactly at the church’s main altar.

Construction work on the basilica commenced in 1506, with the building completed in 1626.

In addition to its magnificent architecture and massive size, the St. Peter’s Basilica is also known for its art, mostly done by the famous Michelangelo.

Nearby the church is Tiber river, alongside which you can take a relaxing walk, as part of a visit to the St. Peter’s Basilica.