Rome is the capital of modern Italy. Rome is full of history everywhere you look. It has many ancient monuments, interesting medieval churches, beautiful fountains, museums, and Renaissance palaces. The Pantheon is a temple that was built in 27 BC under the Roman Empire. It is decorated with paintings and a garden. The Coliseum is an arena, a huge and vast space of masonry walls and can be seen miles away because of its height and width. It was home to Italian plays and gladiator fights. The Temple of Venus is the largest temple in Ancient Rome. Modern Rome is a bustling and lively city and has many restaurants to sample all sorts of Italian foods. The Vatican and St. Peter’s are also found in Rome.
Venice is a unique city built on water in the middle of a lagoon. Venice is one of Italy’s most beautiful and romantic cities as well as one of the most popular for visitors to Italy. The heart of Venice is Piazza San Marco with its magnificent church. There are many museums, palaces, and churches to visit and wandering along Venice’s canals is interesting. Venice is in the northeast of Italy and historically was a bridge between East and West.
Florence is one of the most important Renaissance architectural and art centers. Its Duomo and Baptistery are magnificent but crowded with tourists as is their large piazza. Florence has several interesting museums with many famous paintings and sculptures. There are also Medici palaces and gardens.
Milan, one of Europe’s richest cities, is known for stylish shops, galleries, and restaurants and has a faster pace of life than most Italian cities. It also has a rich artistic and cultural heritage. Its Duomo, with its beautiful marble facade, is a popular site. La Scala is one of the world’s most famous opera houses.
Naples is one of Italy’s most vibrant cities. It lies on the coast south of Rome and is an important city in southern Italy. Naples has recently undergone some renovation but still retains much of its old character. It holds many historical and artistic treasures.
Verona is known for the story of Romeo and Juliet and for its Roman Arena, the third largest in Italy and the gathering place for a yearly opera festival. Verona has a medieval center, Roman remains, and an interesting castle complex to explore.
Turin, host of the 2006 Winter Olympics, is a major cultural hub with several museums, elegant shops, and a variety of restaurants. There are also many examples of baroque architecture and historic palaces. Turin has many historic cafes, artisan workshops, and archways. The city is in the northwest of Italy between the Po River and the foothills of the Alps.
Bologna is known for its beauty, wealth, and food. Its streets are lined with beautiful archways, making it a good place to walk even in the rain. It has one of Europe’s oldest universities and a medieval center. There are several squares, lined with buildings with porticoes. Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy.
Perugia is a very cosmopolitan city and home to two universities. It hosts a world-famous jazz festival in the summer. It’s a walled city on a hilltop with great views over the valley and has several important monuments with a central square. The city’s rich history goes back to the ninth century B.C. Perugia is in the center of Italy and is the capital of the region of Umbria.
Genoa, on the northwest coast of Italy, is Italy’s principal seaport. Genoa was a 2004 European Culture Capital. Genoa has a fascinating aquarium, an interesting port area (where Christopher Columbus sailed from), and a historic center said to be the largest medieval quarter in Europe, with a wealth of churches, palaces, and museums.