There’s more to explore in Italy than pizza, pasta, and gelato. While Italians are praised for their cuisine, a trip to Italy can feel like a trip back in time.
Rome was founded in 753 BCE, making it over 2,000 years old. The city quickly became the most powerful empire in its time before falling in 476 CE. But much of Rome and the rest of Italy’s history is still preserved, making it the perfect place for history buffs to explore.
Let’s review some of the most historical attractions in Italy, as well as a few helpful tips when traveling around the country.
Historial Attractions in Italy
With so many things to see in Italy, it can be overwhelming to pick and choose where to go. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the most historical places to visit in Italy. Now all you have to do is find a tour that hits your top spots.
- The Roman Colosseum
You can’t visit Italy without visiting the Colosseum. It’s a symbol of Rome with over 2,000 years of history within its walls. That’s why over six million people visit the Colosseum every year.
The Colosseum was build in the year 72 and was completed in the year 80. It was the greatest amphitheater in the city. The Colosseum hosted 50,000 guests to enjoy exotic animal exhibits, prisoner executions, and gladiator fights.
Unfortunately, the Roman Colosseum has suffered its fair share of unfortunate events. Earthquakes and WWII bombings destroyed parts of the grand amphitheater. But to this day, enough of the Colosseum is still standing to take visitors back in time to the glory days of the Roman Empire.
- Cathedral of Florence
Arnolfo di Cambio designed Florence’s most famous church and dedicated it to “Santa Maria del Fiore,” the mother of Christ.
From the outside, visitors see a large Virgin Mary sculpture. To enter, you must step through the cathedral’s famous bronze doors, known as The Gates of Paradise. Once inside, tourists enjoy gorgeous works of art and splendid stained glass windows.
The most famous part of the Cathedral of Florence is its dome. The dome was added nearly a hundred years after the cathedral was originally built.
To this day, it is the largest masonry dome in the world. It weighs over 40,000 tons and uses over four million bricks. Its base is the size of half of a football field. The dome stands over 10 stories high.
- The Roman Pantheon
Italy sightseeing isn’t complete without checking out the most preserved building in ancient Rome. Visiting one of Rome’s oldest structures makes history lovers feel as if they are visiting Rome during its glory days.
The area outside of the Pantheon is home to the “Fountain of the Pantheon.” This famous fountain is made from marble and has different elements and symbols represented within it.
There is an ongoing debate regarding the Pantheon’s intended purpose. It was originally believed to be a temple for Roman gods since Pantheon is Greek for “honor all Gods.” However, historians have argued that it may have been used for other purposes.
- Pompeii Archaeological Park
Once a thriving city, Pompeii is now one of the most historical things to see in Italy. When Mount Vesuvius suddenly erupted in 79 CE, nearly 3,000 people were killed. But the deep layer of ash preserved the city and created the world’s largest archaeological site.
A walk through Pompeii Archaeological Park takes visitors on a detailed tour of a once-thriving Italian city. History lovers can see a wide variety of artifacts, clothing, drawings, and plaster casts of human bodies.
- St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica is one of Rome’s finest architectural achievements. Unfortunately, the one we see today is not the original.
Emperor Constantine built the original church in the 4th century, and it is where St. Peter is believed to be buried. Over the years, wear and tear made the church nearly inhabitable. Pope Julius II tore the church down and built a fresh one between 1506 and 1626.
Inside the monument, visitors can see a 96-foot tall solid bronze canopy, detailed mosaics, and Michelangelo’s Pietà.
- Doge’s Palace
Doge’s Palace is a Gothic masterpiece. While the building is purely Gothic, it was influenced by Venetian art, making the palace Venetian Gothic style architecture. It is one of the most significant landmarks in Venice.
Doge’s Palace was frequently rebuilt and expanded upon. The palace was a central government building similar to the White House. In 1996, the landmark became a part of the Venetian museum network.
Unfortunately, most tours stop at the small doors that lead to the palace’s dungeon. It was within those walls that prisoners were tortured and spent their life sentences. Doge’s Palace is connected to the Bridge of Sighs, a historical Venice bridge known for transporting prisoners to and from the palace.
Tips for Traveling in Italy
Tourists stick out in Italy and are treated differently. If you want a more authentic experience while visiting The Boot, learn how to act like a local. It’s the best way to experience the Italian way of living.
Let’s start with what you wear. Italy is a conservative country. While there are modern cities, like Milan and Florence, dressing in Italian fashion can help you blend in better. That means leaving the booty shorts and flip flops at home.
It’s especially important to respect Italian culture while visiting historical monuments. When visiting churches and museums, wear clothing that reaches the knee and hides your shoulders. Women should cover their midriffs.
To blend in with Italian culture, know proper coffee etiquette. Don’t order a cappuccino after 11 AM. Cappuccinos are strictly a breakfast beverage in Italy. If you order a cappuccino at 3 PM, Italians will make fun of you for just waking up.
Italians don’t live a constant on-the-move lifestyle as Americans do. It’s common to stop, chit chat, and greet others, even if you don’t know them. When you leave, say goodbye with the phrase “Buona Giornata,” which translates to “have a good day.”
Keep Feeding Your Brain
The best places to see in Italy are the historical ones. Landmarks like the Colosseum, Doge’s Palace, and Pompeii Archaeological Park give visitors a rare glimpse of life in ancient times to create a memorable trip.
From attractions in Italy to other incredible facts about our planet, we have plenty of articles to feed your hunger for knowledge. Explore our site for more.