From the Coliseum in Rome to the Leaning Tower of Pisa to Il Duomo di Firenze, iconic monuments throughout Italy stand as testimony to the country’s rich and storied history.
The National Museum, located in Rome, showcases some of the world’s most important archaeological collections, while the oldest classic sculptures are on display at the Capitoline Museum. Vatican City is actually an independent city-state entirely surrounded by the city of Rome. There, visitors can tour St. Peter’s Basilica—the largest religious building in the world—and visit the tomb of the Apostle Peter underground below the Basilica.
The city of Venice to the northeast brings to mind romantic visions of gondolas gliding through the famous waterways. In fact, the city is built on 117 small islands. This unique layout—which includes 150 canals and more than 400 bridges—once afforded the city a powerful position as a center of trade and a great sea power.
In the famed region of Tuscany, picturesque villages perched on steep hillsides overlook colorful fields of sunflowers. The regional capital is Florence, filled with incredible architecture and vibrant street markets.
From the region of Chianti to the grapes of Montepulciano, Central Italy is renowned for its wines. The Renaissance city of Florence boasts grand architecture and art by Michelangelo and Botticelli. The Colosseum, Pantheon and Roman Forum speak of the grandeur of ancient Rome.
The islands of Sardinia and Sicily lie off the western coast of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. Separated from the mainland, these islands have developed their own unique cultures, but both feature wonderful beaches, fabulous fresh seafood and a pleasant climate year round.
With its gondolas, bridges, palaces and piazzas, the island-city of Venice is considered one of the most romantic cities in the world. Milan, home of the Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace fashion houses, rivals New York and Paris as one of the world's top fashion capitals.
The cliff-side villages of Positano and Amalfi overlook turquoise waters along the Amalfi Coast. A bit north, Naples lies on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Mount Vesuvius commands the eastern skyline, and artifacts from Pompeii are housed in the National Archeological Museum of Naples.