Every year millions of visitors trek through Italy in search of ancient culture, great food, art, architecture, and more. The allure is immediate even to those who have never been.
There is more art and architecture to see in Italy than one person could possibly
experience in a lifetime. Rome, Florence, and Venice alone offer an unending array
of design excursions. Highlighted here are some of the must see designs of both
ancient and modern Italy. Talk a trip, bring a sketch book, and see the gorgeous art
and design that is synonymous with Italian life.
The Coliseum – An architectural marvel, the coliseum was built beginning
in 72 A.M. Originally used as a source of entertainment (usually forced barbaric
combat) the Coliseum is still an amazing site. Strangely, although it could be
considered a source of embarrassment of the past, it has been come to known as
one of the ultimate icons of ancient Roman greatness. Location: the Piazza del
Colosseo, Via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome
Vatican City – This tiny country is perhaps one of the most remarkable
aspects of Rome. Vatican City is the heart of Catholicism, both spiritually and
politically. St. Peter himself was crucified on this spot, and St. Peter’s basilica was
built directly above the ancient hill. Both the Basilica and St. Peter’s square are still
studied today in architecture and art history classes. You can wander the Vatican
Museums for days, including a visit to the Sistine Chapel, to see some of the true
masterpieces of Roman art. Location: Entry through Saint Peter’s Square, Rome
Il Duomo (The Cathedral of Santa Maria Dei Fiori) – Il Duomo is considered
by many to be the grandest achievement in Renaissance architecture. The octagonal
dome, originally designed by Brunelleschi was the largest in the world when built.
Since then, Il Duomo , which took nearly six centuries to complete, has become
Florence’s symbol. Climb the 414 steps of the bell tower, and Renaissance Florence
will be laid before you. Location: Piazza del Duomo, Florence.
Piazza San Marco – Piazza San Marco is still studied today by architects
and urban planners as one of the most beautiful and successful public squares. The
square is surrounded by cafes, shops, and of course the Campanile and St. Peter’s
Basilica. Visitors and locals alike sip espresso in its cafes, meet to talk, and climb
the Campanile to see an amazing view of Venice. Location: Piazza San Marco, with
the Basilica at the wider end, Venice.
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection – In a city world reknown for its
ancient art and architecture, the Guggenheim Collection houses one of the greatest
collections of modern art. her collection includes works by Pollack, Picasso, Klee,
Rothko, Chagall, Mondrian, and more. There is also a gorgeous sculpture garden
housing even more works. Location: Calle Venice dei Leoni, Dorsoduro, Venice.
The Brion Vega Cemetery – The Brion Vega is considered one of Carlo
Scarpa’s masterpieces. Scarpa was and still is often considered the premier modern
Italian architect. The memorial is a great concrete and landscaped form if rectilinear,
stepping, and sculptural concrete elements. It is an amazing pilgrimage for the
architecture buff. Location: San Vito d’Altivole.
You can wander Italy for ages and never take in all of the art and architecture. Still,
the sites listed above are some of the must sees for lovers of art, architecture, and
travel. Open your eyes and see the Italian design that has been around for centuries,
and that which continues to flourish today.
Michelle is a travel buff who has recently moved away from Hawaii, but is
anxiously awaiting the day when she can return. In the meantime, she occupies her
time by helping others compare and select vacation options.
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