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leaning tower of pisa, italy History and culture surround visitors in Italy.  The country is known for its architecture, fashion, food, wines, and culture.  It is where the Renaissance began.  It is where Vatican City is located.  It is home to several beaches and the capital of the fashion industry.  There is something for everyone in Italy.

Pisa

Pisa is home to a famous leaning tower.  The Tower of Pisa was designed as a bell tower and during its construction it became apparent that the tower would tilt.  However, builders continued with the project.  The famous tilt is said to result from unstable soil under the tower but some historians believe that the tilt was part of original design.

Rome

Walking through Rome is like walking through a city from the past.  There are ancient monuments just about everywhere.  Visitors are encouraged to see the Pantheon, which was an amazing architectural feat when it was built.  The Pantheon features an impressive 142-foot diameter rotunda that requires 25-foot thick walls to support it.  Up until 1960 the Pantheon was the largest dome ever built.

roman colosseum - rome, italy But the most famous building in Rome is the Roman Colosseum, or Flavian Amphitheater.  Site construction began during the rule of Emperor Vespasian, just after the Roman conquest of Jerusalem in AD 70.  The Colosseum was dedicated by the Emperor Titus nearly 10 years later, and it was used for games and contests until the 6th century AD.  Originally able to seat about 50,000 spectators, it was one of the grandest architectural achievements of the ancient Romans.

Another well known monument in Rome is the Trevi Fountain.  The fountain, completed in 1762, marked the endpoint of an aqueduct which had been constructed in 19 BC.  The fountain depicts Neptune, the mythical god of the sea, riding in a shell-shaped chariot drawn by two sea horses.

The Vatican

Although the Vatican is not technically a part of Italy, it does fall within the country's borders.  The Vatican serves as headquarters to the Roman Catholic Church.  Located here is the world-renowned Sistine Chapel.

The chapel was painted by Michelangelo during the early 1500s.  The ceiling depicts nine stories from the book of Genesis.  The stories include the Separation of Light from Darkness, the Creation of the Stars, the Separation of the Land from Waters, the Creation of Adam, the Creation of Eve, the Fall of Man, Noah's Sacrifice, the Flood, and the Drunkenness of Noah.

city of pompeii - roman ruins

Pompeii

The city of Pompeii is a relic of what it once was.  A volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius on August 25, 79 A.D. buried the city.  The ash and cinders from the eruption preserved the scene exactly as it was when the eruption occurred.  Excavations of Pompeii began in 1748 and continue to this day.

Tuscany

Tuscany is often considered the most beautiful part of Italy.  It was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and is noted for its architecture, painting, sculpture, and museums.  The best known museums are Uffizi and the Bargello in Florence.

Tuscany is known for its wine and countryside views.  The area has 120 nature reserves for visitors to enjoy.

Venice

Venice is a city well known for its canals.  The city was built on an archipelago of 118 islands.  Its residents rely on boats or their feet to get around.  Visitors come to Venice for its one-of-a-kind experience.  Cars and trains can reach Venice via a causeway, but beyond the northern edge of the city, visitors must start walking or hop a ride on a classic gondola or other boat.

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Italy Travel Destinations