Italy is packed full of incredible historical sites and places to visit, and in some instances they are literally found across the road from one another.
From the Basilica to the Coliseum, there are justifiable reasons to include a huge number of destinations in any such list, but below are five of the most incredible.
If you are planning a trip to Italy, you should try to see at least at least these sites and ideally many more, too; take a city break to see the more central destinations, or opt for a coastal cruise if you’d like to see more of the country and even more historical landmarks.
Measuring 165 ft tall and 600 ft long, even if you have no interest in history, it is almost impossible not to be impressed by the incredible Coliseum for its sheer magnitude. The Coliseum was an arena where gladiators, animals, and other fighters would engage in combat with one another for thousands of spectators including the emperors of the time. Surprisingly well preserved, the site is around 2,000 years old but can get busy especially during peak times.
Built in the 2nd Century, the Pantheon is 142 ft tall and was originally a pagan place of worship. It was converted to a Roman Catholic church in the 7th Century and has undergone a number of modifications since. These modifications provide visitors with a much richer selection of items to see, as well as offering what is basically a timeline of the building’s history.
Pompeii fell victim to the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, and it remains remarkably well preserved. It is, in fact, one of two such sites that you can visit, with the other being nearby Herculaneum. Pompeii does tend to attract more visitors, but both are remarkable, and both are sites everybody should visit at least once.
St Peter’s Basilica
The Vatican City itself is one of the most visited tourist sites in the world, and within it lies the main Church of the Vatican, St Peter’s Basilica. It was built on the spot where St Peter was believed to have been crucified head down by Nero. Although the original Basilica was built in the year 326, it was believed that it was not big enough to be the main Church of the Vatican, and so a new and larger version was built in the 16th Century.
Duomo di Milano
The Duomo di Milano is yet another example of incredible ancient architecture that has visitors marvelling at the ingenuity of craftsmen before the days of sophisticated tools and modern machinery. It is nearly 350 ft tall, and took 500 years to complete, although there are some that argue it is still not complete today because work continues on the cathedral.