Italy has more World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world. Visitors find historic artwork scattered throughout the country. The world famous cities of Florence, Rome and Venice attracted tourists for centuries and remain popular destinations today. Besides having historic architecture and fine art, Italy boasts picturesque coastlines, majestic mountains and lakes.
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This medieval Italian city features beautiful flower gardens, ancient buildings constructed with various colors of marble, and many of Michelangelo’s masterpieces. See the Boboli Gardens at the Pitti Palace and the Rose Garden near Michelangelo Square. One of the Renaissance artist’s most recognized pieces includes the Statue of David, which stands 17 feet (5.2 meters) tall and is on display at the Accademia Galleria. Visitors also find the tombs of Michelangelo and famed scientist Galileo in Florence. The amazing artwork throughout city also features works created by medieval artists Ammannati and Cellini.
This ancient Italian city features a number of iconic landmarks that include the Coliseum, the Forum and the Pantheon. Vatican City also attracts millions of visitors who admire the fountains, statues and dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral. See original masterpieces created by Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael in the Vatican museum. The building is also the site of the famous Sistine Chapel.
The dozens of interconnected waterways and romantic gondola rides are but some of the attractions of this popular tourist destination. The city also features Byzantine to Neoclassic architecture, which spans from the 13th to the 18th century. One of the popular buildings that guests visit is the Doge’s Palace. Filled with carvings and amazing wall-sized frescoes, the palace once imprisoned famous con artist Casanova. The Bridge of Sighs is another well-known structure that connects the Doge’s Palace with a more modern prison.
This city contains the famous tilting, freestanding bell tower of the Pisa Cathedral. Construction began on the tower in 1173 and sinking initiated only five years later. When construction resumed 100 years later, contractors compensated for the tilt by building floors higher on one side than the other. The tower stands 183 feet (56 meters) tall on the low side and 186 feet (57 meters) tall on the high side. Now stabilized by using lead counterweights and excavated soil displacement, visitors climb the 296 stairs to the top.
In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius violently erupted, covering the nearby ancient Roman city of Pompeii with 13 to 20 feet (4 to 6 meters) of ash. Though all 20,000 residents lost their lives on that fateful day, the ash protected and preserved all of the city’s structures. Since the community’s discovery and excavation in 1749, Pompeii attracts millions of visitors annually. Besides architectural features, buildings display complete mosaic tiles and frescoes depicting mythological figures and legends.
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