Please join me as my mind wanders to…Italy! Buon giorno! I want to be a Three City Aristocrat (Venice, Florence, Rome). A daydream of this magnitude overshadows the daunting task of choosing among the world’s foremost historic and artistic sights, as well as navigating a foreign country, a foreign language and a foreign cuisine. You can simply daydream along with me…
In Venice everything floats. Not only the gondolas, launches, barges and vaporettos on the Grand Canal, but the people as well. The 118 islands of central Venice are divided into six districts known as sestieri. The places that draw the largest crowds include:
Feel free to take a ride in a Gondola – the quintessential image of Venice, which is available for private hire for leisurely cruises around the city’s canals – where you might end up in the Island of Burano, the most picturesque of Venetian Islands. Famous for its lace-making industry, this pretty fishing village has its streets and canals lined by beautiful, colored houses.
And who knows…maybe you could make it to Italy during the “Carnival of Venice” – or as I see it – Mardi Gras by Gondola! 🙂
Florence has long been celebrated as the most beautiful city in Italy. It is a world-class treasure trove of Renaissance art. Brunelleschi’s stupendous cathedral dome dominates the cityscape – and that’s just a start.
Examples of Renaissance harmony and rational design abound, from the vast picture collection of the Uffizi to the Academy of Fine Arts, where Michelangelo’s David and other masterpieces stand, just a short walk away.
Rome, the Eternal City, is romantic, mysterious, and unforgettable — the splash of a thousand fountains, the slow and silent flow of the Tiber, the scent of old stone in the ruins — yet it is also a modern, bustling metropolis. No place blends old and new like Roma!
For me, the most astonishing thing about Rome is the sheer weight of history that the city supports! There is an almost uninterrupted sequence of monuments, from ancient Roman ruins, early Christian basilicas, Romanesque churches and Renaissance palaces, to the Baroque fountains and churches, ponderous, post-Unification Neoclassical architecture and even contemporary buildings by architects like Richard Meier, Renzo Piano and Paolo Portoghesi. And it’s all built one century on top of the other!
Important sights of Rome include the Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo, National Museum of Rome, the Borghese Villa and Gallery, the National Gallery of Modern Art and, of course, The Vatican.
Perhaps one of the most recognized site of the world, I think one would be surprised to find it sitting amongst the streets of Rome! There are endless, cold, stone archways leading to the biggest amphitheater one could imagine!
Traveling westward, you come to the Trevi Fountain. I imagine you can hear the fountain before you can see it, as it is 6 stories tall and 50 yards wide! And the coins at the bottom of the fountain are collected every week or so to help feed the hungry in Rome.
And finally, on to the last must-see sites in Rome – the Vatican & St. Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican is decorated by the likes of Raphael and Michelangelo, and is the gateway to perhaps the most famous ceiling in the world! After gawking at the ceiling and rubbing your sore neck, you spill out into St. Peter’s square.
*SIGH* – I do love to daydream…and I hope you enjoyed exploring with me!
I love you, Italy! “Ti amo, Italia!” Goodnight. “Buona notte.”