We’ve been to Italy a thousand times, but we still love to go back to it whenever we have the chance. Last month we went on a road trip to this gorgeous country and in this blog post, we bring you 7 amazing places to visit in Italy for an epic vacation.
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Let’s start the Italy itinerary…
We started our itinerary in Padua – one of the largest and most beautiful cities of northern Italy. Set on the Bacchiglione River, it is full of old bridges worth checking out. Also, its piazzas are amazing. Our favourite is Piazza del Santo with gorgeous Basilica of St. Anthony, or as locals call it il Santo. There are many beautiful religious objects in Padua, such as Cathedral-Basilica of St. Mary of Padua – the titular cathedral of the city or Abbey of Santa Giustina – a gorgeous Benedictine abbey in the centre of Padua. Right across this Abbey, you can see the Prato della Valle – the largest square in Italy, that is a gorgeous space with a green island in the centre and many statues to admire.
From Padua, we went to Siena – one of the most beautiful and most visited cities in Tuscany. Siena is very rich in cultural and historical heritage, which makes it very interesting for exploring and photographing. When you get to Siena, the first thing you want to see is its stunning Piazza del Campo – a shell-shaped square with gorgeous building surrounding it. One of those is definitely the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) – a red-brick building with a tall tower called Torre del Mangia adjacent to it. Be sure to climb to the top of the tower and admire the views of the city. Also, take a walk to Piazza del Duomo and check out the Siena Cathedral (Duomo di Siena) – one of the most outstanding examples of Romanesque-Gothic church in Italy.
Our next stop was San Gimignano – a small medieval town less than an hour away from Siena. This little town is known for the seven high towers dominating its skyline, built by San Gimignano’s old families in competition and display of their wealth. You must explore Piazza del Duomo and the Cathedral that is set there. It’s a quite simple but beautiful old building. Also, check out the other buildings that are surrounding Piazza del Duomo.
Assisi is another small, beautiful town in Italy, and it is located in the central part of the country. Perched up on a hill, it offers a great view of nature in the surroundings. When in Assisi, be sure to check out the Basilica of St Francis – one of the best-known basilicas in Italy. If you’re into religion or art, you’ll simply love it. Also, explore Piazza del Comune and check out Tempio di Minerva, an ancient Roman temple, with six original Corinthian columns that are more than 2000 years old.
Rome was the highlight of our trip, of course – the eternal city and a place where we love to come back. There are so many attractions to see, some of them being the Colosseum that once housed the gladiator and wild animals’ fights, the Roman Forum – the focal point of Republican Rome, the Pantheon – once a pagan temple and later church. Of course, we explored the Vatican City and its Saint Peter’s Basilica. It is a majestic religious site, and a great landmark of Rome – take a tour, check out the Sistine Chapel and the museums in this area. There are thousands of more landmarks – different Baroque churches and buildings and so much more, but those that we mentioned are some of the most iconic for sure.
When we left Rome, we went back to the Tuscany region and visited another small town called Montepulciano. It’s a walled medieval town with a little touch of the Renaissance architecture. Its main square is officially named Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, but locals call it Piazza Grande. That’s where you’ll see the amazing Town Hall (Palazzo Comunale) and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. We really enjoyed wandering through the streets of this charming little town.
The last stop on our Italy itinerary was Arezzo, another small town in Tuscany, rich with centuries of history, culture and art. Visit its Piazza Grande with a mix of architectural styles, from medieval towers to the Renaissance Loggiato Vasariano to the Gothic-Renaissance Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici and Palazzo delle Logge. This city was the last one on our list, but it surely not the least beautiful one. We enjoyed it even though we were a bit tired.
Italy gave us some amazing experiences, as always. We just can’t wait to see more of its stunning cities.
Photos by Dragan Trivić