By Brinda Shah
From the perfect mix of beautiful old architecture to the vibrant modern cultures, Italy has it all. It is famous for its culture, bridges, churches, art , pizza and a lot more. Today we will get an insight into the most popular cities of Italy: Florence, Rome, Vatican City and Venice.
Only a few hours drive in North West of Italy’s capital Rome, at the foot of Apennine’s mountain stands idyllic Florence. This flourishing Mediterranean city, full of historic buildings is one of the highlights of a trip to Europe. Florence’s written history dates back to 59 BC when Julius Caesar set up camp on the banks of Arno river.
This is the place where the legend Leonardo Da Vinci learned how to paint. There are sculptures everywhere you look, on the churches, fountains and the Piazza’s. The larger than life statue of King David by Michelangelo is one of the most famous sculptures in the world.
It is known for its exquisite jewellery and one can quench their thirst for gold at Ponte Vecchio. In 13th century only goldsmith and jewellers were permitted to have their shops on the bridge and it is followed till this date. Italian jewellery is typically 18 karat or above and it has so much variety to offer. Florence also has the best quality leather and handbags and is considered as one of the most cultural cities in Europe.
Rome, the city of seven hills is home to almost a three million people. According to legend, Rome was founded by twin brothers Romulus and Remus. 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, it was here on Palatine hill that the foundation for the city was laid.
Surviving earthquakes and centuries of stone fields, the colosseum remains the most enduring symbol of ancient Rome. Across four centuries, thousand gladiators, slaves and Christians died in a place of glory. On the nearby arch of Constantine and inscription bears the words inspired by the divine.
Thundering crowds and chariots have long faded and replaced by three old fountains, Baroque architectures, artist and the aroma of Rome’s best coffee. No Roman holidays are complete without making a wish at the Trevi fountain. Toss a coin to the Trevi and you will return one day back to Rome.
Today Modern Pilgrims continue to cross the rivers they make their way to one of the greatest square Piazzo San Pietro.(St. Peter’s Basilica). The world’s largest church St. Peter’s Basilica stands here. Filled with masterpieces by Bernini, Caravaggio and Raffaello.
St.Peter’s crowning glory is the Dome designed by brightest star of renaissance, Michelangelo. From this dome look down upon the holy square when two promenades reach out like open arms welcoming the faithful to receive blessings from pope.
To really taste the whole of Rome’s treasure can take a lifetime but it only takes a moment for Rome to forever capture your heart
Venice has a way of capturing hearts and is well known as the city of bridges. Venice can sometimes be overwhelming to the admirers, but if you take your time and treat it gently, she will reward you with moments of profound beauty and bliss.
Just outside standing columns of San Marco and San Teodoro is the traditional gateway to the city. Under the winged lion of Venice, you can begin your journey along the world’s great aquatic thoroughfares, The Grand Canal.
All along the canal, you can see elegant Palazzo which belong to the wealthy merchants. Today many Palazzo’s are home to museums and galleries and it allows visitors to experience the opulence of 18th century Venice.
There are many hidden canals with gondolas rolling through them and one can hear the music breeze through the air. It is incredible to ride along the Grand Canal and enjoy the breathtaking views of city.
If you are a lover of art or has a keen eye for shopping, watch out for special drawings, collages of canals, venetian masks & hats. Sunsets in Venice are truly magical and it deserves a firm spot on your travel bucket list.