Welcome to the land of artists and writers! Italy is truly a mesmerizing holiday destination. The varying landscape and rich cultural legacy has boasted many memorable attractions in Italy due to which the tourists regard the land as one of the stylish countries in the world. You can find all kinds of attractions in Italy from pubs to sports and from museums to national parks. Historic, natural, and modern sightseeing will leave you with a stunning experience for sure. So, may I take you on a tour of some of the major destinations in the country?
I first went to the Valle d’Aosta – a craggy picturesque area at the base highest mountains of Europe namely, Cervino (Matterhorn), Gran Paradiso, Mont Blanc, and Monte Rosa. This region is somewhat distinct from the remaining zones of the country due to its unique culture of French. For the tourists, the historic and scenic ruins of many castles such as Fenis and Issogne tell the stories of its strategic past. The Gran Paradiso National Park is also worth visiting where you can find the chamois and ibex. Expect hill walking and climbing as it is very famous here. For great skiing, head to some superb ski resorts such as Breuil-Cervinia and Courmayeur.
Aosta is the prime city of Valle d’Aosta where you can explore several well-preserved Roman and Medieval buildings. The city was named after the Emperor Augustus that was then mistakenly corrupted as Aosta. Check out for the huge and intact Roman city walls, the grid-iron street plan, the stunning gateway called the Porta Pretoria to the old town, exhibitions in the gatehouse tower, and the ancient Roman site called the Teatro Romano where you can watch the theatrical performances in summer.
Next, I headed to Pavia nestled to the south of Milan. This is where you can discover many amazing churches and the 14th century Castello offering an art gallery, archaeology museum, and the sculpture museum. One of the main attractions of Italy here is the Certosa di Pavia at 6 miles from the town, which is a monastery boasting a rich design. Formerly, this was the family mausoleum of the Viscontis, but was then the residence of a Carthusian order of monks who meditate in silence here. Fortunately, a selected few will guide you and tell you about the history.
Located at the base of the Bergamese Alps, Bergamo is one of the alluring destinations in Italy. Holding two cities namely, the ancient Upper Bergamo and the modern Lower Bergamo, the city does not leave any tourist disappointed. The old zone is known for its Venetian fortifications, palaces, towers, and churches – 12th century Palazzo della Ragione, the Torre del Comune, the Cathedral, the Colleoni Chapel, and the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. In the modern city, visit the largest art collection housed in Accademia Carrara with the paintings by Bellini, Botticelli, Canaletto, Carpaccio, Lotto, and Mantegna.
Above all, the journey between the two cities is via a funicular railway that is quite exciting.
Genoa (Genova) is the capital of Liguria and is famous as a military port. The tourists here sought for the gems such as the Church of Sant’Agostino besides the Museo dell’Architettura e Scultura Ligure, the wonderful Church of San Donato, 12th century Church of Santa Maria di Castello, the Gothic Cathedral of San Lorenzo, and the Porta Soprana that is the ancient stone entrance. More attractions are outside the city. Take up a stroll at Via Garibaldi where many of the richest residents have their palaces. Next, explore Palazzo Bianco that is an art gallery with paintings by Rubens and Van Dyck, Palazzo Podesta, and the wonderful Palazzo Rosso offering paintings by Caravaggio, Dürer, and Titian). Do not miss the Acquario that houses underwater life in 50 great tanks holding 1000. This is the largest one in Europe.
Who would not like to discover The Riviera? This thin coastline is made up of Riviera di Ponente (west) and the Riviera di Levante (east). In the west, sandy beaches and the seaside resorts of San Remo and Bordighera are the attractions, while the latter offers small bays with rocky cliffs along with more elite resorts like Portofino and Cinque Terre. Portofino is famous for its small scenic harbor packed with smooth yachts, its rich clothes shops, and the Castello di San Giorgio on an outcrop with great views of the harbor and bay. The beach at Santa Margherita Ligure (3 miles) from Portofino is a great place for swimming and having views of the surrounding cliffs and villas. For less fashion and cost, head to Rapallo that is at a distance of 5 miles from Portofino.
In my next article, I will let you know about more attractions in Italy.