Four Great Cities to Visit in Italy

By Charles JacksonItaly is home to the most UNESCO-protected historical sites of any country in the world and it's no surprise since the country, along with Greece, is the birthplace of Western Civilization. Ancient monuments and relics of past ages, many dating back thousands of years, can be found throughout the country. Italy is also famous for its high quality of life, superb wine and food and leading influences in the world of fashion and modern culture. Italy has something for everyone beaches, ski resorts, ancient cities and many diverse regional cultures. Consider these four Italian cities for your next city break to Europe.RomeThe capital and largest city of Italy, Rome has had an enormous influence on the wider world during its 2,500 years of history. The centre of the legendary Roman Empire, Rome is one of the world's birthplaces of human civilization, culture, religion and science. The centre is full of stunning palaces, basilicas, churches and ruins which are thousands of years old. It is no surprise that the city is one of the most visited and revered on the planet. Rome is home to some of the world's most familiar landmarks such as the Coliseum, Roman Forum, the Vatican and far, far more. The artistic and archaeological treasures that Rome offers are simply immeasurable.BolognaA fairly small historical city with a population of about 380 thousand, Bologna is a manageable place which can mostly be seen on foot. Very popular among Italians, Bologna is rather less visited by foreigners, making it one of Italy's most underrated cities. Bologna is best known for its university, one of the oldest one in Europe. For nightlife and student life, Bologna is an absolutely perfect place to go for a weekend break. You'll also be able to enjoy superb food and wander around beautiful terracotta-roofed buildings. The charming city has many great attractions such as the Piazza Maggiore main square, the Neptune Fountain and the Archaeological Museum.FlorenceAbout the same size as Bologna, Florence is also a beautiful city. It is considered by many as a cultural and artistic centre offering some of Italy's most beautiful architecture and culture. Florence is the capital of Tuscany, a large area of western Italy. Its cultural heritage dates back to the time of the Renaissance which started in the city in the fourteenth century. Florence has many great attractions to offer visitors, such as the Uffizi gallery, the Pitti Palace, the Duomo and the main Piazza. Various university campuses are located in Florence making the town a lively place to party at night as well. Just be careful to avoid the extremely overpriced tourist hotspots if you want to stick to any kind of a budget.VeniceKnown the world over for its unique beauty, canals, and gondolas paddling along rivers instead of cars on streets, Venice is a truly unique destination. One of Italy's most romantic cities, Venice is the capital of the Veneto Region. It has a population of about 270 thousand with about a fifth of it living in the historic area of the city. Between the ninth and twelfth centuries, Venice was an important city state and it grew rapidly. The city offers numerous attractions such as the Piazza San Marco with the St Mark's Basilica, the fifth century San Giacomo di Rialto church and the enormous Dominican church of San Giovanni e Paolo. An absolute must-do in Venice is to take a Gondola ride around the many canals. In fact, it's the most practical way to get around!
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