Every year millions of visitors trek through Italy in search of ancient culture, great food, art, architecture, and more. The allure is immediate even to those who have never been.
There is more art and architecture to see in Italy than one person could possibly experience in a lifetime. Rome, Florence, and Venice alone offer an unending array of design excursions. Highlighted here are some of the must-see designs of both ancient and modern Italy. Talk a trip, bring a sketchbook, and see the gorgeous art and design that is synonymous with Italian life.


The Coliseum - An architectural marvel, the coliseum was built beginning in 72 A.M. Originally used as a source of entertainment (usually forced barbaric combat) the Coliseum is still an amazing site. Strangely, although it could be considered a source of embarrassment of the past, it has been come to be known as one of the ultimate icons of ancient Roman greatness. Location: the Piazza del Colosseo, Via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome



Vatican City
- This tiny country is perhaps one of the most remarkable aspects of Rome. Vatican City is the heart of Catholicism, both spiritually and politically. St. Peter himself was crucified on this spot, and St. Peter's basilica was built directly above the ancient hill. Both the Basilica and St. Peter's square are still studied today in architecture and art history classes. You can wander the Vatican Museums for days, including a visit to the Sistine Chapel, to see some of the true masterpieces of Roman art. Location: Entry through Saint Peter's Square, Rome.



Il Duomo (The Cathedral of Santa Maria Dei Fiori) - Il Duomo is considered by many to be the grandest achievement in Renaissance architecture. The octagonal dome, originally designed by Brunelleschi was the largest in the world when built. Since then, Il Duomo, which took nearly six centuries to complete, has become Florence's symbol. Climb the 414 steps of the bell tower, and Renaissance Florence will be laid before you. Location: Piazza del Duomo, Florence.






Piazza San Marco - Piazza San Marco is still studied today by architects and urban planners as one of the most beautiful and successful public squares. The square is surrounded by cafes, shops, and of course the Campanile and St. Peter's Basilica. Visitors and locals alike sip espresso in its cafes, meet to talk, and climb the Campanile to see an amazing view of Venice. Location: Piazza San Marco, with
the Basilica at the wider end, Venice.




The Peggy Guggenheim Collection - In a city world renown for its ancient art and architecture, the Guggenheim Collection houses one of the greatest collections of modern art. her collection includes works by Pollack, Picasso, Klee, Rothko, Chagall, Mondrian, and more. There is also a gorgeous sculpture garden housing even more works. Location: Calle Venice dei Leoni, Dorsoduro, Venice.





The Brion Vega Cemetery - The Brion Vega is considered one of Carlo Scarpa's masterpieces. Scarpa was and still is often considered the premier modern Italian architect. The memorial is a great concrete and landscaped form if rectilinear, stepping, and sculptural concrete elements. It is an amazing pilgrimage for the architecture buff. Location: San Vito d'Altivole.



You can wander Italy for ages and never take in all of the art and architecture. Still, the sites listed above are some of the must-sees for lovers of art, architecture, and travel. Open your eyes and see the Italian design that has been around for centuries, and that which continues to flourish today.
Michelle is a travel buff who has recently moved away from Hawaii but is anxiously awaiting the day when she can return. In the meantime, she occupies her time by helping others compare and select vacation options.

Contributor: Michelle Linden



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