Italy: Exploring a glorious legacy of art and architecture

Italy has lived through a rollercoaster of fascinating eras, right from its ancient origins to the Renaissance and now the center of fashion and architecture. With a past so diverse and rich, it would take a while if one had to check them all out. That’s why, we have come up with a list of places that you can check out on your Italian

We’ve all heard of time capsules that preserve articles, from the past, to give a glimpse of life as it was back then. Pompeii and Herculaneum take that concept and scale it up to city-wide proportions. After a devastating volcanic eruption in the year 9 A.D., the ancient city of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried under almost 20 feet of volcanic ash. The site was lost for about 1,500 years until its rediscovery in 1599. During the excavations, beneath layers of volcanic ash, the city’s remains revealed itself as a time portal to life in the ancient ages. You can now walk through this ancient city and explore the past like it was in the early Roman era. Also, you must visit the local museum where in artifacts collected from the excavations in these cities are preserved for public display.

When one thinks of Rome, the first visual that comes to the mind is the Colosseum. Built in 80 A.D, it soon gained popularity for staging gladiatorial fights and other gory sports for public amusement. The engineers had designed the arena in a way that it could also be flooded in order to stage mock naval battles. At its peak, the Colosseum could accommodate up to 73,000 spectators. This is just the gist of its glorious history that is best experienced on a tour through the arena.

The next best thing to check out in Rome is the Pantheon, an epic structure standing an impressive 142 feet in height and built in around 126AD. From being a temple dedicated to the pagan gods of Rome, it saw itself evolve into a Roman Catholic Church in the 7th Century. With passing times, Catholic symbolism became more prominent in this fascinating structure. Take a stroll around its hallowed halls and find yourself enchanted by the magnificent sculptures and frescos that adorn them.

While Venice is predominantly known for its romantic gondola rides, it also has a rich history that deserves attention too. One way to check out its beautiful historical monuments and locales is to hop on to a vaporetto, or water taxi which travels the Grand Canal's entire length and presents you with views of a host of palaces, churches and other historic buildings dating from the 14th through 18th centuries. A prominent attraction among these is the Palazzo Ducale whose history can traced back to the ninth century. It houses what were once the city's courtrooms, prisons and chambers of government officials. The complex is also extensively decorated with works from painters such as Titian and Bosch.

Renaissance was the era of major change that directly impacted perceptions and ideas especially those concerning art and architecture. Therefore, it can be safely believed that Florence won’t disappoint on those lines since it was from here that the Renaissance evolved into global prominence. Walk around anywhere in Florence and you’ll always be a step away from a place of artistic and cultural importance. Here, museums are a great choice if you wish to experience a concentrated array of artifacts and artworks, and when you wish to take a break from the museums, you can always check out some beautiful sights like the Santa Maria del Fiore, a beautiful cathedral that’s an amazing example of incredible medieval architecture or the view of this magnificent city from Fiesole, a hill just 15-20 minutes from the city center from where you can see the city in all its glory.

Viren Batra, CEO & Co Founder of nirvana excursion said, “Italy has so much more to offer than just the sights mentioned here,right from the artistic and historic places of interest to the heritage sights and contemporary buildings, Italy has everything for even the most discerning traveller.”

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