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10 Italian cultural hotspots
10 Italian cultural hotspots
Posted at: 1:45pm , 29 Jun 2018 By James Eacott

10 Italian cultural hotspots

If you're looking for culture, you can't go wrong with a trip to Italy. Below we list 10 of the country's best cultural attractions, some of which you'll certainly know, but hopefully a few that you don't! 

Colosseum
A must-see and top of most visitor's lists, the Colosseum is an utterly magnificent structure. The most enormous amphitheatre built by the Roman Empire for public spectacles, the history is just incredible. You can tour most of the Colusseum even the two storys of tunnels, rooms and underground cells which would have housed gladiators, wild animals and workers quarters.

St Mark's Basilica, Venice
Located in the Piazza San Marco, the architecture of St Mark's Basilica was heavily influenced by the Byzantine Empire and includes a mix of architectural styles. It's worth paying the entry fee to marvel at the awe-inspiring interior with it's lofty ceilings, mosaics and jewel-encrusted altar.

The Roman Forum, Rome
Visiting the Forum gives a wonferfully detailed insight into what ancient Rome would have looked like. With its pillars, well-preserved structures and clear layout, it's easy to imagine how the city functioned a couple of thousand years ago.

Duomo Santa Maria, Florence
Dominating the Florence skyline, Duomo Santa Maria is considered one of the finest cathedrals in the world. It's easy to see why. Built over the course of over one hundred years from the 13th Century, the bell tower stands over 80m tall and can be climbed, offering unmatched views across the city. 

The Vatican City
No list of culturally significant attractions in Italy would be complete without the inclusion of the Vatican City. Home to the leader of the largest religion on earth and of course countless, priceless art collections, St Peter's Basilica forms the central nerve of the City. The Sistine Chapel, with it's wall and ceiling paintings by Michelangelo is a must-see. The Vatican Museum is also a great attraction.

Milan Duomo
This magnificant cathedral is one of the best examples of gothic architecture in the world. Gazing at the detail in the facade, with its 2,250 marble statues, it's difficult to comprehend quite how this was designed and built in the 14th Century. Home to the worlds largest stained glass windows, the nave is an impressive architectural feat. Make sure you visit the foundations of a 4th Century bapistry, located under the plaza in front of the cathedral.

Pompeii
Occupying a vast site in Italy's Campania region, Pompeii was buried under ash and pumice after a ferocious eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Before its devastation, it was a thriving Roman city and the preserved ruins are free to explore on foot. Walking the ruins of market places, houses, baths and temples provides a real insight into what life was like in the town, and how terrifying the eruption two thousand years ago would have been.

The Pantheon
Located in the heart of Rome, the iconic Pantheon was built by Hadrian and completed in around 126 AD. An impressive architectural feat, it's a marvel walking around and seeing the precise measurements to which the interior was created. It's been kept in impeccable condition due to its constant preservation efforts since as early at the 7th Century. The predominant feature of the Pantheon is the oculus through which light beams to the floor.

Galleria degli Uffizi
Simply, Florence's premier art gallery is home to the world's largest collection of Renaissance art. Who needs more reasons to visit?! 

Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan
For one reason only, you must visit this basilica at some point in your life: it's home to The Last Supper painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Hidden away on a wall of the refectory adjoining the basilica, the iconic image depicts the moment Christ reveals he knows he's been betrayed. You must book in advance to see the painting, but it's well worth it.

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