Revel in a glorious legacy of art and architecture. HOT explores the Italian heritage of architecture…
When you think of art and architecture, the Renaissance is a period in history that often comes to mind. Italy has lived through a rollercoaster of fascinating eras, right from its ancient origins to the Renaissance. Even now, it is the hub of fashion and architecture. With a past so diverse and rich, what should a traveller not miss out? Here are examples of Italian heritage that you must not miss…
This ancient city is a dip into the past, a time capsule of sorts. 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 artefacts collected from the excavations in these cities are preserved for public display.
When in Rome…
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.
Magic and romance meet in Venice. It is predominantly known for its romantic gondola rides. It has beautiful historical monuments and locales and 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.
Florence and Pisa
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 artefacts 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.
Pisa, located quite near Florence, needs no introduction. A visit to Italy is indeed not complete without a sighting of the leaning tower of Pisa!
Cuisine is considered no less than an art in Italy. We associate Italy with pizzas and pastas. There are significant regional variations in these dishes here, and it is always a great idea to sample them! For example, the pizza of Naples has a thick, soft crust while that of Rome is considerably thinner and crustier. Other delicacies include Risotto, Arancina and Polenta. Of course, we can’t miss the Gelato, sorbetto and the wonderful Italian coffees!
Italy has much to offer…these sites are perhaps a starting point into the glorious Italian heritage!