Once upon a time, not too long ago, notable citizens walked cobbled streets wearing crisp white togas. Perhaps they hurried to the coliseum to cheer for a gladiator. Or maybe they headed to a public bath for a round of intellectual discourse.
When standing in Italian cities, one can still imagine these images as if they happened yesterday.
While most cities hold their history in books and museums, Italy is different. Italy is a celebration of the past, and you can relive the tales with a visit to several key sites.
The Eruptions That Saved the Past
The ancient Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum fell victims to the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.
Preserved from the damage of time, both sites offer a vivid testimonial of Roman life. Luckily, the sites are near Naples airport, making them perfect for a quick layover or intra-European flight.
If you’re making a quick stop, plan your transportation between the airport and attraction in advance. Get in touch with booktaxinaples for a dependable ride.
Take advantage of local drivers – read unofficial tour guides – for precious advice such as insider information about local sites and places to eat when you’re finished exploring.
The Dying Town That Never Dies
Civita di Bagnoregio is a fierce example of a medieval city left untouched by modern lifestyles.
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In Italian, it’s called il paese che muore or the dying town.
Founded around 500 BC atop a rocky outcrop, erosion has isolated this town from the rest of the landscape. Civita di Bagnoregio should top your bucket list for a visit while you can. Earthquakes and erosion threaten the survival of this Etruscan town.
Ancient Rome: A Testimonial Of Quality
No other town marries modern and ancient as perfectly as Rome.
The Pantheon is one of the best preserved Roman buildings. Standing 142 feet high, it was built around 126 AD to honor the gods. In the 7th century, Romans converted this architectural marvel into a Catholic church.
The Colosseum is equally impressive. It’s the largest amphitheater in the world – a statement to the engineering of ancient Romans.
The Dome Of Engineering
Il Duomo was built in the 15th century by Brunelleschi, who engineered several architectural tools to create the largest dome of its time.
The dome won such admiration that after the architect’s death, the Church buried him in the crypt – a rare honor at the time.
His grave was recently discovered in 1972. One can only imagine what other secrets Il Duomo might hold!
The Tower That Won’t Be Corrected
You’d think that the genius who invented Pisa’s unique architectural design patted himself on the back each morning. With its signature lean, the Tower of Pisa attracts hordes of selfie-snapping tourists yearly.
In fact, between 1173 and 1360, generations of architects worked on the tower attempting to correct the tilt.
A shifting foundation is responsible for the famous tilted tower and it was only in 2001, after extensive engineering and creativity, that the tower welcomed visitors again after a long closure.
Don’t miss this jewel when you visit Italy. Who knows how long it’s going to stay upright!
If a trip to Italy is one your bucket list, you’ll definitely want to add these historical sites to your list of 101 things to do!