Discover Italy - The Country of a Thousand Wonders
A wise traveller once bestowed upon me the information that if one is to fall in love with Italy for the country it is, then travel in small groups or alone in order to fully immerse yourself into the culture.
Known as ‘The Boot’ due to the peculiar shape of the country, Italy has stolen the heart of many a traveller with its astounding sights, appetising food and friendly locals. Cruise down Lake Garda whilst gazing out towards the city, where you’ll see the lively atmosphere of the markets, or walk through the Vatican City and visit the deepest spiritual roots of Christianity- all whilst being surrounded by some splendid architecture. Dive head first into the stories surrounding Mount Vesuvius and the destruction it inflicted so many centuries ago. Should you decide to visit Italy, you can rest assured that throughout all seasons, there is a different perspective from which to see this delightful country.
Explore the Colosseum
Known as the Colosseum, this stately structure that sits in the heart of Rome began developing in AD70-72 and ended after nearly 10 years of construction in AD80- a surprisingly short period of time for such a large building. Once used as a glorious arena for combat between gladiators, this amphitheatre is now a popular tourist destination for those who wish to visit and see this historical structure.
Lean on the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Situated in Tuscany, this iconic building and UNESCO world heritage site took around 7 centuries to build! The soft clay that lies underneath the base of the building is the cause of the legendary tilt that attracts tourists from all over the world. The time that it took to build is prominent in the varying types of styles that feature on the different floors, of which were crafted by different architects.
See Mount Vesuvius
On the west coast of Italy lies the infamous Mount Vesuvius, of which was the source of destruction of Pompeii in AD79, raining down fire and ash onto the city that lay below. The city was buried by the eruption so quickly that it has been preserved by volcanic ash – you can wander down to Pompeii and see for yourself the last moments of Pompeii’s residents and the historical architecture that surrounded them. Mount Vesuvius is one of the only active volcanoes in Europe and is also considered to be one of the most dangerous because of the numerous towns that surround it.
Sail down Lake Garda
Perhaps the most sought after destination in terms of lakes or vast expanses of water, Lake Garda is without a doubt something that cannot be missed. Dividing Lombardy, Veneto and Trentino Alto-Adige, this immense lake is situated in the north east of Italy and displays some impressive contrasts in terrain as the lake stretches out. On the southern shore lies the lakeside town of Sirmione and its moated castle; to the north of Lake Garda you will find the town of Riva Del Garda that has handsome public gardens that complement the backdrop of the towering cliffs. For those that do not wish to stay in one of the many lakeside towns, or are just simply passing through, many ferries can be taken on Lake Garda – the views are breath-taking.
Visit the Vatican City
No words can suffice the beauty of the architecture, nor the compelling history that unfolds as you walk through the doors of this exquisite city. Described as one of the ultimate pilgrimages for religious people and tourists alike, visiting the Vatican will leave its imprint in your memory for a long time to come. Cultural sites include St Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, of which are home to centuries of art that has been collected by Popes over the years. Something that I always found to be phenomenal about this city is its eccentric economy; the survival of the Vatican depends entirely on seemingly irrelevant things such as publications and museum fees. Do not miss the opportunity to visit world’s smallest country, located in the heart of Rome.
Learn about the Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin, although it is subject to many studies and disputes, is believed to be a centuries old linen cloth that when photographed, bears the image of a man with wounds similar to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus. It is preserved in a bulletproof case in Turin today and is only available for public viewing once every couple of decades.