Italy, in itself, is a museum. It is an eclectic warehouse filled with treasures from the past, which have become the foundation for creating new and equally magnificent treasures, continuing the legacy. A trip to Italy is not complete without including a visit to a museum or two, and drinking in the exquisite monuments found throughout the country.
Rome, home to the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church, is well known for its extraordinary art and monuments. While there, visit St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel. You will not be disappointed, even if you do not lay claim to spiritual faith, the viewing of artwork created by Michelangelo is well worth it. His frescoes, his sculptures, combined with works done by other artists of days long gone, make this a truly divine experience. If you have time, and can arrange a tour, visit the ancient catacombs. If time allows, engage yourself with a walk tour around ancient Baroque Rome. As you navigate Rome, take time to tour the Coliseum and Roman Forum. Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain are definite should also be included in your tour of Rome; and if time permits, stop at the Pantheon, and Spanish Steps.
Venice, the city of romance and canal carved streets, has always sparked the creative and artistic juices of those who have allowed the lure to set in. Its inspirational factor has spawned great works of art, writing and other treasures. The many churches, embellished with beautiful statues and frescoes, have become religious museums of sort, which allow the visitor to observe these works. Many of the old Goth and Baroque style palaces have been turned into museums. As you walk along Venice’s canals, be on the look out for statues and monuments, and fountains that have been constructed throughout the city. Take a walk off the beaten path, in Venice, and allow yourself to experience the Jewish Ghetto, where you will find synagogues and a museum dedicated to the history of the Jewish Ghetto. San Marco’s Square is a must inclusion into any Venice trip. There you can tour Correr Museum, the Basilica, Ducale, and Doge’s Palace, all containing museum like remnants highlighting the history of Venice and more. Gallerie dell’Accademia is located on the Grand Canal. Here you can view masterpieces painted by infamous artists like Bellini, Titian, and Mantagna. Also along the Grand Canal, Ca’ d’Oro, which once was a palace, but today is a museum of beautiful artwork, sculptures and ceramics. There is also the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, which considered one of Italy’s most important museums. Its permanent collection consists of modern and contemporary works of art. Then, there is the Ca’ Rezzonico, which is also a palace turned museum, displaying a collection of eighteenth century Venetian works of art.
Besides being well known for its scrumptious chocolate production, the city of Perugia, Italy has a few museums and monuments of interest. The Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria Palazzo dei Priori is a twelve-roomed gallery, where tourists can view an historic reflection of Umbrian paintings by Perugino, as well as other works. There is also a museum of archaeology in Perugia called Museo Archeologico Nazionale dell’Umbria. Pozzo Etrusco (Etruscan Well) is an ancient well you can visit in Perugia.
Florence is known to have been the Italian city where some of the most famous artists came to study and work. There are so many museums, and homes, which have been turned into museums throughout Florence. Bargello was constructed in 1255 as the home of Florence’s authorities, and also for the purpose of a courthouse and prison. Today, Bargello is a museum, displaying famous masterpieces. Galleria dell’Accademia stores Michelangelo’s most famous work, David. Florence’s famous Duomo is in itself a museum due to the fact that those who view its beauty witness the work of famous artists such as Giotto, Francesco Talenti, Lapo Ghini, and Brunelleschi. Of course, no trip to Florence is complete without a visit to Uffizi Galleria, where there are countless masterpieces for view within the 45-roomed museum. So, if you are truly yearning to be inspired by the artistic works of the great artists of long ago, this is the place for you. Here you will get to see works done by Cimabue, Botticelli, Giotto, Paolo Ucello, Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino, Raphael, Michelangelo, Filippo Lippi, and many more. All through out this city you will come into contact with monuments and statues created by famous artists, and often commissioned by the Medici family.
If your Italian itinerary includes a trip to Naples, there you find museums dedicated to the archaeological value of this region of Italy. The National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale) displays artifacts and finds from the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were both cities close to Naples. These cities were destroyed by the eruption and lava flow from Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. This leads us to Naples natural monument, which is Mount Vesuvius the only active Volcano in Europe. While in Naples, it is indeed possible to get your fill of art by visiting the Museum and Gallery of Capodimonte (Museo e Gallerie Nazionali di Capodimonte), where you can view works from renowned artists like Raphael, El Greco, Titian, and Bruegel to name a few.
It is impossible to cover all the many museums and monuments that call their home Italy. Italy is truly a museum in its own right. If museums are on your itinerary, it is important that you make sure, in advanced, that the museum is open on the day you plan to visit, and that you do not need to make reservations in advanced.
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