Second Part of our list of the most visited attractions in Italy.
The Spanish Steps
Rome is probably the most beautiful city in the world in terms of architecture and art. The Spanish Steps are in the center of its shopping area, just a few meters from some of the most prestigious stores and art galleries in the world, at the end of Via Condotti, one of the most exclusive shopping streets in Rome, and are very close to the Italian Parliament and Government center. During the spring months, the city of Rome decorates the area with splendid and colorful flowers and at Christmas, a 17th century Roman themed Nativity is built for the pleasure of visitors.
Giotto’s Bell tower
In Florence, right next to the Baptistery, is the Bell Tower designed by Giotto, one of the greatest masters of Italian art. The tower is all white and green marble, and square. Inside, are steep steps well worth the effort to climb, as once the top is reached, the view is breathtaking: the skyline of Florence is astonishing, rich, and very balanced with the nature that surrounds the city, especially in the hills.
Caserta Royal Palace
This southern site is probably the least publicized for what it is worth. For those not familiar with this palace, it is basically the set used for the Palace of Princess Amidala, wanted by George Lucas in Star Wars Episode I. The Caserta Royal Palace is one if the most beautiful constructions in the world, with astonishing interior decorations and a wonderful park with its royal gardens. A very important G7 summit was hosted here in 1994, with all the heads of the G7 attending, and in that event Russia was officially invited to join in what probably became the first true effort to work with the West.
Not really far from Caserta is the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, tragically known for being completely destroyed by the explosion of Mount Vesuvius just a few decades after Christ (79 CE). Ironically, that same natural disaster is what delivered the city almost intact to our times. The ashes indeed killed the people, but also protected the buildings until they were found centuries later. This natural and tragic preservation allows us to have today a great sample of a Roman city, in certain instances even better than Rome itself, where buildings have been built on top of each other over the centuries, dramatically changing the city landscape each time. Pompeii has public buildings, private villas, spas, brothels, shopping areas, and business districts, as well as restaurants and bars, all preserved through time to show us how advanced the Romans were and how their urban society was structured.
The Greek Theatre of Taormina
Sicily is a beautiful island rich with art, beaches, and very tasty food and in the middle of all of this is the city of Taormina with its Greek Theatre, right on the top of a cliff over the Ionic Sea. This theatre, although ancient, is still very much in use especially in the summer when shows and concerts are featured on a regular basis. The amazing location allows a sea view from every seat in the house, making it seem as if the theater is floating between the heavens and the seas and put there by the Greek gods. Built with the special techniques typical of Greek theatres, it delivers perfect sound even from the most distant seats from the stage.
In the first part of our Most Visited Attractions in Italy more interesting touristic sights.