Considered to be the birthplace of the Western Civilization and the capital of Christianity, Italy is a country deeply etched by the past. It is where the Renaissance movement in Europe originated, a country which produced some of the greatest painters and sculptors like Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Masacio, Raphael, Michelangelo, Tintoretto, Sacchi, Lanfranco and Fontana.
The country has over 3,000 museums, about 1,000 historic centers, over 10,000 churches and about 40,000 castles, towers and fortresses, all witness to the rich art culture of the country, which might overwhelm any novice art-lover. The cities of Sicily, Pompeii, Verona and Herculaneum are strewn with ruins, frescos and museums dedicated to the art of Ancient Rome and prominent sites are the Pantheon, the Etruscan Museum, the Baths of Diocletian and the Baths of Caracalla.
If you are into Gothic Art, don’t miss the Casamari Abbey, Palazzo Vecchio, Orvieto Cathedral and the churches of San Francesco. The most important period in Italian Visual Art was during the Renaissance movement which saw the rise of artists like da Vinci, Bernardo, Raphael and Michelangelo. One should definitely not miss The Last Supper and Mona Lisa by da Vinci, the sculpture of David by Michelangelo, Raphael’s painting, The School of Athens and The Marriage of a Virgin by Bernardo. Bernini’s St. Theresa in Ecstasy, Michelangelo’s St. Peter’s Basilica and Salvi’s Trevi Fountain are the best example of Baroque art in Italy, a form which followed the Renaissance.
A holiday in Italy can never be fulfilled without visiting its many internationally acclaimed museums. The Uffizi Gallery, The Vatican Museum, The Aquarium and the Egyptian Museum are some of the most enriched museums of the country. The Automobile Museum, with a collection of over 170 cars, covers the entire automobile history and is one of the largest of its kind.
Wish to carry a souvenir back from the country of art? The cities of Rome, Florence and Venice are full of ateliers selling replicas of several masterpieces. Consider yourself lucky if you’re able to get a replica of the most noteworthy pieces.