There can be few places on earth as appealing to the art lovers as Italy. After all, Italy has been the hub of European art and culture through changing centuries and empires. Not to mention the fact that Italy was the heart of the cultural, intellectual and artistic revolution we know today as the Renaissance. Because of it’s rich history, Italy is not only littered with famous monuments from these artistic epochs but the beauty has also seeped into the country’s very bones. So its not only Michelangelo’s towering sculpture of David that should enthral the art-loving travellers; standing in the dock of a quaint coastal town, overlooking an architecture that reflects Italy’s rich heritage is an experience in itself. So let’s give you five good reasons why you should find yourself in Italy for your next vacation.
Italy was at the heart of the Renaissance movement
The renaissance or “rebirth” was a revivalist movement, involving an exploration of art, literature and philosophy that led to great achievements. This was a movement that eventually spanned to whole of Europe but it was initiated in Italy. It fascinates the art lovers, not simply by being the historical site of such a pivotal movement but also because Italy is where some of the greatest artists of the renaissance have left their indelible mark. And by mark, we do not mean one or two phenomenal masterpieces, we mean that the renaissance artists morphed entire cities! Which leads us to our next point:
Italy is home to the cities of art
Florence. Naples. Rome. Pisa. We could go on forever. But let’s focus on two of these cities that the art-loving travellers absolutely must not miss.
Florence. A landscape of breathtaking architecture, stippled with masterpieces from some of the greatest renaissance artists who built their careers here. Inside the museums like the Accademia, Uffizi and Cathedral, you will come across the steely-eyed sculpture of David by Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Gabriel and Donatello’s wooden, weeping Magdalene. But even outside the museums, Florence is home to chapels painted by celebrated artists and piece de resistance art around every corner such as the Florentine Pieta by Michelangelo, which, it might interest you to know, the artist intended should be part of his own tomb.
Rome, too, is a work of art in itself. One must shoulder the crowd within Vatican city for a glimpse of magnificent renaissance art such as the Sistine Chapel and Raphael Rooms. You can visit the Capitoline museums to see the Michelangelo’s symphonious Piazza del Campidoglio and the Etruscan sculpture of Romulus and Remus, the mythical founders of Rome. But even wandering around the city has its rewards, as, just like Florence, Rome hosts masterpieces at every turn. You will find Bernini and Caravaggio pieces, even in the most unassuming of churches!
Italy’s architectural heritage is unparalleled
From the ancient ruins of the Roman Colosseum to Bruneschelli’s towering dome, there is much to tantalize a true architecture aficionado. The Colosseum and Arch of Constantine have inspired the construction of amphitheaters and arches all over the world, while the Roman Pantheon has served as a model for many government buildings including the US Capitol. The younger, urban architect will find the open air piazzas that are littered throughout Italy to be iconic, copied in some measure in many parts of the world. Finally, there is, of course, an endless list of cathedrals, churches and castles whose architecture will enrapture any art-lover; from the afore-mentioned Sistine Chapel and Vatican museums, to the Basilica San Marco in Venice.
Italy is home to some of the most picturesque towns
Sometimes all an art loving traveler needs is a place that inspires. A place that is so beautiful that its a work of art in itself. You can find this in Italy. You can walk along the Amalfi coast past the shaggy cliffs, lemon-tree gardens, multicoloured villas and pebbled beaches. You can stop at the Cinque Terre, with its steep cliff sides and wine terraces, to hike centuries old trails that will give you magnificent coastal views. You can stretch your legs in Tuscany amidst rolling green hills, olive groves and cypress trees. And last but not least, Venice. An archipelago connected by hundreds of beautiful bridges and scenic canals.
You can visit the Vatican City
Even if the Vatican Museums were the only museums in Italy, they would be enough to brand it a must-see destination for all art-lovers. The Vatican museums complex houses 30 centuries worth of art in over 1400 rooms including portions of the papal palace. The guided tours will take you through every portion of the museums, even the hall of maps, which contains murals of old maps of the papal lands, and end in the Sistine Chapel. You can visit one of the largest churches in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica. You can saunter in the immense Vatican gardens.
We can think of so many more reasons why Italy should be the choice destination for all art-lovers out there, but for now, these five compelling ones should suffice. Let us know if we’ve truly convinced you by leaving your comments below!
Written by: Staghorn
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