Category Archives: Italy

Photo of the Week: Brunelleschi’s Dome, Florence

Brunelleschi’s dome, and the cathedral it covers, is one of Florence’s most recognized landmarks. It dominates the skyline, still the tallest building in Florence over 600 years after it was built. At 45 metres wide, Filippo Brunelleschi’s dome is the largest masonry dome ever built. It’s construction is unique in that it was built without […]

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Photo of the Week: Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius

The origins of Pompeii may be unfamiliar to most, but the city’s catastrophic demise is a story known around the world. Pompeii was founded by the Campanian Oscans in the sixth or seventh century BC. The city was built on prehistoric lava from the precariously close Mount Vesuvius. In 80 BC, Pompeii was captured by […]

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Photo of the Week: Leaning Tower of Pisa

Standing on the sprawling lawn of the Campo dei Miracoli, is a collection of some of Europe’s best Romanesque architecture, and one of the world’s greatest architectural blunders- the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Built on top of weak, unstable subsoil, with only a shallow three-metre foundation, the design of the cathedral’s free standing bell tower […]

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Palatine Hill- The Mythical Founding Place of Rome

One of my favourite days in Rome was the day I visited Palatine Hill. As I walked around this beautiful hill, past gardens and remnants of opulent palaces, I imagined how luxurious it must have been when it was ancient Rome’s most exclusive neighbourhood. As Rome’s most central hill, the Palatine sits between Circo Massimo […]

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Photo of the Week: Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is probably the most incredible painting I have ever seen. Michelangelo’s masterpiece, painted from 1508-1512, illustrates nine episodes from the book of Genesis, the highlight of which is the Creation of Adam. I was intrigued by the illusionary architectural elements of the painting, the fictive moldings appearing as if […]

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Photo of the Week: Ponte Vecchio, Florence

The Ponte Vecchio, or “old bridge”, is a highlight of any visit to Florence. The medieval bridge spans the Arno River at its narrowest point but is so much more than just a river crossing. The bridge has always been a place where merchants could display and sell their goods. Butchers first occupied the shops […]

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Porto Venere and Cinque Terre, Italy

On the Ligurian coast of Italy, you’ll find five colourful seaside villages, nestled along a jagged coastline and surrounded by terraced vineyards. Known as Cinque Terre, or “five lands”, the villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore make up one of the most scenic regions of Italy. Cinque Terre and Porto Venere, […]

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Photo of the Week: The Pantheon, Rome

The Pantheon was first built in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa (whose father-in-law was Augustus). The temple was rebuilt around AD 120 by Emperor Hadrian but Agrippa’s name was left inscribed over the entrance. The Pantheon is famous for it’s extraordinary dome, the largest masonry vault ever built. It’s considered the most important achievement of […]

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The Roman Forum- History, Sights and Tips for Visiting

Nestled in a valley between Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Roman Forum still impresses, just as it must have centuries ago when it was the centre of Roman public life. The Forum is one of my favourite places in Rome. I was engrossed in its rich history and fascinated by the remaining structures. About the […]

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Escaping the Crowds and Getting Off the Beaten Path in Rome

One of the biggest challenges of travelling can be dealing with the crowds of tourists.  It can be pretty unavoidable-everyone wants to see the most famous sites. I am no different. I’ve travelled thousands of miles to Italy, of course I am going to go see the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Vatican. These places […]

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The Colosseum- Iconic Symbol of Rome

The Colosseum has been regarded as an iconic symbol of Rome since the Middle Ages.  The significance of the Colosseum was reflected in Bede’s writing when he wrote in 7th century AD, “As long as the Colosseum stands, Rome shall stand; when the Colosseum falls, Rome shall fall; and when Rome falls, the world will end.” […]

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