Sights & Tastes of Italy
Collected by Clare Olivares, AFAR Local Expert
06081 Assisi, Province of Perugia, Italy
The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular Christian pilgrimage site. Take some time to admire the frescoes by Giotto and Cimabue. The 1997 earthquake destroyed many of the Giotto murals but restoration was...
80045 Pompei, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
Pompeii was partially destroyed and buried under 20 ft of ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Pompeii was lost for about 1500 years until its initial rediscovery in 1599 and it continues to be excavated. The beautiful frescos and...
Piazza Inferiore di S. Francesco, 2, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy
The Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi is the Catholic mother church of the Franciscan Order and is an important Christian pilgrimage site. Partially destroyed in the 1997 earthquake the restoration is complete. After visiting the Giotto and...
Via di S. Chiara, 34, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Wandering down the small via S. Chiara I spotted this shop that makes vestments for the Pope. I was tempted to go in and order a pair of red shoes but thought better of it. Since 1798 the Gammarelli family have been outfitting popes, bishops and...
Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore, 42, 00100 Roma RM, Italy
The largest church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, St. Mary Major contains almost a millennia's worth of Italian architecture, from an 18th-century baroque exterior to the 5th-century mosaics lining its interior arch. Though the church is...
Via del Babuino, 150/a-b, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
The art atelier of neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova and his prized pupil Adamo Tadolini is just a short walk from the Piazza del Popolo. The atelier was an active sculpture studio from 1818 until 1967. Part art museum, part café, part history...
Piazza Eremitani, 8, 35121 Padova PD, Italy
Built in 1307, Giotto's Arena Chapel, aka Scorvegni Chapel, should not be missed when visiting the Veneto. In Padua, it is often overlooked, which can mean smaller crowds during certain times and seasons. After a video in English and Italian...
Localita' Spannocchia, 167, 53012 Chiusdino SI, Italy
Spannocchia, an organic working farm, is one of my favorite places in Tuscany. Vacation rentals in rustic Tuscan farmhouses or in the main Castello are available on a weekly basis. We stayed in Palazze Torre which we were convinced was haunted –...
Piazza della Minerva, 42, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Just behind the Pantheon hides the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, a gem in its own right. The only Gothic church in Rome's center, it's a breath of fresh air from over-the-top Baroque opulence. Plus, it has gorgeous frescoes by Filippo Lippi...
Località Sant'Antimo, 53024 Montalcino SI, Italy
The Abbey of Sant' Antimo is outside the Tuscan city of Montalcino. Almost gave up trying to find it but when we arrived at this beautiful Romanesque abbey standing in all its solitary splendour we were glad we'd persisted. The abbey is a...
Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
My sister has a thing for Bernini sculptures. Planning our trip to Rome she kept bringing up Bernini over and over agin. Ok sis, gotta it! We trekked across the city spotting as many of his Baroque sculptures as possible. Bernini came to Rome as a...
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