Italy has a long history stretching back to ancient times. Today, it is a popular destination with rich culture. One of the main draws for travelers is the famous landmarks in Italy. These world-renowned landmarks can be found all over the country, and each one is worth visiting if you travel to Italy.
From historical monuments to modern structures and natural wonders, Italy has a lot to offer visitors. Here are some of the most famous Italian landmarks that you will almost certainly come across when traveling in Italy.
The Most Famous Landmark in Italy
The most iconic landmark in Italy should be an easy guess, even for anyone that has not been to Italy!
The Roman Colosseum
The Colosseum in Rome is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. This ancient Roman amphitheater dates back to 72 AD and is famed for its grandiose scale and architecture. The Colosseum can hold up to 50,000 spectators and was used for gladiator fights and public spectacles.
The Colosseum was originally built with a wooden frame, which was later replaced with stone. The outer walls were made of travertine, while the inner walls were made of tufa. The Colosseum was renovated in the 2nd century AD, and three stories of arches were added.
The Colosseum is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is arguably the most famous landmark in Italy. That said, there is often a crowd waiting to witness its grandeur so you might want to get tickets in advance when visiting.
This is one of the main things to do in Rome.
Rome, Italy Landmarks
The Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is a rectangular plaza located in the business district of downtown Rome. It was the center of Roman public life and is now a popular tourist destination. The forum is home to some of the most iconic ruins in Rome, including the Temple of Julius Caesar and the Temple of Vesta.
The Roman Forum was originally built in 753 BC as a sacred burial ground. It later became a center of public life, with important government buildings and temples located here. The forum was used for speeches, trials, and other public events.
Today, many visitors come to see the ancient ruins and learn about the history of Rome.
The Trevi Fountain is a beautiful Italian landmark located in Rome. This stunning baroque fountain was commissioned in 1732 by Pope Clement XII and is now one of the busiest tourist attractions in Rome.
It features a large, ornate fountain with a statue of Neptune at its center. Visitors often toss coins into the fountain as a tradition, in the hopes of returning to Rome one day. People love to just sit around the fountain for a rest and enjoy a drink or snack.
The Pantheon is a magnificent Roman temple located in the city of Rome. This structure was commissioned by Emperor Hadrian in 126 AD and is another iconic landmark in Rome.
The dome of the Pantheon is the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world, and it still remains in excellent condition today. The stunning design is not just beautiful but practical.
The Pantheon was originally built as a temple to all the gods of Rome. It later became a church, and is now used as a museum. This ancient Italian landmark is well worth a visit.
Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome
Castel Sant’Angelo is a beautiful Italian landmark located in Rome. This imposing structure was also built by Emperor Hadrian in 134 AD as a mausoleum for himself and his family.
Castel Sant’Angelo underwent several changes over the years, and was eventually turned into a fortress by Pope Sixtus IV in 1471. The fortress was used to protect the pope and the city of Rome from attack.
Today, Castel Sant’Angelo is a popular tourist destination, with visitors coming to see the impressive architecture of this grand landmark in Italy.
Milan, Italy Landmarks
Sforzesco Castle, Milan
The Sforzesco Castle is a beautiful Italian landmark located in the city of Milan. This imposing structure was commissioned by Duke Francesco Sforza in 1450.
The Sforzesco Castle is a beautiful castle with a stunning design. The castle is home to several museums, including the Museum of Ancient Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Musical Instrument Museum.
It is also home to the Civic Gallery of Castello Sforzesco, which houses a collection of paintings by Italian and European masters.
The Sforzesco Castle is a must-see for any visitor to Milan.
Milan Cathedral is a beautiful Italian landmark located in the fashion capital of Italy. This stunning cathedral was commissioned in the late 15th century and took over six centuries to build.
It is the largest cathedral in Italy and the fifth largest in the world. Milan Cathedral is a stunning example of Gothic architecture, with a spire that reaches a height of 192 meters.
This Italian landmark is home to some of the most beautiful stained glass windows in the world. The interior of the cathedral is also decorated with marble statues and other artwork, making it an impressive sight for any visitor to Milan. Visiting this architectural masterpiece is one of the best things to do in Milan.
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
The Pinacoteca di Brera is a museum of art in the Palazzo Brera, which was originally built as a convent in the 17th century.
The Pinacoteca di Brera houses a collection of paintings by Italian and European masters, including works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Titian. The museum also has a collection of sculptures and decorative arts.
This is the spot for any art lover visiting Milan.
Florence, Italy Landmarks
The Duomo in Florence (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore), Florence
Florence’s Cathedral, also known as the Duomo, is a towering Gothic cathedral that took nearly 150 years to build, from 1296 to 1436. The cathedral is the city’s most iconic landmark and a popular tourist destination.
Formerly known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, it was originally commissioned by the city of Florence in 1296 and completed in 1436.
The cathedral was designed in Gothic style by Arnolfo di Cambio, with Filippo Brunelleschi being responsible for the iconic dome. Filippo actually drew inspiration for the Dome design from The Pantheon in Rome.
This landmark in Italy is the postcard scenery for photos of Florence, and one of the top things to do in Florence.
Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence
Piazzale Michelangelo is a beautiful plaza built in 1869 as a way to honor Michelangelo Buonarroti, one of Florence’s most famous citizens. It is designed by Florentine architect Giuseppe Poggi.
The Piazzale Michelangelo is a must-visit for any visitor to Florence because of its vantage point. It is on a high ground and city views from the plaza are stunning. This is also the perfect place to catch the sunset in Florence.
Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence
The Basilica of Santa Croce is a beautiful Italian landmark located in the city of Florence. This stunning basilica was commissioned in the 13th century and is now a popular tourist destination.
The Basilica of Santa Croce is one of the most important churches in Florence, and is home to several beautiful artworks, including Michelangelo’s “The Last Judgment”. The church also houses the tombs of some of Florence’s most famous citizens, including Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, and Niccolo Machiavelli.
Venice, Italy Landmarks
The Venetian Lagoon
The Venetian Lagoon is a beautiful area of waterways and islands that make up Venice, one of Italy’s most famous cities. The lagoon is home to some of Venice’s most iconic landmarks, such as St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace.
Rialto Bridge, Venice
The Rialto Bridge is a beautiful Venetian landmark that crosses the Grand Canal. The bridge was originally built in the 12th century, and has been rebuilt and renovated several times over the years.
The Rialto Bridge is one of Venice’s most iconic landmarks and you will definitely pass it when visiting Venice. The bridge is a beautiful example of Venetian Gothic architecture and is well worth spending some time to appreciate its beauty.
St Mark’s Basilica
St Mark’s Basilica is one of the most famous Italian landmarks in Venice. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral, built between 1732 and 1736 by Italian architect Andrea Palladio.
The Basilica is a beautiful Italian landmark, with its ornate columns, arches, and domes. It is also one of the best-known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture, especially noted for its golden Byzantine mosaics.
The church lies at the eastern end of the Piazza San Marco, adjacent to the Doge’s Palace. Originally it was the chapel of the Doge, and has been the city’s cathedral since 1807.
The building was first erected in 828 by Venetian doges using materials imported from Constantinople. In 976, a fire destroyed much of the basilica, including its signature gold mosaics. It was then rebuilt and redecorated. Today, visiting this iconic basilica is one of the best things to do in Venice.
Famous Italian Landmarks in other parts
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Pisa’s Leaning Tower is another one of Italy’s most iconic landmarks. Construction began on this bell tower in 1173, but it wasn’t completed until 1372. The tower has slowly been tilting since its construction due to a soft clay soil base. Today, it leans about four degrees from vertical.
This is probably one Italian landmark where you have seen many interesting, perspective photos from visitors.
The Pompei Ruins are a set of ancient Roman ruins located in the city of Pompei. These ruins were excavated in 1748 and is a well-known landmark in Italy. There are many films and movies featuring Pompei’s history.
The Pompei Ruins are an interesting archaeological site, with visitors coming to see the remains of Roman houses, temples, and public baths. The ruins offer a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of ancient Romans, and are a must-visit for fans of Roman history.
Teatro Antico di Taormina, Sicily
The Teatro Antico di Taormina is an ancient Greek theater in the city of Taormina, Sicily. The theater was built in the 3rd century BC and is now another popular archaeological site.
Curious visitors come to see the remains of ancient Greek theaters, while also getting a fascinating glimpse into the history of Sicily and its people.
Caserta Royal Palace
The Caserta Royal Palace is a beautiful Italian palace located in the city of Caserta. The palace was built in the 18th century by Italian architect Luigi Vanvitelli. The palace is a popular tourist destination, with visitors coming to see its beautiful architecture and learn about its history.
The Caserta Royal Palace is an impressive example of Italian Baroque architecture, and well worth a visit. The palace is home to some of the most beautiful rooms in Italy, including the King’s Apartments and the Queen’s Apartments.
Piazza Maggiore, Bologna
The Piazza Maggiore is a beautiful Italian square located in the city of Bologna. The square was originally built in the 12th century, and has been rebuilt and renovated several times over the years.
The square is home to some of Bologna’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Basilica of San Petronio and the Palazzo Comunale. The Basilica of San Petronio is a beautiful Italian basilica between 1390 and 1690.
Sassi di Matera, Puglia
Sassi di Matera is a set of ancient Italian cave dwellings located in the city of Matera, Puglia. This is one of the most interesting historical landmarks in Italy.
The Sassi was originally built in the 9th century BC. The fascinating structure of ancient cave dwellings carved out of limestone is certainly an attraction. It offers some insights into the history of Puglia and the people. Matera is now a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Piazza del Campo, Siena
Piazza del Campo is a beautiful Italian landmark located in the city of Siena. This imposing plaza was originally built in 1148 as a way to honor Pope Lucius II.
Unsurprisingly you also find some of Siena’s main attractions surrounding the Piazza. The most striking building is Palazzo Pubblico, an imposing, massive palace that takes up one side of the square. On the opposite side is the Fonte Gaia, a beautiful fountain that was built in 1419.
Lastly, the Torre del Mangia is a watchtower that stands over the square and offers spectacular views of the city.
Sorrento is a charming town on Italy’s Amalfi Coast that is famed for its dramatic cliffs and views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The town is also known for its limoncello liqueur and locally grown lemons.
Natural Landmarks in Italy
The Italian Alps
Italy is home to some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. The Italian Alps are a beautiful mountain range that stretches across northern Italy. This stunning landscape is a popular tourist destination, with visitors coming to ski, hike, and enjoy the natural beauty of the Italian Alps.
The Italian Alps are a must-see for any traveler to Italy. These mountains offer some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Europe, and are perfect for nature lovers.
Speaking of the Italian Alps, the most stunning natural landmark here has to be the Italian Dolomites. The Dolomites are a mountain range that stretches across northern Italy, near the border with Austria. This magnificent mountain range is made up of towering peaks, dramatic cliffs, and rolling hills.
The Dolomites are a popular tourist destination, and for good reason. These mountains offer some of the most amazing views for trekking and even snow sports during winter.
Lake Como, Lombardy
Lake Como is a picturesque Italian lake that is located in the Lombardy region. The lake is surrounded by the Alps, and is a popular tourist destination for its stunning views and tranquil atmosphere.
Lake Como is home to several charming towns and villages, such as Como, Bellagio, and Varenna. The lake is also a popular spot for boating and fishing.
You can easily visit one of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Italy by boat.
Mount Etna, Sicily
Mount Etna is Europe’s tallest active volcano and one of Sicily’s most popular tourist destinations. The mountain towers over the eastern coast of Sicily and has been erupting for centuries.
Mount Etna is a fascinating place to visit, with its long history of volcanic eruptions and its stunning views. The mountain is also home to a variety of wildlife, including bears, wolves, and eagles.
Visitors to Mount Etna can hike to the summit, or take a cable car ride to the top. There are also several restaurants and cafes at the summit, making it the perfect place to spend a day or two.
Blue Grotto, Capri
The Blue Grotto in Capri, Italy is a natural wonder that is well worth a visit. This incredible cave is filled with blue water that shimmer in the sunlight.
The Blue Grotto is a popular tourist destination, and is often crowded with visitors. However, the cave is well worth the wait, and offers some of the most beautiful views in all of Italy.
Mount Vesuvius, Campania
Mount Vesuvius is a volcano located in the Campania region of Italy. The volcano is best known for its eruption in 79 AD, which destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Mount Vesuvius is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and has erupted many times in history. The most recent eruption of Mount Vesuvius was in 1944.
Mount Vesuvius is a popular tourist destination, and is often visited by tourists who want to see the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The Amalfi Coast is a breathtaking stretch of coastline in southern Italy that is famous for its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and charming villages.
The Amalfi Coast is a popular tourist destination, and is often visited by tourists who want to enjoy the stunning views and beautiful beaches of southern Italy.
Some of the most popular towns and villages on the Amalfi Coast are Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, and Sorrento.
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy that spans across the Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, and Lombardia region. The lake is surrounded by the Alps, and is a popular tourist destination for its tranquil atmosphere.
Lake Garda is home to several charming towns and villages, such as Garda, Malcesine, and Peschiera. The lake is also a popular spot for boating and fishing.
Lake Garda is one of the must-see landmarks in Italy for visitors. This beautiful Italian lake offers some of the most stunning scenery in all of Europe.
Visiting Italian landmarks
When traveling to Italy, be sure to grab some hearty Italian breakfasts and visit some of these famous Italian landmarks. Each one is unique and offers a different glimpse into Italian culture and history.
From ancient ruins to towering cathedrals and natural landscapes, there’s something for everyone in Italy.
Many of these sites are popular tourist destinations as well and can be easy to get to. That said, the country has much left to be discovered. You will certainly come by more amazing Italian landmarks on your trip!