Today is Thanksgiving in the States and since I don't have much time to do just about anything these days, I am publishing a guest post by fellow San Franciscan Randi Glazer about places to be thankful for in Italy. There are so many but glad to see one is in Piemonte! Are there any you would have added to the list?
Randi Glazer’s 8 Favorite Italian Tourist Attractions
Known for its globally recognized cities, such as Florence, Venice, and Rome, Italy is the home to the largest amount of UNESCO World Heritage Tourists Sites in the world. Throughout all of Italy, however, you will find monuments and breathtaking art virtually anywhere in the country. Also highly recognized for its alpine lakes and mountains along with its beautiful coasts, Italy has been attracting tourist for many centuries.
Randi Glazer loves to travel and shares her 8 favorite Italian destinations. Italy has so many treasures and tourist sites, that it’s often difficult for its 40 million-plus annual tourist to decide what to visit. If you have plans to visit Italy, consider using Glazer’s list of seven most visited tourist attractions as your handy guide.
1. The Canals of Venice
Venice has been well sought after and well known for its world-famous canals. Also known as the city water, Venice has more than 150 canals that also make up this town's character as it still attracts more tourists than it has residents. Venice is a great place for couples to visit, as it is known for its romantic charm. It features romantic gondolas and colorful Italian architecture that is structured right along the Grand Canal. Also known for its great food, this city of water still remains one of the most visited tourist attractions in all of Italy.
2. Santa Maria del Fiore
People who visit the dome enjoy taking the journey through the dome and up the Duomo to be amazed by the great city views.
3. The Coliseum
4. The Piazza del Campo
The Piazza del Campo, one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares is located right in the heart of town. It is the main public space right in the center of Siena, Tuscany. Known for being ruled by nine merchants and bankers, some believe that it was one of the best governmental systems that they've ever had. Also referred to as the Council of Nine, they sent such an alarming, new form of democratic message, which worked so well that eventually, Siena became one of the wealthiest cities in Europe. The Piazza del Campo is known worldwide for its beautiful architectural structures, shops, and restaurants. There are 10 different entrances into the Piazza, which can be entered using ramps, alleys, staircases or little lanes that lead in and out of the square. Tourists enjoy outdoor dining at one of the many sidewalk restaurants, shopping, evening walks around the Compos, experiencing the relaxing nightlife and the ambiance around the Compos.
5. The Positano (Amalfi Coast)
Just south of Naples are some of Italy’s quaint attractions; including Positano, a small town positioned on the Amalfi Coast. The Amalfi Coast is comprised of a coastal area stretched across a rugged terrain with small picturesque towns. This beautiful scenic coastline sits at the foothills of a uniquely structured hillside where the city is scatted from top to bottom along this trendy town. Although the Amalfi Coast is breathtakingly scenic, it is often chaotic and congested. It only has certain roads that accommodate vehicles, but a high volume of foot traffic from pedestrians.
Frequented by celebrities and tourists alike, this scattered cliff-side town hangs over the most wonderful stretch of the coast. It welcomes tourist as they enjoy sunbathing, dining and shopping at tourist shops.
6. The Manarola (Cinque Terre)
Nestled within the highly sought after Italian Riviera, Manarola is one of the oldest of the five little port towns located in Cinque Terre. Each of the “Five Lands” consists of five different villages that were once protected by each of their own castles strategically positioned to stand watch for potential attacks by the Turkish. A perfect blend of the Italian culture and nature, this town is Isolated and known for its beauty, character, and charm. It is free of traffic, as entrances into the area are by paths, trains, and boats (which are used to connect to the different villages) and cannot be reached from the outside. The colorful architectural structure is position in such a way that all of the emerge from the side of the mountains; resulting in the most breathtaking view of both the terrain and the Mediterranean Sea.
7. The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The world recognized and highly famous Pisa Tower, also referred to as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, was built over a sustained period of time. For roughly 177 years, beginning in 1173 and ending in the 2nd part of the 14th century, the construction of this tower was taking place. But, with the poorly laid foundation, the tower began to sink, and as a result was untouched for nearly a full century. Construction later resumed, whereby the engineers added higher floors making one side of the floor taller than the other in an effort to make adjustments to offset the tilt. The Leaning Tower of Pisa opened up again in 2001, where tourist and locals enjoy climbing the 296 steps and taking photographs of this famous tower. This landmark draws hundreds of thousands of tourist each year.
8. Basilica di Superga
For more information about Randi Glazer, see this recent interview.