Icons of Italy: The Top 12 Sights You Have to See

Italy is overflowing with treasures. In a country so rich with history, artistry and culture, it can be tough to narrow down your choices and decide what to see. But you can make planning a little bit easier –use these suggestions to guide you to the greatest sights that Italy has to offer. Just keep in mind that these will keep you busy on your first trip to Italy, but after you see them, you’ll want to come back for more.

Venice
St. Marks Basilica [Venice, Italy]

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St. Mark’s Basilica and Piazza San Marco |
Stand in the center of Piazza San Marco and you’ll be in the heart of one of the most famous destinations in the world. This stunning square is dominated by the Basilica de San Marco (St. Mark’s Basilica), and beautiful as that building is on the outside, don’t make the mistake of skipping the interior. Dating from the 11th century, San Marco is a jewel box of Byzantine artistry. Gold mosaics glitter above you and the worn marble floors are ridged and smoothed from nearly a millennium of use. Don’t miss the chance to go outside and see the 13th-century quadriga of bronze horses that overlook the piazza. 

Rialto Bridge [Venice, Italy]

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Rialto Bridge | Venice’s most iconic crossing point will be crowded – you can bet on that. But what it lacks in solitude it makes up for in atmosphere. Seeing this, the oldest span across the Grand Canal is an almost magical sight, whether you see it on a misty morning, a sunny afternoon or during a glowing sunset. Take time to linger along the banks and marvel at the fact that this single span has been standing sturdy under millions of footsteps since its completion in 1591.

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Gina Czupka

Gina’s first solo trip abroad, at age 16, changed her life. Since then, travel has been her passion and it’s her mission to convince others that they really can make travel a part of their lives. These days, she seeks out destinations where she can indulge her taste for adventure and shop for additions to her textile collection. Some of her favorite experiences from recent trips have included eating bun cha in Hanoi and feeding hyenas in Ethiopia.

Gina’s Favorite Travel Tip: When traveling abroad, learn enough of the language to be polite (hello, thank you, goodbye) and to shop and haggle (numbers and colors).

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