Few countries in the world can boast a collection of historical monuments as great in magnitude as Italy can. As the birthplace of both the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, there is no lack of historical sites in Italy.
First and foremost, millions of people per year visit Rome in hopes of witnessing just a glimpse into the past, a glimpse into the power and majesty that was the Roman Empire. A whole host of notable historical figures in Italy reigned from inside Rome"s walls, from Julius Caesar to Caligula, from Mark Antony to Constantine. It was the combination of Julius" plans and Augustus Caesar"s execution that were the critical steps towards cementing Rome"s place in history. Before corruption and inept rulers destroyed it, theirs was the height of the Roman Empire, which left the city strewn with some of the most important historical monuments in Italy. The Roman forum, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Palatine hill and Circus Maximus, the list goes on and on, spiraling into a cavalcade of so many historical sites in Italy that they have to be seen to be believed.
The Middles Ages brought about a power shift, from the crumbling Roman Republic to the wide-sweeping influence of the Vatican. Suddenly Rome was a quaint reminder of the past, and all the wealth and control centered in the religious capital of the world. All this is on display within the city's current borders. St. Peter's is still one of the most remarkable historical monuments in Italy, and the treasures accumulated within the boundaries of his square, along with the immeasurable treasures kept under lock and key at the Vatican Museum - the crown jewel being Michelangelo's famed masterwork inside the Sistine chapel - are a tangible reminder of the grandeur of another era.
But historical sites in Italy are not limited to this one city - they sprawl unchecked throughout the countryside, with significant treasures located in nearly every town. Florence is decked out with relics and artifacts from the birth of the renaissance movement, their work evident in many of the historical monuments in Italy. The Accademia Gallery holds Michelangelo's famous sculpture of David, and the Uffizi Gallery holds the world's largest collection of art from this substantial period of human growth. The crossroads to some of the most important historical figures in Italy, such as Dante, Da Vinci, and the Medici family, Florence is the prized capital of Tuscany.
Venice includes Saint Mark's amongst its many fortunes and its vast waterways and sweeping renaissance palaces make it one of the most astonishing historical sites in Italy. Genoa displays a wondrous mix of new and old - the city is the proud home of some of the most influential historical figures in Italy, such as Christopher Columbus. Milan was long the home of the fabled Hapsburgs, rulers who helped forge the identities of Northern Italy for centuries to come, helping the city to become one of the most prestigious and dazzling centers for fashion and financial services in the world. And Pisa boasts perhaps one of the most famous historical monuments in Italy, the beloved leaning tower, and its tilt preserved for centuries to come.
The isle of Sicily provides some of the oldest historical sites in Italy, presenting such architectural finds such as the valley of the temples, ancient Greek Temples built near the city of Agrigento. And the list goes on and on - So many historical figures in Italy have left their mark on the country you could spend months in the country and never see every significant monument, every famous statue, every crumbling ruin. But the least you can do is try.