The landscapes of Tuscany and the Italian Riviera are something to behold, but perhaps what makes them even more impressive is the incredible architecture that dots these landscapes. From masterpieces of the Renaissance to medieval fortifications, these are some of the best spots you’ll uncover as you wander through Florence, Tuscany and the Italian Riviera.
One of the most stunning architectural structures in Florence, the Duomo is Brunelleschi’s masterpiece that sits atop the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The exterior of the church is made of beautiful pink and green marble, and the iconic brick dome is the largest one of its kind ever constructed.
Founded by the Etruscans in 180 B.C., Lucca is famous for the Renaissance-era walls that still surround the city, adding a medieval charm to the cobblestone streets filled with shops. Remainders of a Roman amphitheater are evident when standing in the midst of Lucca’s main plaza, the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro.
Cinque Terre is most well-known for the quaint, colorful houses that dot its cliffside. The reason for their colorful facades, according to local lore, is that fishermen wanted to be able to spot their houses while they were working out on the water. Much of Cinque Terre’s charm is due to the fact that these cliffside villages seem untouched by modern technology, with a noticeable lack of transportation and chain stores.
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss an opportunity to visit the Piccolomini Library in Siena. With every wall space decorated with 16th-century frescoes from the artist Pinturicchio, this masterpiece stands out even within Siena’s impressive white-and-green striped marble church.
The third-largest alpine lake in Italy, Lake Como is the epitome of glitz and glamour. From the expansive villas that span the lakefront to the popular Bellagio resort, Lake Como is a sensory overload of vibrant colors.
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