Your Best Historical Tour in Northern Italy

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Northern Italy is a splash of historical culture, dramatic landscapes, and quaint mountainside villages. It’s also a plethora of immense cities and enchanting islands for each tourist catering to his or her tastes. From the Alps and Venice to Milan and Turin, here are your best historical tours in Northern Italy.

Venice, the city of romance, dreams, and mystique

Venice is the no doubt one of the most beautiful cities in the world of Northern Italy. It earned its moniker the City of Romance or the City of Dreams for a reason. If you’re around the city, you can’t help but fall in love with its architecture, charming people, and baked cannoli!

Rialto Bridge

This famous bridge stood by the impressive Grand Canal. An iconic feature, the bridge is often bustling with tourists at every hour for some baked cannoli and whiskey bread. You can find various knickknacks, jewelry, and souvenirs to take home to! What will you get?

Grand Canal

Is it cliché to say that a visit to Venice is incomplete without a tour of the Grand Canal? Hop on a gondola ride and see over 170 buildings from the 13th century lining up on the banks of the waters. What’s more, it’s a calming – if not, romantic – treat to do with your loved ones.

 

Gallerie dell’Accademia

It’s one of the most underrated attractions in Venice, but the Academia is something our writer likes to stay in. Visit the Sala dell’Albergo. You won’t regret it! One can find the portrait of the ‘Presentation of the Virgin’ and the ‘Annunciation’ by Girolamo Dente.

Church of San Simeon Piccolo

The church is has this imposing dome looming over Santa Croce. The nave seemed simple enough, but, you can view several marble reliefs with neoclassical religious depictions – some a bit more macabre than others. It also has a lot of altar rooms guarded by altar servers of the church.

 

But there’s one thing you must visit there: the underground crypt.

 

Beneath the church is an obscure, rustic macabre altar in the center of a small, octagonal chapel beneath the church itself. It’s a labyrinth of tunnels, abandoned for centuries under Venice. Holy mosaics were plastered on decadent walls just as human bones decorated the tunnels.

 

Key fact: There are 21 tombs in the crypt. And about 8 are still undiscovered.

Other key points in Venice!

  1. St. Mark’s Basilica and St. Mark’s Square – Yeah, this should be number 1
  2. Bridge of Sighs
  3. Murano
  4. Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
  5. Doges Palace

Ferrara and the Po Delta River in Emilia-Romagna

The walled Renaissance city of Ferrara is lavished with Roman and Gothic architecture. During the Renaissance era in the 15th century, Ferrara is a classic example of a perfect city due to its flourishing art, research, and scientific context. There’s the Estense Castle built in 1385 and the 12th-century basilica, San Giorgio Cathedral, in the historical town you should explore.

 

Around the vicinity are nearby attractions you can partake:

  • Museum of Ancient Art
  • National Archaeological Museum
  • National Painting Gallery
  • Palazzo dei Diamanti
  • Po Delta Regional Park

 

Easiest to get around is by car. You can rent a car at many locations in Italy. Pick up the car at the airport or in the city your are visiting. Check prices beforehand to get the best deals and quotes on car rental. if you want to learn more about car hire in Italy, then click here. AutoItaly are experts on car hire in Italy and will help you find the car you need.

Ravenna – the city of mosaics

There are eight UNESCO Heritage sites in Ravenna for its outstanding historical monuments of the Byzantine era and decorative mosaics of early Christian living. You start by visiting the Neonian Baptistery built in the 5th century and one of the oldest buildings in Ravenna. Next, tour the San Vitale, a 6th-century church with the best and the largest preserved mosaics besides Constantinople.

 

You can also stroll around the city for these must-see attractions:

  • Mausoleum of Galla Placidia – having one of the most artistically perfect mosaics
  • Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
  • Basilica di San Francesco
  • Ravenna National Museum
  • Archbishop’s Palace
  • Arian Baptistery
  • Sant’ Apollinare in Classe
  • Tomb of Theodoric – King of the Ostrogoths

 

If you want to take a break from historical sight-seeing, you can drive south of the city and visit San Marino – one of the smallest countries in the world. Meanwhile, head to the beach of Ravenna at Cesenatico and dip yourself in the sand. For some family fun, you can visit Mirabilandia Theme Park.

Padua – of the Middle Ages

Visit Padua and transport yourself back in time during the Middle Ages. Stroll around the bridges crossing the rivers or visit the oldest botanical garden in the world. Researchers discovered that settlement started in 1183 BC in Padua – being the oldest (most established) cities in the north.

 

  • Impressive frescos of the Church of Cappella degli Scrovegni
  • 1545-built botanical garden, Orto Botanico
  • Stroll around Prato Della Valle – the largest square in Europe
  • Piazza dei Signori – events, tournaments, and markets are held here
  • 13th century Basilica di Sant’Antonio
  • The museum Palazzo Zuckerman

 

From museums and academic institutions to gardens and piazzas, Padua has something to offer for every traveler.

Verona – more than just Romeo and Juliet

When people say “In Verona,” they immediately thought of Shakespeare most notable work – Romeo and Juliet. However, the city has a plethora of spectacular architectural buildings, gardens, and forts.

 

The Verona Arena in Piazza della Bra rivals that of the Colosseum. Back in its glory days, the amphitheater held games, shows, and theater works to 30,000 people. Don’t miss Teatro Romano, another amphitheater dating back 100BC. Although it’s now lying in ruins, it’s been renovated to hold cultural shows in summer.

 

Head to Castle Vecchio, built in 1354, to learn about its history and awe in its battlements. Inside the castle now serves as a museum trailing after Italy’s history with artifacts and historical items. Don’t forget to stroll in the castle’s bridge – the longest kind in the world.

 

Other points of interests in Verona are:

  • Piazza delle Erbe
  • Giardino Giusti
  • Centro Storico
  • Piazza dei Signori
  • Castel St Pietro

 

And, if you want a Romeo and Juliet tour, head to these attractions:

  • Casa di Giulietta – Juliet’s house with the famed balcony
  • San Francesco al Corso Monastery (Juliet’s Tomb)
  • Casa di Romeo (Montague household)
  • Basilica Maggiore

Milan – a fusion of cultures

While Milan is famous for its fashion industry, you’ll find the metropolitan as a fusion of cultures and the juxtaposition for the old and new. It’s a wonderful collocation of contemporary arts and heritage structures to show an abundance of life. Here’s what you can expect from this city.

Milan Archaeology Museum

The museum offers tourists a glimpse of Mediolanum history, or ancient Milan as they call it, during the 4th century BC until they were conquered by Rome in 222 BC. You can also find exhibits of Early Middle Ages, Etruscan civilization, Ancient Greeks, and Egyptian civilizations.

Castello Sforzesco

The castle was built in the 15th century and is now welcomed with a fountain in front. The grounds are displayed with battlements and a myriad of historical pieces about the history of Milan. Take a stroll in its central courtyard and dashing gardens.

Santa Maria delle Grazie and Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci

See the Last Supper painted by Leonardo da Vinci in Santa Maria delle Grazie. It’s among the top attraction in Milan, so don’t miss it! To protect the artwork, the management only allows 30 people every 15 minutes. To avoid the long cue, you can book your reservations in advance.

 

Another da Vinci tour you should partake is Milan’s National Museum of Science and Technology named after the artist that contains his artworks, inventions, flying machines, and blueprints of his technological works.

La Scala

Fans of the opera can take a tour of the theater and see poster linings and memorabilia of past productions. You can even book a reservation for plays and shows happening in La Scala.

Piazza del Duomo

If you want to take a breather, you can visit Milan’s central piazza and get awestruck with your surroundings. There are coffee and pastry shops around if you want to laze on an afternoon after your history stroll.

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