Attracting over ten million visitors each year, Rome, the capital of Italy, is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world due to its archaeological and artistic treasures. Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its monuments, museums, historical buildings, churches, palaces, such as the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, the Musei Capitolini, the Galleria Borghese, the Catacombs, the monuments and ruins of the Roman Forum alone attract millions of tourists.
As one of the oldest cities in Europe having a history of over two thousand years, the city is often called “The Eternal City”, one of the birthplaces of Western civilization, the centre of Italian Renaissance along with Florence, and the birthplace of Baroque style. The most famous masterpieces include works by world-renowned artists, such as Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini, such as the St Peter’s Basilica, the Raphael Rooms, the Sistine Chapel, and St Peter’s Square, and other famous churches, mosaics, frescoes and paintings. Rome is also famous for having the Vatican City as an independent country within its city boundaries, and being one of the world's main centres of archeological research.
Attracting millions of visitors each year, Tuscany's capital Florence, is one of the most visited cities in the world. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982, the Italian city is known as the cradle of the Renaissance, the residence of the Medici family, famous for its architecture, culture and history. The layout and structure of Florence was designed as an army camp in the Roman era, but the majority of the city was built during the Renaissance. Its well-known bridge Ponte Vecchio, carries the elevated Vasari Corridor, connecting the famous Uffizi Gallery and the Old Palace to the world-renowned museum complex and former Medici residence, Palazzo Pitti. The palace is home to several galleries, including the Modern Art Gallery, the Palatine Gallery, the Royal Apartments, the Silver Museum, the Porcelain Museum, the Carriage Museum and the Costume Gallery displaying famous frescoes, paintings, sculptures, jewelries, porcelains and other luxurious items. Its famous garden and outdoor museum, the Boboli Gardens behind the palace, is one of the first and largest royal European gardens planned in 1550, offering a collection of 16th to 18th century sculptures with an exceptional view of the city. Florence has numerous other famous historical landmarks as well, including the Bargello National Museum, the San Marco Museum, the Accademia Gallery, the Chiesa di Santa Monica, and the Romanesque fortress-palace, town hall and art museum Palazzo Vecchio, on Piazza della Signoria, a historical site of world-famous statues.
Bologna, the European Capital of Culture in 2000 and the UNESCO “City of Music” in 2006, has Europe’s second largest historic centre, famous for its Roman heritage, for its medieval, renaissance and baroque artistic monuments, lengthy porticoes, medieval towers and the remains of its 13th century walls. The city is also well known for the University of Bologna being the oldest university in Europe founded in 1088, and its impressive trade fair district, prestigious cultural, economic and political institutions attract millions of visitors from around the world as well.
Its popular landmark, the Portico di San Luca, is one of the longest arcades in the world being 3,5 km long and consisting of 666 arcades, connecting Porta Saragozza and the center of the town with the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca on Colle della Guardia, originally meant to protect the miraculous virgin icon of the Sanctuary. Other top attractions include the symbol of the town, the Due Torri towers of Bologna (Asinelli and Garisenda), the Piazza Maggiore and the Piazza del Nettuno, the impressive Morandi Museum, the Palazzo di Re Enzo, the Governors Palace, the Basilica di San Pietro, and numerous other famous churches and historical landmarks.