Northern Italy is an extremely diverse region offering mountainous geography in the Alps and two coastal regions east and west with that of the East Coast featuring flatland running into the Adriatic Sea. Northern Italy is teeming with cities of historical significance and beauty and therefore, a must-see for any visitor. Milan is one of Italy’s largest cities and well-known as a centre of fashion with its fashion week and high-end designer stores. More importantly perhaps it is a cultural and historical centre boasting some of Italy’s finest architecture particularly from the Gothic period as illustrated in the Duomo or Cathedral which took nearly 600 years to complete and boasts a beautiful façade and sumptuous Stain glass windows. In addition the da Vinci museum of science and technology or the Sforza castle, with its amazing gardens have much to please the tourist.
The iconic image of Venice has been romantically portrayed in film throughout the ages and it is understandably accepted as one of the most romantic cities on earth. It’s narrow streets and canals adorned with beautiful bridges and buildings combine to make this island city unforgettable. Once again stunning architecture is a feature of the city much of it connected to the religious buildings, such as the magnificent cathedral in St Mark’s Square. There is nothing quite like a relaxing ride in the water taxi or gondola to enjoy the beauty of Venice including the Venice Lido with its golden sand. Turin is a city of a different nature centring more on industrial endeavours. However, it still offers much in the way of historical interest with many wonderful attractions. Once the capital of the country Turin has always been a significant economic centre and important cultural base.
Again cathedrals are in the forefront of architectural wonders with the cathedral of San Giovanni Battista being no exception. Take a moment to view the Palazzo Reale in all its glory and Palazzo Madama and not least the Mole Antonelliana a vast building named for the architect. Bologna is also one of the largest cities in Italy and provides a major transport hub.
The city has a large number of historical high-rise buildings and is thus often referred to as the city of towers?
Again, piazzas and religious buildings grace the city and Bologna boasts a fine selection of museums and galleries to delight the visitor eager to learn more about archaeology and history as well as the arts. Beautifully situated on the Ligurian Sea, Genoa is the six largest city in the country and plays a huge part in the economy as a major port. Its location has also deemed it significant throughout history. The aquarium and Maritime Museum are good places to start if one wants to get acquainted with the marine life and the history of the port which is still a hive of furious commercial activity today. Palma best known for its ham and cheese is a bustling community of beautiful piazzas, museums the obligatory cathedral, considered one of the best Romanesque structures in the country, and wonderful theatres.
National Gallery also houses large collections of work from the likes of da Vinci and van Dyck. Verona famously mentioned by Shakespeare is often overlooked but has many wonderful historical sites. The Arena in Verona has to be the highlight rivalling the Colosseum in Rome in its size and magnificence. In addition to all the wonderful piazzas and religious buildings that one comes to expect of Italian architecture and culture, Verona lies close to Lake Garda which is a beautiful region to explore from here. These cities offer just a small sample of the truly overwhelming wealth of beauty and history to be found in northern Italy.