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NORTHERN ITALY - Beauty and History  - Trip Report 


Italy of course needs no introduction. So we will plunge right into our recent visits, starting in Venice, to give you some travel ideas, and a few pictures.



Canals and gondolas.  Venice is famous for its canals.  And  they remain a major part of the city's allure.

Major sights. The prime attractions of Venice (after the canals) are Piazza San Marco and St. Mark's Basilica at one end of the Piazza.  Then the Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal, and the Bridge of Sighs.

Venetian masks. Venice is also famous for its masked balls and for the elaborate masks for these affairs. 




Five towns.  Cinque Terre refers to five cites strung along the Northwest coast of Italy. We stayed in the northen most town - Monterossa - and hiked the beautiful trail linking all five. The second town is Vernazza, this picture perfect town as seen from the trail.




City on the Arno.  The Arno runs through Florence and adds to its beauty.


Ponte Vecchio. The most famous bridge is Ponte Vecchio ("The Old Bridge"), a medieval covered bridge jammed with shops and commerce as has been for centuries.

Statue of Neptune. Moving in to the central town plaza, there is the Statue of Neptune, said to be modeled on Leonardo Da Vinci, one of its most famous residents at the time. Just one of scores of great sculptures adorning the town.

Florence Cathedral.  The cathedral dominates the center of town with its dazzling exterior and its famous dome - Brunelleschi's dome. We climbed inside the dual walled dome to its top from which this picture was taken..

Mural in Brunelleschi's Dome.  The inside of Brunelleschi's Dome is covered in a huge (38,750 square foot) fresco mural on the theme of resurrection.  Here is a detail of the portion called Capital Sins and Hell. These frescoes are considered Frederico Zuccari's greatest work..

Ghiberti's Doors.  These amazing doors to the entrance to the Florence Cathedral Baptistry were created by the medieval artist Lorenzo Ghiberti. Michelangelo called these "the Gates of Paradise" and the name stuck.








Lake Como.  Bellagio is a town on a peninsula jutting into Lake Como, a beautiful lake in northern Italy surrounded by mountains and lined with lovely towns, villas, hotels, resorts, and much more..

Varenna. just across the water from Bellagio is this loverly town.

Villa Serbelloni. We stayed at the Villa Serbelloni, a Virtuoso property and a grand hotel with magnificent views, a beautiful pool, wonderful restaurant, and old world elegance.

That's our report on Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence and Bellagio/Lake Como.  You may also like to see our Rome report .  Also take a look at the Naples and Pompei report, the Amalfi Coast report, and the Capri report.  Finally, check out our Sicily and Panarea reports.

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