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WSA’s Favorite Views in Italy

Posted by Andy Steves on August 20, 2014.

Our favorite viewpoints in Italy

Viewing a city from above helps make sense of some of the world’s most beautiful—and windy—streets. We love to geek out on these views and see if we can’t trace the outline of the old Medieval walls, note the tourist sights we’ve been to or will be visiting, and also picking out where we’re staying in the city.

Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome

Castel Sant’Angelo is built upon the Mausoleum of Hadrian, where one of Rome’s greatest emperors is interned. Throughout history the tomb-turned-fortress has been used as a castle, a Pope’s last stand, and currently it’s a museum. Pay €8 to head up to the roof to take in the most breathtaking views of Italy’s capital. On one side you have Vatican City and on the other side you see countless domes and rooftops of the Eternal City. Time your visit to go right before sunset to see those domes and rooftops with a golden glow.

Castel dell’Ovo, Naples

Castel dell’Ovo is a seaside castle located on the peninsula on the Gulf of Naples. Legend has it that the Roman poet, Virgil, put a magical egg into the foundations of the castle. Had the egg broken, the castle would have been destroyed and a series of unfortunate events would descend upon Naples. On one side, you’ll see an endless ocean views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Head to the other side for picturesque perspective of Mt. Vesuvius. Walk around the castle to admire the pastel colors of this bustling city.

Piazza Michelangelo, Florence

Piazza Michelangelo is famous for having the best views of Florence. Trust us, the hike up the hill is well worth the panorama across the valley. The piazza overlooks the entire Renaissance city of Florence where you can see Santa Maria del Fiore, Santa Croce, and the Ponte Vecchio. There is never a bad time to visit this piazza; catch it at sunrise, sunset or in the middle of the day! Oftentimes there’s a kiosk where you test drive a Ferrari at 15-minute increments.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Vernazza remains one of the “true” fishing villages on the Italian coast. While hiking the trail that connects all five cities of Cinque Terre, Vernazza will be the fourth city. From this trail you can witness the secluded beach, crystal clear waters, and in true Italian fashion, brightly colored homes. Don’t miss the exquisite seafood on your visit. The calamari or frutti di mare is some of the freshest you’ll ever try.

Ravello, Amalfi Coast

Forbes magazine recently ranked Ravello as the best place to soak in the Amalfi Coast. There’s a reason Ravello is quickly becoming a popular wedding destination and that’s thanks to it’s gorgeous gardens and stupendous views. To truly enjoy the romantic and sophisticated atmosphere of Ravello, consider spending the night.

Campanile di San Marco, Venice

The Bell Tower for St. Mark’s is easily one of the most recognizable sights in Venice. Climb up the tower to get up-close photos of the Church of San Marco, plus landscape views of St. Mark’s square and the Venetian waters. St. Mark’s square is notoriously expensive, so watch your spending!

The Duomo, Milan

The Duomo Milano is gorgeous in and of itself. The cathedral took over six centuries to complete and is the fifth largest cathedral in the world. Visit the terrace during dusk to capture the best images and slice of Milanese life in the main square.

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John Stackpole

Happy Backpackers

The itinerary of WSA Prague was really good -- especially the restaurants we went to. They were very authentic with great food and atmosphere. Seeing the Prague Castle was also amazing.

John Stackpole ~ Lyngby, Denmark, Fall 2012

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