5 Must-Visit Historical Sites In Italy

Italy is a place where the great Roman Empire was founded and also where the European culture was first introduced. With such a vast and rich history, the is an endless list of historical sites in Italy among which include some globally recognized landmarks and also some of the notable UNESCO World Heritage sites. 

Italy has the largest number of UNESCO world heritages compared to any other country. Most of the historical sites in Italy are so well preserved that will make you awestruck and takes you back to the ancient era. A trip to Italy would be incomplete without exploring Italian castles dating back to the medieval era or some majestic cathedrals.

Before planning your itinerary, take a look at these 5 historical places which are worth a visit in Italy.  

Top 5 Historical Sites In Italy

1. Castle Sant’Angelo

Castle Sant’Angelo is yet another 2000 years old historical landmark in Rome which represents the glorious history of Rome. If you want to learn more about the ancient history of Rome then visiting here is worth it. The castle has been transformed several times over the year. 

It was originally a tomb and later converted into a fortress, then a prison, papal residence, and now serves as a museum. The Castle also has its own museum that houses a collection of paintings, artworks, sculptures, military equipment, and many more. The major highlight of this museum is the well-crafted ceiling and beautiful panoramic view from the top.

Best Time To Visit: 

  • Winters - November to March 
  • Fall - September to October

Visiting Hours: 9:00 to 7:30 PM

Entry Fee:

  • Adults - 14 Euros
  • Adult(18 to 25 year) - 7 Euros 

Major Highlights:

  • Sistine Chapel
  • Palazzo Di Guistizia

Location: Lungotevere Castello, Rome

Also Read: 15 Most Incredible Tourist Attractions In Rome

2. Colosseum 

Situated in the home of Catholic Churches “Rome”, the Colosseum is 2000 years old amphitheater that is one of the most remarkable historical sites in Italy. Even after standing here for so many years, the Colosseum is still one of the well preserved historical landmarks, though some parts of this amphitheater are ruined. 

The construction of the Colosseum was initially was started in 70 AD by Emperor Vespasian and later completed in 80 AD by his son Titus. During its early days, its borders were half painted while the hallway was painted white. Several popular games have been hosted in this amphitheater among which wrestling, men to beats, and beasts to beast were the top games. 

Best Time To Visit: November to March 

Visiting Hours: 10:30 AM to 7:15 PM 

Entry Fee:

  • Adult - 16 Euro
  • Adults(18 to 25) - 2 Euro

Nearby Highlights:

  • The Hypogeum
  • Arch of Constantine
  • Roman Forum
  • Ludus Magnus 
  • Basilica Di San Pietro in Vincoli

Location: Piazza del Colosseo, Rome

3. Vatican City 

Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world that resides in the city of Rome. The total area covered by Vatican city is only 0.44 square kilometers. The city has some of the world’s greatest collections of art in Vatican Palace. The major landmark in the Vatican city is the Vatican Museum which welcomes millions of travelers every year.

Here you will see some of the missionaries' objects such as vintage cars, papal carriages, and other collections including over 800 religious artworks. Though being the smallest country in them, Vatican city is one of those places that house the most remarkable historical sites in Italy

Visiting Hours: Open for tourists from Monday to Saturday between 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM 

Major Highlights:

  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Piazza San Pietro
  • Vatican Gardens
  • Sistine Chapel 
  • Egyptian Museum 

Location: Rome, Italy 

Also Read: Most Fascinating Places To Visit In Sicily, The Dream Island Of Italy

4. Rialto Bridge

Built in the late 12th century by Antonio da Ponte, the Rialto Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in Italy which has a bow-like shape having stairs on both sides. The bridge was used in medieval times especially when a new law is to be passed or for punishing the culprits. The bridge is well connected with the San Marco and San Polo squares of Venice.

There are plenty of things which you can do near this bridge such as taking a boat tour and exploring the city as a whole or night walking boat tours. Rialto bridge is the major picturesque destination in Venice and here will see people clicking pictures with their loved ones. Most tourists prefer to stay around this bridge to enjoy the beautiful views of Canal Grande. 

Best Time To Visit: Early May to Early July or Late September to November 

Visiting Hours: 24 Hours 

Nearby Highlights:

  • Doge's Palace
  • St. Mark Square
  • Bridge of Sighs 

Things To Do:

  • Gondola Ride
  • Visit Rialto Market
  • Take A Night Walk
  • Night Boat Tour
  • Sightseeing 

Location: Venice, Italy

5. Basilica of St. Francis

Buil in 1228, the Basilica of St. Francis is a beautiful historical landmark that is worth exploring in Italy. It is situated in the town of Assisi which was once the home of St. Francis and is now his resting place. It is one of the major pilgrimage sites for Christians, thus included in UNESCO’s top landmarks list. The church is separated into two parts where the lower church serves as the pilgrimage site while the upper church is for the clergy.

In the upper part of the church, you will see some unique paintings by a famous Italian artist “Cimabue”. Most of these paintings are believed to be painted in the late 13th century. The frescoes painted on the ceiling are designed by various notable artists of that era named Giotto, Simone Martini, and the Lorenzetti brothers.  

Visiting Hours: 

  • Tuesday to Friday - 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Saturday - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM

Nearby Highlights:

  • Santa Maria Degli Angeli
  • Santa Chiara
  • Cathedral of San Rufino
  • Convento Di San Damiano
  • Rocca Maggiore

Location: Piazza San Francesco, Assisi

Also Read: September Events And Festivals To Witness In Italy