When in Rome... or Florence... or

Andiamo! You haven't visited italy if you haven't seen these five hot spots

Jul 20, 2005
Outside Magazine

Rome's Coliseum: Worth the Hype    Photo: PhotoDisc

Cinque Terre
This seven-and-a-half-mile hike in the country's northwestern corner cuts through lemon orchards and vineyards, linking five pastel villages atop green cliffs dropping into the Ligurian Sea. To start, hop the Genoa–La Spezia train to Riomaggiore, then follow the trail west through Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare, ending with beachside repose. www.cinqueterre.it

Galleria Ferrari
Italians' lust for the classic red Ferrari ranks just below their admiration of the bella donna. Maranello, in northern Italy, is home to the factory and Galleria Ferrari, a museum chronicling the world's sleekest car. A new wing helps accommodate the 180,000 fanatics who visit annually. www.galleria.ferrari.com

You can't not see the Uffizi and Michelangelo's David in the Galleria dell'Accademia. Unfortunately, every tourist feels the same way. After the long lines, enjoy an architectural walk to the landmark Il Duomo, grand Medici villas, and the merchant-heavy Ponte Vecchio. www.uffizi.firenze.it

Adventurous travelers ascend 4,190-foot Vesuvius, which erupted with notorious effect in a.d. 79, then go south to Pompeii, where excavated homes reveal frescoes of the gods, or to Herculaneum, to see remains of the victims. Ponder it all over pizza with mozzarella di bufala, the regional specialty. www2.pompeiisites.org

If you haven't satiated your thirst for art in Florence, a weekend in Rome will cure all. At the Vatican Museums, it's a labyrinthine walk through hallways lined with art by masters Raphael, Caravaggio, and Giotto to reach the Sistine Chapel. Bernini brings myth to life at the quieter, manse-like Museo and Galleria Borghese; his sculpture of Pluto grabbing Proserpina's thigh is more supple than stonelike. mv.vatican.va, www.galleriaborghese.it

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