3 days in Italy: Milan, Pisa, and Rome

The purpose of this blog post is to showcase my experience with Tour Radar, which took me all around Italy for three days. The blog post seeks to help travelers who may use the service or those that want to know certain locations to visit while traveling through Italy.

Day #1: The Duomo or Cathedral in Milan is at the center of the city, and the Piazza del Duomo in front of the church is usually a bustling place. People meet there for all kinds of official ceremonies and celebrations or to hang out and socialize. To the left of the photo, you can see part of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is home to some trendy elegant shops selling things from haute couture and jewelry to books and paintings. One of the main entrances to the Galleria is just off frame to the left, and there are always hundreds of people coming to and from the shops and restaurants out into the Piazza.

Day #2: The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply the Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of Pisa’s Italian city, known worldwide for its nearly four-degree lean, the result of an unstable foundation. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, leaning tall at 60 meters, is one the world’s last monuments of the Romanesque style, medieval architecture, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa facts are fascinating to the discerning. As its name suggests, it is leaning to one side, which unfortunately started happening even before the 3rd level of the 8 level tower construction was completed. Though designed and built for a height of 60m, the Leaning Tower of Pisa now measures only 56.67 and 55.86 on the highest and lowest sides. After it started tilting to one side, the builders tried to compensate for the tilt by building the successive floors higher on that side than the opposite side. You can observe the effect this compensation has had on the tower as it has ended up having a slight curvature, which is visible even today.

The Cathedral is actually one of the most ornate, and indeed amongst the impressive Cathedrals, you will see in Italy! No one ever tells you this, but it is so impressive inside (photos don’t do it enough justice). I know this sounds controversial, but it’s easily more impressive than the Duomo in Florence!

The Square of Miracles is equipped with three structures, which can be referred to as the main stages of human life; birth, life, and death.

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Day #3: The Colosseum, also called Flavian Amphitheatre, a giant amphitheater built in Rome under the Flavian emperors. Construction of the Colosseum was begun sometime between 70 and 72 CE during the reign of Vespasian. It is located just east of the Palatine Hill, on the grounds of Nero’s Golden House. The artificial lake that was the centerpiece of that palace complex was drained, and the Colosseum was sited there, a decision that was as much symbolic as it was practical. Vespasian, whose path to the throne had relatively humble beginnings, chose to replace the tyrannical emperor’s private lake with a public amphitheater that could host tens of thousands of Romans.

The amphitheater seated some 50,000 spectators, shielded from the sun by a massive retractable vivarium (awning). Supporting masts extended from corbels built into the Colosseum’s top, or attic, story, and hundreds of Roman sailors were required to manipulate the rigging that extended and retracted the vivarium. The Colosseum was the scene of thousands of hand-to-hand combats between gladiators, contests between men and animals, and many larger combats, including mock naval engagements. However, it is uncertain whether the arena was the site of the martyrdom of early Christians.

In medieval times, the Colosseum was used as a church, then a fortress by two prominent Roman families, the Frangipane and the Annibaldi. The Colosseum was damaged by lightning and earthquakes and, even more severely, by vandalism and pollution. All the marble seats and decorative materials disappeared, as the site was treated as little more than a quarry for more than 1,000 years. Preservation of the Colosseum began in earnest in the 19th century, with notable efforts led by Pius VIII, and a restoration project was undertaken in the 1990s. It has long been one of Rome’s major tourist attractions, receiving close to seven million visitors annually. Changing exhibitions relating to the culture of ancient Rome are regularly mounted.

When purchasing items for your next travel (e.g. airline tickets, hotels, car rentals), consider using Rakuten. You will get money back on your purchases paid through PayPal after a few months post your trip. Disclosure: if you click the link and create an account, I will get money per referral.

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