The Teatro Grande in Pompeii was built in the 5th century B.C and rebuilt in the 1st century A.D. It sat as many as 5,000 spectators. There were 3 price ranges: marble terraces up close, with wooden seats for two; the main section, and cheap seats up near the canvas rooftop.

The exclusive  box seats offer a view in addition to the stage – the gladiators’ barracks and courtyard out back.

See also: Ruined City of Pompeii

Ruins of some of the town's most important official buildings – a basilica, temples to Apollo and Jupiter, a market hall.

Begun at the end of the fourteenth century but not completed until the eighteenth, when the Baroque genius Juvarra added the cupola.

The church is reckoned to be Italy's best example of Gothic-Renaissance fusion: the Gothic spirit clear in the fairy-tale pinnacles, rose windows and buffoonish gargoyles; that of the Renaissance in its portals and in the presence of the two pagans flanking the main west door - the Elder and Younger Plinys, both of whom were born in Como. Inside, the Gothic aisles are hung with rich Renaissance tapestries.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, this famous Italian Renaissance church is one of the most striking monuments of the 15th century, and it holds one of the world’s great masterpieces in its refectory, The Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci.

The church itself was built in the late 1400’s, and an addition by the architect Bramante was added in a few years later. In The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci cleverly painted the perspective to look like it is part of its setting.

Brunelleschi's stupendous architectural monument dominates the cityscape. The close-up view is even more breathtaking, with the multicolored Duomo rising behind the marble-clad Baptistry.

Its construction, particularly the cupola, was one of the most impressive achievements of the Renaissance, requiring a special technique that made it possible to create the curves of the huge cupola without a supporting framework.

A broletto  is a “palace of the commune,” a public building dedicated to secular use. The 13th century Broletto in Como is prettily striped in pink, white and grey marble. Located next to the cathedral, it has been a town hall, a theater and is now an exhibitions center in the downtown district.

One of Italy's most intact and accessible, and also its oldest, dating from 80 BC. It once had room for a crowd of some 12,000. The theatre had stone and wooden seats, VIP lodges, and a canvas sunscreen spanning over the galleries for events and spectacles like Gladiator fights.

See also: The Ruined City of Pompeii

The Sistine Chapel was built, and the decoration of the walls complete, by 1483. But it was Michelangelo's ceiling frescos, painted a quarter century later, that brought true immortality.

Commissioned by the Pope in 1508 to decorate the chapel, Michelangelo used a  network of scaffolding to reach the high vaulted ceilings. He divided the ceiling into nine panels, each showing a scene from Genesis.

The Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice is not only a great example of Venetian Renaissance architecture; it holds a tour de force series of more than 60 paintings by the master Tintoretto, inspiring some to call the Scuola the “Sistine Chapel of Venice.”