The former seat of the Della Scala family, now housing one of the finest art galleries in the Veneto region, with pieces from the late Roman and early Christian periods to Medieval and Renaissance art, as well as jewelry and suits of armor.

Built in the 14th century as a fortress, rebuilt in the 15th century and then falling to ruin, this historic site was restored again following Italy’s unification in the 19th century.

It is now used to house a number of cultural institutions and civic museums, including the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco, which holds Michelangelo's last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà, Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Trivulzianus manuscript and other treasures.

“Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.”

These opening lines of Shakespeare’s most famous play are arguably what has made “fair Verona” famous. The building was owned by the Dal Cappello family, whose coat-of-arms remains, in the 12th century.

Many people consider the frescoes in the 14th century Cappella degli Scrovegni to be one of the masterpieces of European art, and the main reason for visiting Padua.

The chapel is architecturally simple and unadorned except for three marble altar statues by Giovanni Pisano and the series of frescoes by Giotto lining its walls. It tells the story of the Virgin through the annunciation, nativity, crucifixion and resurrection, and was intended to inspire worshippers with Christ's sacrifice and mankind’s salvation. Even if you're not an expert, the works are quite extraordinary.

The Bridge of Sighs, or Ponte dei Sospiri, connects Venice’s old prisons to the interrogation rooms in the Doge's Palace. Built of white limestone between 1600 and 1603, the enclosed bridge has windows with stone bars.

According to one version of the story, the name was given by Lord Byron in the 19th century from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice from the bridge’s windows.

The richly frescoed and decorated 13th century Basilica di Sant' Antonio houses the remains of St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost or mislaid objects, for whom the church was named.

Faithful pilgrims visit, as they have for centuries, in search of everything from lost items to lost love. Not only is his body entombed here, but his well-preserved jawbone, vocal chords and tongue are on display, apparently in honor of his legendary, eloquent preaching ability.

The mausoleum of the city's patron saint, the Basilica di San Marco is the most famous Venetian church and one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture anywhere. It has been called Chiesa d'Oro – "church of gold" – for its opulence, gilded mosaics, and its status as a symbol of wealth and power.

Dating to the first century, countless triumphal arches have since been modeled on this early design.

The Arch of Titus is near the Forum, and was built of marble by the frugal Emperor Domitian. The monument celebrates his brother Titus's capture of Jerusalem and the subsequent conquering of the Jewish people.

There is even a portrait of the destruction of the temple and the pillage of a giant menorah along its base.

Between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill sits one of the best-preserved monuments of ancient Rome, the Arch of Constantine is the largest of three that still stand today.

Built by Constantine to celebrate his victory over his rival Maxentius in 312, the triple arch is on the road taken by the triumphal processions. The arches are built using recycled remains of older Roman monuments, and using various construction techniques, which some theories argue might be indicative of several periods of construction.

This massive fortress is known by several names: Angevin Castle, after its founder; New Castle, or Castelnuovo in Italian, to distinguish it from another castle nearby, which is about 300 years older; and locally as the Maschio Angioino, also a reference to the founder Charles I of Naples.

A descendent of a medieval French dynasty, he – like the castle – is also known by another name: Charles of Anjou. The castle is a fascinating trapezoidal building with five round towers.

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