If you know a little Italian, you may want to visit the beautiful country of Italy on your own. If, however, you’re looking to sit back and pack in as much of the country as possible, try one of the guided tours of Italy offered by many travel services. You’ll generally get a cheaper deal and you’ll enjoy the country on an air-conditioned coach, complete with an Italian-speaking interpreter.There are many ways to take guided tours of Italy but many of them start near the top of the country and go southward. The tour can begin in the watery canals of Venice or in the fashion capital of Milan. In Venice, visitors can take a gondola ride and eat in one of the many fine restaurants in the city. The lovely city stretches across numerous small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon that opens into the Adriatic Sea in the northeast part of the country. The city conveniently lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. In Milan, a tourist on one of the guided tours of Italy can take a few hours to shop the expensive shops in downtown Milan. Your guides might have purchased tickets for the group at the famous La Scala Theater. The Duomo in Milan is the second largest cathedral in the country. Many guided tours of Italy then head south, through the Tuscan hills and into the ancient and beautiful city of Florence, called “Firenze” in Italy. The Arno River runs through the city, also a location of many museums and churches.Many go to Florence to see the Ponte Vecchio, a unique old bridge crossing the river that contains many quaint shops and eateries. The Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore is the magnificent domed cathedral within the city. On some guided tours of Florence, you’ll be given time to see its many lovely churches or to see the Uffizi Galleries or the Pitti Palace. Outdoors, one can see a copy of the famed statue of David by Michelangelo or the original one, in the Uffizi Museum.When you think you’ve seen enough churches, many guided tours of Italy take you to Rome and the Vatican—both places where the churches and cathedrals are extremely wealthy and amazing to see. You’ll also see the Coliseum, the Roman Forum and the Pantheon—all parts of ancient Roman times that have been somewhat preserved. You may also be able to see some catacombs,which were places where early Christians worshipped and buried their dead.No good visit to Rome is complete without a visit to the Vatican, including the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. These are wondrous sites that make you wish it were possible to take pictures. You can take as many pictures as you wish of St. Peter’s Square and St. Paul’s Basilica. Hopefully, you’ll be on one of the guided tours of Italy that includes Southern Italy and a visit to the very ancient village of Pompeii. Destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, it is currently a life-sized museum of what life was like in the average city a millennium ago. It may prove, in fact, to be the highlight of your guided tour.
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