Passport: Italy


Do you have an inexplicable craving for spaghetti bolognese? Are you strangely drawn to boots in all shapes and sizes and dark films in foreign languages? Thinking of flooding the streets of your town so you can travel exclusively by boat?

Sounds like you have a case of Italian Fever.

We’ve got the cure below with a slideshow of Italy’s most famous sites, plus a quiz on history and culture. Viva L’Italia!


Know your Italian facts!


The Colosseum, aka the Flavian Amphitheatre, is one of Italy's most famous tourist destinations and an excellent example of Roman architecture and engineering. After all, it has survived since 80 AD, nearly 2,000 years.

Originally used as an arena for gladiatorial and other public events, including animal hunts and executions, it had a capacity of about 50,000 people. Now, in addition to attracting tourists, it is often used as a backdrop for concerts and occasionally for events connected to the Vatican.


The front view of the "Castle of the Holy Angel" or Castel Sant' Angelo seen across the Tiber River in the center of Rome, Italy on May 24, 1968. The castle was erected by the Emperor Hadrian in A.S. 136. This fortress, seen across the "Bridge of the Holy Angel," was one of the principal channels of communication between the center of Rome and the Vatican quarter. A covered passage on a high wall leads from the Vatican to the fortress.

(AP Photo/Mario Torrisi)


The Vatican is a walled city-state within Rome. It has a population of about 800 living on 110 acres.

The physical home of the spiritual head of the Catholic church, the Pope, Vatican city was created in 1929 after a long period of dispute between the burgeoning modern Italian government.


Pedestrians enjoy strolling through downtown's Duomo square in Florence, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009. The beautiful square facing the fifth largest church in Europe, the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, was barred to car traffic amid fears of traffic jams in the surrounding area.


Michelangelo's marble statue of "David" is seen at the dome of Florence's Accademia Gallery, Italy. The contested cleaning of "David'' was completed in 2005, with decades of grayish grime stripped from Michelangelo's towering tribute to nude male beauty months ahead of the 500th anniversary celebrations for the masterpiece.


Pasta and bread are on sale at a baker shop in downtown Milan, Italy.


A lakeside view of George Clooney's villa Oleandra on Lake Como, northern Italy, taken Thursday, July 8, 2004. Clooney shoots baskets with the local kids, carries grandmothers' groceries uphill and works hard on pronouncing "buon giorno." He has international stardom and rascally good looks, but in this hamlet where Clooney owns an 18th century mansion with a private dock on Lake Como, the star is simply "bravo" -- Italian for "a good person."


The Ponte dei Sospiri, or "Bridge of Sighs" is shown in Venice, Italy on June 3, 2008. For centuries, Venice has captivated travelers with an array of romantic images: cobblestone streets, gondola rides through glistening canals at sunset, quaint homes painted in vibrant hues of periwinkle and plum. Tourism is rising, and so are prices. Combine that with the sinking dollar, and it costs even more to have that platter of Venetian seafood from the Adriatic. Still, there are ways to spend less and experience the beauty of the city laced together with hundreds of bridges.

(AP Photo/Betsy Vereckey)


The dressed procession of boats precedes the historic regatta into Venice's Canal Grande Sunday, Sept. 7, 2003. In the background is the Basilica della Salute. Boats from several Venice districts compete in the annual race.

(AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)


Fiorentina forward Enrico Fantini beats Perugia goalkeeper to score the first goal as Fiorentina of Florence and Perugia contend a spot in the Italian first division at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence, Italy.

(AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)


A view of Turin, northern Italy. To the right is the Mole Antonelliana Dome, and in the background, the Italian Alps.


This photo released by Forte dei Marmi Tourism, shows a beachgoer rowing his typical "pattino," Italian catamaran-shaped rowboat past the pontile, the main wharf at Forte dei Marmi on Italy's Tuscan coast. Nature and history have worked together to make Forte dei Marmi into an understated, luxurious retreat from anything that can mar a vacation by the beach elsewhere (pesky things like heat, traffic, treacherous waters and busloads of loud vacationers.)

(AP Photo/Federico Neri,Forte dei Marmi Tourism)


Snow blankets the Madonna di Campiglio ski resort near Trento in northern Italy, Jan. 4, 2001. Madonna di Campiglio, a rich-in-history resort tucked in the Italian Dolomites, offers a chance to experience two national cultures, Italian and Austrian, in a single shot.

(AP Photo/Armando Trovati)


Italian ice cream, known as Gelato, is shown on sale in Venice, Italy on June 5, 2008.

(AP Photo/Betsy Vereckey)


The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a free-standing bell tower that accompanies the Cathedral of Pisa.

Famous, of course, for its angle, the tower leans because of an unstable foundation issue that developed after the third floor of the tower was built in 1178. Now, much effort is made to preserve the peculiar angle of the tower because of its role in history and appeal to tourists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>