Italy is home to some of the world’s most beloved musicians and composers – Verdi, Puccini and Vivaldi to name a few. Opera was first performed in Florence in the late 16th century, and some of today’s most beloved music dates back hundreds of years. The spirit of opera is still alive and revered, as is evidenced by the thousands of people who travel to Italy every year for one of its fantastic music festivals.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) “seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.” The organization is comprised of 193 countries, including Italy. And did you know that there are more UNESCO sites in Italy than any other country in the world? There are 49 cultural (or man-made) sites and five natural sites. Here are just a few of our favorites!
The Italian aperitivo is akin to happy hour. There are a few different opinions about how and why and where the tradition began: some say it was started in Milan in the 1860s by the creator of Campari, while some argue it was actually started in Turin in the 1780s by the creator of vermouth.
Caravaggio was the most original and influential Italian painter of the 17th century. His style greatly influenced European artists such as Rubens and Rembrandt and revived Italian painting from the fantasy of post Renaissance and late 16th century Mannerist art. He rejected idealized beauty and started reproducing naked reality. You can see 18 original Caravaggio paintings in Rome, many free to visit in churches.
Continue reading Romantic Experiences in Italy: Beyond the Gondola Ride