A Very Brief Engineer Tourist's Guide to Italy

Italy is one of the most popular places to visit in the world and for good reason.
Christopher McFadden

Italy has a long and fascinating history. It has seen or been the source, of some of the most momentous events in human history. 

With that in mind, you might want to consider visiting Italy if you haven't already. It is a treasure trove of great engineering and architectural marvels that are a must-see before you depart from this world. 


Where is the nicest place in Italy?

There are many parts of Italy that are outstanding for their looks. But there are some standout places in Italy you might want to consider visiting. 

According to sites like the Huffington Post, here are some of the nicest places to visit in Italy: -

  • Positano, Campania

  • Chianti Country

  • Fonte Gaia, Siena

  • Manarola, Cinque Terre

  • Venice

  • Milan

  • Capri

What is the most visited place in Italy?

Italy is literally packed with amazing places to visit. However, there are some landmarks, and other tourist attractions, in Italy that appear to be favored by tourists.

italy tourist attractions colosseum
Source: INTVGene/Flickr

According to sites like planetware.com, here are some of the most visited places in Italy: -

  • Colosseum

  • Venice Canals

  • Pompeii

  • Leaning Tower of Pisa

  • Lake Como

  • Amalfi Coast

  • Florence Duomo Santa Maria del Fiorence

  • Cinque Terre

What is the architecture in Italy?

Italy's architecture is the product, like many countries, of its long and varied history. It has several distinct styles that were employed and developed at various stages of its past since the fall of Rome. 

Notable styles include, but are not limited to: -

1. Romanesque - Circa 12th Century AD

2. Gothic style - Circa 12th Century (though not very popular in Italy)

3. The Renaissance-style - Circa 15th Century

4. Baroque style - Circa 17th Century

5. Modern era - Since the 20th Century, Italian architects have tended to follow the trends of modern architecture.  

What is famous in Italy?

Italy is famous for many things, from the Roman Empire its popular cuisine. According to sites like theculturetrip.com, here are some of the things Italy is most famous for: -

1. Pizza

2. Pasta

3. Vespas

4. Fashion

5. Art

6. Cars

7. Hand gestures

8. Football

9. Explorers like Marco Polo etc. 

10. Gelato/Icecream

What are some of the best places to visit in Italy?

If you love history, and what to catch a glimpse of some of the most impressive architecture and engineering in the world, here are some examples of places to visit in Italy.

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Obviously, with such a wealth of history, it is difficult to shortlist just a few. Apart from the Colosseum in Rome (which is a given), these are but 5 of the many impressive engineering and architectural marvels in Italy. 

1. Don't miss the Leaning Tower of Pisa

We'll kick off with one of Italy's most famous landmarks. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was designed by Bonanno Pisano and construction began in around 1173. 

Over the next 200 years or so, the tower (technically speaking a campanile) was built over three stages. It wouldn't be until 1372 that the tower as we know it today was finally completed. 

Its iconic tilt began to manifest after the construction of the second floor. This led to a continual battle of wits between engineers and nature ever since. 

Since you are in Pisa why not check out the rest of the city too?

2. Be sure to check out the Florence Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore

italy tourist attractions florence cathedral
Source: Saurabh Thakur/Flickr

The Florence Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore is another engineering and architectural treasure of Italy. Its most prominent feature, apart from the rest of it, is its amazing dome.

The dome is one of the world's foremost architectural marvels and was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. It is fairly unique in the fact that it is primarily made out of bricks. 

Construction commenced in 1296 and it would take over 100 years until it was finally completed in 1436. 

The rest of the city is pretty nice too. You could also consider checking out the Museo Galileo.

3. Don't miss out on the Pantheon in Rome

The Pantheon in Rome is another of Italy's engineering marvels. Rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in around 126 AD, the Pantheon has inspired many other buildings around Europe and the world. 

Its most important feature is its impressive, and relatively intact, dome. The dome was built using Roman concrete and measures around 42.3 meters in diameter.

This was unprecedented in its day and it would remain the world largest dome for almost 1300 years. You really must try to see this impressive building if you are anywhere near Rome. 

You will not be disappointed.

4. The Roman Forum in Rome is a must-visit

italy tourist attractions forum
Source: Rennett Stowe/Wikimedia Commons

Since you've taken our advice and decided to book a trip to the Pantheon in Rome, you might as well check out the Roman Forum nearby. Although practically a ruin today, many of its main features are still clear to see for any untrained eye. 

We recommend you take a guided tour but it is possible to wander around under your own steam and use your imagination to transport you back thousands of years. 

From an engineering perspective, the forum has many remains of the engineering prowess of the Romans. Roman roads, buildings, pillars, and some remains of aqueducts are still standing -  a real testament to the skill of their builders. 

5. The Ponte Vecchio in Florence is awesome

italy tourist attractions old bridge florence
Source: Ray in Manila/Flickr

If you also took our advice to visit the cathedral, you might want to schedule in a visit to the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Locally called the "Old Bridge", it is a medieval closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge that spans the Arno River. 

It's architectural and engineering design aside, which are impressive, the bridge is also fascinating for its large number of shops that are built on the bridge's superstructure.

The original bridge is thought to have been built by the Romans which was later heavily damaged by a flood in the 12th Century. It was later rebuilt in its current form in the 14th Century. 

According to legend, the bridge was spared from destruction during the Nazi retreat from Florence in August of 1944 thanks to the express orders of Adolf Hitler