We have all wondered where those photographers get those stunning postcard prefect pictures of Italy, but wonder no more. Italy is full of stunning views, whether you are atop an active volcano or looking out from the bell tower of a gorgeous sun bleached church. The best part about these views is that you don’t need to be a professional photographer to capture them. Try to head to these vantage points either early in the morning or at dusk to capture the perfect photo, or leave the camera at home and just enjoy the beauty. Either way, here are six beautiful views in Italy worth checking out.
6. Bell tower of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
It is well worth it to fork out the few euros for the elevator ride up to the 60-meter high bell tower, which offers incredible views of Venice. It is actually located right across the street from St. Mark’s Basilica, which features long line-ups and a pricey 10 euros to ride up its bell tower. Instead head to this church and monastery for uncrowded views of the entrance to the Grand Canal, the dome of Santa Maria Salute and snow-capped mountain peaks in the distance. This 16th century church is worth visiting on its own, with its brilliant white marble that gleams above the blue water lagoon.
5. Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence
What is visiting Florence if you cannot manage to get that sweeping panoramic that includes both the stunning city and the mountains. The Piazzale Michelangelo is a square that offers just that. To get here, visitors will walk uphill along a beautiful tree-lined street, or take a taxi/bus if you aren’t feeling like walking. The square is dedicated to Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo and has bronze copies of some of his marble works found elsewhere in Florence: the David and the four allegories of the Medici Chapel of San Lorenzo. The view from here is simply stunning, capturing the heart of Florence from Fort Belvedere to Santa Croce, across the lungarni and the bridges crossing the Arno and the octagonal bell tower of the Badia Florentia.
4. Amalfi Coast
It is hard to narrow down a most beautiful view when it comes to the Amalfi Coast, as there are just so many. But if you feel like strapping on your hiking boots and hitting the trails, you will find some of the best views along the Sentieri degle Dei trail. You will see down the coast all the way to the tip of the peninsula and on a clear day you can eve see Capri a stunning island home to the Blue Grotto sea cave. It’s no wonder that this trail’s name is actually ‘Pathway of the Gods’. If hiking isn’t on the agenda another great place to take in the views of the coast is Villa Rufolo, a villa located in the historic center of Ravello, originally constructed in the 13th century. The views from the villa take in the stunning coastline and the sea, and all that is will cost you is $5 euro.
3. Janiculum Hill, Rome
It is one of the only places you can capture the entire city of Rome in one spot and visitors here will capture panoramic views of the city, including the Pantheon, Spanish Steps and St. Peter’s Basilica. Janiculum Hill is located just across the river from the centro storico and choose to either hike up the hill or take one of the buses. It is the second tallest hill in the contemporary city of Rome and was believed to be the center for the cult of the god Janus, thus earning its name as Janiculum Hill. It has been home for water mills, the site of a memorable battle and a place of worship. Now it is a spot where locals walk, a park where children play and the best place to see Rome in its entirety.
2. Mt. Vesuvius, Bay of Naples
It is one of the most explored and well-known volcanoes on earth, due in large part to when it blew its top in A.D. 79 and destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii. This volcano has had no shortages of explosions, including the most recent one in 1944 but that still doesn’t keep locals and tourists from heading to the top to see the epic views. A hike around the crater’s lip will give views of Naples, its sweeping bays and Pompeii. While up there make sure you listen closely as you can heard the occasional cascade of rocks tumbling into the crater. Observe whisps of smoldering steam and take a moment to remember that this all mighty and powerful volcano will most definitely erupt again in your lifetime.
1. Corniglia-Vernazza Hiking Trail, Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre aka Five Lands are the five small coastal villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso located in Liguria. The best view is the main hiking trail between Vernazza and Corniglia where visitors are treated to gorgeous views of the seaside and Vernazza. While the views are spectacular, hikers should be warned that this is no easy stroll. Much of the path here is steep with sheer drops to the sea below and the journey is made by hundreds of tourists each summer. There is another option that offers almost as spectacular of views. Start from Vernazza on the number 2 trail towards Corniglia and near the beginning of the path make sure to turn around. Here is where you will get that picture postcard view of Vernazza. Try to come here in the morning, as later in the day the sun will be straight in your camera lens.