Italy is a remarkable place to visit. It’s acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. It’s home to many of the world’s greatest works of art, architecture, and gastronomy. There are hundreds of Italian cities to tour and thousands of beautiful things to see. I’ve always admired the architecture there and have been obsessed with Italian mansions. There are so many exquisite things to explore in Italy. Aside from the usual places, I’ve come up with four extraordinary places that you must to see while in Italy.
Neptune’s Grotto is a cave on the island of Sardinia, Italy. In the 18th century, a local fisherman spotted this beautiful grotto while fishing off the coast. Ever since then, it’s become a popular tourist attraction.
This grotto got its name from the Roman god of the sea, Neptune. Inside the grotto, you will find plenty of stalactite and stalagmite formations along with a 120-meter long saltwater lake. It’s estimated to be around four kilometers long, but only the first few hundred meters are accessible to tourists. Guided tours are led in a single-file through a lit pathway. During peak season, the tours tend to contain around 200 people at a time.
The grotto can be reached by land or sea. Since the entrance is about a meter above sea level, the grotto can only be visited when the water is calm. You can take a short boat trip from the nearby city of Alghero or park your car at the top of the cliff and walk down the 654-step stairway that is cut into the cliff.
The Grotta Azzurra, also known as the Blue Grotto, is a sea cave. This is a type of cave formed primarily by the wave action of the sea. This is located on the coast of the island of Capri in southern Italy. It’s their biggest tourist attraction on the island.
This cave is known for the bright azure color of the water. The light that passes through the cave comes from two sources. There is one small hole in the cave wall which is the entranceway. There is a second hole which is directly below the entranceway. Tihs hole is ten times larger than the entranceway. As the light passes through these holes and into the water, the reflections are filtered out and only blue light enters the cave. There are gorgeous silver reflections on objects placed in the water which is caused by tiny bubbles that cover the outside of the object when they are placed underwater. The bubbles cause the light to refract differently than that of the surrounding water and gives off the silver effect.
This cave is 60 meters long and 25 meters wide. The entranceway is only two meters wide and about one meter high. This cave can only be visited when the tides are low and the sea is calm. You can pass through the small entrance by a four-person rowboat and you must lie flat on the boat to get through. Unfortunately, swimming is forbidden for safety reasons and to preserve water clarity.
Lake Carezza, often called The Pearl of the Dolomites, is one of the must-see sights in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of northern Itlay. This small but deep lake is known for its beautiful colors and for this reason, it’s also called “Lec de Ergobando” (The Rainbow Lake) in the Ladin language.
The crystal clear waters of the lake reflect the beauty of the area, which creates a rainbow of colors on the surface. Many of the colors are reflected from the surrounding evergreen forests, colors of the mountain rock faces, and the sky above.
The Sammezzano Castle is an Italian palazzo nestled in the stunning Florentine countryside in Tuscany. This castle is composed of 365 rooms, one for each day of the year. It features vivid colors and geometric decorations along with large arched doorways and Corinthian columns. The Moroccan-style palatial villa is a labyrinth of exquisitely tiled rooms as each one is intricately unique.
It was originally built in 1605 by a Spanish nobleman. In the 19th century, someone inherited the property and decided to hire artisans to construct his ideal retreat in which is now known as the Sammezzano Castle. This was constructed over the course of 40 years. Later, the palazzo served as a luxury hotel in the post-WWII era, then it was neglected.
Reggello mayor Cristiano Benucci commented on Facebook, “The auction for Sammezzano Castle has just come to an end, which I attended personally to represent our residents’ apprehension regarding the castle’s fate. A 15.4 million bid was made by a company from the United Arab Emirates, to which the castle and entire complex has been sold on a provisional basis. There will be ways and means in which the new owners will be able to talk about their ideas with the council and in the meantime we hope that the new owners will take Sammezzano into their hearts, protecting it and immediately putting into action the measures needed to combat the decline and make the place safe again.”
These are only four of the most amazing and unique places in Italy to visit. While the food in Italy is reason enough to visit, the country is filled with lots of exciting places to see and things to do. Italy is a magnificent experience and everyone should visit there at least once in their lifetime. Take a look at the map of Italy to explore all the places you’d like to visit on your next vacation. Learn about all the amazing and fascinating history behind Italy before you go!
“One of the greatest joys of traveling through Italy is discovering firsthand that it is, indeed, a dream destination.” ~Debra Levison