Who doesn’t love to travel? Traveling is a great way to take a vacation from your normal daily life and explore the world. Everyone needs to relax once in a while!
Traveling is also a great way to learn more about yourself and improve your lifestyle. When you plan to visit a new place for your next travel destination, you are bounded to do some research to learn more about the destination like where to stay, how to get around and good places to eat.
In this article, we will suggest historical landmarks and fine art installations you must see in the storied continent of Europe.
Table of Contents
- First Stop: 5 Places to Visit in Paris, France
- A Video on Paris City Guide from Lonely Planet
- Next Stop: 5 Places to Visit in Florence and Pisa, Italy
- A Short Video About Florence and Pisa
- Third Stop: Athens, Greece
- A Video on Athens, Greece: Ancient Acropolis and Agora
First Stop: Paris, France
Paris, Paris is known to be the city of love and wonderful arts. If you have the chance to visit this lovely city, there are quite a few places you cannot miss!
Although there are many places you must visit and see, we have narrowed it down to five landmarks you must visit!
1. Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa was created by an Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci. It has been claimed that the painting is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini who is the wife of Francesco del Giocondo.
It is believed that the painting have been painted between 1503 and 1506. The Mona Lisa was acquired by King Francis I of France and has been on permanent display at The Louvre museum since 1792.
Many people are fascinated by the painting because of the different elements of the painting. For example, no matter which angle you look at the painting, it looks like she is looking at you.
2. The Thinker
There might many bronze sculptures in Paris, but you must visit The Thinker. The famous pose features a man in deep though resting his chin on his fist.
The Thinker was created by Auguste Rodin around 1880. It was originally named The Poet and was made to depict Dante at the Gates of Hell. You can visit the bronze sculpture at the Rodin Museum.
3. Venus de Milo
Venus de Milo also known as Aphrodite of Milos is one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture and was created between 130 and 100 BC. It is widely believed the sculpture was to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.
A man named Yorgos Kentrotas rediscovered the Venus de Miloon April 8, 1820 in an ancient city ruins of Milos. Currently, the sculpture is permanently displayed at the Louvre Museum.
4. Eiffel Tower
If you have not visited the Eiffel Tower, then you haven’t fully been to Paris. The Eiffel Tower is one of the most well known landmarks in Paris.
Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier collaborated on the original design of the Eiffel Tower. These two senior engineers worked for Compagnie des Etablissements Eiffel to create a centerpiece for the Exposition Universelle of 1889, a celebration of the centennial of the French Revolution.
The Eiffel Tower today is one of the most-visited paid historical monuments in the world.
5. Arc de Triomphe
Another famous historical monument of Paris is the Arc de Triomphe. The Arc de Triomphe was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806 to honor those fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars.
Look for the names of French victories and generals inscribed on the monument. Beneath the structure lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
Paris City Guide from Lonely Planet
Next Stop: Florence and Pisa, Italy
You can’t possibly visit all of Europe in one trip so you must segment it out. Now, let’s look at Florence and Pisa, Italy.
Italy is one of the most beautiful country in Europe (I say this to all the countries in Europe!) because it has a lot of history, culture and unique architecture like a storybook. Like I’ve mentioned earlier, if it’s not possible for you to explore all of Florence and Pisa, Italy. So, here are five places you must visit when you’re there!
1. Tower of Pisa (aka Leaning Tower of Pisa)
Pisa, Italy is most famous for its Tower of Pisa which is also known as Learning Tower of Pisa. This tower is striking and can’t be left unnoticed when visiting Italy.
Building of the tower began on August 14, 1173. The project required three stages of construction that took 199 years. The bell tower is the third oldest structure situated in the Pisa’s Cathedral Square.
There is controversy regarding credit for the original design of the tower. For a long time, two architects named Guglielmo and Bonanno Pisano received credit. However, recent studies indicate that Diotisalvi was the original architect based on the construction techniques matching his other works.
2. Piazza della Signoria
The Piazza della Signoria is close to many other attractions including the Ponte Vecchio and Uffizi Gallery. At the Piazza della Signoria your can visit Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of the city.
Another attraction, Loggia dei Lanzi, is an open-air sculpture gallery of antique and Renaissance art. There are other buildings nearby worth visiting like Tribunale della Mercanzia, Palazzo Uguccioni, and Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali.
In addition, make time for famous statues including The Lion, The Fountain of Neptune and The Rape of the Sabine Women. Just visiting this one location you can learn a lot about Florence and its culture.
3. Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio is an arch bridge built over the Arno River with shops still built along it. The bridge was believed to be first built in the Roman times with documentations of the bridge was first dated in 996.
The Ponte Vecchio was destroyed and rebuilt many times. A modern nuisance, tourists increasingly affix padlocks the bridges rails to commemorate their visit.
The city must remove these padlocks frequently to preserve the structure. Eventually the city administration posted a sign on the bridge warning of a 160€ penalty for anyone caught locking something to the rail or the bridge.
4. Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and most famous art museums. The construction of the museum began in 1560 by Giorgio Vasari. The Uffizi museum features many famous paintings including Leonardo da Vinci, The Annunciation, Sandro Botticelli, Primavera and etc.
Furthermore, the cortile, an internal courtyard, is long and narrow with a great view of the Arno River. The courtyard is known to be the first regularized streetscape of Europe. The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence. As such, during the peak season (July), waiting times can be up to five hours.
5. Piazza del Duomo
Visting the Piazza del Duomo can make the most out of your time in Florence. At the Piazza del Duomo you can visit many buildings including the Florence Cathedral, the Giotto’s Campanile, the Florence Baptistery and etc.
Italy has a lot to offer so the Piazza del Duomo is a great spot to visit the many buildings of Florence. Doesn’t it seem like every street and corner of Italy is a masterpiece?
A Short Video About Florence and Pisa
Third Stop: Athens, Greece
Do you try to catch the Summer Olympic Games every four years? As you may know, Athens hosted the first modern Olympic Games.
The city is the world’s oldest cities and a central for arts, and philosophy. Athens is also a world central for archaeological research because of its rich history.
Let’s look at 5 places you must visit when you are in Athens.
The Parthenon is a temple on the Athenian Acropolis dedicated to goddess Athena. Constructions first began in 447 BC at the height of Athenian Empire.
The Parthenon is considered to be the symbol of Ancient Greece, western civilization and one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments. To preserve the monument, the Greek Ministry of Culture carries out selective restoration and reconstruction to ensure the stability of the partial ruined structure.
2. Daphni Monastery
The Daphni Monastery is an 11th century Byzantine monastery art located north-west of central Athens. It was founded in the 6th century
Only one of the original columns of the ancient temple remains in the church. The rest of the columns were moved to London by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin.
3. Odeon of Herodes Atticus
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is located southwest of the Acropolis of Athens. The stone theatre structure was built in 161 AD by Herodes Atticus in the memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla.
Originally used for ancient music concerts,, the theatre boasted a maximum capacity of 5,000 people. The structure was destroyed in 267 AD but was restored in 1950s. It today is the main venue for the Athens Festival each year from May through October.
4. National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum is considered to be one of the greatest museums in the world because it houses some of the most important Greece artifacts from prehistory to late antiquity.
The museum is located in central Athens adjacent to the historical building of the Athens Polytechnic University. The construction of the building began in 1866 and was completed in 1889 using funds from the Greek Government, the Greek Archaeological Society and the society of Mycenae.
5. Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus is a colossal ruined temple located in central Athens. The ancient Athenians dedicated the temple to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods.
Construction began in the 6th century BC and finally finished in the 2nd century AD: 638 years after the project has begun!
A barbarian invasion in the 3rd century AD destroyed much of the temple. Left in disrepair, centuries later after the fall of the Roman Empire, engineers extracted many of the broken materials to supply building projects other parts of the city.