Traveling Maven's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
THE GASTRO OBSCURA BOOK An eye-opening journey through the history, culture, and places of the culinary world. Just released! The Gastro Obscura book is here! Order Now
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Lucca, Italy

Piazza dell'Anfiteatro

This bustling Italian plaza is built on the ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheater.
Pisa, Italy

Orto Botanico di Pisa (Botanical Garden of Pisa)

The first botanical garden, a feather in the cap of the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
Pisa, Italy

The Camposanto

Next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a cemetery home to ancient sarcophagi and disturbing murals.
Pisa, Italy

Guy Rope Anchors for the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The only visible reminders of an elaborate engineering project that kept the tower from reaching the tipping point.
Florence, Italy

Studiolo Francesco I de’ Medici

Secret refuge and museum of the Duke of Florence.
Florence, Italy

L’importuno di Michelangelo

The famous sculptor left his mark on this Italian wall in an internationally protected example of street art.
Florence, Italy

Platform 16 Holocaust Deportation Memorials

Memorials at a Florence railway station remember the citizens who were deported from Italy and sent to extermination camps.
Florence, Italy

Vasari Corridor

This private skyway is filled with art and was expanded explicitly so that Hitler could appreciate a river.
Lucca, Italy

Torre Guinigi (Guinigi Tower)

Fortified medieval tower house with lovely roof garden.
Venice, Italy

Church of San Giacomo di Rialto

According to tradition this is the oldest church in Venice, but its actual age is a mystery.
Venice, Italy

Giant Hands of Venice’s Grand Canal

A new sculpture calls attention to climate change in the centuries-old city it threatens.
Venice, Italy

Ponte delle Tette

In the past, Renaissance sex workers were encouraged to entice customers on this bridge.
Venice, Italy

Church of Santa Margherita

This deconsecrated church has seen many uses, from a tobacco storehouse to a cinema.
Venice, Italy

Ponte dei Pugni (Bridge of Fists)

100 year tradition of fist fights, marked by marble footsteps.
Venice, Italy

Squero di San Trovaso

Where Venice's gondolas go for a tune-up.
Venice, Italy

Palazzo Dario

Those who own or stay at this 500-year-old, allegedly cursed house often meet terrible fates.
Venice, Italy

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

This palatial spiral staircase was so unusual the name "snail" was given to the noble family who built it.
Venice, Italy

Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs

This Roman statue is missing a limb from when the Venetians stole it from Constantinople during the Crusades.
Venice, Italy

Scuola Grande di San Marco

The marble facade hides a little-known medical museum with early surgical instruments and rare copies of canonical texts.
Venice, Italy

Piraeus Lion

Thousand-year-old Viking runes adorn an ancient Greek lion at the entrance to the Venetian Arsenal.
Murano, Italy

Isola di San Michele

Venice's island of the dead.
Gardone Riviera, Italy

Vittoriale Degli Italiani (Shrine of Italian Victories)

A military museum, art park, mausoleum, and architectural oddity all on one fascist's estate.
San felice del Benaco, Italy

Isola del Garda

A small island in Lake Garda that was used as a burial site, pirate hideout, and a monastery.
Sirmione, Italy

Scaligero Castle

One of the most well-preserved castles in Italy also contains a rare medieval example of a port fortification.