By: Elizabeth Flynn

​One of the biggest attractions in Italy are the religious structures which you can find in every city and almost all the towns and villages across the country. Cathedrals are top of the list when people are writing their vacation itineraries as these beautiful buildings are fine examples of Italy’s architecture and usually have a rich and interesting history. If you are planning to travel around Italy and visit the cathedrals during your vacation, then these are the top seven you should try to visit.


​Florence Duomo- Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore

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​Of all the cathedrals in Italy, Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence is probably the most famous. The dome was designed by Brunelleschi and is considered a masterpiece of construction. The exterior has an unusual façade of white, green, and pink marble. Another interesting feature is the stained-glass windows, of which there are 44. If you make the effort to climb to the top of the dome, you will be treated to spectacular views across Florence. 


​Venice- Basilica San Marco

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​The architectural style of this building is interesting as it combines both western styles and Byzantine. It is a focal point of Saint Mark’s Square as it has stunning mosaic covered domes. The interior is adorned with examples of art work by famous Venetian artists. It is named after Saint Mark, the patron saint of Venice. 


​Milan Cathedral- Duomo di Milano

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​Duomo di Milano took a staggering 600 years to complete and is the largest Gothic cathedral in the whole of Italy. It is adorned with 3200 statues, 135 spires, and beautiful stained glass windows. Other than to see the cathedral itself, another reason to visit is the amazing views you can enjoy across Milan from its elevated position. 


​Orvieto Cathedral

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​The medieval cathedral in Orvieto has an unusual façade that is covered in mosaic. It is widely considered one of Italy’s best Romanesque-Gothic masterpieces. Statues adorn the exterior of the cathedral while other features include the two beautiful chapels, the interesting frescoes, and the large bronze doors. 


​Siena Cathedral-Duomo di Siena

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​If you admire Gothic architecture, then Siena’s Cathedral is one of the best examples in Italy. Elaborate carvings adorn the exterior of the structure while the inside boasts fine art works. Detailed frescoes and interesting floor mosaics are other features of this building. Amongst the artists who have work displayed are Donatello, Michelangelo, Pinturicchio, and Pisano. If you are visiting this cathedral, you should also take the time to view the Baptistry and the crypt. 


​Pisa Cathedral

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​The Field of Miracles site in Pisa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this includes both the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the white Duomo. The cathedral was built in 1063 but its façade is from the 12th-century. It is home to many important works of art and has a stunning marble pulpit. 


​Modena Cathedral

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​This 12th-century cathedral is a fine example of Romanesque architecture. The exterior is interesting as it features Romanesque figures that depict scenes from the bible. The inside houses many unusual treasures. These include a 13th-century parapet, beautiful mosaics, and two nativity scenes made of terra cotta from the 15th and 16th-centuries. The cathedral, its bell tower and the Piazza Grande are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Modena cathedral is the final resting place of Luciano Pavarotti. 

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