Italy is an amazing country filled with some of the world’s most famous historical sites. If you are like Michael Canzian and enjoy traveling, consider visiting some of these oldest attractions in the country. Many of them have been around for nearly 1000 years. Here are four of the best places you can view ancient history in the modern world.

1. Florance Cathedral

If you enjoy religious architecture, Florence is the city to visit. Construction on this fourth largest church in the world began in the 13th century. The Florance Cathedral was originally called the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, and it took over 200 years to complete. The exterior is decorated in beautiful shades of green and pink marble, with statues of the building’s architects standing in the courtyard below. Inside, the cathedral shelters an ancient clock that displays time according to an old method where the end of the day occurs at sunset.

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2. The City of Herculaneum

To get a close-up view of ancient life, visit this town near Pompeii. Scattered across the ruins of Herculaneum, you’ll find artifacts that have been preserved in stone thanks to the massive explosion of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. This lesser known town was also destroyed in the same eruption as Pompeii but offers a more detailed look at what was left behind by this natural disaster. Since the blast hit this town first, fewer people could escape, and more bodies and artifacts were left behind. This elaborate town allows you to view what life was like all those years ago, with small rooms with beds, temples, and bathhouses perfectly frozen in time.

3. Saint Mark’s Basilica

Another fascinating architectural, artistic and religious feat is Saint Mark’s Basilica. This glorious church began as a private chapel for Saint Mark’s tomb. The original building burned and was rebuilt in 932 into what it is today. It is known for its intricate mosaics and numerous domes dating back to the Byzantine empire. The Cupola of the Prophets dome is the most famous as it is adorned with 2000 gems and a gold altarpiece.

4. Paestum

Near the magnificent coast of Amalfi lies the ruins of the town Poseidonia. This area was originally settled by Greeks and named for the god Poseidon. The city was conquered by the Romans in the 6th century and renamed Paestum. Here, you can tour the remains of three Greek temples. Though much of the land is now covered by farms, the few ruins that are left are an amazing demonstration of Greek history.

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