These are the 12 most beautiful churches in Italy, well churches and cathedrals really. I bet there are a few on this list that you've never heard of before.
The list is in no particular order. There is no way I could possibly order such beautiful churches and cathedrals.
Dozens more churches and cathedrals in Italy came very close to making this list, but, any list is subjective. Even within our family we couldn't agree, my husband was rather upset that a couple of his favorites weren't included.
One of my personal favorites. Getting more and more crowded with each passing year; however, there is still something extremely moving about this basilica. Little wonder this is a place of pilgrimage for so many Christians. Even if you are not Christian I still recommend you visit.
One of the oldest basilicas in Italy, consecrated in 549 and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is not because of its age or because of its UNESCO "rating" that it makes our list. No, it is here because of the simplicity and elegance of the cathedral, the way it seems so very different to any other in Italy. Very moving and truly lovely.
Not as old as some on this list and with a difficult history consisting of earthquake damage and the collapse of the dome in 1996. It took a further decade before it was opened again.
The oldest of all the churches and cathedrals in Italy that we feature here. The dome still astounds architects and the size wows visitors.
How could they construct such a wonder nearly 2000 years ago?
The history is fascinating and well worth the time to read. I really recommend that you drop by Wikipedia and lose yourself in a fascinating tale of the Pantheon through the centuries.
Not really in Italy, the Vatican is actually a separate country; however, it is in the heart of Rome so is included in our list. How could it not be?
If I had to choose a number one , from all of the churches and cathedrals we feature here, then this would be it.
This is the greatest of all Christian churches anywhere on earth.
Once known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Perhaps the very symbol of Florence and one of Italy's top tourist attractions. From the moment you first glimpse the cathedral, to the moment you step through the door... all of it is breathtaking . Overwhelming in a wonderful way.
The symbol of Milan and is the city's top tourist attraction. The second biggest cathedral in Europe - only St Peter's Cathedral is bigger - the construction took an incredible 600 years to complete.
Inside and out the cathedral is impressive but, there is another way of seeing the cathedral, one which I highly recommend and that is a trip to the roof. Here are the details.
It is so strange to me that such a wonderful sight attracts so few tourists. In fact, Padova itself is an undiscovered gem of a city which we've written about before. You can discover why we love the city so much here.
The cathedral itself is an eclectic mix of styles and was built in the late 13th century to commemorate Saint Anthony, patron saint of the lost, sick and dying. Attend a mass in this vast and holy space and you cannot help but be moved.
When in Padova you simply must not miss the Scrovegni Chapel, experts say that this ceiling, painted by Giotto, is arguably the most beautiful painted ceiling on earth. Up there with the Sistine Chapel.