Art and History: 5 unmissable Italian destinations

Italy is known around the world for its artistic and historical heritage. Paintings, palaces, sculptures, theatres, fountains, and thousands of religious buildings.

Italy is known around the world for its artistic and historical heritage. Paintings, palaces, sculptures, theatres, fountains, and thousands of religious buildings… Just think: about 100,000 churches dot the Italian territory, many of which are tourist sites not only for believers.

Whether you are interested in admiring Renaissance frescoes, exploring ancient Romanesque churches, or contemplating majestic Gothic cathedrals, each holy place acts as a bridge to the rich cultural past of the ‘Bel Paese’ (Beautiful Country). This extraordinary legacy attracts tourists wanting to discover the ways in which art, history, and religion intertwine.

Every year, millions of travellers come to Italy from every corner of the world to visit these holy places, many of which can be reached comfortably and efficiently thanks to Trenitalia, which guarantees widespread connections to easily reach not only the major cities, but also the remotest towns.

These rail connections are particularly valuable for anyone wanting to explore religious sites all along the peninsula. Whether this involves visiting the majestic St Peter’s Basilica in Rome or admiring the mosaics in the Sicilian Monreale Cathedral, the connections offered by the Passenger Business Unit of the FS Italiane Group facilitate access to these spiritual experiences without the need to hire a car, making the experience more sustainable.

The 5 Must-See Italian Sites to Reach on the Intercity

True Italian Experience, whose main partner is Trenitalia and which presents sustainable itineraries designed to discover the true essence of Italy, has selected 5 must-see sites for believers, that can be reached easily by train through Trenitalia Intercity connections.

Rome: St Peter’s Basilica and San Lorenzo in Miranda

No trip to Italy is complete without a visit to Rome. St Peter’s Basilica, the cradle of Catholicism, is a holy place that welcomes pilgrims from around the world. Not far away, San Lorenzo in Miranda, located in the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina in the Roman Forum, is unique evidence of the city’s historical and cultural layers.

Monreale Cathedral, Sicily

Located in Sicily, this is a masterpiece of Byzantine and Norman art. Famous for its incredible gold mosaics that depict biblical scenes, it is a destination that enchants every visitor, carrying them away to an era of religious and artistic splendour. It can also be reached from Rome on the Intercity Notte, which takes us into the heart of Palermo.

The Piacenza Cathedral, whose dome was decorated by Guercino, Emilia-Romagna

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and Santa Giustina was built between 1122 and 1233 and it is one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Italy. The interior is breathtaking, starting with the main dome, which was painted by Guercino. You must absolutely climb to the top, which you can reach via a fascinating circular path.

Trieste Cathedral and Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, Friuli Venezia Giulia

The cathedral, dedicated to Saint Justus, is the most important Catholic religious building in Trieste, rising at the top of the hill that overlooks the city. One of the most interesting areas of the basilica is the apse, with mosaics from the early 12th century. Also speaking of mosaics, from here we can reach the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, with its fascinating Paleochristian mosaics.

Basilica of Saint Nicholas in Bari, Apulia

This is a point of reference in Bari for believers in the Orthodox and Catholic faiths. The church houses the remains of Saint Nicholas of Myra, the patron saint of sailors, and it attracts visitors due to its imposing architecture and profound spiritual atmosphere.