Veni, Vidi, Vici*

Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia), April 10, 2010 | Go to article overview

Veni, Vidi, Vici*


Byline: GRAFTON TRAVEL Corey Bertalli

In 1890 my great, great grandfather Guiseppe Bertalli migrated to Australia from the Valtelina, Northern Italy. He arrived in Victoria and did what most Italians did - planted grape vines. Now although our family has been here for a number of generations, it is needless to say, I have always had an interest in Italy. We all like to know more about our heritage.

I have been to Italy twice but have spent both trips in Rome. No doubt this is a great place to start exploring Italy, but there is so much more to this boot-shaped country overflowing with delights.

Italy is a place which has succeeded in cultivating the greatness of even its least noted cities, villages and hamlets. There is scarcely a place in Italy that has remained untouched by its waves of history, art, folklore and culinary tradition. But there are of course the iconic Italian destinations: the cities of Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, Siena, Turin and Naples

The first impression many have of Italy is of antiquity. There is history here where its origin is lost in time: entire cities remain like marvellous stage sets to tell us about life as it was in the distant past. At one point most of Europe was under the rule of the Roman Empire and consequently this has had a huge influence on the development of the West. The city of Rome is a wonderful place to get a feel for history and you can see the influences on modern day government and economics. The Roman Forum, The Colosseum and Pantheon all take you back in time. Fontana di Trevi, Castle Sant'Angelo and beautiful basilicas unfold the romance of Rome.

Vatican City, an independent state situated in the centre of Rome, also has several world-famous attractions, including the famous St Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the world-renowned Vatican Museum.

Venice is another popular destination in Italy, known for its beautiful canals and gondolas. The Grand Canal of Venice is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy. Florence, the capital of beautiful Tuscany region of Italy, is the artistic capital of the country. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence is one of the finest museums in the world.

Italy's natural wonders are also timeless. Visitors return again and again to the lakes of Lombardy, the vast coastline with lovely beaches, the Italian Rivieras and the fabled islands of Sicily and Sardinia. …

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