Cathedrals & Churches

Famous Cathedrals in Italy

When people think of historic Cathedrals in Italy, they often think of Rome. While it is surrounded by the Rome, Vatican City is actually a separate country. It is governed and administered by the Roman Catholic Church. Famous for many reasons, this is the home of the Pope. The grounds contain many religious buildings, shrines and chapels. The most famous chapel is the Sistine Chapel where Michelangelo painted the ceiling. Vatican City and its buildings are visited by millions of tourists every year. The Basilica of Saint John Lateran is the Cathedral of the Vatican.

There are many Cathedrals in Italy that were built in the Gothic style. Large and imposing structures, these Cathedrals were built as administrative centers. Each Cathedral is where a bishop was housed and ran the local diocese. Milan Cathedral is one such place. Begun in the late 1300's, it took five centuries to complete this impressive Cathedral. Both the façade and roof were originally constructed of marble. There is a stairway and an elevator to the roof where tourists can view the Alps as well as the 4000 figures carved out of marble.

Originally designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, The Cathedral of Florence is remarkable in many ways. It was the original home of the Pieta by Michelangelo as well as many other religious sculptures. The roof of the original building, the Baptistery, was composed of many different colored marbles. Frescoes and stained glass windows are other famous aspects of this beautiful Cathedral. Over the years, many famous Italian artists were commissioned to create religious works to display within the building. While many works of art have been moved to museums, a few still remain for tourists to view and admire. The bell tower and dome still stand and provide amazing views of the surrounding city.