Experiencing the North of Italy on a road trip - part 1

I’ve been planning a road trip Italy for some time now. It includes 5 cities in northern Italy and I’ll describe each of my destinations shortly.

So I’ll be starting my trip in Venice and the plan is as follows:

Doges' Palace or Palazzo Ducale –  this palace built in Venetian Gothic style, is one of the main landmarks in Venice. Since 1923 the palace is a museum which you can visit and before that it was a residence of the Doge of Venice and its grandeur is striking.

Doges' Palace or Palazzo Ducale

La Basilica di San Marco – in English St Mark's Basilica, is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. It’s the most famous of city churches. With its astonishing architecture it makes it my stop number 2 in Venice.

La Basilica di San Marco

St. Mark's Square or Piazza San Marco – both the Doge’s place and La Basilica di San Marco are located nearby and the Piazza San Marco does seems like the heart of Venice. This principal square is a hub attracting flocks of both people and pigeons, so mingling in this crowd would be fun.

saint Marks Square or Piazza San Marco

After visiting all of the above I’ll grab some food and take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal. It will be and exhausting day and I would like to fully appreciate the next stop of my trip, so I will mostly like be heading to bed early.

The next day I will be on my way toBologna. It’s about a 150 kilometers from Venice, and approximately a two hour drive until we reach our hotel. I’ll be spending a night here and the plan is as follows:

Santo Stefano – I will start with San Stefano, Bologna’s most famous basilica. It’s located on Piazza Santo Stefano, which is locally known as Sette Chiese ("Seven Churches").

Santo Stefano

Piazza Maggiore – the central square in Bologna, which will be a great place to appreciate by dusk or in the early evening and will make a perfect dinner sport and hopefully there will be plenty of choice of local food.

Piazza Maggiore

  • Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi - a Roman Catholic basilica, founded in 1346 as the church of the Servite Community of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the 20th century, Pope Pius XII granted the church special privileges and the "basilica" status. It is an open parish church and services take place, so respect is due when visiting.

It’s time to move on. My next destination is a small town on the west coast of Italy, Portofino. From Bologna it’s about 280 kilometers or a 3.5 hour drive. There aren’t a lot of famous places to see in this lovely town, but it’s so romantic that it had to be included in my trip. There are two main places that I would like to see.

Statue of Christ of the Abyss – Located more than 15 meters underwater, the Statue of Christ of the Abyss was placed there on the 22nd of August, 1954, at the initiative of the famous Italian diver Duilio Marcante, who wanted to commemorate the death of his friend Dario Gonzatti, which occurred during a dive at that very same spot. The statue is believed to protect fisherman and scuba divers, which is great news as I am not yet an experienced diver.

Statue of Christ of the Abyss

photo by Lawrence Cruciana

Castello Brown – is a picturesque house museum located high above the harbour of Portofino.  This would mean a solid hike from the harbor, but the panoramic view from above should be worth every step of it.

Castello Brown

Continue reading part 2

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