Churches in General

From magnificent cathedrals to humble parish churches, holy sites are often also temples of art, architecture, music, and deep history—and where the mighty and famous are buried

Sights in General

The top cathedrals, churches, and duomos in Italy

 

Sights in Italy

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The Amalfi Cathedral (Photo by Jorge Royan)
The Duomo
Downtown Amalfi

The gorgeous cathedral of Amalfi: Cattedrale di Sant'Andrea di Amalfi, the Museo Diocesano di Amalfi, and the Chiostro del Paradiso, or Cloisters of Paradise

 

Sights in Italy

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The massive basilica (Photo by Roberto Ferrari)
Free
Basilica di San Francesco
Assisi centro storico

The basilica of St. Francis is covered in the greatest Gothic frescoes in the world

 
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The church (Photo by Chris Light)
Free
Santa Chiara
Assisi centro storico

The Gothic church where St. Clare rests

 
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The temple facade (Photo by Mac9)
Free
Temple of Minerva
Assisi centro storico

A 1C BC ancient Roman temple recycled into a church on the main piazza

 
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The frescoes (Photo Public Domain)
Free
Oratorio dei Pellegrini
Assisi centro storico

Gorgeously frescoed little Renaissance chapel

 
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The hermitage (Photo by Superchilum)
Free
Ermeo delle Carceri
Outside the walls of Assisi

The mountainside hermitage where St. Francis and his followers lived

 
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The cathedral of Assisi (Photo by Luca Aless)
Duomo
Assisi centro storico

The Romanesque-Gothic cathedral of Assisi and its small museum

 
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transport
Free
San Pietro
Assisi centro storico

A pretty little Romanesque church

 
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transport
Free
San Damiano
Outside the walls of Assisi

The simple church where St. Francis received his holy call

 
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Santa Maria degli Angeli
Outside the walls of Assisi

A Franciscan chapel and site where he died inside a monstrously huge 19C church

 

Sights in Italy

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Detail of the painted ceramic floor in San Michele (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
San Michele
Anacapri

The story of Eden told in glittering tiles on the floor of an Anacapri church

 

Sights in Italy

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Santa Caterina delle Ruote
Florentine Chianti

A small church with early Renaissance frescoes

 
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Pieve di San Leolino
Florentine Chianti

A Romanesque church with some lovely altarpieces

 

Sights in Italy

★★★
 (Photo by Viktória Nižninská)
Free
The Duomo
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Brunelleschi's dome

 
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Michelangelo's Tomb of Giuliano de' Medici, Duke of Nemours, featuring the figures of "Day" and "Night" (1524–34) (Photo by Avia)
Medici Chapels
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

The Michelangelo-adorned tombs of the Medici in the Sagrestia Nuova and the ornate Cappella dei Principi (Chapel of the Princes) of San Lorenzo

 
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The Basilica of Santa Croce on Piazza Santa Croce (Photo by Augusto Mia Battaglia)
Santa Croce
Florence: Santa Croce

Santa Croce church is the Westminster Abbey of Florence: The tombs of Renaissance giants Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo, and Rossini (plus some great Giotto frescoes—and a renowned leather school)

 
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 (Photo by Allan Parsons)
Santa Maria Novella
Florence: Santa Maria Novella

This Florentine church puts painting in perspective—literally, as home to some of the most groundbreaking frescoes of the early Renaissance

 
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"Communion with the Apostles" (1440–42) by Fra Angelico in Cell No. 35 (Photo Public Domain)
Museo di San Marco
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

San Marco is a Renaissance monastery frescoed by the angelic Fra' Angelico and haunted by the memories of the demonic "Mad Monk" Savonarola

 
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Detail of "The Tribute Money" (1425) by Masaccio in the Brancacci Chapel (Photo Public Domain)

The amazing Masaccio frescoes of the Cappella Brancacci

 
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"Presentation to Pontius Pilate" (1460s) on the Pulpito della Passione by Donatello (Photo Public Domain)
San Lorenzo
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

The Medici family church, with Donatello sculptures and architecture by Brunelleschi and Michelangelo

 
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Mosaic ceiling inside the Battistero di San Giovanni (Photo by Ricardo André Frantz)
The Baptistery
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's Battistero di San Giovanni and Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise

 
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 (Photo by Mac9)
Free
San Miniato al Monte
Florence: Oltrarno

A gem of a Romanesque church perched atop a hill overlooking Florence

 
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 (Photo by Mia Battaglia)
Free
Orsanmichele
Florence: Centro Storico

A Gothic granary-turned-church decorated by early Renaissance sculptures

 
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This Filippo Brunelleschi–designed church was called the most beautiful church in the world by Bernini (Photo by Randy Connolly)
Free
Santo Spirito
Florence: Oltrarno

The church of Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno: Brunelleschi at his best

 
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"Confirmation of the Franciscan Rule" (1483–85) by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the Sassetti Chapel (Photo Public Domain)
Free
Santa Trìnita
Florence: Centro Storico

A church by the river with amazing, courtly Renaissance frescoes by Ghirlandaio

 
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The facade (Photo by Max_Ryazanov)
Free
SS. Annunziata
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

A treasure trove of Renaissance architecture and Mannerist art, and final resting place of several late Renaissance masters

 
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'Last Supper' (1480) by Domenico Ghirlandaio (Photo Public Domain)
Free
Ognissanti
Florence: Santa Maria Novella

Ghirlandaio frescoes, a long-lost Giotto masterpiece, and the final resting places of Botticelli, his Birth of Venus muse, and the namesake of America itself

 
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 (Photo by Deror avi)

Home to the Jewish community of Florence

 
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The Chiostro degli Aranci (Oranges Cloister) (Photo by Sailko)
Badia Fiorentina
Florence: Centro Storico

That pointy tower in Dante's neighborhood is one of the nicest (and least visited) older churches in Florence

 
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 (Photo by Anton Nistratov)
Free
Santa Margherita de' Cerchi
Florence: Centro Storico

A tiny medieval church with several Dante associations

 
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'The Fiesole Altarpiece: Madonna and Child with Saints' (1424–30) by Fra Angelico and Lorenzo di Cfredi (Photo Public Domain)
Free
San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence: Fiesole

This country church on the road to Fiesole was where the future master Fra' Angelic first put on monk's robes and picked up paintbrushes

 
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The Chapter House, with central 'Crucifixion' fresco (1387) by Niccolò di Pietro Gerini (Photo by Sailko)
Free
Santa Felícita
Florence: Oltrarno

One of the oldest churches in Florence is decorated with Mannerist masterpieces

 
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The nave (Photo by Sailko)
Free
San Felice
Florence: Oltrarno

Beautiful Gothic paintings and a reference in English literature

 
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'Crucifixion and Saints' (1493–96) by Perugino (Photo by Sailko)
Free
Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi
Florence: Santa Croce

Home to "Crucifixion and Saints," a fresco by Renaissance Grandmaster Perugino

 
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'Madonna and Child with Saints' triptych by Bicci di Lorenzo, on the High Altar (Photo courtesy of the Comune di Fiesole)
Free
Cattedrale di Fiesole
Florence: Fiesole

Fiesole's 11th-century Cathedral contains some delicate Mino da Fiesole carvings

 
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The facade (Photo by Rufus46)
Free
San Francesco
Florence: Fiesole

Fransican church and convent with an early Renaissance altarpiece, Etruscan ruins, and a tiny museum with Chinese and Ancient Egyptian artifacts

 

Experiences in Italy

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The steps up to the top of the dome (Photo by Sailko)
The cathedral dome
Florence: Centro Storico

Climbing up between the cathedral dome's two layers to spectacular city views

 

Sights in Italy

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A detail of the 14C frescoes in the apse (Photo by Laurom)
Free

A Romanesque masterpiece with great 14C frescoes

 
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Detail of the facade (Photo by JoJan)
Free

A statue-studded facade and tapestry-lined cathederal—plus a digression on ancient local hero Pliny the Elder

 
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A mountaintop abbey with great views and Romanesque frescoes

 
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The apse end of the church (Photo by Ben Bender)
Free

An ancient (6C–12C) church in Como's historic center

 
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A tiny Romanesque church in Bellagio

 
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An aerial view
Free
Lenno
Tremezzina

A tiny town with a magnificent villa, frescoed church, and, nearby, the spot where Mussolini was shot

 

Sights in Italy

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Toscolano-Maderno
Garda's eastern shore

A beach town and Romanesque church on Garda's western shore

 
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The medieval frescoes (Photo by Allie Caulfield)
Free

A small Sirmione church with medieval frescoes

 

Sights in Italy

★★★
Leonardo da Vinci's Cenacolo (Last Supper) (Photo Public Domain)
The Last Supper
Milan: Magenta

Leonardo Da Vinci's fresco masterpiece, Il Cenacolo (The Last Supper), in Milan's Santa Maria delle Grazie church

 
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The facade (Photo )
Duomo
Milan: Duomo

The Cathedral of Milan is one of the largest Gothic churches in the world, an intricate festival of soaring spires and statuary

 
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The Atrium (Photo by Jean-Christophe BENOIST)
Free
Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio
Milan: San Vittore

From this 4C church, St. Ambrose—bishop of Milan when the city was briefly capital of the Western Roman Empire—had a profound effect on the development of the early church

 
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The museum (Photo by Dominik Matus)
Museo Diocesano
Milan: Ticinese

The best works from small church museums and treasuries across Milan and Lombardy

 
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The piazza in front of the basilica, including the AD 3C Roman columns set up in front (Photo by Oleg Brovko)
Free
San Lorenzo Maggiore
Milan: Ticinese

The oldest church in Milan attests to the days when the city was the capital of the Western Roman Empire

 
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The nave, including a frontal view of the "choir" behind the altar that isn't actually there (I;ll show you some lateral views in a second) (Photo by Geobia)
Free

This gorgeous little Bramante-designed church (encompassing an older Byzantine one) is sadly overlooked just off Piazza del Duomo

 
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The exterior (Photo by Latinboy)
Free

Renaissance architecture and a lovely cloister in the church attached to the Last Supper

 

Sights in Italy

★★☆
The cloisters (Photo by Jean-Christophe BENOIST)
Santa Chiara
Naples: Centro Storico

The most beautiful cloisters in Naples

 
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Veiled Christ (1753) by Giuseppe Sammartino (Photo courtesy of the museum)
Cappella Sansevero
Naples: Centro Storico

An exuberantly baroque chapel in Naples

 
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The criptoportico archaeological excavations underneath San Lorenzo Maggiore (Photo by Sergioizzo)
San Lorenzo Maggiore
Naples: Centro Storico

Burrow through 2,500 years of Neapolitan history in this best of Naples' churches

 
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The nave (Photo by Vitold Muratov)
Free
Il Duomo
Naples: Centro Storico

The duomo of Naples and Feast of San Gennaro

 
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The main facade (Photo by Palickap)
San Domenico Maggiore
Naples: Centro Storico

Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque art masterpieces in a Neapolitan church

 
The nave (Photo by Giuseppe Guida)
Free
San Gregorio Armeno
Naples: Centro Storico

A fine baroque church in Naples

 

Sights in Italy

Sights in Italy

★★☆

The gorgeous, mosaic-columned cloisters of the Monreale Cathedral—formally known as the Chiostro Santa Maria la Nuova

 
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Lla Martorana
Palermo center

A mosaicked medieval church in the heart of town

 
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San Cataldo
Palermo center

A tiny eraser-domed church in the heart of town

 
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A Romantically ruined Arabian-Norman church amid lush gardens

 
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Piazza Pretoria
Palermo center

A palazzo– and church-ringed piazza centered on the elaborate Fountain of Shame

 

Sights in Italy

★★☆

The Parma baptistry is one of the glories of Italian Romanesque architecture

 
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The Romanesque cathedral with 16C frescoes by Correggio and others

 
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A baroque face hides masterworks by the two great native artists: Correggio (Renaissance) and Parmigianino (Mannerist)

 

Sights in Italy

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Capella San Severo
Northern Perugia

A chapel covered in frescoes by a young Raphael and Perugino

 
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San Pietro
Southern Perugia

A Gothic church filled with great art by Perugino and others

 
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San Michele Arcangelo
Northern Perugia

The oldest church in Umbria

 
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transport
Free
Duomo
Around Corso Vannucci

Perugia's cathedral is, well, curiously unimpressive

 
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San Bernardino
Northern Perugia

A gorgeous facade covered in early Renaissance deep bas reliefs by Agostino di Duccio

 
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transport
Free
San Francesco
Northern Perugia

A massive Gothic church with an interesting facade and a performance space inside

 

Sights in Italy

★★☆
The Battistero (Photo by Kiste11)
Baptistery
Pisa: Around Campo dei Miracoli

A massive drum-like Romanesque base with a Pisano-designed Gothic skullcap of a roof

 
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The gorgeous Cathedral of Pisa (and its famously tipsy bell tower in the background) (Photo by Vitbaisa)
Free
Cathedral
Pisa: Around Campo dei Miracoli

The glorious Gothic cathedral of Pisa

 
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The little Gothic church along the Arno (Photo by Miguel Hermoso Cuesta)
Santa Maria della Spina
Pisa: Along the Arno

A gorgeous, miniature pile of Gothic spires by the Arno

 
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No, the picture isn't askew; the church is (Photo by Samuele Manfrin)
Free
San Michele degli Scalzi
Pisa: Along the Arno

The evening-more-leaning tower of Pisa (bonus: leaning church)

 
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The facade (Photo by Luca Aless)
Free
San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno
Pisa: Along the Arno

The oldest church in Pisa with a lovely Romanesque chapel

 
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The octagonal church (Photo by Luca Aless)
Free
Santo Sepolcro
Pisa: Along the Arno

An octagonal Romanesque church by the Arno

 
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A Crucifixion carved by Giovanni Pisano (Photo by Jordiferrer)
Free
San Nicola
Pisa: Along the Arno

A Romanesque-Gothic church with a Giovanni Pisano inside

 
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There is lots of great Gothic carved detail in the facade (Photo by Sailko)
Free
Santa Caterina
Pisa: Eastern Downtown Pisa

A Gothic facade and Pisano carvings

 
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The interior (Photo by Johann H. Addicks)
Free
San Francesco
Pisa: Eastern Downtown Pisa

A barn of a church with Mannerist and Baroque pantings

 
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The piazza (Photo by Nikolai Karaneschev)
Free
Piazza Cavalieri
Pisa: Eastern Downtown Pisa

A felicitous square withe the Vasari-deigned Palazzo dei Cavalieri, San Stefano church, and legendary Palazzo dell'Orologio

 

Sights in Italy

Sights in Italy

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A detail of Jonah and the Whale form one of the two medieval pulpits (Photo by Berthold Werner)
Free
The Duomo
Downtown Ravello

Ravello's "cathedral" has some lovely Romanesque mosaics and carvings

 

Sights in Italy

★★★
Inside the Pantheon (Photo by Rodney Campbell)
Free
The Pantheon
Rome: Tiber Bend

The glorious Pantheon is Rome's only intact ancient Roman temple

 
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The Baldacchino over the altar of St. Peter's (Photo by Jorge Royan)
Free
St. Peter's
Rome: Vatican

St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) in Rome: Motherchurch of Christendom

 
★★☆
The Cerasi Chapel, with paintings by Annibale Carracci (center) and Caravaggio (left and right) (Photo by Frederick Fenyvessy)
Free

Rome's church of Santa Maria del Popolo is like a primer on the development of art and architecture from the early Renaissance through the baroque

 
★★☆
The Mithraeum at the lowest level of San Clemente (Photo by Allie Caulfield)
Free
San Clemente
Rome: Downtown Ancient Rome

A few blocks from the Colosseum is the best place in Rome to see the layer-cake effect of its history in action: church piled atop church piled atop pagan temple

 
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The Bocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth) in the church portico (Photo by nekotank)
Free
Santa Maria in Cosmedin
Rome: Downtown Ancient Rome

It's a shame that so many who stop to see the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) on the porch don't take the time to go inside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin itself

 
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 (Photo by Unknown)
Capuchin Crypt
Rome: Via Veneto & Villa Borghese

The Cimitero Monumentale dei Frati Cappuccini—better known simply as the Capuchin Crypt—is one of the eeriest sites in Rome: a series of chapels mosaicked with the bones of long-dead monks

 
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The distinctively Gothic nave (Photo by Saint Joseph)
Free

Sculptures by Michelangelo and Bernini, the bodies of Fra' Angelico and St. Catherine, and the tombs of two Medici popes—so why isn't this church right behind the Pantheon more famous?

 
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The Contarelli Chapel with its Caravaggio paintings on "The Life of St. Matthew" (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Free
San Luigi dei Francesi
Rome: Tiber Bend

The church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome is a festival of Caravaggios

 
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The courtyard and facade (Photo by Mstyslav Chernov)
Free
Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza
Rome: Tiber Bend

The swirling, curling lanterns atop the dome of this baroque church plays peek-a-boo with pedestrians on the surrounding streets—good thing, as the church itself is hidden in a courtyard

 
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Apse (Photo by kraen)
Free

The oldest church in Rome preserves some its most glorious medieval mosaics

 
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A detail from Pietro Cavallini's amazing late 13C frescoes, hidden in the nun's cloistered loft (Photo Public Domain)
Free

This Trastevere church looks like nothing much... until you pay the nuns to sneak downstairs to see remnants of ancient Rome, or upstairs to see precious frescoes by medieval master Pietro Cavallini

 
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Bramante's Tempietto (Photo by Quinok)
Free
San Pietro in Montorio
Rome: Trastevere

Bramante's Tempietto is a doll house–sized Renaissance church halfway up the Gianicolo hill

 
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The facade (Photo by Berthold Werner)
Free
San Paolo Fuori le Mura
Rome: Outside the walls

St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls is one of the four great basilicas of Rome

 
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Transept (Photo by Fczarnowski)
Free
Santa Maria degli Angeli
Rome: Termini train station

Rome's Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri is a church designed by Michelangelo to inhabit the remains of an ancient Roman bathhouse...you'd think it'd be more famous

 
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 (Photo by Ricardo André Frantz)
Free
Santa Maria in Aracoeli
Rome: Tiber Bend

The sad story of the Santo Bambino at the Capitoline church

 
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The 400-foot nave (Photo by Tango7174)
Free
San Giovanni in Laterano
Rome: Outside the walls

Contrary to popular belief (which wants it to be St. Peter's), the Cattedrale di San Giovanni in Laterano (Cathedral of St. John Lateran) is the cathedral of Rome

 
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Pilgrims on the Holy Stairs (Photo by SpirosK photography)
Free
Scala Santa
Rome: Outside the walls

The Scala Sancta, or Holy Stairs, is a chapel built around the great relic of the steps to Pontius Pilate's palace that Jesus once climbed to meet his fate

 
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The Cornaro Chapel, with its Bernini sculptures (Photo by Livioandronico2013)
Free
Santa Maria della Vittoria
Rome: Termini train station

A baroque church with the bodacious Bernini set-piece of St. Theresa in Ecstasy marrying architecture and sculpture

 
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The Basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Island (Basilica di San Bartolomeo all'Isola) (Photo by Vlad Lesnov)
Free
St. Bartolomeo all'Isola
Rome: Lower Tiber Bend

An ancient church of healing on Tiber Island

 
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Borromini's St. Agnes in Agone Church (Photo by Bgabel)
Free
Sant'Agnese in Agone
Rome: Tiber Bend

A stylish baroque Piazza Navona church with free concerts and a sobering saintly history

 
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The nave (Photo by David Bramhall)
Free
Sant'Agostino
Rome: Tiber Bend

The church has works by Caravaggio, Raphael, and Sansovino—and lies just off Piazza Navona—yet sadly sees few visitors

 
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Raphael's Sibyls in the Chigi Chapel (Photo by Peter1936F)
Free
Santa Maria della Pace
Rome: Tiber Bend

A tiny church off Piazza Navona decorated by Raphael and Peruzzi with architecture by Bramante and Pietro Da Cortona

 
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The nave and Pozzo's frescoes (Photo by sarahtarno)
Free
Sant'Ignazio di Loyola
Rome: Tiber Bend

The "dome" in this church is a masterpiece of trompe-l'oeil

 
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The nave (Photo by Laruse Junior)
Free
Sant'Andrea della Valle
Rome: Tiber Bend

This Roman church is as famous for its role in as a major setting in the Puccini opera Tosca as it is for its baroque art and architecture

 
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The facade (Photo by Martin Falbisoner)
Free
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Rome: Termini train station

The grand basilica of St. Mary Major is a wonderland of mosaics in a crummy neighborhood

 
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The lower register of Michelangelo's Monument to Julius II (1505–45) (Photo by Andrea Moroni)
Free
San Pietro in Vincoli
Rome: Downtown Ancient Rome

Michelangelo's famous Moses statue on tomb of Pope Julius II—plus the chains that bound St. Peter—at the chruch of "St. Peter in Chains"

 
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Beata Ludovica Alberoni (1671-75) by Gianlorenzo Bernini (Photo by Sailko)
Free
San Francesco a Ripa
Rome: Trastevere

This Trastevere church contains one of the raciest religious sculptures in the world, Bernini's Beata Ludovica in Ecstasy

 
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The amazingly preserved 5C carved wooden doors (Photo Peter1936F)
Free
Santa Sabina
Rome: Aventine & Testaccio

This ancient church on the Aventine Hill has some of the oldest Christian art in the world

 
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The miraculous footprints (Photo by Peter Heeling)
Free
Domine Quo Vadis
Rome: Outside the walls

The only church in the form of a question, built on the site where St. Peter finally found his mettle

 

Sights in Italy

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The atrium of the Duomo (Photo courtesy of the Cattedrale di San Matteo)
Free
The Duomo
Downtown Salerno

Cattedrale di San Matteo—the cathedral of Salerno—houses ancient Greek columns, Roman sarcofagi, medieval pulpits, and the body of St. Matthew the Evangelist

 

Sights in Italy

★★☆
Collegiata
San Gimignano

Spectacular early Renaissance frescoes wallpaper the main church of San Gimignano

 
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Candy-colored Gothic frescoes in a forgotten San Gimignano church

 
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Sant’Agostino
San Gimignano

This 13C church at the north end of town is full of good 15C frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli and others

 

Sights in Italy

★★☆
Baptistry
Around Siena's Duomo

A riot of medieval frescoes and a catalog of greatest early Renaissance sculptors including Donatello's early use of perspective

 
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The Duomo
Around Siena's Duomo

Siena’s striped cathedral is a rich treasure house of Tuscan art.

 
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Santa Maria della Scala
Around Siena's Duomo

A gorgeously frescoed former hospital and several small churches in one complex

 
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A chapel with Renaissance and early baroque frescoes by the Sienese school

 
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Casa di Santa Caterina
Terza di Camollia

St. Catherine's house is where Siena's famous home-grown saint and medieval diplomat lived

 
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transport
Free
San Domenico
Terza di Camollia

A Gothic church (and Siena landmark) housing the relics of St. Catherine of Siena

 
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Some lovely baroque frescoes in a church on the edge of Siena

 
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transport
Free
San Martino
Terza di San Martino

A small church with some nice late Renaissance and Mannerist paintings

 
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Santa Maria dei Servi
Terza di San Martino

A Romanesque church with lovely altarpieces

 
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transport
Free
San Francesco
Terza di Camollia

A Gothic church with works by the Lorenzetti Brothers

 
Synagogue
Terza di San Martino

Siena's Synagogue

 

Sights in Italy

★☆☆
Catacombs of San Giovanni
Mainland Siracusa

Underground caverns honeycombed with ancient Christian burial niches

 
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transport
Duomo
Ortigia

Siracusa's cathedral is a recycled ancient Greek temple

 
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Madonna delle Lacrime
Mainland Siracusa

The modern "Sanctuary of the Mary of the Tears" houses a miraculous statue from the 1950s

 
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A little church with a Caravaggio

 

Sights in Italy

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transport
Free
The Duomo
Downtown Sorrento

The Renaissance Cathedral in Sorrento has some fine intarsia (inlaid wood) work on its doors (1990s) and the choir stalls (1930s)

 
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Grazie talismans—all legs (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Free
Sant'Antonino
Downtown Sorrento

The Saint & the Sea Monster: The odd history of Sorrento's baroque church of S. Antonino and its quirky titular saint

 
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The cloisters of St. Francesco are popular for weddings and other events (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Free
San Francesco
Downtown Sorrento

The lovely Chiostro di San Francesco church cloisters in Sorrento

 

Sights in Italy

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Piazza IX Aprile
Old Taormina

Piazza 9 Aprile is the main square and public living room of Taormina lined by cafes, views, and churches

 
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transport
Free
Piazza Duomo
Old Taormina

The cathedral and funky fountain of Taormina

 

Sights in Italy

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The mosaics of the transept (Photo by amberapparently)
Free
St. Mark's Basilica
Venice: San Marco

The gloriously mosaicked Basilica di San Marco

 
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"The Madonna Enthroned with Saint Andrew, Saint Nicolas, Saint Paul, and Saint Peter" (1487) a polyptych by Bartolomeo Vivarini (Photo Public Domain)
I Frari
Venice: San Polo

The Titians, Bellini, and Donatello in the church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

 
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 (Photo by Murray Foubister)
Free
Santa Maria della Salute
Venice: Dorsoduro

The Church of the Virgin Mary of Good Health

 
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 (Photo by Didier Descouens)
Il Redentore
Venice: Dorsoduro

Palladio's Church of the Redeemer

 
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"The Last Supper" (1592–94) by Tintoretto (Photo Public Domain)
Free
San Giorgio Maggiore
Venice: Dorsoduro

An island church built by Palladio, decorated by Tintoretto and Bassano, and offering great views from the campanile

 
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11C mosaics in the apse of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (Photo by Simon)
Cathedral of Torcello
Venice: The Northern Lagoon

The mosaics of the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta

 
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 (Photo by Ethan Doyle White)
Free
San Simeon Piccolo
Venice: Santa Croce

The church of San Simeon Piccolo (a.k.a. San Simeone e Giuda) across the train station

 
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The Basilica of Sts. Maria & Donato (Photo by Zairon)
Free
Santa Maria e Donato
Venice: The Northern Lagoon

A medieval church with Byzantine bits and Renaissance frescoes

 
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"Barbarigo Altarpiece" (1488) by Giovanni Bellini (Photo Public Domain)
Free
San Pietro Martire
Venice: The Northern Lagoon

A small Murano church loaded with paintings by Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, and Giovanni Bellini

 
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 (Photo by François Philipp)
Free
Santa Fosca
Venice: The Northern Lagoon

A medieval Byzantine-style church on Torcello

 

Sights in Italy

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One of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in northern Italy

 
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transport
Duomo
Città Antica di Verona

The Romanesque Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare has paleo-Christian roots and a painting by Titian

 
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The Piazza Sant'Anastasia with the Basilica di Santa Anastasia (right) and Chiesa di San Giorgetto (left) (Photo by Didier Descouens)
Sant’Anastasia
Città Antica di Verona

A huge gothic church with fine Renaissance works

 
    Church tours
     
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    Useful links
    Useful Italian phrases

    Useful Italian for rail travel

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
    ...train station la ferroviaria [or] la stazione lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah [or] lah stat-zee-YO-nay
    ticket un biglietto oon beel-YET-toh
    first class prima classe PREE-mah CLAH-say
    second class seconda classe say-CONE-dah CLAH-say
    one way solo andata SO-low ahn-DAHT-tah
    round trip (return) andata e ritorno ahn-DAH-tah ay ree-TOUR-noh
    Just the supplement Soltanto il supplemento soul-TAHN-toh eel sou-play-MEN-toh
    Just a seat reservation Soltanto una prenotazione soal-TAHN-toh oo-nah pray-no-tah-tsee-YOH-nay
    I have a Eurailpass Ho il Eurailpass oh eel YOO-rail-pahs
    sleeping couchette una cucetta oo-nah koo-CHET-tah
    berth in a sleeping car un posto nel vagone letto oon POH-sto nell vah-GOAN-nay LET-toh
    track binario been-AR-ree-yoh
    train treno TRE-no
    car (carriage) carozza ka-RO-tza
    seat posto PO-sto
    departures partenze par-TEN-zay
    arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
    information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay
    left luggage deposito bagagli day-PO-zee-toh ba-GAHL-yee
         
    punch your ticket timbrare il biglietto teem-BRA-ray eel beel-YET-toh
    Is this the right platform for the Rome train? E questo il binario per il treno à Roma? ay KWAY-sto eel been-AR-ree-yo pair eel TRE-no ah RO-ma? 
    delayed in retardo een ree-TAR-do
    strike sciopero SHO-pair-oh
         
    Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
    Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
    Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
    City / Train station names
    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Main station
    Rome Roma Termini
    Florence Firenze Santa Maria Novella
    Venice Venezia Santa Lucia
    Milan Milano Centrale
    Genoa Genova Porta Principe
    Naples Napoli Centrale
    Leghorn Livorno Centrale
    Turin Torino Porta Nuova

    Useful Italian for air travel

    English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)   Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
    the airport l'aeroporto LAHW-ro-port-oh
    the airplane l'aereo LAIR-reh-oh
    terminal terminal TEAR-me-nahl
    flight volo VOH-lo
    gate uscita d'imbarco oo-SHEE-tah deem-BARK-oh
    to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
    to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
    straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
    keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
    departures partenze par-TEN-zay
    arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
    delayed in ritardo een ree-TAR-doh
    on time in orario een oh-RAH-ree-yo
    early in avanti een ah-VAHN-tee
    boarding imbarco eem-BARK-o
    connecting flight la coincidenza la ko-een-chee-DEN-za
    check-in accettazione ah-chet-ta-zee-YO-nee
    immigration controllo passaporti cone-TRO-lo pah-sa-POR-tee
    security check controllo di sicurezza kohn-TRO-lo dee see-kur-AY-tzah
    customs dogana do-GA-na
    shuttle la navetta lah na-VET-tah
    boarding pass carta d'imbarco kart-ta deem-BARK-o
    baggage claim ritiro bagagli ree-TEER-oh bah-GA-lyee
    carry-on luggage bagaglio à mano bah-GA-lyo ah MA_no
    checked luggage bagalio bah-GA-lyo

    Useful Italian for car travel

    English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    car automobile ow-toh-MO-bee-lay
    scooter/motorboke un motorino oon mo-tair-EE-no
    gas station stazione di servizio stah-zee-YO-nay dee sair-VEE-tzee-yo
    gas benzina ben-ZEE-nah
    diesel gasolio [or] diesel gah-ZOH-lee-oh [or] DEE-zell
    Fill it up, please al pieno, per favore ahl pee-YAY-noh, pair fa-VOHR-ray
    Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
    ...the highway l'autostrada lout-oh-STRA-dah
    ...the state highway la statale [written "SS"] lah sta-TAHL-eh
    ...the road for Rome la strada per Roma lah STRA-dah pair RO-mah
    to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
    to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
    straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
    keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
    to cross attraversare ah-tra-vair-SAR-ay
    toll pedaggio peh-DA-jo
    parking parcheggio par-KEH-jo
    road map carta stradale kar-ta stra-DA-lay
    where can I pay the fine? dove posso pagare la multa DOH-veh Po-so pag-GAR-ray la MOOL-tah


    Typical road signs / terms » more

    English (anglais) French (français) 
    Stop Stop
    Exit  Uscita
    Staffic light Semaforo
    One-way Senso unico
    Dead-end Strada senza uscita
    Parking prohibited No parcheggio or parcheggio proibito
    Pedestrian zone Area pedonale
    Limited Traffic Zone (you pay to drive in) ZTL or Zona Traffico Limitato

    Basic phrases in Italian

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
    thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
    please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
    yes si see
    no no no
    Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
    I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
    I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
    How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
    That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
         
    Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
    Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
    Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
    Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
    Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
    Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
         
    Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
    ...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
    ...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
    to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
    to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
    straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
    information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

    Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
    When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
    At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
         
    Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
    Today oggi OH-jee
    Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
    Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
         
    a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
    Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
    Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
    Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
    Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
    Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
    Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
    Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
         
    Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
    Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
    Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
         
    a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
    January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
    February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
    March marzo MAR-tzoh
    April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
    May maggio MAH-jee-oh
    June giugno JEW-nyoh
    July luglio LOO-lyoh
    August agosto ah-GO-sto
    September settembre set-TEM-bray
    October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
    November novembre no-VEM-bray
    December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

    Numbers in Italian

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    1 uno OO-no
    2 due DOO-way
    3 tre tray
    4 quattro KWAH-troh
    5 cinque CHEEN-kway
    6 sei say
    7 sette SET-tay
    8 otto OH-toh
    9 nove NO-vay
    10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
    11 undici OON-dee-chee
    12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
    13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
    14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
    15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
    16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
    17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
    18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
    19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
    20 venti VENT-tee
    21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
    22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
    23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
    30 trenta TRAYN-tah
    40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
    50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
    60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
    70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
    80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
    90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
    100 cento CHEN-toh
    1,000 mille MEEL-lay
    5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
    10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah


    * You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).