A few of Italy's most prominent cities include Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan and Naples. Some of these cities rose to prominence centuries ago by making major contributions to religion, politics, painting, music and literature. These cities boast association with famous individuals such as Dante, Michelangelo and Raphael.
Rome has been a center of life on the Italian Peninsula for millennia before Italy became a nation. Not only was it the seat of Roman emperors, but the Catholic Church also made it the center of the Catholic world. From early on, popes influenced affairs in both the spiritual and secular arenas from this city. Today, such attractions as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and St. Peter's Basilica still draw tourists from around the world.
Florence has long been a center of painting, sculpture and architecture. Two famous features of the city are the Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore and Michelangelo's "David." Venice is famous for its waterways, churches and palaces. It also has historical importance as a gateway between the East and the West.
Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, "The Last Supper," calls Milan home, as does the famous La Scala Opera House and the world's largest Gothic Duomo. Naples is one of the largest cities in Italy, and it offers such attractions as the National Archaeological Museum.