04/01/2011 03:08 pm ET | Updated May 31, 2011

Italy for Museum Lovers: Don't Miss These Five Museums

Italy is a land of history and culture. With a few hundred museums spread out through the entire country, Italy is one of the must-visit countries for museum lovers.

Offering history museums, archaeological museums, and art museums with various art styles, the diversity is unmatched. And although rarities, such as the peperoncino museum and the olive museum (yes, Italians love their food), are great places to visit, there are a few museums you really must visit during a stay in Italy. (*SEE PHOTOS BELOW*)

Gallerie dell'Accademia - Venice

Venice is mainly known for the canals and the gondolas, but you can also visit a couple of truly inspiring museums in this city in the north-east of Italy. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Palazzo Ducale both have amazing collections, but my personal favorite is Gallerie dell'Accademia.

With hundreds of paintings from five centuries, Gallerie dell'Accademia has the largest collection of masterpieces from the Venetian school of painters in the world.

Museo Archeologico Nazionale - Naples

The city of Naples is the most logical place for the most important Italian archaeological museum. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and founded by the Greeks, who called it Neapolis.

The Romans later occupied the city, and the nearby Mt. Vesuvius also left her markings in the area. With Greek and Roman history, as well as artifacts from Pompeii, Museo Archeologico Nazionale is a must-see for every history fanatic. Yes, there is much more to the Campania region than just the Amalfi Coast...

Museo Archeologico Nazionale also has a 'secret cabinet,' which houses a collection of erotic Roman art.

Museo Egizio - Turin

Located in northern Italy, Museo Egizio offers the largest collection of Egyptian art outside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Sarcophagi, mummies, statues, tombs, sphinxes and ancient papyrus -- inside the museum walls, you'll picture yourself in ancient Egypt.

Museo Egizio also owns three different versions of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which consists of several magic spells intended to assist a dead person's journey to the afterlife. This book is a vital source of information about Egyptian history.

Musei Vaticani - Rome (Vatican City)

Over time, the Roman Catholic Church built an immense collection of art, and a large part of this collection is open for the public in Musei Vaticani, or the Vatican Museums, which was opened over 500 years ago.

The visitor route of Musei Vaticani will take you to the Sistine Chapel, Rafael's rooms, the sculpture museums, Etruscan art, the Gallery of Maps and many, many more.

Don't try to visit the museum on the last Sunday of the month, unless you want to wait in line for a ticket for several hours. Every last Sunday of the month, everyone can visit Musei Vaticani free of charge, and this is extremely popular.

Galleria degli Uffizi - Florence

How could someone create a list with Italian museums and not include the Uffizi Gallery? It's one of the most famous museums in the world, and is one of the eighteen museums featured in Google's Art Project, where you can visit the museum digitally.

The Medici family played an important role in the Tuscan history, and they owned the majority of the collection of the Uffizi Gallery. The stunning collection of Renaissance and Baroque art includes masterpieces as Botticelli's "Birth of Venus," Leonardo da Vinci's "Annunciation" and many impressive frescoes.

Galleria degli Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence. In July and August, waiting times can be up to five hours, which is not fun during the hot Italian summers. Visitors who reserve a ticket in advance have a substantially shorter wait, so booking in advance is definitely recommended. You can reserve tickets online, but many of the hotels in Florence can also advise you how to book a ticket for the popular Uffizi Gallery.

Top 5 Amazing Italian Museums