A very beautiful island located in the southern part of Italy, Sicily consists of several Italian cities which include Catania, Giardini Naxos, Palermo, Agrigento, Trapani, Syracuse, Ragusa, Milazzo, Messina, Marsala and Gela. The best times to visit Sicily are during winter, autumn and spring. This is a perfect example of an island that is made up of diverse cultures such as the Arabic, Byzantine, Roman, Greek and Norman cultures. It has a very fascinating landscape, lovely beaches, green mountains, remarkable ancient sites and marvelous architecture. It is a good idea to include each of the tourist attractions mentioned in every Sicilian city below in your itinerary during your stay in Sicily.
- Catania – Elephant Fountains
- Giardini Naxos – Greek Ruins
- Palermo – Botanical Garden
- Agrigento – Museo Civico
- Trapani – Gibellina Nuova
- Syracuse – Arethuse
- Ragusa – Giardini Iblei
- Milazzo – “Castello di Milazzo”
- Messina – “Novara di Sicilia”
- Marsala – Egadi Islands
- Gela – Archaeological Museum
There are various activities to choose from in Sicily. You can go sunbathing or swimming at the beach. You can get the chance to go cruising or snorkeling as well. You can stroll along the beach too. You can go mountain trekking if you like. You can tour around Sicily to marvel at the remarkable modern and ancient architecture. You can dine from one restaurant to another and compare which one serves the most excellent pizza, dessert and wine. Since Sicily has beautiful scenery and a lot of awesome sites to see, you can go sightseeing in this island all day long without getting bored.
Although Sicily is an island that has more vineyards compared with other regions in Italy, Sicilians do not consume great amounts of alcohol. It was considered famous for the sweet Marsala and Moscato and strong wines that it produced before; however, it has now focused on producing fruitier and lighter red and white wines. Top Sicilian wines include Etna Bianco, Etna Rosso, Malvasia, “Cerasuolo di Vittoria” and “Bianco d’Alcamo.” Limoncello is also a very popular lemon liquer particularly in the summer. If you want to try some great-tasting Sicilian coffee, cannoli, gelato, granita and cakes, the perfect place to go is “Caffe dell’Arte.” If you wish to try almost any kind of beer or wine in Sicily, you would not regret going to Hmora. Niny Bar is an excellent venue where you can get delicious juices and coffee plus some flavorful croissant and brioche. You can try some of the finest cocktails and choose from among the extensive selection of wines at Don Mimi, where you can also eat some wonderful desserts. If you prefer a non-alcoholic type of cocktail, you will definitely love it at Chantilly Cafe, where you can drink an excellent cocktail along with some mini sandwiches, small pizzas, small arancinis and a whole lot more!
Speaking of Sicilian fare, you would absolutely find its taste very impressive even if you have only tried it for the first time. In Sicily, although most of its food mostly contains ingredients that are taken from the sea, you can expect to try dishes that you must have never tried before. Sicilian dishes hardly contain butter and cream and are very much different from the dishes you can eat in North Italy. You will mostly find that the Sicilian dishes are prepared with the use of olive oil, lard, tomatoes and spices. Thus, you can expect some unique flavors. The spices used include basil, mint, rosemary, jasmine and almond. Sicilian cuisine is actually a combination of Spanish, Arabic and Mediterranean flavors. You should know that Sicilians love sweets. That is why they prepare excellent desserts such as cassata, granita and cannoli. You must also try their popular almond and pine-nut biscuits. Another Sicilian specialty that you must try is the arancini, which is only served in Sicily. At Pasticceria Capriccio, you will absolutely praise the taste of the pastries it offers. If you prefer to try some Mediterranean and Italian dishes, you can taste the best Mediterranean and Italian cuisines at Ambrosia. If you love seafood, you will certainly agree to the taste and price of the seafood dishes served II Viliero and II Locandiere. If you have a craving for sandwiches, you can either go to Quimera or Caseificio Borderi, where you can try excellent sandwiches. If you wish to have some Asian cuisine, you can have it at “Dakoky Sushi Fusion.” Your visit to Sicily is not complete without tasting some crunchy pizza at Pizzawood, which also serves hamburgers. You should also try the most outstanding dessert at Pasticerria Sacca or La Delizia.
Sicily has a lot to offer when it comes to shopping. Whether you have a great deal of money or only a little to spend, you will definitely enjoy exploring the shopping centers and market in Sicily. You can buy a new pair of shoes at Soldano. You can visit many different candy shops, souvenir shops, bakeries, pottery studios and coffee shops at Erice Market. If you prefer some handmade customized bags, you only need to go to Ciatu ALAB to get what you are looking for. If you wish to bring something for your family or friends back home, you will certainly find something unique and lovely at Souvenir Avola. Another interesting shop to buy some souvenirs from is Sicilia Bedda. You can purchase some exquisite jewelry at “Cristiana Creatrice di Gioielli.” You can buy artistically-made ceramics at “Ceramiche Tre Erre.” There are also some beautiful selections of ceramics at “Ceramica a Modo Mio.” You can get some good souvenir t-shirts and other items at “II Bazar Souvenir.” What’s more, if you plan to go on a shopping spree, you will absolutely have a great time at “Etnapolis Shopping Center,” where you can see an extensive range of products to choose from.
If you wish to see a glimpse of Arabic bathhouses, Byzantine mosaics, Roman settlements, Greek temples and Norman churches without traveling from one country to the next, Sicily would be your best choice. Also, if you have a craving for some Spanish, Arabic and Mediterranean food, you only need to book a flight to Sicily to try them all!
A city with around 1 million inhabitants, Turin is where the residence of the royal family of Italy is located. It is not only referred to as the “World Book Capital” but is also referred to as the “the little Paris” for its white buildings and wide boulevards. Turin hosted the Winter Olympics in 2006. Considered as the center of industry and technology, this fabulous city is where the famous Italian automobile company (FIAT) is based, and the “Shroud of Turin” is seen. With a pleasant setting, Turin takes pride in its sophisticated shops, grand boulevards, world-renowned museums, art galleries, leafy parks, baroque-style churches and palaces that undeniably create an aristocratic atmosphere. Here are several attractions that you should not miss in Turin:
The Queen’s former home, Palazzo Madama features baroque and medieval rooms and a cafeteria. This famous tourist attraction especially has a room where the visitors can relax on red sofas. The visitors will see numerous art pieces depicting Christ’s life in this palazzo.
King Carlo Felice founded this magnificent museum in 1824 after he acquired the collection of the prominent archaeologist Drovetti. With its 30,000 exhibits, the visitors will certainly find many different exhibits representing the Egyptian civilization and long history in this museum.
Museo dell’ Automobile
Automobile lovers are amazed to see the wonderful collection of more than 170 vehicles, from the 18th century models to the present-day modern cars, in this museum. This museum features many red sports vehicles, Formula One racers, 18th-century carriages and more!
There are also some interesting activities in Turin that you must try during your stay. If you love sports, you will definitely enjoy playing hit ball, which is considered as Turin’s own popular sport that originated in 1986. If you love the nightlife, San Salvario is the famous place where you can enjoy the night away as you dine, drink and dance. You can take the tourist tram one weekend to explore the city. You can spend some relaxing time at Baratti & Milano and Mulassano, which are two great historic cafes that you should not miss while you are in Turin. If you love walking, you can take a walk to explore the beautiful city as well.
The many nightclubs and modern bars located along the river substituted the once famous boat sheds. If you wish to try several different beers, you can go to Birrificio Torino, where it brews 4 regular beers in its premises. This brewpub restaurant is perfect for those who are looking for a restaurant where they can eat great-tasting dishes with a perfectly-matched beer. While you are in Turin, you must try Bicerin, which is considered as its classic drink. You can get this delicious mix of hot chocolate, cream and coffee at Caffe al Bicerin. If you are searching for a pub or cafe where you can see a younger crowd, you can head to Caffe Rossini to enjoy a cold glass of your favorite drink as you listen to some nice music playing inside its premises. You can go to Zonk to try a couple or more of the many different cocktails it serves. Its extensive wine list consists of quality drinks that you can try as well. Another good place that is worth visiting is Vinicola al Sorij, which serves a superb selection of wines. If you like to drink some organic coffees, organic beers or fresh juices, you can head to Exki, a fast food which serves healthy menus. However, if you only like to drink water, you will notice that you can actually easily find a public fountain anywhere you go in the city. What’s more, it is fresh, clean and free!
When it comes to Turin fare, you will definitely have many interesting choices, depending on your budget and preference. If you wish to splurge on some excellent traditional Piedmont specialties, you can visit Ristorante Del Cambio. If you go for some mid-range dishes, there are absolutely a lot of options for you. If you have a craving for some excellent pizza, Fratelli la Bufala is simply the best place to go. This restaurant is known for its great-tasting pizza, dishes and desserts containing buffalo ingredients. If you wish to try some Tuscan fare or local Piedmont dishes, Spada Reale will never disappoint you. Another restaurant that serves Tuscan cuisine is Trattatoria Ala. If you would like to treat yourself to some sushi, you could always go to Arcadia. On the other hand, if you wish to eat some budget-range dishes, you will have many choices as well. Cianci serves regional dishes such as meats, bagna caodo and green anchovies. When you try the southern Italian fare and pizza at Sfashion Café, you will definitely come back for more! You will absolutely save more when you eat some healthy entrees, quiches, soups or fresh salads at Exki too. You can have very delicious pizza at affordable prices when you visit Gennaro Esposito or FRATELLI PRUMMARÒ. What’s more, you can enjoy the aperitivo time from 6pm to 9pm at Obelix.
Whether you prefer to buy some cheap stuff or very expensive ones, Turin has it all for you. You will see some stores selling affordable items but you will see a considerable number of high-ends stores selling expensive products. If you care for some antiques, you will enjoy shopping at Borgo, which sells antiques every Saturday. You can buy some interesting books to read during your stay in Turin or to bring back home for your loved ones from Libreria Luxemburg. If you wish to buy stuff that is originally made in Turin, you can head to Paissa, which is an old-fashioned emporium that sells Turin chocolates, wines, bread sticks (grissini) and more! You can buy some luxury items such as Miu Miu, Trussardi, Monclair, Church and Chanel at Via Lagrange. Other expensive brands such as Prada, Gucci and Hermes can be found at Via Roma. If however you wish to get some affordable brands such as Zara, United Colors of Benetton and H&M, you can also go to Via Roma.
If you dream of exploring a city in Italy where you can enjoy different varieties of the finest authentic Italian pizza, buy upscale international brand items, taste delicious Italian chocolates and see almost 200 different vehicles, Turin will offer you these and a whole lot more!
Aside from the fact that it is where the preeminent Christopher Columbus was born, Genoa is highly regarded by many tourists from all parts of the globe for its quintessential character. As the gem of northwestern Italy, Genoa has not only preserved its grand old structures but has also constructed beautiful modern buildings. As Italy’s port city, Genoa has a lot to offer its visitors. With its seaside shops and bars, interesting marina, old and modern architecture, luxurious designer shops, posh restaurants, seaside villas, artistic churches, Mediterranean-looking houses, Genoa is absolutely an interesting city to visit. Here are some of the best sites to visit while you are in Genoa:
With the many different museums in Genoa, museum lovers will truly have a blast in Genoa. They will definitely see many impressive art exhibits and collections as they visit a couple or more of the museums located in Genoa. The popular museums in the city include the Museo Luzzati, Museo d’Arte Orientale, Museo Chissone, Ligurian Archaeological Museum, The Cathedral Museum, Naval Museum and Sea Museum.
Piazza De Ferrari
As the center of important buildings, this piazza is surrounded by busy streets. Visitors can also see offices of major shipping lines, banks and public buildings around the piazza. These important architectural structures make an excellent backdrop for your souvenir photos.
The art lovers will truly discover many artistic works of prominent artists. They will especially have the chance to see the marvelous works of Anthonis van Dyck, Antonello da Messina and more! What’s more, they will also see Joos van Cleve’s significant triptych and sculpture.
The aquarium enthusiasts will definitely marvel at the sea creatures inside this very wide aquarium. Also called as “Acquario di Genova, this aquarium is considered as the 2nd largest aquarium in Europe. A truly amazing attraction for all ages, this magnificent aquarium contains almost all marine animals preserved in a natural habitat.
Speaking of the activities available in Genoa, there are a great number of activities that you can try during your stay. You can go boating until you reach the fishing villages. Whale watching is another interesting activity you can try at the whale sanctuary. You will also enjoy swimming at the free beaches in Genoa. You will also enjoy sightseeing as you explore the many different tourist attractions. Fishing is also another activity that you can do. Since Genoa prepares great-tasting Italian dishes, you can try eating a different meal at a different restaurant if you wish.
When you search for some good drinks in Italy, Genoa has a lot to offer you. Whether you wish to drink beer or any alcoholic drink, you can go to any international bars, nightclubs or pubs located in Genoa. You can visit a Spanish bar whenever you fancy. You can have 6 choices of Guinness draft beers at the Irish pub called Molly Malone’s Tavern. You will definitely love to try the Irish and Scottish beers served the English-style pub called I Quattro Canti. You must also visit La Polena to have a taste of some good-tasting beers. If you wish to try some rum, Hemingway’s Bar is known for its excellent rum. The Irish Pub also offers some superb international beers such as the Belgian beers. If however you have a craving for some sweet-tasting liqueur, you must try the Amaretto, which is especially great after lunchtime. Another interesting liqueur that you must try after lunch is the Limoncello. You must also try the Caffè espresso.
When it comes to the food you can eat in Genoa, you will have many different choices. If you don’t mind spending for your dishes, there are upscale restaurants that prepare sumptuous international fare. A perfect example of an upscale restaurant is Grace Restaurant. Ristorante Zeffirino also serves high-end stunning meals that are perfect for dinner or lunch. For mid-range budget meals, you can agree to the price and taste of the food you eat at La Berloca. To have a taste of some mid-range Genovese dishes, you must go to Ombre Rosse, where you can try brasato, lepre, baccala, vegetable cakes and pansotti. On the other hand, you can eat at budget-range restaurants as well. Osteria La Lantera especially serves very affordable delicious fish dishes. Pasta e Birra prepares affordable fresh pasta that is definitely easy on your pocket. Other unique-tasting specialties that you must try during your stay in Genoa include Corzetti, Foccacia di Recco, Lattughe Ripiene, Farinata and Pesto. Gelato is everyone’s favorite ice cream in Genoa that you must also try. It comes in various flavors such as almond, white chocolate or citric.
If you love shopping, you will absolutely enjoy your shopping time in Genoa. Genoa is a perfect example of a city that is filled with department stores, gourmet food stores, souvenir shops, antique stores, gift shops, luxury designer boutiques and art galleries. You must go to the widest shopping center called Fiumara so that you can choose from among the many different selections of products sold at various shops located in the shopping center. It is also possible to find plenty of tourism-related shops in the downtown area. Other shops you can find include little bookstores, antique and modern furniture shops, flea markets, kiosks selling snacks and books and souvenir stalls. If you love to bring some expensive items back home, you will mostly find the luxury shops along Via San Luca, Via Luccoli and Via Settembre. If you would like to purchase some English-language novels, you could get your favorite copies from La Feltrinelli or Libreria Porto Antico. The most popular souvenir items include Ligurian ceramic, gold jewelry and silver jewelry.
Indeed, Genoa offers only the best of everything to its visitors, from its breathtaking views to superb-quality fare. Genoa is simply a one-of-a-kind Italian city that has a character of its own apart from its neighboring cities. Thus, whether you have been to Florence, Milan, Rome or Venice, your trip to Italy will never be complete if you have not visited Genoa yet.
A very popular holiday destination in Italy, Amalfi is a favorite destination not only of the residents of Naples but also of tourists across the globe. It is included in Amalfi coast’s larger towns. With the beautiful coastal scenery and dramatic cliffs that surround it, Amalfi is regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Handmade paper and limoncello have contributed a great deal to the fame of Amalfi. Amalfi has been the favorite destination of many tourists from across the globe since the 1920s. In fact, the famous Henrik Ibsen and Richard Wagner (composer) completed their works in Amalfi. Just like any other tourist destination, Amalfi has something interesting to offer its visitors, from its great-tasting gelato to its guided tours. Below is a list of several tourist attractions in Amalfi that you must not miss:
For the cave enthusiasts, visiting Emerald Cave will truly spark their interest in caves more. This beautifully-colored cave is frequented by many tourists for its attractive stalactites. This stalactite cave is only 15 minutes away and can be reached by a motorboat. People call it in different names. This emerald cave is also called as “Grotta di Amalfi,” “Grotta Verde,” or “Grotta dello Smeraldo.” This is a perfect example of a cave that developed into a stunning marine cave because of the presence of volcanoes. The clear emerald-colored water of this cave is so clear that you can clearly see the bottom which is up to 10 meters below.
St. Andrew’s Cathedral
Otherwise known as Doumo Sant’ Andrea, this 9th-century cathedral is among the important ancient structures you can see in Amalfi. This is considered as an important cathedral especially by the devotees of St. Andrew. You will see that it is made of bronze door and its front is embellished with mosaic. St. Andrew’s remains are kept in the crypt of the cathedral. You can also see a fine bronze statue of the saint. The cathedral also contains sculptures of other saints such as those of St. Lawrence and St. Stephen.
Museum of Handmade Paper
Otherwise known as Museo della Carta, this unique museum can be found in a town called Mill Valley. This town is particularly famous for its paper making industry. Situated in a former family-owned paper mill, this museum houses exhibits featuring Amalfi’s paper-making tradition. It specifically exhibits the equipment and machinery used in manufacturing handmade paper.
You will enjoy your stay in Amalfi more if you do the many different activities it offers. You can participate in a tour which is led by a seasoned tour guide. When you join the tour, you will get the chance to explore Amalfi, Vietri, Ravello, Positano and other places such as Paestum, Salerno, Pompeii, etc. You will also definitely be able to know the best foods, restaurants, and cafes easily by participating in the said tour. You can join the customized and guided cycling excursion and take either the challenging long route or the easier short route, depending on your skill and ability. Boat excursions are also popular in Amalfi. When you take the boat excursion, you can expect to get a chance to enjoy the sightseeing tour. Other popular activities you can do during your stay in Amalfi also includes yachting, swimming, cruising and hiking.
Speaking of drinking in the region, Amalfi also has some cozy bars and cafes, where you can get a cold glass of your favorite alcoholic drink and cappuccino, respectively. If there is one place where you wish to get good drinks and delicious light lunches, Grand Caffe can serve you both and offer very relaxing sea views. You can go to Pasticceria Leone to try its great-tasting espresso and some of its excellent biscuits and sweets. To get some superb aperitivo (aperitif), you will have a great time at Bar Francese, where you can see some touring Italians and holidaymakers alike. If you have a craving for coffee, nothing beats the excellent coffee served at Pasticceria Pansa. If you like to try some of Amalfi’s local wines, you will definitely never be disappointed when you order some at Risto, where excellent local wines are served.
When you are searching for some authentic Italian dishes, Amalfi can give you the best of everything. Amalfi boasts its scrumptious pasta and seafood dishes. If you would like to try some local Amalfi food, you would definitely love the food at Risto, where some of the delicious local menus are served. Your visit to Amalfi is never complete without trying some of its pasta and seafood dishes at the famous Marina Grande. You will also enjoy the fresh, light lunchtime dishes at Stella Maris. You must remember the name Donna Stella if you wish to get some lip-smacking home-style pizza in Amalfi. If you have a sweet tooth, you will absolutely love the gelato at Bar Flavio Gioia. If you care for some cakes, Bar Savoia has some luscious cakes. However, if you wish to try some of the traditional cakes, Pasticceria Pansa serves delicious traditional cakes.
If you wish to get great deals on shopping, Amalfi boasts its many artistic hand-made souvenir items that you can find at various gift shops and souvenir stores. Spiaggia Grande sells printed beachwear. Amalfi is especially known for its extensive selection of handmade paper. You can choose your favorite design at Cartiere Amatruda. You can buy modern prints, antiques, ink and wax at Scuderie del Duca. Veitre sul Marie is famous for the excellent ceramics it produces. You can purchase some artistic ceramics at Pasquale Liguori’s studio. You can get some great original handmade tiles, plates, figurines, animals, lamps and vases at Medea. You can also purchase some printed scarves, jams, limoncello, coral jewelry, handmade sandals, international and local wines, handcrafted cameos and corals, herb mixes, cameo brooches, etc. so that you can bring something for your loved ones back home.
Known worldwide for its outstanding-quality paper, limoncello, gelato, interesting activities, authentic Italian cuisine and ceramic products, Amalfi makes a perfect holiday destination for those tourists who are seeking for some great Italian travel experience.
Pompeii is one of the most iconic monuments of the Roman world. Every year millions journey to Pompeii to see the remnants of this ancient city, long ago destroyed by the volcano Vesuvius. For history lovers, this is the place to visit. So, what makes Pompeii so special? Here you will find the remains of an ancient people. Frozen in the last few seconds of their lives, they lie eternally motionless like statues. It is a unique experience that cannot be seen anywhere else. Everything in Pompeii is preserved in striking detail.
On the day of the 24th of August 79 AD, clouds of black volcanic ash engulfed the sky. Suddenly earthquakes, massive eruptions, the hail of ash and rock overwhelmed an unsuspecting people. Even now, scientists continue to uncover fascinating details about Pompeii’s untimely demise.
Pompeii lies to the south of the Italy and is just 15 miles away from Milan. Archeologists slowly removed the volcanic ash. The whole city was buried almost 6mm below the ash. In just 48 hours from eruption whole city was buried alive under the ash and lava. Another city named Herculaneum faced the same fate. Both cities lived in the shadow of the mountain for generations, and were crumbled into ruins. The people of these cities faced a fate which is too horrible to even imagine. Choked by poisonous gases and buried under ash, they died one by one. By the end of 25th of august 79 AD, the landscape around the Mount Vesuvius had been changed forever. Vesuvius was a Crater, and the River and the Port of Pompeii were completely gone.
After the eruption, the city of Pompeii was lost and forgotten for almost 1700 years. It’s hard to imagine a city buried under volcanic pyroclastic rock coming down from Mount Vesuvius. Pompeii was so carefully uncovered that walking in the streets is a surreal experience. The whole city is a window into the Roman Empire, frozen in time, at the height of its power.
Before the fall, Pompeii was a beautiful city which can be seen by its beautiful houses. It had lavishly decorated houses.
House of the Faun
The House of the Faun is the example of a house that would have been owned by an aristocratic family in Pompeii. It is massive in size and occupies 3000 square meters. The complex itself consisted of many shops, different atrium areas, luxurious baths, living quarters and servant rooms. One of the first things you may notice when visiting the House of the Faun is its huge entrance. It clearly shows the status of the family. On the floor you can see the famous welcome mat, written in Latin welcoming its guests.
Temple of Jupiter
In a prominent location at the center of the Forum stood theTtemple of Joe or Jupiter. It was over 40 feet in height. The Temple of Jupiter was the largest religious building in the city with six columns along the facade. Out of all the statues in the Temple, only one survives, which is the at head of the Temple. The original statue is kept in the National Museum in Naples. The temple of Jupiter was the most important monument in Pompeii.
Temple of Apollo
To the left of the Forum lies the Temple of Apollo. It was a very popular place of worship because Apollo was considered the Guardian deity of Pompeii. In addition to paying tribute, people came here to use the sundial atop the temple column. Apollo was known as the god who regulated harmony and equilibrium, and also the passage of time.
One of the places most often visited in Roman times were the thermal baths. Built in 80 BC, the Bath had separate entrances as well as bathing sections for men and women. One particular room was known as the tepidarium, a place where guests were able to enjoy warm water in a heated room and floors.
With very friendly citizens, Sorrento Italy benefits most from its tourism industry. Sorrento is preferred by some over Naples in terms of cleanliness and lifestyle. Also, it is more affordable for foreigners to stay in Sorrento than in the towns located in the Amalfi Coast. It is best associated with the popular song “Caruso,” which has helped increase the popularity of Sorrento throughout the world.
Sorrento is also widely known for its authentic limoncello liquor, which is made with certain ingredients such as sugar, water, alcohol and lemon rinds. Aside from this popular product, other products of Sorrento include olives, nuts, wine and citrus fruits.
This interesting tourist destination is located nearby Pompeii and Naples. Visitors to Sorrento can also visit Naples, Ischia, Capri, Positano and Amalfi by hydrofoils, ferry boats, rental cars, chauffeured cars, taxis, scooters or metro like trains.
The luxury hotels of Sorrento provide world-class services and have welcomed famous people such as Luciano Pavarotti and Enrico Caruso. As there are many interesting sights to see and delightful things to do in Sorrento, people keep coming back to this wonderful place after their first visit. Sorrento takes pride in its culture and various tourist attractions that include gardens, parks, religious sites, architectural and historical buildings, beaches, galleries, museums. Here are some attractions that are worth visiting:
Villa Comunale Park
For those who love the outdoors, this well-maintained park is an ideal place to visit and take photos of wonderful views. A very popular and lively location, this park has benches, a bar and operatic buskers. There is nothing more relaxing than taking a stroll or sitting at one of its benches during sunset hours to have a feel of the Italian breeze.
Il Vallone dei Mulino
Located behind the famous Piazza Tasso, this 35,000-year-old deep cleft was formed due to a volcanic eruption. Among the 3 gorges that once bounded Sorrento, only this one remains. In ancient times, there used to be some wheat mills in the area and now the visitors can still see their ruins quite clearly.
A very busy location, Centro Storico is where you can see a variety of bars, restaurants and shops. As you move further on the bustling side streets, there you will discover some narrow lanes filled with palazzo, traditional buildings, church or piazza. If you wish to buy souvenirs to bring back home, you will have many choices when you shop at the souvenir shops situated along some old buildings and trattorias in cobbled backstreets.
Once you have purchased a lot, it is a good idea to ask if you can avail of some discounts. Also, while shopping for clothes remember to ask the clerk’s assistance if you wish to check out some stuff on display. The recommended hours for shopping in the afternoon are from 4:30 pm to 8pm. Good restaurants in Sorrento offer excellent food and are always frequented by tourists. Although Italians usually eat later, the restaurants serve dinner for their foreign customers earlier that may begin from 6:30 pm to 7 pm. Waiters are not likely to interrupt while you are eating your meal, but you can ask them if you wish to have extra food, napkins or cutlery. You can also politely ask the waiters for some ice for your drinks so that they will provide some for you.
Basilica di Sant’ Antonino
This 11th-century church is considered as the oldest in town and is named after Sorrento’s patron saint. Visitors have always been fascinated by the medieval paintings that are displayed in this church. The many miracles the saint performed include rescuing a child trapped in the stomach of a whale. The bones of the saint are kept in an eighteenth-century-old crypt.
Chiesa de San Francesco
Another religious structure with several Roman artefacts, this lovely church is Sorrento’s pride. Guests will definitely be fascinated by the birdsong and bougainvillea that surround it. With its Arabic-style portico, octagonal pillars and interlaced arches, this religious place is well known for the concerts it hosts every summer. These concerts feature performances of world-class classical school performers. What’s more, the church also hosts some art exhibitions, which are visited by many artists and art enthusiasts.
Formerly a fishing district, Marina Grande is filled with colorful boats and pastel-colored houses. This place offers great opportunities for visitors to bask in the sun. Visitors to this area can also dine at any of the seafood restaurants, where they can indulge themselves in almost any seafood they like.
Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea
Situated in an eighteenth-century palace and adorned with stunning frescoes, this museum contains some impressive pieces of intarsio furniture of which Sorrento is known for. If you wish to see some paintings and photos of the old town, you only need to go to this museum as it has a fascinating collection of prints, paintings and pictures showing a 19th-century setting of Sorrento and the area surrounding it.
Many visitors to the museum become enchanted by the beauty of the intarsio furniture and some order a new piece to add to their collection at home from the famous Gargiulo and Jannuzzi specialist shop.
Another significant museum in Sorrento that is worth visiting is Museo Correale. This museum is especially a remarkable place for archeological eggheads, clock collectors or those who are into embroidery. Museum lovers will definitely enjoy their time in the museum as they watch and observe many different crafts and arts. This museum contains a plethora of varied seventeenth- to nineteenth-century Neapolitan crafts and arts. As they explore the museum, they will also see European, Chinese and Japanese furniture, clocks and ceramics aside from the Roman and Greek artefacts.
The eighteenth-century villa and many of the things featured in the museum were donated by the two aristocratic figures in the 1920s. The 2 elite figures were counts Pompeo and Alfredo Correale. Guests do not only appreciate the collections they see inside the museum but also the extraordinary flowers and plants and the wonderful coastal views as they explore the gardens outside.
The city of Milan is an ongoing fashion show, it changes its color. Actually it’s like one big opera; it’s full of dramatic contrasts, grand gestures, bold accents and a lot of passion. Every country has a city which represents it in the modern world, and Milan is the magic city of Italy. It is also the second largest city in Italy. The city of Milan’s architectural highlights begins with the Duomo di Milano cathedral where biblical stories are told in bold facades. Milan also has Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the world’s first shopping center. Noteworthy as well in the fashion district, Quadrilatero D’oro shows a bold contrast of past and present in the city of Milan.
Duomo di Milano Cathedral
The impressive Milan Cathedral is also known as Duomo di Milano. The Cathedral is located in the center of the ancient Milan, the Roman Mediolanum. The cathedral is famous for its grand size, and its complexity. It is full of decorations even in the most hidden places. The cathedral is decorated with more than 100 marble spires and over 2000 marble statues.
The construction of the cathedral has taken several centuries. From a long time ago, the site of modern cathedral has been the location of many religious buildings. In the beginning of the 5th century a basilica was built here which was dedicated to the Saint Ambrose. Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo in 1386, gave the order of the construction of the cathedral. The first main architect was an Italian, but it did not take long until foreign architects were hired. The cathedral was built during a time when the Gothic architectural style was popular, and the French and German architects were considered best in the world. The cathedral of Milan is considered by many as one of the true Gothic masterpieces of art and architecture.
Sforza Castle is one of the most monumental pieces of architecture in Italy. The castle was built in the 14th century as a military fortress but it later became the residence of the Duke during the Renaissance. In order to show the power of the Duke, it was enriched and decorated. The impressive central tower was originally designed by the great renaissance architect Filarete, but its fate was decided by lightning which set fire to the explosives massed in the tower. Till the end of the nineteenth century the exploded tower wasn’t rebuilt. The architect Luca Beltrani based his reconstruction design on a surviving Filarete drawing. As you enter the castle, you’ll find yourself in the great central courtyard surrounded by walls, where you can easily imagine yourself in an age of Renaissance. There are various museums hosted in the castle. One museum is called Sala Delle Asse, with frescoes by Leonard da Vinci and an intricate decoration of trees and leaves. It is beautifully designed to have a feeling of a virtual garden. Michelangelo was the great artist of Renaissance era, and his last artwork is also restored in the castle which is known as Pieta Rondanini. The furniture museum is also present in the Sforza castle, which exhibits the evolution of Milanese furniture design from the middle ages to the contemporary.
Every city has a place that reflects its artistic and historic essence. The theaters generally don’t represent a city, but the theater of Scala is not only a place where opera and music have always been performed. it’s also a social center of the city. People from different circles of life gather here. La Scala Opera House is unique in the world due to its history. Mozart performed at the Scala during the beginning of his career. Verdi, Donizetti, Bellini, Puccini are among the great musicians that performed here. During the Second World War bombings of 1943, one bomb was dropped on this Centre. Therefore in 1946, it was decided to rebuild the Scala. On 7th of December the opera season was inaugurated, the day of the city’s patron saint. This decision was taken by Victor de Sabata who was music director at La Scala. On this day the Scala is the center of the music world.
Smoldering in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, Naples is a big, populous Italian city. The city curves like a theater around its dazzling bay (Bay of Naples), but it’s the streets that put on the show. In this city you can really feel Italy’s heartbeat.
Naples has an exuberance and the lust for life that seems uniquely Neapolitan. According to mythology Naples is built on the grave of a siren. Sirens were sea creatures who sang to the sailors in order to lure them to wreck their ships against the dangerous rocky shoreline. Here religion and superstition are woven deeply into the fabric of Neapolitan life.
For art history lovers Naples is bliss. Naples art and architecture contain masterpieces from the ancient Medieval and Renaissance eras.
When traveling in and around Naples, consider visiting a few of the following unique and memorable places:
Capella Sansevero is amazing for the sheer abundance of decoration. The Capella Sansevero was built as a burial place for a prominent Neapolitan family in the mid-18th century. It’s a fresco and marble extravaganza. The sculptures in the Capella are remarkable, especially the sculpture of the Christ. The sculptures are so beautifully made, that it’s look like that the figures are emerging under the transparent veils, and no-where else you can see such intricate finishing. Some sculptures have the net carved from marble.
The Gothic cathedral stands on a spot that has been occupied by religious buildings since ancient times. The grand edifice is dedicated to San Genaro, a Naples patron saint; it is likewise the site of a very mysterious Neapolitan ritual. In the chapel, under lock and key, are two vials of San Genaro dried blood. Three times a year Neapolitan gather in the Gothic cathedral to watch the blood liquefied. Legend has it that if the blood isn’t liquefied, disaster will strike the city. Scientists are at a loss to explain this superstition.
Ruins of Pompeii
Just 15 miles from Naples, Pompeii is a passport to a dark time in Italy’s history. To get to the ruins from Naples, you can take a Pompeii train or Scavi train. Two thousand years ago this Roman city was a busy commercial center and resort town with a population of around 20,000. You probably know the story that on one summer day in 79 AD the sky was black and the air was filled with the poisonous clouds and terror stuck the people of Pompeii. Mount Vesuvius erupted subjecting Pompeii to a massive flood of volcanic ash and mud. Men, women, children and animals were stopped suddenly in their tracks. This is an entire ancient city frozen in time, and the vast ruins offer a fascinating insight in to a life changing event. It’s as if their daily activities were preserved in a time capsule.
National Archaeological Museum (Naples)
This museum is considered one of the most important in the world. It is a natural counterpart to Pompeii. The fantastic collection contains works gathered from Pompeii, as well as from the ancient city of Rome. It brings antiquity to life. Some of the most touching things in museum are the everyday items such as spoons and mirrors taken from the remains of Pompeii.
Santa Chiara is a Gothic church, which was built in early 14th century and holds several tombs. An interesting part of the Santa Chiara is the Majolica Cloister, commonly known as cloister of the Clarisses. This is considered by some as the most peaceful spot in the whole city. Strolling through the courtyards, with steel realigned walkways, you are transported back through the centuries to a time when these painted majolica tiles were love letters for the city people.
To the west of Naples lies one Italy’s the most volatile sites. At this place hot springs and sulfurous gases rise from an enormous eerie landscape. These are the phlegraean fields or fields of fire. This whole area floats freely on a bed of massive molten magma very close to the surface. The ancients were both frightened and fascinated by it; they considered it a gateway to the underworld.
Florence is a small city with immense art and culture. It is like an open air museum which has grown more beautiful over the centuries. The ancient walls of Florence safeguards grandiose master works of art and architecture so close that you can almost touch them.
Florence throughout history was of prime importance; its buildings today tell those historical stories. The city has produced a number of great artists throughout history. The most important of those artists are Leonardo da Vinci, and Dante.
If you are traveling to Florence, here is a list of number of places you must visit.
The Uffizi gallery contains the finest collection of Italian paintings. The Uffizi gallery takes you to the Italian art history from 12th to 17th century. If Renaissance was the foundation of the modern world, the foundation of renaissance was classical art. The Uffizi is the most popular museum of the world. The Uffizi is filled with the work of Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci.
The Uffizi gallery contains the secrets of the Renaissance era.
The mercato centrale is not a very big market and you can find all sorts of tour souvenirs, however the real attraction of this market is called Fontana del Porcellino which is a bronze statue of a wild boar. According to the legends if you place a coin on the boar’s mouth and touch its nose, you will return to Florence once more.
The piazzale Michelangelo is a large square, and is probably the best place to view the historic part of Florence. The square is named after the city’s most famous artist, so it’s no wonder if you find a bronze replica of the statue of David.
The museum is located in a palace dated back to the 13th century, this museum is the one of the oldest buildings in the city. For many years the museum served as the headquarters of the local police, as well as a prison, today it is the home of the National Museum where you can find sculptures by the world famous artists like Donatello and Michelangelo. Admission to Bargello Museum is cheaper as compared to Uffizi. The museum is also open daily until 1350 pm.
Basilica di Santa Croce
The basilica di Santa Croce is the biggest Franciscan church in the world and the legend says that it was founded by Saint Francis himself. The church is also the burial ground of the Galileo and Michelangelo. Next to the church you can also find the Santa Croce Museum which presents fourteenth century art.
Palazzo Vecchio was started as a people’s palace, and it was home of the city council. The square next to the Palazzo Vecchio is called piazza della signoria and is famous due to the replica of statue of David. On the corner of piazza della signoria is the Loggia dei Lanzi which is an open air sculpture gallery.
This grand palace is named after a merchant, Luca Pitti, biggest opposition to the Medici family. Ironically enough he died before the house was finished and the Medici family bought it and turned it into their home. Today the palace serves as the huge museum with more than 2, 50,000 pieces of art.
Ponte Vecchio was used to be the only bridge in Florence until 1218, during World War 2 it was the only bridge standing. This older bridge is the most famous symbol of the city. You would also see many pad locks shops near the bridge. It is said that if lovers lock the pad lock and throw away the key, the lovers will become eternally bonded. However don’t try to do it yourself because there is a 50 euro penalty if you are caught.
Santa Maria del Fiore
Entrance to the cathedral is free and this is one the most popular attractions in the city. If you wish to climb to the top of the dome then expect a small walk of 464 steps but the result is amazing, a panoramic view of Florence city.
Venice is the closest thing to a living and breathing work of art. The world’s most improbable city rises from the waters of the giant lagoon on the north east coast of Italy. Built on a series of tiny islands (118), its network of exquisite canals defies definition. History shows it was a city born out of fear and desperation to escape the invading hordes, but Venice arose from the water and dazzled the world with its splendor of architecture.
Arriving there is facilitated by Ponte della Liberta, a road bridge which connects the Venice to the main land. Afterwards, a ferry down the Grand Canal can take you to the impressive palaces, mansions and churches that line its length like the Basilica of Saint Mary of health, the Roman Catholic Church completed in 1697. For more personal tours you can try a luxury gondola ride. Perhaps one of the most romantic cities of the world, nothing can beat seeing the city from the water at night.
The heart of the Venice is the San Marco district named after the famous Byzantine Basilica. This is the social, religious, artistic and political hub of the city. Its famous square is one of the great urban spaces of the Europe. It is a perfect fusion of architecture and art.
The Venetians have been celebrating the approach of the spring since the 15th century each February with Carnivals. Each February the local boys and girls wear costumes and masks for a week long carnival party. According to one estimate, the carnival attracts 30,000 visitors to Venice each day. The Venetian masks are very popular in the carnivals, due to their beautiful look.
Venice is a lagoon city on the edge of the Adriatic Sea, so it’s no surprise to find seafood dominating the local menus. The best bars and restaurants can be found in the small squares in streets. There are many open air markets in the Venice where you can get fresh fruit and other produce.
There is no sewage system in Venice and the waste flows into the canals and the tide of the ocean washes it out. Venice is also one of the few cities that are completely car-free, so there is little less air pollution.
St. Mark’s Square is a public place which consists of Piazza (market place or a small public place) which leads to the open lagoon and a beautiful palazzo ducale. This used to be the residence of the supreme authority the Doge’s and is also known as Doge’s palace.
Venice is entirely surrounded by water so it is highly recommended to do boat tour along the canal grande at least once during your stay. If you can’t afford a gondola ride, switch over to water buses called vaporetti or batel by the locals. A single ride on a water bus line will cost you 6.50€, so it is better to choose a flat rate ticket which is available for multiple time periods.
Always take the top of the water bus, as the interior view might spoil your experience. On the north of Venice a small and beautiful island of Murano is located, at about 1 mile from the Venice, it can only be reached by boat.
Only one visit to saint mark’s basilica will reward you with enough history of Venice to become an expert. It is one of the few religious buildings that were not primarily based for worship purposes. It was designed and built for the sole purpose of containing the stolen body of saint mark. The saint mark body was stolen from Alexandria by two young Venetians in 828. For this reason it was never ever used as cathedral. The saint mark’s basilica is the second highest building followed by saint mark’s Campanile which overlooks the lagoon with its 323 feet. You can also enjoy coffee at Saint Mark’s square for 6 euros.
The Doge’s palace is located next to the basilica, it is an impressive Gothic building which dates back to the 1300 and it was used to house the city administration. Touring Doge’s palace is the only way to have a chance to walk over the famous bridge named “Campanile de san marco”.