Destinations

Sicily

Sicily (Italian: Sicilia) is a rugged and attractive island (the largest one in the Mediterranean Sea) on the southern tip of Italy, and is one of the country's 20 regions. It is separated from the mainland region of Calabria by the 5 km Straits of Messina. It can get very hot during the summer, so it is better to visit during spring and autumn, while it is still quite pleasant during winter.

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Verona

Comune in Veneto, Italy

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Palermo

Palermo is on the northern coast of the Italian island of Sicily. It's the capital city of the autonomous region of Sicily and of its own province.

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Rome

capital and largest city of Italy

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Agrigento

Agrigento is the capital of the eponymous province on the Italian island of Sicily.

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Florence

Italian city, located in Tuscany

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Catania

Catania is a city on the eastern coast of Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna, the biggest volcano in Europe. It is the second largest city in Sicily with the metropolitan area reaching one million inhabitants, a major transport hub, economic centre and a university city where you will enjoy a busy downtown and an active nightlife. Catania is also well known for its particular baroque architecture and urban design, consequences of the great earthquake of 1693 after which the city had to be rebuilt, like most of eastern Sicily.

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Milan

major city in Italy

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Gela

Gela is a medium-sized city on the south coast of Sicily, Italy. It is an ancient town, founded around 688 BC by colonists from Rhodes and Crete, and among the oldest continually inhabited settlements in southern Italy.

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Pisa

city in Tuscany, Central Italy

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Marsala

Marsala is a seaport city in Sicily.

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Venice

city in northeastern Italy, sited on a group of 118 small islands

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Messina

Messina is a port in the northeast corner of Sicily. Most visitors are passing through, on the 5-km ferry-crossing to mainland Italy. Although it dates to ancient times, Messina is modern and nondescript. Older buildings were mostly destroyed by the great earthquake and tsunami of 28 Dec 1908, then Allied bombing in World War II finished what was left. Nevertheless it has enough sights to justify spending a day. One modern claim to fame is that in June 1955, Messina hosted the conference that set up the European Community and common market, later the European Union.

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Capri

island near Naples

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Ragusa

comune in Sicily, Italy

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Alps

major mountain range system in Central Europe

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Syracuse (Italy)

Syracuse is a medium sized city on the eastern coast of Sicily, Italy.

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Lake Garda

lake in Italy

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Trapani

Trapani is a port city and the capital of Trapani province in the north-west corner of Sicily, Italy. Trapani has a lively atmosphere due to its position as the capital and its economic activities as a port. It has a rich history and many historical buildings have been preserved. Old traditions are cherished. Thanks to the presence of an international airport, the city with its marina and beaches is increasingly popular as a tourist destination. The number of cruise ships calling at the city increases every year. For the individual traveler Trapani is a great base for day trips or for traveling further afield in Sicily.

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Herculaneum

Roman town

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Aegadian Islands

The Aegadian Islands or Egadi Islands are a group of three islands about 10 km west of Trapani and Marsala on the north-western coast of Sicily in Italy.

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Vesuvius

Stratovolcano on the shores of the Gulf of Naples, Italy

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Segesta

Calatafimi Segesta is in Sicily.

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Bologna

city in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Sciacca

Sciacca is a small port town in the province Agrigenta of Sicily, Italy.

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Naples

city in Campania, Italy

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Caltagirone

Caltagirone is a town in central Sicily, Italy, most famous for its ceramics and long ceramic-decorated staircase. The city is one of the eight world heritage listed "Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto".

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Amalfi Coast

coastal area in the Campania region, Italy

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Militello in Val di Catania

Militello Val di Catania is in the Catania province. It's one of Sicily's eight world heritage listed Baroque towns.

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Lake Como

lake in Lombardy, Italy

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Taormina

Italian comune

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Scicli

Scicli is a small town among the Iblei hills in the Ragusa province on the southeast of Sicily. It is one of the "Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto" listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Palazzolo Acreide

Palazzolo is in the Syracuse province. The town is listed as a world heritage by UNESCO.

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Noto

Noto is in Sicily, Italy. The city is one of the eight world heritage listed "Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto".

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Modica

Modica is a town in the province of Ragusa in Sicily, with a population of about 55,000.

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Trieste

Trieste (Triest in German, Trst in Slovenian and Croatian) is a city in North-East Italy that was once a very influential and powerful centre of politics, literature, music, art and culture under Austrian-Hungarian dominion.

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Pompeii

ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples, Italy

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Cinque Terre

rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera, Liguria

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Turin

city and commune in Italy

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Genoa

Italian city

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Sights

Sardinia

Mediterranean island and an autonomous region of Italy

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Mantua

Italian comune

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Calabria

region in Italy

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Colosseum

ancient Roman amphitheatre in Rome

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Nissa

Comune in Sicily, Italy

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Uffizi

Outstanding fine art museum with Renaissance paintings and sculptures from classical antiquity. It's in a late 16th C palazzo designed by Vasari, in two wings enclosing a long narrow courtyard, effectively a street, an innovation in its day. Originally the palazzo was magistrates' offices (hence "Uffizi") and state archives; then it came to house the Medici's vast art collection. The artworks are on the first and second floors, they keep the lifts well hidden. Highlights include Birth of Venus by Boticelli, Dukes of Urbino by della Francesca, Medusa by Caravaggio, Venus of Urbino by Titian, Annunciation by da Vinci, Pope Leo X and family by Raphael, Velasquez' self-portrait, Rembrandt's final self-portrait, and many other big names. Allow three hours for a visit. Uffizi majors on Renaissance, so although later styles are represented they're few: you don't really come here for the 18th - 20th C material. The restaurant/cafè has a large balcony overlooking the main piazza with good views of the Palazzo Vecchio, and naturally their prices reflect the views.

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La Scala

opera house in Milan, Italy

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Tarquinia

Italian comune

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Brixen

Italian comune

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Pantelleria

Italian comune

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Piazza Armerina

Italian comune

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National Archaeological Museum, Naples

The most important Italian archaeological museum about Roman civilization, it contains a large collection of Roman artifacts from Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum. The collection includes works of the highest quality produced in Greek, Roman and Renaissance times.

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Procida

Italian comune

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Cerveteri

Italian comune

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La Fenice

One of the best opera houses in the world. Info at Bigletteria Hello Venezia Call Center ☏ +39 041 2424. You can also visit this historic theater with an audioguide (good explanations in several languages). The theater is an identical reconstruction (rebuilt in 2003) of the previous theater building that burned down in 1996.

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Florence Cathedral

The cathedral interior is to a basilica pattern; it's vast and at first feels dark and empty. Give your eyes time to adjust, and admire the stain glass windows, funeral monument of Bishop d'Orso, and altar of St Zanobius. Below is the Crypt (M-Sa 10:00-17:00) with remains of the preceding cathedral of Santa Reparata, and the tomb of Brunelleschi. Giotto is believed to lie here somewhere, but his tomb has yet to be identified. Above is the soaring cupola or Dome. The cathedral itself is free, but you need a pre-booked ticket and time slot to climb the 464 steps up to the Dome (entrance north side of the church). Slots are available M-F 08:30-19:00, Sa 08:30-17:00 and Su 13:00-16:00.

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Ustica

Italian comune

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Museo Nazionale di San Marco

Houses frescoes by Fra Angelico and his workshop. Fra Angelico painted a series of frescoes for the cells in which the Dominican monks lived.

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Mount Etna

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Mont Blanc

highest mountain in the Alps (15,780.9 feet)

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Lerici

Italian comune

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Vernazza

comune located in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northwestern Italy

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Galleria Borghese

art museum in Rome

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Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna

art gallery in Rome, Italy

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Leaning Tower of Pisa

The structure was conceived as the cathedral's bell tower. Construction began in 1173 and the tower started leaning soon afterwards due to subsidence of the ground underneath its base. A project to keep the tower from leaning more and tipping over finally reached a successful conclusion in 2001, and the tower is again open to those wishing to climb it. Climbing the tower requires a reservation-based ticket for €18. Tickets can be bought for the tower on the day, for a specific entry time. This could be 45 min-2 hr after the purchase time, but there is a lot to see while you wait. It is better if you buy tickets online for €18 well in advance (up to 20 days). The tickets are non-exchangeable, effectively non-refundable, and only good for the tower, so they're a bit of a risk to purchase in advance. Make the effort to climb, though, and you'll be rewarded by the view. The famous Pisa leaning tower is not the only one, due of the marshy land that they are built on, there are other 2 towers in Pisa: the Bell Tower of 43.7167510.396741 San Nicola Church , near the banks of Arno and the Bell Tower of 43.70595610.4191981 San Michele of Scalzi Church . For safety reasons, children who will not have turned 8 by the end of this year are not permitted to enter. Under-18s must be accompanied by an adult. ID may be requested to certify the age.

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Ischia

volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea

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Elba

Mediterranean island in Tuscany, Italy

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Museo Egizio

Houses the most important collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts outside Cairo. Founded in 1824 by King Carlo Felice after acquiring archaeologist Drovetti's collection, the museum contains 30,000 exhibits. It documents the history and civilization of Egypt from the palaeolithic to the Coptic era through unique exhibits and collections of objects d'art, articles of daily use and funeral furnishings (including the Altar of Isis, the canvas painted by Gebelein, the intact tombs of Kha and Merit, and the exceptional cliff temple to Ellesjia). It is also intelligently laid out and the exhibits are lovingly preserved; a big renovation took place up to December 2015.

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Certosa di San Martino

A former monastery complex, now a museum. It is the most visible landmark of the city, perched atop the Vomero hill that commands the gulf. A Carthusian monastery, it was finished and inaugurated under the rule of Queen Joan I in 1368. In 1623, it was further expanded and became, under the direction of architect Cosimo Fanzago, essentially the structure one sees today. In the early 19th century, under French rule the monastery was closed and was abandoned by the religious order. Today, the buildings house a museum with a display of Spanish and Bourbon era artifacts, as well as displays of the presepe (Nativity scene) considered to be among the finest in the world.

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Trevi Fountain

fountain in Rome, Italy

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Matterhorn

mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy

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Museo Correr

Interesting collection of globes, starting from the 16th century. There is also an only library hall, an archeological museum of Roman antiques and an important picture gallery. The museum offers a tour of Venetian history. Remarkable painting gallery with masterpieces of the 14th to 16th cent from Venice, works of the Venetian sculpture Canova, studies on urban development and social life. At the end of your visit, don't miss the museum art cafe, with their tables on the San Marco Square. A MUVE museum.

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Palazzo Strozzi

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Cini Foundation

Multi-functional centre in an old Benedictine dormitory, the heart of the Foundation's library complex

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Palazzo Madama, Turin

This wonderful hybrid of a baroque palace and a medieval castle is attracting many tourists. It was home of the regent queens of Savoy, and is a mix of medieval and baroque rooms. It now houses the City Museum of Ancient Art, which has an eclectic collection of church art, paintings, ancient sculpture, porcelain, ceramics, archaeological artefacts and some fascinating scenes of life in Torino in times gone by. On the second floor there's a room with red sofas to take a rest after the visit, with a magnificent chandelier, and a cafeteria. The moat contains a medieval castle garden, and the tower offers a beautiful view over Turin.

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Palazzo Rosso (Genoa)

historical palace of Genoa

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Aeolian Islands

archipelago

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Mole Antonelliana

The Mole, Turin's landmark building built in 1888, was intended as a synagogue but the size and cost got out of hand and the Jewish community never used it. The 167.5-meter tower is the highest work of masonry in Europe and you can ride a lift to the cupola at the top. Within it, the National Cinema Museum is a vast exhibition space spiralling up five floors. The themes of the floors are the archaeology of cinema, the video camera, a collection of cinema posters, video installations (with side rooms screening clips), and The Great Temple where you recline in comfy red chairs and watch - or is it worship? - Italian film classics projected on giant screens overhead. Artefacts include magic lanterns, optical illusions, photographs, drawings, models, props and costumes, eg the original cape worn by Christopher Reeve in Superman in 1978.

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St Mark's Basilica

Saint Mark's Basilica is on the Piazza San Marco and is one of the highlights of a visit to Venice. As with most churches in Italy, you must be dressed appropriately to be allowed in; this means no short skirts or bare shoulders. You are not allowed to carry large bags or rucksacks inside, sometimes even small daypacks may need to be deposited. Storage is available just around the corner from the main entrance (free of charge). Filming and photography is forbidden so be prepared in advance. The visit within the basilica lasts ten minutes. Waiting for entry into the basilica can last up to five or so hours and it may be wise to use a ticket service to reserve your visit (reservation costs €2, official tickets at venetoinside.com). Once you have a reservation you can take the group entrance on the left, where you hand in the printout of your reservation.

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National Archaeological Museum, Florence

The Etruscan art collection is particularly good.

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Tiber

river in Italy

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Palazzo Reale (Genoa)

Owns a historical picture gallery.

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Santa Croce, Florence

Contains the monumental tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Dante, Rossini, and many other notables in addition to artistic decorations. There is also great artwork in the church. Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce (included in ticket) displays a flood-damaged but still beautiful Crucifix by Cimabue (Giotto's teacher), which has become a symbol of the disastrous floods of 1966. Ticket also includes Pazzi Chapel, a perfectly symmetrical example of sublime neo-Classic Renaissance architecture.

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Rialto Bridge

The bridge has become one of Venice's most recognizable icons and has a history that spans over 800 years. Today's Rialto Bridge was completed in 1591 and was used to replace a wooden bridge that collapsed in 1524.

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Capitoline Museums

Italian museum in Rome

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Murano

island in the Venitian Lagoon, Italy

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San Lorenzo, Florence

The façade of this church was never completed, giving it a striking, rustic appearance. Inside the church is pure Renaissance neo-classical splendor. If you go around the back of the church, there is a separate entrance to the Medici chapels. Be sure to check out the stunning burial chapel of the princes and the sacristy down the corridor. The small sacristy is blessed with the presence of nine Michelangelo sculptures.

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Santa Maria della Salute

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Selinunte

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Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova

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Castelmola

Italian comune

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Venetian Arsenal

shipbuilding factory of the Republic

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Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum offers a personal collection of modern art collected by Peggy Guggenheim. Peggy was an American married to modern artist Max Ernst, and funded a number of his contemporaries. The gallery includes a sculpture garden and works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Tanguy, Duchamp, Pollock, Dali, and Mondrian.

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Royal Palace of Turin

palace in Turin

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Pisa Cathedral

A splendid cathedral, containing artwork by Giambologna, Della Robbia, and other major artists. Fine Romanesque style with double aisles and a cupola, a huge apse mosaic partly by Cimabue, and a fine pulpit by Giovanni Pisano in late Gothic/early Renaissance style.

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Santa Maria Maggiore

largest Catholic Marian church in Rome

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Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Florence)

This houses original artworks from the Duomo and surrounding religious buildings, including sculptures by Donatello, a Michelangelo Pietà (different from his version in Saint Peter's, Rome) and the losing entries in the 1401 contest to design the doors of the Baptistery. Plus models and drawings of the Cathedral.

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Santa Maria della Spina

A very small Gothic church built in 1230 to house a thorn from Jesus's crown, it's considered one of the best expressions of Italian Gothic. It is so small that in 1800, it was moved from the Arno riverbank to a place some metres higher, one stone at time, to protect it from flooding. It's usually not open to the public.

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Giotto's Campanile

Almost 85 m tall, with 414 steps to climb, this richly decorated tower is topped by an open terrace with a panorama of the Duomo, city and surrounds.

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Orsanmichele

A beautiful old church from the 14th century, which once functioned as a grain market.

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Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Venice

A perfect jewel box church, simple in form but ornamented with fine exterior marble facings.

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San Petronio Basilica

It had to be the largest church in the world and in the shape of a huge Latin cross, but was only completed the long arm and with the unfinished facade. The basilica is still one of the most beautiful examples of Italian Gothic style and is one of the greatest monuments in the city. The Basilica houses an invaluable number of treasures such as the sundial by Cassini and Guglielmini, which indicates the exact period of the current year at all times, the "S. Rocco" by Parmigianino and the marvelous Bolognini Chapel. From the left nave of the basilica, the visitor can gain access to the Museum where many bas-reliefs are collected.

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Teatro di San Carlo

Founded in 1737, is the oldest continuously active opera house in Europe. In the 18th century, Naples was the capital of European music, and even foreign composers like Hasse, Haydn, Johann Christian Bach and Gluck considered the performance of their compositions at the San Carlo theatre as the goal of their career. Two main Italian opera composers, Gioacchino Rossini and Gaetano Donizetti, were artistic directors of the San Carlo for many years. Other prominent opera composers, like Vincenzo Bellini, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni, and Leoncavallo, staged here the very first productions of their works (like for example the famous Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti).

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Aquarium of Genoa

The second biggest in Europe!

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Doge's Palace, Genoa

Where the Dukes of Genoa used to live.

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Villa of the Papyri

The coastline was significantly altered by the eruption but this large and luxurious villa originally stretched down to the sea in four terraces. Its sea front was about 250m long. It is below you on your right as you leave the ticket office and head towards the audio guide kiosk. The villa contained a fine library of scrolls and, although these were badly carbonized, there is hope that modern technology will soon make it possible to read them without destroying them by opening them.

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Paestum

ancient Greek city in today's Capaccio Paestum, Italy

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Ca' Pesaro

Beautiful palace housing the gallery of modern art focusing on Italian art in the 19th century as well as the Marco Polo Museum, a rich collection mainly of Asian exhibits (fabrics, clothes, armours, porcelain). A MUVE museum.

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San Francesco della Vigna

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National Museum of San Matteo, Pisa

This is a fantastic history and art museum, which houses almost all of the original artwork from all the churches in and around Pisa. Although fairly small, it is one of the biggest for Tuscan Renaissance art, hosted in the rooms of the San Matteo monastery. A gem overlooked by most tourists.

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Roman Forum

archaeological site in Rome, Italy

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Vittoria Light

lighthouse in Trieste, Italy

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Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

A fine, huge Dominican church with the tombs of many Doges. It shares its piazza with the fine Renaissance façade of the Scuola San Marco and an equestrian statue of the mercenary (condottiere) captain Bartolomeo Colleoni. Look out for the testicles (coglioni in Italian - it's a lousy pun) on his coat of arms!

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Royal Palace of Naples

One of the four residences used by the Bourbon Kings of Naples during their rule of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies (1730-1860). The Royal Palace is on the site of an earlier building meant to host King Philip III of Spain, who however never made the trip. The architect chosen for that palace was Domenico Fontana. The building was put up on the site of an even older Spanish viceroyal residence from the early 16th century. The 17th-century palace visible today is the result of numerous additions and changes, including some by Luigi Vanvitelli in the mid-18th century and then by Gaetano Genovese.

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Orto botanico di Pisa

The first university botanical garden in Europe, created by the will of Cosimo de' Medici in 1544.

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Pisa Baptistery

Large round Romanesque dome with many sculptured decorations and a fine view up top; climb this if you want a great view with the Leaning Tower visible in your photos. Arabic-style pavement, pulpit by Nicola Pisano (father of Giovanni), and fine octagonal font. At regular intervals, the ticket-checker-guard at the entrance comes into the baptistery and gives an audio-treat of echo-effect. The guard shouts out few sounds which when echoed sound like pure beautiful music. You can also cast your inhibitions to the wind, stand by the wall, and sing long notes that turn into chords by yourself, as the echoes go round and round the dome of the building.

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Museo Ferrari

automobile museum

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Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi

Royal hunting lodge built between 1729 and 1933 and designed by Filippo Juvarra as one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy. It houses an important collection of Piedmontese furniture in its perfectly preserved Italian Rococo interiors. The core of the building is the central hall, richly decorated with frescoes which make it look like something out of a Disney movie. Outside there's the Parco naturale di Stupinigi, the hunting park and gardens.

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Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina

Very nice museum for contemporary art, with a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.

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Camposanto Monumentale di Pisa

cemetery, historical edifice in Pisa, Italy

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Gesuati

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Fortuny Museum

Collection of paintings and lamps. A MUVE museum.

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Ponte Sant'Angelo

This is a footbridge connecting Castel Sant'Angelo with the other side of the Tiber. It is a Roman bridge completed in 134 AD by Hadrian, to give access to his newly constructed mausoleum. Pilgrims used this bridge to reach St Peter's Basilica, hence it was earlier known as the "bridge of Saint Peter". In the seventh century, the castle and the bridge took on the name Sant'Angelo, when it is said that an angel appeared on the roof of the castle to announce the end of a plague. The statues of ten angels on the bridge reflect its name.

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Burano

island

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Ponte Vecchio

The oldest and most celebrated bridge over the Arno, and the only Florentine bridge to survive World War II. The design is distinctive: it's a three-arched bridge supporting a parade of shops supporting another bridge. It dates to 1345 (hence Ponte Vecchio, "old bridge"), with earlier bridges being swept away by floods, rebuilt and swept away again. At street level it's a pedestrianised cobbled arch. It's lined by shops, which were butchers until Renaissance times then - in an insight as dramatic as the discovery of perspective in painting - they realised that goldsmiths' shops paid higher rents and didn't stink; so from then to this day it's just been overpriced jewellery shops and market stalls. Above these is the higher bridge, the Vasari Corridor, a private walkway added in 1565 so that the Medici Dukes could move between Palazzo Vecchio (Town Hall) and Palazzo Pitti (their blingy residence) without mixing with common folk. On the south bank, the Corridor nowadays continues as a gallery of the Uffizi, and there is sometimes talk of extending this over the bridge, or otherwise making the space accessible. Nothing's come of this so far, so the common folk will have to continue admiring the scene from street level.

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Madonna dell'Orto

With the grave and 10 paintings of Tintoretto.

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Santa Costanza

church

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Turin Cathedral

Large elegant cathedral dating from late 15th century, enlarged in the 17th to create the Chapel for the Shroud of Turin. The original shroud is kept safe in a vault and only rarely displayed - visit the nearby Sindone Museum to see a copy. The Chapel was destroyed in a fire in 1997; rebuilding is complete but other restoration continues, eg a new altar is still needed. This Chapel is nowadays accessed as part of a tour of Palazzo Reale and can't be seen from the Cathedral.

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St Mark's Campanile

The current tower dates from 1912; an exact replica of the previous tower which collapsed in 1902. The top of the tower offers great views of Venice and the lagoon.

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Florence Baptistery

Octagonal plan, with a pyramidal roof covering its dome. It's famous for its bronze doors by Andrea Pisano (14th C) and Lorenzo Ghiberti (15th C) and a beautiful interior vault decorated with 13th C mosaics.

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Santa Chiara, Naples

A religious complex which includes the Church of Santa Chiara, a monastery, tombs, and an archaeological museum. The double monastic complex was built in 1313-1340 by Queen Sancha of Majorca and her husband King Robert of Naples. The original church was in traditional Provençal-Gothic style, but was decorated in the 1744 century in Baroque style by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro. Santa Chiara was the largest Clarissan church ever built, and it was the first Clarissan church built where the nuns in their choir would have been able to view the performance of Mass. The bell tower, separated from the main edifice, was begun in 1328 but was completed only in Renaissance times. The simple interior houses the tomb of King Robert and, in the side chapels, those of the Bourbon king of Naples, Francis II and his consort Maria Sophie of Bavaria, as well as of Queen Maria Christina of Savoy and of the national hero Salvo d'Acquisto (a carabiniere who sacrificed his own life to save the lives of 22 civilian hostages at the time of the Nazi occupation). Famous is the cloister of the Clarisses, transformed in 1742 by Vaccaro with the addition of precious majolica tiles in Rococò style. The Nuns' Choir houses fragments of frescoes by Giotto.

40.8464914.253055

San Zaccaria, Venice

45.4347222212.34333333

San Salvador, Venice

45.436612.3365

Amphitheatre of Pompeii

This is in the most easterly corner of the excavated area, near the Sarno Gate entrance. It was completed in 80BC, measures 135 x 104 metres and could hold about 20,000 people. It is the earliest surviving permanent amphitheatre in Italy and one of the best preserved anywhere. It was used for gladiator battles, other sports and spectacles involving wild animals.

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Villa of the Mysteries

A house with curious frescoes, perhaps of women being initiated into the Cult of Dionysus. Contains one of the finest fresco cycles in Italy, as well as humorous ancient graffiti.

40.7536944414.47744444

Ancient theatre of Taormina

Ancient theatre of Grecian origin, but re-built in Roman brick in the 3rd century BCE. Impressive for the views and because the proscenium (the back-drop) survives, unlike in most amphitheatres.

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Palazzo Re Enzo

palace

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Girolamini, Naples

Ecclesiastic complex comprising a a gallery of paintings, a cloister, a library of thousands of ancient manuscripts, and a baroque church.

40.85188414.25839

Edoardo Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art

The biggest European collection of oriental art.

44.410833338.93722222

Tempio Malatestiano

Bizarre burial chapel for Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, the lord of the city, together with his mistress Isotta degli Atti and the Malatesta family.

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San Giobbe

45.4450277812.32032222

Il Redentore

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San Simeone Piccolo

The last church built in Venice. One of the things that it is recognized for is the fact that they celebrate Tridentine Mass on Sundays. It is also recognized for its dome because it is used to make the church look taller than it is and the dome itself is entirely covered with lead sheet.

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Piccolo Teatro (Milan)

theatre company in Milan, Italy

45.466388899.18472222

Trastevere

rione XIII of Rome, Italy

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Pelagie Islands

island group

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Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

palazzo

41.8366833312.46530833

San Giacomo di Rialto

This church is possibly the oldest church in Venice built around 421. It is most recognized for its 15th-century clock above the entrance of the church. It is also recognized for the red pillars and beautiful gold accents around the church itself.

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Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

Famous frescoes (Masaccio’s Adam and Eve Banished From the Garden and others by Lippi and Masolino) in the Brancacci Chapel.

43.76811.2439

Corniglia

human settlement in Vernazza, Province of La Spezia, Liguria, Italy

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Palace of Capodimonte

Hosts paintings from the 13th to 18th centuries, including major works by Simone Martini, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Masaccio, Sandro Botticelli, Lorenzo Lotto, Giovanni Bellini, Giorgio Vasari, El Greco, Jacob Philipp Hackert. It also hosts the works of the most important Neapolitan painters, like Jusepe de Ribera, Luca Giordano, the Neapolitan Caravaggisti.

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San Giovanni Grisostomo, Venice

45.4391666712.33722222

Genoa Cathedral

44.407477788.93161944

Madonie

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Santa Croce in Gerusalemme

church

41.8877777812.51638889

Ponte di Tiberio (Rimini)

The Roman bridge that marks the beginning of the Aemilian Way.

44.06368912.563656

Naples Cathedral

Built in the 18th century, it is the main church of Naples. It is widely known as the Cattedrale di San Gennaro, in honour of Saint Januarius, the city's patron saint. It was built on the foundations of two palaeo-Christian basilicas, whose traces can still be clearly seen. Underneath the building, excavations have revealed Greek and Roman artifacts. The Cathedral is famous for Miracle of the Blood, a recurring miracle taking place on the first Saturday of May and September 19th every year. During the ritual an ampull containing the old dried out blood of Saint Januarius is brought out and stirred; and miraculously liquefies. According to legend, disaster will befall Naples if the blood fails to liquefy.

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I Gesuiti, Venice

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House of the Faun

This is named after a statue of a dancing faun found on the site. It is considered to be an excellent example of the fusion of Italian and Greek architectural styles, and occupies an entire block.

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Santo Stefano, Venice

45.4331777812.33018889

National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa

A museum housed in the ancient 19th century's Bourbon Factories, along the route of the first railway in Italy: the Napoli-Portici line. Here is possible to admire a large variety of rolling stock like steam locomotives and different periods' carriages.

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Accorsi - Ometto Museum

45.06637.6931

Museo della Città, Rimini

44.06255312.567045

Carmini

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Santa Maria Formosa

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Circus Maximus

Ancient Roman circus in Rome

41.885912.4857

San Sebastiano, Venice

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San Zulian

45.4356944412.33866667

Piazza Navona

Piazza in Rome, Italy

41.8988888912.47305556

Santa Felicita, Florence

Contains frescoes of the Annunciation and a painting of the Deposition of Christ by the brilliant and weird mannerist painter, Pontormo. They are to be found in the Barbadori Chapel, which is to your immediate right when entering the church.

43.7668333311.25263611

Temple of Apollo (Pompeii)

This is to the north of the Basilica on the western side of the Forum. It has the oldest remains discovered, with some, including Etruscan items, dating back to 575BC, although the layout we see now was later than that.

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San Giovanni in Bragora

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Santa Maria della Pietà, Venice

A church that used to house an orphanage and hospital in the 18th century, it is known among classical music enthusiasts as the church where the Catholic priest and composer Antonio Vivaldi worked for most of his career.

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San Pietro di Castello (church)

Venice cathedral up to 1807, when the see was transferred to San Marco.

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Ospedale L'Albergo Reale dei Poveri, Naples

A former public hospital/almshouse. It was designed by the architect Ferdinando Fuga, and construction was started in 1751. It is five storeys tall and about 300 m long. It was popularly known as "Palazzo Fuga". King Charles III of the House of Bourbon meant the facility to house the destitute and ill, as well as to provide a self-sufficient community where the poor would live and work. The building was designed with five courtyards and a church in the centre, but only the three innermost courtyards were built, and plans to complete the building according to the original design were finally abandoned in 1819. It is no longer a hospital, and has suffered much from neglect and earthquakes. The centre behind the entrance is now used for exhibitions, conferences, and concerts.

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Marina di Pisa

When you have done the main attractions of Pisa, there is still one little gem left: Marina di Pisa, the harbor of Pisa at the Mediterranean sea. It hosts a beach, not with sand, but with little marble pebbles. The pebbles are smooth, and will not harm your feet, but since they are slightly unstable near the water, sea water compatible footwear is recommended for walking along the beach and getting in or out of the water.

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San Domenico Maggiore

One of the most prominent churches of Naples. This Gothic church (est. 1283) incorporates a smaller, original church built on this site in the 10th century, San Michele Arcangelo a Morfisa. The monastery annexed to the church has been the home of prominent names in the history of religion and philosophy. It was the original seat of the University of Naples, where Thomas Aquinas, a former monk at San Domenico Maggiore, returned to teach theology in 1272. As well, the philosopher monk, Giordano Bruno, lived here. The sacristy houses a series of 45 sepulchres of members of the royal Aragonese family, including that of King Ferdinand I.

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House of the Vettii

This is believed to have been the home of two brothers who were freed slaves and became very affluent. It contains many frescoes. In the vestibule there is a striking fresco of a well-endowed Priapus, God of Fertility and among the frescos in other parts of the building are illustrations of couples making love, of cupids and of mythological characters.

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Mozia

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Janiculum

hill in western Rome

41.8916666712.46111111

Palazzo del Podestà, Bologna

The first seat of the city government.

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Royal Armoury of Turin

The Palace is a wacky hybrid of medieval castle, baroque, and bling. The ticket covers five attractions:- Palace gardens: you enter this area free to reach the ticket office and palace entrance.- Galleria Sabauda houses the vast art collection of the rulers of Savoy.- Chapel of the Shroud is accessed this way, and from a gallery looks into the Cathedral.- The royal apartments: gilt, red flock, chandeliers, vast paintings, and everything else to impress.- Royal Armoury: dating from 16th century, the 1833 collection of Sardinian king Carlo Alberto.

45.07097.6868

San Lazzaro degli Armeni

Library with historical manuscripts, collection of works, miniatures and documents of the Armenian history, Monastery Church. Tours in Italian, English, and Armenian. On the small island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni.

45.41197912.361422

Manarola

human settlement in Riomaggiore, Province of La Spezia, Liguria, Italy

44.106388899.72805556

Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, Turin

45.08097.6759

San Francesco di Paola, Naples

One of the main churches in Naples, it's at the west side of Piazza del Plebiscito, the city's main square. The place was planned by King Joachim Murat of Naples (Napoleon's brother-in-law) as a tribute to the emperor. When Napoleon was dispatched, Ferdinand I of Bourbon continued the construction but converted the final product into the church one sees today. The church is reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome. The façade is fronted by a portico resting on six columns and two Ionic pillars. Inside, the church is circular with two side chapels. The dome is 53 metres high.

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Palazzo d'Accursio

historic palace in Bologna, Italy

44.4941666711.34138889

Aventine Hill

one of the seven hills of Rome, Italy

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House of the Tragic Poet

building in Pompei, Italy

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Gesù Nuovo

The Church of Gesù Nuovo (New Jesus) was built in 1470 as a palace for Roberto Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno. The Jesuits had already built a church in Naples, now called Gesú Vecchio. Political intrigues caused the property to be confiscated, and eventually sold in the 1580s to the Jesuits to construct a church (1584–1601) under architect Giuseppe Valeriano. The unusual façade, unusually plain for a Baroque style church, is of rusticated ashlar and is the original façade of the palace. The church contains masterpieces of some of the most notable Neapolitan artists, namely Belisario Corenzio, Paolo de Matteis, Francesco Solimena, Giovanni Lanfranco and Massimo Stanzione.

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Piazza Barberini

square in Rome, Italy

41.9038888912.48833333

Via Giuseppe Garibaldi (Genoa)

also known as Via Aurea and Strada Nuova, Golden Street and New Street has very impressive baroque buildings.

44.411111118.93277778

Piazza del Popolo

square in Rome, Italy

41.9105555612.47638889

Porta Palatina

building in Turin, Italy

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Piazza di Spagna

square in Rome, Italy

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Parco del Valentino

the biggest park in Turin central area. This park is situated along the Po river and in its area you can find the Valentino Castle, and the Medieval Village (Borgo Medievale).

45.0547.686

Piazza Castello, Turin

Large glamorous public square which has the Royal Palace to the north, the city cathedral to the northwest, the Chiablese palace to the west, the main shopping street Via Roma to the south, the piazza Madama and a fountain display in the centre and the Via Po to the east, leading to the Piazza Vittorio Veneto and the impressive Gran Madre di Cappucino church.

45.070833337.68555556

Barcola

Neighbourhood in Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

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Palazzo dei Banchi

building

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Saint Spyridon Church, Trieste

Church in Trieste, Italy

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San Gregorio Armeno

The church was completed in 1640, in honor of Saint Gregory of Armenia and it represents, along with the adjacent monastery, one of the most relevant Baroque complexes in Naples. The interior is decorated with 52 frescoes by Luca Giordano, and it is characterized by a single nave with five side arcades and chapels, in an impressive triumph of Baroque decorations.

40.85017514.257636

Monte dei Cappuccini, Turin

A late-Renaissance-style church on a hill overlooking the River Po near the bridge of Piazza Vittorio Veneto in Turin. It was built for the Capuchin Order; construction began in 1583, and was completed in 1656. The design was by Ascanio Vitozzi, but it was completed by the engineer Giacomo Soldati.

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San Michele degli Scalzi (Pisa)

The structure was conceived as the cathedral's bell tower. Construction began in 1173 and the tower started leaning soon afterwards due to subsidence of the ground underneath its base. A project to keep the tower from leaning more and tipping over finally reached a successful conclusion in 2001, and the tower is again open to those wishing to climb it. Climbing the tower requires a reservation-based ticket for €18. Tickets can be bought for the tower on the day, for a specific entry time. This could be 45 min-2 hr after the purchase time, but there is a lot to see while you wait. It is better if you buy tickets online for €18 well in advance (up to 20 days). The tickets are non-exchangeable, effectively non-refundable, and only good for the tower, so they're a bit of a risk to purchase in advance. Make the effort to climb, though, and you'll be rewarded by the view. The famous Pisa leaning tower is not the only one, due of the marshy land that they are built on, there are other 2 towers in Pisa: the Bell Tower of 43.7167510.396741 San Nicola Church , near the banks of Arno and the Bell Tower of 43.70595610.4191981 San Michele of Scalzi Church . For safety reasons, children who will not have turned 8 by the end of this year are not permitted to enter. Under-18s must be accompanied by an adult. ID may be requested to certify the age.

43.70610.4192

Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni

Famous painting cycle by Vittore Carpaccio depicting the lives of St.George, Tryphon and Jerome.

45.4363888912.34611111

Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, Pisa

Designed by Giorgio Vasari in the 16th century for the Ordine dei Cavalieri di Santo Stefano (Order of Chivalry of Saint Stephan), a chivalry order founded to fight piracy in 1561.

43.71932510.40095278

Arch of Augustus (Rimini)

A Roman arch built to celebrate the Roman emperor who lent it his name.

44.0569472212.57096389

Posillipo

(Pusìlleco in Neapolitan) A district of Naples on the northwestern part of the town. The Greeks first named this place Pausílypon (meaning "respite from worry") due to the enchanting calm of the shore. There are Roman ruins at water's edge, remains of the residence of Vedius Pollio. The area contains some notable historical buildings and landmarks. Among these is the Palazzo Donn'Anna and Villa Rosebery, the Italian President's residence during his stays in Naples.

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Palace of Justice, Rome

Wandering around the shopping and residential district of Prati, close to the Vatican, you may notice rather a lot of lawyers' nameplates outside buildings. This is also Rome's legal district because of the proximity of the Palazzo di Giustizia or Palace of Justice. This massive monstrosity on the banks of the Tiber was built on alluvial soil, which necessitated a concrete platform to support the foundations. Despite this, later settlement of the building led to the need for restoration work in 1970 and it is said to be still sinking. There were many allegations of corruption during its construction, something not unknown in the Rome of today, and this, combined with its appearance, gave rise to its nickname of the Palazzaccio or Ugly Palace.

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Via Giulia

thoroughfare in Rome, Italy

41.894212.4701

St Mark's Clocktower

Having been closed for restoration for many years, the restored astronomical clock is now visible. The fascinating tour of the clock mechanism (and rooftop bell) can only be visited on a guided tour, in English: Mon-Wed at 10:00 and 11:00, on other days at 14:00 and 15:00, in French Mon-Wed at 14:00 and 15:00, advance reservation required online or by phone at +39 041 5209070. A MUVE museum.

45.4347112.338912

Teatro Bellini, Naples

Built in 1878 and named after the Sicilian composer Vincenzo Bellini, the Bellini Theatre hosted prestigious events such as operas for almost a century. In 1960s a period of decline started for the structure, that became a sort of cheap movie cinema, away from the splendor of its origins. In 1986 the theatre was restored and reopened two years later, starting a lucky phase that lasts even today.

40.85114.2508

Great Synagogue of Florence

Lovely Moorish-style synagogue built in 1882 and a museum with many artefacts and documentation of Florentine Jewish life going back many centuries; visits are guided.

43.7727777811.26638889

Santa Maria del Carmine, Naples

One of Naples' main churches, related to important historical events of the city and its kingdom, such as Masaniello revolt and the executions happened during the five months existence of Parthenopean Republic (1799). The interior is a true triumph of Baroque decorations including polychrome marbles, stuccoes and a magnificent gilded ceiling. The basilica is located in Piazza del Carmine, few steps away from Piazza Mercato and Via Marina and it's recognizable by the 75 metres high bell tower, with a characteristic onion dome.

40.84681414.267583

San Nicola, Pisa

The structure was conceived as the cathedral's bell tower. Construction began in 1173 and the tower started leaning soon afterwards due to subsidence of the ground underneath its base. A project to keep the tower from leaning more and tipping over finally reached a successful conclusion in 2001, and the tower is again open to those wishing to climb it. Climbing the tower requires a reservation-based ticket for €18. Tickets can be bought for the tower on the day, for a specific entry time. This could be 45 min-2 hr after the purchase time, but there is a lot to see while you wait. It is better if you buy tickets online for €18 well in advance (up to 20 days). The tickets are non-exchangeable, effectively non-refundable, and only good for the tower, so they're a bit of a risk to purchase in advance. Make the effort to climb, though, and you'll be rewarded by the view. The famous Pisa leaning tower is not the only one, due of the marshy land that they are built on, there are other 2 towers in Pisa: the Bell Tower of 43.7167510.396741 San Nicola Church , near the banks of Arno and the Bell Tower of 43.70595610.4191981 San Michele of Scalzi Church . For safety reasons, children who will not have turned 8 by the end of this year are not permitted to enter. Under-18s must be accompanied by an adult. ID may be requested to certify the age.

43.7166410.39671

Museum of Oriental Art (Turin)

Houses collections from Gandhara, India, Southeast Asia, China and Japan. The third floor is devoted to Buddhist and Tibetan culture. The fourth floor contains the collections coming from Islamic countries and the Arabian Peninsula (mainly bronzes, ceramics, tiles). There are also temporary photography exhibitions and conferences.

45.07447.6794

Palazzo della Carovana

The main Scuola Normale Superiore building, with an elaborate façade, by the important Italian Renaissance artist and architect Giorgio Vasari - who is also said to be the first historian of art.

43.7196111110.400225

Santo Sepolcro (Pisa)

A Romanesque octagonal church with conical spire by Diotisalvi, who also built the baptistry - a Templar church, striking and forceful. Usually is not open to the public.

43.7144722210.40326667

Zoomarine

amusement park in Torvaianica, Rome, Italy

41.634412.4574

Galleria Umberto I

A public shopping gallery that is directly across from the San Carlo opera house. It was designed by Emanuele Rocco, who employed modern architectural elements reminiscent of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. The Galleria was meant to combine businesses, shops, cafes and social life — public space — with private space in the apartments on the third floor.

40.8386277814.24956944

EUR, Rome

project for the 1942 Rome Universal Exposition

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Via Veneto

thoroughfare in Rome, Italy

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Piazzale Michelangelo

Plaza on a hillside with a great view of the city. Go there by bus or climb the stairs and paths from the Lungarno della Zecca.

43.7627777811.26505556

Piazza della Signoria

square in Florence, Italy

43.7695861111.25576667

Piazza Colonna

square in Rome, Italy

41.9010555612.47991667

Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano

Elegant palace built in 1639 by the noble Spanish family Zevallos. It houses a rich art gallery comprising sculptures and paintings from 17th to 19th century, some of them realized by artists of the School of Posillipo.

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Synagogue of Trieste

synagogue

45.65317513.78033611

Abbey of Thelema

building in Cefalù, Italy

38.03163514.027127

San Michele in Isola

45.4490712.34698

English Cemetery, Florence

cemetery

43.77752511.26816389

Cittadella Nuova

A fortress converted to a public park which opens in summer for open air cinema, music shows and other events.

43.7110305610.40676667

Suburban Baths (Pompeii)

There are several baths to be inspected. The Forum Baths are just north of the forum and close to the restaurant. They are well-preserved and roofed. Be careful not to miss them as the entranceway is a long passage with no indication of the delights inside. The Central Baths occupy a much larger area but are less well-preserved. Close to these are the Stabian baths which have some interesting decorations and give a good idea of how baths used to function in Roman times.

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Via della Conciliazione

thoroughfare in Rome, Italy

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Via Balbi (Genoa)

Also has some similar buildings.

44.4150178.926264

Piazza della Rotonda

41.8993055612.47675

Palazzo di Sangro di Casacalenda, Naples

3-stores palace built during the second half of 18th century by the architect Mario Gioffredo. The internal courtyard was designed by Luigi Vanvitelli and features a four-arch portico and Doric order lesenes.

40.84896414.254808

Castel Capuano

The second most ancient castle of Naples after Castel dell'Ovo, built in 12th century by the Normans over a necropolis for use as a royal palace. It was then used as a residence for distinguished visitors such as Francesco Petrarca, and also as site for royal weddings and ceremonies. In 1503 it became the seat of city's courthouse for almost half a millennium, until the year 1995. Its name derives from its proximity to the road that led to Capua.

40.8532694414.26415833

Piazza Farnese

41.89510212.471217

Passetto di Borgo

Pope Nicholas III connected Castel Sant'Angelo to St. Peter's by a covered fortified corridor called the Passetto di Borgo. This proved useful for Pope Clement VII during the Sack of Rome (1527). You can still see much of the Passetto by walking along the Borgo Sant'Angelo, which runs parallel to, and north of, the Via della Conciliazione.

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Knights' Square

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Grotta Gigante

cave

45.7092166713.76383056

National Museum of Ceramics, Naples

A large, quiet park with beautiful panoramic views, surrounds a neoclassical villa which hosts a large ceramic collection from different parts of the world.

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Boccadasse

A picturesque fishermen quarter.

44.38978.97333

Piazza della Minerva

square in Rome, Italy

41.8980555612.4775

Neptune (galleon)

Replica of a 17th-century Spanish galleon.

44.4118.9271

Porta Capuana

Ancient city gate built in 1484, during the Aragonese rule, it represents one of the few visible remains of the medieval walls of Naples. It consists of an arch of white marble decorated with various bas-reliefs, between two impressing cylindrical towers made of igneous rock. During the first half of 20th century the square around the gate was a meeting point for artists and intellectuals.

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Palazzo dello Spagnolo, Naples

A late-baroque palace built in 1738 in Rione Sanità, famous for its monumental courtyard staircases with arches in shifting places.

40.856814.2544

Catacombs of Saint Gaudiosus

A catacombe area where macabre ritual of "draining" was performed. A few remains of skulls in the walls, parts of skeletons and wall paintings are shown. Also the history of the "upstairs" church is shortly showcased.

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Palazzo dei Notai

building in Bologna, Italy

44.4934722211.3425

Riviera del Brenta

coastal river area in Venice, Italy

45.4127777812.0525

Parco Virgiliano

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Catacombs of San Gennaro

An extensive, two floor catacombs area restored and maintained by a few dozen local-patriots. Misc. tombs, frescoes, mosaics, etc., are shown.

40.8641814.247624

Villa Comunale

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Lupanar (Pompeii)

An ancient brothel with pornographic frescoes over the entrance to each room, presumably indicating the services on offer. Even allowing for the smaller size of ancient Romans the beds seem rather small.

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Bourbon Tunnel

A tour of an old tunnel that connects the palace to military barracks, used as a bomb shelter in World War II.

40.835414.24629

Parco Virgiliano (Mergellina)

One of the greatest Latin poets, author of the Aeneid.

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Corso Italia (Genoa)

Genoa's promenade.

44.3913218.967383

Fontana del Gigante, Naples

One of the most beautiful fountains of the city, made in the beginning of 17th century by Pietro Bernini, father of the more famous Gian Lorenzo. It was originally located beside the Royal Palace, close to the statue of a giant and then moved on the promenade. It is composed of three round arches topped by coat of arms and decorated by various statues.

40.8296714.250081

Palazzo Corvaia

Medieval palace, dating from the 10th century, that was built by the Arabs when they ruled over Taormina. The main body is an Arabic tower. It has also an inner courtyard where the Arabic influence can been seen in the architecture.

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we will see

Italy

Italy (Italian: Italia), officially the Italian Republic (Repubblica italiana), is a country in Southern Europe, occupying the Italian Peninsula and the Po Valley south of the Alps. Once the core of the mighty Roman Empire, and the cradle of the Renaissance, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, including high art and monuments.

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Vatican City

The Vatican City (Italian: Città del Vaticano; Latin: Civitas Vaticana) is the world's smallest country both by area and by population, and is the center of Catholicism. As a district of Rome, it encompasses the Vatican City State (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano; Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae), as well as the surrounding Roman neighborhoods of Borgo and Prati. St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel are all in Vatican City. This tiny country completely within Rome is packed with more history and artwork than most cities in the world, and indeed many countries.

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France

France, officially the French Republic (French: République française), is a country with which almost every traveller has a relationship. Many dream of its joie de vivre shown by the countless cafés, picturesque villages and world-famous gastronomy. Some come to follow the trail of France's great philosophers, writers and artists, or to immerse in the beautiful language it gave the world. And others still are drawn to the country's geographical diversity, with its long coastlines, massive mountain ranges and breathtaking farmland vistas.

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Switzerland

Switzerland (German: Schweiz, French: Suisse, Italian: Svizzera, Romansch: Svizra), officially the Swiss Confederation (Latin: Confoederatio Helvetica, hence the abbreviation "CH") is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It has borders with France to the west, Italy to the south, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east and Germany to the north.

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Austria

Austria (German: Österreich, literally "the Eastern Realm" or "Eastern Empire") is a landlocked alpine German-speaking country in Central Europe bordering Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west, Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east and Slovenia and Italy to the south. Austria, along with neighboring Switzerland, is the winter sports center of Europe. However, it is just as popular for summer tourists who visit its historic cities and villages and hike in the magnificent scenery of the Alps.

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Slovenia

Slovenia (Slovenian: Slovenija) is a country in Central Europe that lies in the eastern Alps at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea, with Austria to the north, Italy to the southwest, Hungary to the northeast and Croatia to the south. Despite its small size, Slovenia has a surprising variety of terrain, ranging from the beaches of the Mediterranean to the peaks of the Julian Alps, to the rolling hills of the south. Slovenia was already more economically advanced than other nations behind the iron curtain prior to European integration and the powerhouse of Tito's Yugoslavia. Contrary to the popular misconception, Slovenia was not a part of the Eastern bloc (not after the Yugoslavian notorious split with the Soviet Union in 1948). Added the fact that Slovenia is also home to some of the finest scenery in the "New Europe", the transition from socialism to the European common market economy has gone well and serves as a model for other nations on the same track to follow.

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Malta

Malta is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea that lies south of the island of Sicily, Italy. The country is an archipelago, with only the three largest islands (Malta, Għawdex or Gozo, and Kemmuna or Comino) being inhabited.

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