Explore Italy

Enjoy opportunities of being in the right place at the right time

Photo by David Köhler on Unsplash

 

Have a rest and relax

Get out of a daily routine

Seek for peace and simple resting while introducing yourself to new horizons.

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Spa

Garda Thermal Park (Parco Termale del Garda)

Italy's seismic landscape has led to many natural thermal spas around the country, including the Garda Thermal Park, set near the northern retreat of Lake Garda on the estate of an 18th-century villa, Villa dei Cedri. Also known as Parco Termale del Garda in Italian, the park features two lakes and several bathing pools, all of which are kept warm thanks to the underground thermal spring that feeds them. Travelers will find fountains, waterfalls and even water massage jets in both the lakes and the bathing pools at the park. The lakes and pools are lit after dark, making for especially relaxing spa treatments, while the beautiful lawns are ideal for lounging before and after bathing. Overlooking the thermal park, every hotel room at Villa dei Cedri features warm water from the nearby thermal spring. But you don’t have to stay at the property to visit the Garda Thermal Park and utilize its soothing springs.

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See different sceneries

See different sceneries worldwide

Discover a vast number of beautiful places in our planet that you may not even know about yet.

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Nature and Wildlife Tours

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Places of Natural Beauty

Lake Orta (Lago di Orta)

The lakes of northern Italy are popular tourist destinations, but some are more well-known than others. Lake Orta, for instance, is much less visited than its famous neighbor, Lake Maggiore. Orta is significantly smaller than Lake Maggiore and slightly further from Milan, so it's not surprising that most tourists head for others in the area. Many Milanese, however, spend their lakeside vacations at Lake Orta specifically because it's less crowded.One of the picturesque charms of Lake Orta is the sweet little island at its center. Isola San Giulio is home to a basilica, a monastery, and not much else. Around Lake Orta there are towns with smaller hotels, but this isn't the tourist-centered experience of Lake Maggiore or Lake Como. Come to Lake Orta to really get away.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Mt. Terminio (Monte Terminio)

Monte Terminio is located near Avellino, in the small town of Serino. One of the taller peaks of the Picentini Mountains, it’s a popular place for outdoor enthusiasts and families to spend a morning or afternoon.Hiking is popular activity, and there are numerous well-marked trails to choose from. Those who make the climb to the summit are rewarded with amazing views. If you are interested in a calmer, relaxing experience, it’s also a great place to just bring a picnic and enjoy the fresh air. There is also a riding school on Mt. Terminio if horseback riding is on your vacation must-do list.Campania's famed truffles grow at the foot of Mt. Terminio. Hunters use specially trained dogs to go truffle hunting in the mountain forest area.

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Gardens & Parks

Picentini Mountain Regional Park (Parco Regionale di Monti Picentini)

The Monti Picentini Regional Park is a nice daytrip for outdoor lovers looking to take a break from city life in Naples. Located in Campania, the park is more than 150,000 acres (62,220 hectares) in size.Popular with hikers and bikers, many of the climbs enjoy the bonus of small waterfalls that offer an inviting spot to cool off. At the foot of Mt. Terminio, in Monti Picentini Regional Park is the town of Volturara Irpina. The town and surrounding countryside is a popular locale for truffle hunters to search for Campania's famous truffles.

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Gardens & Parks

Cinque Terre National Park (Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre)

This protected area in the heart of La Spezia was designated Italy’s first national park in 1999. Since then its 4,300 acres, which include the five towns that make up Cinque Terre, have been attracting globetrotters from around the world. A network of scenic hiking trails linking cliff-side villages to one another are among the park’s main attractions, but the protected marine area and quiet fishing communities help to draw some 3.5 million travelers a month to these hills. An impressive array of Mediterranean flowers, trees and plant life dot Cinque Terre trails and visitors are likely to spot a handful of animals unique to the region on a hike through this popular destination.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Arno River

Visitors to Florence will no doubt walk along and cross over the river that runs through the city center; and while it’s possible to see the city these days without paying much attention to the river, that wasn’t always the case. The Arno River was once an incredibly important river to central Italy, serving as a “highway” that brought shipments from the sea and brought warring soldiers from neighboring cities. Today, the River Arno may not be as critical an avenue for shipping or armies, but it’s no less important to the identity of Tuscany. The Arno River runs through Florence, as well as the cities of Pisa, Empoli, and Arezzo. Florence’s famous Ponte Vecchio (“Old Bridge”) spans the Arno, and hotel rooms with a river view usually command high prices. Also note that the part of central Florence located on the opposite side of the river from the Duomo and train station is known as the “Oltrarno,” or “other Arno,” meaning the other side of the Arno River.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Mt. Faito (Monte Faito)

Named for the beech trees that blanket its slopes, Faito Mountain inside the Lattari Mountains Regional Park offers some of the best hiking opportunities in the area. A road and cable car run up to the 3,750-foot (1,143-meter) peak, where the views of the Bay of Naples are stellar.From the peak, hiking trails lead past churches and ancient cisterns and through beech and black pine forests, where it’s often possible to spot birds, butterflies and small mammals in the wild. Keep an eye out for the pinguicola plant, the only carnivorous plant in Campania.

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Learn while traveling

Educate yourself while traveling

Witness diverse culture of people and learn history on the go.

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Classes & Workshops

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Religious Architecture

Church of San Sisto (Chiesa di San Sisto)

The Church of San Sisto is one of the oldest churches in Pisa, Italy and was built in the Middle Ages around the late 1000s in a Romanesque style. Despite several renovations throughout the centuries, the church you see today still looks very much like it did when it was first built. The facade is divided into three parts, each separated by pilaster strips. Arches and windows with metal bars can be seen on the upper part of the facade throughout the entire exterior of the church. Visitors will also see replica ceramic basins from the 10th to 11th centuries; the originals can be found in the St. Matthews Museum. The interior of the Church of San Sisto is divided into three aisles by two rows of granite and marble pillars. The pillars are crowned by capitals from ancient buildings which were reused in the construction of this church. As Pisa was once a big naval power, you will also see a rudder and a mast from the 14th to 15th centuries in the church.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Leonardo da Vinci Museum (Museo Leonardiano di Vinci)

Dedicated to one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance, the Leonardo Museum is found in Vinci, a delightful hilltop town about 40 minutes west of Florence. It is made up of several attractions that take in a route around Vinci, including his birthplace (Casa Natale di Leonardo) and museums at Palazzina Uzielli and the imposing medieval Castello Conti Guido. Dedicated to showcasing the genius of the original Renaissance Man, the museum first opened in the castle in 1953 and since then it has been extended several times to incorporate new displays. Exhibitions in both venues feature scale models of Leonardo’s designs for weaponry, clocks and flying machines as well as his architectural designs, engineering feats and work on mathematical theories.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Collegio del Cambio

Collegio del Cambio - Perugia’s exchange guild - was built sometime between 1452 and 1457 and originally operated as a bank. Today, this stunning example of Roman architecture is a destination for travelers who want to experience the beauty of the best-preserved Renaissance frescoes in the nation. Though only two rooms are open to the public at a cost of about five euros, visitors say what lied behind the massive wooden doors is definitely worth a visit. Stunning works from the artist Perugino, ornate wood carvings and a truly spectacular ceiling make this an attraction that is not to be missed while in Perugia.

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Religious Architecture

Brancacci Chapel (Cappella Brancacci)

Inside the Santa Maria del Carmine church in Florence’s Oltrarno neighborhood is a particularly famous chapel, the Brancacci Chapel. It’s famous not for who is buried there or who the chapel honors, but for the art that decorates it.The cycle of frescoes that adorn the walls of the Brancacci Chapel were painted largely by Masaccio. He began work in 1424 when he was only 21 years old. Masaccio died only six years later in Rome, leaving the frescoes unfinished. Some were later completed by Filippino Lippi. After some restoration work, the chapel - called by some the “Sistine Chapel of the early Renaissance" - has been cleaned of centuries of dirt, making the frescoes appear almost as colorful as they might have been when they were first painted. Among the more famous panels is Masaccio’s “The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden” and “Payment of the Tribute Money.”

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Religious Architecture

Basilica of St. Stephen in the Round (Basilica di Santo Stefano Rotondo)

Officially called the Basilica of St. Stephen in the Round, Santo Stefano Rotondo gets its more commonly-known nickname from its shape – it's one of the world's oldest and largest circular churches.The church was built in the 5th century, and although it was altered in the 6th and 7th centuries and then quite drastically in the 15th century, the central part of the church remains the original 5th century design. In addition to the church's shape, the other main attraction are the gruesome frescoes that line the outer wall. There are 34 scenes of martyrdom depicted, painted in the 16th century, each with a brief explanation of who was martyred and who gave the order.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Case Romane del Celio

It's awe-inspiring to walk through the ruins of ancient Roman temples and amphitheaters, but to bring history to a human level you've got see where those ancient people lived. You can do that at the Case Romane del Celio.Underneath the Basilica of Santi Givanni e Paolo, the Case Romane del Celio is a network of ancient Roman houses. There are homes from different periods – one from the 2nd century, another from the 3rd century – and for different levels of society. There are beautiful frescoed walls and a small museum displaying some of the artifacts unearthed during the excavation of the site.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Abbey of Sant'Antimo (Abbazia di Sant'Antimo)

Reportedly founded by the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne back in 781, the abbey church at Sant'Antimo is one of Tuscany's most beautiful sights, set against a backdrop of olive-smothered hills in a river valley. Constructed of mellow, cream-colored travertine, the structure more likely began life in the ninth century before the apse, delicately frescoed side chapels and cloisters were completed in 1260. Its Romanesque style features a façade carved with figures of the Apostles, while an ornate bell tower is decorated in Lombardian style with two bells. Travelers can further admire the church's luminous, alabaster interior and its carved columns while keeping an eye out for the 13th-century crucifix that guards the altar. Thanks to its proximity to the Via Francigena pilgrimage route between France and Rome, Sant'Antimo was once one of the most powerful Benedictine abbeys in Tuscany before it was closed by Pope Pius II in 1462.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

House of the Vestal Virgins (Casa delle Vestali)

Reopened to the public in 2011 after over 20 years of restoration work, the House of the Vestal Virgins is among the most fascinating of Rome’s ancient ruins. Dating back to the 6th century BC, the 50-room complex stood next to the Temple of Vesta, and was home to the six high priestesses of the Cult of Vesta. The priestesses, virgins chosen from noble Roman families, were tasked with keeping the sacred flame - revered as a symbol of Rome’s eternal life - of the Temple of Vesta alight and each served up to 30 years.Today, the sparse ruins merely hint at the once-lavish residence and mostly date back to 64AD, when it was rebuilt after a fire. Visitors can follow the ancient Via Nova from Palatine Hill to the Temple of Vesta, and view the remains of the large atrium, two-story portico and a series of statues the Vestales.

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Religious Architecture

Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere (Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere)

The Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of Rome’s oldest churches, originally built in the 4th century. While the structure has been renovated and expanded upon since then - most notably in the 12th century, when it was essentially torn to the foundation and rebuilt - the floor plan still reflects its 4th century roots.Although there is some dispute as to which was the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, there is an inscription in the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere that indicates this is the first such church. The original church on this spot was built in 340 under Pope Julius I, and in the 1140s Pope Innocent II tore it down in order to rebuild it completely.

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Sights & Landmarks

Protestant Cemetery of Rome (Cimitero Acottolico di Roma)

Rome may be home to the Vatican, but not everyone who lives - or dies - there is Catholic. In fact, with the many English travelers coming through Rome on the Grand Tour, followed by the many writers and artists who moved to Rome over the years, a cemetery for non-Catholics was required.The first burial in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome was in 1738. It’s also commonly called the Cemetery of the English (Cimitero degli Inglesi), although the official name is now “Non-Catholic Cemetery,” with graves for anyone who isn’t Catholic - not just Protestants or the English.Of course, the moniker “Cemetery of the English” is understandable, given some of the graves located here. The most famous are John Keats (1821) and Percy Bysshe Shelley (1822). Other notable graves include American poet Gregory Corso, Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, and sons of both Goethe and of Percy and Mary Shelley.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Lecce Roman Amphitheatre (Anfiteatro Romano di Lecce)

In addition to its present-day Baroque beauty, Lecce has a long history stretching way back over 2,500 years. Nowhere is this legacy better seen than in the Roman amphitheater that forms the southern side of the town’s central Piazza Sant’Oronzo. The horseshoe-shaped theater dates from the second century BC, and although discovered in the early 1900s, it was only excavated in 1938. It lies well below the current street level, and more than half of it remains covered by the rubble of earthquakes and centuries of over-building.It is estimated that when it was in its original state, the amphitheater was five stories high, could seat 25,000 spectators and was the scene of many gruesome gladiatorial conflicts guaranteed to entertain the legions of Roman soldiers billeted in the region. Beneath the arena, the pens that once housed the wild animals, prisoners and slaves can clearly be seen among the ruins.

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Religious Architecture

Great Synagogue of Rome (Tempio Maggiore di Roma)

The Great Synagogue of Rome has a storied past, with the city housing one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. The first set arrived in the city in the second century BC, and by the mid-16th century, the area of Trastevere on the west banks of the River Tiber became a Jewish ghetto, which lasted for three centuries until it was disbanded by King Victor Emmanuel II. The Great Synagogue was built across the river from Trastevere shortly afterwards in memory of the dark days of the ghetto; the Art Nouveau structure is stopped with a distinctive square dome and ornamented with floral reliefs.On April 13, 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the synagogue, making him the first pope since early Christianity to do so. The synagogue celebrated its centenary in 2004 and serves as a hub for the Jewish community of Rome, as well as housing for the offices of the Chief Rabbi.

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Religious Architecture

Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls (Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura)

The Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls is one of four major basilicas in Rome and was once the largest basilica in the world. It held that title until St. Peter's Basilica was completed in 1626. The original church was built in the 4th century but burned down in 1823. It was replaced with the one that stands today. It is where St. Paul is presumed to be buried, which is why it is named after him. His burial site was located outside of the Aurelian Walls that surrounded Rome at the time.The basilica's art gallery has paintings from the original church, some dating back as far as the 13th century. There are also some rare documents and engravings that were saved from the fire. The outside of the church has 150 columns and a huge statue of St. Paul. The facade is decorated with mosaics designed from 1854 to 1874.

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Religious Architecture

Church of Santa Chiara (Chiesa di Santa Chiara)

Officially known as the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, the Chiesa Santa Chiara is one of several examples of Sicilian Baroque style architecture in the town of Noto on the Italian island of Sicily. Designed by architect Rosario Gagliardi around 1730, the church was modeled after elliptical shaped churches built by the Romans in the 16th and 17th centuries. The interior is considered one of the most beautiful in Sicily, with decorative stucco, gold gilding, a wooden choir with decorative inlays, 12 columns featuring the figures of the apostles and a main altar made of marble from ancient Noto. Also on display inside the church are important works of art such as a picture of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica painted by Salvatore Lo Forte and a sculpture of the Madonna and Child made of marble. Visitors are well advised to climb up to the rooftop terrace of the adjoining convent to enjoy panoramic views of Noto.

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Religious Architecture

Lecce Basilica of Santa Croce (Basilica Di Santa Croce)

The glories of Puglia’s lovely town of Lecce came into being in the 16th and 17th centuries, when peace in the region enabled religious orders and wealthy benefactors, including Emperor Charles V, to transform the town from sleepy backwater to the Baroque gem of southern Italy. The glorious centerpiece of all this gorgeousness is undoubtedly the Basilica di Santa Croce, a swirling mass of ornate Baroque patterning crawling with garlands, statuary, mythical beasts and gargoyles, all fronted with a colonnaded façade that is dominated by a vast rose window.Work began on this madcap architectural frippery in 1549 on the site of an earlier Celestine monastery, and the basilica was finally consecrated in 1695. Three generations of architects worked on the construction over the decades, with the most notable being Giuseppe Zimballo –better known as Lo Zingarello (the gypsy) – who was the star Puglian architect of the period.

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Buildings & Structure

St. Peter's Baldachin (Baldacchino di San Pietro)

In the early years of his pontificate, Pope Urban VIII commissioned what is now called St Peter’s Baldachin (Baldacchino di San Pietro) over the saint’s grave. The project was designed by Bernini and turned out to be so enormous that the Pantheon’s beams had to be melted down to provide the massive amount of bronze needed. The Romans weren’t too happy with the damage done to their beloved Pantheon, and the project was thus on the receiving end of all sorts of mockery. A popular pun was an allusion to the Pope’s family name Barberini: "Quod non fecerunt Barberi, fecerunt Barberini"—a saying that roughly translates to “what even the barbarians didn’t dare to do, the Barberini did.”Located under the dome of Michelangelo where the nave and transept meet, the canopy is as high as a nine-story building. It is directly over the altar, which in turn lies over the supposed grave of St Peter, and is held up by four corkscrew columns that form a helix.

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Religious Architecture

Ravello Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta e San Pantaleone)

Built in the 11th century, the Duomo, which faces the town square, is the spiritual and social center of Ravello. The cathedral is a combination of Baroque and Romanesque architecture and has undergone extensive restorations over the past 900 years, with its modern white façade a result of its last major renovation in 1931. The church’s bell tower dates back to the 13th century and is Moorish and Byzantine in style. The Duomo features three naves, separated by two colonnades, each of which is formed by eight columns of granite, transept and crypt. The famous bronze doors were made using the relief technique, and are unique in that there aren’t many bronze church doors still in existence in Italy, particularly of this kind.

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Religious Architecture

Cloister of San Francesco (Chiostro di San Francesco)

Sorrento’s Cloister of San Francesco is an oasis of tranquility steps away from the historic town’s bustling central piazza of Sant’Antonino. The cloister unites a religious complex of seventh-century monastery and a late-medieval church, both dedicated to St Francis of Assisi, and is a showpiece of various architectural styles from pre-Roman through Arabic to medieval.In the 14th century Franciscan friars from the monastery repurposed an ancient oratory into their church; it has some Baroque features and its simple white façade was rebuilt in 1926. Inside there are several richly decorated chapels adjoining the single nave and in 1992, a bronze statue of St Francis was placed outside the church; it is the work of Roman sculptor Alfiero Nena. But the cloister, built at the same time as the church, is the star turn here; its tranquil gardens are filled with bougainvillea and vines that climb over arched arcades.

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Religious Architecture

Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo)

One of three churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary that face the large Piazza del Popolo in northern Rome is the church that bears the same name as the piazza - Santa Maria del Popolo. Of the three, this is by far the most popular tourist draw, primarily for the incredible artwork it contains.The present-day Church of Santa Maria del Popolo was rebuilt in the 1470s from an earlier church built on the site in 1099. Gian Lorenzo Bernini updated the facade to its Baroque style in the 1650s, and also worked on the Chigi Chapel in the church.Santa Maria del Popolo contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, mosaics by Raphael, chapels designed by Bramante and Raphael, and two fabulous paintings by Caravaggio. Because of this stunning collection of in situ art, the church is as much (if not more) a tourist attraction for art and culture lovers as it is still a house of worship.

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Religious Architecture

Church of Santa Maria della Spina (Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina)

The exquisite church of Santa Maria della Spina is one of the prettiest fairy-tale churches in the world.Designed in classic Pisan Gothic style, the tiny striped marble church was built to house a thorn from the Crown of Thorns.The building dates back to 1230, with Gothic enlargements in the 1350s. Originally, the building sat much closer to the river, and it was moved to its present site on the riverside walkway in 1871.The interior is less ornate than the fanciful exterior, with many statues and details being lost during the relocation. However, a magnificent Madonna and Child remains, sculpted by Andrea and Nino Pisano in the mid-14th century.

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Religious Architecture

Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola)

By Rome's standards, the Church of Sant'Ignazio di Loyola seems like it isn't very old at all – only consecrated in 1722 – but that's because prior to 1650, it was a private church.Saint Ignatius of Loyola was the founder of the Society of Jesus – better known as Jesuits – and the original church on this site was built entirely by Jesuit labor in the 1560s on the foundation of an earlier building. That church, built as the private chapel for the Collegio Romano (the first Jesuit university), was expanded slightly in 1580, but by the early 1600s it was already too small for the number of students at the college. Construction on the current church was started in 1626, a mere four years after Saint Ignatius of Loyola was canonized, and it opened to the public in 1650. The interior reflects the church's Baroque style with heavy ornamentation. There is gold decoration everywhere, enormous frescoes, and Jesuit iconography and stories depicted throughout.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Portico of Octavia (Portico di Ottavia)

Portico of Octavia was a large courtyard with many columns originally built in the 2nd century BC. It was rebuilt about 100 years later by Emperor Augustus and dedicated to his sister, Octavia. It once covered an area of almost 445 feet long and almost 380 feet wide, larger than a football field, and it had more than 300 Corinthian columns. The Temple of Juno Regina and the Temple of Jupiter Stator stood in the middle. Today not much remains of the structure compared to what it once was. Visitors can still see five columns and the ruins of the entrance gate.In the Middle Ages, the ruins of the Portico of Octavia became the site of a fish market. A stone to the right of the portico's great arch still marks the location. Nearby you can find the Teatro Marcello, the Tiber River and Tiber Island, the Temple of Apollo Sosiano, and it's not far from the Roman Forum.

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Buildings & Structure

Column of Marcus Aurelius (Colonna di Marco Aurelio)

Standing an impressive 100 feet high, the Column of Marcus Aurelius was built as a Roman victory monument and stands in what is now called the Piazza Colonna, situated in what would have been the northern boundary of Ancient Rome.The original date of construction is unknown, but there are inscriptions of the column throughout the region that promote the idea that the construction was completed, at the very latest, by 193 AD. Most scholars believe that the construction of the column may have started directly after the Roman victories over a number of their northern rivals. Parallel to this idea are the intricate carvings on the column that work in a spiral fashion and tlel the stories of victories, war and conquest. The details show images of men, horses, women and the destruction of certain villages. By the 15th century, the statue of Marcus Aurelius atop the column had already deteriorated.

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Religious Architecture

Basilica of San Domenico Maggiore (Basilica di San Domenico Maggiore)

Set on a busy square and surrounded by palaces, a visit to the 13th-century San Domenico Maggiore offers visitors the chance to see a beautiful church and lively piazza.The new Church of San Domenico Maggiore was built between 1283 and 1324. It incorporates a smaller church, the Chapel of San Michele Arcangelo a Morfisa – you can see the remains inside—first built at the same location in the 10th century. Like many churches, San Domenico Maggiore has undergone many renovations and remodels over its long history. In 1670, it underwent a Baroque redo, only to be restored to its original Gothic design in the 19th century. San Domenico Maggiore contains well-known Renaissance art including frescoes by Pietro Cavallini and copies of works by Caravaggio and Titian.

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Buildings & Structure

La Pietà

With all of the treasures contained in the Vatican Museums, it’s easy to forget that one of Michelangelo’s most beautiful sculptures, the Pieta, is a short distance away in St. Peter’s Basilica - and it doesn’t even require an entry fee.The term “pieta” is applied to any depiction of the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Jesus, after he has been pulled down from the cross. Michelangelo’s Pieta was carved in the late 1490s was originally part of a funerary monument to a French cardinal, but was moved in the 18th century to its current location just inside the entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica.For many years, visitors could get very close to the Pieta, but in 1972 an insane man yelling “I am Jesus Christ” took a hammer to the sculpture. Some pieces of the sculpture were never recovered - including Mary’s nose, which was reconstructed from a piece of marble cut out of the back of the statue - and afterward the large bullet-proof glass was installed.

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Experience fun and excitement

Have a good time

Travel long distances just for fun and explore places where being happy is a way of life.

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Tickets & Passes

Skip the line Tickets

Top Attractions

Stadiums & Arenas

Palio of Siena (Palio di Siena)

You could describe Siena’s famous Palio as a horse race, but it’s so much more than that. Il Palio di Siena is a throwback to medieval times, a good-natured rivalry between neighborhoods, and an excuse to hold big block parties twice each summer.Il Palio of Siena dates back to the 16th century when locals wanted a sporting event to replace the recently-outlawed bullfighting. The first races used buffalos rather than horses, with the Palio as we know it today starting in the mid-1600s. Of Siena’s 17 old neighborhoods - called “contrade” - 10 are represented by a horse and rider in each event, and the winner gets bragging rights until the next Palio.

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Buildings & Structure

Palazzo Lombardia

The word "palazzo" may make you think of an historic building, but in the case of the Palazzo Lombardia in Milan, it's a brand-new award-winning skyscraper.The Palazzo Lombardia was completed in 2010, and serves as the headquarters for the government of the Lombardy region. For a little over a year, it reigned as the tallest building in all of Italy at 529 feet, until another skyscraper in Milan was completed in the fall of 2011. The design for the skyscraper won an architectural award in 2012. It's located in the Porta Nuova district north of Milan's city center, a newly-renovated business district.

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Buildings & Structure

Fountain of Neptune

In pride of place at the center of the busy Piazza della Signoria, the Fountain of Neptune has long been one of Florence’s most memorable landmarks, set against a backdrop of the grand Palazzo Vecchio (Town Hall). Inaugurated in 1565, the striking artwork is the masterpiece of sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati and was commissioned to celebrate the wedding of Francesco I de’ Medici and Johanna of Austria.The elaborate bronze and marble statue portrays a 5.6-meter-high image of Neptune, the Roman God of the Sea, with the face of Cosimo I de 'Medici, stood on a high pedestal above the water, around which Satyrs and horses frolic. Despite sustaining considerable damage over the years, including losing one of its hands to vandals back in 2005, the statue has now been painstakingly restored and remains a popular meeting place for both locals and tourists.

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Buildings & Structure

Fontana Maggiore

The 13th-century Fontana Maggiore is undoubtedly the main attraction in Piazza IV Novembre and not only because of its size. The huge area was built in the late 1270s and sits in a prominent location between Perugia's cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori. It was sculpted by a father-son team from pink and white marble. They depicted scenes from the Old Testament, legends about the founding of Perugia, as well as symbols of the city.The construction of the fountain was part of a host of city-wide renovations marking Perugia's becoming autonomous, which is why many of the symbols on the fountain promote civic pride. The piazza itself is named for the day World War I ended in Italy.

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Geological Formations

Emerald Grotto (Grotta dello Smeraldo)

The Emerald Grotto on the beautiful Amalfi coast lies south-east of Sorrento along a wondrously dramatic coastal road that swoops up cliffs and dives around switchback roads with typical Italian charm and recklessness. Discovered in 1932 by a local fisherman, the grotto is an underground cavern famous for its translucent, turquoise-blue waters, which sparkle as the sun’s rays percolate underground. Encrusted with dripping limestone stalactite and stalagmite formations, the cave was submerged by the Mediterranean Sea during the last Ice Age, spanning 45 meters (147 feet) by 32 meters (105 feet) and in places reaching a height of 24 meters (79 feet). It is best visited between noon and 3pm, when sunlight filters through the grotto entrance to create ever-changing colors dancing across the waves. A Nativity scene was created underwater in the cave in 1956 and every Christmas divers come to place flowers around the crib.

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Buildings & Structure

Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana delle Quattro Fiumi)

Rome is full of fountains, but some are more famous than others. The Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona is one of the fountains that, thanks to popular culture and a colorful legend about rival artists, is on many tourist must-see lists.Gian Lorenzo Bernini is the artist behind the Fountain of the Four Rivers, which depicts four major rivers - the Nile, the Danube, the Rio de la Plata, and the Ganges - each representing a different continent. Sitting atop Bernini’s sculptures is an Egyptian obelisk.The fountain was built in 1651 and sits at the center of the Piazza Navona, right in front of the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone. The statue representing the Rio de la Plata faces the church, and appears to be cowering away in horror at the design - the church was built by one of Bernini’s rivals. This is a common story, and a fun one, but it can’t be true - the church was built many years after Bernini’s fountain.

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Go for a new adventure

Discover top adventure travel spots

Reward yourself with an opportunity to explore the nature in different and more radical way.

Top Activities

Nature and Wildlife Tours

Top Attractions

Geological Formations

Mt. Etna (Monte Etna)

Mount Etna, on the island of Sicily, is Europe’s tallest active volcano. Not only that, it’s one of the world’s most active volcanoes and, as of 2013, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a small wonder, then, that this mountain has shaped much of Sicily’s past and continues to impact life on the island today.The volcano sits near the eastern coast of Sicily, not far from the major port city of Catania. Eruptions from Mount Etna have been responsible for serious damage to cities and towns lying close to it, including one in 1669 that destroyed the villages that had been built on the mountainside. People continue to inhabit the mountain, however, partly because the rich volcanic soil makes an excellent base for crops. You’ll find not only fruits and vegetables growing on and around Mount Etna, but also grapes - there are many wines that owe their prominence to the volcano.

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Celebrate a special occasion

Go for a romance travel

Escape from home routine and find a romantic place to celebrate your special occasion.

Top Activities

Tickets & Passes

Half-day Tours

City Tours

Full-day Tours

Top Attractions

Buildings & Structure

Te Palace (Palazzo Te)

Palazzo Te is a half-hour’s enjoyable walk from the heart of gorgeous Mantua, a wonderfully OTT summer palace built for Federico II Gonzaga between 1525 and 1535. Designed by Renaissance architect Giulio di Piero Pippi de’ Iannuzzi (known as Romano), the palace was Federico’s retreat from royal life, which centered on the Palazzo Ducale in Piazza Sordello. A seemingly endless series of lavishly adorned apartments were decorated by leading artists of the day and reflect his pet obsessions with love, horses and astrology, from statuesque equine portraits in the Hall of the Horses to alarmingly suggestive frescoes by Romano in the Chamber of Amor and Psyche.

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Art Galleries

Rome Corsini Palace (Palazzo Corsini)

Not to be confused with Florence's Palazzo Corsini, Rome's own Palazzo Corsini and the land it sits on changed hands many times over the centuries before coming to house the offices of the National Academy of Science and first-floor Corsini Gallery as it does today. Surrounded by formal gardens, the Baroque palace's gallery exhibits Italian art with Renaissance showstoppers such as Caravaggio's St John the Baptist (1606), St Sebastian (1614) by Rubens and works by Guido Reni, Fra'Angelico and Carracci. In addition, late 18th-century pieces, historical art and landscape paintings are included.Otherwise known as the National Gallery of Antique Art or the Galleria Corsini, this gallery is somewhat of a hidden gem with its light crowds and extensive collection of ancient art. Travelers will love exploring the manicured grounds and can note that the gallery's Roman sister collections include Palazzo Barberini and Galleria Borghese.

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Fun & Games

Prada Outlet

For high-fashion shopping on the cheap, head to the Prada Outlets (called Lo Spaccio, or Space) just outside Florence. Along with cut-price Prada clothing, cosmetics, shoes, and bags, you'll also find accessories and outfits by Miu Miu and Jil Sander. While you're here, also drop into The Mall for discount gear from just about every designer imaginable. Get ready to try on everything from Armani jeans and Gucci shoes to Pucci scarves, Fendi bags, Burberry coats, and La Perla lingerie. Choose carefully and you could pay up to 50% less for top designer fashion that will have your friends green with envy.

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Fun & Games

10 Corso Como

If 10 Corso Como sounds like an address, it is. It also happens to be one of Milan's most fasionable addresses, home to a number of attractions and shops. 10 Corso Como (it's Dieci Corso Como in Italian, as "dieci" is the word for 10) was originally an art gallery and bookstore, opened in a traditional Milanese building 1990 by Carla Sozzani. The complex grew over the years to include a cafe, a fashion boutique, a roof garden, and even a tiny hotel (with only three rooms) - all at the same address. The courtyard cafe at 10 Corso Como is particularly popular for aperitivo, and getting a table can be incredibly difficult. You can enjoy the "see and be seen" atmosphere simply by browsing the shops, however.

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Fun & Games

Franciacorta Outlet Village

Located in the Lombardy region of Italy, Franciacorta Outlet Village is one of the largest and most important retail outlets outside of Milan. Travelers on the lookout for international brand name fashions will find a selection of more than 70 retailers offering discounts of up to 70 percent off normal retail prices. Popular brands include Calvin Klein, Guess, Pinko, Hilfiger Denim, Nike and The North Face. Besides shops, the outlet complex also houses several restaurants and cafes, including a Lindt Chocolatier shop. There’s a playground for the kids, as well as a beauty salon and spa.

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Buildings & Structure

Este Castle (Castello Estense)

This iconic castle located in the heart of Ferrara dates back to the 1300s and stands as an homage to an ancient era that still attracts travelers and history lovers to its towering gates. Visitors who want to explore this scenic destination will find restored prisons, barracks and weapon stores, in addition to gardens, a council hall, and dozens of other restored and renovated rooms that showcase what life here was like thousands of years ago.Travelers say the idyllic drawbridge, Giants’ Room and the old school dungeon are some of the spots in this massive castle that are not to be missed. And while the castle’s interior is still covered with frescos, visitors say some are badly in need of restoration to return them to their original beauty.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Ponza Island

Ponza is the main island in the Pontine archipelago off the coast of Italy. It is famous for its blue grottos, and is fabled to be the island of the sorceress Circe described in Homer’s Odyssey. Clear azure waters provide excellent swimming, including the Piscine Naturali, which consists of saltwater pools formed by ancient volcanic activity. There are numerous beaches to relax on, the most popular being Chiaia di Luna. Cobblestone roads wind through a small, laid-back town center, and colorful homes and shops dot the hills overlooking the sea. Tucked away from the coast and away from much else, Ponza is still considered to be a bit of a secret. Many say that the best way to see it is from the water, admiring its jagged cliffs and exploring its grottos and caves by boat. Eating freshly caught seafood once back on land may equally be a highlight.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Giglio Island (Isola del Giglio)

Located at the southern end of the Tuscan Islands archipelago, Isola del Giglio (Giglio Island) has long attracted visitors — mainly Romans — to its beaches, coves and hiking trails. The 9-square-mile (24-square-kilometer) granite island, the second largest in the archipelago, boasts only three towns. Ferries coming from the mainland arrive at Giglio Porto, while the walled village of Giglio Castello sits at the island’s highest point. On the far western end of the island, Giglio Campese is the most modern of the three.Much of Giglio Island’s appeal comes from its rusticity and sense of isolation. A dozen hiking trails wind through the island’s sun-drenched hills, where you’re as likely to see goats munching on the parched greenery as other tourists. Along the coastline lie several inlets and small beaches, many only reachable by boat or on foot. Just off the southwestern coast of the island, Tuscan Islands National Park protects some beautiful dive sites.

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Buildings & Structure

Brolio Castle (Castello di Brolio)

Right in the heart of Chianti wine country, Gaiole in Chianti is a sleepy village these days but as it was an important town in the Middle Ages, it is surrounded by great defence castles including Vertine, Barbischio and Meleto. The most impressive of them all is Castello di Brolio, which commands the surrounding countryside from its perch nearly 1,804 ft (550 m) above swathes of olive groves and vineyards. Unbelievably it has been owned by the Ricasoli family since the 12th century and has long been associated with wine making.The castle gained its present appearance in the mid 19th century, when it was remodeled into Gothic style with turrets and towers of pink stone by Barone Bettino Ricasoli, the man responsible for introducing Chianti wine to the world. One of the foremost attractions on Chianti wine estates itineraries, today the castle, its private chapel and the family treasures in the Ricasoli Museum can be explored by guided tour.

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Buildings & Structure

Montecitorio Palace (Palazzo Montecitorio)

The Palazzo di Montecitorio is the seat of the Chamber of Deputies, the house of Italy’s parliament. It was completed under Pope Innocent X in 1650, designed by Bernini and afterwards expanded by Carlo Fontana. It was the pope's vision to house the Pontifical Curia here, but the building ended up serving a variety of functions over the years until it became the seat of the Chamber of Deputies later on. Although the look of the building has changed over the years and it got a makeover in the Art Nouveau style in the early 20th century, the clock tower, column, window sills and the baroque Bernini façade remain the same.A newer addition is the long salon, where informal political discussions and agreements take place, leading to it being referred to as the informal center of Italian politics. The salon’s name, Transatlantico, refers to a construction company from Palermo.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Ischia

Capri may be the most famous island in the Gulf of Naples, but Ischia can lay claim to being the largest. Which is a good thing, because folks like to come and visit; Ischia welcomes about 6 million visitors every year.Tourism is the main industry on Ischia thanks in part to volcanic activity that’s created much sought after hot springs. Thermal spas lure many visitors to the island, but with 37 km (23 miles) of coastline, there are plenty of things to appreciate about island life and finding a place to call your own isn’t impossible. Be sure to visit Castello Aragonese (Aragonese Castle) at Ischia Ponte. Built in the 15th century, it was once tasked with protecting the island from pirates.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

From the 14th through the 18th centuries, the rulers of Genoa were called doges, and they ruled from the Doge's Palace – the Palazzo Ducale in Italian – in the historic city center. Today, the palace is open to the public as a museum. The Palazzo Ducale was built starting in the 1250s, although the finishing touches on the building weren't complete until the 1530s. The palace once served as both the residence for the ruling doge and the offices from which he would govern the Republic of Genoa. The palace was added to at various points over the years, and partially rebuilt twice (once after a fire in the 1770s).There are two main entrances to the Palazzo Ducale. The main entrance is on the Piazza Matteotti, and a secondary entry is on the famous Piazza de Ferrari. Today, the palace serves various civil functions. There are regular exhibitions held in the palace, including visiting contemporary art shows, as well as a couple of large halls that are often used for events.

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Try exciting meals

Experience a variety of food on the trip

Escape from ordinary everyday meals and reward yourself with delicious and special gourmet dishes.

Top Activities

Dining Experiences

Wine Tastings

Street Food Tours

Top Attractions

Market

Florence Central Market (Mercato Centrale)

Designed by the renowned architect Giovanni Mengoni in the late 19th century, Florence’s Mercato Centrale is a cavernous, two-storey market hall that’sl full of Tuscan foods. The biggest market in the city, on the outside it’s all iron and lots of glass. Enter on the ground floor to see rows and rows of meats and cheeses including mounds of fresh buffalo mozzarella, and food bars where you can stop for a snack or a panini. The northern corner’s where to buy fish and shellfish, while the second floor is given over to vegetable stands. All kinds of foods can be bought here, from fresh bread to pasta and pizza, gelato and chocolate. There’s also the popular Chianti Classico wine store, which you can arrange to have any wine you buy shipped home. You can also sign up for wine tasting classes or head to the market’s cooking school.

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Market

Capo Market (Mercato di Capo)

One of the best ways to get to know a city is through its food and markets. Mercato di Capo, located near the old city walls, is one of the best markets in Palermo, Italy on the island of Sicily. The stalls in this market sell a wide variety of food including local specialties, fruits and vegetables, meat and fish. The vendors selling local delicacies can be found along Via Volturno. Non-food items can also be found here, such as clothing and souvenirs. When you walk through the market, you will hear vendors yelling or chanting in their Palermo dialect as they try to sell their goods. It is said that the sounds, smells, and sights of this market are some of the best preserved of Sicily's Arab traditions. The market dates back to the times when there was a lot of Muslim influence in this port city, and it has become an important part of the culture. Exploring and shopping at this market is the perfect way to experience Palermo with all your senses.

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Market

Sant'Ambrogio Market (Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio)

Florence's most famous and popular market is the aptly named Mercato Centrale – but it's by no means the only market in the city. Another ideal spot to pick up picnic supplies, see what's fresh before you browse local menus or simply enjoy the colors of an Italian food market is the Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio (Mercato Alimentare Sant'Ambrogio). Also known as the Sant'Ambrogio Market, the site is home to stalls that sell many of the same sorts of items seen at the Mercato Centrale – fruits, vegetables, bread, meat, fish, cheese, spices and other sundry pantry essentials. In a couple areas of the market, you'll also find vendors selling clothing and household items. Because the Mercato Centrale is the more famous market, the Mercato Alimentare Sant'Ambrogio offers a slightly less touristy experience. It's in the historic center, so it's unlikely to be tourist-free, but you may find more locals than visitors browsing here.

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Italy

25 Featured Attractions

Places of Natural Beauty

Lake Orta (Lago di Orta)

The lakes of northern Italy are popular tourist destinations, but some are more well-known than others. Lake Orta, for instance, is much less visited than its famous neighbor, Lake Maggiore. Orta is significantly smaller than Lake Maggiore and slightly further from Milan, so it's not surprising that most tourists head for others in the area. Many Milanese, however, spend their lakeside vacations at Lake Orta specifically because it's less crowded.One of the picturesque charms of Lake Orta is the sweet little island at its center. Isola San Giulio is home to a basilica, a monastery, and not much else. Around Lake Orta there are towns with smaller hotels, but this isn't the tourist-centered experience of Lake Maggiore or Lake Como. Come to Lake Orta to really get away.

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Stadiums & Arenas

Palio of Siena (Palio di Siena)

You could describe Siena’s famous Palio as a horse race, but it’s so much more than that. Il Palio di Siena is a throwback to medieval times, a good-natured rivalry between neighborhoods, and an excuse to hold big block parties twice each summer.Il Palio of Siena dates back to the 16th century when locals wanted a sporting event to replace the recently-outlawed bullfighting. The first races used buffalos rather than horses, with the Palio as we know it today starting in the mid-1600s. Of Siena’s 17 old neighborhoods - called “contrade” - 10 are represented by a horse and rider in each event, and the winner gets bragging rights until the next Palio.

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Sights & Landmarks

Manarola

Manarola is the second smallest—and also the oldest—of the five towns that make of Cinque Terre. Its name derives from a Latin word meaning large wheel, which pays homage to a giant mill at the center of town.Travelers to Manarola will find the same rolling hillsides and picturesque hiking trails that Cinque Terre is known for, as well as the Sciacchetra wine the region made famous. What sets this vista apart is the colorful homes tucked into ocean cliffs that bring pops of yellow, blue and red to the landscape, which have inspired artists for decades. Visitors can check out some of the oil paintings and watercolors at the local gallery before heading up the hill for incredible views and a visit to the Church of St. Lorenzo.

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Market

Florence Central Market (Mercato Centrale)

Designed by the renowned architect Giovanni Mengoni in the late 19th century, Florence’s Mercato Centrale is a cavernous, two-storey market hall that’sl full of Tuscan foods. The biggest market in the city, on the outside it’s all iron and lots of glass. Enter on the ground floor to see rows and rows of meats and cheeses including mounds of fresh buffalo mozzarella, and food bars where you can stop for a snack or a panini. The northern corner’s where to buy fish and shellfish, while the second floor is given over to vegetable stands. All kinds of foods can be bought here, from fresh bread to pasta and pizza, gelato and chocolate. There’s also the popular Chianti Classico wine store, which you can arrange to have any wine you buy shipped home. You can also sign up for wine tasting classes or head to the market’s cooking school.

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Market

Capo Market (Mercato di Capo)

One of the best ways to get to know a city is through its food and markets. Mercato di Capo, located near the old city walls, is one of the best markets in Palermo, Italy on the island of Sicily. The stalls in this market sell a wide variety of food including local specialties, fruits and vegetables, meat and fish. The vendors selling local delicacies can be found along Via Volturno. Non-food items can also be found here, such as clothing and souvenirs. When you walk through the market, you will hear vendors yelling or chanting in their Palermo dialect as they try to sell their goods. It is said that the sounds, smells, and sights of this market are some of the best preserved of Sicily's Arab traditions. The market dates back to the times when there was a lot of Muslim influence in this port city, and it has become an important part of the culture. Exploring and shopping at this market is the perfect way to experience Palermo with all your senses.

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Buildings & Structure

Te Palace (Palazzo Te)

Palazzo Te is a half-hour’s enjoyable walk from the heart of gorgeous Mantua, a wonderfully OTT summer palace built for Federico II Gonzaga between 1525 and 1535. Designed by Renaissance architect Giulio di Piero Pippi de’ Iannuzzi (known as Romano), the palace was Federico’s retreat from royal life, which centered on the Palazzo Ducale in Piazza Sordello. A seemingly endless series of lavishly adorned apartments were decorated by leading artists of the day and reflect his pet obsessions with love, horses and astrology, from statuesque equine portraits in the Hall of the Horses to alarmingly suggestive frescoes by Romano in the Chamber of Amor and Psyche.

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Buildings & Structure

Palazzo Lombardia

The word "palazzo" may make you think of an historic building, but in the case of the Palazzo Lombardia in Milan, it's a brand-new award-winning skyscraper.The Palazzo Lombardia was completed in 2010, and serves as the headquarters for the government of the Lombardy region. For a little over a year, it reigned as the tallest building in all of Italy at 529 feet, until another skyscraper in Milan was completed in the fall of 2011. The design for the skyscraper won an architectural award in 2012. It's located in the Porta Nuova district north of Milan's city center, a newly-renovated business district.

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Sights & Landmarks

San Giovanni Rotondo

The town of San Giovanni Rotondo is in the northern part of Puglia, on the Gargano Peninsula that sticks out into the Adriatic Sea like the spur on Italy's boot.San Giovanni Rotondo is small, and may not be on the tourist radar for anything other than a place to stay when exploring the Gargano Peninsula – except for one famous former resident. The beloved priest, Padre Pio, lived in this town for much of his adult life. He is revered through much of Italy, and since he died in 1968 the town has become a pilgrimage site. This only increased when he was made a saint in 2002.The main sight in San Giovanni Rotondo now is the Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church, built in 2004. The huge church can seat 6,500 people inside, and has space for a full 30,000 more to stand outside. The church sits in front of a large hospital that was founded by Padre Pio, who is now known as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina.

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Sights & Landmarks

Avellino

Located in the Campania region, Avellino is not nearly as well-known as its seaside neighbor Naples. History buffs may recognize the name, as Avellino was heavily bombed area during World War II. Today, it’s a nice getaway for visitors looking to trade coastal views for scenic countryside mountain views.Agriculture is important in Avellino. Wine grapes, tobacco and hazelnuts are important crops here. That said, Avellino is a fairly modern city, having survived and rebuilt after several earthquakes.Visitors can hike to the Montevergine Sanctuary, visit Avellino Cathedral or see the remains of the Lombard Castle in Piazza Castello (Castle Square). The main street or promenade is car-free, making wandering and window shopping easy. Avellino also has its own basketball club, so if you’re a basketball fan, it’s worth checking the schedule for any games while you are in town.

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Art Galleries

Rome Corsini Palace (Palazzo Corsini)

Not to be confused with Florence's Palazzo Corsini, Rome's own Palazzo Corsini and the land it sits on changed hands many times over the centuries before coming to house the offices of the National Academy of Science and first-floor Corsini Gallery as it does today. Surrounded by formal gardens, the Baroque palace's gallery exhibits Italian art with Renaissance showstoppers such as Caravaggio's St John the Baptist (1606), St Sebastian (1614) by Rubens and works by Guido Reni, Fra'Angelico and Carracci. In addition, late 18th-century pieces, historical art and landscape paintings are included.Otherwise known as the National Gallery of Antique Art or the Galleria Corsini, this gallery is somewhat of a hidden gem with its light crowds and extensive collection of ancient art. Travelers will love exploring the manicured grounds and can note that the gallery's Roman sister collections include Palazzo Barberini and Galleria Borghese.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Mt. Terminio (Monte Terminio)

Monte Terminio is located near Avellino, in the small town of Serino. One of the taller peaks of the Picentini Mountains, it’s a popular place for outdoor enthusiasts and families to spend a morning or afternoon.Hiking is popular activity, and there are numerous well-marked trails to choose from. Those who make the climb to the summit are rewarded with amazing views. If you are interested in a calmer, relaxing experience, it’s also a great place to just bring a picnic and enjoy the fresh air. There is also a riding school on Mt. Terminio if horseback riding is on your vacation must-do list.Campania's famed truffles grow at the foot of Mt. Terminio. Hunters use specially trained dogs to go truffle hunting in the mountain forest area.

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Fun & Games

Prada Outlet

For high-fashion shopping on the cheap, head to the Prada Outlets (called Lo Spaccio, or Space) just outside Florence. Along with cut-price Prada clothing, cosmetics, shoes, and bags, you'll also find accessories and outfits by Miu Miu and Jil Sander. While you're here, also drop into The Mall for discount gear from just about every designer imaginable. Get ready to try on everything from Armani jeans and Gucci shoes to Pucci scarves, Fendi bags, Burberry coats, and La Perla lingerie. Choose carefully and you could pay up to 50% less for top designer fashion that will have your friends green with envy.

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Gardens & Parks

Picentini Mountain Regional Park (Parco Regionale di Monti Picentini)

The Monti Picentini Regional Park is a nice daytrip for outdoor lovers looking to take a break from city life in Naples. Located in Campania, the park is more than 150,000 acres (62,220 hectares) in size.Popular with hikers and bikers, many of the climbs enjoy the bonus of small waterfalls that offer an inviting spot to cool off. At the foot of Mt. Terminio, in Monti Picentini Regional Park is the town of Volturara Irpina. The town and surrounding countryside is a popular locale for truffle hunters to search for Campania's famous truffles.

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Religious Architecture

Church of San Sisto (Chiesa di San Sisto)

The Church of San Sisto is one of the oldest churches in Pisa, Italy and was built in the Middle Ages around the late 1000s in a Romanesque style. Despite several renovations throughout the centuries, the church you see today still looks very much like it did when it was first built. The facade is divided into three parts, each separated by pilaster strips. Arches and windows with metal bars can be seen on the upper part of the facade throughout the entire exterior of the church. Visitors will also see replica ceramic basins from the 10th to 11th centuries; the originals can be found in the St. Matthews Museum. The interior of the Church of San Sisto is divided into three aisles by two rows of granite and marble pillars. The pillars are crowned by capitals from ancient buildings which were reused in the construction of this church. As Pisa was once a big naval power, you will also see a rudder and a mast from the 14th to 15th centuries in the church.

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Scenic Landmarks

Corso Italia

Who could turn down the opportunity for a long stroll along a beautiful seafront on a gorgeous Italian day? If you're headed to Genoa, then that means you're headed for a stroll on the Corso Italia.There are a few roads that can be called promenades in Genoa, a city very much tied to its waterfront, but the Corso Italia is the main promenade. It runs roughly 1.5 miles just to the east of the city center, from the neighborhood of Foce to the neighborhood of Boccadasse. There's a wide sidewalk along the Corso Italia with ample space for walking, cycling, and jogging, and along much of the route there are also beaches worth checking out. Even if the weather isn't conducive to long outdoor walks, there are great restaurants along the Corso Italia that boast excellent sea views all year long.You can certainly walk the entire length of the Corso Italia without stopping, but there are some sights to see along the way if you're taking a more leisurely approach.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Leonardo da Vinci Museum (Museo Leonardiano di Vinci)

Dedicated to one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance, the Leonardo Museum is found in Vinci, a delightful hilltop town about 40 minutes west of Florence. It is made up of several attractions that take in a route around Vinci, including his birthplace (Casa Natale di Leonardo) and museums at Palazzina Uzielli and the imposing medieval Castello Conti Guido. Dedicated to showcasing the genius of the original Renaissance Man, the museum first opened in the castle in 1953 and since then it has been extended several times to incorporate new displays. Exhibitions in both venues feature scale models of Leonardo’s designs for weaponry, clocks and flying machines as well as his architectural designs, engineering feats and work on mathematical theories.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Palatine Hill (Palatino)

Rome is famously built on seven hills, but it’s the Palatine Hill that is the most legendary - it is said that it was on the Palatine Hill that Romulus originally founded the city. Because of this, many of Rome’s most famous archaeological sites are on or right around the Palatine Hill. Some of the structures you can still see in some form on the Palatine Hill include the Flavian Palace, a palace thought to be the residence of Emperor Augustus’ wife, and the Hippodrome of Domitian. Archaeologists are still hard at work excavating on the Palatine, and in recent years they’ve found a palace believed to be the birthplace of Augustus, Rome’s first emperor, as well as a cave beneath the hill that they believe was the site of the legendary Lupercalia celebrations. These supposedly took place in the cave where the she-wolf nursed Rome’s founder Romulus and his twin brother Remus, so it’s an incredibly significant discovery.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Collegio del Cambio

Collegio del Cambio - Perugia’s exchange guild - was built sometime between 1452 and 1457 and originally operated as a bank. Today, this stunning example of Roman architecture is a destination for travelers who want to experience the beauty of the best-preserved Renaissance frescoes in the nation. Though only two rooms are open to the public at a cost of about five euros, visitors say what lied behind the massive wooden doors is definitely worth a visit. Stunning works from the artist Perugino, ornate wood carvings and a truly spectacular ceiling make this an attraction that is not to be missed while in Perugia.

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Religious Architecture

Brancacci Chapel (Cappella Brancacci)

Inside the Santa Maria del Carmine church in Florence’s Oltrarno neighborhood is a particularly famous chapel, the Brancacci Chapel. It’s famous not for who is buried there or who the chapel honors, but for the art that decorates it.The cycle of frescoes that adorn the walls of the Brancacci Chapel were painted largely by Masaccio. He began work in 1424 when he was only 21 years old. Masaccio died only six years later in Rome, leaving the frescoes unfinished. Some were later completed by Filippino Lippi. After some restoration work, the chapel - called by some the “Sistine Chapel of the early Renaissance" - has been cleaned of centuries of dirt, making the frescoes appear almost as colorful as they might have been when they were first painted. Among the more famous panels is Masaccio’s “The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden” and “Payment of the Tribute Money.”

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Religious Architecture

Basilica of St. Stephen in the Round (Basilica di Santo Stefano Rotondo)

Officially called the Basilica of St. Stephen in the Round, Santo Stefano Rotondo gets its more commonly-known nickname from its shape – it's one of the world's oldest and largest circular churches.The church was built in the 5th century, and although it was altered in the 6th and 7th centuries and then quite drastically in the 15th century, the central part of the church remains the original 5th century design. In addition to the church's shape, the other main attraction are the gruesome frescoes that line the outer wall. There are 34 scenes of martyrdom depicted, painted in the 16th century, each with a brief explanation of who was martyred and who gave the order.

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Fun & Games

10 Corso Como

If 10 Corso Como sounds like an address, it is. It also happens to be one of Milan's most fasionable addresses, home to a number of attractions and shops. 10 Corso Como (it's Dieci Corso Como in Italian, as "dieci" is the word for 10) was originally an art gallery and bookstore, opened in a traditional Milanese building 1990 by Carla Sozzani. The complex grew over the years to include a cafe, a fashion boutique, a roof garden, and even a tiny hotel (with only three rooms) - all at the same address. The courtyard cafe at 10 Corso Como is particularly popular for aperitivo, and getting a table can be incredibly difficult. You can enjoy the "see and be seen" atmosphere simply by browsing the shops, however.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Case Romane del Celio

It's awe-inspiring to walk through the ruins of ancient Roman temples and amphitheaters, but to bring history to a human level you've got see where those ancient people lived. You can do that at the Case Romane del Celio.Underneath the Basilica of Santi Givanni e Paolo, the Case Romane del Celio is a network of ancient Roman houses. There are homes from different periods – one from the 2nd century, another from the 3rd century – and for different levels of society. There are beautiful frescoed walls and a small museum displaying some of the artifacts unearthed during the excavation of the site.

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Fun & Games

Franciacorta Outlet Village

Located in the Lombardy region of Italy, Franciacorta Outlet Village is one of the largest and most important retail outlets outside of Milan. Travelers on the lookout for international brand name fashions will find a selection of more than 70 retailers offering discounts of up to 70 percent off normal retail prices. Popular brands include Calvin Klein, Guess, Pinko, Hilfiger Denim, Nike and The North Face. Besides shops, the outlet complex also houses several restaurants and cafes, including a Lindt Chocolatier shop. There’s a playground for the kids, as well as a beauty salon and spa.

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Spa

Garda Thermal Park (Parco Termale del Garda)

Italy's seismic landscape has led to many natural thermal spas around the country, including the Garda Thermal Park, set near the northern retreat of Lake Garda on the estate of an 18th-century villa, Villa dei Cedri. Also known as Parco Termale del Garda in Italian, the park features two lakes and several bathing pools, all of which are kept warm thanks to the underground thermal spring that feeds them. Travelers will find fountains, waterfalls and even water massage jets in both the lakes and the bathing pools at the park. The lakes and pools are lit after dark, making for especially relaxing spa treatments, while the beautiful lawns are ideal for lounging before and after bathing. Overlooking the thermal park, every hotel room at Villa dei Cedri features warm water from the nearby thermal spring. But you don’t have to stay at the property to visit the Garda Thermal Park and utilize its soothing springs.

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Gardens & Parks

Orange Garden (Giardino degli Aranci)

A lush garden overlooking Roman rooftops and domes, the Giarino degli Aranci was once an ancient fortress and now offers some of the best panoramic views of Rome. Full of orange trees, there are many benches and grassy areas to relax on and escape the bustle of the city. Views stretch across the skyline from Trastevere all the way toward St. Peter’s Basilica.Legend says that Saint Dominic planted a single bitter orange tree in the courtyard of the nearby Basilica di Santa Sabina in 1200 AD. It is said to be the first orange tree in the whole of Italy, and today the gardens have a pleasant orange aroma from the groups of many trees.Upon entering the gardens, visitors can see the face of Giacomo Della Porta's fountain, believed to have been made in reference to the river god Oceanus. Overlooking the Tiber River, it has been called one of the most romantic spots in Rome.

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