Beyond the issues of corruption, congestion or strikes, Italy remains the country of culinary arts, culture and history, and an important tourist center. The scenery that the country has to offer is simply incredible, with mountains reflected in turquoise lakes, sandy clean beaches and ancient hill towns cobbled with secrets taking your breath away. Let’s not forget that 60% of the world’s art treasures are concentrated here, while the national health care system is rated second in the world by the WHO.
Tourism and Italy are synonymous, since Italy is the paradise of history lovers, with more than 3,000 museums, churches and archaeological sites dating from Roman and Greek periods. There are hundreds of places and sites protected by UNESCO and open to tourists. Islands of Italy such as Capri, famous for its romanticism, or Ischia, with thermal springs, are visited and venerated by hundreds of years.
Renaissance Movement in art and culture has left behind a precious heritage that can be admired today in the cities, unchanged by time. Visiting Italy is a lesson about a good living - from simple activities such as meetings in squares and unimportant talks to the evening walks, ice cream and rich artistic heritage study, this country is a delight. Of course that Italy does not exist without food, wine and shopping, all on the backdrop of a fascinating landscape and a culture that combines ancient and modern trends. Italy means something different for every traveler. Pizza, ruins, beautiful works of art, hot beaches, beautiful young people, wines ...
Let yourself fascinated by the historical sites of Rome - Colosseum, Forum and Pantheon. At the Trevi Fountain, you can ensure yourself that you will return to Rome if you throw a coin into the water. Enter the Vatican City, an independent sovereign state, best known for St Peter's Basilica; among the specific features of the Vatican palace (papal residence) there are included the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Explore the city of Venice, a masterpiece of art. St Mark's Basilica and the Doge Palace, overlooking St Mark's Square, earned its fame appearing in paintings by Canaletto. Discover Turin attractions -the Egyptian Museum is the second largest in the world, after the Cairo one. In Milan you can appreciate the masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci -the Last Supper, which can be admired in the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie; la Scala remains the undisputed capital of world opera. In Geneva, the place where Christopher Columbus was born, visit the Galleria di Palazzo Bianco; here there is an extensive collection of Genoese artists. Visit the romantic city of Verona, where the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet took place; casa di Giulietta attracts thousands of visitors each year. Discover the Byzantine and Christian monuments decorated with stunning mosaics in Ravenna, as well as Galla Placida splendid mausoleum, a place listed on UNESCO's World Heritage list.
Visit Florence to see the revolutionary architecture of the cathedral designed by the architect Brunelleschi; cross the medieval bridge and visit the Uffizi art galleries and the famous statue of David by Michelangelo, located in the Gallery of the academy. Visit the striped cathedral of Siena. Visit the place where pizza was invented - Naples. The impressive National Archaeological Museum houses an excellent collection of Greco-Roman artefacts, including mosaics from Pompeii. Visit the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, the founder of the Franciscan monastic order. Go to Sicily to see the ancient remains of invading cultures. The most important Greek sites include the temples of the Valle dei Templi in Agriegento, which is said to be better preserved than any other site in Greece; Capuchin monastery catacombs contain thousands of mummified bodies. Make shopping in Milan, Italy's most sophisticated city.
Acquire new skills - Italian language and art courses are available throughout the country; Italian language courses are often supplemented by cooking or architecture courses; art courses are offered by Palazzo Spinelli and Universita Internazionale dell Arte in Florence. Spa centers are famous since Roman times; the most modern resorts are Montegrotto Terme Abano Terme (Veneto), Acqui Terme (Piedmont), L Andana, Tombolo, Talassa, Terme di Saturnia, Chianciano Terme and Montecatini Terme (Tuscany), Fiuggi (Lazio), Porretta Terme and Salsomaggiore Terme (Emilia Romagna). Do not miss the chance to wear an elaborate mask and costume during Carnival in Venice. Head for the coast, where you can practice all kinds of water sports. Popular sites include the Italian Riviera in Liguria, the Adriatic coast and Amalfi coast; less crowded are the beaches of Sicily and Sardinia. From Capri, Italy's most visited island, you can take a boat to the Blue Grotto. Ski in the Italian Alps. In the Aosta Valley region you can hike in the Grand Paradiso National Park and Regional Park Mont Avic. Visit the wine cellars of Tuscany. The landscape in this region is characterized by vineyards, cypress forests, fields of sunflowers and remote villages. Chianti, the most famous Italian wine is produced in the north of Siena, where some wineries are open to the public.
By Maria Morari
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