Tuscany is the most charming region in Italy. It is a combination of cultural and popular traditions..
It is divided in ten provinces that offers sea and mountains :
Arezzo, Firenze, Grossetto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena, They are joined to each other by a unique hilly panorama.
There are beautiful art cities for art lovers, where you can appreciate way back from the Etruscans to de Medieval times; the atmosphere has remained unchanged since the 16th century.
There are more than a milion hectares of woods, natural and regional parks of immense fascination, where you can go for a quiet and relaxing walks outside.
Art and history can be seen in the big art cities, as well as the small suburbs and at the thermal baths that are immerse in the countryside. It is easy to change sceneries as in 1-2 hours you can be in big cities, on the mountains or at the sea side. All this can easily be done by car, and not necessarily on highways, as a ride outside in the.green countryside is something sepctacular were you can stroll down thousand of narrow farm roads or quiet lanes bounded by tall stone walls, cypress trees and creamy-coloured villas and castles .The geographical area of rolling hills and fields dotted with sheep, vineyards and olive groves alternate with steep gorges, rivers and water falls.
Traditions are followed as a teacher and quality is a vocation. Some of the agricultural goods that are benefitted are: wine, olive oil, honey, cattle, ovines. It is a place of big natural culinary traditions. The soups, delicatessen, cheese and steaks make the Tuscan food so well known worldwide.
In this place of ever-green, enchanted and radiant nature. In these towns the concept of "historic centre" seems inadequate and reductive, so widespread is the monumental and artistic component in the towns of Umbria.
Perugia, for example, the regional capital. Just to describe it is to lose oneself in the richness, complexity and magnificence of its architectural and artistic treasures: from the Etruscan walls to the splendid Palazzo Gallenga, seat of the prestigious university for foreigners, and many other buildings and historic monuments that lead out from the central Piazza IV Novembre, itself dotted with architectural and artistic jewels such as the Great Fountain and the magnificent Palazzo dei Priori.
The same is true for splendid Gubbio, rich with Franciscan memories and monuments from the medieval and renaissance eras. And then Todi, Spello, Spoleto, Orvieto, Citt? di Castello and many other small towns: all magnificently enriched by monuments, palaces and churches of high artistic merit.
Even Terni, a modern industrial city, boasts jewels such as the churches of S. Salvatore and S. Francesco and, close by, the masterpiece of nature that is the Waterfall of Marmore. Finally Assisi, the town where Saint Francis was born (as was Saint Clare, founder of the Poor Clares), one of the best-known Christian destinations frequented by pilgrims. You have to see it for yourself.
By ENIT Official Website
Umbria great places:
Passignano sul Trasimeno
Cascata delle Marmon
The regional capital of Latium is Rome. Everybody knows it: the pull of the Eternal City is great and irresistible, the capital of the Christian world, the seat of the Papacy, the incomparable home of architectural and artistic masterpieces of the ancient world. Is it possible to resist the fascination of Rome? It may be difficult, but why not try to spend a few days "exploring" Latium?
In this way you would discover a region of fascinating nature and environment, with an extraordinary variety of landscape: wide beaches, great pinewoods, mountains like Terminillo (an excellent ski resort), gentle hills and expansive plains, a region rich in artistic monuments that bring to mind the long and extraordinary history of this region in the most immediate fashion. At Tarquinia, Cerveteri and Tuscania, necropolises and museums bear evidence of ancient and mysterious Etruscan people (seventh to sixth centuries B.C.) who ruled central Italy before the rise of Rome.
There are countless testimonies of the Roman and later historical eras outside Rome, in the other provinces of Latium and in the local centers: Rieti, Viterbo, Latina and Frosinone. It is enough to think of the splendid and grandiose Villa Adriana in Tivoli (where the renaissance Villa d'Este can also be found), the seventeenth-century Palazzo Barberini in Palestrina, and the Cathedral in Anagni. The same grandiose style of the Roman religion seems to be projected and duplicated outside Rome: in the abbeys of Montecassino, Casamari, and Fossanova and in the monasteries of Subiaco, places dear to Saint Benedict of Norcia. Latium, therefore, is not just Rome. And Rome is also Latium.
By ENIT Official Website
It is a matter of fact: Italy possesses the most remarkable artistic and cultural heritage in the world. And this is not all: its heritage is not just to be found in the great artistic cities, but is diffuse, "spread" throughout national territory as in no other country. The proof? Le Marche. A region in which a rich and varied countryside (the Adriatic sea, with its flat and sandy coast interrupted at intervals by rugged, rocky precipices; the harmonious agricultural landscape of its gentle hills; the deep and mysterious caves; the protected areas of natural beauty) is enriched with towns, villages, palaces, and religious buildings, all of them of important architectural and artistic value.
This is the case with the cathedral of Ancona, the regional capital and an important Adriatic port, or the cathedral of Pesaro. In Urbino, the Ducal Palace is a stupefying testimony of Renaissance grandeur. If you find yourself in Macerata during the summer it is an unpardonable not to book a seat at the majestic Sferisterio theatre for a play or musical performance. At Ascoli Piceno the blend of medieval and renaissance architecture (S. Francesco, Loggia dei Mercanti, Piazza del Popolo, etc.) arrests the attention of even the most distracted visitor. But in almost all the centers of Le Marche, even the smallest, there are many genuine artistic treasures.
It is difficult to single out one without doing the others an injustice. We will make an exception for Recanati, the birthplace of the most beloved Italian poet of all time: the tender, bitter, unhappy and sublime Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837). It is difficult not to feel moved when visiting the building where the poet spent his childhood and adolescence, an emotion which is felt, in a rather different way, by the visitor to the Santa Casa at Loreto, the destination for continuous crowds of pilgrims.
ByENIT Official Website
Do you want to learn about Greece? So come to Sicily. It is a paradox, for sure, but only to a certain extent. The Greek cities of Sicily (Agrigento, Selinunte, Segesta, Syracuse, to mention the most important) were among the most beautiful of the Hellenic world.
Nowadays, to visit the Valley of Temples at Agrigento or to watch a summer performance in the great Greek Theatre of Syracuse is to plunge yourself into the remote Hellenic past.
And this is also true in Sicily for many other historical eras and civilizations, from the Spanish to the French. With the sole exception of Arab rule, that has left scarce physical testimony.
Sicily is a book of history and art history, a compendium of the greatest civilizations and cultures of all time. A sunny island whose landscape is rich in contrasts, with a splendid coastline and a refined, delicious and varied cuisine of traditional flavors and exquisite aromas: the quintessence of Mediterranean culture, yet also dense with intellectual complexity and refinement, so well represented by the literary masterpieces of Luigi Pirandello, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Leonardo Sciascia, Gesualdo Bufalino and today, Andrea Camilleri.
Every style, every movement in art is richly represented in Sicily. In cities like Palermo, Catania, Caltanissetta, Enna, Syracuse, Ragusa, Trapani, Agrigento, and Messina, and in small towns, like Cefal?, clustered around its Norman cathedral, or Noto, with its extraordinary Baroque cathedral, or Taormina, with its splendid Greco-Roman theatre.
By ENIT Official Website.
David Herbert Lawrence, the famous English writer, loved Italy. He traveled through it far and wide, often on foot. Sardinia inspired him and he dedicated his fine book to it, "Sea and Sardinia", where he wrote: "Sardinia is left outside of time and history". Of course, nowhere is left outside of time and history.
But Lawrence's affirmation has a certain "poetic" truth, which captures and sums up a sensation which unites everyone who goes to Sardinia: the sensation of finding oneself in a region where the stunning beauty of nature, the limpid waters of the sea, the reserved and genuine character of the people, the exquisiteness of the many typical dishes, the ancient traditions, and the various expressions of Sardinian culture, will never change.
In spite of the twists and turns of history, and in spite of the passing of time. The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines and Spanish all arrived in this splendid island: Sardinia assimilated and reinterpreted all these different influences, integrated them into its own culture, but did not allow its heart, its own profound way of feeling, to be touched or changed.
Just as the physical heart of Sardinia, the area of Gennargentu (now a splendid National Park), has always been inaccessible to foreigners. All this gives a unique and original flavor to a holiday in Sardinia. The visitor feels reassured, "guaranteed" by this sensation of exchangeability: as if here, even in the most modern and built-up areas of the island, everything continues to be more authentic, more genuine than elsewhere.
It is so at Cagliari as it is at Nuoro, at Sassari as it is at Oristano, at Alghero as it is on the Emerald Coast: wherever the tourist chooses to enjoy the magnificent sea or visit museums, to study the mystery of the "nuraghi" or to try a delicious typical dish. Wherever you are, you will feel that you are doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right place.
By ENIT Official Website.
In Bari - Apulia's capital city - they say: "If Paris was by the sea, it would be like a small Bari". Presumption or arrogance? No, just pride (for which these people are famous, apart from their strong sense of humour). The pride of living in a city that successfully blends art and deep historic roots with a very modern spirit of business enterprise. Traditionally the "land's end" that bridged Italy with the worlds of Greece and the Middle East, Bari enjoyed its "golden age" during medieval times.
The Cathedral and Church of St. Nicholas with their Romanesque forms, bear majestic witness to that period. Traces of the ancient trading and social contacts with the Greek world can be seen in the Archaeological Museum.
The blend of history and art that characterizes the monuments of Bari is reflected in many areas of Apulia, where you will often discover cathedrals built during the medieval era such as in Brindisi, Andria, Barletta, Trani, Ruvo di Puglia, Lucera, Troia, Manfredonia, Otranto, and Gallipoli. Belonging to another era yet equally precious and extraordinary is the flourishing of the baroque architecture in the town of Lecce.
In Taranto, the Archaeological Museum has sections of the more remote past. And Alberobello, in the province of Bari, is the capital of the Trulli, singular domains dating back to pre-history no less. As to nature's wonders, Apulia offers an extraordinary intermingling of mountains, woods and uncontaminated sea, for which the promontory of the Gargano in the province of Foggia is so well renowned.
ByENIT Official Website
Apulia is mostly a plain; its low coast, however, is broken by the mountainous Gargano Peninsula in the north, and there are mountains in the north central part of the region.
The Neapolitan dialect is said to be the best known of the Italian language in the world. This comes as no surprise: music, as we know, is a universal language and it is easy to remember the accompanying lyrics. And Neapolitan songs are known throughout the world.
Who has not heard or sung "O sole mio" at least once? And yet, the diffusion of the Neapolitan dialect hides another truth: Neapolitan is not a dialect, it is a true and proper language that expresses and transmits an autonomous culture, formed and consolidated over the centuries.
Naples, in short, has a history apart. And it is for this that it is so well-known, beloved and visited: because there is no other city like it in the world, with its inimitable characteristics. It fascinates and conquers whoever stays therefore even for a short time. And how could it be otherwise when confronted with the beauty of its sea, the fascination of its history, the good humour of its people, and the beauty of the innumerable architectural treasures of all eras and all styles that grace the city?
A fascination and ability to enchant, throughout the whole of Campania, the region of which Naples is the capital: in the splendid Neapolitan islands of Capri, Ischia, Procida, on the spectacular Amalfi coast, in the magnificent Reggia di Caserta, in the archaeological site of Paestum (in the province of Salerno) and so many other beautiful centres of Campania. The ancients called this land "felix" (happiness) with good reason.