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8181thomsonalfresco.co.ukPlaces Of Interest & Things To SeeTivoliPerched high on a hill is this small provincial townwhich is famous for the travertine quarries nearby, andits fine ancient Roman Villa and landscaped gardensand parks. In classical days it was a retirement townfor wealthy Romans, now you willfind a town whichexports precious stone worldwide. In the main square'Largo Garibaldi' you will find the 'Villa of CardinalIppolito d'Este', where you can visit the beautifulgardens and fountains.Villa AdrianoLocated just outside the village of Tivoli you will findwhat was the largest and most sumptuous villa in theRoman empire, 'Villa Adriano'. The ruins of this 2ndcentury Villa is a spectacular attraction, formallyEmperor Hadrian's summer residence. Hadrian wasagreat traveller and architect, andmany parts of thebuilding are inspired by buildings around the world. ViterboThis 13th century medieval town was once somethingof a rival to Rome, and even today, is the region's mosthistoric centre after Rome. Once the residence ofpopes, you will find a handful of grand palaces andchurches surrounded by medieval walls. You will findthe centre of Viterbo at 'Piazza del Plebiscito' a squaresurrounded by the town's most historic group ofbuildings. While here you could make a trip to thechurch of 'Sant'Angelo' orvisit 'Via Lorenzo' here youwill pass the pretty 'Piazza di Gesù'. Don't forget theold quarter 'Quartiere Pellegrino' and the Papal Palace,a 13th century building which overlooks the greengorge that cuts through the into the centre of Viterbo. BraccianoBracciano with its archaeological and artistic richnessissituated on a hill and is famous for itsmedievalcastle 'Castello Orsini-Odelscalchi' which overlooks thevolcanic lake. Due to the castle's structural, architectureand excellent state of conservation it is considered oneof the most important castles of Italy. The town alsoholds greatantique markets in the town's squares onthesecond and third Sunday of the month. Castel Sant' AngeloReached by one of the world's most beautiful bridges'Bernini's billowing' you will find 'Sant' Angelo'. Thiscircular building was originally constructed as the burialplace of the Emperor Hadrian. However in the 6thcentury it was converted into a papal fortress, withunderground passages to the Vatican palaces. Today,you willfind it home to an interesting museum.ColosseumThe Colosseum is both an important historicalandcultural monument. This awe-inspiring ancientmonument was organically known as the 'FlavianAmphitheatre' and was begun by emperor Vespasianaround 72 AD. The elliptical-shaped Colosseum took10 years to build and stood 40metres high, 188metres along with four stories of windows, arches, andcolumns that could hold 50,000 people. The Romansused to flock here for gladiatorial contests, and towatch criminals being attacked by wildanimalsPantheon'Marcus Agrippa's Pantheon' is one of the world's mostawesome architectural creations. Built in 27BC, it wasoriginally dedicated as a temple to allgods, and wasthen rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in120 AD. Here youwill find a dome which is the largest masonry vaultever built, resting on an elegant drum of columns andpediments. Walking into the interior of the Pantheonyou will appreciate the enormity of the columns thatform the pillared porch. You will understand why thisisone of the best preserved relic's of ancient Rome.Inthe 'piazza del Pantheon' not only will you find thePantheon, but you will also find a beautiful fountainand numerous open air bars where you can rest andappreciate the atmosphere.Trevi FountainsThe Trevi Fountains - 'Fontana di Trevi' one of thefinest ofRome's many fountains. This spectacularfountain has alocal tradition attached to it, if youthrow a few Euro overyour shoulder into the fountain,they say you will return to Rome. Circus MaximusThe Circus was a large, oval track where chariot racestook place, along with other events such asgladiatorialcombats and wild animal hunts, athleticevents, andprocessions. The last race heldat the Circus Maximuswas in 549 AD, nearly a full millennium after the track'sconstruction. Thespectator capacity for the CircusMaximus wasa quarter of a million people!The ForumBuilt over 900 years ago, the Roman Forum 'ForoRomano' was the commercial, administrative, politicaland religious centre of ancient Rome from theRepublican era until the 4th century AD. Here youwillfind columns rising from grassy hillocks, andrepositioned pediment. You will also see the 'Arch ofConstantine' and 'Via Sacra' the best known street ofancient Rome.The Palatine HillNear the Arch of Titus you will find the PalatineHill,supposedly where the city of Rome was founded.Here you will find some of Rome's mostancient ruins.The Vatican City - RomeYour visit would not be complete without a trip to theworld's richest treasure chest containing an astonishingcollection of priceless art treasures. There is much tosee, from St Peter's Square, the largest church in theworld, 'St Peter's Basilica', then to the impressivemuseums where you will find the richest and mostcompelling collection of Renaissance paintings. Don'tforget the Vatican is also home to the Sistine Chapel.Piazza di Spagna This beautiful piazza is formed from two sharptriangles that meet at the points so really doesn't lookmuch like a square. From here you can travel down the'Spanish Steps' to the impressive double-bell toweredchurch.Fun For All The FamilyLago di BraccianoThis picturesque lake fills an enormous volcanic crater.Why not rent a boat and enjoy a picnic offshore? Guidonia WaterparkThis is central Italy's largest waterpark, and makes areally great day out.The Time Elevator RomaSituated near Piazza Venezia, the 'Time Elevator Romais a unique, multi-sensory attraction that brings to life3000 years of Roman history. You will get to see, feel,hear and ride great moments in the history of Rome.Local Specialities. Tortina di carciofi - baked artichoke. Cannelloni. Pesto. Mozzarella and Gorgonzola cheese.. Wines - Pinot Grigio and Frascati.RomeRegional Information - Italy

82Regional Information - Italy82Places Of Interest & Things To SeeSienaIn the 12th and 13th century Siena was one of themajor cities of Europe. Today you will find a wellpreserved medieval walled city with narrow streetslined with tall Gothic mansions. These descend to themain square the charming 'Piazza del Campo' whichislined with cafes and restaurants. The Piazza is thehome to a horse race which happens twice everysummer where the neighbourhoods ofSiena compete.The races take place in an atmosphere of medievalpageantry. Here you canalso explore the TuscanGothic buildings, museums, churches, monumentsandclock tower FiesoleThis historical village spreads over a cluster of hilltopsabove the Mugnone and Arno valleys. Wander downthe narrow Via Vecchia Fiesolana which goes by theVilla Medici (Built for Cosimo ilVecchio by Michelozzo),and explore its archaeological remains. Its mainchurches are Sant'Alessandro and San Francesco.Teatro Romano and Museo Archeological museumdisplaying pieces from the Bronze Age to the Romanoccupation are also worth a visit. ElbaTen miles off the Tuscan shore lies Elba, the islandwhere Napoleon spent his first exile until escaping in1815. This is the third largest Italian island 29km longand 19km wide, after Sicily and Sardinia. Themainattraction of this unspoilt island are its beaches withfine white sand and its exceptionally clear waters.Inland the island is mountainous with vineyards,olivegroves and picturesque villages.FlorenceThe capital of Renaissance art, Florence is a workofart initself, to the locals it is known as 'Firenze'.There is so much to do and see in Tuscany's principaltown, there aremany smart shops, markets andexclusive boutiques in the centre with the mostelegant stores in Via Tornabuoni and the surroundingstreets. The area is noted for its shoes and leathergoods, along with fine china, bedand table linen andgold jewellery. Art and architecture are the obviousclaims to fame of thismedieval city, and notsurprisingly home to Michelangelo and Donatello etal. Make sure you don't miss the San Lorenzo quarterwhere market stalls surround one ofthe city's firstrank churches, you'll also find the monastery of SanMarco and Piazza Santissima Annunziata, generallythought ofas Florence's most attractive square. Thefocal points are the Duomo overlooking its bustlingPiazza, the Bargello Sculpture gallery, the PalazzoVecchio overlooking the Piazza della Signoria, theUffizi art gallery, the churches of San Lorenzo, SanMarco and Santa Maria Novella, the market stalls ofthe Mercato Centrale and the Accademia -WhereMichelangelo's 'David' can be seen and if that'snotenough take a trip to the Museo dell Opera delDuomo, Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens.LuccaThe home town of Giacomo Puccini has a rich heritagewithmany churches, palaces and squares giving thetown acharming unspoilt air. The city liesat the heartof one of Italy's richest agricultural regions renownedfor the quality ofits olives. The centre of the town isthe Piazza Napoleone where you will find the beautifulRomanesque cathedral of San Martino. The best way toexplore the city is to follow the path along the top ofthe Renaissance walls. Highlights not to be missed arethe 'Torre Delle Oro', the city's clock tower, Casa Guinigiand the15th century house of Lucca's leading family,Villa Guinigi, built to supplement the family's oldmedieval town house, and now home to the city'smajor museum of art and sculpture.PisaWith its world famous leaning tower of Pisa, whichbegan construction in 1173 and, due to its faultyfoundation on unstable soil, leans precariously morethan 14 feet out of line. There is so much tosee onceyou arrive at the 'Campo dei Miracoli' (Field ofMiracles), here you will find the Romanesque buildingsof the Duomo, baptistery and the leaning tower. San GimignanoSan Gimignano is known as the medieval 'city ofbeautiful towers'. This enchanting 11th century hilltoptown, has a skyline of tall medieval towers andpicturesque streets. Founded around the 8th century,this is not much more than a village. You could actuallywalk from one end to the other in 15minutes, butthere is much to see which will take you much longerthan this. Explore the frescoes inthe churches andmuseums, 'The Collegiata', one of the mostcomprehensively frescoed churches in Tuscany. Visit'Palazzo del Popolo', here you will get a chance toclimb the 'Torre Grossa' the highest surviving (160ft)and best preserved towers. One thing which sets thisarea apart is its beautiful Tuscan countryside, perfectforwalking in a peaceful and relax atmosphere.Fun For All The FamilyPinocchio ParkSituated at Collodi the birthplace of Carlo Lorenzin,the author of the children's book Pinocchio. Pinocchio park recreates the adventures of Pinocchioand truly brings the characters to life.Lake MassaciuccoliNicknamed Puccini's lake, this rural idyll now baskswithin anature park. Here you can take a boat trip onthe lake toview Giacomo Puccini's nearby villa. Beaches to visit:. Vada. San Vincenzo. CastiglioneThings To Do. Walking - Tuscany is a wonderful area for walkingenthusiasts. It has stunning scenery and rollingcountryside.. Wine Tasting - Tuscany is a major wine-producingregion. Why not try the local vineyardsand try thebest redwines.Local SpecialitiesHome to the best known wine in the region - Chianti -made from Sangiovese grapes on the hills of Tuscany.. Grilled T-Bone steak (Costata di manzo). Ham and sausage made from wild boar (Cinghiale).Tuscanythomsonalfresco.co.uk