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Colosseum
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2 027 rundturer och aktiviteter

Världsberömda Colosseum byggdes år 80 e.Kr. för att de romerska kejsarna skulle kunna iscensätta gladiatorspel med dödlig utgång samt jaga och döda vilda djur, medan folket tittade på de våldsamma föreställningarna. Inträdet var gratis, men var du fick sitta berodde på din samhällsklass och rikedom. Gladiatorspelen förbjöds 438 e.Kr. – jakten på vilda djur fortsatte fram till år 523.

Colosseum har en komplex och avancerad arkitektur och byggnadsteknik. Trots att byggnaden användes som stenbrott för byggnadsmaterial under olika tidpunkter i historien är den fortfarande till stor del intakt. Du kan se de olika våningarna med sittplatser, korridorerna och de underjordiska rummen där djur och gladiatorer inväntade sitt öde.

Colosseum har stått modell för dagens moderna arenor, men med den skillnaden att dagens lag överlever spelen.

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Verona Arena
79 rundturer och aktiviteter

There's nothing quite like sitting where you know others have sat and watched performances for two thousand years. The lovely pink marble Roman amphitheatre built in 1AD still proudly dominates the piazza in the middle of Verona, and people still travel from miles around to witness a spectacle; these days it's opera rather than sports, games and gladiatorial battles. The third largest amphitheatre in Italy, Arena di Verona could once seat 30,000, these days its capacity is 15,000.

With the decline of the Roman Empire, the outer walls were ripped down and used for building materials. In the twelfth century, an earthquake damaged the place and it wasn't really until the nineteenth century that there was an interest in using it once more to stage performances. The current incarnation as a major outdoor opera venue began in 1913 with a celebratory mounting of Verdi's Aida to mark 100 years since his birth.

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Leaning Tower of Pisa
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271 rundturer och aktiviteter

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous structures in the world – not because of its gently rising series of arches, but because of its legendary tilt.

Constructed as the bell tower to accompany the cathedral, the tower began to shift on its foundations in 1178, before the architect, Bonanno Pisano, had completed the first three tiers.

Fortunately, the lean has now been halted, due to tricks with cables and counter-subsidence. The tower now leans on an angle of 4.1 meters (13 feet), rather than the previous 5 meters (16 feet).

It’s well worth paying the extra to climb the spiral stairs leading to the top of the Leaning Tower for views across Pisa. Make sure you book ahead as reservations are compulsory and numbers are limited.

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Holy Shroud of Turin (Sacra Sindone)
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26 rundturer och aktiviteter

Behind the high altar in the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, also known as the Duomo di Torino is the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, containing one of most famous and controversial religious relics in world history.

The Shroud of Turin, as the Holy Shroud is popularly known, or Sacra Sindone, is a piece of linen cloth said to have been laid over the body of Jesus Christ following his crucifixion. It bears the faded image of a bearded, longhaired man who appears to have wounds consistent with Bibilical traditions of those suffered by Christ at his execution.

Whatever the shroud's authenticity, it is certainly old, and its existence has inspired and renewed the faith of innumerable Christians throughout history. Given its importance, the Church has gone to great lengths to preserve it; currently, it is housed in a climate-controlled case filled with a special atmosphere comprised of argon and a little bit of oxygen, and it is rarely displayed.

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Bologna Piazza Maggiore
71 rundturer och aktiviteter

Bologna’s beating heart is Piazza Maggiore, in the city’s old center. A classic example of Renaissance town planning, it is one of the most graceful public squares in Italy.

The pedestrianised square is surrounded by the Basilica di San Petronio, the Palazzo Communale (city hall), palatial public buildings and Bologna’s trademark covered walkways ringed by arches.

Sit at an outdoor cafe to enjoy people watching in the sunshine during the day, and visit in the early evening to see the beautifully floodlit Fountain of Neptune, sculpted in 1566.

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St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)
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181 rundturer och aktiviteter

Basilica di San Marco (St Mark's Cathedral) is magnificent. It is both a wonderful architectural flurry of Gothic, Byzantine, Romanesque and Renaissance styles declaring the wealth of Venice over centuries, and a spiritual place of worship. Its domes and turrets, and gold mosaic stand out over the square and over Venice, and four ancient classical horses top the entrance, taken from Constantinople (Istanbul) when Venice sacked that city around 1200. Inside the church is dazzling.

The church was begun in 828 when the body of St Mark was returned to Venice, smuggled by merchants from its resting place in Alexandria, Egypt. An angel had told St Mark his final resting place would be Venice (which did not even exist at the time) and the Venetian leaders were keen to make it happen. Over the years, churches were built, burnt, rebuilt and expanded resulting in the incredible building we see today.

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Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo)
82 rundturer och aktiviteter

You may have heard about the various cultures that have ruled Sicily over the centuries, right? When you look at the Palermo Cathedral, you can see the evidence of each one of them in the crazy assortment of architectural styles on the building.

The Palermo Cathedral (officially called Santa Maria Assunta, and sometimes known simply as the Duomo) dates from the late 12th century, built on the site of a temple dating from Ancient Rome. As later conquerors took over from the original Norman builders, they imprinted their own styles on the still-growing building. The exterior includes examples of Norman, Byzantine, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural elements, and they seem to be slapped on top of one another rather than incorporated as parts of a whole. In other words, the cathedral has a somewhat strange patchwork appearance that makes it look like the designers couldn’t make up their minds.

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Molentargius - Saline Regional Park (Parco Naturale Regionale Molentargius - Saline)
13 rundturer och aktiviteter

Italy's Molentargius Natural Park is located on the island of Sardinia between Cagliari and Quartu Sant'Elena. The park covers an area of approximately 3,954 acres. The site was recognized by the Ramsar Convention in 1977 as an important wetland due to the wealth of bird species that live there, and in 1999, it was established as a national park. For centuries the area was an important salt mining region, and the name of the park refers to the donkeys the miners used to haul salt collected from the basins.

The park has several different sections. There are the freshwater basins of Bellarosa Minore and Perdalonga, the salty water basins of Bellarosa Maggiore or Molentargius and Stagno di Quartu, and a flat area with mainly dry features called Is Arenas. Just a few of the birds that can be found here include Slender-billed Gulls, Pink Flamingos, and Kingfishers. It is one of the most important European sites for wintering and breeding for many bird species.

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Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia)
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833
340 rundturer och aktiviteter

The Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia) is dominated by one artwork in particular - Michelangelo's staggeringly beautiful statue of David. Carved from a single block of marble by the 26-year-old genius, it’s true you can’t really grasp the statue’s size and detail until you see him up-close.

The statue originally stood in the Piazza della Signoria, but was moved to this more protected environment in 1873. A copy now stands in the piazza.

Also here are Michelangelo's muscular Prisoner statues and Florentine artworks from the 13th to 16th centuries.

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Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)
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186 rundturer och aktiviteter

Until 1797, the Doges ruled the Venetian Empire and the Palazzo Ducale was where they ruled from. It was one of the first things those arriving in Venice saw as their ships sailed through the lagoon and landed at Saint Mark's Square. The Doges lived here and the government offices were also in this building. Justice was meted out here and the Golden Book, listing all the important families of Venice, was housed here. No one whose family was not in the Golden Book would ever be made Doge. It was an extremely political process ruling Venice and residents could accuse others of wrong doing by anonymously slipping a note into the Mouth of Truth.

Inside the palace is wonderful art (paintings by Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese), majestic staircases, the Doge's apartments, the government chambers, the prison cells and the Bridge of Sighs. Outside, along the piazzetta, each column is different.

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Taormina Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco)

Taormina Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco)

53 rundturer och aktiviteter

The Sicilian town of Taormina has long been known as a popular beach resort destination, but it’s more than sparkling water and long stretches of sand that draw visitors. Taormina is also home to a spectacular ancient ruin - the Greek Theatre.

Despite its name, the Greek Theatre - or Teatro Greco in Italian - is actually an ancient Roman structure. The design is more akin to how the ancient Greeks designed their theaters, so it is believed the Roman theater was built over an existing Greek theater. The ruins you see today date primarily from the 2nd century A.D., although the theater was started in the 7th century B.C.E. Taormina’s Greek Theatre sits high above the town’s famous beaches, so visitors who climb uphill to see the ruin are rewarded with more than just an up close look at an ancient monument - the views can be fantastic. From the theater, you can see the town of Taormina, the beaches far below, and the Mt. Etna volcano. It’s one of the best views in Sicily.

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Milan Duomo

Duomo

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455
212 rundturer och aktiviteter

Milan’s Cathedral, or Duomo, is a much-loved symbol of the city. The most exuberant example of Northern Gothic in Italy, its spiky spires and towers dominate Piazza del Duomo, Milan’s beating heart.

The Duomo’s exterior is an upwardly thrusting collection of pinnacles, elongated statues and buttresses. The central spire is topped by a gilt statue of the Madonna, called the Madonnina.

Inside one of the world’s largest churches, it takes a few moments for your eyes to adjust to the candle-lit ambiance as you take in the cathedral’s nave, altars, aisles and stained-glass windows.

One of the highlights of a visit to the cathedral is the view from the roof – on a clear day you can see the Italian Alps. Take the steps if you’re fit (or the lift if you’re not) to peer over the city of Milan, surrounded by statues and spiky towers.

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Baths of the Queen Giovanna (Bagni della Regina Giovanna)

Baths of the Queen Giovanna (Bagni della Regina Giovanna)

78 rundturer och aktiviteter

Sorrento is known for its coastal views, scenic landscapes and beautiful beaches. But perhaps none are more iconic—or remote—than Bagni della Regina Giovanna (AKA The Baths of Queen Joan). Tucked below rocky cliffs and nestled into a protected shore, Bagni della Regina Giovanna is accessible only by foot. As a result, this beach has become the perfect escape for adult travelers seeking kid-free shores and beachcombers who prefer to share their sun with only a handful of others.

Once the seaside villa of the Roman era, Bagni della Regina Giovanna has today become a destination for those looking to escape the city and settle into the quiet natural wonder of the Italian coast. Its epic views, ancient ruins and quick access to La Solara, only add to this sweet spot’s already major charm.

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Sirmione

Sirmione

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31 rundturer och aktiviteter

The town of Sirmione occupies the tip of a tiny peninsular that protrudes into the southern edge of Lake Garda in northern Italy. Its unique position makes it a popular tourist destination.

Sirmione is known to have been a popular resort town since the 1st century B.C.E., largely because of its thermal hot springs. Much of what you see in Sirmione today is newer, but there are Roman ruins in the historic center, too. The remains of a Roman villa are at the end of the peninsula, and are called the Grottoes of Catullus - the name of a Roman poet whose family lived in Sirmione in the 1st century B.C.E. Another attraction is the Rocca Scaligera, a 13th-century castle. The picturesque and small historic center gets very crowded during the summer months, so if you can spend the night you may enjoy some peace and quiet.

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Mt. Etna (Monte Etna)

Mt. Etna (Monte Etna)

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237 rundturer och aktiviteter

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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Piazza del Campo

Piazza del Campo

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128 rundturer och aktiviteter

Every Italian city has its central piazza where the city's political, social and cultural business took place, and Siena's is pretty magnificent. The Piazza del Campo was developed in the mid-14th century by the ruling Council of Nine who, naturally, divided the space into nine sectors, each representing one of them. Never be in any doubt that a lot of self-aggrandizement existed during this period.

At one end of the square is the magnificent Palazzo Pubblico, or town hall (now also housing the Museo Civico) and from here the shell-shaped space radiates out. The bell tower of 1297, Torre del Mangia, rises from the palazzo and from up here there are great views. Enclosing the remainder of the square are the Late Gothic palaces of the grand medieval families of Siena. The Fonte Gaia, or fountain of life, is a white marble focal point and meeting place at the top end of the piazza. Twice a year, in July and August, the madness of the traditional bareback horse race.

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Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra)

Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra)

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262 rundturer och aktiviteter

The island of Capri, offshore from Naples and the towns along the Amalfi Coast, has long been a popular retreat - there are Roman ruins on the island to prove it. But one geologic feature in particular - the Blue Grotto - draws just as many visitors as the beaches and boutiques.

The Blue Grotto is a sea cave that, because of the way the light flows into the cave, appears to glow a bright blue inside. There is a tiny opening at the water level, through which you can actually enter the grotto and experience the light firsthand. It’s just big enough for a small rowboat, and even still everyone in the boat must lie down at just the right moment to get inside.

Once inside, the cave opens up and you can sit up in the boat, marveling at the glowing blue light coming from below the surface of the water. The light comes from a second (and much larger) opening below the one through which you enter, but you can’t really see that opening.

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Mt. Vesuvius (Monte Vesuvio)

Mt. Vesuvius

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320 rundturer och aktiviteter

Mount Vesuvius looms across the bay from Naples, 5.6 mi (9 kms) away from the city. It is the only mainland European volcano to have erupted in the last hundred years although it is currently sleeping. Most famously it erupted in 79 AD, burying Pompeii and Herculaneum in ash, killing an estimated 10,000 to 25,000 people.

Today it is still regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes because 3 million people live nearby and Vesuvius' eruptions tend to be explosive rather than gentle. The last eruption was in March 1944 which destroyed several nearby villages.

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St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)

St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)

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343 rundturer och aktiviteter

St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) is filled with centuries of history and is still the symbolic heart of Venice; it has even been referred to as the drawing room of Europe. With the grand St Mark's Church at one end, the Campanile bell tower rising in the middle and the elegant colonnaded arcade of famous cafes on three sides, it is a wonderful place to be - and the hundreds of pigeons think so too.

Sit and have coffee (you'll only be able to afford one) and watch the whole world pass by while a tuxedoed band plays. Then plunge north into the narrow streets full of shops leading towards the Rialto Bridge, or west into the city's pocket of high fashion designer stores finishing with an extremely expensive Bellini at Harry's Bar, the place that invented the peach/champagne drink. Alternately, head out of San Marco to the east and stroll the waterfront on the Riva.

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Uffizi Galleries (Gallerie degli Uffizi)

Uffizi Galleries (Gallerie degli Uffizi)

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341 rundturer och aktiviteter
The Uffizi Gallery houses the world’s most important collection of Florentine art, so unless you have Skip the Line tickets you’ll need to get ready to queue! The collection traces the rich history of Florentine art, from its 11th-century beginnings to Botticelli and the flowering of Renaissance art. At its heart is the private Medici collection, bequeathed to the city in the 18th century.
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Val d'Orcia

Val d'Orcia

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88 rundturer och aktiviteter

The Renaissance period was born in the hills of Italy, and nowhere is this more evident than at Val D’Orcia, an architectural wonderland and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the countryside of Tuscany. Here, the low-lying chalk planes and rolling hills have inspired many an artist to cover canvases with depictions of rural Italian life.

Travelers can explore the quiet tons, like Pienza and Radicofani, and sip incredible wines in the cafes of Montalcino. Whether it’s wandering the hills in search of a true taste of Italy, or traversing the planes with a camera in search of the perfect iconic image of Italy, visitors will find exactly what they’re looking for in Val D’Orcia.

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Siena Cathedral (Duomo)

Siena Cathedral (Duomo)

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111 rundturer och aktiviteter

Siena's magnificent Tuscan Gothic cathedral is not to be missed. And if you're in Siena you can't miss it because it dominates the place. Rising high with its magnificent white and greenish black stripes, it has a bit of red thrown in on the front facade and lots of detailing - including scrolls, biblical scenes and gargoyles. In the centre is the huge rose window designed by Duccio di Buoninsegna in 1288. Statues of prophets and philosophers by Giovanni Pisano which used to adorn the facade are now housed indoors at the nearby Museo Dell'Opera.

Inside the place is equally impressive with art by Donatello, Bernini and early Michelangelo. Some of the best pieces such as Duccio di Buoninsegni's Maesta have been moved next door to the Museo Dell'Opera. Unlike other cathedrals where you are craning your neck to see magnificent ceilings and frescoes, here you need to look down at the mosaic floor. The whole floor is tiled and is one of the most impressive in Italy.

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Isola Bella

Isola Bella

42 rundturer och aktiviteter

You don’t have to understand much Italian to guess that the Isola Bella attraction near Taormina in Sicily is a “pretty island” - but what you can’t guess from the name is that it’s not actually an island at all.

Isola Bella is a tiny, rocky outcropping just off the popular Lido Mazzarò beach in a small bay near Taormina. It looks like an island, but is connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of sand. It’s sometimes covered by the sea, so there are times when it looks like an island. This islet was given to the town of Taormina as a gift in 1806 by the then-king of the region, and later purchased by Lady Florence Trevelyan - a Scottish woman who lived in Taormina in the late 1800s.

Lady Trevelyan built a house atop Isola Bella, which still stands today. Ownership of the islet changed hands several times over the years, until 1990 when Isola Bella went up for auction. It is now owned by Sicily and serves as a nature reserve.

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