Rome, capital of Italy, owes its popularity to the historical fact that it had been throughout history the capital of the Roman Empire (Caput Mundi) and the seat of the papacy, then the heart of Catholic Christendom (Caput Fidei). Full of art, history and culture is certainly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Many places of historical, artistic and cultural interest worth mentioning and to be visited. Rome is, for example, the city with more churches in the world and San Pietro, located inside the Vatican City, is the most famous ever. Inside preserves the artistic expressions of the timeless players of art as Michelangelo and Raphael. The Colosseum is the largest roman monument and is located at the center of the city. It owes its name to its colossal size and presence in the vicinity of the Colosso di Nerone, the gigantic statue dedicated to the emperor. Castel Sant’Angelo, built in 123 d.c. as a tomb for emperor Hadrian, accompanies the city’s history for two thousand years, transforming from tomb to military outpost, from prison to museum. Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Navona, the Fontana di Trevi, i Fori Imperiali, the Pantheon, the Terme di Caracalla are just some of the best examples of tourism excellences that can be admired in the Eternal City, as Rome in the course of history was defined.
City of Roman origin and known in the world as the Cradle of the Renaissance, Florence is famous for the rarity and beauty of its artistic treasures, to the historical and cultural heritage that it jealously preserves. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Italy and in the world. The heart of Florence is Piazza della Signoria which overlooks Plazzo Vecchio today houses the town, once home of the Medici family, the Galleria degli Uffizi, one of the most important visited museums in the world. Just outside the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with the famous dome of Brunelleschi, the Campanile of Giotto and the Battistero of San Giovanni and still little more than the historic Ponte Vecchio, which has resisted the ruins of the Second World War, known today for its famous shops of goldsmiths and for the romantic view that there can be admired. The bridge cuts the Arno, the river which crosses the city and has occupied an important place in the history of Florence as a way of communication between the city and the coast. Florence is not only art, history and museums, but much more and provides the visitor with the fervor of life day and the liveliness of the night, unlimited opportunities for recreation and fun.
The city of Siena, once Saen Iulia, was founded as a roman colony at the time of Augustus and his origins are probably attributable to the Etruscans, according to historians finds brought to light in this area. Known in the world for its artistic heritage Siena is now one of the most beautiful cities of central Italy. Owes its fame to the famous Palio, to its wines are known and celebrated in the world as the Chianti, the Brunello di Montalcino, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano and to the established confectionery production that has consecrated the palatability of panpepato, ricciarelli, cavallucci and panforte. Unique for its unusual shape of the shell and for the integrity of its architectural spaces, Piazza del Campo is the heart of the city and is the place chosen to host the traditional Palio, historical event that takes place on 2 July and 16 August of each year. This is a race horse, mounted bareback, in which the various districts of the city, that throughout the remainder have an intense social life, are in competition for several days. The Palio is the revisiting of a medieval joust and is the highest expression of the Siena’s tradition. The city preserves history and culture in many works of art and monuments (the Palazzo Pubblico, the Torre del Mangia, the Fonte Gaia, the Loggia della Mercanzia, etc.) and ensures the visitor an enchanting stay in the beautiful scenery of its territory.
The city of Cortona is located at more or less 600 metres above the sea level on the hill dominating the plain half way between Arezzo and Perugia, only 80 kilometres away from Florence.
As any village of antique origins, the foundation, which in reality should be dated between the 5th and the 2nd century before Christ, has aspects surrounded by myth; according to the writings of Giacomo Lauro, taken from the works of the 15th century of Annio Viterbese, in fact, it would have been Noe together with a son named Cranno to first establish himself in these lands after the universal diluvia.
The actual aspect of the city is characterised by the heavy dry stone wall already built during the Etruscan era and successively extended and integrated; the various entrance doors and the trapezoidal Fortress have been built by Cosimo I from 1556. Among the buildings of greatest artistic and architectonic value in the most antique core of the city, we can underline the presence of various noble residences, the “Palaz del Capitano del Popolo”, the “Communal Palazzo”, the Church of San Francesco and the Basilica of Santa Margherita.
Hilltop town surrounded by olive groves and famous Brunello vineyards of antique origins. During the Middle Ages it went under the power of Siena, who built the pentagonal fortress and the Palazzo dei Priori, now Town Hall. Its museums exhibits notable artworks by Sienese artists of XIV and XV century.
Founded by the Umbri – we have proof documented in the Eugubine tablets of I century b.C. – Gubbio was a centre of primary importance during Roman times (as one may see from the presence of thermal baths, theatre and mausoleum).
During the Middle Ages it had its major urban development with the construction of the city’s gateways and aqueduct.
The central Via dei Consoli gives an idea of how Gubbio must have looked then, with its palaces with narrow ogival doorways and windows (Palazzo del Bargello).Piazza Grande is a real medieval architectural achievement in its hanging between the Palazzo dei Consoli and the Palazzo Pretorio, never finished, which represents the spirit of eugubine gothic architecture.
The nearby Cathedral was built in XIII century and still has its original simple facade with ogival portal and rose window. The construction of the Palazzo Ducale was ordered by Federico da Montefeltro and encloses medieval buildings in renaissance style, connecting them to a Corte D’Onore (designed by Francesco di Giorgio).
It was in this Tuscan town that Renaissance town-planning concepts were first put into practice after Pope Pius II decided, in 1459, to transform the look of his birthplace.
He chose the architect Bernardo Rossellino, who applied the principles of his mentor, Leon Battista Alberti.
This new vision of urban space was realized in the superb square known as Piazza Pio II and the buildings around it: the Piccolomini Palace, the Borgia Palace and the cathedral with its pure Renaissance exterior and an interior in the late Gothic style of south German churches.
Set on the slopes of Mount Subasio, Assisi is the town of S. Francis. Its medieval historic centre is arranged along the original Roman streets; on the Piazza del Comune look major palaces like the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, the Palazzo dei Priori and the temple dedicated to Minerva.
World famous monuments and buildings are the Franciscan monastery with its Basilica widely decorated by Giotto, the XIV century S. Chiara church, the S. Maria Maggiore church with the frescoes by Pinturicchio, and the Rocca Maggiore set on a cliff overlooking town.
The S. Maria degli Angeli church houses the Porziuncola chapel, where the Franciscan order was founded, the Transito chapel, originally the cell where S. Francis died and the Roseto chapel.
A few kilometres from here one may visit the Franciscan Eremo delle Carceri, built by S. Bernardino da Siena in XV century.
Nature Park of the Mount Cucco
Montepulciano is built along a narrow limestone ridge and, at 605 m above sea level.
The town is encircled by walls and fortifications designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder in 1511 for Cosimo I.
Inside the walls the streets are crammed with Renaissance-style palazzi and churches, but the town is chiefly known for its good local Vino Nobile wines. a long, winding street called the Corso climbs up into the main square, which crowns the summit of the hill.
Passignano sul Trasimeno
Passignano is a city-casle situated on a rocky promontory on the north side of lake Trasimeno on the slopes of the hill/forest system. The Fortress probably of Longobard origin from the 5th-6th century, makes up the first nucleus of the castle that was enlarged up to the bank of the lake in three distinct historical periods.
At today are remaining just the triangular tower (Clock Tower) and some long stretches of the wall. The church of St. Christopher contains a cicle of frescoes of great interest by several artists between the 11th and 14th century.
In the center of the historic city the church of St. Bernardine was built in the 1400s with its beautiful sandstone portal.
In the lower piazza is the Oratory of Blessed Sacraments. To the west of city is the Temple of our Lady of the Olive: it was consecrated before 1600 and later embellished with precious stucco-work, paintings and marble.
The lake Trasimeno is the largest lake in centre Italy, the 4th biggest lake in the whole country. It has fluvial, and perhaps even tectonic origins.
It’s heart-shaped and it surface is 128 square kilometers.
The deepest point of the lake reaches 6 meters, its banks are low and surrounded by a reed-bed and hills with olive trees and vineyards, with gardens and small farms.
The area of Trasimeno belongs to the region Umbria, although it has deep cultural connections with Tuscany as well. The lake actually belongs to a boundary area between the two regions, where even the dialect and the popular traditions are uncertain. This mixed identity is easy to be found also in the kitchen.
Tuoro sul Trasimeno
The settlement sprang up in the late Middle Ages, but during Roman times it was the scene of the famous Battle of Trasimeno (217 BC.), in which the Carthaginians under Hannibal defeated the Roman legions commanded by consul Gaius Flaminius.
Tuoro sul Trasimeno was a fishing and farming village and got its name from the term pesca dei tuori, a fishing technique used on the lake in times of old. As well as the Palazzo del Capra, now owned by Perugia University, Tuoro offers an interesting and enthralling historical and artistic itinerary dedicated to the battle of Hannibal, roughly 7 km long, with equipped areas and information boards. Just outside the built-up area, at Punta Navaccia, can be found the area known as Campo del Sole, where the visitor can admire 27 statue-columns in serena stone made by various artists since 1985. The project for the creation of this open-air museum was the idea of Pietro Cascella, with the help of Mauro Berrettini and Cordelia Von den Steinen.
Also near Tuoro, at roughly 2 km from the town centre do not miss the characteristic Torre Torta which leans even more than the Tower of Pisa. Anyone interested in trekking will be pleased to know that Tuoro is the starting point for reaching the Monte Castelluccio Natural Park.
Duration about 2 hours
Suitable for all those who have over 12 years of age with a few difficulties to deal with; it is definitely the first step to get closer to caving, characterized by short climbing, passages, bottlenecks and slides. To pay attention to the slightly rough surface and sometimes slippery, due to the large accumulation of mud. The “off-route” starts from “infinity room”, the last of the classic tourist route, continues with the bottleneck of the “Cinnamon” to get to the “Four Sisters”, a long tunnel leading to the “hall Finland.” Ready to get dirty!