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Architecture of Italy. Must see and must visit landmarks

8 Gallery Lingotto, Torino

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The huge 8 Gallery Lingotto building is located in Turin. It was projected by an Italian architect in 1923.
»  The five-story building is half a kilometer long. On the outside, there are spiral pathways leading to the roof. The roof consists of curved modules with high-speed stained glass tracks for car tests.
»  The racing circuit is still exposed to the public view.
»  8 Gallery Lingotto-Torino was the first reinforced concrete construction. Here, you can see the motor assembly conveyor of Fiat, the biggest factory in Europe. It has modeled 80 different vehicles.
»  In 1980, the factory was officially closed. Nowadays, the complex includes shopping galleries (there are over 100 boutiques where you can buy items of famous brands’ old collections at a lower price), entertainment centers, a bookstore, an art museum, theatres, concert halls, conference halls, and an inn.
»  There is an eleven-hall cinema (UCI) with up-to-date equipment. You can also visit beauty salons, a solarium, and restaurants that offer the wide variety of cuisines.

Arch of Septimius Severus, Rome

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Arch of Septimius Severus is the arch erected in honor of the victories of Emperor Septimius Severus and his sons.
» The arch is decorated with bas-reliefs and sculptures narrating the battles of the Emperor with the Parthians.
» Both sides of the arch are decorated with inscriptions glorifying the deeds of the emperor who brought Rome to greatness and provided bread to the empire.
» The base platform, on which the ancient orators had appeared, has survived on the left side of the arch.
» In ancient times, there was an ancient two-wheeled chariot with four horses at the top of the arch. That’s how it’s depicted on Roman coins. Unfortunately, the chariot hasn’t survived to these days.

Basilica di Superga, Torino

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Basilica of Superga is located at the top of the namesake hill in Turin.
»  It is a Catholic basilica.
»  In 1706, the future King Sardinian King Victor Amadeus II and his cousin Eugene of Savoy climbed the hill of Superga to see the city besieged by French and Spanish forces. They promised to build a church at their observation point in the event of the successful outcome of the battle. The battle ended with a victory, so we can see this magnificent construction now.
»  The luxurious domed Basilica of Superga started to be built in 1717.
»  It was designed by the original project of Filippo Juvarra in the late Italian baroque style.
»  The Basilica of Superga is also the burial place of all Piedmontese kings. Victor Amadeus II was the first to be buried here.
»  The basilica is also associated with one of the most tragic events in the sports sector, the death of all players of the football team “Torino”. It happened on 3 May 1949 when sportsmen, managers of the club, and journalists flew back from Portugal after a friendly game. The left wing of the plane snagged the dome of the basilica and the aircraft crashed.

Basilica of San Lorenzo, Milan

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Basilica of San Lorenzo is one of the most important places for Catholics in Milan.
» This basilica has been originally built during the reign of Roman Empire, and then over the centuries was being rebuilt several times. This is one of the oldest churches in Milan.
» Despite many changes, the original Byzantine structure with a dome and four towers, resembling the church of St. Sophia in Constantinople, survived to this day.
» The old baptistery and the Romanesque bell tower of the 12th century stands out among preliminary buildings on this site.

Basilica of Sant Ambrogio, Milan

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Basilica of Sant Ambrogio is the church built in 379-386 AD by Ambrose Mediolano at the burial site of the early Christian martyrs in Milan.
» The first church was called the Basilica of the Martyrs.
» The church houses the relics of St. Ambrose, a priceless treasure for all Christians.
» Next to St. Ambrose relics of martyrs Gervasius and Protasius can be seen. The basilica is also the burial site for the remains of Emperor Louis II.
» There are many priceless ancient objects dating back to 4-9th centuries, as well as many beautiful frescoes of 14th century and mosaics of 6-8th centuries.

Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Basilica of Santa Croce is located in the heart of Florence; that’s one of the most popular attractions of the city.
» About 300 famous figures of culture, science and politics are buried in the church. Among them Galileo, Dante, Machiavelli, Michelangelo and many others have to be mentioned. The tomb has a form of the marble box with the figure of the deceased on top of the sarcophagus.
» The Basilica of Santa Croce is famous for its frescoes by Giotto.
» Initially, all the walls of the church were decorated with frescoes, but during the plague in the 16th century, when the church was used as a hospital, the walls were whitewashed. Once, during restoration, the frescoes were found, and the works of the great Giotto were among them.
» The Basilica is famous for its 16 chapels.
» In 1452 Leonardo da Vinci was baptized in this church.

Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls, Rome

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls is the great patriarchal basilica of Rome included in the World Heritage List.
» It was erected by Emperor Constantine at the burial site of St. Paul.
» Emperor Theodosius I found this church unworthy of such a sacred place and began the construction of a much more impressive temple.
» The basilica houses the precious holy relic, the sarcophagus containing the remains of St. Paul.
» The basilica is decorated with medallions with the apostles, the magnificent mosaics, paintings, depicting religious motifs, and a marble floor.

Basilica of the Holy Spirit, Florence

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The Basilica of the Holy Spirit is the Catholic church in Florence built in the 15th century.
» The Basilica of the Holy Spirit is one of the most famous buildings by the Florentine genius architect, Filippo Brunelleschi.
» The church has collected a large number of magnificent paintings and frescoes.
» Among the most important treasures of the church there are such works of art as Madonna and Child with Saints by Filippino Lippi and The Crucifixion by Michelangelo.

Baths of Caracalla, Rome

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Baths of Caracalla are thermae of Emperor Caracalla in Rome.
» Baths were considered one of the wonders of Rome.
» They are decorated with bronze bindings of semicircular windows and thin slices of translucent ivory stone.
» Caracalla was supplied with clean water from mountain springs coming from a specially built aqueduct.
» All halls of Baths of Caracalla are decorated with colored mosaics. On the floor you can see scenes from the history of Rome.
» Visitors could observe performances of various troupes of actors, for whom performance at the arena of Baths of Caracalla is tantamount to international recognition.

Castel Nuovo, Napoli

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Castel Nuovo is a castle that was built by King Charles of Anjou on the sea coast in Naples when his capital was moved from Palermo. The construction began in 1279 and lasted three years.
»  Like other castles, Castel Nuovo had a heavy fate. It had been looted and destroyed for centuries. It endured everything and remained undamaged even after a terrible earthquake that destroyed almost entire Naples.
»  Today, there is the Municipal Museum in the territory of the castle. Here, you can learn about the history of Naples from the ancient time to nowadays.
»  Here, you can not only see a museum collection, but also visit temporary exhibitions.
»  The most interesting interior elements in the castle are ancient frescoes and sculptures on the ground floor.

Castel Sant Angelo, Rome

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» This is where emperors were buried, popes lived, artists and scientists were imprisoned.
» The castle owes its name to the legend about Archangel Michael appearing at the top of the mausoleum and sheathing his sword as a sign that the plague that has tortured Rome was ended.
» The famous jeweler, Benvenuto Cellini, was in this castle as a prisoner. He was accused of embezzling gems of the papal tiara. Soon he managed to escape, and then he was re-arrested and imprisoned in the dungeon.
» The most valuable item in the museum is the painting of the risen Christ on the wall of the chamber, where Cellini was imprisoned.
» Castel Sant'Angelo was the custody of the famous Count Cagliostro. Holy Inquisition accused him of heresy, necromancy and organization of secret societies.
» The most vivid and dramatic event in the history of the castle is a nine-month siege of Rome by lance knights. Citizens used heads of marble statues, which adorned the mausoleum, as missiles to hit the siege.

Castel Sant. Elmo, Napoli

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Castel Sant’Elmo is a medieval fortress located on the Vomero hill.
»  The fortress started to be built in 1329 when King Robert of Anjou ruled. The construction was completed in 1343, in the year of the king’s death.
»  The fortress is very interesting in terms of architecture, as this is a star-shaped construction with six fortifications.
»  In 1799, Sant’Elmo was also a symbol of the Neapolitan Republic.
»  Today, there is the Art History Museum in the fortress. It is a popular tourist place.

Castel dell Ovo, Napoli

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Castel dell Ovo is a medieval fortress that is located on the island connected to Naples with a narrow embankment.
»  It is supposed that it is here that Naples was founded by Greek settlers in the 6th century.
»  The modern castle was built here in 1139 to protect the city from the sea.
»  The castle gained its name (that is translated from Italian as “Egg Castle”) due to its unusual shape.
»  In the 15th century, the fortress was strengthened in the event of shelling. It was very useful because Castel dell Ovo was targeted with French cannons during Italian wars.

Castello del Valentino, Torino

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Castle of Valentino is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in Turin.
»  The castle is under the protection of UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
»  Originally, the Residence of the House of Savoy was built as a medieval fortified castle. The Castle of Valentino has the shape of a horseshoe that is quite typical for constructions of that time.
»  The building was named after the nearby Church of St. Valentino.
»  The castle was bought by Duke Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy who moved from Chambery to Turin.
»  The Castello del Valentino acquired its current appearance only in the 17th century. In the 1600s, the construction was completely rebuilt in the French style upon the order of Princess Christine Marie of France who lived here.
»  In the 19th century, the Castle of Valentino was abandoned. In 1860, it became the seat of the Architecture Faculty of the Polytechnic University and was restored.
»  In 1900, the first Turin Motor Show was held in the castle.
»  Then, a botanical garden was set up in the castle grounds.
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What to see in top cities of Italy

When you are in mood for visiting unusual places, climb up to Aventino. There is picturesque Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta on top of the mountain. You will see old high gates near the square. If you find the keyhole and look through it, you will learn one of the main “secrets of Rome”. Travelers, who have already found the keyhole, often keep in secret what they saw there. We won’t be so mysterious and spill the beans. The keyhole offers a wonderful view of the St. Peter’s Basilica. The … Read more
To continue shopping and souvenir related theme, it’s worth mentioning Replay Store located on Via Por Santa Maria. This is the only shop in the city and one of the few ecological shops in the world. The unique design is the main peculiarity of the shop that looks nothing special at a glance. Walls of Replay Store are decorated with plants and tropic lianas. Racks with clothes are installed right in the middle of lush greenery, so travelers are recommended to visit this unusual shop even if … Read more
Have you ever enjoyed the sauna effect in a tram? No, it’s not about a “mesmerizing” ride in a super crowded tram on a hot day, but about a real high-class sauna open in a tram car. The unique service is provided by QC Termemilano Spa. Fans of wellness treatments will be excited to try a creative sauna that has been open in a real tram car. Tram del Benessere sauna looks the same with classic saunas and has a high-quality steam room with wooden benches and a relaxation area. If you adore … Read more
If you prefer walking to water-based activities, don’t forget to find the narrowest streets of Venice. Ramo Ca Zusto and Calle Varisco are considered the leaders in this category. The width of the latter one is only 53 centimeters, so if you want to slip between tall old buildings, make sure no one is moving into your direction from the opposite side of the street. Otherwise, you might need to go back in the middle of your way – there’s not enough space for two people to pass each other on … Read more
Tired of going on the tours during the daytime? It's time to change the good old tradition and go on an evening walk through Bologna. With the onset of darkness, its picturesque streets are illuminated by incredibly beautiful lighting. In the light of street lamps, the familiar historical monuments look quite different. Cannot imagine your vacation without shopping? Take a walk along Via dell Indipendenza and find a modest gift shop with the name of La Coroncina. The choice of typical … Read more

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