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In our first article we went on a journey through Verona, Rome, Florence, Venice and Burano. 

Now we invite you to join us in our second part of this journey through the most beautiful cities in Italy:

Pisa

Pisa is a place of miracles, the second largest city in Tuscany and the entrance gate on the Italian Riviera.

The biggest tourist attraction is the Leaning Tower. But Pisa offers much more such as the Square of Miracles which has many place that must be visited: Plaza del Duomo, Baptisterium,  a circular building that was built in 1153 by Diotisalvi, the marble Cathedral, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Asuntos, the tomb of Henry VII of Luxembourg, the University’s Botanic Garden etc.

The Tower of Pisa (Torre Pendente) was built in August of 1173, housing the bells of the cathedral in Piazza dei Miracoli. This building has a height of 55 m and has 294 stairs. Although it was designed to stand vertically, due to the slippery soil layers, the foundation began to sink after construction started, tilting it toward the south. Over time, the tower has undergone many consolidations.

Bologna

In Bologna you’ll enjoy the best local cuisine and culinary product,s full of rich flavors and tastes, while you explore the crowded and fascinating city.

Bologna is known for the oldest university in the Western world, typical foods, its reddish tile roof architecture, its theaters and nightlife. The city’s architecture is known for its ornaments and roofs, with different shades from red to ocher, hence the name “Bologna Rossa” (Bologna The Red One). 

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The central part of the city, characterized by kilometers of covered walkways called “portico”, is a wonderful historic center. Also, the University of Bologna was founded in 1088.

Naples (Napoli)

Although the city is more chaotic and crowded than other Italian cities, Naples impresses by elegant palaces, medieval houses and its museums.

Naples Cafe in the Evening. Image credit: Trey Ratcliff (flickr.com)

Many of the tourists who arrive in Naples hopelessly fall in love with the city, wishing they lived or were born there, coming back whenever they have the occasion.

It was founded between the seventh and sixth centuries BC by the Greeks and was named Neapolis, which means “new city”. Due to its vast artistic heritage, the historic center of Naples has earned its place in the UNESCO World Heritage.

Napoli boats. Image credit: Chris Battaglia (flickr.com)

The Castel Nuovo (Maschio Angioino) (front view). Image credit: Mstyslav Chernov (commons.wikimedia.org)

The city has one of the largest historical centers in the world and 448 historic and monumental churches, the highest number in the world for one city.

Bagnoli Ex-Italsider – Napoli. Image credit: Alessandro Tortora (flickr.com)

Greeks built the city and lived in the region long before Roman times. The most spoken language in Naples is Italian or a mixture of Italian and napulitano (Neapolitan). Neapolitan is sometimes described as an Italian dialect, but may be considered a separate language.

San Gimignano

San Gimignano is one of the great emblems of Tuscany, and you risk to suddenly and hopelessly fall in love with this small town. The road to San Gimignano is bordered by oleanders and valleys, and you can almost feel Tuscany’s beating heart.

This charming medieval town, founded in the eighth century, is known for its great towers, which originally were 72, of which only 14 have been preserved until now.

Probably the most beautiful small town of Italy, there are some places where you can recall the medieval Tuscan atmosphere. Paved roads, high protective walls, imposing towers, narrow pedestrian streets and minimal traffic, creates the illusion of timelessness.

The famous towers date from the time when prosperous families in search of prestige, were trying to build buildings as tall as their social status. The competition was so aggressive between these families, that the government passed a law prohibiting the construction of any tower taller than Palazzo del Popolo, the local authority premises. 

In addition to being a social status symbol, the towers served as defensive structures during unceasing discord between families, and were used to store grain during sieges or to throw hot oil on the enemy.

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An incredibly beautiful city from all points of view: the view from the top of Torre Grossa is extraordinary; markets and palaces in San Gimignano add that something special to the town; the beautiful brick paving of Piazza della Cisterna, Piazza del Duomo and the town hall, add color to this picture. 

It’s a truly fabulous medieval town!

Genoa (Genova)

Genoa is a historic port city in northern Italy and the capital of Liguria. Genoa, as a tourist attraction, is often shadowed by cities such as Rome or Venice, even if it has a long history as an important commercial center. 

However, with its multitude of attractions hidden, with excellent cuisine (especially fish and seafood), an old renovated port and one of the largest aquariums in Europe, with its position as “European Capital of Culture” in 2004, all of these made the birthplace of explorer Christopher Columbus into an enticing place that is increasingly sought on the tourist market.

The sites to visit are numerous, and it’s good to remember some of them: Carlo Felice Theater, the Cathedral of St. Lawrance, Doge’s Palace, St. George Palace, St. Andrew Church, Neptune – a perfect replica of a Spanish galleon from the 17th century, Villa del Principe, Genoa Lighthouse and Ferrari Square.

Padua (Padova)

In Padua, the city of angels, you can find beauty at every step. A medieval atmosphere is preserved even today between its walls. The city is surrounded by two circles of walls with 28 gateways, but its signature are the porticos. It looks like a mix of splendid Renaissance palaces and modest red brick buildings.

Padua was born in 1184 BC, which in Roman times was called “Patavium” and was considered by Strabo one of the richest cities of the empire.

The city is a mixture of Venetian, Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance civilization.

The immense Basilica of Saint Anthony, built between 1232 and 1300, is crowned with eight domes and Byzantine towers, build in the architecture style of minarets, sheltering the tomb and relics of the saint patron of the city, Portuguese by birth and Padovan by destiny, in the chapel decorated with bas-reliefs depicting the miracles he did. Inside the basilica you can admire paintings by Tiziano.

Padova also has the oldest botanical garden in Europe, founded in 1545. This garden was included by UNESCO on the World Heritage list. 

Italy remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, due to its beautiful cities, a successful combination of history, art, architecture, ruins, cathedrals, traditions and culture, and last but not least, for special culinary experiences, specific to each city.

If you haven’t read the first part of this article, you can find it here. What was you experience while visiting Italy? Leave us a comment bellow a share you story.

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