The city, enclosed by stone walls dating back to Etruscan and Roman times, sits on the top of a hill about meters about feet above sea level. This dominant position over the valley offers a spectacular view from all over the town of the surrounding valley and even Lake Trasimeno. The city is small but offers many interesting places to visit, among these the Diocesan Museum where you can admire a beautiful panel painting of the Annunciation by Beato Angelico and the MAEC The Etruscan Academy Museum of the City of Cortona , where it is possible to see many artifacts found in the Eruscan archeological sites in the area. You can also request additional information about the Archeological Park at the museum. You should not miss a visit to the beautiful Santa Margherita Sanctuary, patron of the city, and to the Girifalco Fortress. Both are on the highest point on the hill and are easy to reach after a short, uphill walk. Following the path that follows the city walls, you can also enjoy a beautiful view over the surrounding countryside. The Girifalco Fortress, constructed for military purposes, has undergone many substantial changes throughout the centuries and today only a part is open to the public.

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Phillip Neri Seminary, it is here that our priests receive the formation that prepares them to serve the Sovereign Priest. History of the Building The rolling hills of Tuscany This castle is a medieval structure with four towers, a closed middle court, and a surrounding moat on three sides. In the late Renaissance the family of the Counts of Martelli changed the castle from its medieval shape into a noble summerhouse with more subtle features.

Several staterooms were opened and a little theater served to entertain the Counts and their guests in the summertime. The castle is listed among the typical summer villas of Tuscany, remodeled after the style of Palladio.

Genoa, the vertical city. Discover Genoa is like climbing it. Going from the old port, now a tourist attraction with a large modern museum of the sea, visitors can climb up.

While Lombardy’s right-wing leadership attempted to limit the construction of new mosques, the Tuscan city of Florence has pledged to find premises for a “mega-mosque” in its historic centre to accommodate the Muslim community, who currently worship in a metre square former garage. People are often forced to pray on the street outside the mosque, located in Borgo Allegri, during the most important weekly meeting in the Muslim church – the Friday prayer of Jummah.

When it rains it’s a tragedy. It also doubles up as a religious library and research centre. Members of Florence’s Muslim community met with city council leaders on Monday to discuss moving to a new metre site in the centre. Feasibility studies are currently being carried out and the council has promised that the community will have new premises within a month. In addition to being granted a bigger and better mosque, the council also confirmed that it is still evaluating the long-term possibility of constructing a large Islamic cultural centre and place of worship – measuring up to 7, square metres – in the city.

The region had sought to subject anyone wanting to build a mosque, or other place of worship for a faith not officially recognized by the state, to an exhaustive list of restrictions, effectively preventing any new construction. Islam is the only major religion that does not have official status in Italy, despite the country being home to an estimated one million Muslims. The court ruling fell in line with a government bid to better integrate the Muslim community and followed the announcement in January that a special council, made up of academics and experts in Islamic culture and religion, would be tasked with the job.

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Perched on a hill with its towers and green mountains behind it offers one of the best views of the Tuscan countryside. Of the 72 towers that once defined the profile of San Gimignano, only 14 remain. The triangular Piazza della Cisterna, which is paved with stones set on edge, has a well in the centre. These squares date to the 13th and 14th centuries In addition to the churches and other buildings, another attraction of San Gimignano worth a visit is the Museum of Torture – featuring such ancient relics as a fingernail clamp and a metal pig’s head which, some say, medieval women were temporarily forced to wear for nagging their husbands too much!

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Our highly trained inspectors visit every property we rate, evaluating based on up to objective criteria. Our hotel stays span a minimum of two nights. We pay our own way. No one can buy a rating; all ratings are earned through our objective inspection process. Our global team of inspectors are anonymous at all times, so they have the same experience as a typical guest.

While we inspect both service and facility, our Star Rating system emphasizes service because your experience at a hotel, restaurant or spa goes beyond looks — how it makes you feel is what you will remember most. Five-Star These are outstanding, often iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities. Four-Star These are exceptional properties, offering high levels of service and quality of facility to match.

Recommended These are excellent properties with consistently good service and facilities. Soon To Be Rated As our highly trained, incognito inspectors work to assess properties, our editors check them out ahead of time and provide a sneak preview of what to expect.

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The Torre del Mangia is the second tallest tower in Italy, designed with the explicit intent of being as tall as the Siena Duomo, to signify the state and church sharing equal power, and taller than Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, the tallest tower of Siena’s rival.

This picturesque city is perfectly walkable with its Gothic streets, palaces, and sacred spaces meticulously preserved and the majority of its streets closed to cars. The train journey takes longer than busing, is more expensive, lets you off beneath the town at the bottom of a hill, and much of the railway route is through underground tunnels.

That said, the windy roads and hilly terrain can make the train a better option for people who suffer from motion sickness. Buses run between Florence and Siena times per hour Monday through Saturday, and with lesser frequency on Sundays and holidays. You can check the schedule at the bus station the day before, or consult the Busfox online timetable to plan your trip. There is a list of return times at the stop in Siena.

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Leonardo da Vinci statue outside the Uffizi Gallery Of a population estimated at 94, before the Black Death of , [18] about 25, are said to have been supported by the city’s wool industry: After their suppression, Florence came under the sway — of the Albizzi family, who became bitter rivals of the Medici. In the 15th century, Florence was among the largest cities in Europe, considered rich and economically successful. Life was not idyllic for all residents though, among whom there were great disparities in wealth.

Although the city was technically a democracy of sorts, his power came from a vast patronage network along with his alliance to the new immigrants, the gente nuova new people.

Let our Italy trip planner build the best Italy holiday itinerary for you. In the country, you’ll find countless archeological sites dating back to Roman times and beyond. The country’s cities and seaside resorts are cosmopolitan powerhouses with museums, galleries, restaurants, shops, open-air markets, and pedestrian-friendly historic.

City of the Leaning Tower and More The Leaning Tower has made Pisa famous all over the world, and in addition to the tower, the city offers many other interesting things to see worth at least an entire day – check out our 1 day in Pisa itinerary to plan your visit. When you first arrive at the beautiful Square of Miracles Piazza dei Miracoli , your sight will be captivated by the magnificent Tower.

You will enjoy both the incredible climb as well as the amazing views from the top you can buy tickets in advance as number of entries are limited every half hour! Once you have admired the Tower of Pisa from all angles including the classic picture in which you pretend to support it to keep as a memento , continue your visit to the other monuments in the Piazza: Along the perimeter of the square, there is also the Cemetery, the Cathedral Museum and the Museum of the Synopses.

Enjoy a leisurely walk along the Arno river and on your way, pass by Clock Palace to enter into Piazza dei Cavalieri, which was once the heart of power in the city and later the headquarters of the Knights of St. In the Palazzo della Carovana overlooking the square, the prestigious Scuola Normale of Pisa has its base. What else to do in Pisa? You can eat the cecina alone or in a schiacciatina, a flat bread. A real treat you must try! If you are in Pisa at this time of the year, we suggest you spend some time in Pisa and enjoy the Luminara , the Regatta of San Ranieri and the Battle of the Bridge.

Florence plans ‘mega-mosque’ for Muslim worshippers

Assisi is a small Umbrian town in central Italy, located 12 miles 19 km east of Perugia at an elevation of 1, feet meters. Assisi is best known as the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi — patron saint of Italy, founder of the Franciscan order, and one of the most popular Catholic saints in history. Assisi’s main attraction is the 13th-century Basilica di San Francesco , which contains the sacred relics of Francis and beautiful frescoes of his life.

And there are at least seven other churches well worth visiting for their history, beauty, and connection with Francis or his friend Clare. The town of Assisi, with its Roman ruins, winding medieval streets and sacred shrines, has been a major Catholic pilgrimage destination for centuries and is today one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy.

Florence is known as the city with the orange dome created by Brunelleschi, the river with Ponte Vecchio, and the home of Dante Alighieri. Behind these famous sites and the prevalent Renaissance architecture, however, is a completely different layer of Florence; hidden corridors, ancient churches.

Weather Widgets Weather lowdown June marks the beginning of the summer season in Florence , Italy , when the weather gets even warmer, drier and the cloud coverage decreases. At this time of year, the average temperature begins at This makes the final week of June the warmest part of the month. Over the course of June, the length of the day in Florence is essentially constant, with a difference of 11 minutes between the start and the end of the month.

The shortest day is June 1st with Since June marks the beginning of the summer season in Florence, snowfall is extremely unlikely to occur at this time of year. If you really want to experience Florence in the snow, forget about going in June and plan your visit for January or February instead, when the city enjoys the majority of its snowfall.

With mild temperatures like these, you’ll need to pack spring and summer clothing, such as shorts, skirts, t-shirts and light jumpers or cardigans to make sure you stay comfortable during your holiday. If you want to make the most of your holiday time and visit Florence when temperatures are at their highest, delay your holiday until July or August , when the city enjoys its hottest weather. View of the city from Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy taken by PapaPiper Where to stay Hotel Orto de Medici is perfect for travellers who want to be close to all Florence’s historic attractions, but far enough away to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Located in a typical ancient street of Florence in a quiet part of the city, this three-star hotel is within a minute walk of the Florence Cathedral, Fine Arts Academy, Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria. Here guests can choose between classic, deluxe, superior and quadruple rooms, as well as junior suites.

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I went to the Medici Dynasty Show at their new location in an old Church on via faenza. This one hour show showcases years of Florentine history focusing on two members of the famous Medici family. The script has undergone a revamp by Marissa Greffy and check out the personalized jewelry by Sara Amrhein available for purchase. Highly recommend doing this on your next trip to Florence!

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The bus stop is located meters from the Bed & ce city bus line (14A) with frequent runs crosses the entire historical center of Florence, reaches the Trade Fair and Exposition Center and ends at the Main Hospital.

Fiumicino airport is only 26 km away from Rome. Tickets costs 14 euros each way. Remember to validate your ticket in the machine before entering the train. Tickets are valid for 90 minutes. From there you can take the metro to the city centre. Tickets costs 8 euros. You will need another ticket for the metro 1,50 euros Remember to validate your ticket in the machine before entering the train. Journey time 55 minutes depending on traffic.

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Leonardo da Vinci statue outside the Uffizi Gallery Of a population estimated at 94, before the Black Death of , [18] about 25, are said to have been supported by the city’s wool industry: After their suppression, Florence came under the sway — of the Albizzi family, who became bitter rivals of the Medici. In the 15th century, Florence was among the largest cities in Europe, considered rich and economically successful.

Life was not idyllic for all residents though, among whom there were great disparities in wealth. Although the city was technically a democracy of sorts, his power came from a vast patronage network along with his alliance to the new immigrants, the gente nuova new people. The fact that the Medici were bankers to the pope also contributed to their ascendancy.

The 13th-century Palazzo Vecchio, the Ponte Vecchio, and the Duomo — Florence’s iconic cathedral — are all within easy walking distance, as are many other cultural sites. The hotel is a beautiful base for any Tuscan stay, capturing the warmth and romance of the surrounding city and countryside.

Early life Embley Park in Hampshire, now a school, was one of the family homes of William Nightingale. Florence Nightingale was born on 12 May into a rich, upper-class, well-connected British family at the Villa Colombaia, [7] in Florence , Tuscany , Italy, and was named after the city of her birth. Florence’s older sister Frances Parthenope had similarly been named after her place of birth, Parthenope , a Greek settlement now part of the city of Naples. The family moved back to England in , with Nightingale being brought up in the family’s homes at Embley, Hampshire and Lea Hurst, Derbyshire.

Fanny’s father Florence’s maternal grandfather was the abolitionist and Unitarian William Smith. She recorded that “Clarkey” was a stimulating hostess who did not care for her appearance, and while her ideas did not always agree with those of her guests, “she was incapable of boring anyone. She said that if given the choice between being a woman or a galley slave, then she would choose the freedom of the galleys.

She generally rejected female company and spent her time with male intellectuals. However, Clarkey made an exception in the case of the Nightingale family and Florence in particular. She and Florence were to remain close friends for 40 years despite their year age difference. Clarke demonstrated that women could be equals to men, an idea that Florence had not obtained from her mother. In her youth she was respectful of her family’s opposition to her working as a nurse, only announcing her decision to enter the field in Despite the intense anger and distress of her mother and sister, she rebelled against the expected role for a woman of her status to become a wife and mother.

Nightingale worked hard to educate herself in the art and science of nursing, in the face of opposition from her family and the restrictive social code for affluent young English women.

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Clare in Assisi is a 13th-century church that houses the relics of St. Clare, friend and protege of St. Francis of Assisi, as well as the miraculous crucifix that spoke to Francis. At the age of 18 , she left her stately home and ran off to meet Francis.

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Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: City on the Lagoon Vaporettos ferry locals and visitors across the Grand Canal. Iconic gondolas glide across the water. The remarkable Byzantine domes of St. Charming cafes line the cobbled pathways where you can hear the water lapping against the nearby antique steps leading into the lagoon.

Carnival masks decorate window displays. Murano glass reflects the sunlight and captures your eye with elegant colors and graceful shapes. One of our Italy travel companies will arrange for a private transfer from the airport to your hotel. Your accommodations are located in the heart of the City of Bridges, where the Rialto Bridge arches over the waterway, showcasing its elaborate 16th century construction alongside rows of exuberant boutiques.

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