Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. The hardly inhabited interior with its rocks and crevices is reminiscent of a lunar landscape. Sardinia has over 30 natural parks, beautiful sandy beaches, sand dunes, mountains, bays and several caves that can be visited. Cagliari, the island’s capital, was founded by the Phoenicians and expanded by the Romans. There are Bronze Age relics all over the island. The best known are the circular (sometimes conical) Nuraghi stone dwellings. The largest of these Bronze Age settlements is in the Nuraxi, about 80 km north of Cagliari. The most attractive bathing resorts and beaches are in the south of the island and around Cagliari, as well as near Villasimius, behind the sand dunes of Chia, near Pula, in the Bay of Nora, on Costa Rei, near Barisardo, Cardedu, Tortoli.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in beautypically, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
The most famous works of art and buildings of the Renaissance await the visitor in Florence, which is located in Tuscany. The beautiful city lies on the banks of the Arno at the foot of the foothills of the Apennines. The historic center of Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Brunelleschi’s revolutionary design for the dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is widely considered to be the first architectural realization of Renaissance ideas. Between the Piazza del Duomo and the Arno lie the magnificent palaces of Palazzo Strozzi, Palazzo Corsini, Palazzo Rucelli, Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery (Palazzo degli Uffizi), which houses Italy’s most famous picture gallery. Further north are the churches of Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo and the imposing Palazzo Medici-Riccardi. Crossing the Ponte Vecchio leads to the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens on the other side of the river. Michelangelo’s famous statue of David can be admired in the Academy of Fine Arts (Accademia delle Belle Arti) next to the university.
Perugia, capital of the Umbria region, is 2500 years old. Particularly worth seeing are the old Etruscan city walls, the Piazza IV Novembre with the cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori – the town hall, which houses Umbria’s national gallery, the Galleria Nazionale dell’ Umbria. It includes a collection of paintings by Pietro Vannucci, Piero della Francesca, Pinturicchio and Beato Angelico, among others. The Fontana Maggiore is generally considered the most beautiful medieval fountain in Italy. Numerous Roman ruins can also be visited. Università per Stranieri offers courses for foreigners interested in Italian language and culture.
Assisi is a picturesque medieval town located east of Perugia on a hill in Umbria. Both the old town and the city wall and fortress ruins Rocca Maggiore are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. In Assisi lived and worked St. Francis, the founder of the Franciscan order. Giotto’s 28 frescoes, which adorn the Basilica di San Francesco, the oldest Gothic church in Italy, depict the life of the saint Basilica di Santa Chiara and the 17th century Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli, a monumental building, half Renaissance, half Baroque, which rises massively at the bottom of the valley. Inside the mighty hall building is the brightly painted chapel Porziuncola (»small portion«), which was a favorite place of St. Francis was.
The five fishing villages and popular tourist resorts of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are known as the Cinque Terre. They are part of the UNESCO World Heritage together with Porto Venere and are located on the Italian Riviera between Punta Mesco and Punta di Montenero in the Liguria region. In the mountains covered with pine trees, vineyards line up with olive groves. The area is protected as the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre National Park. The romantic footpath Via dell’Amore (Love Path) connects Manarola with Riomaggiore steeply above the sea. The more than 200 km long rocky coast of the Italian Riviera is the Côte d’Azur of Italy.
The Vatican City is located in Rome on a hill west of the Tiber. The entire Vatican State is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sights include the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Necropolis below St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican Gardens. To the right of St. Peter’s Basilica is the Papal Palace, the official residence of the Pope. It houses, among other things, the Sistine Chapel with ceiling paintings by Michelangelo, the Cappella Niccolina, the Raphael Rooms with wall paintings by Raphael and his pupils and the Appartamento Borgia. The Vatican Museums include the Museo Pio-Clementino, the Egyptian Museum, the Etruscan Museum; the Museum of Modern Religious Art and the Vatican Pinacoteca with paintings from the Middle Ages to the present day.
The south-eastern region of Puglia stretches from the wooded slopes of the Gargano, the “spur”, to the flat land of the Salentine peninsula, the “heel” of the boot. In between is Murge, a limestone plateau full of caves (especially near Castellana). Bari and Taranto are cultural cities worth seeing. In Ostuni, the old town is particularly worth seeing. The port city of Brindisi is the terminus of the Via Appia. In Brindisi you should visit the cathedral and the beautiful church of Santa Maria del Casale with its wonderful frescoes. Between Alberobello and Selva di Fasano lies the Murge Plateau. In this area you can find extremely unusual stone buildings, the so-called trulli. They are circular stone buildings with pointed or conical stone roofs. At the northern end of the plateau lies the impressive Castel del Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The remains of the important Roman city of Canusium can be seen in nearby Canosa di Puglia.