Having seen the Eternal City Rome, and perhaps some of the other famous places in Italy, such as Florence, Venice and Naples, you have a golden opportunity to visit other places in this lovely country which are less renowned but nonetheless interesting and beautiful. You might like to see the largest valley in Italy, AOSTA VALLEY, where alpine crests, many with permanent glaciers, provide a background to picturesque villages, castles, clear mountain lakes, chestnut groves, pine forests and green meadows; for the tourist who wishes to get away from the city, the incomparable beauty of this valley has much to offer both in winter and in summer.
AOSTA itself bears witness to its Roman origin with its regular streets and well-preserved ruins, including the Roman Theatre and the Praetorian Gates; it was in fact founded by Augustus in 24 B.C. and has an arch dating back to those times. Its historical aspect is heightened by the numerous churches, towers and buildings of the Middle Ages.
Still in the north, but in the centre of the Lombardy plains, along the River Po, is the mediaeval city of CREMONA. The Piazza del Comune is one of Italy’s most impressive squares, with the beautiful 12th Century Duomo, huge Gothic Terrazzo — the tallest bell-tower in Italy — octagonal Baptistry.
A centre of wealth, learning and artistic achievement through the ages is BOLOGNA, which is really worth a visit. Its University is very interesting and you can wander through the porticoed streets, between the Renaissance palaces, the famed fountains and into the magnificent churches and museums. Here you will find a superb Gothic structure, the Church of S. Petronio, with its centre portal adorned by Jacopo della Quercia’s truly marvellous bas-reliefs of Biblical episodes.
To the South, past Naples, there is the AMALFI DRIVE, along the Gulf of Salerno the road writhes its way past caverns, little inlets, cliffs and gardens. AMALFI itself was the first of the sea-republics and for centuries one of the great cities of Italy. Today it is a little village, but one fabulous remnant of its past remains: the Cathedral, in which Moorish, Greek, Lombard, Norman and early Gothic architectural styles are united in a singularly harmonious whole.
Still further South, we suggest you visit the Golden Island — SICILY — whose art and natural beauty blend in the most picturesque manner imaginable. The Greek civilization, the Norman invasion, the Spanish domination and the reign of the Bourbons have all left in this island a mixture of architectural styles, traditions and history. And let us not forget its beaches, its enchanting sea and TAORMINA,
TRAPANI, from which you can take an excursion to picturesque little ERICE, SYRACUSE, PALERMO, with its ‘Golden Bay’ (La Conca d’Oro) surrounded by orange and lemon trees that look amazing.
Erice can be found on the summit of a mountain overlooking West Sicily where visitors can enjoy a view up to the Blue Mediterranean. This medieval town in summer, with the mild climate, offers a delightful stay in silent surroundings of pine trees. An aerial cableway joins Erice with Trapani and offers visitors an enjoyable stay.
Take our advice – go on an Italian adventure!