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It Personal Project


Bobby Wang

on 19 May 2010

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Transcript of It Personal Project

Italy A beautiful land of stunning contradictions,
Italy boasts gorgeous natural landscapes... Steeped in culture and history, along with a prominent streak of the current and modern, Italy has something for everyone. Northern Italy Milan Despite Rome being the seat of the government in Italy, Milan is often referred to as the economic capital of Italy. However, don’t think that means there is nothing to see in Milan. It is one of the most modern cities in Italy, but one that still has its rich history and culture intact. The Galleria Also known as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Designed and built by Guiseppe Mengoni, the Galleria was built in 1876. 130 years on, it has become a world-famous landmark of Milan. A magnificent, awe-inspiring double shopping arcade of pure Italian elegance and history. Covered over by a huge glass roof, and lined on both sides by cafés, bookshops, luxury goods retailers and restaurants, it is one of Milan’s must-see hotspots. What the inside of the Galleria used to look like What it looks like now The Piazza del Duomo The third largest church in the world, the Duomo boasts a staggering 130 marble spires, covered with an even more staggering 2200 marble saints. This huge marble edifice took 5 centuries to complete, and is currently the seat of the Archbishop of Milan. The interior might not be as grand, but the sight of the church from inside the entrance is still enough to take your breathe away. Seen from the inside, the church seemed to stretch away an impossibly long distance. Definitely worth a visit. Santa Marie Delle Grazie A former Dominican monastery, it is now a UNESCO world heritage site. More importantly, it houses Da Vinci’s Last Supper in its refectory. Painted by Da Vinci in 1947, it almost did not survive the Second World War when a bomb tore off the monastery’s roof. Without a roof, the painting had been left exposed to the elements for 3 whole years, and came out looking rather worst for wear. Careful restoration had repaired some of the damage, though it is now a shade of its former glory. However, this legendary painting is still worth a look. Venice Venice, the floating city of a million tourists. World renowned for its breathtakingly beautiful architecture, rich culture and history, it was named by the Times Online as the world’s most romantic city. The elegant Italian grandeur of this city of water is unmatched, and it is not without cause that its one of the big 3 Italian cities to visit, the others being Florence and Rome. The whole city is a magnificent piece of art. Perhaps the most unique thing about Venice is that it is overrun with waterways. Venice was originally built on an archipelago of 117 islands, connected to each other by 455 bridges, and separated by numerous canals. These canals serve as roads, and indeed, still do today as almost all transport in the city is either conducted on foot or by boat. The Canals of Venice Grand Canal of Venice The Grand Canal of Venice is the main, as well as the largest central waterway in Venice. Sail along in a Gondola, and just drink in the beautiful sights around you. Lining the huge canal are some of Venice’s finest examples of 13th to 18th century architecture. Taking a leisurely gondola trip down the Grand Canal is a great way to just see the city. The Grand Canal. St Mark's Square Overlooked by St Mark’s Basilica, this beautiful expanse of marble is a sight to behold. Likened to being “The drawing room of Europe” by Napoleon, the square is the heart of the city, the great landmark of Venice. Don’t forget to get a picture of you feeding the pigeons here! Piedmonte One of the few regions in Italy that is completely inland, it boasts a collection of small but charming Italian towns and superb natural countryside. It is also often referred to as the gastronomic capital of Italy, being white truffle country, and having one of the best wine regions in Italy. Alba Long considered as the capital of Piedmonte, Alba is a medieval Italian city of tightly packed medieval churches and medieval houses. Famous for its annual truffle festival in October, which features pasta, cheeses, and cold cuts of meat all with truffles, the entire city is full of gastronomic marvels. Head to the food market by the River Tarano for Piedmonte’s best pasta asciutta, or the Piazza Savona for some of arguably the best Torrone (nougat) in Italy. Enjoy the very good local red wines, and you will have a wonderful time. Alba truffle festival Local vineyards produce some of the best wine in Italy Nougat is a specialty of Alba, being one of the 4 nougat districts of Italy La Morra This old town has been gracing the landscape of the scenic Langhe valley since 1296. Its one of those sleepy, peaceful small towns you go to to escape the crowds and the big cities, to really unwind. Relax in the panoramic scenery, visit some of the vineyards around the town, and gaze in the shadow of the terracotta bell tower. End your visit by going to some of the great restaurants in the region. Bell Tower at La Morra La Morra in the mist Vineyards of La Morra Central Italy Pisa This is the reason why people visit Pisa, and it is impossible to visit Italy without visiting this classic landmark. The leaning tower of Pisa is the freestanding bell tower of a cathedral in Pisa. Yes, it is leaning, and quite a grand sight it is too. Originally built to stand upright, it started sinking after construction started on its 3rd floor. In an effort to compensate for this tilt, the constructors started building one side of the tower slightly taller than the other side. Because of this, the tower is actually very slightly curved. Florence Florence is a city with an extraordinarily long and rich history. It started life as a Roman city, then became the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance at the end of the 13th century. It is also the main center of Italy’s tourism, one of the “big 3 “Italian cities to see. As such, there is much to see in this amazing city. Santa Maria del Fiore A panorama of Florence.
The glittering marble cathedral standing out in the background is the Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo. The Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church for Florence. Its construction was begun in 1296 by the architect Arnolfo di Cambio and ended in 1380, 84 years and 2 more architects later. The great Cupola, the dome of the Cathedral, was 42 meters wide and can be seen from many kilometers away. It quickly became a symbol for the city, and for the Italian Renaissance culture at that time. The magnificent ceiling of the Duomo The Baptistery It is one of the oldest buildings in Florence, though the exact period in which it was built is hard to determine. It was designed with a balanced geometrical layout, and the interior is inlaid with a beautiful mosaic ceiling. However, the Baptistery is most renowned for its set of 3 sculpted bronze doors. Michelangelo himself described the East Doors as “ the Gates of Paradise.” All Catholic Florentines were baptized there until the end of the 19th century. Ceiling Fresco of the Baptistery The Duomo Museum Originally a workshop built specifically to oversee the construction of the Florence Cathedral, the Santa Maria del Fiore(see above), it has now been turned into a museum. It houses many, many precious works of art and original masterpieces that have been relocated from the Cathedral, or from other places in Florence. It is one of the best Florence museums, and if you only have time for one museum in Florence, make sure that it is this one. Michelangelo's Pieta on display Rome The capital of Italy, Rome is a city with a 3000 year old history. From being the capital of the once mighty Roman Empire that spanned continents, to being the seat of power for the Catholic Church, to being a center of the Italian Renaissance movement that changed the world, Rome had always been significant in history. It has often been dubbed as the “Capital of the World”. St Peter's Basilica St Peter’s Basilica is the world’s largest Christian Basilica, deep in the heart of Vatican City in Rome. It is so huge it is able to accommodate 20,000 people praying in it at once! Michelangelo played a big part in the interior designs of the Basilica, designing the entire dome even though he only managed to finish one portion of it himself. The St Peter’s Basilica that we see today was consecrated in 1626, built on the site of the demolished, old St Peter’s Basilica which has mostly been forgotten today. The Colosseum The Colosseum, the great Roman Amphitheatre, was built 1920 years ago. It was considered of the greatest feats of Roman Architecture and engineering, and was the largest Amphitheatre ever built by the Romans. Buy a ticket, walk in, take a look around, and be humbled by its huge grandeur. Trevi Fountain The Trevi Fountain is arguably the most beautiful fountain in Rome. It is certainly the most famous. It is hard not to see why. It is said that if you toss a coin over your shoulder, with your back to the fountain, it means that you will someday return to Rome again, though it is hard to see why you would want to turn your back on this magnificent piece of art. Southern Italy Positano Positano is another major town along the famed Amalfi Coast. Once part of the Amalfi Republic, it started to attract large amounts of tourists in the 1950s, and is now a major tourist town. Positano is the most vertical town in Italy, as in the entire town is built along a steep slope, and there is quite a lot of walking up and down stairs to do. The amazing views are worth it, though. Positano is perfect if you like sunny seaside vacations. You can see what I mean by vertical. Amalfi Amalfi is a small coastal town surrounded by incredible natural scenery. Located at the foot of a deep ravine, you get to see panoramic views of huge, dramatic mountain cliffs, combined with amazing coastal scenery on the town’s seaward side. Once an important capital of the powerful Maritime Republic of Amalfi, its importance has fallen since 1137, when the Republic was defeated by the Pisans. Amalfi today is a small quaint seaside town, full of winding alleyways, narrow steps, and a vibrant Italian atmosphere. Spend an afternoon there at a café just drinking in the view, and get a taste of Italy. One picture says it all The heart of Amalfi, this Cathedral is separated from the central Piazza Duomo (The square in front of the Cathedral) by a grand staircase of 57 steps. The interior of the Cathedral is designed in the Baroque style, and its construction dates back to the 11th century. The crypt of this Cathedral contains the remains of St Andrew, hence the name. St Andrew's Cathedral, the Amalfi Duomo Insular Italy Sicily Sicily is an island, the largest in the Mediterranean Sea, near the tip of the “boot” of Italy. It is considered part of Italy, though it once was a city-state in its own right. Sicily has a rich and genuinely unique culture, having been influenced by the many different cultures that had dominated Sicily in the past, including the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs and the Normans. Agrigento At one time, Agrigento was one of the most stunning cities in the ancient world. Agrigento contains numerous ruins and remains of ancient temples, and ruins they may be, but they are still impressive. The most complete temples are those of Hera and Concordia, with the Concord being the most intact. Before you leave, try to catch a glimpse of the temple of Concord lit up at night, a most impressive sight. Of the oldest temple, the temple of Heracles, only 9 columns are still standing. Apart from the remains of the temples, Agrigento also has remains of other streets and houses, including the proud remains of a once magnificent Roman villa. Mount Etna Sicily’s greatest natural attraction, and Europe’s tallest active volcano. Mount Etna features in Greek Mythology as the prison of the monster Typhon, who Zeus trapped under Mount Etna. Today, it is commonly seen as a cultural symbol and icon for Sicily. Enjoy the spectacular sight of the snow capped mountain from the city of Taormina, or take a hike on its slope and get to see even more beautiful sights of the mountain. Painting of the view of Mount Etna from Taormina Nebrodi Mountains The most untouched, natural and pure part of Sicily. It is a lush, forested wonderland of natural beauty, a change of pace from the big city. The forests are flush with local wildlife, and the entire Nebrodi region is a protected reserve. Visit the small local villages and monasteries dotted all over the landscape of the mountains, and get a feel of real, rural Sicily.
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