One of the most famous cities in the world, Rome has been an epicentre of politics, art, architecture, and food for thousands of years. It is home to some of the most well-known historic sites such as the Colosseum, the pantheon, and Vatican City. It’s easy to spend a day in a hundred different ways in Rome, whether you’re looking to sip on incredible wine and people-watch, indulge in decadent pasta, pizza, risotto, and gelato, or if you’re eager to wander around the streets soaking in all the history you can. Rome is one capital city which will always leave you wanting more.
Things to do in Rome (Civitavecchia):
Found in the heart of Rome, Vatican City is the smallest independent state in Europe at just 0.44km² with a population of 1,000 people. It acts as headquarters to the Roman Catholic Church and is home to The Apostolic Palace - the Pope’s residence –the Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel.
St Peter's Basilica
Within Vatican City is one of the biggest churches in the world; St. Peter’s Basilica. Accommodating up to 20,000 people, this is where the Pope delivers services. Its 136 metre high dome was designed by Michelangelo, and was completed in 1614.
The colosseum was opened in 80 A.D. with 100 days of exciting games. It was mostly used for gladiatorial combat and fights with animals until around the 6th century when it began to fall into disrepair. It was then used to store building materials until the 18th century, when the papacy decided it should be preserved. As it stands now, however, more than two-thirds of the structure has been destroyed.
Known the world-over for its elaborate, 15th century artwork courtesy of Michelangelo, Botticelli, Luca, and Perugino, the Sistine Chapel is where new Popes are elected and ordained. It is located within Vatican City, inside The Apostolic Palace.
This Michelangelo sculpture is located inside St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It depicts the body of Jesus after he has been crucified, being held by the Virgin Mary. The statue was originally commissioned by Jean de Billheres – a French cardinal – as a memorial for his tomb.
This is one of the most iconic buildings in Rome. There are myths surrounding the building of the original Pantheon, but the structure we see today was built in 120 A.D. by Emperor Hadrian. It was created as a Pagan temple to “honour all Gods” – which is the translation of “Pantheon”. In the year 609 it was converted to a Christian church, although it is still widely known as the Pantheon.
This popular public square is located where the (now fallen) Stadium of Domitian once stood, in 86 A.D. Since then it has been developed into a social gathering spot, adorned by three magnificent fountains that were commissioned in the 16 and 17th centuries. These are Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro, and Fontana del Nettuno.
DAY 512 May 2024
The small and charming island of Capri is located in the Gulf of Naples, south-west of the Sorrento peninsula, to which it was once connected. Its coasts boast numerous caves and quarries alternating with steep cliffs. Capri is divided into the municipalities of Capri and Anacapri, and there is a total of about 14,000 inhabitants. The Blue Grotto, the Gardens of Augustus, the Villa San Michele and the Monte Solaro are some of the places of interest that are worth a visit.
Things to do in Capri (Naples):
Anacapri is one of the two administrative municipalities of the island of Capri. It rises on the slopes of Monte Solaro, and is where the Blue Grotto and Villa San Michele are located. Visitors shroud take the time to tackle the Phoenician steps in order to then enjoy the stunning views below.
The Blue Grotto, whose beauty has been praised many times by many poets, is undoubtedly the best known spot in the island of Capri. The enclosed cave owes its name to the shade of blue that the pool of water takes on, thanks to the light that filters through a partially submerged opening.
Gardens of Augustus
The Gardens of Augustus make up a gorgeous city park on the island of Capri. It is an extensive botanical garden, hosting many different plants typical of the area. It also offers a breathtaking view of the Faraglioni rock formation, and the bay of Marina Piccola.
Marina Piccola is one of the tourist hot spots on the island of Capri. Located on the opposite side of the main port and not far from the gardens of Augustus, most visitors love to take a dip in its crystal clear waters and gaze at the view of the Faraglioni rock formation.
Mount Solaro, at 589 meters high, is formed by the same limestone of which the entire island of Capri is made. A hike here enables visitors to see around a thousand different species of plants, and the rare blue lizard, the only one of its kind in the world.
Ville San Michele
Villa San Michele is located in the municipality of Anacapri, in the north of the island. It owes its name to the ruins of a 10th century chapel dedicated to San Michele. The villa is also home to a majestic statue of a sphinx looking out to sea, which dates back to the reign of Ramses II in the 13th century BC.
The profile of Naples would not be the same without Mount Vesuvius that dominates the city skyline. Versuvius is known for the violent eruption of AD 79, which became famous for the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and was witnessed by Pliny the Younger.
The history of Pompeii begins in the 9th century BC, when the area was inhabited by the Opici people - an ancient Latin population. Today the town is famous because of the eruption of Vesuvius, which occurred in 79 AD, which led to its total destruction.
National Archaeological Museum
The opening of the historic National Archaeological Museum of Naples took place in 1816. Built by Ferdinando I of Borbone, at the time king of the Two Sicilies, it boasts the richest collection of works and archaeological finds with regard to Roman history.
The tremendous eruption of Vesuvius, in 79 AD, not only destroyed Pompeii but also the ancient city of Herculaneum. The archaeological excavations of this city can be visited today and, since 1997, are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
DAY 613 May 2024
Amalfi is a picturesque town of about 5,000 inhabitants. It was founded by the Romans in the 5th century and was, in medieval times, one of the four Maritime Republics (together with Genoa, Pisa, and Venice) competing for control of the Mediterranean. Despite its small size, Amalfi and its surroundings offer many places to visit: the Duomo, the Paper Museum, Villa Rufolo and the Emerald Grotto are just some of them.
Things to do in Amalfi:
The construction of the Cathedral of Sant'Andrea, also known as the Cathedral of Amalfi, began in the year 987 at the behest of Duke Mansone I. It is said that St. Francis of Assisi went there in 1218 to honour the relics of St. Andrew the Apostle, which are kept here.
The Amalfi Coast was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, due to its incredible natural beauty. It overlooks the Gulf of Salerno and includes the stretch from Positano to Vietri sul Mare, totalling around 50 km.
Cloister del Paradiso
The Cloister del Paradiso is part of the Cathedral of Amalfi. It was built between 1266 and 1268 as a cemetery for high-standing citizens. The structure, in Moorish style, has an internal garden - probably dating back to the 20th century - and 120 columns.
Grotto dello Smeraldo
The Emerald Grotto was discovered in 1932. It is a gorgeous, natural location in which shimmering water sits calmly in an intricate cave. The grotto owes its name to the shades that the water takes on due to the sunlight that filters through from above. It is directly connected to the Tyrrhenian Sea, and can be accessed by sea or by land.
Museum of Paper
The former paper mill of Amalfi was transformed into today's Museo della Carta in 1969, thanks to Nicola Milano, its owner. You can admire the machinery and equipment, still working, used in the past to make paper by hand.
Villa Rufolo is located in the town of Ravello, about 7 km from Amalfi. The property dates back to the 13th century and underwent a substantial restoration in the 19th century. Today, visitors to the villa will see the Arab-Norman style architecture, and can admire the beautiful gardens. The lower garden hosts the Ravello festival every year.
DAY 1118 May 2024
Malta’s capital, Valletta is steeped in history and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. A simple stroll through the Baroque-style streets will take you back in time to 1566 when the city was completed, while a range of museums and monuments provide an in-depth retelling of the past. Its intimate size makes it easy to explore the highlights on foot and discover many hidden gems such as botanical gardens, boutiques and eateries.
Things to do in Valletta:
This new-generation theatre provides an immersive journey through the history and culture of Malta, featuring 3D films, moving seats, water and air blasts and even leg ticklers. Fun for all ages, Malta 5D is the most unique way to discover Malta!
Manoel Theatre and Palazzo Manoel
Tucked away on a quiet street, the Manoel Theatre is a hidden gem of fascinating history and beautiful architecture. Whether you’re taking a tour of the theatre or enjoying a musical performance, visitors will fall in love with its elegance and grandeur.
St Johns Cathedral in Valetta
St John’s Co-Cathedral is considered one of the best examples of traditional Baroque architecture in Europe and features memorials dedicated to knights covering the floor and ceiling as well as the stunning Caravaggio’s painting.
Grand Master's Palace
Built between the 16th and 18th centuries, the Grandmaster’s Palace is an iconic piece of Maltese heritage, housing the President’s office and a museum where visitors can enjoy an audio guide to get to know the history behind the impressive armoury.
National Museum of Archaeology
Covering the history and mythology of Malta, the National Museum of Archaeology is a must visit for those looking to discover ancient artefacts. This highly informative museum is where you’ll find the renowned Sleeping Lady, Venus of Malta and more.
Upper Barrakka Gardens
At the end of a busy day of exploring, the Upper Barrakka Gardens are just what you need to wind down and relax in the capital. Offering unrivalled views of the city, these gardens date back to 1661 and are home to beautiful statues and plaques.
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