Popular holiday destinations in Europe. Italy (Part 1)
Italy is justly considered to be one of the most romantic and visited countries in the world. Whatever part of this beautiful European country you visit, you will be certain that it is inimitable and unique. Italy can become a muse for poets and artists from all over the world because it is a country-museum. The relics of the powerful Roman Empire and ancient cultural traditions are treasured and passed from ancestors to descendants. A miraculous feeling might appear: time stops here and you find yourself far beyond modern civilization.
Contemplating the magnificent Colosseum in Rome which is imbrued with the gladiators' blood, or floating along the Venetian canals and looking at splendid Florence or Vatican architecture, you hardly ever desire to come back to faceless metropolis with its grey concrete and severe beauty.
Besides numerous cultural property sites and tourist attractions Italy lures dozens of visitors by lovely nature: mild climate, picturesque landscapes, crystal-water lakes of its northern regions, white descents of the Alps and, of course, golden sand beaches of Liguria, Rimini, Sardinia, Sicily and others. Lots of holiday makers are striving to relax on Italian seashore to enjoy the warm and transparent water, finger-licking good seafood and the atmosphere of ‘dolce farniente' (the art of doing nothing) peculiar to every person who lives in this country and speaks one of the most melodic languages in the world.
Rome – the Eternal City.
Popular quotation ‘All roads lead to Rome' became a catch phrase in the world languages. This city is called the cradle of Catholicism and is one of the most ancient cities on our planet. Artists, poets and composers were inspired by the spirit of Rome and the mankind is proud of the numerous genius works of its prominent talents.
Every traveler will find Rome remarkable sites utterly breathtaking:
• the Colosseum is the symbol of the glory of the Eternal City. It's the biggest amphitheatre in the world with the height of 50 meters and the roominess for 50.000 spectators. It has three circles each of which has 80 arches. The building of the Colosseum was started in 72 AD and finished in 80 AD. Its opening was celebrated for 100 days;
• the Pantheon is one of the most famous landmarks of the Ancient Rome. The name ‘Pantheon' means ‘Temple of all Gods' in Greek. The construction was raised in the II century AD by Emperor Hadrian. In Christian epoch it was turned into a Catholic church (that happened in the VII century). The remains of many prominent people are buried in the Pantheon and a famous artist Rafael is among them;
• The stunning Trevi Fountain impresses with its sculptural and architectural complex of Baroque style. In the middle you see the God Oceanus dashing in his shell chariot. The water falls in tiers resembling a staircase that leads to Gods in Heaven. If you want to get the most of it, you'd better watch it late in the evening when all the statues are lit up ; and those who toss a coin in the fountain will definitely come back to this place again!
There is a lot to say about Rome and every person who comes there feels its eternal greatness and mystery. By the way, Rome in Italian language sounds like Roma and if you read the name back to front, you will get ‘Amor' that means ‘love'.
Continuing our tour around Italy, we are heading for the city that stands out not only for its penetrating beauty, but due to the sorrowful fact – it is gradually disappearing under water…