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Italy 2016-12-26T17:32:12+00:00

Venice

Venice was an important maritime power and center of commerce during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Built over a shallow lagoon, amazing structures were constructed on a series of closely spaced wooden piles. Beginning in the 9th century Venice established the first international finance center in Europe which contributed to its wealth. It became a major staging area for the Crusades and increased its wealth by bringing back considerable Byzantine plunder.  During the Renaissance Venice became the printing capital of the World, and a major center of art, literature, and music. Sites not to be missed in Venice include St. Marks Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, Teatro La Fenice, Piazza San Marco, and the Grand Canal.

Florence

Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance, is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  It gained wealth and power as a center of trade and finance during the late middle ages. Under the patronage of the Medici family during the Renaissance, Florence became a center for art and literature.  Dante, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Machiavelli, Galileo and many more contributed to the rich heritage of this city.  It was named a World Heritage site in 1982, noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture, monuments, art galleries, and museums such as the Uffizi, the Accademia and Palazzo Pitti.

Florence

Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance, is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  It gained wealth and power as a center of trade and finance during the late middle ages. Under the patronage of the Medici family during the Renaissance, Florence became a center for art and literature.  Dante, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Machiavelli, Galileo and many more contributed to the rich heritage of this city.  It was named a World Heritage site in 1982, noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture, monuments, art galleries, and museums such as the Uffizi, the Accademia and Palazzo Pitti.

Rome

Rome, the “Eternal City,” birthplace of western civilization, is one of the oldest continually occupied sites in Europe. Monuments from its ancient past to those created during the Renaissance make Rome an important tourist destination. In the Middle Ages, Rome became the capital of the Papal states with the Pope exercising political control of the city and vast areas of Europe.  During the Renaissance, successive Popes spent lavishly to bring in artists and architects to create masterpieces throughout the city.  St. Peter’s Basilica is considered the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and is one of the largest churches in the world.  Within Rome, the Vatican city, a city within a city, houses one of the most extensive collections of art and artifacts in the world making Rome one of the most important centers for art and culture in Europe. Today, a vast number of monuments and museums offer a glimpse into the glories of the Roman past.

Pompeii

Pompeii, once a thriving resort city near the bay of Naples where wealthy Romans came to vacation in the sun, became a graveyard for thousands of its residents with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.  This tragic site, discovered by explorers in 1748, has provided us with important insights into the everyday life and culture of the people who lived there during this period of history.  For almost 1,700 years, volcanic ash covered the city. Once the layers of dirt and debris had been removed, it was discovered that the volcanic dust had preserved the city intact. Animals and people were frozen where they fell. Artifacts and buildings, even foodstuffs, were preserved by the layers of volcanic dust. After 300 years of excavation vast areas have been uncovered including the surrounding towns of Herculaneum and Stabiae, and the Villa Poppaea.

Pompeii

Pompeii, once a thriving resort city near the bay of Naples where wealthy Romans came to vacation in the sun, became a graveyard for thousands of its residents with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.  This tragic site, discovered by explorers in 1748, has provided us with important insights into the everyday life and culture of the people who lived there during this period of history.  For almost 1,700 years, volcanic ash covered the city. Once the layers of dirt and debris had been removed, it was discovered that the volcanic dust had preserved the city intact. Animals and people were frozen where they fell. Artifacts and buildings, even foodstuffs, were preserved by the layers of volcanic dust. After 300 years of excavation vast areas have been uncovered including the surrounding towns of Herculaneum and Stabiae, and the Villa Poppaea.

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