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S: VIVA ITALIA September 2012

2: THE CITY OF VENICE Venezia is a city in northeast Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by 438 bridges. The city was founded in the marshy Venetian Lagoon. The earliest known records show 421 AD.

6: PIAZZA SAN MARCO history can be covered in four periods. The pre-renaissance buildings and monuments still standing here are St Mark’s Basilica, the Doges Palace, and the two great columns in the Piazetta.

18: the vineyard | TUSCANY

20: TORRE DI | the leaning tower | PISA

21: TOWER OF PISA is the campanile, or free standing bell tower, of the cathedral in the town of Pisa. The bell tower began to tilt during construction because of an inadequate foundation on one side. The ground was too soft and the tower continued to sink until the stabilization project in the early 20th century

22: FLORENCE IS THE CAPITAL OF TUSCANY The centre of medieval European trade and finance. Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance with a turbulent political history including the powerful Medici family. Firenzi is classified as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city is noted for its history, culture, Renaissance art, architecture and monuments. The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace.

23: The Duomo | BASILLICA DI SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE is the main church of Florence, Italy. The Duomo, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th century Gothic Revival facade by Emilio De Fabris The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, and until development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.

32: The Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (Basilica Papale di San Francesco) is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor commonly known as the Franciscan Order in Assisi, Italy. St. Francis was born and died, here in Assisi. The basilica is one of the most important places of Christian pilgrimage in Italy. With its accompanying friary, the basilica is a distinctive landmark to those approaching Assisi. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. The basilica, which was begun in 1228, is built into the side of a hill and comprises two churches known as the Upper Church and the Lower Church, and a crypt where the remains of the saint are interred. The interior of the Upper Church is an important early example of the Gothic style in Italy. The Upper and Lower Churches are decorated with frescoes by numerous late medieval painters from the Roman and Tuscan schools.

34: ROMA "THE ETERNAL CITY” Roma, located on the Tiber River with in the Lazio region, is the capital of Italy. Rome's history spans more than two and a half thousand years, since its founding in 753 BC, with the union of rural villages. It was the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire and regarded as one of the birthplaces of western civilization.

36: La Santa Citta del Vaticano

37: The Vatican | THE VATICAN CITY (officially: Stato della Citt del Vaticano) is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of approximately 110 acres, and a population of just over 800. This makes Vatican City the smallest independent state in the world by both area and population.

39: The Vatican Museums in Viale Vaticano in Rome, inside the Vatican City, are among the greatest museums in the world, since they display works from the immense collection built up by the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. Pope Julius II founded the museums in the early 16th century.

40: The Gallery of Tapestries

41: The Sistene Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio and others. Under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted 12,000 square feet of the chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512. The ceiling, and especially The Last Judgment (1535–1541), is widely believed to be Michelangelo's crowning achievement in painting. The Papal Conclave is one of the primary functions of the Sistine Chapel, a venue for the election of each successive pope in a conclave of the College of Cardinals. During this occasion a chimney is installed in the roof of the chapel, from which smoke arises as a signal.

51: Piazza Navone is one of the most famous and arguably the most beautiful of Rome's many squares. The large and lively square features no less than three magnificent fountains. Another eyecatcher is the baroque church of Sant'Agnese in Agone. The main attractions of the Piazza Navona are the three fountains. The central and largest fountain is the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (fountain of the four rivers). It was constructed between 1647 and 1651 on request of the Pope Innocent X. The design of the fountain was first commissioned to Borromini, but it was ultimately handed to his rival Bernini. The fountain features four figures, each representing a river from a different continent - the Nile, Ganges, Danube and Rio della Plata

52: Named from the Latin adjective meaning "temple consecrated) to all gods" in Rome, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in about 126 AD. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 meters (142 ft.)

53: It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used by The Roman Catholic Church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria della Rotonda." The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.

55: The Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome. Standing 85.3 feet high and 65.6 feet wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain at the junction of three roads (tre vie) marks the terminal point of the "modern" Acqua Vergine, the revived Aqua Virgo, one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied water to Rome. In 19 BC, with the help of a beautiful virgin, Roman technicians located a source of pure water some 13 km (8.1 mi) from the city. This scene is presented on the present fountain's facade. However, the indirect route of the aqueduct made its length some 22 km (14 mi). This Aqua Virgo led the water into the Baths of Agrippa. It served Rome for more than four hundred years. The coup de grace for the urban life of late classical Rome came when the barbaric invasions broke the aqueducts. Medieval Romans were reduced to drawing water from polluted wells and the Tiber River, which was also used as a sewer. The Roman custom of building a handsome fountain at the endpoint of an aqueduct bringing water to Rome and was revived in the 15th century, during the Renaissance. In 1453, Pope Nicholas V finished mending the Acqua Vergine aqueduct and built a simple basin, designed by the humanist architect Leon Battista Alberti, to herald the water's arrival. A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome This was the theme of 1954's Three Coins in the Fountain and the Academy Award-winning song by that name which introduced the picture. Two coins in the fountain to ensure marriage and three coins will lead to a divorce. An estimated 3,000 euros are thrown into the fountain each day. The money has been used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome's needy; however, there are regular attempts to steal coins from the fountain

59: The Colosseum | The Colosseum, or the Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre is an elliptical amphitheater in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire, built of concrete and stone. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started in 72 completed in 80 AD. The name "Amphitheatrum Flavium" derives from both Vespasian's and Titus's family name. Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology.

62: Unlike earlier Greek theatres that were built into hillsides, the Colosseum is an entirely free-standing structure. The outer wall is estimated to have required over 100,000 cubic meters (131,000 cu yd) of travertine stone which were set without mortar held together by 300 tons of iron clamps. However, it has suffered extensive damage over the centuries, with large segments having collapsed following earthquakes. The north side of the perimeter wall is still standing; the distinctive triangular brick wedges at each end are modern additions, having been constructed in the early 19th century to shore up the wall. The remainder of the present-day exterior of the Colosseum is in fact the original interior wall. The surviving part of the outer wall's monumental facade comprises three stories of superimposed arcades surmounted by a podium on which stands a tall attic, both of which are pierced by windows interspersed at regular intervals. The arcades are framed by half-columns of the Tuscan, Ionic, and Corinthian orders, while the attic is decorated with Corinthian pilasters. Each of the arches in the second- and third-floor arcades framed statues, probably honoring divinities and other figures from Classical mythology. Two hundred and forty mast corbels were positioned around the top of the attic. They originally supported a retractable awning, known as the velarium, which kept the sun and rain off spectators. This consisted of a canvas-covered, net-like structure made of ropes, with a hole in the center. It covered two-thirds of the arena, and sloped down towards the center to catch the wind and provide a breeze for the audience. The Coloseeum, is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and still has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.

64: The Roman Forum (Foro Romano) is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. | The Ancient Ruins of Rome

65: The Vestals were committed to the priesthood before puberty (6~10 yrs) and sworn to celibacy for a period of 30 years. Divided in turn into decade-long periods during which Vestals were respectively students, servants, and teachers. Afterwards, they were retired and replaced by a new inductee. Once retired, a former Vestal was given a pension, allowed to marry, and arranged with a suitable Roman nobleman. A marriage to a former Vestal was highly honored, and thought to bring good luck, as well as a comfortable pension. | In ancient Roman religion, the Vestals or Vestal Virgins, were priestesses of Vesta, goddess of the hearth. The College of the Vestals and its well-being was regarded as fundamental to the continuance and security of Rome. They cultivated the sacred fire that was not allowed to go out. The Vestals were freed of the social obligations to marry, bear children, and took a vow of chastity in order to devote themselves to the study and correct observance of state rituals that were off-limits to the male colleges of priests. | House of the Vestal Virgins

66: San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains) is a Roman Catholic titular church and minor basilica in Rome, Italy, best known for being the home of Michelangelo's statue of Moses, part of the tomb of Pope Julius II. Also known as the Basilica Eudoxiana, it was first rebuilt on older foundations in 432-440 to house the relic of the chains that bound Saint Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem, the episode called the Liberation of Saint Peter. According to legend, when Leo, compared them to the chains of St. Peter's final imprisonment in the Mamertine Prison in Rome, the two chains miraculously fused together. The chains are kept in a reliquary under the main altar in the basilica. The interior has a nave and two aisles, with three apses divided by antique Doric columns. The aisles are surmounted by cross-vaults, while the nave has an 18th century coffered ceiling, frescoed in the center by Giovanni Battista Parodi, portraying the Miracle of the Chains (1706). Michelangelo's Moses (completed in 1515), while originally intended as part of a massive 47-statue, free-standing funeral monument for Pope Julius II, became the centerpiece of the Pope's funeral monument and tomb. Moses is depicted with horns, connoting "the radiance of the Lord", due to the similarity in the Hebrew words for "beams of light" and "horns". This kind of iconographic symbolism was common in early sacred art, and for an artist horns are easier to sculpt than rays of light

72: The City of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of Pompei. Along with Herculaneum, Pompeii was partially destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Pompeii was lost for nearly 1700 years before its rediscovery in 1748. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year Carbon dating has relegated the oldest of these layers to the 8th–6th centuries BC, about the time that the city was founded. By the 1st century AD, Pompeii was one of a number of towns located near the base of the volcano, Mount Vesuvius. The eruption occurred on August 24, just one day after Vulcanalia, the festival of the Roman god of fire, including that from volcanoes. Simulations and experiments, indicate that at Vesuvius and surrounding towns' heat was the main cause of death of people, previously believed to have died by ash suffocation. The results of the study, published in 2010, show that exposure to at least 250 C hot surges at a distance of 10 kilometers from the vent was sufficient to cause instant death, even if people were sheltered within buildings.[10] The people and buildings of Pompeii were covered in up to twelve different layers of tephra, in total 25 meters deep, which rained down for about 6 hours. People buried in the ash appear to be wearing warmer clothing than the light summer clothes that would be expected in August.

74: THE ALMALFI COAST lies in the Mediterranean climate, featuring warm summers and mild winters. It is located on the relatively steep southern shore of the Sorrentine Peninsula. The Amalfi Coast is known for its production of limoncello liqueur, as the area is a known cultivator of lemons, known as sfusato amalfitano in Italian, which are grown in terraced gardens along the entire coast between February and October. Amalfi is also a known maker of a hand-made thick paper which is called bambagina. Other renowned local products are a particular kind of anchovies (local Italian: alici) from Cetara, and the colorful handmade ceramics from Vietri.

86: LE PORTE DE ITALIA...............

89: Italian cuisine is characterized by its extreme simplicity, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation. Ingredients and dishes vary by region. Many dishes that were once regional, however, have proliferated with variations throughout the country. Cheese and wine are a major part of the cuisine. Coffee, specifically espresso, has become important in Italian cuisine. With out a doubt my personal favorites are gelato, prosecco, and prosciutto!! | CUCINA ITALIANA.................

93: Our trip has been amazing!! The sights and experiences have been breathtaking. We're blessed to have seen so many wonderful things: Venezia, Florenzi, The Vatican, The Colosseum, The Works of Michaelangelo, and Capri. We've eaten gelato at least once a day, the prosciutto, the basal, the risotto, the pasta, and the pastries are simply delicious. I've drank prosecco everyday and all day! I've seen all the great Italian Designers; and even have some pieces to bring home for myself! Arrivederci Italia, Arrivederci....

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