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Vacations in Italy : Rome & Florence 5 nights

The Italian art cities are some
of the most-visited destinations in international cultural tourism.  Rich in monuments, churches, castles, museums.

Rome, the cradle of civilization, Rome caput mundi, or simply Rome, the city of a thousand faces. Seat of the Papacy, its current countenance is the result of innumerable urbanistic and architectonic modifications that run through its layers and through the millennia. Imperial Rome is certainly that which is best-known. The splendors of Antiquity are living and visible in the Capital today: from the Colosseum to the Imperial Forums, the Domus Aurea, the Pantheon and Circus Maximus

Christian Rome is comprises the the Vatican City, the Patriarchal Basilicas – San Giovanni in Laterano, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Paul Outside the Walls – and the Catacombs.
On the southern bank of the Tiber River of northern Rome lies the area of Ponte Milvio and the newest bridge, Ponte della Musica, uniting the Flaminio Quarter

Florence is history, tradition, art and culture. The Capital of Tuscany, as Stendhal described it, possesses a “subtle charm” and boasts an historical-artistic legacy known throughout the world. Its historic center is a living archive of both European and Italian culture, composed of properties that earned Florence’s nomination as one of the very first Italian UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in 1982.

Dante Alighieri was born here in 1265, eventually becoming an icon of his native city that he, in turn, rendered iconic. In the same century, celebrated architect Filippo Brunelleschi designed the cupola of Florence’s Duomo, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore.
Also brilliant is Giotto’s Gothic bell tower, adorning one side of the Duomo whose façade boasts Michelangelo’s bronze “Gates of Paradise.” Both face towards the St. John’s Baptistry, covered in inlays of white marble from Carrara and green marble from Prato.

Moving through the narrow streets of the historic center, one is able to imagine the intense and bustling merchant activity, and the secrets and intrigues of day-to-day politics – for example, in Piazza della Signoria, where a copy of Michelangelo’s majestic David towers over the scene. The original statue, now housed inside the Museo dell’Accademia, used to stand and watch passersby from the Loggia della Signoria, an authentic open-air art gallery. Perpendicular to the Loggia is Palazzo Vecchio, one of the most important public buildings in Medieval Italy.

It is from here that visitors enter the Galleria degli Uffizi, Europe’s oldest modern art museum.