Genova, city of history

genova
Genova is a city in Italy most associated with the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus.

The port city is the capital of Liguria in Italy and is the sixth largest city in the peninsula. The city is one of the largest on the Mediterranean Sea and also one of the largest seaports in Italy. Much of the city is surrounded by an ancient wall, parts of which still exist today.

It has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is important for its art, history, ,music, architecture, and food.

Among the city’s main sights are the San Matteo Square, San Lorenzo Cathedral, the city’s Lanterna or lighthouse, the fountain in the Piazza de Ferrari, the Doge’s Palace, and the Royal Palace of Genoa.

The city also has a number of parks that are suitable for relaxing such as the Villa Durazzo Pallavicini while the old harbour is one of the most ancient in Europe.

The city is famous for also its artwork and several important European artists such as Ruben Van Wyck and Strozzi had bases in Genoa.

The Genovese cuisine, like that of much of Italy is special and pesto sauce originated there. Some fish dishes are also unique to the city such as pansoti. Places to try Genovese cuisine in the city include the Gran Ristora and Profuma di Roso.

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Valencia, the sea of ​​Spain

valencia
Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and is its third largest city in Spain behind Madrid and Barcelona.

The city is on the Mediterranean Sea and the banks of the Turia River.

Major monuments in Valencia include the Valencia Cathedral, Torres de Serranos, Torres Quart, Llotja de la Seda which is a Unesco World Heritage Site, Museu de Belles Arts de Valencia, Ciutat de les Arts i la Ciences, and the Valencian Institute of Modern Art.

The city is well known for the Falles local festival, the La Tomatina tomato fight, and several other catholic festivals held each year. The city is also host of the European Grand Prix Formula One race.

Valencia has a subtropical climate with mild winters and long warm to hot summers.

Valencia is home of one of the traditional Spanish dishes the paella and the cuisine is also world renowned in the city. Other specialties include the fartons, bunuelos, Spanish omelettes, rosquilettas, and squid.

Places to eat include the Raco de Turia which is close to the city’s river banks and is ranked among the top fifty restaurants for Spanish cuisine in the city.

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Crete, ancient isle

crete (1)
Crete is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and is the fifth largest of the Greek isles forming a large part of the country’s economy.

It is the centre of the Minoan civilisation which is known as the oldest in Europe and as such history is a big part of the island’s culture. It has also retained some of its own culture such as great poetry and music. The country’s name first appeared in Homer’s Odyssey.

The island is quite mountainous with a high range running from east to west while there are also great valleys including the Amari Valley. The climate is primarily temperate with a humid atmosphere and mild winters.

Among the things to do and places to visit in Crete is the Aquaworld Aquarium. Sea life is big in Crete which is an island and therefore surrounded by water. There are several species specific to the island such as crustaceans (crabs).

Equine life is also important and there are several stables including the Arion Stables that can be visited. See also the Lychnostatis Open Air Museum and the Balos Lagoon.

There are over 2000 restaurants on the island with over 1300 serving native Greek cuisine.

Among the lower range are the Spyros Taverna in Gouves and The Alchemist in Koutouloufari. On the higher end are the Kapetan Dimitris and Lotus Eaters. The island has two main international airports as well as a ferry service with transport to Athens on mainland Greece.

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Monaco, mountain state

monaco

The principality of Monaco is a city state on the French Riviera bordering France and theMediterranean Sea. Monaco is the second smallest but the most densely populated country in the world.

The country is very mountainous and rocky and the highest point sits on the slopes of Mont Agel. Its most popular quartier is Monte Carlo and the Monte Carlo Casino is one of the most famous landmarks not only in the country, but in the world. It is possible to eat at restaurants and cafes just outside of the Casino.

Monaco is quite small and it is possible to walk through the entire country in less than one hour.

There are very high-end shops. The city is served by a heliport with connections to the Cote d’AzurInternational Airport in Nice and SNCF railway system makes it possible to take a train into nearby France.

The Grimaldi Palace in Fontvielle is a good place to visit and from there it is possible to see the Monaco harbour. There are numerous sidewalk cafes and gift shops to purchase souvenirs in this quartier.

Sport is very popular in Monaco which is home of the track and field governing body the IAAF and the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, the Monte Carlo Rally, and the Monaco football team. A track and field meeting is held at theStade Louis II stadium in Monaco every year.

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Barcelona, cultural capital of Europe

Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the largest cities in Spain and the capital of CataloniaThe city is the largest on the Mediterranean Sea and sits between the mouths of the Llobregat and Besos Rivers.

The city was founded as a Roman city and has a rich cultural heritage making it a rich cultural centre and an important tourist destination. The architectural works of Gaudi and Domenech i Montaner have been designated Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Among the city’s main sites are the Sagrada Familia church, Palau Guell, the Columbus Monument, and the Arc de TriomfBarcelona has many small hills and boasts a Mediterranean climate with mild humid winters and warm dry summers.

The National Museum of Art of Catalonia has a well-known collection of Romanesque art while several other museums exist, which cover architecture. There are also 68 municipal parks. The Camp Nou football stadium, home of FC Barcelona, is the largest in Europe.

The Barcelona International Airport is one of the busiest in the world. The city also has an extensive road and rail network connecting it to parts of Europe. 

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Sardinia, very nice

sardinia

Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the geologically oldest in Europe. It’s a close neighbour of Corsica to the north, Italy, and Sicily. Its capital city is Cagliari.

The island is mountainous with high rocky coasts and several bays, inlets, and rias. The island has a Mediterranean climate on its coasts, plains, and lowlands while a continental climate exists in the centre.

The island has come under influence from RomansByzantinesItaliansAustrians and theSpanish and some of their traditions are still practised in Sardinia today. Sardinian and Italian are the main languages spoken on the island. It is also site of several megalithic structures and aUnesco World Heritage Site.

The Sardinian diet relies heavily on meat, dairy products, grains, and vegetables. Sardinians also drink more beer per capita than anywhere else in Italy.

Sardinia has three international airports connecting it to the mainland of Italy and other parts of Europe. There are ferry companies which operate between Sardinia and cities in France and there is a rail network which connects towns across the island.

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Corsica, Napoleon’s birthplace

corsica

Somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, west of Italy, southeast of France, and north of Sardinia is the French island of Corsica.

The island, an departement outre-mer or overseas region of France, is dominated by amountain chain which comprises two-thirds of the territory. Corsica is the most mountainous of the Mediterranean islands.It has three separate climatic zones – hot coastal zone, temperatemountains, and an alpine zone.

For the nature lover there is the Parc Naturel Regional de Corse which boasts several protected species while the Scandola Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Ajaccio, the capital is in Corse du Sud while the second largest city Bastia is in Haute Corse. The Corsican culture is a unique blend of French and Italian.

The French general and emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica and his home is currently a museum while the town of Calvi claims to be the birth place of the explorerChristopher Columbus.

Along with French, Corsica has its own language which is recognised as an official language by the French government.

Corsica has interesting cuisine which includes wild boarseafood and river fishficatellu coppalonzu made from Corsican pork and cheeses such as brocciucasgiu merzucasgiuand veghju made from goat or sheep milk.

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