While crowds of tourists fill Venice, Florence and Rome, Bologna remains relatively quiet in comparison. This medieval university town is charming, historic and fun to explore… and you'll find Bologna's local cuisine is light-years away from the American deli meat bearing the city's name.
Known as Padova in Italian, Padua may be the oldest city in northern Italy, if you believe the claims of its 12th-century BC founding by Trojans. It certainly has history, including its famous university (one of Europe’s oldest, from 1222), the 13th-century Basilica di Sant'Antonio (resting place of St. Anthony), and Scrovegni Chapel, with Giotto’s famed 14th century frescos. The magnificent Prato della Valle, a 950,000-square-foot elliptical square, is thought to be Europe’s second-biggest.
Romantic Naples, two hours south of Rome, is the largest city in southern Italy. It has some of the world's best opera and theater houses and is often called an open-air museum, due to its many historic statues and monuments. Join families on promenade as the sun sets on the Bay of Naples. View finds from Pompeii and Herculaneum, destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale or revel in the art and architecture of Museo Cappella Sansevero, built in the late 1500s.
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