NORTHERN ITALY

MILAN

Milan’s history dates back to 400 BC, and the city is particularly famous for its fashion and design showrooms.

Some of the city’s most popular attractions include the Duomo, or Cathedral, of Milan – the largest Gothic cathedral in the world; the 15th century Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie which is home to Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper; the city’s castle Castello Sforzesco, where you can find a number of museums; and Teatro alla Scala, or La Scala, one of Italy's top historic opera houses.

 

If you are in Milan for the fashion and want to go shopping, head to the huge glass-roofed shopping arcade Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II; the streets of Via Dante between the Duomo and Castle, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II near Piazza della Scala, and via Monte Napoleone near the Duomo.

BOLOGNA

Balogna is an old university city that is filled with lavish squares, historic buildings and fantastic cuisine! Located halfway between Florence and Milan, there is plenty to see and do, particularly within the medieval centre which is home to a number of churches and monuments.

The main attractions in Bologna are the ancient "two towers", Asinelli’s Tower and Garisenda Tower. The towers were built between the 12th and 13th Century, along with more than 100 others, though today there are less than 20. The Asinelli Tower is the taller of the two, while the smaller one is the Garisenda, and both of these are leaning.

 

Other drawcards for tourism include the famous Neptune Fountain; the Bologna City Gates and the Bologna Opera House; and if you want to learn a little more about the history of the region, visit the Archaeology Museum, Civil Fine Arts Museum and the National Gallery.

Take a walk through the streets of the Quadrilatero, a medieval market; hike to the top of San Luca to see the sanctuary of the Basilica of San Luca at the top; browse through the stores of Italy’s designers at Galleria Cavour; and visit the Basilica of San Petronio - the most important church in Bologna and the 5th largest church in the world.

VENICE

Venice, or the City Of Canals, is very old and very beautiful.

Highlights include St Mark’s Square, the town square, which originated in the 9th Century in front of the original St Mark’s Basilica; St Mark’s Basilica - the most famous church in Venice, constructed between the 9th and 12th Centuries; the Rialto Bridge, which spans the Grand Canal and is the oldest bridge across the canal; and Doge’s Palace, a gothic palace constructed in the 14th and 15th Centuries.

Watch a lace making and glass blowing demonstration, treat yourself to a relaxing traditional and typically-touristy gondola ride along the canals and take a walk along the canal to the various markets, where the major sales attraction is the famous Venetian masks.

 

Two interesting features of Venice include the fact no cars are allowed in the city and that the buildings are constructed on wooden piles under water, something which, for many centuries, meant they were threatened by flood tides and many buildings were abandoned as water levels rose.

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