Pyramid and ruins at Saqqara
Everyone’s heard of Giza’s Pyramids, but they’re not the only pyramids Egypt has up its sleeve. Day-tripping from Cairo, Saqqara is the vast necropolis of the Old Kingdom pharaohs and showcases how the Ancient Egyptians advanced their architectural knowledge to finally create a true pyramid with the Step Pyramid, Bent Pyramid, and Red Pyramid being among the highlights here. The various tombs of court administrators, with interior walls covered with friezes describing daily scenes, scattered throughout the archaeological site are just as much a reason to visit as the pyramids themselves.
Luxor’s Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings
Famed for the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, and the Memorial Temple of Hatshepsut, the Nile-side town of Luxor in Upper Egypt has a glut of tourist attractions. This is ancient Thebes, power base of the New Kingdom pharaohs, and home to more sights than most can see on one visit.
While the East Bank brims with vibrant souk action, the quieter West Bank is home to a bundle of tombs and temples that has been called the biggest open-air museum in the world. Spend a few days here exploring the colorful wall art of the tombs and gazing in awe at the colossal columns in the temples, and you’ll see why Luxor continues to fascinate historians and archaeologists.
Pyramids of Giza
The last surviving of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza are one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks. Built as tombs for the mighty Pharaohs and guarded by the enigmatic Sphinx, Giza’s pyramid complex has awed travelers down through the ages and had archaeologists (and a fair few conspiracy theorists) scratching their heads over how they were built for centuries.
Today, these megalithic memorials to dead kings are still as wondrous a sight as they ever were. An undeniable highlight of any Egypt trip, Giza’s pyramids should not be missed.
Home to the only coral reef in the United States, the Florida Keys offer a fun tropical fix, fantastic fishing, and a few pretty palm-lined stretches of sand.Trailing south of Miami for more than 110 miles to within about 90 miles of Cuba, the Keys are coral islands linked by causeways, so you can drive between them on the Overseas Highway, which runs from Key Largo south to Key West.
Top attractions include the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo, with great diving and snorkeling;Bahia Honda State Park,where you’ll find some of the prettiest beaches;and the legendary Key West, where an anything-goes mentality complements the colorful Caribbean-style cottages and rich Hemingway history.You can also visit the southernmost tip of the United States here.
Islamorada proclaims itself the “sportfishing capital of the world,” with tarpon, bonefish, and permit to catch;and Marathon is also excellent for casting a line.Big-name fishing tournaments are held in the surrounding waters each year.While you’re here, try to sample some conch, a type of marine snail, as well as the famous key lime pie.
The Abacos, The Bahamas
Almost 300 kilometers east of Florida, the beautiful Abacos, in the Bahamas, offer some of the world’s best waters for boating and sailing. These peaceful Atlantic islands, also called the Out Islands or Family Islands, seem a world away from the crowded tourist strips of nearby Florida, with their secluded pine-fringed beaches; flourishing coral reefs; and sleepy fishing villages, where golf carts and boats are the main mode of transport. British Loyalists settled these islands, and you can witness this heritage in the cute and colorful colonial cottages lining the narrow streets.
Prime areas for a low-key vacations include cute Elbow Cay, with its famous candy-striped lighthouse; charming three-mile long Green Turtle Cay, which feels like stepping back in time to the old Bahamas; and Treasure Cay, on Great Abaco, with its ravishing white-sand beach lapped by waters in technicolor turquoise. Guana Cay, Walker’s Cay, and Man “O’ War Cay are other popular islands. Favorite pursuits include fishing, diving, snorkeling, relaxing, and chatting with the locals, and with miles of pristine beaches, it’s easy to find your own private patch of soft, white sand.返信元: Mirb Italy Cinque Terre Cinque Terre is a lovely coastal region with steep hills and sheer cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. The five picturesque villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore can be reached by several means, joined to each other by walking paths, a railroad that tunnels through the headlands to emerge at each town, or a scenic narrow road high on the hillside above. Hiking between the villages is one of the most popular things to do as it gives travelers the chance to enjoy the landscape. The small towns have maintained a feel of old-world fishing villages and offer a sense of remoteness even in the face of modern tourism 表示
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Ambergris Caye, Belize
Off the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula, Ambergris Caye in Belize is one of the country’s top tourist destinations and the largest of its 200 cayes. While its Caribbean beaches are generally better for fishing than swimming, thanks to their flourishing turtle grass flats, the magnificent Hol Chan Marine Reserve more than compensates with superb diving and snorkeling less than a half-mile from shore.
This underwater wonderland is part of the Belize Barrier Reef system, the second largest barrier reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Shark Ray Alley is a popular site, where divers can come face to face with nurse sharks and stingrays. Anglers also flock here to prowl the flats for bonefish and try their luck for permit, tarpon, snook, and barracuda.
Part of the island’s charm is its colorful town of San Pedro, where golf carts rule the streets, and funky restaurants showcase fresh seafood and Mexican-inspired cuisine. Since the northern part of the island lies a stone’s throw from Mexico, the island has a strong Mexican influence, and many locals speak Spanish.
Scala dei Turchi (Stairs of the Turks)
This white rock cliff on the coast, near Porto Empedocle, is formed by marl, a sedimentary rock similar to limestone, whose layered composition causes it to erode in regular step-like layers. It gets its name, Stairs of the Turks, from the frequent raids by Turkish pirates, who found the steps an easy way to climb ashore.
These striking white cliffs lie between two beaches, which combined with their mention in Andrea Camilleri’s Commissario Montalbano series, have made them a popular attraction for tourists. The marl sand is also a favorite mud bath, reputed to benefit the skin. The cliffs change color at various times of day, from stark white in the midday sun to golden and luminous at sunset.
Location: Realmonte Agrigento
Tempio di Juno Lacinia
The Temple of Juno (in Greek Hera) Lacinia, sits at the upper end of the eastern row of temples and has a circular hall of six by 13 columns. Of its columns, 25 are still upright. The cella was a room without inner columns. It was given its marble floor later, probably in Roman times.
Its religious symbolism is no longer evident, so it is not known which deity was worshipped here. The temple was destroyed by the Carthaginians and, on being rebuilt by the Romans, was given a ramp leading up to the eastern entrance side. In front of this, you can see the remains of a large sacrificial altar.
Address: Valle dei Templi, Agrigento
Tempio di Concordia
The Valley of the Temples, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dates back to 500 BC and consists of a series of temples, cemeteries, and tombs. Three of the temples in the eastern group stand together in a row and are illuminated in the evenings.
The best preserved of these, the Temple of Concordia, ranks with the Hephaisteion in Athens and the classical Temple of Hera in Paestum as the most perfect temples in the Greek world; it is the best preserved Doric temple in Sicily and conveys the scale of these ancient, sacred buildings.
The temple was built around 425 BC in classical proportions, with six columns on each of two parallel sides and 13 on the other two. Even its interior follows the style that was the norm in Greece, without the adytum, which was usually to be found in Sicily behind the cella.
Staircases to the left and right of the cella entrance lead to the roof truss, and the building is preserved right up to the roof. This is because in the sixth century it was turned into a Christian church with the cella as a central aisle, and the columns were walled up. The church was abandoned in 1748, and the building has been restored to its original temple appearance.
Address: Valle dei Templi, Agrigento
The Roman Forum may require a little imagination to understand exactly what this area once looked like. However, its historical significance as the heart of the Roman Empire cannot be overstated. Pillars, partial structures, and foundations of former temples, market halls, courts, and public buildings pay tribute to Ancient Rome, which stood here for a thousand years.
The Pantheon, an exceptionally well preserved remnant from Roman times, reveals the incredible architectural achievements of the Roman Empire. The precise proportions of the building, with the height equal to the diameter, and a single beam of light penetrating the room from the top of the dome, give the room a unique character. Italian Kings, the Renaissance painter Raphael, and other great Italians are buried in the Pantheon
Cinque Terre is a lovely coastal region with steep hills and sheer cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. The five picturesque villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore can be reached by several means, joined to each other by walking paths, a railroad that tunnels through the headlands to emerge at each town, or a scenic narrow road high on the hillside above. Hiking between the villages is one of the most popular things to do as it gives travelers the chance to enjoy the landscape. The small towns have maintained a feel of old-world fishing villages and offer a sense of remoteness even in the face of modern tourism
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The Uffizi Gallery
In addition to being one of the world’s foremost art museums, the Uffizi is a one-stop history of Italian Renaissance art. Although it contains works by some of the great masters of western art, its greatest treasure is its collection of paintings that show step-by-step the evolution in painting that occurred here from the 14th to the 16th centuries. Here, you will see the first experiments with perspective, as well as some of the early portraits as painters moved beyond religious art, and some of the first use of naturalistic and scenic backgrounds in religious art. Be sure to see the Uffizi’s most famous work: Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.
The Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stunning stretch of coastline along the Sorrentine Peninsula, south of Naples and Sorrento. Hillside towns are built precariously along the steep mountainsides that cascade down to the sea. The main towns along here are Positano and Amalfi, with its colorfully domed cathedral. You can tour the coast by road or hop between towns by boat for different perspectives of the dramatic and almost vertical shore.
The still smoking volcano of Mt. Vesuvius looks down on the remains of the city it destroyed in AD 79. But that same eruption also preserved many of the city’s art treasures: frescoes, mosaics, and sculptures that were encased in the lava as it cooled. Several centuries of excavations have revealed the remains of houses, markets, baths, temples, theaters, streets, and human remains. Visitors can tour the site, walk along the old streets scarred by the tracks of chariots, and see the engineering used by Romans more than 2,000 years ago.
The Catacombs of San Callisto (St. Calixtus) and San Sebastiano, both underground burial places in the Via Appia Antica, are extensive – San Callista fills an area of 300 by 400 meters — with intricate multi-layered networks of passages and chambers carved into the soft tufa. In addition to the tombs, St. Calixtus has six sacramental chapels, constructed between 290 and 310, with both pagan and early Christian wall paintings. In the Papal Crypt are the tombs of most of the martyred Popes of the third century identified by Greek inscriptions. San Sebastiano, one of Rome’s seven pilgrimage churches, was built in the fourth century on the site of old cemeteries and catacombs that, along with the foundations of a Constantinian basilica, can be explored. Tomb chambers are on several levels with fine paintings, stucco decoration, and inscriptions dating to the first century AD. Although venerated remains are thought to have been brought here for safekeeping during persecutions, these were cemeteries, not hiding places for Christians.
A little west of the Via Appia Antica, not far from the catacombs of San Callisto, the
Catacombs of Domitilla are the largest and among the most impressive in Rome, with 15 kilometers of underground chambers and passages and a complete subterranean basilica. Dedicated to the martyred saints entombed there, Nereus and Achilleus, the basilica was a major pilgrimage destination until the Middle Ages. More than 80 painted tombs and a second-century fresco of The Last Supper survive in its galleries.
Outside the Porta San Sebastiano, the Arch of Drusus is near the beginning of the Via Appia Antica, one of the oldest and most important of the Roman highways, built around 300 BC and extended to the port of Brindisi about 190 BC. Running parallel with the road are the ruins of some of the aqueducts that supplied the city with water, and among the cypresses along its sides are remains of tombs belonging to aristocratic Roman families. The most prominent of these is the first-century tomb of Caecilia Metella and her husband.
Address: Via Appia Antica, Rome
Domus Aurea (Nero’s Golden House)
Restored ruins of Domus Aurea
The burning of Rome in AD 64 (for which Nero was certainly not responsible, despite legends to the contrary) was very convenient for Nero’s purposes. In the vast area the fire cleared, he planned to build a huge and sumptuous new palace covering an area greater than the present-day Vatican City. While the ambitious project was never completed, excavations during the Renaissance brought to light large numbers of frescoes, marble statues, and other works of art that inspired Renaissance artists such as Pinturicchio, Ghirlandaio, and Raphael to copy the ornamental motifs painted in what were thought at the time to be caves.
Only recently have excavations revealed the extent of the rooms, whose walls were sheathed in fine marble and decorated with the gold and precious stones that earned it the name of Domus Aurea (Golden House). Ironically, it was the attempts of Nero’s successors to bury his luxurious house that preserved it for two millennia.
Virtual reality technology brings the house to life, beginning with a projection of the original plans for the palace, then recreating an entire room and the atrium as they would have looked. Because this is an active excavation, the site is usually open only on weekends, and only portions of it are open at a time, but any part of the amazing house is well worth seeing.
Address: Via della Domus Aurea, Rome