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Flights from Washington DC to Italy
Places to explore in Italy
History lovers should know that Milan is not all about trendy shops and designer clothes. Among the city's many historical attractions are La Scala Opera, the Milan Cathedral, the National Museum of Science and Technology and Santa Maria della Grazie, the church that preserves da Vinci's "Last Supper".
It’s nicknamed the Eternal City for a reason. In Rome, you can drink from a street fountain fed by an ancient aqueduct. Or see the same profile on a statue in the Capitoline Museum and the guy making your cappuccino. (Which, of course, you know never to order after 11 am.) Rome is also a city of contrasts—what other place on earth could be home to both the Vatican and La Dolce Vita?
With its gondolas, canals, amazing restaurants, and unforgettable romantic ambiance, Venice is definitely a city for one's bucket list. Waterfront palazzos, palaces, and churches make drifting down the Grand Canal feel like cruising through a painting. To really experience Venice you must go to the opera or to a classical music performance, nibble fresh pasta and pastries, and linger in the exhibit halls of an art gallery. Label lovers will drool over the high-end shopping in Piazza San Marco.
Everyone’s heard the Doors of Paradise, the Duomo, and Michelangelo’s David are captivating, but in Florence, beauty can sneak up on a traveller unexpectedly. You’ll duck into a random church to escape the heat only to spend two hours staring at an impossibly pure blue in a fresco. Or you’ll consider writing a sonnet about pear gelato. It’s just that kind of place. Don't miss the sunset over the Arno and the famous wines of the Chianti region just south of town.
Romantic Naples, two hours south of Rome, is the largest city in southern Italy. It has some of the world's best opera houses and theatres, and is often called an open-air museum, because of 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 A.D. 79, at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale or revel in the art and architecture of Museo Cappella Sansevero, built in the late 1500s.
To the first-time visitor, Palermo is a city of ever-changing character. An abundance of dusty museums, Arabian domes and flourishes of baroque splendor jostle with boisterous markets, chaotic traffic and oppressive summer heat. The Sicilian hotspot is a noisy, polluted, often dangerous, but always fascinating city. Don't miss marvels of Arab-Norman architecture, such as 12th-century Palazzo dei Normanni or San Giovanni degli Eremiti. Ask your hotel to arrange cabs and negotiate fares before setting off.