Carnevale and Mardi Gras
Venice is famous for its masked celebrations, but the seaside town of Viareggio is equally worth a visit at carnival time. Started in 1873, the Viareggio revelries now feature huge papier-mâché satirical floats that parade along the seafront promenade for five Sundays between late January and early March (dates vary). At other times of the year, projects and miniature models of the most memorable floats can be seen in a dedicated museum.
Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa
No visit to Italy is complete without a trip to the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa, whose construction began in 1173 but was soon interrupted because the ground was giving way, causing the tower's famous tilt. Advance ticket reservations are highly recommended, especially for visits during peak tourist seasons. The Tower is situated behind a Romanesque cathedral, also worth a visit.
Turin's Museo Egizio is one of the earliest and most important collections of Egyptian antiquities outside of Egypt. The Rock Temple of Ellessiya was presented to the museum by the Egyptian government as a token of gratitude for Italian efforts to save monuments threatened by the construction of the Aswan Dam.
One of the twelve cities of the Etruscan confederation, Volterra stands in a commanding position over the Cecina and Era valleys, surrounded by cyclopic walls incorporating the imposing Porta dell'Arco gateway. Don't miss the Vallebuona archaeological site with the Roman Theatre (still in use) and the famous “Evening Shadow” votive bronze statue in the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum.
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Travel to northern countries during the fall equinox, or spring equinox when the aurora borealis is at its peak.
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