The Italian village of Ravello is one of the quietest along the Amalfi Coast, set a bit away from the seaside and the busy beaches. Though equally lovely, Ravello is never as crowded as Positano or Amalfi, especially in the evening when most of the day-trippers have left and the streets are refreshingly empty.
Known as the “City of Music”, Ravello has always been a favorite retreat for artists and intellectuals looking for inspiration from the sweeping vistas far from the bustle of the coastline.
Over the past two centuries, musicians and composers like Wagner, Grieg, Rostropovich, Toscanini, and Bernstein have taken refuge here, as have artists like Escher, Turner, and Mirò and writers from Lawrence and Forster to Virginia Wolf.
It comes as no surprise that this sleepy village hosts important cultural events like the Ravello Festival and chamber concerts organized by the Ravello Concert Society.
Caen is a port city and capital of Calvados department in northern France’s Normandy region. Its center features the Château de Caen, a circa-1060 castle built by William the Conqueror. It stands on a hill flanked by the Romanesque abbeys of Saint-Étienne and Sainte-Trinité, which both date from the same period. The multimedia Mémorial museum is devoted to World War II, the 1944 Battle of Normandy and the Cold War.
Pienza is a town in Tuscany, Italy. The central Piazza Pio II is framed by 15th-century buildings like the Pienza Cathedral and Piccolomini Palace. The latter was Pope Pius II’s summer residence and features a roof garden with valley views. Flemish tapestries and the pope’s embroidered cape are on display at the Diocesan Museum. West is the Pieve di Corsignano, a Romanesque church with a circular bell tower.
Mont-Saint-Michel, rocky islet and famous sanctuary in Manche département, Normandyrégion, France, off the coast of Normandy. It lies 41 miles (66 km) north of Rennes and 32 miles (52 km) east of Saint-Malo. Around its base are medieval walls and towers above which rise the clustered buildings of the village with the ancient abbey crowning the mount. One of the more popular tourist attractions in France, Mont-Saint-Michel was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.
Mont-Saint-Michel is almost circular (about 3,000 feet [900 metres] in circumference) and consists of a granite outcrop rising sharply (to 256 feet [78 metres]) out of Mont-Saint-Michel Bay (between Brittany and Normandy). Most of the time it is surrounded by vast sandbanks and becomes an island only when the tides are very high. Before the construction of the 3,000-foot causeway that connects the island to land, it was particularly difficult to reach because of quicksand and very fast-rising tides. The causeway, however, has become a barrier to the removal of material by the tides, resulting in higher sandbanks between the islet and the coast.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a town in southern Ontario. It sits on the shores of Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the Niagara River. It’s known for its wineries and the summer Shaw Festival, a series of theatre productions. The flower-filled, tree-lined old town features 19th-century buildings, mainly along Queen Street. Near the river, 19th-century Fort George was built by the British to defend against American attacks.
Side is a resort town on Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast. An ancient port city, it’s known for long beaches and Greco-Roman ruins. In the center are the remains of the 2nd-century Antique Theater, which seated up to 15,000. The white marble columns of the Hellenistic Temple of Athena stand near the harbor. Other sites are sprinkled throughout, with finds housed at the Side Museum, a restored Roman bath complex.
Mýkonos, also spelled Míkonos, island, dímos (municipality), and perifereiakí enótita (regional unit), South Aegean (Modern Greek: Nótio Aigaío) periféreia (region), southeastern Greece. Mýkonos is one of the smaller of the eastern Cyclades (Kykládes) group of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.
According to legend, it is the piece of rock thrown by Heracles to destroy the Giants. It is a rugged granite mass, about 33 square miles (85 square km) in area, lying next to Delos (Dílos) and between Tínos to the northwest and Náxos (Náchos) and Páros to the south. Mýkonos has several beaches, and on the north coast the Gulf of Pánormos forms a deep indentation. Located on the west side of the island is its capital, Mýkonos town; the town is the centre of a thriving tourism industry and is renowned for its nightlife.
La Habana Vieja (Old Havana), declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982, is the historic center of the city of Havana. It is formed by a harbor and the official center, the Plaza de Armas. There you will find all kinds of picturesque monuments, fortresses, churches, palaces, etc. It is full of authentic architectural treasures from different periods and offers one of the most comprehensive collections of urban buildings in all America. This area of the city alone is home to more than a thousand buildings of historical importance with various examples of distinguished architecture ranging from Baroque to Art Deco.
Unlike typical colonial cities, Havana was developed on not one, but four main plazas: the Plaza de Armas, which was the military and defensive center as it had a fortress and a large courtyard used for military parades; the Plaza de la Catedral, which with its cathedral was used as the religious center; thePlaza Vieja, which was the commercial hub as it housed important markets; and the Plaza de San Francisco de Asís, which was the main point of exportation and importation as it had a port where Spanish ships docked.
Košice is a city in eastern Slovakia, close to the Hungarian border. Its origins go back to the medieval period, and the central Lower Gate archaeological complex preserves fortifications from the 13th century. Hlavné námestie, the main square, is home to 2 Gothic churches: the huge St. Elisabeth Cathedral and the 14th-century St. Michael Chapel. Nearby, St. Urban’s Tower contains a museum of wax figurines.
Amboise is a town in central France’s Loire Valley. It’s known for the Château d’Amboise, the grand 15th-century residence of King Charles VIII featuring Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb, as well as royal chambers, gardens and underground passageways. Just outside town, Château du Clos Lucé is Leonardo’s former home, where he lived until his death in 1519. It houses a small museum displaying working models of his designs.