Italy

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Visiting the hillside city of Perugia starts with a grand unforgettable entrance through the foundations of the original castle up a giant escalator emerging in the central area of the city. With sweeping views over the Umbrian town, the Gothic Palazzo dei Priori stands in its crenellated glory. With most of its history as the seat of municipal power, it housed the impressively titled Keepers of Ecclesiastical ....Continue Reading >>
Made famous by Frances Mayes’ book (and movie) Under the Tuscan Sun, Cortona’s medieval stonework soaks the sun’s rays reflecting a bronzed honey hue. Roosting on the side of a hill encrusted in olive groves, Cortona offers sweeping panoramic views of the Tuscan countryside with shimmering Lake Trasimeno (where Hannibal surprised the Romans) in the distance. Its petite town centre surrounded ....Continue Reading >>
PONTE VECCHIO QUICK FACTS Location: Florence, Italy River: Arno Built: circa 1345 Length: 84 metres Style: Segmental Arch BridgeOne of the most famous bridges in the world, Ponte Vecchio was initially lined with butchers shops but now houses overpriced shops such as jewellers, art dealers and trinket sellers to attract tourists. Its unusual backshops were added later but it has always ....Continue Reading >>
Assisi Part One can be found here.While St Francis dominates the mood of Assisi, Roman history is strongly in evidence as well. Walking east from St Francis Basilica, Piazza del Comune was once the Roman forum with the superb colonnades of Temple of Minerva looking out onto the square. Some of the neighbouring shops have basements that you can sneak into to view remains of Roman buildings. Indeed, ....Continue Reading >>
Despite the crowds, the hilltop town of Assisi has a tranquil feel suited to its pious history. Except for electricity wires and the whir of cameras, it is easy to assume that you could stroll past the introspective brown-robed figure of St Francis shuffling the medieval cobbled laneways of Assisi. The Catholic pilgrimagetown includes a rich Roman history and fine medieval fortress making for a ....Continue Reading >>
Today the picturesque northern Italian town of Cividale del Fruili is an ideal place to meander among the narrow cobbled streets and wander the peaceful banks of the sparkling Natisone River. This relaxed ambiance masks a town rich in history and importance dating from settlement in Julius Caesar’s time (with evidence of earlier Celtic habitation) and a number of fascinating tales and mysteries ....Continue Reading >>
Continuing from Part One - Verona: Beyond Romeo and JulietFrom Verona's elegant castle, head back through Porta Borsari (maybe the best of the surviving Roman gates) towards Piazza Signori. Nearby, a tiny laneway is packed with people all crowding around number 23 – Juliet’s house (Casa di Giuletta). Lovestruck folks note their names onto the house’s walls (fastened by bluetack or gum) and ....Continue Reading >>
PONTE PIETRA QUICK FACTSLocation: Verona, Italy River: Adige Built: 100 BC Length: 120 metres Style: Arch (Brick) Verona's Ponte Pietra (Stone Bridge) is the first in a monthly series presenting iconic bridges around the world. Main bridges are typically centred around the culture of a city, often historically connecting different aspects of a city or town.Built by the Romans in 100 ....Continue Reading >>
Sandwiched between the overwhelmingly popular Venice and Lake Garda, Verona is remarkably missed by many visitors to Italy. Best known as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Verona has much to offer beyond a playwright’s account of the Capulet’s and Montague’s tragic love-story.While little of the Romeo and Juliet story actually took place and Shakespeare never wandered ....Continue Reading >>
Despite its French sounding name, Gressoney-Saint-Jean is Italian in feel and sits in the valley below the majestic peaks of Matterhorn (called Monte Cervino by the Italians) and Monte Rosa (literally Mt Pink), Switzerland's highest mountain. ....Continue Reading >>
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Welcome to Travel Wonders

My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.

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