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Bergamo is a northern Italy treasure. Dating from 49 BC, Bergamo has two centres: the Alta (upper) city and the Bassa (lower) city, connected by a funicular and walking trails. For historic sites, go to Alta for the Piazza Vecchia,the Cattedrale di Bergamo e Battistero, and the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore Baptistry, as well as the quirky mausoleum of Rastelli, the world famous juggler. Bassa is more modern and residential, and boasts Via 20 Settembre - the shopping district.
Nestled at the tip of a promontory jutting into Lake Como, Bellagio boasts unparalleled shoreline and Alpine views. Add in boutique-lined cobblestone streets, Italian villas, and fragrant gardens, and it’s no secret why Bellagio is known as the Pearl of Lake Como.
A gorgeous spot that’s a convenient day trip from Milan, Lake Como recently earned fame as home to Hollywood star George Clooney. But celeb-spotting aside, it’s known for jaw-dropping natural beauty, elegant old villas—and the scenic towns surrounding the lake. Check out Varenna, Bellagio, and Menaggio, which offer great views, historic churches, and water-based activities such as ferries and passenger-only boats.
Perfectly positioned on a lake with the Alps at its back, lucky Lugano has a little bit of everything. Ride a cable car up Monte San Salvatore or Monte Bre for sunny panoramas of lake, rivers, mountains and red-roofed buildings. Explore the town's churches, cathedrals and the expressive and colorful Piazza della Riforma. Sample some slow-cooked Ticinese cuisine, explore the lake on a boat or spend the day at the lido with its Olympic-sized pool.
On the south side of the Alps, Lake Maggiore is the second largest lake in Italy. Since the climate is mild year-round, the area is filled with Mediterranean vegetation and exotic plants. Lake Maggiore was featured in Ernest Hemingway's infamous novel, A Farewell to Arms, when the protagonist and his lover must row across the lake in order to escape the Italian Carabinieri (think police in military uniforms). Here's hoping you won't have any run-ins of that nature.
An elegant resort town on the southern edge of Lake Garda, Sirmione has attracted holiday-goers for centuries. 13th-century Scaligero Castle and the Roman ruins of the Grotte di Catullo are top of the list for most visitors, as is swimming in the lake’s crystal-clear waters.
You’ll find vineyards and olive groves in Bardolino, as well as beaches on beautiful Lake Garda. This town isn’t as popular as other area resort towns, so you shouldn’t find huge crowds here (except perhaps during the local olive oil and wine festival in late September and October). If you’re travelling with kids, make a beeline for the Gardaland and Aqua Paradise amusement parks.
While crowds of tourists fill Venice, Florence and Rome, Bologna remains relatively quiet in comparison. This mediaeval university town is charming, historic and fun to explore… and you'll find Bologna's local cuisine is light-years away from the American deli meat bearing the city's name.
Over the centuries, many cultures have added their mark to this prized piece of land. Today, you can experience those influences firsthand by exploring Istanbul’s mahalles (neighbourhoods). From the holy sites of Sultanahmet and the 19th-century European elegance of Beyoğlu to the high fashion of Nişantaşı, the vibrant café society of Kadıköy and the football-loving streets of Beşiktaş, it’s easy to see why travellers say that Istanbul isn’t just one city, but many cities within one.
New Hampshire's White Mountains are jam-packed with attractions, and scenic roads make driving between them a delight. Trundle along Conway's Scenic Railroad and Mount Washington Cog Railway, head upwards on the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tram and Loon Mountain Skyride, plunge down in Polar Caves Park and Flume Gorge, and reach top speeds at Attitash ski resort and summer playground. Offering a wealth of outdoors wonders both in winter and summer, the White Mountains are a thrill for all seasons.
The next time you're driving to Toronto or Niagara Falls, stop in Hamilton, where tourist traffic isn't quite so rampant. The Niagara Escarpment provides spectacular scenery, with beautiful trails and waterfalls. Visit nearby farms, orchards and vineyards, or plan your trip to coincide with Hamilton's lively fall fairs.