Just a few kilometres from the hubbub of tourists visiting Pisa and its splendid piazza dei Miracoli, there’s an island of nature that sits silently and far away from the changes of urbanization. We’re talking about the Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli Nature Park, a protected site that includes wet areas, marshes, sand dunes and the large Lake Massaciuccoli, once an ancient salt water lagoon.
The San Rossore Estate is the most important environment in the park: hugged by the Serchio to the north and the Arno to the south, the area conceals dense pine groves and woodlands of deciduous trees from the old-growth forest. The estate’s accessible itineraries zigzags through dunes and tombolos, marshes and woods that hide a wealth of fauna and flora. https://www.visittuscany.com/en/itineraries/excursion-in-the-migliarino-san-rossore-and-massaciuccoli-nature-park/
A city like Florence, well known for its amazing art collections, monumental architecture and rich historic past can sometimes have you forget about the natural beauty that abounds in the form of well maintained gardens and parks. And then, when you do think about them, it is places like Boboli Gardens, the colorful iris and rose gardens, and even the Botanical Garden in the city center that come to mind first.
The magical silence and stunning architecture in the Bardini Gardens seem to get lost in the crowd of places to visit while in Florence.
Virtually unknown, and many times almost deserted, this 4 hectare garden was recently restored to part of its original glory and is now slowly being rediscovered by the locals and guests to the city of Florence. First time visitors to the Renaissance city just might not have time to fit it into their already full itinerary; however, those who are coming back to Florence again should really find time to walk the grounds. In an hour you can stroll the entire garden easily and calmly, and that is what this garden deserves: time for a short stroll that will sooth your soul. https://www.visitflorence.com/florence-museums/bardini-gardens.html
The Vatican Gardens are a natural, architectural and artistic space of great beauty and spirituality, boasting an area of 23 hectares occupying most of the Vatican Hill. It was finally opened to the publick in 2014. The garden combines in itself 3 different styles Italian, Frech and English, each with their respective characteristics. https://www.rome-museum.com/vatican-gardens.php
St. Peter's Square is one of the largest and most beautiful squares in the world. It is located in Vatican City, at the feet of St. Peter's Basilica.The dimensions of the square are spectacular: 320 meters long and 240 meters wide. In the liturgies and more noticeable events St. Peter's Square has held more than 300,000 people.The most impressive part of the square, besides its size, are its 284 columns and 88 pilasters that flank the square in a colonnade of four rows. Above the columns there are 140 statues of saints created in 1670 by the disciples of Bernini.In the centre of the square the obelisk and the two fountains, one of Berni ni (1675) and another of Maderno (1614) stand out. The obelisk, which is 25 meters in height, was carried to Rome from Egypt in 1586. https://www.rome.net/st-peters-square
Villa Borghese of Rome is one of the largest urban parks in Europe. The State acquired the gardens from the Borghese family in 1901 and opened them to the public on 12 July 1903.
What differentiates Villa Borghese from other large parks such as Hyde Park or Central Park is the perfect combination between nature and Roman art. Villa Borghese is home to interesting architectural elements, sculptures, monuments and fountains created at different times by famous artists.
If you have enough time in Rome, travel with children or are looking for a little relaxation, the Villa Borghese is a mandatory stop in your itinerary. If you want to tour the Villa Borghese and take advantage of the time to do some exercise, it is possible to rent rollerblades, bicycles and other forms of transportation at the main gates. https://www.rome.net/villa-borghese
Trastevere is one of the most pleasant neighbourhoods in the city. Its peaceful and bohemian atmosphere is capable of dazzling tourists without failing to attract assiduous Roman citizens.
The life of the neighbourhood is especially concentrated around the Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, where you can see the ancient Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere. The great fountain in front of the temple serves as a meeting place, a resting spot, or simply somewhere to have an ice cream on a hot day.
A walk through the narrow cobbled streets of the Trastevere shows hidden treasures such as modest medieval churches, small shops with the most unusual objects, or even some scenes of everyday life seemingly taken from a forgotten age. https://www.rome.net/trastevere
Follow the coastal road south-west of Porto towards Piana to discover an almost surreal world of weather-carved pink granite, an other-worldly vista of strangely shaped red figures, often plunging dramatically into the turquoise sea below. http://www.corsicatravelguide.com/scenerycorsica/calanches-de-piana.php
The Scandola Natural Reserve (created 1975) is a World Heritage Site to the south-west of Calvi, on the Cape Girolata peninsula (hal way down the west coast of Corsica). http://www.corsicatravelguide.com/scenerycorsica/scandola.php
The National Park covers - including land and marine areas - 20,180 ha, with a coastal development of 180 kilometers. La Maddalena, mother island and capital of the homonymous Archipelago, is the Park gateway. It is the one and only inhabited island, except for the village of Stagnali in Caprera Island and the settlements of Santa Maria. http://www.parks.it/parco.nazionale.arcip.maddalena/Epun.php
The Parks of Nervi are an important historical/nature complex formed from the combination of several gardens that once belonged to private villas: Villa Gropallo, Villa Saluzzo Serra, and Villa Grimaldi Fassio. Today, these villas belong to the City of Genoa and have been transformed into museums. http://www.visitgenoa.it/en/parchi-di-nervi-gropallo-serra-grimaldi-and-luxoro-villas
Larvotto is the principality of Monaco's most popular sandy beach and the main one with free public access. Covered in smooth imported fine gravel this man-made beach is made up of both private and public areas of beach.
Despite being a beach in a city setting this is one of the gems of Monaco. Beautiful clear water for swimming, soft pebble beach for sunbathing and plenty of good eateries around to satisfy even the pickiest of foodies. In the stretches of private beach you can hire a lounger and a parasol from the beach club, plus enjoy a cocktail and some food while you top up your tan. Whilst, on the public stretches you will need to bring your own lounger, towel, parasol or whatever you might desire for your trip to the beach. https://www.seemonaco.com/beaches/plage-du-larvotto-monaco-674322
Boasting world-renowned expertise, the Museum presents more than 6000 specimens in their faithfully reconstructed natural habitat. Come and discover the amazing species of the Mediterranean, the incredible diversity of the inhabitants of the coral reef and the monumental Shark Lagoon, all under the same roof.
From the highly colourful tropical zone to the spellbinding charm of the Mediterranean section, the Oceanographic museum invites you to observe the underwater world in all its authenticity. The one hundred or so pools, ranging in size from 100 to 450,000 litres, are home to several thousand fish specimens, more than 200 species of invertebrates and around one hundred species of hard and soft corals. https://www.oceano.mc/en/aquariums/our-aquariums
Spread over an area of approximately 15,000 m2, the Exotic Garden is home to a thousand cacti and other succulent plants with stems or hypertrophic leaves which store water. Originally from the planet’s main semi-arid regions, these plants still produce plenty of flowers. The principal flowering seasons are winter (January–February) for South African succulents such as Aloe and Crassula, and spring and summer for cacti, a family native to the American continent.
The enormous trees which line the paths of the Exotic Garden illustrate the age of the collection which served as the basis for the creation of the garden at the instigation of Prince Albert I. Opened to the public in February 1933, and supplemented in the 1960s by a botanical centre and specialist tree nursery, the garden is one of the Principalities most visited tourist attractions.
At the base of the cliff on which the Exotic Garden is situated (called “the observatory” due to the long-standing presence of a small astronomical observatory), at an altitude of 100 metres, there is a subterranean chamber equipped to receive visitors. The limestone rock, carved out by water containing carbon dioxide, is studded with caverns adorned with geological formations bearing evocative names: stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, columns, soda straws...
Expert guided tours of the cave are included in the entry ticket for the Exotic Garden. The tour travels from a depth of 98 metres to a depth of 40 metres (around 300 steps). The chamber plunges down almost to sea level and is regularly explored by local cavers.
The presence of prehistoric humans in the region of the cave is confirmed by the bones of the animals that they ate. These remains also illustrate the climate variations that have taken place over the last 250,000 years. http://www.visitmonaco.com/en/Places-to-visit/Gardens/The-Exotic-Gardens-and-the-Observation-Cave
The city’s original site, the Castle Hill (Parc De La Colline Du Chateau) once boasted a reputedly impregnable citadel that was entirely dismantled by the soldiers of the French King Louis XIV in 1706.
Truly a maze of greenery that has become popular for its cool undergrowth and surprising waterfall, this wonderful place for strolling offers a wonderful viewpoint over Baie des Anges, Old Nice and the Port (orientation table). Spectacular lighting at night. http://en.nicetourisme.com/nice/92-parc-de-la-colline-du-chateau
The Old Town of Nice is made up of tall tenement houses lined up along narrow and dark streets. The ground floors are occupied by restaurants, shops and galleries of local artists. You can buy everything here, from Provence spices to hand-made jewelry and cosmetics. Just go in and let yourself be carried away by the past, which is still present in this place.
The Old Town of Nice (Vieille Ville), also called Old Nice (Vieux Nice), lies just below the Castle Hill. In the south, it borders with the Promenade des Anglais, and in the north with the Paillon River, or rather the Promenade of Paillon, because the river has been flowing through the city in the underground channel since 1972. The names of streets in the Old Town are written in two versions: in French and in the local Nissart dialect (niçart).
The Old Town of Nice is full of historic tenements, churches and squares. A walk through the narrow and shaded streets allows you to almost move in time and feel the spirit of Old Nice. You just need to know where to look for it. https://frenchriviera.travel/old-town-nice/
The tourist reputation of Promenade des Anglais has gone beyond the French or European borders. At present, the famed promenade is a landmark of Nice, from both an infrastructural and a tourist point of view. In fact, its importance for the commercial and tourist platform of the city is reflected by its structure and use.
By following the promenade, visitors have the opportunity to stumble on some of the top attractions and architectural marvels of Nice. First of all, it’s the beaches. Most of the beaches in Nice (either private or otherwise) nestle between Baie des Anges and Promenade des Anglais being accessible from the promenade side. Secondly, sights like the Phoenix Park with its imposing Museum of Asian Arts, Palais de la Mediterranee and Hotel Negresco, all are accessible from the proud promenade.
On top of that, the street is lined with bars and restaurants where tourists can relax and have a refreshment. Plenty of the bike stands managed by Velo Bleu are also located on Promenade des Anglais. The promenade obviously has something to offer to everyone: it is ideal for sightseeing tours, it provides access to the beach and it is practicable for roller-skaters and cyclists. http://www.nice-tourism.com/en/nice-attractions/promenades-and-pedestrian-areas-in-nice/promenade-des-anglais.html
It offers many activities and exhibitions on Nature all year long, with - some twenty theme gardens display 2,500 plant species. A lake, where a hundred birds - ducks, pelicans, black swans - live together in peace and in which are reflected the white marble façades of the Asian Arts Museum designed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. Also one of the largest greenhouses in Europe: the ‘Green Diamond’, that takes visitors through 6 different tropical climates to discover several thousand rare plant species, including tree ferns, an orchid collection... and many more plants. And you can see crocodiles, iguanas and exotic birds. A family of Varis lemurs are currently delighting visitors. http://en.nicetourisme.com/nice/1256-parc-phoenix%20-
So called the “Canalazzo“, is the most important water way of Venice, about 3800 meters long, it splits the city in two sides..Venice from above looks like a big fish, not bad for a city on the sea! The Grand Canal it's like a thick dark line that creates a kind of "big S" inside the fish. http://venice-tourism.com/en/places/san-marco-district/grand-canal
Just 20 minutes from Cannes (External link) by boat, the Lérins islands feel a whole world away from the buzz of the mainland. Visitors are seduced by their idyllic natural beauty with quiet sandy paths, rocky coves to explore and swim in, and a fascinating history combining the mystery of the Man in the Iron Mask and the spirituality of Cistercian monks. The archipelago separates the Gulf of Napoule to the west from Golfe Juan to the east, and is composed of two main islands: Sainte-Marguerite and Saint Honorat, just a kilometre from each other. They are not accessible to cars, bicycles or scooters and make wonderful, peaceful getaways for walks, swimming, games of pétanque and long lazy lunches. Oaks and creaking pines cover both islands, as well as a fragrant scrubland of myrtle, cistus, honeysuckle and wild clematis – and there’s plenty of wildlife here too. https://uk.france.fr/en/cote-dazur/article/lerins-islands
It's probably the most famous island of the venetian Lagoon, it's composed by seven minor islands. It is well known worldwide for the art of blowing glass. All glass factories were moved to the island of Murano in 1295 to preserve the city from fires that often were caused by factories themselves.
Murano was at first inhabited by refugees coming from Altino right after the barbarian invasion. Today it is completely urbanized and counts on 5500 inhabitant. Until 1171, when it was annexed to the Santa Croce district, the island was autonomous. In the year 1275 part of the autonomy was returned to the island's government, so they could promulgate laws and even coin their own money (the Osella). The autonomy of Murano was maintained also during the Austrian domination, that made of it a municipality. During the Austrian occupancy many churches and monasteries were sacked and destroyed so that only three now are left. The Murano municipality (that includes San’t Erasmo and Vignole islands) was suppressed in 1923 and the territory unified with the Municipality of Venice. http://venice-tourism.com/en/luoghi/island-lagoon/murano-island
Burano is amongst the main islands of the Venetian lagoon. At the moment about 3000 people live there and it is part of the municipality of Venice. It is linked to the smaller island of Mazzorbo by a small bridge. Just like Venice, it is divided into “Sestieri” (districts): San Martino Sinistro, San Martino Destro, San Mauro, Terranova and Giudecca (not to be confused with the homonymous island).
The isle of Burano is famous for the lace working art, (a tradition since the XVI century), its bright multicoloured houses and for the culinary traditions. http://venice-tourism.com/en/places/island-lagoon/burano-island
Brera is synonymous with the artistic heart of the city. In fact, as you stroll along the streets of this ancient district, you cannot help but be enchanted by its almost surreal atmosphere boasting small artisan’s workshops or quaint stores selling canvases and paints. Additionally, Brera is home to the impressive Accademia di Belle Arti, where visitors can admire Milan’s famous painting collection at the Pinacoteca (the Brera Picture Gallery), the historic Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense (Braidense National Library) , the Museo Astronomico (The Astronomical Museum), the oldest scientific research institute in the city and the Giardino Botanico (Botanical Gardens), an evocative green space located. https://www.wheremilan.com/sightseeng-brera/welcome-to-brera-district/
Aquarium Pula is the most visited public aquarium in Croatia whose mission is to show the beauty and diversity of the underwater world and emphasize the need for its protection. The aquarium itself is settled in a 130-year-old fort Verudela, part of the once-mighty Austro – Hungarian defence complex Fortress Pula, where the centennial military history of Pula is combined in a unique way with the richness of the Adriatic. Fort Verudela, named after the peninsula where it was built (3 km from the center of Pula), has been in a process of conversion into an aquarium since 2002. and is now home to some 200 animal species. Sharks, jellyfish and seahorses are the most sought after inhabitants, with the Marine turtle rescue center, our biggest contribution to marine conservation, as something not to be missed. The fort’s roof, besides offering a magnificent view of Pula and the sea, from 2017. displays a massive steel dome placed over the old artillery block. The dome represents the final stage of our project where we reconstructed the central part of the fort and added 3 new tanks (50 000 liters each), greatly expanding our display. https://www.pulainfo.hr/where/aquarium-pula
Histria Beach is located under the Hotel Park Plaza Histria on Verudela Peninsula in Pula. The beach is very popular and is partially made of stone while the other part is built from concrete. Because of the soft entrance and a terrace all the way to the sea, Histria Beach is very suitable for families with kids and older persons. By the beach, there is a small autochthonous holm oak woods suitable for leisure in the shades. The beach was awarded with a Blue Flag as an evidence of crystal clear sea and maintenance of the beach. Lifeguard service takes care of the security, and there is a safety barrier to protect the swimmers. You can rent sunbeds and parasols on the beach along with other equipment. There is a Beach Bar & Restaurant Yacht on the beach. https://www.pulacroatia.net/item/histria-beach-pula/
Ambrela Beach is located in small St John Cove, between Saccorgiana Beach and Hotel Brioni. It is covered in pebbles with boulders of rocks. On the side, it is surrounded by autochthonous holm oak trees. Ambrela Beach is very popular among the local population and guests. Because of the soft entrance to the sea, it is convenient for families with kids. In the vicinity of the beach, there is a restaurant and a Lounge Bar Ambrela after which the beach was named. You can rent sunbeds, parasols and pedal boats on the beach. In the cove, there is a safe net, and Lifeguard service also takes care of security. There are public showers, toilet and dressing rooms on the beach as well. Entrance is free along with free parking near the beach. Ambrela Beach has been awarded a Blue Flag. https://www.pulacroatia.net/item/ambrela-beach-pula/
Valkane is the most notable and most furnished beach in Pula. It is located in Zelenika Cove in the western part of the town, at the beginning of Lungomare Boardwalk. Part of the beach is rocky and pebble and most parts are made of concrete. One part is adapted to disabled persons with special ramps for entering the sea. There are two bars on the beach: Valkane bar and Šumi more, where you can enjoy drinks next to the sea. At Valkane there is a playground for bocce and beach volleyball. Near the Sports Center Valkane, there are several tennis courts, a football field and Valter restaurant. Beach Valkane is awarded a Blue Flag which is given to beaches with lots of facilities and crystal clear sea. There is a lifeguard service on the beach which takes care of the security of the swimmers. Near the beach, there is a bus stop with a direct link to the city. https://www.pulacroatia.net/item/valkane-beach-pula/
The promontory of Capo Caccia, also known as the Sleeping Giant, is the undisputed symbol of Alghero, standing just north of the town’s bay. These sheer cliffs, known paradise for climbing lovers, drop to very deep water providing fantastic views of the coast. Not to be missed is the breathtaking panorama from the cliff in front of the island of Foradada. http://www.algheroconcierge.com/places-of-interest/0/4/18/capo_caccia__the_marine_park.aspx
Brijuni Islands are situated near the city of Pula and represent the only National Park in Istria County. They were declared as National Park in 1983. With its 14 islands, 743,30 ha of area and water surface of 2652 ha (total area of 3395,00 ha), they represent the most indented and interesting islands in Istria. By arriving at Brijuni Islands and walking on its gentle paths, one can immediately notice why they deserved almost mythical status with its pleasant and mild climate. There is an important archaeological site on these islands in the northern Adriatic, and there is a rich cultural ancestry of the islands from the earliest to modern times. https://www.pulacroatia.net/item/brijuni-islands-national-park/
Red Island (Crveni otok), one of the most renowned tourist locations in Rovinj. Actually, it consists of two artificially connected islands: St. Andrew’s Island (Otok Sv. Andrije) and Maškin Island (Otok Maškin).
Red Island is a fifteen-minute sail away from the town center. Taxi boats arrive from and depart for Red Island every hour, from a small pier on the main town square, and from Delfin pier. The sail to the island is very pleasant, passing by Katarina Island, Lona and Zlatni rt bays that will surely enchant you with their beauty.
Dense Mediterranean underbrush and old coniferous forest are predominant on the island, and there are cultivated flower parks with paths near the hotels and annexes. In 2002, Red Island was hit by a heavy storm, almost entirely destroying the 100-year-old pine forest, which has been providing shade and shelter from summer heats for numerous tourists. The biggest damage was caused on Maškin Island. A lot has been done towards cleaning and renovating the island since last year so that you could enjoy its beauty and intimacy again.
You can find a really large number of beaches on the island. They are mainly stony beaches with typical coves covered with pebbles. The most frequented beaches are the ones situated on the south side of St. Andrews Island, near the hotel and the annexe. Numerous services are offered nearby, namely: a restaurant, a pool, miniature golf courses, a diver centre and others. A small part of the shore near the little port has been covered with gravel, making it suitable for children and seniors. https://www.inforovinj.com/eng/rovinj/plaze/crveni-otok.asp
The forest park Punta Corrente (Golden Cape) is one of the most important natural attractions of Rovinj. At the end of the nineteenth century, Georg Hütterott bought four Rovinj islands (St. Andrew, Maskin, Sturag and San Giovanni) and began cleaning up an area of about 90 hectares on the Golden Cape to build a spa. His premature death interrupted the realization of this ambitious project, but his vision remained and contributed to the development of tourism in this area.
The uniqueness of Punta Corrente has been recognized in 1961 and declared a nature park.
Golden Cape is ideal for various sporting activities such as running, cycling, gymnastics. The old quarry has been transformed into a paradise for lovers of free climbing. The park is perfect for a leisurely stroll. The whole area is closed to traffic from motor vehicles.
The beaches of Punta Corrente are worth a visit. As in the rest of the coast, there are rocky capes and pebble bays suitable for children. In several places along the coast there are beach bars where you can refresh. https://www.inforovinj.com/eng/rovinj/znamenje/punta-corrente.asp
Beach Balzamake just after Kurent cape, Small and Big Scaraba bay divided by cape Scaraba are reachable by foot with a thirty minutes walk from Rovinj town center or by bicycle. The nearest car park is just after Monvi Entertainment Center and is free of charge but it can also be very crowded in July and August. From the car park, Scaraba beach is a few minutes walk like any other beach within the Golden Cape Park Forest. The coast is rocky with a few inlets covered with pebbles.
The rocky beach Balzamake is suitable for sunbathing because of big flat stones. Scaraba cape offers more privacy and less people on a rocky coast not recommended for elderly people or families with small children. This kind of beaches are frequently visited by naturists that are not a rarity in Rovinj. The pebble beach in Big Scaraba bay with its pier is a favorite place for swimmers and divers. http://www.rovinj.co/en/meet-rovinj/beaches/scaraba/
Eight kilometres south of Rovinj on an area of about 20 hectares in the rainy periods and two hectares in periods of drought, near the sea and the bays Cisterna and Gustinja, it is located the only ornithological reserve in Istria, the "Special ornithological reserve Palud - Palù" whose trademark is the Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus).
Palud was a freshwater swamp that the Austro-Hungarian army connected to the sea in 1906 by digging a channel with the hope that the increased salinity of water would stop the development of mosquito larvae and thus prevent malaria. They didn't manage to suppress malaria but as a result of the mixing of fresh and saltwater in the swamp, mullets and eels, fish that prefer brackish water, found their habitat. https://www.inforovinj.com/eng/rovinj/znamenje/palud.asp
On the west side of the Old Town core lies the Monte beach. For those who find accommodation in the Old Town, this beach will only be a few minutes walk away. This is also the ideal place for visitors who start touring the Old Town – they can find relief from the heat in the Rovinj sea.
Although the beach is about 150 meters long, the locals divided it into several parts. The Big and Little Guguliera are small beaches, suitable for bathing small children, while Baluota (or Balota) and Lanterna are beaches favoured by the older population (you get into the sea by climbing down or diving from the rocks).
Many cafes and restaurants are a few dozen meters away from the beach, while the XL café and Monte restaurant are situated at the foot of the St. Euphemia church (about 50 meters from the beaches).
The beaches are rocky, with no natural shade, so we recommend bringing along some refreshing beverages and headcovers. When the gale gets strong, the waves will make it even more difficult to get into the sea or out of it, so it is better to go for the beaches in one of the numerous Rovinj coves when it is windy. https://www.inforovinj.com/eng/rovinj/plaze/monte.asp