To the discovery one one of the largest and most famous archaeological sites of Italy, only equalled by the one in Pompeii. Ostia, thanks to its position by the sea and to its fleet, was a very important trade center in Roman times. It started a slow decline due to the river Tiber which was not navigable any longer and therefore lost its role as an important trading spot.
Both villas were declared world heritage sites by UNESCO. The first, extra urban residence of Emperor Adriano, preserves notable vestiges of the Roman era. The second, dating back to 1550, was built by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, looks like an actual mansion with a beautiful garden, rich in water games and fountains.
Besides its beauty for churches and medieval buildings, Assisi deserves a place apart in Italian history, for being the birthplace of St. Francis, the patron saint of Italy – and of Santa Chiara, founder of the monastic order of the Poor Clares. St. Francis Basilica features the biggest names of Italian and world painting, such as Cimabue and Giotto, who left us testimonies of fresco paintings of inestimable value.
Perugia: Following a route of escalators through medieval fortifications, one reaches the historic center of the city. On the main street, the “corso”, converge the other minor roads. Perugia still preserves an arched gate from the Etruscan period, many noble palaces and a medieval urban network. It gave birth to illustrious painters, such as Perugino and Pinturicchio and famous people, such as Rafael, Pietro Aretino, Piero della Francesca and Luca Signorelli were formed here.
The medieval borough of Bagnoregio, perched on a tufaceous spur, can be reached only on foot through a bridge. Because of the erosion of the hill, this village, among the most beautiful in Italy, is in danger of disappearing and was therefore called "the city that dies".
Orvieto, city of Etruscan origin, as witnessed by its famous necropolis, features a cathedral (Duomo) that can be considered a masterpiece of Gothic Italian architecture. Inside we find the famous Chapel of San Brizio with frescos of the last judgment by Luca Signorelli. St. Patrick’s well, an engineering piece of work, was built by Antonio da San Gallo il Giovane for Pope Clemens VII who, here, was to find a safe refuge in case of danger.