Melantina's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
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Places visited in Bordeaux, France
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Places visited in Collodi, Italy
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Calascio, Italy

Rocca Calascio

What looks like a link in Gondor's early warning system is actually a centuries-old Italian fortress.
Ercolano, Italy

Osservatorio Vesuviano (Vesuvius Observatory)

The oldest volcanology research center in the world.
Ercolano, Italy

Herculaneum

Pompeii's less famous neighbor is still revealing her secrets.
Pompeii, Italy

The Brothels of Pompeii

Erotic art covers the walls of the largest ancient pleasure palace.
Pompeii, Italy

Thermopolia of Pompeii

Ancient snack bar of the Roman Empire re-opened.
Pompeii, Italy

Plaster Citizens of Pompeii

The last moments of the ill-fated Pompeiians, frozen forever in plaster.
Lucca, Italy

Piazza dell'Anfiteatro

This bustling Italian plaza is built on the ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheater.
Lucca, Italy

Torre Guinigi (Guinigi Tower)

Fortified medieval tower house with lovely roof garden.
Pisa, Italy

Guy Rope Anchors for the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The only visible reminders of an elaborate engineering project that kept the tower from reaching the tipping point.
Val della Torre, Italy

The Stele of Mount Musinè

A mysterious stele of unknown origin sits on the peak of this curious mountain.
Turin, Italy

Fiat Lingotto Factory

Now an entertainment complex, the Lingotto building was once an avant-garde auto factory with a test track on the roof.
Rome, Italy

Cloaca Maxima

The "Greatest Sewer" of ancient Rome is one of the oldest sewer systems in the world, and is still in use.
Rome, Italy

Tempietto at San Pietro in Montorio

More sculpture than building, this architecturally significant temple was built on the spot of Saint Peter's crucifixion.
Rome, Italy

Arch of Gallienus

This Roman arch marks the location of an ancient gate at one of the Seven Hills of Rome.
Rome, Italy

Campo de Fiori

This ritzy Italian market is built around a statue of an unforgiven heretic who was burned for his belief in an endless universe.
Rome, Italy

Via Appia

2300-year-old Roman road connecting the empire.
Rome, Italy

The Mouth of Truth

The yawning maw of this pagan visage is said to bite off the hands of liars.
Florence, Italy

Fresco of John Hawkwood

In Florence's great Duomo, a 26 foot fresco honors a mercenary famous for attacking Florence.
Florence, Italy

The Bull of Santa Maria del Fiore

This strange bovine gargoyle is said to have been put in as a passive aggressive form of revenge.
Florence, Italy

The Relic of St. Antoninus

The mummified relic of St. Antoninus.
Florence, Italy

Il Porcellino

This bronze boar's snout has been rubbed to a golden sheen by visitors seeking good fortune.
Florence, Italy

Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents)

Renaissance hospital featuring a rotating door into which unwanted babies were dropped.
Florence, Italy

Studiolo Francesco I de’ Medici

Secret refuge and museum of the Duke of Florence.
Florence, Italy

Medici Hall of Maps (Sala delle Carte Geografiche)

Over 50 exquisite hand-painted Renaissance maps decorate a Medici storage room.