Susan Van Allen's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
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Places visited in Lucca, Italy
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Poggioreale, Italy

Ruins of Poggioreale

This entire town moved to a safe location after it was devastated by an earthquake, but the remains of the original town are still around.
Alberobello, Italy

Alberobello

Southern Italy's spinning top village.
Marostica, Italy

The Living Chess Game - Partita a Scacchi di Marostica

Machismo turned on its head: the lady's hand goes to the dude with the bigger brain.
Riomaggiore, Italy

Via dell’Amore

A lover's walk between hilltop towns, decorated with graffiti love notes.
Naples, Italy

Naples Underground

A labyrinth of ancient tunnels hidden below the city holds the ruins of 2,500 years of history.
Pozzuoli, Italy

Phlegraean Fields

A sulfuric hellscape in southern Italy.
Florence, Italy

Il Porcellino

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

Monte Testaccio

This hill made entirely of ancient Roman jars was simply a garbage dump to the people of the time.
Florence, Italy

Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents)

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

Ear of Dionysius

Italian cave with exceptional acoustics and an unsavory history.
Stromboli, Italy

Stromboli Island

A volcanic old faithful, Stromboli has been erupting continuously for the last 2000 years.
Monterosso al Mare, Italy

Il Gigante

The bomb-ravaged remains of of a colossal Neptune.
Florence, Italy

Vasari Corridor

This private skyway is filled with art and was expanded explicitly so that Hitler could appreciate a river.
Capalbio, Italy

Il Giardino dei Tarocchi

Gigantic mosaic sculptures of the figures on Tarot cards fill this colorful Tuscan garden.
Pompei, Italy

The Brothels of Pompeii

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

Thermopolia of Pompeii

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

Keats-Shelley Memorial House

Museum dedicated to literary greats of the Romantic Period is also the home in which Keats met his untimely end.
Belpasso, Italy

Mount Etna

The world's most active stratovolcano is almost always erupting.
Venice, Italy

Ponte dei Pugni (Bridge of Fists)

100 year tradition of fist fights, marked by marble footsteps.
Siena, Italy

St. Catherine of Siena's Severed Head

A dismembered holy head stares out from her beautiful reliquary at the St. Dominic Basilica.
Florence, Italy

Studiolo Francesco I de’ Medici

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

Towers of San Gimignano

These medieval skyscrapers dominate the skyline of this small Tuscan town.
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

Meridian Line of the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs

Installed in an act of one-upsmanship, the annual sundial in this church is also a symbolic victory for the Gregorian calendar.