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It is difficult – if not impossible – to limit a list of things to do in Italy to 100, and even more difficult to put them in order of descending significance or entertainment value: home to Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Etruscans, Greeks and Romans, with islands as diverse as dour Sicily and African-influenced Pantelleria and cultures as far apart as Renaissance Venice and the prehistoric Trulli in Alberobello, Italy is a vibrant and colorful hotch-potch, a land of stark and passionately defended contrasts.
Let’s continue the count…
92. Cortina d`Ampezzo
Home to the winter Olympics of 1956 and the backdrop for a number of films (including “For Your Eyes Only” and “The Pink Panther”), Cortina d’Ampezzo – or simply Cortina – offers some of the best skiing and winter sports Italy has to offer. The town itself is charming, with plenty of bars, restaurants and hotel accommodation, and at 1210 m above sea level offers incredible views of the Dolomites. The church of Madonna della Difesa, with its sculptures and frescoes, and the WWI monuments are of particular interest.
The airports of Venice Treviso and Venice Marco Polo are both less than 2 hours from Cortina by car, or just over 2 hours by bus.
93. Museo Stibbert (Florence)
Formerly the home of Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906), this unique private collection of weapons and armor predominantly from the 16th to the 19th centuries will take your breath away simply by reason of its vastness. His villa – and the adjoining one, bought by Stibbert when his own home became too small to house his collection – is decorated throughout in mediaeval style and the estimated 16.000 exhibits of Moorish, Islamic, European, Etruscan and Japanese arms (the largest outside Japan) are displayed “in action”, with dramatic effect.
The “Museo Stibbert” is 19 minutes from the Largo Alinari station, or 14 minutes by car.
94. Zoological Gardens, Pistoia
With over 400 animals over a 7 hectare area and diverse free activities and playgrounds for children, the Pistoia Zoo – 40 km northwest of Florence – is a great venue for a day trip with kids. With a number of special activities – the Zoo caters for children`s birthdays, offers summer camps and close animal encounters and is periodically even open at night – it is a very flexible option for entertaining children away from the noise and bustle of the city.
Pistoia can be reached by car from Florence in around 40 minutes, or just over 1 hour by train.