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The slow pace of autumn with an Italian flavour: itineraries and places to go in autumn for your travels in Italy

Are you looking for places to visit in autumn in Italy? Whether it is for fresh air or to admire the changing colours of the leaves, traveling in autumn is quite special. It’s a fantastic time of year for certain activities, such as visiting vineyards and tasting delicious local produce. Discover the countless possibilities offered by the Italian territory from September to December.

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Leisure

Città della Domenica

Città della Domenica: the children’s park of animals and fairy tales Città della Domenica (‘Sunday City’) in Perugia is the first family amusement park created in Italy in the 1950s. It has entertained generations for more than 70 years. This charming 'old-fashioned' park is designed to offer young children an unforgettable opportunity to see animals in nature and to discover the imaginative settings of their favourite fairy tales. This is the perfect place to spend a special family day, not just on a Sunday! An amusement and nature park Just six kilometres from the centre of Perugia, Città della Domenica covers 45 hectares of holm oak, plane tree and oak woods. It was created in the late 1950s by Mario Spagnoli, a Perugian entrepreneur and son of fashion designer Luisa Spagnoli. The area where the structure stands, historically named Monte Pulito (‘Clean Mountain’) because it lacked any vegetation, is now an area of lush greenery where many animals live, some in the wild. You can easily visit on foot or by taking a small train. At first, it was just a clay pigeon shooting range, but later it turned into an children’s amusement park, and since the 1980s it has also been involved in environmental conservation and teaching about nature. Straight out of a fairy tale Città della Domenica lets you immerse yourself in the world of children’s most beloved fairy tales: there is Pinocchio's village, Little Red Riding Hood's house, Merlin the Wizard's tower, the fairy forest, Sleeping Beauty's castle, and Snow White's little house. There are also plenty of more dynamic attractions, including a mini-kart track, Fort Apache, an Indian village where you can meet Red Bear, mini-motorboats, a riding school, a labyrinth, a Trojan horse you can all pile inside, and even a rocket that offers magnificent panoramic views of the city of Perugia and the Umbrian countryside. Various entertainment activities are organised daily for children and parents, from treasure hunts to an adventure game to save the park's resident animals. The falconers' show offers the exciting chance to see trained birds of prey such as owls, buzzards and eagles up close. One of the most recent attractions added to Città della Domenica is the Talking Forest, a 300-metre-long trail that teaches children to listen to nature. Designed by Bulgarian artist Kiril Cholakov, it allows children to be protagonists in a story in which they have to pass tests to become messengers for the trees. This exciting and educational experience teaches the value of the forest as an interconnected system of living nature. Animals in the wild Many animals roam free in the forest of Città della Domenica. Along the trails, you can spot mammals and birds common to the European continent, as well as exotic species that have adapted to the climate of central Italy. Among them is the mascot of the park, the Asinara donkey, with its white coat. This beautiful animal was saved from extinction thanks to the efforts of Città della Domenica, in collaboration with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Perugia. If you climb up the mountain, towards the rocket, you will find the wildlife route, where you can see kangaroos, reindeer, ostriches, yaks, llamas, Patagonian hares, dromedaries, African buffaloes and snowy owls. In the park, you can find all kinds of animals, from rabbits, both dwarf and giant, to hens, geese, turtle doves, swans, peacocks, cranes, storks, macaws, American bison, African mouflon, llamas and antelopes. Near the park’s exit, inside Darwin’s Tower, you will find a reptile house, homes to alligators, caimans, and venomous and giant snakes.
Art & Culture

Palazzo Vecchio

The museum on the history of Florence Palazzo della Signoria, or Palazzo Vecchio, with its 94-meter-high medieval tower, is the symbol of the political, cultural and artistic life of Florence. Resting over an ancient Roman theater still visible underground, it has always been the city’s center of power, first hosting Cosimo I De' Medici who expanded the Palace with the help of artists such as Vasari and Buontalenti. When Florence was the Capital of Italy, the Palace became the seat of the Government, and still holds this function as the location of the city hall. Inside it hosts the museum that exhibits the history of the city. On the first floor, you can find the “Salone del Cinquecento”, one of the largest and most representative halls of the Palace. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti were commissioned to paint two glorious episodes of the military history of Florence, respectively, the Battle of Anghiari (1440) and the Battle of Cascina (1364), but neither of the two artists completed the work. The current appearance of the room is by Giorgio Vasari. The coffered ceiling, decorated with 42 cassettes, depicts important episodes in the history of Florence, including the foundation of the city in Roman times and the expansion of the walls in medieval times. At the center, Cosimo I stands as the lord of the city and lands annexed to the duchy, surrounded by the insignia of the twenty-one Arts, or guilds, and by cherubs bearing the emblems of his house. In the Salone, there are extraordinary masterpieces such as Michelangelo's Genius of Victory. In the Mezzanine, you can admire typical furnishings of ancient stately homes and works of art from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. On the second floor, there are additional monumental rooms such as Sala delle Carte Geografiche [Geographical maps] and globe, Sala dei Gigli where the original of Donatello's Judith is located and paintings by Bronzino, in the Chapel of Duchess Eleonora. In the basement of the palace, it is possible to follow an archaeological route through the excavations of the Roman Theater.
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