Bagnaia
Villa Lante at Bagnaia is a Mannerist garden of surprise near Viterbo, central Italy, attributed to Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola. The villa is known as the "Villa Lante". However, it did not become known as this until the villa was passed to Ippolito Lante Montefeltro della Rovere, Duke of Bomarzo, in the 17th century, when it was already 100 years old. The gardens of the Villa Lante features cascades to fountains and dripping grottoes. The visual and harmonious choreography of water and the mechanical perfection of its flow was only achieved after Tommaso Ghinucci, a hydraulics engineer and architect from Siena, was called in; it is thought that his role was to oversee the hydraulics and building work.[2] Although the renowned antiquarian and architect Pirro Ligorio was also consulted, it seems likely that the success of the water features is due to Ghinucci's expertise which ensured that water lives and flows through the gardens to this day. (from wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Lante)
Caprarola
Caprarola is a town and comune in the province of Viterbo, in the Lazio region of central Italy. The village is situated in a range of volcanic hills known as the Cimini Mounts. The city's chief claim to fame is the large Renaissance mansion or villa which dominates the surrounding country-side, Villa Farnese (or Villa Caprarola). (from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caprarola)
Caserta
Modern Caserta was established around the defensive tower built in Lombard times by Pando, Prince of Capua. Pando destroyed the original city around 863. The tower is now part of the Palazzo della Prefettura which was once the seat of the counts of Caserta, as well as a royal residence. The original population moved from Casertavecchia (former bishopric seat) to the current site in the 16th century. The city and vicinity were the property of the Acquaviva family who, being pressed by huge debts, sold all the land to the royal family. The royal family then selected Caserta for the construction of their new palace which, being inland, was seen as more defensible than the previous palace fronting the Bay of Naples. (from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caserta)
Fiesole
Modern Caserta was established around the defensive tower built in Lombard times by Pando, Prince of Capua. Pando destroyed the original city around 863. The tower is now part of the Palazzo della Prefettura which was once the seat of the counts of Caserta, as well as a royal residence. The original population moved from Casertavecchia (former bishopric seat) to the current site in the 16th century. The city and vicinity were the property of the Acquaviva family who, being pressed by huge debts, sold all the land to the royal family. The royal family then selected Caserta for the construction of their new palace which, being inland, was seen as more defensible than the previous palace fronting the Bay of Naples. (from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caserta)
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 380,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1,520,000 in the metropolitan area. Florence is famous for its history: a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, it is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy. (from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence)
Frascati
Frascati is a town and comune in the province of Rome in the Lazio region of central Italy. It is located 20 kilometres (12 mi) south-east of Rome, on the Alban Hills close to the ancient city of Tusculum. Frascati is famous for its notable villas, which were built from the 16th century onwards by Popes, cardinals and Roman nobles as "status symbols" of Roman aristocracy. These country houses were designed for social activities rather than farming. The villas are substantially well preserved, or have been carefully and authentically restored following damage during World War II. (from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frascati)
Lake Maggiore
Lake Maggiore or Lago Verbano is a large lake located on the south side of the Alps. It is the second largest lake in Italy and the largest in southern Switzerland. The lake and its shoreline are divided between the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy and the Swiss canton of Ticino. Located halfway between Lake Orta and Lake Lugano, Lake Maggiore extends for about 65 kilometres (40 miles) between Locarno and Arona. The climate is mild in both summer and winter, producing Mediterranean vegetation, with many gardens growing rare and exotic plants. Well-known gardens include those of the Borromean and Brissago Islands, that of the Villa Taranto in Verbania, and the Alpinia botanical garden above Stresa. (from Wkipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Maggiore)
Maser
Maser is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Treviso in the Italian region Veneto, located about 50 kilometres (31 mi) northwest of Venice and about 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of Treviso. The municipality of Maser contains the frazioni (subdivisions, mainly villages and hamlets) Coste, Crespignaga, and Madonna della Salute. Maser borders the following municipalities: Altivole, Asolo, Caerano di San Marco, Cornuda, Monfumo. Maser is notable for being the place of death of the architect Andrea Palladio, creator of the famous Palladian style of architecture. Villa Barbaro in Maser is one of his finest projects. Towards the end of his life, Palladio received the opportunity to build a church, the Tempietto Barbaro, to serve the Villa Barbaro and the village of Maser. (From Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maser,_Veneto)
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua stands on the Bacchiglione River, 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Venice and 29 km (18 miles) southeast of Vicenza. The Brenta River, which once ran through the city, still touches the northern districts. Its agricultural setting is the Venetian Plain (Pianura Veneta). To the city's south west lies the Euganaean Hills, praised by Lucan and Martial, Petrarch, Ugo Foscolo, and Shelley. The city is picturesque, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazze, and many bridges crossing the various branches of the Bacchiglione, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat. (from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Padua)
Piazzola sul Brenta
Piazzola sul Brenta is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Padua in the Italian region Veneto, located about 45 kilometres (28 mi) west of Venice and about 15 kilometres (9 mi) northwest of Padua. (From Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piazzola_sul_Brenta)
Pratolino
The Villa di Pratolino was a Renaissance patrician villa in Vaglia, Tuscany, Italy. It was mostly demolished in 1820: its remains are now part of Villa Demidoff, 12 km north of Florence, reached from the main road to Bologna. The villa was built by the solitary Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany in part to please his Venetian mistress, the celebrated Bianca Capello. The designer of villa and gardens was his court architect- designer- mechanician- engineer Bernardo Buontalenti, who completed it in a single campaign that lasted from 1569 to 1581; it was finished enough to provide the setting for Francesco's public wedding to Bianca Cappello in 1579. In its time it was a splendid example of the Mannerist garden. Francesco had assembled most of the property, which was not a hereditary Medici possession, by September 1568,[1] and construction began the following spring. The garden was laid out along a perfectly straight down-slope axis passing through the center of the villa, which stood midway. Down the central descent, the visitor still walks under a cooling arch of fountain jets, without getting wet. (from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_di_Pratolino)
Ravello
Ravello is a town and comune situated above the Amalfi Coast in the province of Salerno, Campania, southern Italy, with approximately 2,500 inhabitants. The Amalfi Coast, or Costiera Amalfitana in Italian, is a stretch of coastline on the southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula of Italy, extending from Positano in the west to Vietri sul Mare in the east. Villa Rufolo (1270), built by Nicola Rufolo, one of the richest Patricians of Ravello, on a ledge and it has become a famous attraction for thousands of visitors. The villa was mentioned by Giovanni Boccaccio in his Decameron and it is the place where Richard Wagner in 1880 was inspired for the stage design of his opera Parsifal. (from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravello)
Rome
Public parks and nature reserves cover a large area in Rome, and the city has one of the largest areas of green space among European capitals. The most notable part of this green space is represented by the large number of villas and landscaped gardens created by the Italian aristocracy. While most of the parks surrounding the villas were destroyed during the building boom of the late 19th century, some of them remain. The most notable of these are Villa Borghese, Villa Ada, and Villa Doria Pamphili. Villa Doria Pamphili is west of the Gianicolo hill comprising some 1.8 square kilometres (0.7 sq mi). Also on the Gianicolo hill there is Villa Sciarra, with playgrounds for children and shaded walking areas. In the nearby area of Trastevere the Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden) is a cool and shady green space. The old Roman hippodrome (Circus Maximus) is another large green space: it has few trees, but is overlooked by the Palatine and the Rose Garden ('roseto comunale'). Nearby is the lush Villa Celimontana, close to the gardens surrounding the Baths of Caracalla. The Villa Borghese garden is the best known large green space in Rome, with famous art galleries among its shaded walks. Overlooking Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps are the gardens of Pincio and Villa Medici. Noteworthy is also the Pine wood of Castelfusano, near Ostia. Rome also has a number of regional parks of much more recent origin including the Pineto Regional Park and the Appian Way Regional Park. There are also nature reserves at Marcigliana and at Tenuta di Castelporziano. (from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome)
San Zenone deqli Ezzelini
San Zenone degli Ezzelini is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Treviso in the Italian region Veneto, located about 50 kilometres (31 mi) northwest of Venice and about 35 kilometres (22 mi) northwest of Treviso. (from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Zenone_degli_Ezzelini)
Settignano
Settignano is a picturesque frazione ranged on a hillside northeast of Florence, Italy, with spectacular views that have attracted American expatriates for generations. The little borgo of Settignano carries a familiar name for having produced three sculptors of the Florentine Renaissance, Desiderio da Settignano and the Gamberini brothers, better known as Bernardo Rossellino and Antonio Rossellino. The young Michelangelo lived with a sculptor and his wife in Settignano—in a farmhouse that is now the "Villa Michelangelo"— where his father owned a marble quarry. In 1511 another sculptor was born there, Bartolomeo Ammannati. The marble quarries of Settignano produced this series of sculptors. Near Settignano are the Villa Gamberaia, a 14th-century villa famous for its 18th-century terraced garden, and secluded Villa I Tatti, the villa of Bernard Berenson, now a center of art history studies run by Harvard University. (from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settignano)
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena. The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008. Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year. The shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, the town square, which houses the Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia, is another architectural treasure, and is famous for hosting the Palio horse race. The Palazzo Pubblico, itself a great work of architecture, houses yet another important art museum. Included within the museum is Ambrogio Lorenzetti's series of frescos Allegoria ed effetti del Bouno e Cattivio Governo (The Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government) and also some of the finest frescoes of Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti. (from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siena)
Tivoli
Tivoli, the classical Tibur, is an ancient Italian town in Lazio, about 30 kilometres (19 miles) east-north-east of Rome, at the falls of the Aniene river where it issues from the Sabine hills. The city offers a wide view over the Roman Campagna. (From Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tivoli,_Lazio)
Vatican City
Vatican City, officially Vatican City State is a walled enclave within the city of Rome. With an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of 842, it is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population. It is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state ruled by the Bishop of Rome—the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the Popes from Avignon in 1377, they have generally resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere. Within Vatican City are cultural sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and tourist mementos, fees for admission to museums, and the sale of publications. (From Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vatican_City)
Verona
Verona is a city straddling the Adige river in Veneto, northern Italy, with approximately 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of northeast Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona covers an area of 1,426 km2 (550.58 sq mi) and has a population of 714,274 inhabitants. It is one of the main tourist destinations in northern Italy, owing to its artistic heritage, several annual fairs, shows, and operas, such as the lyrical season in the Arena, the ancient amphitheatre built by the Romans. Three of Shakespeare's plays are set in Verona: Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Taming of the Shrew. The city has been awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO because of its urban structure and architecture. (From Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verona)
Vincenza
The Province of Vicenza is a province in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Its capital city is Vicenza. The province has an area of 2,723 km², and a total population of 874,630 (as of 2012). There are 121 comuni (municipalities) in the province. Important towns in the province include Bassano del Grappa, Montecchio Maggiore, Torri di Quartesolo, Schio, Noventa Vicentina, Thiene, Marostica, Lonigo, Arzignano, and Valdagno. (From Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Province_of_Vicenza)