Top Ten Italian Attractions

 One of the most popular journies people will take is a flight to Italy, particularly a direct route to Milan, capital of the Lombardy region. The country is full of possibilities, gorgeous weather, delicious food, fabulous wines and of course world class tourist attractions.

Italy offers everything from ancient epic destinations, enigmatic sites and modern stylish centres. However, where are the most favoured attractions on this popular tourist trail?

1) Sistine Chapel Vatican City
One of the Western worlds artistic highlights, the images painted by Botticelli and in particular those of Michelangelo are famous worldwide.
2) Coliseum Rome
The centre of the Romans playground, where the top performing gladiators of the day would fight each other, exotic animals and Christians for entertainment. Although now quiet to the crowds roar the Coliseum is still one of Italy’s most impressive structures.

3) Duomo Florence
Florence’s cathedral with the instantly recognisable Brunelleschi designed, red tiled dome is one of Italy’s most enduring sights, visible from anywhere around the city the cathedral with Giotto’s bell tower alongside is a breathtaking place to tour.

4) St Mark’s Square Venice
A magnificent large piazza surrounded by interesting buildings, palaces, museums and the colourful vision of St Mark’s Cathedral. Visitors could spend a day alone exploring the attractions in this square.

5) Grand Canal Venice
A romantic sight of gondolas and boats gently bobbing on the waters of the canal, especially when viewed from the famous Rialto Bridge. Nothing could be more memorable of an Italian vacation than taking a slow ride on a gondola down its length.

6) Pompeii
The streets of Pompeii are a marvel of survival as nowhere can you find such preserved ruins of daily life on such a scale. The destruction wrought by Mount Vesuvius, ironically was also the city’s salvation and now serves as a unique example of what life was like 2,000 years ago in the Roman Empire.

7) Ponte Vecchio Florence
The Ponte Vecchio is one of Italy’s picture postcard destinations and a place essential to visit on an Italian tour. Spanning the River Arno, just around the corner from the Ufizi Gallery it is full of interesting jewellery shops and great views of Florence.

8) Trevi Fountain Rome
The famous Baroque fountain with its epic bronze statue of Neptune, riding on seashells pulled by two winged seahorses. Here people are often seen throwing coins, which it is said will guarantee their eventual return to Rome.

9) Basillica St Francis Assisi
Gleaming bright pink across the Tiber Valley the unmistakable mass of the gentle saints basilica is a wonderful vision. This great edifice nestling in the hills of Mount Subbasio is full of religious significance and artistic endeavour.

10) Marmore Waterfalls, Near Terni
These 2,000-year-old manmade cascades were created by the sweat and toil of the Romans to divert the River Nero and provide the capital with additional supplies of fresh water. The Marmore Cascata has been a popular attraction down the ages with poets and artists regularly making a pilgrimage to see them.

Northern Ireland House Price Drop Set to Continue

Source: Imgspark

Latest figures show that house prices in Northern ireland are set to continue falling for the next thre months, although the number of sales is expected to ride, increasing the amount of mortgages sold. Extracts taken from Google hosted news:-

The latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank Housing Market Survey said the house price downturn will enter its sixth year in 2012. The downward trend began in 2007 and the survey found that the decline will extend into January, February and March of this year.
But the RICS found that surveyors quizzed on the sate of the market believe the number of sales of properties will increase. Experts advised that realistic pricing was key to securing a sale, while trends will also vary according to the property type and the location.
Larger events, such as the Eurozone crisis, combined with local spending cuts and debt will also affect the housing market. It is also expected that different geographical areas and property types will experience varying effects.

Derek Wilson, Head of Lending Products at Ulster Bank, said the bank provided the majority of mortgages for Co-Ownership purchases.
"We also ran a number of campaigns to stimulate demand across the marketplace, including reducing rates and removing arrangement fees for a period," he said.
"As we enter 2012, we are once again actively promoting our range of mortgages and hope to further stimulate demand. This is evidence of our ongoing strong commitment to make competitive deals available to support mortgage demand."

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