Pistoia (Italy) – a town in northern Tuscany whose medieval core is a jewel for authenticity for all lovers of history, art and gastronomy. Duomo Square houses the most Gothic and Romanesque buildings. These buildings are adorned with the Holy Zen Cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace, a 14th century baptistery, the picturesque Sala Square, and the Praetorio Palace. On Sala Square there are cafes, shops and sometimes the music of street players is heard. One of the most significant sculptors of the 20th century, Marino Marini was born in Pistoia. His works (sculptures) are inspired by Etruscan culture. They were loved by American collector Peggy Guggenheim. The town of Pistoia is famous for its bakery delicacies. Famous local gastronomic specialties are “brigidini di lamporecchio” (waffles with anise or fennel seeds), pappa al pomodoro (tomato, bread, garlic and basil soup) and “schiacciata” cakes.
Changsha (People’s Democratic Republic of China) – Yuzu (Orange) Island on the Xiangjiang River, Yuelu Mountain, Hunan Provincial Museum, Han Dynasty Mausoleum and residence of Communist leader Mao Tze Tung are some of the historic, natural and cultural landmarks of Hanan’s headquarters. The history of Hanan Province is 3500 years old. There are 53 ethnic groups living in the city, which contributes to cultural diversity. The city has Taoist temples along with many modern buildings: the International Cultural Center and the Meixi River Bridge built in 2016. The Meixi International Cultural Center is the place where most exhibitions, concerts and lectures take place on an area of 115,000 square meters. This facility was designed by the famous designer Zaha Hadid. The bridge on the Meixi River is made of steel. It is 185 meters long. The bridge looks like a knot – which seems to have no end. Although Changsha is a modern city on whose streets you can still try street food or traditional angry dishes (sesame duck).
Merida (Mexico) – The capital of the Mexican state of Yucatan calls it the White City (La Ciudad Blanca). This city originated on the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Ichkanzihoo. The white facades of colonial buildings best influenced by Spanish, French and British settlers are best seen in the Paseo Monteja city district. A popular alcoholic beverage is “xtabentum” (made from flowers of the same name and honey). The first days of November in Merida celebrate the Feast of All Saints (Hanal Pixan). In this part of the world, this holiday contains the customs of the ancient peoples – burning candles for the deceased, singing and dancing for three days with the music of the Maya people. Traditional dishes of poc chuc, queso relleno, tamales colados, and others are prepared. If you want to know more about the Mayan culture, visit the Mayan Museum of Museums, where more than 1000 artifacts can give a detailed overview of their life, traditions and culture.
Paphos (Cyprus) – This city is located on the west coast of Cyprus. Throughout the year, it attracts many visitors because of the International Monodrama Festival, a symposium dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite and other events. The Greek goddess of beauty is, according to the legend, born in Paphos. The city is under UNESCO protection. Byzantine and ancient buildings intertwine in the historic center. In addition to the remains of the temple of the goddess Aphrodite, built 1200 years BC, here you can see the tombs of ancient rulers from the 4th century BC, or catacombs from the early Christian period, Byzantine fortress, monastery from the 12th century. The central part of the city is Kato where there are shops, shops with ceramics and clothes made of traditional lace. The old part of Ktimi is famous for its gastronomy- Cafes, cuttlefish or swordfish are served in the taverns. The wine is made from local autochthonous grape-xynisteri varieties and mavro (red wine). A magnificent view of the Mediterranean Sea and the city extends from a vantage point above Ktime.
Mashhad (Iran) – Located in the northeast of the country. This is the second largest city in Iran. It is recommended to visit the Khorasan Museum. Two of Iran’s greatest modern artists were born in Mashhad (poet Mehdi Akhavan-Sales and musician Mohammad Reza Shajarian. A special visit to the Bazar-Raza Market is where you can buy dried fruits, nuts, saffron, gauze and sugar candy made from sugar , almonds, pistachios, eggs, rose water, saffron and cardamom.The magnificent shrine of Imam Reza (a descendant of Prophet Mohammed) is a symbol of the city.The city is known for producing rugs, perfumes, gold, silver, semi precious and precious stones.Mashhad is a tourist destination because more than half of the country’s hotels are located here.
Cover page: Pistoia, Italy (www.pixabay.com)