A Lonely Planet Susmission
Rhodes (Dodecanese Islands)
The Order of St John of Jerusalem transformed Rhodes into a city stronghold during the occupation of 1309 to 1523, before the town subsequently fell under Turkish and then Italian rule. Mosques, public baths, grand Ottoman buildings, and beautiful Gothic architecture all coexist in the 'upper' and 'lower' towns. Rhodes offers a feast of Aegean charm.
San Gimignano (Italy)
The towering San Gimignano, near Florence, is the 'belle' of Tuscany. An important stop on the Via Francigena pilgrim route, it retains a feudal atmosphere and appearance. Here culture, beauty and agriculture combine to create a masterpiece on high.
Built defensively by the Moors and lying in the heart of the caliphate of Cordoba, Cuenca is suspended from sheer cliffs above the Huécar river. Visit the famous Casas Colgadas (hanging houses) in this former Castillian royal town and Bishopric.
Bellinzone is an ensemble of late medieval fortifications which guard a key alpine pass. The Castelgrande, together with the Montebello and Sasse Corbaro, protect an ancient town in the Ticino valley, through a series of castles and fortified walls.
The crusading knights of the teutonic order built a castle here in the 13 century and Tallin was born. It developed as a major centre of the Hanseatic League and an important North European trading town. Replete with opulent merchants' houses and public buildings, Tallin's old town is superb.
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