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Armenia, a millennary experience
Far from the routes of mass tourism, Armenia retains intact some of the oldest traces of human civilty on earth, offering visitors new itineraries between archeology and nature, sacred history and pagan legends, among secular crafts and Eurasian gastronomy.
Armenia, the “casket” of Near East...
Yerevan: founded nearly 2800 years ago as one of the fortresses designed to shore up the northeastern border of the ancient kingdom of Urartu, exposed to the impending threat of Shiites, the Armenian capital is nowadays a “borderline-city”: geographic borderline (the turkish border is a short distance) and cultural borderline, eternally suspended between its deep Eastern roots and strong European influences.
But above all, Yerevan is a city to explore on foot, not only by day but also by night, when it turns into a huge open-air cafe.. Yerevan has been designated by UNESCO as World Book Capital for the year 2012, during which the city will host related events.
Among the poi of this ancient city, we recommend:
- the Matenadaran, a sort of books' cathedral, is one of the largest exhibitions in the world of manuscripts, masterpieces of miniature art.
- the History Museum of Armenia, meticulously reconstructs the mosaic of civilizaties that lived in this area from the Palaeolithic Era to the present day
- the Republic Square, built during Soviet times in typical pink tuff, impresses the visitor with its combination of lights and fountains, shaped by the rhythm of music in a visionary multisensory spectacle
- Vernissage and Pak Shuka, typical markets, represent an incredible opportunity to get in touch with population and tastes of the Caucasus
-the Cascade, a monument form Soviet Armenia and a place for international exhibitions of art, and the Blue Mosque, a trace of Iranian domination from the 18th century.
some of the most representative destinations of Armenia are easily reachable from the capital:
- the monastery of Geghard, built during the Middle Ages with some parts carved in the mountain, is one of the most striking examples of the charm of this land: the man has built under the most extreme nature who is hostile to its inhabitants and at the same time protects them against the invaders.
- the temple of Garni, built in the first century A.D. by King Tiridates I of Armenia, is facing one of the most picturesque valleys of the rough Armenia.
l 'Echmiadzin is the "Vatican" Armenian, where you can listen patarag, traditional hymns.
- the Khor Virab complex, legendary monastery and prison of St. Gregory the Illuminator, provides a view on the biblical Mount Ararat, “exiled” symbol of Armenia
- the Karahunj, prehistoric site where it is believed that ancient priests used to pry into the sky, is now a major destination for archaeologists and ufologists
- Noravank monastery is set against the slopes of the steep valley of the river Amaghu, facing t mountain walls of red tuff
- the village of Fioletovo, although not usually included in the classic tours of Armenia, offers a unique opportunity to experience a traditional Molokan community, a sort of Armenia "Hamish"
- Lake Sevan, "mare nostrum" of the Armenians,is one of the largest high altitude lakes in the world, wtih the monastery Sevanavank on its shore
- the Khosrov reserve, a big Armenian National Park, shelters my animal and plant species – some of which are on the verge of extintion - typical of the Caucasian bio-region.
... And not only Armenia: Georgia and its unexplored folklore
Tbilisi: rebuilt 29 times during its turbulent history in the Georgian capital strikes visitors with its bold architecture with tangled alleys, the traces of its stormy history and its spicy food.
Some destinations not to be miissed:
-the medieval city of Narikala is the ancient town fortress, today the main landmark in the capital
The historical district of Metekhi containsis home to the homonymous church overlooking the river Mt'k'vari
- the sulphurous thermal baths offer a chance to relax since the time of the founding of the city and are at the origin of its name
...And moreover ....
Interactive experiences in contact with the Armenian people and its culture:
courses of traditional cuisine and visits to local artisans' workshops, to learn and try yourself the techniques developed by the millenary armenian handicraft, from the weaving of a traditional rug to handmade clay moulding.
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