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The biggest attraction here are the flames coming out of vents in the mountainside. According to legend, the monster Chimera, which had three fire-spewing heads, was chased by the Lycian hero Bellerophon on his winged horse Pegasus. He killed the monster, but the fire-spewing heads fell on the mountain where they still burn.
Centrally located Umbria's principal cities include Spoleto, Assisi, and Terni. The capital, Perugia, is famed for its chocolate. Take a tour bus or prepare for daredevil Italian drivers if you opt to rent a car. Assisi's Basilica has a host of treasures, including works by Giotto. The town is also home to the crypt of St. Clare, patron saint of television. St. Francis' meditation retreat is in the mountains to the north. Classes at Velia's Cooking Style in Terni make good use of local produce.
Distinctive architecture, sun-drenched resorts and eclectic small towns dot Andalusia, a dry, mountainous region of southern Spain that maintains echoes of its Moorish occupation. Spring and fall bring balmy temperatures, ideal for visiting Seville's cathedral, the world's largest Gothic structure, and the 1200-year-old mosque in Córdoba. Romantics love Granada, home to the Alhambra fortress and an inspiration to the late poet Federico García Lorca. Don't miss a dip in the sea along the Costa del Sol.
Culture and scenery collide in Gran Canaria’s cosmopolitan capital, where baroque Spanish plazas and lively pedestrian malls are flanked by miles of urban beaches on two sides. Cruise ships, yachts, sunbathers, and surfers all congregate in the sheltered bays against a backdrop of colorful resorts.