1. Immerse yourself in the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of Iran
As soon as you land in Tehran you realize that the idea that some people might have of Iran - a country that is not very hospitable - is completely misleading. In truth, it's all the opposite. The smile of the people is a good fact to dispel doubts and perplexities: wherever you go there is a warm welcome.
2. Walk through the majestic ruins of Persepolis
Persepolis is located 50 km north of the city of Shiraz. It was one of the capitals of the Achaemenid Empire, its construction began in 520 BC. under Darius I and lasted almost seventy years. The complex was never finished due to the invasion of Alexander the Great. After him, the first European to see and write was a Venetian diplomat, in 1473.
Persepolis is the most important archaeological site of the four that in the area. Its palaces stand on a 133,000 square meter platform and more than 12 meters high: no visitor expects such vastness, so much grandeur.
3. Let your gaze wander over the boundless spaces around the tomb of Cyrus the Great
Pasargadae is a city of ancient Persia; its ruins are located about 40 km northeast of Persepolis; the archaeological site is a World Heritage Site.
The most famous monument of Pasargadae is the tomb of Cyrus the Great. The sovereign was buried here after his death in the summer of 530 B.C. from his grave his gaze sweeps all around in a feeling of freedom and grandeur.
4. Admire the glance on the square of Isfahant
A city in central Iran with 1,600,000 inhabitants on the Zayandeh River, Isfahan is located in the Zagros Mountains, 1590 meters above sea level. Known for its architectural beauties and its public gardens, it became great in the 6th century under the Abbas I the Great Shah, which gave it an architectural imprint that is still visible today.
The heart of the city is the gigantic Imam Khomeini square, once called Meydān-e Shāh (Shah's Square) and today officially Meydān Naqsh-e Jahān Square Half of the World: a Persian adage claims that "Isfahān is half the world"). It is one of the largest squares in the world. Western visitors are speechless in front of its vastness, harmony, refined elegance of domes, mosques and palaces. The entire complex since 1979 is a World Heritage Site
5. Savor the Persian cuisine
Persian cuisine also appeals and surprises because it is very light. It is more refined and less known than the kitchens of other Middle Eastern countries. The flavors are complex, never too spicy, with a marked preference for combinations of meat and fruit (often dry), legumes and vegetables.
Basmati rice never fails to accompany the dishes. The dates of Bam and the different varieties of pistachios are also very popular.
6. Immerse in the millennial Friday Mosque
The Friday Mosque in Isfahan is probably the most important architectural expression of the Seljuk era (1038-1118). The two towers flanking the southern iwan and the two large domes stand out clearly on the city skyline.
Artistically, it is considered a masterpiece for the amalgam of the decorative compositions produced by the variety of the designs of bricks, the meticulous work of carving the stucco, the colored panels with geometric, floral and epigraphic motifs. Added to this is the greatness of the complex, which leaves visitors speechless
7. Walk among the tombs of the Kings
At the archaeological site of Naqsh-e Rajab, 5 km northwest of Persepolis, were the tombs of the great Persian kings: Darius I, Xerxes, Artaxerxes and others, with admirable sculptural representations and inscriptions, such as the so-called Res Gestae Divi Saporis, trilingual inscription that tells the victory of the Persian king Flavor on the Roman emperor Valeriano, who was captured. Equally beautiful and evocative, the tombs of the Achaemenid kings carved into the rock.
8. Ascend a tower of silence in Yazd
A city that boasts 3,000 years of history, Yazd today has 400 thousand inhabitants and is located in an oasis between two deserts. Known for its production of silk fabrics and sweets, it was the cradle of Zoroastrian religion and philosophy, prior to the 6th century BC.
The towers of silence are a key element of Zoroastrian culture and are made up of wooden scaffolds up to 10 meters high, which support a platform exposed to the winds. Originally their construction was linked to the deposition of corpses, today they are suggestive sentinels of the surrounding city and desert and stand out majestically against the backdrop of a mountain range, in a scenario of moving beauty.
9. Get lost in the bazaar shops in Isfahan
Isfahan bazaar is one of the largest and oldest in the Middle East. It dates back to the seventeenth century and its main road is over two km long. It is located on the outskirts of the old town, near Naqsh-e Jahan Square. The main entrance, the gate called Qeisarieh, is near the Friday Mosque. Like many oriental bazaars, it displays and sells a large quantity of craft and precious objects.
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