Alluring monumental capital of the United States
Bordering the states of Maryland and Virginia, on the east coast of the American Continent, the district of Columbia (abbreviated to D.C.) is home to Washington, the capital of the USA, which lies some 50 kilometres from the sea. The beating heart of Washington, which takes its name from the first president of the United States who is still very much revered by the Americans, is The National Mall, a long park dotted with and surrounded by numerous Neoclassical-inspired monuments constructed mostly of white marble.
Washington. Photo: ©, Shutterstock
The most famous building of all is obviously the White House, seat of the offices and residence of the President of the United States of America, which is also open to the public. Near the Mall is the extraordinary reservoir of Tidal Basin, where in spring the Cherry Blossom Festival takes place, which transforms the area into a spectacle of pink and white.  
Washington. Photo: ©, Shutterstock
Washington not only offers spacious, manicured green spaces, but also succeeds in marrying, with great elegance, its historic past with today’s world, as evidenced by the city’s futuristic buildings. It displays all its glories with pride to visitors; the numerous imposing buildings, statues and places of worship were built not just to exalt the capital, but the entire United States.
Washington. Photo: ©, Shutterstock
In the centre of the Mall, standing tall, is the city’s highest building at 169 metres: the Washington Monument, which is surrounded by the United States Capitol with its white dome, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial, as well as the Smithsonian Museums, which are among the most famous and visited in the entire United States.
Washington. Photo: ©, Shutterstock
Important museums include the National Air and Space Museum, the American Museum of Art, and the National Museum of African Art, as well as the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The history of the United States is told through the World War II Memorial and the memorial dedicated to Martin Luther King, as well as the memorials to the veterans of the Vietnam and Korean Wars, pages of history sculpted in stone to reflect national pride. Lastly, for lovers of art there is a vast and unexpected selection of museums that are all free to the public and for the most part belong to the Smithsonian Foundation, which was founded by the British scientist James Smithson (1765-1829) to increase and diffuse knowledge.
Washington. Photo: ©, Shutterstock
Shopping enthusiasts should head for the elegant Georgetown district, a striking area of Federal-style buildings, which is filled with the stores of American designers and small antique shops. A lunch break can be taken in the seafood restaurants along the river and a memorable evening enjoyed in one of the traditional bars or lounge clubs offering live music. Another enjoyable experience is a water taxi ride along the Potomac River, on which Washington sits, which offers a truly unique look at the city in just under an hour.
Meat is a local culinary speciality, which is often served as hamburgers in famous steak houses, but also fish, in particular prawns and oysters. There is a wide variety of cuisines, including French, Indian, Mexican, Chinese and even African, because Washington is truly a multiethnic city. The locally produced craft beers are excellent and well worth tasting.
Prawns and oysters
Craft beers
Photo: ©, Shutterstock
Exciting tours of Washington, by bike, on foot or by bus, are available, so that visitors can fully enjoy the city’s extraordinary sights, during which they’re sure to find beauty around every corner. Even nightlife in the city has a truly special atmosphere: many landmarks are lit up after dark and dozens of bars and restaurants offering drinks and local specialities are open until dawn.
Text by Anna Glik
Avion Tourism Magazine
Photos: ©, Shutterstock
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Where to sleep in Washington

Washington. Photo: ©, Shutterstock


Washington is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.

To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks


Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
WHERE TO GO in Washington
Monuments in Washington
The Capitol Building sits at the eastern end of the National Mall and is the official seat of two branches of the United States Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Crypt, a large room with forty columns that support the floor of the Rotunda, is extremely beautiful. A star inlaid in the floor marks the point from which the streets of Washington are laid out and numbered. The Rotonda features a painting that depicts the Apotheosis of George Washington, who is portrayed as a deity, while the eight niches in the sides portray various significant episodes in history including “The Declaration of Independence”. 
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The White House is one of oldest and without doubt the most important building in Washington, and the centre of political power of the country. To visit the inside, in groups of ten people, a formal request must be made to the Italian Embassy in Washington.
Alternatively, there is a Visitor Center which offers a virtual tour of the interiors, showing the rooms magnificently decorated in various colours (green room, red room, etc..,), and an exhibition of objects belonging to the various presidents. The request can also be made via the website.  
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Positioned in the centre of National Mall, this extremely tall column pays homage to the first President of the United States.
Designed by Robert Mills, its construction began in 1848 and ended in 1884, and used different marble quarries, hence its two-colour appearance. An elevator takes visitors to the top to enjoy the perfect symmetry of Washington’s streets and a stunning view of the entire city.
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Located in the wonderful Tidal Basin, this is a small classical-inspired memorial to Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, statesman and author of the Declaration of Independence, which was dedicated to him in 1943 by the-then President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The classical reference in the style pays further homage to the character of Thomas Jefferson, who loved and studied architecture.
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Museums in Washington
Like many museums in the city, this museum is part of the Smithsonian Foundation and one of the most popular in the United States with about 7 million visitors a year. It exhibits the largest collection of aviation and space artefacts in the world, with rare examples – some of which are original, others faithfully reconstructed – such as Lindberg’s aircraft, which was the first to complete a non-stop flight from New York to Paris. Visitors can also watch a film clip of Neil Armstrong during his moon mission
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The National Gallery of Art in Washington is one of the largest art museums in the world with some 150,000 works including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and photos. Divided into three sections, if features works that cover 700 years of art history, including European and New World examples. Names such as Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Picasso share space with Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci and many others of the Renaissance period. The Sculpture Garden, which covers some six hectares, is also extremely interesting. 
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The halls of the National Museum of America History of Washington, under the star-spangled banner, recount all aspects of the history of the United States: social, political, cultural, scientific and military. On the third floor, an interesting exhibition presents the public, but also personal life of all Presidents of the USA. The famous statue of George Washington in a classical pose with references to Apollo, which was commissioned for the centenary of the birth of the first president, is also found here. 
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Located in L’Enfant Plaza, this curious, interesting museum features stories, testimonies, intrigues, documents and systems relating to international espionage concerning Asia, Europe, Middle East and America.
Interactive elements allow visitors to put themselves in the shoes of a spy with all the suitable tools. Film clips tell the stories of some of the world’s most famous international spies.
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in digital version
On this issue: The World Heritage Sites of Basilicata and Puglia.
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