The best sights along the east coast of Italy

MY WIFE AND I INTEND TO TRAVEL SOUTH ALONG THE EAST COAST OF ITALY BY RAIL FOR ABOUT THREE WEEKS FROM RIMINI TO BRINDISI IN APRIL. ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR MUST-SEES AND IN WHICH TOWNS TO STAY. P. FLYNNE, POTTSVILLE NSW

Even better would be to start in Ravenna, just a little north of Rimini, and take in some of the wonderful mosaics in its churches, which must surely rate among the most wonderful collections of early Christian artworks. For several hundred years this was the capital of the Western Roman Empire, a role that left it bestowed with an artistic treasury, don't miss it.

Rimini is essentially a beach resort and in April the city will be slumberous, although it does have a wonderful Roman museum, a grandiose cathedral in the Tempio Malatestiano and a Roman triumphal arch commissioned by Emperor Augustus.

Pesaro is another beach resort although it's worth stopping just for the architectural wonders of the Piazza del Popolo. South is a string of seaside towns that come alive in the summer, Civitanova Marche, San Benedetto del Tronto, Pescara and Termoli. Further south Barletta is a real gem with a great history and well worth stopping for a couple of nights, and the same applies to Bari. Rather than stopping at Brindisi you'd be well advised to continue to Lecce, one of the gems of the Puglia region.

Three weeks is a long time to devote to this journey. In April I'd be more inclined to start in the south to take advantage of the better weather and work your way north. You might even consider a side trip to take in the Croatian coast and its islands, easily done with a ferry trip from Ancona to Split.

TIPOLOGIST

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