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There are some cities that have always been famous for their beauty, their history and their culture.
Then there are those that have been in the shadows for years and are now experiencing their finest hour: the moment of rebirth. This is what is happening to Tirana, the capital of Albania, which in recent years has been undergoing radical change, becoming a modern metropolis hiding treasures from the past.
A RICH HISTORY
The city was founded by the Turks and then became a communist state; it reflects exactly that mix of origins, giving them a touch of elegance and variety. One example is the famous Skanderbeg Square—captivating due to its considerable size—where you will find the Clock Tower, the symbol of the city, from the top of which you can admire a view of the entire capital. Nearby is the Et'hem Bey Mosque, famous for its elegant colored decorations, one of the many religious buildings that adorn the city center, like the Catholic St. Paul's Cathedral and the Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral.
To get a deeper understanding of all that this now large metropolis one was, visit the National History Museum, with its collections of treasures and memories of the Ottoman and communist eras, the Archaeological Museum and the International Center of Culture, better known as the Pyramid, which is particularly interesting due to its architecture. Last, but not least, admire the fascinating ruins of the Fortress of Justinian, a castle from the Byzantine era.
FUN AND FOOD
Tirana is also a place where fun is always in fashion. Wander through the Blloku district, the hub of local nightlife, sampling the many bars and venues in the area, or the Central Market, the symbol of daily culinary life. Here you can taste many traditional products like cheeses, meat and raki, a very aromatic spirit.
As with the culture, the different influences of neighboring countries are also evident in the cuisine. Traditional dishes include meze, unique dishes of second courses and rice, fërgesë, fried meat served with cheese and garlic, and tave me qofte, spiced meatballs. For those who like to finish with something sweet, we recommend baklava, puff pastry desserts with dried fruit and honey, and kadaif, sweet spaghetti served in a variety of ways.
Discover all aspects of the wonderful Tirana; book an Alitalia flight now to the city that really does have something for everyone.