Oggi ascolterete e leggerete un brano che parla della capitale del Regno Unito( United Kingdom ), Londra (London). Metropoli affascinante in cui si fondono armonicamente antico e moderno, Londra richiama ogni anno milioni di turisti da tutto il mondo ed è la capitale europea più visitata.
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London is an extraordinary and varied city. Though it is very old (its Roman name was Londinium), it is also one of the most modern cities in the world. Some streets are noisy and full of traffic, others are quiet, with beautiful, green parks.
Some buildings date from 1066, others are modern and new-fashioned.
Let us have a look at some of the interesting things a tourist may see when visiting London.
The Tower of London is in the east part of the city. It is a large Norman fortress, in which many famous people have been imprisoned and killed. In the Tower there is a collection of crowns, rings and sceptres, called the Crown Jewels. Special guard, called the Beefeaters, and several black birds, called ravens, live there. The legend says that when the ravens leave the town, the Tower will be destroyed.
Near the Tower there is a bridge which opens in the middle to let ships pass through: it is called “Tower Bridge“.
Westminster Abbey is one of the oldest churches in London. Here the Kings and Queens of England are crowned with wonderful ceremonies: here many famous English people, Kings, Queens, statesmen and poets are buried.
Trafalgar Square is a fine square, full of people and friendly pigeons. There are two big fountains in the square, and people jump into them on New Year’s Eve.
At one end of the square there is the National Gallery which contains famous paintings from all over the world.
Also the British Museum contains things from different countries: parts of Greek temples, mummies from the ancient Egypt, objects from Babylon and ancient Rome.
Piccadilly Circus is not far from Trafalgar Square. The road junction is famous for its neon advertisements at night. It is also the centre of entertainment: theatres, cinemas, restaurants of all types are in this part of the town.
Buckingham Palace, built in 1703 by the Duke of Buckingham, is where the Queen lives. It is not a beautiful building, but tourists can sometimes see the Queen, and they can see the ceremony of the Changing of the Guard at the gates of the palace every day at 11.30.
In Madame Tussaud’s tourists can see images of famous people made of wax and dresses in real clothes: Henry VIII and his six wives, Elizabeth Taylor and the Beatles, Luciano Pavarotti and Barbra Streisand: they are all here. There is also a display of horrifying events in the Chamber of Horrors.
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