On the Rocks: World's Cliff-Hanging Wonders

Like your views on the rocks? Check out these dramatic works of architecture, perched high on cliffs, mountains, plateaus and more. Living on the edge never looked so good.

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11 Photos
Burano Island

Burano Island

An island in Northern Italy's Venetian Lagoon, Burano is a 40-minute motorboat ride away from Venice. The quiet village is known for its brightly colored homes and authentic, handmade lace that can cost $1,000 to $2,000 for a 10-inch doily. 960 1280

Phant / iStock / Thinkstock   

Doge's Palace

Doge's Palace

More than a million people visit Doge’s Palace each year. The palace, once home to the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice, is now one of 11 museums run by the Fondazione Musei civici di Venezia, a foundation that manages and develops the cultural and artistic heritage of Venice and its islands. 960 1280

Vitaly Edush / iStock / Thinkstock   

Dolomites Mountains

Dolomites Mountains

Looking for adventure? From late spring to early autumn, the Dolomites mountains become a tourist mecca for mountain biking, base jumping, hang gliding, paragliding and hiking. The mountain range, located in northeastern Italy, is also the spot for skiing in the winter. 960 1280

VV-pics / iStock / Getty Images  

Hotel Gritti Palace

Hotel Gritti Palace

This luxe hotel was once home to Andrea Gritti, the Duke of Venice from 1523 to 1538. International royalty, rock stars and literary giants have stayed at the Hotel Gritti Palace -- the most luxurious and classiest hotel on the Grand Canal in Venice. The rooms have tented curtains over tall windows, inlaid antique furnishings and ornate built-in dressers hand-painted in 18th-century Venetian style. 960 1280

Hotel Gritti Palace  

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo

We recommend skiers visit Cortina d’Ampezzo. This popular winter sports resort town is known for its ski ranges, shops and après-ski scene. Nestled in an alpine valley surrounded by the Alps, Cortina was also a popular movie location for films including The Pink Panther, Cliffhanger and the James Bond flick For Your Eyes Only. 960 1280

Anzeletti / E+ / Getty Images  

Aqua Palace Hotel

Aqua Palace Hotel

Located in Venice’s Castello Quarter, the luxurious Aqua Palace Hotel is a 4-star hotel that strikes a perfect balance between traditional Venetian style and the modern comforts of home, along with beautiful panoramic views of the city. The hotel’s convenient location provides guests easy access to the Grand Canal via a gondola ride or fun sightseeing to visit nearby tourist attractions, including Doge’s Palace, the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square. 960 1280

LE Hotels  

Handcrafted Glass

Handcrafted Glass

Take a half-day trip to the Murano and Burano islands to learn how handcrafted glass and lace are made. Glassmakers use a unique technique called lampworking, where a torch or lamp is used to melt the glass. In a molten state, the glass is then formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Murano Island

Murano Island

Visit beautiful Murano, an island located off the shore of Venice, Italy. Glassmaking in Murano may have originated in Rome during the 8th century, with significant Asian and Muslim influences; by the 10th century, Murano had developed a strong reputation for the craft. 960 1280

Kaetana / iStock / Getty Images  

Romantic Gondola Ride

Romantic Gondola Ride

A trip to Venice wouldn’t be quite as perfect without a romantic gondola ride through a quiet canal. A standard gondola ride is usually 40 minutes, but the fare can be expensive. We recommend negotiating for a shorter trip during the day, when fares are lower than at night. 960 1280

Digitaler Lumpensammler / Moment / Getty Images  

Locanda Cipriani

Locanda Cipriani

Stay at a Locanda Cipriani for a romantic getaway. Once a rustic wine shop, this country inn was where literary great Ernest Hemingway wrote Across the River and Into the Trees. The Santa Fosca room seemed to inspire him the most, with its original oak floors and balcony overlooking the garden. Owned by the Cipriani family, the inn has been open for business on the corner of the lagoon -- known as Torcello -- since the late 1920s. 960 1280

Clay Morrions, flickr   

St. Mark's Square

St. Mark's Square

Visit one of the world’s most beautiful squares, Piazza San Marco, aka St. Mark’s Square. Located in the heart of Venice, the Piazzetta is an extension of the Piazza toward the lagoon. These 2 spaces combined form the social, religious and political center of the city. 960 1280

Moment / Getty Images  

Guinness

Guinness

A trip to Dublin wouldn’t be complete without a properly poured pint at the Guinness Storehouse, Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction. 960 1280

Damien du Toit through Flickr Creative Commons  

Time for a pint?

Time for a pint?

This Dublin sign asks the question that you were probably already asking yourself. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Nude food

Nude food

Why have “dressed” food when you could have “nude” food? 960 1280

Salim Virji through Flickr Creative Commons  

Bailey's Irish Cream

Bailey's Irish Cream

This Dublin sign promotes another world-famous Irish beverage, Bailey’s Irish Cream. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Why Go Bald

Why Go Bald

This sign, advertising a hair and skin clinic, was about to be removed and trashed when it was rescued and restored by the original sign maker. The “Why Go Bald” sign is so popular that it even has a Facebook fan page, and U2’s Bono claims that it’s his favorite Dublin landmark. 960 1280

William Murphy through Flickr Creative Commons  

Karma

Karma

This sign reminds Dubliners to recycle, because, well, it’s just good karma. 960 1280

William Murphy through Flickr Creative Commons  

Paddy Power

Paddy Power

This Paddy Power (an Irish bookmaking chain) location changed its name to O'Bama Power in honor of the US President and First Lady’s visit to Dublin. 960 1280

William Murphy through Flickr Creative Commons  

Saletime

Saletime

What time is it? Apparently, it’s saletime! Do you really need any more information than that? 960 1280

UggBoy?UggGirl through Flickr Creative Commons  

Irish pub

Irish pub

Apparently, this Irish pub doesn’t just serve food, it serves “good food.” 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Stop sign

Stop sign

When in Dublin, make sure you wear your parachute while driving, in preparation for when you may need to eject from your moving vehicle while it’s falling off a cliff into water. 960 1280

Jacob Tarrao through Flickr Creative Commons  

Restaurant sign

Restaurant sign

What more could you need? 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Leprechaun Museum

Leprechaun Museum

This helpful sign points you in the right direction of the “Louvre of leprechauns.” 960 1280

Ben Sutherland through Flickr Creative Commons  

Hairy Lemon Pub

Hairy Lemon Pub

This pub was named after a Dublin street character of the 1950s, a haggard-looking dog catcher who was said to have a face that resembled a hairy lemon. 960 1280

Aapo Haapanen through Flickr Creative Commons  

Free Beer

Free Beer

This seems like a pretty great deal to us! 960 1280

Tarjei Hanken through Flickr Creative Commons  

Dublin store

Dublin store

We’re not sure what kind of adults you can get on final clearance, nor are we curious to find out. 960 1280

Steve-h through Flickr Creative Commons  

12 Photos
Spiral Staircase in Vatican Museum

Spiral Staircase in Vatican Museum

The Vatican museum's double-helix staircase, with its spectacular handrail, was designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932. The double-helix design allows traffic to flow unimpeded as visitors ascend on one set of stairs and descend on the other. 960 1280

Eric VANDEVILLE, Getty Images  

Saint Peter's Square

Saint Peter's Square

While it's normally uncrowded, Saint Peter's Square can be filled to capacity on special occasions, such as the Holy Mass and canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. 960 1280

VINCENZO PINTO, AFP, Getty Images  

Galleria Doria Pamphilj

Galleria Doria Pamphilj

The Galleria Doria Pamphilj houses a grand collection of paintings, furniture and statuary. It's one of the largest private art collections in Rome. 960 1280

photogolfer, Shutterstock.com  

Campo de Fiori

Campo de Fiori

Shop for clothes, produce and more in the plaza at Campo de Fiori. 960 1280

Christian Mueller, Shutterstock.com  

Procession of Madonna in Trastevere

Procession of Madonna in Trastevere

During Trastevere's annual 'Festa de Noantri,' a statue of the Madonna Fiumarola is carried through the streets. 960 1280

Stefano Montesi, Getty Images  

Caffe Greco

Caffe Greco

Enjoy a wonderful cappuccino from Rome's famous Caffe Greco at Via Condotti. 960 1280

Franco Origlia, Getty Images  

Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs

Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs

Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri - the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs. 960 1280

Tupungato, Shutterstock.com  

Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven

Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven

The Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli (Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven) features a gilded ceiling as well as religious artwork and artifacts. 960 1280

TTstudio, Shutterstock.com  

Vatican's Swiss Guards

Vatican's Swiss Guards

The Vatican's Swiss Guards are an elite group of soldiers entrusted with the protection of the city. 960 1280

Riccardo De Luca, Anadolu Agency, Getty Images  

Pantheon in Rome

Pantheon in Rome

A ray of sunlight illuminates the central door of the Pantheon through the dome, which is open to the heavens. 960 1280

Andreas Solaro, Getty Images  

Rome's Spanish Steps

Rome's Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps are one of Rome's most popular meeting places. 960 1280

Giorgio Cosulich, Getty Images  

Palazzo Altemps

Palazzo Altemps

The inner courtyard of the Palazzo Altemps, seat of the National Museum of Rome, features a number of impressive sculptures. 960 1280

DEA / G. DAGLI ORTI, Getty Images  

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