THE IMPERIAL TOWNS
An holiday in Morocco means history and discovering its old towns as Rabat, Marrakech, Meknès and Fès. Ancient cultures, hues, architectures, wonderful old palaces, Madrasse (Koran schools), gardens, scented souks (markets) with a lot of animation…. that means Morocco, a charming country that will touch your heart with its landscapes and the kindness of its people.
The Morocco capital is the an immortal symbol of the country, surrounded by extremely long ochre walls, where scented hibiscus grown.
Rabat is a perfect mixture among tradition and modernity. A walk along the town will permit to discover the Royal Palace Hassan II, nowadays the center of the National Government; gardens in flower everywhere, the most beautiful are the Oudayas and the one close to the Chellah a necropolis. Not far from the town you can see the Mamora Forest where they live a large number of migrant birds on its cork- trees, eucalyptus and acacia trees.
The story of the town started during the 1150 when the sultan Abd al- Mumin built a mosque and a fortress on the top of a cliff: ribat in Arabic language means fortress or monastery.
From the 1956 is the political capital of the country; discovering the town you can’t forget to visit the huge gate, the Hassan Mosque (unfinished), the Mohamed V Mausoleum, that is the wonderful result of the skill of the local craftsmen.
Marrakeck… the red town
The second town of Morocco for importance, is a cultural center and a famous tourist destination, in the past times was the capital of the country, and nowadays is a lively town, well known for its souks (markets and shops), full of hues and life.
The main square Djemaa el- Fna is the heart of the town: here you can find and see Berber tradesmen, street singers, strolling dentists, snake- charmers, tumblers, musicians and during the evenings the square become an open restaurant.
During your trip you can’t miss a visit to the wonderful town monuments: the Saadiane tombs, the Koutoubia minaret (one of the most interesting mosque of the country), surrounded by beautiful gardens.
The Marrakech Art Museum belongs to the 14th century, Dar Si Said– Museum of Moroccan Arts with its large art and ethonographic collection from Atlas Mountains as jewels, wood works of the 14th and 17th centuries, High Atlas Berber carpets, Safi and Tamegroute pottery and leather crafts from Marrakech.
Bahia Palace was built during the 1867 by the Grand Vizier Moulay Hassan, enlarged by his son, later on he decided to add a mosque, a garden and a Turkish bath, the ancient ruins of al- Badi Palace with its large and huge courtyard, long and wide 100 meters circa, with a bathing pool of 90 meters and precious zellj decorations. From this Palace you can easily walk to discover the Mellah, its origin belongs to the 1558 and it was the Jewish ghetto.
The Saadiane Tombs are a wonderful funeral building, built by the sultan Ahmad al- Mansour, from here you can reach the Kasbah, the old part of the town with a lot of lanes.
The Majorelle Garden are located in the new part of the town, the name belongs to the French artist Jacques Majorelle, that during the 1919 decided to come in Morocco and to live in Marrakech. He collected a large number of plants and nowadays the garden is so rich of cactuses, banana trees, coconut palms, bamboo, coconut trees and jasmines.
A little town not so far from Fès, its history was so famous between the 17th and 18th centuries, when during the kingdom of Moulay Ismail it became capital and was definite the Versailles of Morocco.
Today its Medina is part of the UNESCO World Heritage, the town is quiet and silent, was built on the top of an hill and surrounded by huge walls and from a fruitful valley where people cultivate wheat and cereals.
During your walk around the town you can’t miss a visit to the Mellah, Jewish ghetto, or to see the wonderful Bab El Mansour gate, the Madrasa Ban Inania belongs at the 1350 (is a Koran school), with wonderful wood carving walls and zellij decorations.
A walk along the Medina will permit to discover different souks (markets or shops): one is dedicate to the carpets, the other to the weavers, another to the joiners.
The Imperial Word belong to the 1677 year, there were more than fifty palaces, nowadays you can see only the ruins of them, while Dar el Makhzen Palace is not open to the tourists, because it is one of the King Residence.
For the not muslin people there is the opportunity to have a visit to the Moulay Ismail Mausoleo a religious monument rich of fine zellij ceramic decorations, and valuable plasters. Not far from Meknès you can go to discover the Holy Town of Moulay Idriss and the famous archeological Roman ruins of Volubis town.
Fes culture and tradition
Fes is the cultural capital of Morocco and a well known touristic destination, is the spiritual, cultural, artisan center of the country.
The town is divided in two parts Fès el Jèdid (the new town) and Fès el Bali (the old town).
The three most important parts of the city are: the old Medina, the new one and the French quarter built during the 19th century and named Ville Nouvelle with large squares and airy streets.
In the Medina you will discover a lot of souks (markets and shops), where the people sell: animals, flowers, vegetables, handicrafts and everywhere you can breathe the scent of the cedar wood. You can easily reach the new Medina with a walk crossing some gardens, it is enclosed by walls with wonderful gates in the middle.
Between the two Medinas there is the Kasbah Cherada, in the pastimes was a fortress, today an University, is the oldest of the whole town.
The old Jewish ghetto, Mellah, has close to it a burial- ground; unforgettable the Ban Inania Medersa (Koran school) with its magnificent Imperial taste and the famous tanneries with the basins for the pigments and where they work the undressed leather open air.
The Royal Palace is one of the King Residences, with its wonderful gold doors (was built between the 1969 to the 1972), is close to the new Medina.
The local airport is only 15 Kilometers far from the town, you can reach it by taxi, by shuttle buses (they leave every hour).
Some low cost companies flight from the main European airports to Fès, as Atlas Blue, Jet4you and Ryanair; from Italy there are some regular flights from Bergamo Orio al Serio and Pisa with Ryanair company.