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  • Palermo

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    Palermo (; ; , from ) is a city of Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Metropolitan City of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old. Palermo is located in the northwest of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Palermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city was founded in 734 BC by the Phoenicians as Ziz. Palermo then became a possession of Carthage. Two Greek colonies were established, known collectively as Panormos or "All-Port"; the Carthaginians used this name on their coins after the 5th centuryBC. As Panormus, the town became part of the Roman Republic and Empire for over a thousand years. From 831 to 1072 the city was under Arab rule during the Emirate of Sicily when the city first became a capital. The Arabs shifted the Greek name into Bal'harm (), the root for Palermo's present-day name. Following the Norman reconquest, Palermo became the capital of a new kingdom (from 1130 to 1816), the Kingdom of Sicily and the capital of the Holy Roman Empire under Emperor Frederick II and King Conrad IV. The population of Palermo urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 855,285, while its metropolitan area is the fifth most populated in Italy with around 1.2 million people. In the central area, the city has a population of around 676,000 people. The inhabitants are known as Palermitani or, poetically, panormiti. The languages spoken by its inhabitants are the Italian language and the Palermitano dialect of the Sicilian language. Palermo is Sicily's cultural, economic and tourism capital. It is a city rich in history, culture, art, music and food. Numerous tourists are attracted to the city for its good Mediterranean weather, its renowned gastronomy and restaurants, its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque churches, palaces and buildings, and its nightlife and music. Palermo is the main Sicilian industrial and commercial center: the main industrial sectors include tourism, services, commerce and agriculture. Palermo currently has an international airport, and a significant underground economy. In fact, for cultural, artistic and economic reasons, Palermo was one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean and is now among the top tourist destinations in both Italy and Europe. It is the main seat of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale. The city is also going through careful redevelopment, preparing to become one of the major cities of the Euro-Mediterranean area. Roman Catholicism is highly important in Palermitano culture. The Patron Saint of Palermo is Santa Rosalia whose Feast Day is celebrated on 15 July. The area attracts significant numbers of tourists each year and is widely known for its colourful fruit, vegetable and fish markets at the heart of Palermo, known as Vucciria, Ballarò and Capo.

  • St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

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    The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is one of Florida's oldest continuously running attractions, having opened on May 20, 1893. Not only does it have 24 species of crocodilians, but also a variety of other reptiles, mammals and birds, as well as exhibits, animal performances and educational demonstrations.

  • Naples Zoo

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    The Naples Zoo (or more formally, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens) was opened in September 1969 in Naples, Florida, in what was once the gardens for botanist Dr. Henry Nehrling's collection of plants. The gardens were neglected after Nehrling's death, but reopened in 1954 by Julius Fleischmann. Animals were added by Larry and Jane Tetzlaff in 1969, and the gardens were reopened as a zoo attraction. The zoo has about 70 species, though not all of these are on display at any given time. The main path is about a mile long, and winds past the main animal exhibits through a tropical garden first planted in 1919. Primates in the zoo are housed on islands in a man made lake, and can be viewed from catamarans when visitors take the Primate Expedition Cruise. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is an institutional member of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK).

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