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Get to the top of the Sydney Tower and climb upon the Skywalk to get a breathtaking view of Sydney. Open on all days of the week, the glass-floor platform is set at the highest point of the city and a visit to the attraction is adventurous enough to give you a chill down the spine. Call for group bookings and more information.
The main aim of the Italian Institute of Culture (I.I.C.) is to spread and promote the language, history, and of course, the cultural significance of Italy to the people of Australia. Using art and science as tools for education, the ICC works with art galleries and other venues to expose the public to Italy's rich heritage.
At the western end of the magnificent Queen Victoria Building in downtown Sydney, next to an imposing statue of the lady herself, is a rather unusual wishing well. It features a bronze statue of the Queen's favourite dog, Islay, a Skye Terrier. He is raised on his hind paws, cast in bronze with realistic fur and panting mouth. And he has been given the power of speech. Or rather, he has been given a recorded message by radio personality John Laws which broadcasts every few minutes asking passers-by to throw a coin into the well and make a wish. Islay raises thousands of dollars for the NSW Institute for Deaf and Blind children every year. Not bad for a statue.
Located on Australia’s eastern coast, Sydney is a beautiful city perched on the shores of the largest natural harbor in the world. The area in which Sydney now stands has been home to indigenous Australians since the Upper Paleolithic period, which began some 50,000 years ago. It was not until 1788 that British explorers first sailed into Port Jackson and founded a penal colony on the site where the Sydney skyline now soars. Today, visitors to this harbor-side city have plenty to see and do. From the Royal Botanic Gardens to the magnificent Opera House, there is much to explore in Sydney.
Designed by Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, the first Australian artist to be knighted, The Cenotaph, located between Pitt and George Streets, is the ceremonial focus for remembering the war dead during the 1st World War. It sits in a wide, simple space, designed not to detract from the symbolism. It is the centerpiece of wreath-laying ceremonies and dawn service on ANZAC Day, April 25. To the cenotaph's south is inscribed, "To Our Glorious Dead" and the north of the structure bears the inscription "Lest We Forget". Prior to Martin Place becoming a pedestrian thoroughfare, the Centotaph was located in the middle of the road.
Sydney Town Hall symbolically reflects the city's origins as Australia's oldest settlement. While the building was constructed in two stages between 1866-75 and 1883-88, the latter, with its Second Empire architecture and ornate clock tower, is more ornate. The building was crafted out of local Sydney sandstone and features several sections of note, including the Centennial Hall, the Vestibule, and the Council Chambers. The Centennial Hall houses the Sydney Town Hall Grand Organ, which is heralded as the largest pipe organ with tubular pneumatic action in the world. Visitors can explore the building on guided tours that depart from the Town Hall steps. Highlights include the Vestibule, the Centennial Hall, the North and South Staircases, the Council Chambers and the Lady Mayoress' Room, together with the Town Hall's extensive collection of paintings and silverware.
Offering everything from designer fashions and the obligatory Aussie surf gear, to trendy home wares and unusual souvenirs, tourists and locals are spoiled for choice by the huge number of shops, arcades and department stores lining the streets from Circular Quay up to Town Hall. Pitt Street Mall (halfway up Pitt Street) is pedestrianized, and boasts many shopping centers including the Strand Arcade, Mid-City Centre and Sky Garden. The Queen Victoria Building on George Street is notable for both its history and its designer boutiques, whilst David Jones on Elizabeth Street is perhaps one of the most reputable department store names in Australia. Amongst the designer chic and well-known chain stores are several outlets stocking cheap souvenirs and "bargain" goods. There are also endless eateries and restaurants offering everything from fast food to modern Australian cuisine, and pubs, cinemas and theaters for night-time entertainment once the shops have closed. Loosely defined as the city center, the streets stretching from Circular Quay up to Town Hall, offer a plethora of shopping experiences. Encompassing the arcades of Pitt Street and the stately Queen Victoria Building, this is retail therapy at its best.
Located on Sydney's historic Macquarie Street, Parliament House comprises a complex of buildings, which date from 1816 through to the mid-1980's. The guided tour is only available on Parliamentary non-sitting days and includes The Legislative Council Chamber (Upper House) and The Legislative Assembly (Lower House). Another feature (again subject to availability) is the Jubilee Room, which displays objects from the Parliamentary Collection as well as an overview of the restoration and redevelopment of the complex. Bookings are essential. Admission is free.