A Travellerspoint blog

Padua.

Padua is situated forty kilometers west of Venice. It is home to Italy' s second oldest university; founded in 1222. It is a pilgrimage city as well. In fact Padua is the resting place of saint Anthony (from Lisbon).

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Saint Anthony Basilica is one of the highlights in Padua.

It has been an important pilgrimage destination since the thirteenth century. Its construction begun in 1232 to house the tomb of saint Anthony. It was completed in 1307.

This church is located on the site where since 110 there was a church. This was incorporated into the basilica and now it is one of the chapels; the Chapel of the Black Madonna (Madonna Nera).

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Beside this chapel there are several other ones. One of these; the Chapel of Treasure, houses some body remains of saint Anthony. Its tongue, the vocal chords and jawbone. The Cappella dell' Arca hosts the the saint' s body. The basilica is not the city' s cathedral.

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This church is huge. It has eight domes and a couple of bell towers. It is very decorated with frescoes inside.

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The church has four cloisters; three of them are opened to visitors.

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Not far from saint Anthony Basilica there is a very large square; Prato della Valle.

Prato della Valle is said to be the second largest square in the world. At its centre there is a elliptical grassy island (isola Memmia). It is surrounded by a canal crossed by four stone bridges and lined by a 78 statues representing famous people.

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Originally this square housed a Roman theatre and later a fairground. Then it deteriorated into a swamp. In 1775 it was transformed into a 22 acre park.

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Various events are held in Prato della Valle; even a open air market every saturday. Every third sunday of the month a antiquity market is scheduled there.

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Caffe Pedrocchi is another sight to visit in Pauda.

The current building of this cafe was erected between 1826 and 1831. Some buildings were joined together to form this palace.

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Since the beginning of the '900 and until 1916 this cafe was opened 24 hours 24. For this reason it was called cafe without doors.

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On the ground floor this building housed a cafe. On the first floor several rooms were used for reading, games, dancing and for gatherings of wealthy people.

Today these rooms are open to visitors. They have different themes; as the Etruscan Room, the Egyptian Room and so on. On the ground floor of this palace there is a luxury cafe and a restaurant.

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The university of Padova is the second oldest in Italy. It was founded by a group of students and teachers who came from the university of Bologna.

Palazzo del Bo is the seat of the ancient university. This palace was originally built joining three houses dated to the XII century. They belonged to a wealthy man who gave them to a butcher as a gift. The butcher turned the houses into an inn that had a ox skull outside as a logo. This inn was located not far from some butchers shops. The name "Bo" means ox (bue; from the Latin Bove).

The main works of the university took place between 1542 ad 1601. Between 1920 and 1940 additions were made to the building.

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Some rooms of this palace are open to visitors but only on a guided tour. Pictures are not allowed into the palace. Inside you will see the Sala dei Quaranta with forty portaits of foreigners students and the desk from where Galileo Galilei taught mathematics and physics from 1592 to 1610. Another room to visit here is the Aula Magna. This large room is decorated with paintings and frescoes.

Another sight inside the Bo palace is a room with an anatomical theater. It was built in 1594. This structure has six balconies. Up to 300 students could stand on these to watch the teacher dissecting bodies.

In this picture you can see a model of the anatomical theater.

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Palazzo della Ragione is a large palace built between 1172 and 1218 to serve as law court and city council chamber. What we see today dates from 1306 to 1309.

Inside this building there is an enormous hall on the upper floor decorated with frescoes depicting astrological and religious themes. This hall is called " il Salone".

This hall is 82 meters long and 27 meters wide. It was painted with a cycle of frescoes by Giotto. In 1420 it was destroyed by a fire. Then it was rebuilt and turned into a single room. Originally the Salone was made of three rooms.

In 1756 a whirlwind damaged the frescoes and torn away the roof almost completely. The palace was restored again.

Inside this palace you can see also a big wooden horse built in 1466 and a stone called Pietra del Vituperio. Insolvent debtors had to sit on it in underwear three times before beign exiled. They had to say "cedo bonis" (I give away everything). If they dared to go back to Padua and they were caught they had to suffer the same retribution and three buckets of water were poured on their heads.

Under this building there is a market with lots of stalls where you can buy bread, pasta, meat, cheeses and other food. This area is called Sotto il Salone.

I didn' t take any pictures inside the palace because it was too dark. In this picture you see part of the open loggia of the palace.

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Palazzo della Ragione stands between two squares; piazza della Frutta and piazza delle Erbe.

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At piazza delle Erbe a daily market is scheduled every day except on sundays. This market is mostly about fruits, vegetables and flowers.

At piazza della Frutta you can find a market as well, but here they sell clothes, bags and accessories. There are also some stalls offering fruits and vegetables too, but not many. This market operates as the one at piazza delle Erbe.

These pictures were taken at piazza delle Erbe.

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As in Venice there is a Jewish Ghetto in Padua as well. It is practically a maze of narrow streets to the south of piazza delle Erbe. In this area the Jewish people were forced to live and work from 1603 to 1797. They could not leave it from 2 a. m.

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This area was closed by four gates controlled by two guardians; one Jewish and another Christian.

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Piazza dei Signori is a square situated some meters far from piazza delle Erbe and piazza della Frutta. Here the Palazzo della Signoria was situated. It was property of the Carraresi family; the lords of Padua from 1318 to 1405.

One of the palaces on this square is the Palazzo del Capitanio. This palace was the residence of the Venetian authority when Padua was under control of Venice.

This palace has a tower with a astronomical clock; originally buit in 1344 and rebuilt in 1477. Beside the palace you see the 14th century Loggia del Consiglio. It served as meeting place for the town's council.

Opposite the Palazzo del Capitano the church of saint Clemente is situated. It was built in 1190.

At piazza dei Signori there is a daily market as well (except on sundays). So it was difficult for me to take a decent picture due to the aboundance of stalls.

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Peace 'N Spice is a restaurants owned by some people coming from various Asian countries. Here they serve typical dishes from Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan and from other countries. I had lunch here twice. The food was good. I strongly recommend this restaurant.

Here, at lunch you can choose three or five dishes and a small drink for ten or for fifteen euros.

This restaurant is situated near piazza Capitaniato; at via Dondi dall' Orologio. To get there you can cross the torre del Orologio ' s portico and you are at piazza Capitaniato. Walk straight to the end of this square and you will find it on your right under some porticoes.

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Adagio is a small and beautiful shops located in via Caterino Davila at number 18. It is not far from Caffe Pedrocchi.

Here they sell chocolates and various kinds of sweet treats. Adagio is a good place to buy some presents in my opinion.

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Il 23 is one of the oldest record stores in Padova.

It is not a large shop but here you will find a large selection of compact dics and long playings; both new and used. There are also dvds, music cassettes and other items related to music at Il 23.

I never miss a visit to Il 23 when I visit Padova.

You can spot this shop from afar, because its windows are almost covered with records covers.

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As in Bologna, there is a long network of porticoes in Padua.

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Sugo is a cafe not far from the saint Anthony Basilica. It is a good place to have dinner. Well; I' d recommend to visit Sugo for the happy hour.

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The happy hour is a period of time; usually from 6 p. m. when you order a drink and you can help yourself with nibbles from the counter of a bar or a cafe.

At Sugo they usually have good nibbles for the happy hour; as pasta (noodles), small sandwiches, fries and other kinds of food. I usually had a not alcoholic cocktail made with apricot and juices at Sugo. I liked it a lot.

Posted by Maurizioagos 05:28 Archived in Italy Tagged padua veneto. Comments (4)

Bassano del Grappa.

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Bassano del Grappa takes its name from the nearby Monte (i. e. mount) Grappa. It is popular for an old bridge, for the production of grappa; a strong spirit distilled from the pomace of grapes used in winemaking. Bassano del Grappa is also well known for the ceramics.

In this town there are some museums to visit; as a museum of the town with paintings, statues et al and a museum of ceramics. There is even a museum about grappa!

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Ponte Vecchio (it means old bridge); also known as ponte degli Alpini is the highlight of Bassano del Grappa.

From the ancient times it was the main link between Bassano del Grappa and Vicenza.

It was originally designed by the Italian architect Andrea Palladio in 1569. A wooden bridge had existed there since at least 1209. It was destroyed several times by wars or by floods.

The current bridge was rebuilt after its destruction in WWII by the Alpini; Italy' s fighting brigade; hence the name ponte degli Alpini. The bridge was rebuilt after the original design by Andrea Palladio.

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Landscape seen from the bridge.

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Another picture taken from the bridge.

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Piazza della Libertà  is one of the town' s main squares. It is surrounded by Saint John Baptist church; by the town hall loggia and the buildings of the ancient print workshop Remondini. Saint John Baptist church was built in the XIV century and it was remodelled in the XVIIIth century.

On this square you can see two tall columns. These have two statues on top. One of them represents Saint Mark' s lion. The other is saint Bassiano' s statue. He is the town' s patron saint.

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There are also some shops and cafes on this square.

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Here you see some frescoes on a palace in piazza della Libertà.

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There is a network of porticoes in this town.

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You can see lots of frescoes in the old core of Bassano.

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You can also spot some odds statues...

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As I wrote, Bassano del Grappa is also popular for its ceramics. Here you see one of the shops where you can find a good choice of things made of ceramic.

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Every year, around the end of april or at the beginning of may; several small gardens are created in Bassano del Grappa. These are made by various local gardeners and by florists. This event is named "giardini a Bassano".

The gardens are located on various areas in Bassano, for four weeks.

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A contest named Cesoie d' Oro (its translation is golden shears) is scheduled during these days. Visitors can vote for their favourite garden. The one that gets more votes (or better...its creator) win a prize.

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You can get a useful map to know where the gardens are located, at the tourist office or at some cafes and restaurants.

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I usually have lunch at ristorante Trevisani when I visit Bassano del Grappa. It is housed into a old mansion.

It is not a budget restaurant, but if you ask for the menu of the day it will not cost you much. The menu of the day consists of a first course; pasta (noodles) or rice and a second course which is usually a dish with meat and some vegetables.

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This restaurant has two dining rooms.

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If you happen to be in Bassano del Grappa for some days, I would suggest a visit to Valstagna to spend some time at a beautiful park. Here there are some caves; the Oliero Caves.

One of these has various stallagtites to see. You' ll go inside it with a small boat. A guide who gives you an explanation about this cave and other info on the matter.

This small cave is home of the so-called "human fish" or proteus. It is a white-pink reptil that was brought there long ago in order to see if it was possible for this kind of being to survive and reproduce. The experiment was successful. Nowadays there are some proteus inside the cave. We didn' t see them, but we watched a documentary film about caves at the Museum of Speleology and Carsism outside the park.

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Inside the park there are some facilities as a cafe-restaurant, toilettes and a pic nic area.

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:43 Archived in Italy Tagged del grappa bassano oliero caves. Comments (5)

Arco di Trento.

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Arco di Trento; also called Arco, is a town situated around six kilometers north east from Riva del Garda.

It is overlooked by a Medieval castle. I still haven't visited it. I have read it is painted with some cycle of frescoes.

I visited Arco lots of times. It takes around an hour to get there from the village where I live.

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Piazza III novembre is Arco's main square. Here you see a large church; the colleggiata dell Assunta. It dates to the XVII century. It was built on the ruins of a previous church. beside it there is a big Baroque fountain; the Mose's fountain. It was built in the 1600.

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Opposite this fountain you see the town hall. It was the counts of Arco' s palace long ago. It was first built in the 1500, but the building you see dates to the 1700.

Opposite the church is Palazzo Giuliani Marcantoni. It was originally built in the late 1400 and rebuilt in the 1700. This palace houses the archives of Arco and is a place where civil weddings take place.

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Cazzaniga bookshop is surely more than a bookshop. In fact here you will find various stationery items and gadgets for lots of purposes. This is also a place to look for a nice present. This shop is located in via Segantini.

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This bookstore has a large choice of books on sale. There is even a room where you can sit and have a look at some books while having a drink.

Beverages are not sold here, but part of this bookshop serves as a room for the cafe which faces Arco main square.

Practically, the rear of this shop is part of a short arcade that ends inside the cafe. This arcade includes another shop. Unfortunately this arcade is closed from 1 to 3 p. m. because the shops are closed during these hours.

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The old core of Arco has lots of back streets to explore..

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In this town you can discover some nice things right in the old center.

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There is a beautiful park not very far from the town center. The Arboreto.

It was laid out inside the parco Arciducale in the 1960' s. This park was created by the archduke Albert of Absburg around 1872 on the grounds of his mansion.

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The Arboreto houses more than 150 species of trees and plants from all over the world. There is also a nice small lake with fishes and turtles here.

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There are even some green houses at the Arboreto.

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Near the Arboreto there is the Medieval area of Arco. Here you see narrow streets, lots of clustered houses and a small church. Long ago this area was inhabited mostly by farmers and artisans.

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To go to this area from piazza (square) III Novembre you can go to via (street) Vergolano until via Stranfora.

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Every year, in the main square in Arco a Christmas market is held.

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The market is made of lots of stall. Here you could find various items; as typical food, handmade creations (Christmas decorations, scarves...). As in other Christmas markets there are stalls where you can have some food and beverages.

A spot with some farm animals and a buggy train were some of the things you could find at this market.

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If you are going to stay some days in Arco or if you have some hours left you could visit a coffe factory; Omkafe.

At Omkafe they began to grind and sell coffee from 1947.

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Beside the factory here there is an interesting museum of coffee with various things related to it. Coffee grinders, coffee machines, cups et al.

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I suppose you can visit the factory on a guided tour. I am not sure.

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On the ground floor of the building there is a beautiful shop where you can buy sweets. mugs, tea strainers and various things.

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I could also have a complimentary cup of coffee at Omkafe.

Omkafe is situated on the outskirts of Arco.

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:38 Archived in Italy Tagged di arco trento. Comments (6)

Another visit to Marostica.

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Yesterday I was going to spend a day in Feltre. It is a beautiful town in the Veneto region. I have been lots of times there.

Unfortunately the only road I know to Feltre was closed. So I had to choose another destination for my day trip. I didn' t want to go back home!

My partner suggested to re visit Marostica and so we did.

It is a nice town located some miles from Bassano del Grappa. I wrote a post about this town here on Travellerspoint some time ago.

Marostica has two castles. The lower one; situated on the main square and the upper castle. This one overlooks the town.

A chess turnament played with persons is held every two years in this town. Marostica is mostly popular for this event.

After a stroll under the porticoes and some window shoppings I visited a couple of churches. Then I headed to the upper castle.

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I found a path to the castle and I had a very long walk. You have to walk uphill to get to the castle.

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I didn' t reacht it because I was tired and it was around lunch time. I suppose I wasn' far from the castle.

I enjoyed a lot the view from the wood. Yes, I found myself in a real wood.

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When I visit Marostica I usually have lunch at Caffè Centrale. It is one of the cafes - restaurants which stand under the porticoes in piazza Castello.

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I had polenta and cod fish for lunch. I liked it.

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After lunch, I went for a long stroll and at a certain point I discovered part of the walls of the castle and also a road that should takes to the castle.

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I also discovered a tower house. I am quite sure it is inhabited. This house is part of the walls.

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There are various porticoes in Marostica, Even the main square; piazza Castello is surrounded partly by some of them

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There are various shops, some cafes and restaurants under the porticoes.

Have a look at my previous post about Marostica to learn more about this town; if you like.

Posted by Maurizioagos 03:54 Archived in Italy Tagged del veneto bassano region. marostica. grappa. feltre. Comments (4)

Two day trips from Trieste.

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Some days ago I spent four nights in Trieste. I visited some areas in the city and I also did a couple of day trips. I went to Gorizia and to Muggia.

Gorizia is a beautiful town at the border with Slovenia. I went there by direct train. It took around 44 minutes to get there.

I only spent around four hour in this town, but I explored the main areas in its old core.

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Piazza Sant' Antonio one of the squares in Gorizia. It is partly surrounded by a remain of a cloister of a monastery.

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According to a legend this monastery was founded by saint Anthony.

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Next to the cloister in piazza Sant' Antonio there is an ancient palace. I checked if it was opened for a visit, but it was not. I spotted this beautiful floral arrangment in its courtyard.

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Via Rastello is one of the main streets in the old core of Gorizia. There are lots of shops here.

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There are some porticoes in Gorizia.

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Gorizia is overlooked by a castle. It was pobably founded in the XI century. In the course of the centuries it was damaged, destroyed and restructured many times. In 1937 it was restored to its original aspect.

The castle is opened to visitors. I didn't visit it, but I will do next time I visit Gorizia.

In the precinct of the castle (its name is Borgo Castello) you can see the small church of the Holy Spirit. It dated to the XV century.

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There are also some old houses and a couple of museums in Borgo Castello.

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A door knocker in Borgo Castello.

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The views from the castle area are relly great. They could be much better with less foliage.

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Piazza della Vittoria; the main square in Gorizia is very large. Here you can visit the church of sant' Ignatius.

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Another sight at this square is the Neptune fountain. It was built in the 1700.

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Muggia is a nice sea side town situated at the south - east of Trieste; on the border with Slovenia. I visited Muggia several times. There are daily buses from Trieste to get there.The journey takes around half an hour.

This town is overlooked by a castle built between 1375 and 1399. It was restored in 1992.

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Piazza Marconi is the main square in Muggia. It is surrounded by the duomo (cathedral), by the town hall and some restaurants and some shops.

The cathedral was built on the site of a previous church. It was consecrated in 1263. The church you see today dates to the 1467.

Since the XIII century the town hall is situated in piazza Marconi. Its last reconstruction was made in 1930.

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If you like to explore Muggia properly, you have to climb a bit. Muggia has also lots of stairs.

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The harbour in Muggia is small and surrounded by colourful houses.

You can see part of the castle from the harbour.

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Gelateria Jimmy is a good place to have a ice cream. Here they also serve pastries and sandwitches.

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This is a dessert I had at gelateria Jimmy. It is practicaly a small ice cream. It was very good.

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This gelateria is located near the harbour.

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Muggia has narrow streets (calli) and small squares; as in Venice.

This town is a good place to spend some hours.

Posted by Maurizioagos 12:29 Archived in Italy Tagged trieste venezia friuli muggia gorizia giulia. Comments (6)

A Venice itinerary.

Some days ago I did a day trip to Venice. I have been there many times!

Venice is around two hours and half by train from the village where I live.

I have found an itinerary on the web some time ago and I wished to follow it.

Here we go!

Start from piazzale Roma. This is a large square where there is the coach depot in Venice. It is quite near the train station.

Cross the Calatrava bridge. It was designed by the Spanish architect Calatrava.

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Head to campo santa Margherita. This square is surrounded by various palaces built from the XVI and the XV centuries.

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Saint Pantalon church is worth a visit for its large painting on its walls; the martyrius of saint Pantalon. It is not a fresco, but a painting on canvas. Gian Antonio Fumiani painted it between 1680 and 1704.

The church was re built between 1684 and 1704. Its origins were not certain.

This church is situated just some meters from campo santa Margherita.

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This painting is quite dark as you can see.

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Make your way to campo san Barnaba.

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Follow the signs to saint Mark' s square. It is the only square in Venice. The other squares are called "campi".

Look for the squero di san Trovaso. A squero is a place where gondolas and other boats are repaired or made. The word "squero" comes from"squara"; a tool used to build vessels.

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This squero has a Tyrolese look. It dates to the 1600. This is one of the last left. This boatyard is not open to the public.

Stroll to the fondamenta delle Zattere. This is a very long promenade is situated just off the squero di san Trovaso.

Search for the Gallerie dell' Accademia. It' s a large art museum.

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Walk to the Accademia bridge and then cross it. This picture was taken from this bridge.

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Near the Accademia bridge I spotted a gondola. The gondola is a long narrow black boat you see in some canals in this city. Today it is used for pleasure trips and for weddings.

This kind of boat requires a lot of time to be built. It is 10.85 long and its medium length is around 1.40 meters. It is built with nine kinds of wood.

The average gondola ride lasts forty minutes for a settled price. I think it should be around 80 euros (not per person; per ride). I' ve read you can bargain to get a lower price. After 7 or 8 p. m. it costs more to do a gondola trip.

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Head for campo san Stefano.

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Walk along the calle on the left side of the church of san Maurizio.

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The next stop will be at the theater la Fenice.

Head to the Frezzeria. It is a street.

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Try to find the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. It was built in the late XV century. This palace has a beautiful exterior spiral staircase. You can climb to its top and enjoy the landscape over the surrounding areas.

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It is located in Saint Marks' area. If you like to go there you have to go to Campo Manin, toward calle della Mandola. You find it near campo san Bortolo.

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This is part of a restaurant.

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Walk to the Rialto bridge.

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The Rialto bridge was originally built on disused boats in 1175. It was substituted by another one made of wood in 1265. It had a movable central section that could be raised to allow the passage of the tallest boats. This was partly burnt in a revolt in 1310 and then rebuilt.

It collapsed in 1444 under the weight of people watching a boat parade during the wedding of the marquis of Ferrara. It collapsed again in 1524.

The current structure of this bridge was built between 1588 and 1591.

This bridge is formed by two inclined ramps with shops on either sides and covered by a portico. It has three walkways.

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I spent some time at the Rialto market. It is made of the Erbaria; the fruits and vegetables market and the fish market. This market is located quite near the Rialto bridge.

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Here you can find almost every kind of vegetables and fruits. I didn' t visit the fish market when I was here.

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I had a simple lunch made of a couple of sandwiches and a spritz (it is alcoholic drink) at the bar "Al Mercà". This is a "hole in the wall" bar where they have a good choice of small sandwiches with cold cuts. They also serve various kinds of wines.

This bar is located near the Rialto market.

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Visit saint Mark' s square. It was laid out in the 9th century and enlarged in the 12th century. Irs main sight are saint Mark's basilica, its belltower and the Ducal Palace. There are even some museums, several shops and a couple of expensive cafes at this square.

Originally saint Mark' s basilica was built in 828 to house the remains of saint Mark the evangelist. These were stolen by two Venetian merchants from Alexandria in Egypt.

Much of this church was destroyed in 974 by a fire originated in the Ducal Palace. Later a second church was built.

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The church we see today is the result of the transformations made between the XIth and the end of the XIV centuries. It was the ducal chapel until 1807, when it became cathedral.

The church is decorated with mosaics made from the XII to the XIV century. There are mosaics both outside and inside of this worship place.

One of its highlights is the Pala d' Oro. This golden altarpiece is decorated with 2000 gemstones. It is 3 meters wide and 2 meters high and is made of gold and silver. It was made between the X and the XIV centuries.

Inside the basilica you can visit the treasury. It is located behind the main altar.

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In saint Mark' s square; beside the basilica there is a tower; the torre dell' orologio. It was built between 1469 and 1499.

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I got lost at the arsenal area so I decided not to follow the itineray, but to go to the station.

The arsenal was for a long time the largest shipyard in the world. Here, the ships were built, and also repaired. The first ships were built at the arsenal in the 12th century.

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On my way to the train station I spotted this beautiful red palace.

Posted by Maurizioagos 02:05 Archived in Italy Tagged veneto region. venice. Comments (4)

Urbino.

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Urbino is a beautiful town in Le Marche region. It is the birthplace of the famous painter Raphael. He was born here in 1483.

You can easily go there by coach from Pesaro, Rimini or from Fano, as I did some months ago.

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Some streets in Urbino are really steep!

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The ducal palace is one of the main sights in Urbino. It was built in phases in the second half of the XV century . In the XVI century it was enlarged. This palace was built on orders by Federico II da Montefeltro.

Duke Federico II da Montefeltro (1422 - 1482) was a military leader, ruler and patron of the arts. He was the lord of Urbino from 1444 to 1482.

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Today the palace houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche. This museum includes works by artists such as Raphael, Piero della Francesca and others

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In this picture you can see part of the ducal palace.

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Another sight in Urbino is saint Joseph' s oratory. It was built between 1503 and 1515. It was reconstructed between 1682 and 1689. Inside there is a cycle of frescoes depicting the main happenings about the life of saint Joseph.

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Next to the oratory there is a room with a beautiful nativity scene. The statues were made of plaster and are very tall. This crib was made between 1545 and 1550.

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Quite near saint Joseph' s oratory there is another one; saint John' s the Baptist oratory. It was built in the sixteenth century and rebuilt in the late seventeenth century.

Inside it is decorated with frescoes which date to the 1416. They illustrate the crucifixion and stories of the life of John the Baptist,

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I had a good ice cream at il Sorbetto del Duca both times I visited Urbino. I strongly recommend this gelateria.

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This simple ice cream parlour is situated in via Raffaello at n. 1. Here they serve ice cream as also sweet crepes.

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:18 Archived in Italy Tagged urbino Comments (4)

The Museum of Tyrolean Farms in Kramsach.

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This is a open air museum located just outside Kramsach. This town is situated some 45 kilometers far from Innsbruck.

It is practically made of a good number of farmhouses and other buildings as a watermill, barns, storehouses, a school, a chapel. These are scattered over a eight hectare site. A very large park.

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These buildings have been brought here from various places in Tyrol.

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Some farmhouses are fully furnished as you can see from some of my pictures.

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This is the interior of the chapel. I don' t know if there is more than a chapel at this park.

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Here you see the chapel from afar.

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You need to climb a bit to go inside some houses.

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Inside the alpine hut.

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There is a budget restaurant and a souvenirs shop near the entrance of the museum. Moreover here you can find some exposition rooms and the toilets.

I think one could stay inside this park almost the whole day.

Posted by Maurizioagos 04:13 Archived in Austria Tagged of museum kramsach tyrolean farms. Comments (3)

Innsbruck.

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Innsbruck is the capital of Tyrol. It is located in western Austria. Its name means "bridge over the Inn". The Inn is the river which runs through the city.

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This city has a beautiful old core and several attractions to enjoy.

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It is a pleasure walking under the porticoes of the old core of Innsbruck. You can find various kinds of shops, several cafes and some restaurant under these porticoes.

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Herzog Friedrich Strasse; one of the main street in the old center is lined with porticoes.

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The Golden Roof; in German; Goldenes Dachl is practically a three storey balcony with a roof made of 2657 gold plated tiles.

Archduke Friedrick IV ordered the construction of the palace where the balcony is located in the early fifteen century.

Maximilian I commissioned the Golden Roof in 1493. It was built to honour Maximilian' s second marriage to Bianca Sforza of Milan.

The Goldenes Dachl served as a royal box where he could sit and enjoy tournaments and other street performances in the square below.

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The city tower (Stadtturm) was built between 1442 and 1450. It was completed with its roof fifty years later. Its lower storey once served as prison.

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Until 1964 inside the tower there was a sentry day and night, to warn the inhabitants about fires and other dangers.

When you' re on the top of this tower you' ll enjoy a wonderful landscape over the city center. You' ll also see the houses on the river Inn. You have to climb 148 stairs to go to the top.

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The Imperial Palace (Hofburg) was originally built by archduke Siegmund the Rich in Gothic style around 1460. It was remodelled in Baroque style by emperess Maria Theresa between 1754 and 1773.

Inside the palace 25 state apartments are opened to visitors. These are dating from 18th and the 19th centuries. There is also the a large banquet room with lots of portraits of the Habsburgs; the Giants' Hall.

Some years ago it was allowed to take pictures inside the palace. Today it is not permitted any more.

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The Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum (the Tyrolean museum of popular art) is located in the Neues Stift (the new abbey). It adjoins the Hofkirche.

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There you can see a rich collections of households, farming tools, furniture, typical dresses and some stube. These are living rooms covered with wood panels.

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You can buy a combined ticket to visit the museum and the Hofchirche.

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This church was built between 1553 and 1563 by Ferdinand I as a burial place for Maximilian I. Inside there is his cenotaph (but he is buried in Vienna) encircled by 28 huge statues.

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Walde Kerzenzieherzei and Lebzelterei is a small shop full of nice things. It is run by the same family for 235 years. You can find it opposite the cathedral

Here you can find candles of every kinds, soaps, shampoos, bath foams and cleaning products. There is even a good choice of decorations.

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You will surely not miss the Baroque 16th century palace; the Helblinghaus. It is a Gothic mansion. The stucco decorations on its facade date back to the 1730. It was named after Sebastian Helbling who owned a cafe inside this building in 1833.

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At Hofgasse n. 12 you can see an arch with a special acoustic; the Fluesterbogen.

If you stand at one end of it and whisper something, another person at the opposite end can understand clearly what you are saying.

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Not far from the Helblinghaus you could look for the Ottoburg.

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This tower like palace was documented since 1476. Today it houses a restaurant.

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There is a park near the Hofburg; the imperial palace. The Hofgarten. This park was originally laid out as a hunting ground in the 16th century. Later it was declared a public garden.

There are various plants, a palms house, a small lake and a children playground there. At one of the entrances of the park there is a cafe-restaurant.

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One of my favourite restaurant in the old town is surely Stiftskeller. It has six dining rooms and also an outdoor area where you can sit if the weather is fine.

The palace where this restaurant was built was a convent for noble girls long ago.

At Stiftskeller hey have a menu with mostly typical Austrian dishes.

The first time I visited this restaurant I had spaetzle (small dumplings) with cheese and fried onions. Another time I had pasta (noodles) with minced meat. Everything I ate there was good.

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Maria Theresien Strasse is one of the main streets in the city. It is partly pedestrianized. It is bordered with 17th and 18th centuries houses, lots of shops, cafes and restaurants.

In the middle of this street stands the Saint Anne' s column (Annasaule). It was erected in 1706 to commemorate the withdrawal of the Bavarian troops on Saint Anne' s Day in 1703.

At its southern end of this street there a thriumphal gateway (Triumphpforte) stands. It was built in 1765 on the occasion of the wedding of archduke Leopold of Tuscany; son of empress Maria Theresia with princess Maria Ludovica of Spain, but also to commemorate the death of emperor Franz I; Maria Theresia' s husband.

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This large covered market is situated on the banks of the Inn river.

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It houses various stalls. Here you can find the butcher, the fishmonger and a farmers market with fresh fruits and vegetables. There is also a supermarket and several cafes inside this market.

This market is open from monday to friday; from 7 a. m. to 6.30 p. m. On saturday it is open from 7 a. m to 1 a. m.

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I think the area along the river Inn is one of the quitest places in the city.

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I booked a twin room at Bistrò bed and breakfast and I had a large triple room with bathroom en suite.

There are not communal rooms at this bed and breakfast. It is housed in a small building. It is far from the old center of Insbruck, but it is easily reachable by bus from the train station.

Breakfast was buffet style. Every morning there were jam, yoghurt, several kinds of bread; ham and cheese. There was also a bowl full of fresh fruit. Hot drinks as coffee and milk were served at our table.

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There few eateries near this hotel. I usually had dinner at hotel Alpin Park' s restaurant. This hotel is a few meters from Bistro' s bed and breakfast.

It is a restaurant of a four stars hotel, but it is not an expensive place to have a meal. There are various typical Austrian dishes on the menu at this restaurant, but also some Italian ones. I always had a good dinner there.

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Cafe conditorei Walter is not the oldest confectionery in the city, but I' ve read it has been opened since the late 50's. It is a popular place as I could see from the many customers who went there to buy pieces of cakes to take home, have one there or have a drink.

This cafe-confectionery has two rooms. One is the confectionery itself and the other the cafe.

At Walter' s you can find many kinds of cakes, pastries and other kinds of sweet treats. There also serve sandwiches.

Every time I went there I had an ice cream with whipped cream. These were very good. My mother tried some cakes. She said the Sacher torte (chocolate cake with apricot jam) was really good.

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The Wilten basilica; also called basilica of our Lady under the four pillars is a yellow church with two towers that was built between 1751 and 1755 in Rococo style.

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A first church had been erected in the 13th century on that site. This has been a site of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages.

Unfortunately I only could admire the interior of the church thought a gate. When I went there it was the closing time.

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Castle Ambras is a reinassance castle built by archduke Ferdinand II in the 16th century on the remains of a 10 century fortress. It is located some miles from the city center. You can go there by bus.

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In 1855 it was remodeled to serve as a summer residence for archduke Karl Ludwig. It is divided into lower and upper castle.

The castle has a very large room called Spanish Hall; a paintings gallery, a collections of armours and weapons and a room with many exotic things.

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There is a restaurant in one of the buildings of this castle. I suppose it is in the stables. It is not expensive.

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If you are going to visit several attractions in the city I suggest you to buy an Innsbruck card.

This card gives you (a one time) free admission to all main sights of Innsbruck. You can also travel by the city buses and trams for free (also to Igls, Rum, Hall in Tirol, Nattes and Mutters); even by the Sightseer; the tourist bus.

You can buy it at the information office in the main train station (Hauptbahnhof). There are cards valid for 24, 48 and for 72 hours.

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The Sightseer is a small, red tourist bus that stops near the main sights in Innsbruck. You can use it free of charge if you buy an Innsbruck card.

Once you bought your ticket you can hop on and off this bus as many times as you like. On the sightseer there is a pair of headphones per persons to listen to some information in various languages about the places you see passing by.

Tickets are sold on the bus.

Unfortunately in the winter the Sightseers don' t operate ferquently!

Posted by Maurizioagos 03:32 Archived in Austria Tagged innsbruck tirol. Comments (7)

Caorle.

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Caorle is a beautiful sea side town situated in the Veneto region.

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I usually spent around a week on holidays here when I was a kid. Some years ago I went back to Caorle after a hiatus of around thirty years.

I dicovered a town with more shops, restaurants and cafes.

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The old core of Caorle is made of a maze of narrow streets called "calli".

Strolling along several calli; all of a sudden you can find yourself in a small square, or you will discover some nice colourful houses.

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There are also two churches in the old core of Caorle; the church delle Grazie and Sain Roque church. In the old core there is a good choice of cafes, restaurants and shops.

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In old times, Caorle was crossed by several canals, but later they have been closed except canale Varragio, that now is the harbour you see in the center of this town.

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The cathedral in Caorle (duomo) was built around 1038 probably on the remains of a previous church dating from the VIII century.

One of its main sights is the so-called pala d' oro. It is a work made of gold and silver made of six pieces. The oldest of these date to the XIII century. It is a pity it isn' t possible to see it properly, because it is located too far; it is in the apse.

Next to the church there is a cylindrical bell tower; built in 1065. There is also a museum with various religious artefacts near the cathedral.

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Caorle has two long beaches. spiaggia di levante (east beach) and spiaggia di ponente (west beach).

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There is a small church overlooking the beaches in Caorle. The name of this worship place is chiesa della Madonna dell' Angelo. It was built in 1751, but it is tought it was built originally in 402.

According to a legend; long ago some sailors spotted a statue on a rock floating on the sea. They tried to take it to the beach, but their attempt failed. Then some children succeded.

Every five years; on the second sunday of september, a procession with this statue is held around Caorle.

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Since 1992; every two years; probably in june; some sculptors from Italy and from abroad come to Caorle to enter a contest called Scogliera Viva. They choose a big stone on the beach and create their masterpiece that will live forever.

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The result of this contest is practically a beautiful and quite large sculpture museum in the open air.

You can see these sculptures near the church (chiesa della Madonna) on spiaggia (beach) di Ponente.

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One day I took a 2.30 hours boat trip from the harbour in Caorle. I could enjoy the sea, part of Caorle and some beaches from afar. A short visit at the "casoni" (20 minutes) is included in this trip.

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The casoni are big huts used as temporary homes for fishermen. There are lot of them at the Caorle lagoon. The first ones were built centuries ago.

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They are made of a room with a table, chairs, stove and everything people need to live in that area. Today these huts are still used by several fishermen.

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You can visit some casoni inside only if you take a boat trip.

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La Luna nel Pozzo is a free of charge festival of "street art" which takes place every year at the beginning of september. It lasts for some days.

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Lots of artists from Italy and from various European countries (even from other continents) come to perform in various squares of Caorle. So you can enjoy some shows of acrobats, dancers, musicians, singers, clowns and other kinds of artists.

If you miss some performance you will have the opportunity to watch it later on. The same shows are repeated for two or three times the same day or the next ones.

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I booked a double room for a week at hotel Firenze; half board. This was quite small, but ok for a single traveller. It had a bathroom en suite with shower. This hadn' t a base to contain the fallen water. So that the bathroom almost flooded every time I used it.

This hotel has a communal room with a large screen television and a small cafe with a terrace.

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The buffet at breakfast consisted of bread, pastries, jam, cold cuts, cheese et al. There is a machine to get hot drinks as coffee and cappuccino. At dinner you have to choose your meal the day before, but you have a choice of several dishes. The food at this hotel was very good.

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Hotel Firenze is a medium sized hotel located some 500 meters from the center of Caorle.

It is possible to go to Caorle from Mestre (a city near Venice) by coach. Don' t forget to ask the driver if the coach goes directly to Caorle or if you have to change bus somewhere.

Just a warning; the bus station in Caorle is quite far from the town center. A taxi would be useful if you have problems to walk for a long time or whether you have a heavy luggage.

Posted by Maurizioagos 04:34 Archived in Italy Tagged caorle venice. Comments (0)

Chioggia.

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Chioggia is a nice town situated some 50 kilometers far from Venice. It is called "Little Venice" because it has some similarities to this town. In fact Chioggia has several calli (narrow streets), bridges and canals.

I spent some days in Chioggia some years ago.

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Corso del Popolo is the main street in Chioggia. It crosses the town from north to south.

On this long street you can see several old palaces. There is a good choice of cafes and shops here as well.

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Every thursday the weekly market takes place along this street.

On the third sunday of june; every year the Palio della Marcillana is held on corso del Popolo. This series of events includes a costume parade that celebrates the liberation of Chioggia from the Genoese in june 1380.

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Ponte di Vigo is one of the eight bridges that cross canal Vena. It is located near the harbour.

It was built in masonry in 1685. It was embellished with Istrian marbles in 1762. This bridge substituted a previous one made of wood.

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Canal Vena is one of the canals in Chioggia. It runs parallel to corso del Popolo. Along this canal there is a promenade with porticoes and lots of very old palaces. There are several shops and cafes along this canal.

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I had lunch at Al Vecio Foghero some times. Here they have a good choice of first and second courses with meat, fish or sea food. They also have a good selection of pizzas. Once I asked for one of these. They brought me a large and tasty pizza.

I sat at a outdoor table all the times I went to that restaurant. It was too hot to eat inside. The outdoor tables of restaurant al Vecio Foghero are right on a narrow street (calle).

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There aren' t any beaches in Chioggia, but there are many in Sottomarina. Practically there is a strip of 10 km of fine sandy beach there.

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Sottomarina is part of Chioggia and it is situated on another island.This neighboorhood has everything the tourist likes or needs; hotels, restaurants, shops and cafes.

You can go to Sottomarina from Chioggia by bus; otherwise you can go there by foot. I suppose you have to walk around 1 km to get there. Start from San Giacomo bridge in Chioggia; near the church with the same name and go straight on.

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It is possible to do a day trip to Venice from Chioggia; by boat. I didi it.

You have to take a boat to Pellestrina. Once there, take a bus near the boat pier. This will takes you to another spot in Pellestrina (an island not far from Chioggia) to take a boat to the island of Lido (this belongs to Venice).

The bus goes on the boat. After a short journey you get to Alberoni (part of the island of Lido). Get in the bus (if you went out) and wait until you are at the right stop. This is where you' ll be able to take a boat to Saint Mark' s square.

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I arrived in Saint Mark' s square in order to visit the basilica. There was a long queue, so I decided to skip it.

Then I chose to visit some churches. I bought a card named Chorus Pass, that enabled me to visit 16 churches within a year. I visited four churches in a day.

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I headed to several campo (small squares), crossed a lot of bridges, had a "fast food" meal and took some pics.

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Pellestrina is a 11 km long and narrow island. It is less than 2 km square meters long.

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There are three villages on this island; Pellestrina, San Pietro in Volta and Portosecco.

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Here you see lots of colorful houses and several others painted in pastel colors. Pellestrina isn' t a touristy place, but there is a good choice of restaurants, cafes and shops.

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It is a nice island to spend some hours in the morning or in the afternoon.

Daily boats to Pellestrina depart from the harbour in Chioggia. The journey to the island takes around 20 minutes.

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Pasticceria Flora is a cafes - confectionery on corso del Popolo. I went there several times to have dinner.

Well, I visited that cafe for the so-called "happy hour". I usally asked for a non alcoholic fruit drink which came with a plate full of mini sandwiches, small slices of pizza and chips.

Once I finished these nibbles I could go to the counter and help myself with other food as much as I liked.

There were mostly slices of pizza and chips on the counter when I visited this cafe. The slices of pizza were good and also the non alcoholic fruit drink.

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I could easily find a room in Chioggia even if it was high season. I booked a room at hotel Caldin' s. This is a bunch of rooms in a modern building; not a hotel. I had a three bed room, which wouldn' t have been large enough for three people but it was fine for me. My bed was comfortable.

The bathroom was quite small. It had the shower inside without a real base and a curtain that was useless. I had to be very careful not to flood the entire the bathroom floor when I took a shower.

In every room there is a boiling device to prepare coffee or tea. Some bags of tea, one or two packets of instant coffee and some packed cookies.

Posted by Maurizioagos 05:19 Archived in Italy Tagged venice chioggia pellestrina. Comments (2)

Brussels.

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Long ago I spent some days in Brussels in order to attend a meeting in Kortrijk. This town is around an hour by train from Brussels.

On this post you will see some sights of Brussels.

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Grand Place, or Grote Markt (in Flemish) is the main square in Brussels.

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It was first laid out after the construction of the town hall (1402-1455). On august 13th 1695 it was bombed to ruins by the French. In the following four years the city guilds rebuilt it.

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Today it is surrounded by several guild houses from the late 17th century, by the town hall and the Broodhuis (or Maison du Roy). Some guild houses house restaurants or cafes.

The Maison du Roy houses the City Museum. There you can see the collection of costumes of the Manneken Pis.

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Everard' t Serclaes was a local hero who freed the city from the Counts of Flanders in 1354.

You can find a bas-relief depicting this hero dying to the left of the town hall and under the house where he died in 1388.

This sculpture was made in 1902 by a Flemish artist; Julien Dillen. Rubbing the hero' s arm on this bas-relief will ensure one's return to Brussel and to bring good luck.

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The Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert is a large glass roofed arcade built in 1847. It was the first shopping arcade in Europe.

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It consists of two mayor sections called Galerie du Roy (King' s Gallery) and Galerie de la Reine (Queen' s Gallery); and a smaller side gallery called Galerie des Princes (Princes Gallery).

This shopping arcade is lined with more than fifty shops, cafes, some restaurants, a theatre and a cinema. Here you can find some chocolate shops, several boutiques and jewellery stores.

In the past, visitors had to pay to access the galleries.

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The comic strip route is a path composed by more than fifty comic strip murals which decorate the walls of several buildings in the ciy.

These murals represent many cartoons characters. One of the reasons why these were created was to improve some areas in Brussels.

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The Belgian Comic Strip Center is a museum dedicated to the Belgian comics.

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The name of this museum is Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée. It is housed in a Art Nouveaux building designed by the architect Victor Horta.

Here you can learn about the process of creating a comic strip album. There are several nice three dimensional recreations of strip scenes and other things relevant to the strip art.

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On the ground floor of this palace there is a restaurant, a comics shop and a library.

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The Manneken Pis is a bronze statuette of a naked peeing boy situated atop a fountain. It was built in 1619.

Sometimes you can see this little boy dressed. He has a rich wardrobe you can see in the City Museum in Grand Place.

There are some legends about it.

According to one of them a witch saw a little boy makings his things against her door. She lived where the fountain now stands. The witch was very angry so that she turned him into a statue.

Another legend says that a man had lost his little son. After two days he found him near the place where now you see the fountain. When the father spotted his child, the latter was peeing. As a token of gratitude the father had the fountain with a statue of a peeing boy built.

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Another museum I visited in Brussels was the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. This museum is divided into two sections; the Museum of Ancient Art and the Museum of Modern Art.

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I only visited the Museum of Ancient Art. It houses paintings, drawings and sculptures from the 15th until 18th century. There you can see many paintings by the most famous Flemish old masters, such as Breugel, Rubens and Van Dyck.

At this museum you can also find the Death of Marat by Jacques Louis David; a painting you have surely seen in some school books.

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The musical instruments museum is housed in a Art Nouveaux building designed in 1899. It has more than 1.500 intruments from all areas of the world and from all times. These are on display on four floors.

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Once you bought your ticket you are given a set of infrared headphones. If you stand besides an instrument; on a spot marked with a headphone on the floor you will hear music played by that instrument on the headphones.

This palace has also a concert hall, a library, a shop and a restaurant on the top. This provides a view over some areas of the city.

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Le Petit Sablon is a nice garden. It is surrounded by 48 statues representing the Medieval guilds of Brussels.

In the center of the square you can see a statue of the counts of Egmont and Hoorne who were executed at the Grand Place in 1568 by order of Philip II of Spain.

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It was originally a horse market. In 1890 it was turned into a garden.

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I also a visited a nice museum quite far from the city center; the Museum of the Far East. It consists of a Chinese pavillion and a Japanese tower.

These were commisioned to a French architect by king Leopold II. They are located on the northern corner of the Royal Park in the Laeken area.

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Inside the Chinese pavillion.

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Antother pic taken into the Chinese pavillion.

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I couldn' t see much inside the Japanese Tower, because only the first floor was opened when I went here. Inside there is a collection of Japanese ceramics.

The Chinese pavilion was originally designed as a luxury restaurant. It has various small rooms richly decorated. There are also various Chinese items here, but what impressed me were the decorations of the rooms.

These buildings seems to be oriental. Only some parts of them came from Japan and China.

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The Royal Greenhouses is a large complex of greenhouses built between 1874 and 1895 by king Leopold II to house his collection of plants from the Congo. They consist of 16 connected greenhouses.

These greenhouses are located in the park of the royal palace of Laeken.

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These greenhouse can be visited only for two weeks every year; usually between april and may. This is a tradition has been carried on for a century.

I visted Brussels at the beginning of may, so that I could enjoy those rich collection of flowers and plants.

I have to visit Brussels again, because in this city there are several other things to see and do. I stayed there for six day if my memory serves me well.

Posted by Maurizioagos 01:23 Archived in Belgium Tagged brussels belgium. Comments (7)

Krk Island.

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Krk is an island in Croatia. It is one of the largest one in that country. It is connected to the mainland via a long concrete bridge since 1980.

I went on holiday on this island twice and precisely in Punat both times.

I travelled by coach to Punat. I went to Rijeka from Trieste (IT) by direct coach. I took another one from Rijeka to Punat. If I remember correctly, the journey from Rijeka to Punat should takes around 1.30 hours. I suppose Punat is one of the latest stops on Krk Island if not the last.

There are many buses from Rijeka to Krk Island every day. They stop at various villages on the island.

It is also possible to go to this island by airplane from various countries. In fact there is an airport there. It is named Rijeka Airport and it is located close to the town of Omisalij.

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Krk Town is located on the south west coast of the island. It has a nice waterfront with several restaurants and cafes.

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Getting lost is a thing to do in Krk Town. This is a way to discover several nice things, as old houses, cafes, restaurants and a small park overlooking the sea.

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One of the main sights of the town is the cathedral that forms a complex with the church of Saint Quirinus.

The church of Saint Quirinus has a bell tower with an angel playing a trumpet on the top. Inside there is an exibition of sacred art. You have to climb some stairs to go inside.

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After your visit, you pass through a door and go downstairs where you get inside the cathedral. This was built in 1188 where there had been a V century basilica. This had been built on the site of a Roman spa.

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Vela Placa; one of the squares in Krk Town has a Medieval tower with a clock built in the XVI century and an ancient well.

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As I have already said, Punat was my base both times I was on the island.

In my opinion the main reason to visit Punat is to take a boat to Kosljun Island. On this islet there is a Franciscan monastery. It was founded in 1447.

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Kosljun Island is a very green area with several paths and chapels. It is a kind of little forest.

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On this island you can visit a church which was built on the ruins of a Benedictine church. Moreover there is a museum of ethnography, a collection of paintings and a small archaeological museum.

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At the museum of ethnography.

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Baska is a large village situated on the southern part of the island.

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One of the main reasons to visit Baska is to spend some time on its long beach. It is a beach with peebles and sand named Vela Plaza. Along the waterfront there are lots of restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlours and souvenirs stalls.

There is a small ethnoghraphic museum in Baska. I didn' t find it very interesting. It takes around twenty minutes to visit it. It is quite small. The entry fee is only some kunas.

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Baska.

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Vrbnik is a beautiful village on a hill. It is situated on a 49 meters high rock overlooking the sea; on the north - east coast of the island.

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This is a small village with old stone houses where you can get lost strolling along several narrow cobbled streets.

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Vrbnik has some shops, restaurants and cafes. There are some beaches nearby.

You can go to Vrbnik by bus. Unfortunately only a few of them operate every day either from Krk Town or from Punat.

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I booked my room (twice) at Hotel Omorika in Punat. It is a quite large hotel situated some meters from the sea. It has a garden with a playground area for kids and a big terrace. It is not far from the main bus stop.

Here they served beakfast and dinner buffet style. I have to say I was really satisfied about the food at the hotel.

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I had lunch at Cafe bar Bistro twice. Both times I had some very good palacinke Riva. These are three crepes with finely grounded nuts, ice cream, some liquid chocolate and whipped cream. It is a complete meal in my opinion.

Here you can also have pasta (noodles), njoki (dumplings) and various fish and meat dishes. I had a taste of njoki with gorgorzola cheese as well. These were really good.

Cafe bar Bistro has also an outdoor area to enjoy your lunch, if the weather is fine. This restaurant is located in Punat; near the sea and not too far from hotel Omorika.

Posted by Maurizioagos 11:04 Archived in Croatia Tagged krk. baska vrbnik. punat. Comments (6)

Koper.

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Koper is a nice town located in the south western part of Slovenia. It is only twenty kilometers far from Trieste; in Italy.

I have visited Koper some times; as day trip from Portorose. It is easy to go to Koper from Portorose. There are several buses that operate between these two towns every day.

This town has a nice old core; some nice squares and a museums (or maybe some more).

Titov trg is the main square in Koper. It is bordered by several buildings.

Here you can visit the cathedral of the Assumption. It was rebuilt in the XVIII century and is dedicated to Saint Nazarius; Koper' s patron saint.

Beside the church there is a bell tower that was originally separated from the church.

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Near the bell tower we see the Praetorian Palace. This was the residence of the podestà; the ruler of the town who was chosen directly by the doge (the ruler) of Venice. Its current structure dates from the mid 15th century.

This palace was built on the site of two XIII century houses. In the second half of the XIII century these were joined. Today the Praetorian Palace houses the town hall and some rooms opened to visitors. Ask at the tourist office on the ground floor for a guided tour of the palace.

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Opposite this palace there is a loggia. It was built in 1463 and renovated in the 17th century. Today it houses a modern cafe.

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The regional museum is housed inside the Belgramoni - Tacco Palace. It was built around 1600 on the site of a previous building.

Inside you can see an archaeological collection with items found in Istria and also wooden statues, paintings and various furniture. There are also various musical instruments and a rich collection of weapons.

The Belgramoni - Tacco Palace is also used for cultural and musical event.

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Don't miss the beautiful door knocker of the main door of this palace.

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Behind the palace there is a nice garden which is now used as lapidarium. It is part of the palace.

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Walking in the old core of Koper it seems to be in an old village.

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There are even some Medieval houses in Koper.

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Preseren square was named after the famous poet France Presernov. It is located at the southern end of the old town.

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At Preseren square you can see the Da Ponte fountain It was built in the 1666. It supplied the town with drinkable water for several centuries.

At one end of the square there is the Muda Gate. It is the last remaining gate of the old Koper. It was also the main gate of the town. There were twelve of them. On Preseren square there is also a church; Saint Basso church.

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Carpaccio square takes its name from Vittore Carpaccio (1460-1525); a famous Venetian painter. Here you can see the house where he was born. It is located at number 6. Probably it was his son Benedetto who lived there.

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At this square there is also a well taken from Venice; a column built in the 1571 and erected to commemorate the naval victory against the Turks at Lepanto.

There is a old salt warehouse built in the 17th century on this square. Today it is used as an exposition site.

Koper has a large bus station. Unfortunately it is quite far from the town center. I think it is could be two kilometers far. Thus I' d suggest to take a bus to the town center from there. This station has a vending machine for a hot drink and a convenient cafe located outdoor.

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:27 Archived in Slovenia Tagged koper slovenia. Comments (2)

Piran.

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Piran ia beautiful small town in southwestern Slovenia; on the Adriatic coast.

I have visited it as a day trip from Portorose several times. Portorose is a sea side resort some ten minutes far from Piran, by bus.

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The old core of this town is made of a maze of narrow streets. There you will find cafes, restaurants and shops.

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Tartini square is the main square in Piran. It was named after the violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) who was born in this town.

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Long ago this square was a harbour for fishing boats. In 1894 it was filled in because of bad smell, filth and for health and sanitary reasons.

Tartini Square is surrounded by various colorful houses, the New Town Hall, the Court Hall; Tartini' s birthplace and the Venetian House.

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The Venetian house is a red palace built in the middle of the 15th century. It is the oldest preserved house on this square. It was built by a merchant for his mistress.

As a response for the gossips about this relationship a stone inscription with the words "lassa pur dir" (= let them say) was put on its facade.

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There are several churches in Piran. There is even a cathedral; t. It is dedicated to Saint George. This church was probably built in the XII century. The present building dates back to the year 1637.

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Inside there is a beautiful organ, some interesting paintings and the Crucifix of Piran made in the 14th century. It is a very moving masterpiece.

Next to the church stands a bell tower built in the 1608. It is said this is a very good viewpoint over the town.

Another building near the cathedral is the baptistery; built in the 1650. Adjacent to the cathedral there is a small museum with some interesting works of art and the crypt.

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Just outside the Cathedral there is a viewpoint where you can see most of Tartini Square and some areas in Piran.

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Saint Francis' church was built originally in the early 14th century; enlarged and renovated over the centuries. The present interior dates from the 17th century and the exterior from the 19th century. This church belongs to a Minorite monastery.

Tartini' s family members are buried under a slab below the floor of this church.

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What I liked much of this church is a painted inner dome.

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Next to the church there is a white cloister that is used for concerts in the summer. In a small room near the cloister there is a collection of paintings and some ancients statues.

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There is a beautiful aquarium in Piran. It is housed inside Villa Piranesi; not far from the harbour.

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You can' t compare it with the aquariums in cities as Valencia or Lisbon. This is a small aquarium with 25 tanks where around 140 sea creatures live.

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Here you won' t find tropical fishes, but local sea animals.

I think the aquarium is a good place to spend one hour or more. It is the right attraction to take your kids.

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On my second visit to Piran I had a stroll to the Punta lighthouse area. It is located on the tip of the Piran peninsula.

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Beyond the lighthouse there is a church formerly consacrated to Saint Clement. In the 17th century it was renamed as Our Lady of Health because of the plague that propagated throughout Istria. This church was first mentioned in the 13th century.

At the lighthouse area there is a good choice of restaurants and a concrete beach.

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The Maritime Museum Sergej Masera is housed in the Gabrielli Palace. It was built in the middle of he 19th century.

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Here you can see exibits on marine archaeology under a ground floor covered with glass; a collection of ancient model ship replicas; tools for repairing and building ships, navigational instruments, sailors uniforms and many other things.

I am not into "maritime things", but I liked this museum anyway. The statue you see in the second pic was one of the things I liked most here

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The 1st of May square was the administrative center of Piran until the 13th century. Here stood the old town hall.

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On this square you see the deconsacrated church of Saint Donat (1325) which houses an art gallery; some restaurants and a supermarket.

In the middle of the square there is a stone cistern surrounded by four statues. The bigger ones depict law and justice; the others two cherubs.

The cistern was built after the severe draught in 1775. Gutters were connected to the statues from the surrounding roofs in order to collect rain water. Then it was purified through sand.

Posted by Maurizioagos 08:30 Archived in Slovenia Tagged piran portorose slovenia. Comments (11)

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