A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Maurizioagos

Liubljana and day trips.

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Ljubljana is the capitol city of Slovenia. It is also its bigger city.

I visited it long ago and I liked it much. Its old core is compact and easy to navigate.

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The main square in Ljubljana is the Preseren square. Here you can see the Franciscan church. A red - pink church. It was built between 1646 and 1660 on the fundations of a previous church.

From this square you could start to explore Ljubljana.

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The Ljubljanjca river flows through the center of of Ljubljana. It is crossed by 17 bridges. The most popular of them are the Triple bridge, the Dragon bridge and the Cobblers' bridge.

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The Triple bridge is formed by three bridges. The central one has stood in its place since 1842, It replaced an old Medieval bridge. Between 1929 and 1932 two side bridges were added to the original stone bridge from a design by the architect Joze Plecnik.

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The Dragon bridge was constructed in 1901 over a wooden one which was built in 1819. Four green dragons statues stand at its four corners.

The Cobblers' bridge, or shoemaker' s bridge was named for the shoemakers whose booths once occupied the bridge.

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There is a large market in this city. The central market. It was designed by Joze Plecnik between 1940 and 1944.

It is made by a covered market and an open one.

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Here you can find almost everything you like.

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Cruises on the Ljubljanica river are scheduled all the year; even in the winter. The boats used for these trips are heated.

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Departures for these boat trips start from Ribji trg pier. If you buy a Ljubljana card you are entitled to a free of charge ride.

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The castle is one of the main sights in Ljubljana.

Its first construction began in the 9th century; except the Chapel of S. George that was consecrated in 1489. The other buildings were built or rebuilt in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The castle was used as fortress, garrison, prison and apartments block. Today it is a site of exibitions, weddings and various cultural events.

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Entering the castle area is free of charge. You have to pay a fee to climb the lookout tower and to watch the 3D show about the story of the city.

From the top of the lookout tower you will enjoy the landscape over Ljubljana and surroundings.

Inside the castle there is a cafe, toilets and a souvenirs shop.

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We travelled to the castle by a tourist train. There is also a funicular to get there.

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Restaurant Sokol is one of the most popular places to have a good meal in Ljulbjana. I have been therer some times.

It is situated in the city center.

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Tivoli Park is a good place to have a rest. It is a very large park.

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There is a small lakem, a playground area for kids and some buildings into the park.

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Skofja Loka is one of the most ancient towns in Slovenia. There is a castle here. It was built before 1202 and rebuilt after the earthquake of 1511. Today it hosts an archaeological, ethnological and historical collection of items.

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Other things worth a look in this town are; the capuchin' s bridge, Homan' s House ( there is a cafe - restaurant inside) and some churches.
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Homan House.

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I attended an interesting event some years ago in Skofja Loka; the Venus Trail. It is a Medieval festival with music, stalls and other happenings.

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This event is held in seven Slovene towns every year.

The idea about it came from a poem about a 13th century's knight and ministrel who dressed as a woman and travelled 52 towns of what are now located in four countries; Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Czech Republic.

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The Venus Trail is usually scheduled the last weekend of june every year in Skofja Loka.

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Bled is a village situated in northwestern Slovenia. It is well known for its lake.

On this lake there is the only island in Slovenia. There is a church on it. It dates from the 17th century and it was built on an earlier church from the 9th century.

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Bled has also a castle. It is said this is the most ancient castle in Slovenia.

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After a long stroll on the path looking on the lake I went to Slastcarna (confectionery) Smon and had a kremna rezina.

This is typical cake from Bled. It is made of a layer of vanilla custard and another of whipped cream between two layers of flaky pastry.

I had lunch at a restaurant opposite the bus stop. I think its name was Pla Princu. I had a very good rice with seafood.

Both Skofja Loka and Bed are easily reachable from Ljubljana by coach.

Posted by Maurizioagos 11:49 Archived in Slovenia Tagged slovenia ljubljana skofja loka bled. Comments (8)

A shrine and a beautiful castle.

Saint Romedius shrine and Castel Valer.

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There are two unmissable sight you shouldn' t miss if you visit the Val di Non.

Val di Non is one of the many valleys situated in Trentino Alto Adige region. It is the Italian region where I live.

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Saint Romedius is a group of five churches built from the year 1000 to 1918. These are linked by a stairway of 131 steps.

This shrine is located on a rock into a wood and above the village of Sanzeno.

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The older church here dates to the XI century. It was built over the tomb of saint Romedius.

Romedius was a son of a Tyrolean count. He chose to retire in solitude in a rock cave.

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According the legend; saint Romedius planned to go to Trento in order to visit a friend of him; saint Vigilius.

Riding his horse he bumped into a bear. The bear attacked the horse and killed it. Romedius tamed the bear; ride it and went to Trento.

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All the churches have frescoes, paintings and various art works. You can easily spend several hours inside this worship place.

Outside every church there is a plaque where you can read the year of construction and to whom it is dedicated.

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Among the facilities here you will find the lavatories, a cafe and a souvenirs shop. You can also spend some nights inside this shrine,

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Castle Valer overlooks the village of Tassullo in the Non valley. In fact, it is situated on a hill.

Probably its name comes from Valerio di Treviri; a saint and bishop whose chapel dedicated to him is housed inside the castle.

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This castle was built in 1211; modified and enlarged through the centuries. It belonged to several families.

It has been continuously inhabited by the Spaur family from 1368.

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Castle Valer is made of two parts; Castel di Sotto; the lower castle is the older area of this building. Castel di Sopra; the upper castle; is made of buildings dated to the XV century.

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On the first floor of the upper castle you will see a kitchen; and some rooms pannelled with wood. On its second floor your guide will show you a large room (salone degli stemmi) dated to the XV century; a beautiful loggia and other rooms.

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The chapel of saint Valerio was frescoed in the 1473. Its inner walls are almost covered with beautiful frescoes painted by two brothers who lived near Bergamo. Giovanni and Battista Baschenis.

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The visit to the castle is possible only by a guided tour. It is not possible to take pics inside the castle; even in the courtyard. Unfortunately.

All the pics of the castle (except this one that was taken by me) were taken by a friend of mine; Miriam Gasperi. Thanks again Miriam!

Posted by Maurizioagos 11:22 Archived in Italy Tagged san di non val trentino. valer romedius Comments (7)

A holiday in Desenzano.

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Last month I spent some days in Desenzano del Garda.

Desenzano del Garda is the largest town on the southwestern shore of lake Garda. It is the in the region of Lombardy and not far from Brescia.

It was not the first time I visited this town. I think I went there four times.

Desenzano is a good base to visit lots of places on the lake Garda.

There is a castle, a Roman villa and some museums to visit here. Moreover; this town has an interesting old core and some beaches.

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One of the nicest spots in Desenzano is the old harbour. It was built for commercial needs around the XV century.

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At the old harbour there is a bridge; the ponte "alla veneziana" (the Venetian style bridge) It was erected around 1930.

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I like this street. I don' t remember its name. You can find it beside the duomo (cathedral); on its right side.

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I am not sure, but it seems to me that fishermen had their houses on this street long ago.

It' s like a street you can see in various Italian sea villages.

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Desenzano has an old center worth to explore. It is partly on a hill.

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In this picture you can see one of the streets that takes to the castle.

The castle was originally built around the X century and enlarged at the end of the 15th century.

In the 19th century it was used as a barrack (Precisely until 1943).

It is opened to visitors, but I was told there is not much to see inside. Some expositions and other public events are held into the castle.

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You can enjoy a very beautiful landscape from the castle area.

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Another picture taken from the castle area.

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Bar - Ristorante Castellani is a good place to have a large and good pizza. They also serve first courses, as pasta, soups, meats and fish.

This restaurant is hidden in vicolo del Moro; a narrow alley near piazza Matteotti.

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Hotel Giardinetto is a small hotel where I booked my room in Desenzano. It is not far from the main square in the town.

The rooms at hotel Giardinetto are modern furnished and the personnel are kind and helpful.

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At this hotel they only serve breakfast; a buffet breakfast with lot of food. Cheese, cold cuts, pastries, bread, youghurt and fruits.

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Moniga del Garda is a small village; not far from Desenzano. Its name should come from the name of a goddes; Diana Munichia.

There are some beaches in Moniga, but I only explored its old core. I only took some pics that day I was there. I wasn' t in the mood to take pictures.

The main sight in Moniga is the castle. It dates to the X century. It was modified between the XIV and the XV centuries.

The castle was used as a shelter against the enemies for the inhabitants of Moniga.

During the summer the castle hosts several events, as shows, concerts and fairs.

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There are some streets with several houses into the castle area.

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Another picture taken into the castle precinct.

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Sirmione is a nice village situated some kilometers from Desenzano del Garda.

The old center of Sirmione stands on a narrow pensinula.

One of the sight in Sirmione is the castle. It was owned by the Scaligeri family; from Verona. This castle was built around the XIII century in order to protect the village and the harbour.

Another highlight in this village are the Grottoes of Catullus. These are ruins of a large Roman villa. It occupies two hectares at Sirmione' s northern tip.

This construction was associated to Catullus, because the poet Gaius Valerius Catullus had a house in the Sirmione area.

Sirmione also has some thermal springs. The water from these springs is even sold in the whole Italy and maybe abroad.

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Across from the castle there is a tiny church; it is saint Anne della Rocca church. It was built in the second half of the 1300 for the garrison of the castle.

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As in many old villages one of the things to do is to explore the narrow streets.

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The old center is Sirmione is not large.

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Saint Mary the major or saint Mary of the snow is Sirmione parish church.

It was built at the end of the XV century on the site of a 8th century Lombard church..

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Inside this church you can see a good number of frescoes dated from the XIV to the XVI centuries.

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The entrance of the church.

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Just outside the church, on its left there is a nice small well.

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This is my favourite spot in Sirmione. A private garden with some statues.

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Another church worth a visit in Sirmione is the church of san Pietro in Mavino. It is the oldest church in Sirmione.

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It was built in the VIII century and finished in the XI century. Inside there are some frescoes dated from the XII to the XVI centuries.

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This church is situated on the highest point of the peninsula of Sirmione. It is a bit of a trek to get there.

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The only downside of Sirmione is that it can be very crowded at times.

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While going back home I spent less than two hours in Torri del Benaco. This lakeside village is some 20 kilometers far from Malcesine.

Even Torri del Benaco has a castle. It houses a museum. It dates to the late 1300. I didn' t visit, but I will do next time I visit this village.

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There are also some narrow streets in this village and some nice spots.

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There was a party in this street the day I visited Torri del Benaco.

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Torri del Benaco has a good choice of shops, cafes and restaurants.

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This clock tower served as a meeting place for the politician of Torri; long ago. I suppose they gathered inside it.

Posted by Maurizioagos 19:27 Archived in Italy Tagged lake del garda italy. sirmione desenzano Comments (7)

Back to Umbria...N. 2.

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I spent some nights in Assisi; as I did a couple of years ago. I did it in order to do some day trips from Assisi and to explore the town itself.

Assisi is situated 19 kilometers (12 miles) east of Perugia. It is famous as the birthplace of saint Francis, the founder of the Franciscan order. Assisi is situated on a spur of Monte Subasio.

Assisi was also the birthplace of St. Clare, the founder of the religious order known as the Poor Clares.

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A good visit to this town could start from piazza Matteotti. You can go to this square by bus from Santa Maria degli Angeli; a village situated some four kilometers from Assisi.

From piazza Matteotti walk down one of the streets to your left.

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There is a good choice of shops in Assisi and especially of souvenirs shops.

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There is a cake worth to try in Assisi. It is the dolce di san Francesco. It is sold in several confectioneries in this town. I had a piece of this cake at Gran Caffè in corso (avenue) Giuseppe Mazzini at N. 16.

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Saint Francis basilica is undoubtly the main sight in Assisi.

The construction of this large church began two years after his death in 1228. It is made of two churches built one above the other; the lower dating from 1228 and 1230 and the upper one from 1230 to 1253.

This is the final resting place of sain Francis. He was buried in the crypt below the church.

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In my opinion Assisi is a quite large town. It is not small as you can read on the web.

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I did a day trip to Foligno from Assisi. This is one of the few towns in Umbria to be built on flat land.

You can go to Foligno from Assisi in around ten minutes by train.

I didn' t like much this town, but there are two beautiful sights not to miss there.The Oratory of the Nunziatella and the Trinci Palace.

An event is held in this town on june and september; every year. It is the Giostra della Quintana. It is practically a knights tournament. Ten entrants representing the ten neibourhoods of the town fight for a trophy.

In this picture you can see part of the Foligno cathedral (duomo). It is currently closed due to the latest earthquake.

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The Trinci Palace was the residence of the family who ruled Foligno from 1305 to 1439.

This palace is the result of the restructuration and fusion of some buildings dating from the first half of the XIII century and the beginning of the XIV.

Inside this palace you can enjoy some rooms with frescoed walls. Moreover you can spend lots of time exploring its three museums.

Here you can visit a museum of paintings, an archeological museum and a multimedia museum of tournaments and jousts.

In this picture you can see (pope) Sisto' s IV Hall.

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Here you can see part of the Liberal Arts (grammar, rhetoric, logic, philosophy...) and Planets Hall.

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This is another picture taken inside the Liberal Arts and Planets Hall.

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Another room you should not miss in this palace is the Giant' s Hall; also called the Imperators Hall.

Here there are many ancient Roman famous people painted on its walls; as emperor Augustus and Tiberius. These men are painted in Reinassance clothes

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A very tall statue at the archaeological museum into the Trinci Palace.

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A painting; part of the paintings collection at this palace.

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A visit to the palace should take at lest a couple of hours. I' d recommend to buy a guide book of the palace.

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The Oratory of the Nunziatella is a small church which was built in 1492. Here you can see a fresco by Perugino depicting Jesus' baptism.

Pietro Vannucci called Perugino was one of the most popular Umbrian painters of the XV century. It seems he was born between 1448 and 1450.

The oratory is situated in largo Carducci; a narrow street some meters from the main square.

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The fresco by Perugino.

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This is another painting (not by Perugino) you can see into the oratory.

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I re visited Spello.

Spello is situated at the feet of mount Subasio; between Assisi and Foligno.

This village has some well preserved Roman monuments, such as the city gates Porta Consolare and Porta Venere,

The main sight of Spello is a large fresco by Pinturicchio. It is house in the Baglioni Chapel into Saint Maria Maggiore church. in via Cavour.

The day I visited Spello the church was closed. Luckily I had already seen the beautiful fresco.

Have a look at my old post about Spello if you like to see some pictures of this masterpiece.

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The old core of this village is made of stone houses and narrow streets.

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It is a pleasure to get lost in Spello. The village is not very large.

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San Severino church is one of the churches in Spello. I think there are at least three churches in this village. It was built in the XII century.

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Probably the main event in Spello is the Infiorata. This is a religious festival occurring on the Corpus Christi in June; every year . The main streets in Spello are decorated with flowers petals and various herbs.

I haven' t attend this event, but I hope to be able to do it one day.

Posted by Maurizioagos 09:35 Archived in Italy Tagged italy assisi spello foligno umbria. Comments (13)

Back to Umbria.

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Last month I spent ten days in the Umbria region. I chose Perugia and Assisi as a base for my holidays. I have already ben to these places a couple of years ago.

Perugia is the capital of the region Umbria. It is located almost halfway from Rome and Florence. Its old core is situated on a hill.

I didn' t visit any museums or churches in this city on my stay, but I visited some of these last time I was there.

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The main square in Perugia is Piazza IV novembre. Here you can see part of the cathedral and part of Palazzo dei Priori.

Palazzo dei Priori was the seat where the town cuncilors used to meet. It was built between the XIII and the XV centuries. Today, part of this huge building is used as town hall.

On the third floor of this palace the Galleria Nazionale dell' Umbria is housed. It is a very rich art collection with paintings, statues and lots of other art works from the XIII to the XIX centuries.

Inside Palazzo dei Priori; on the ground floor there are also two rooms that belonged to two Medieval guilds.

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Between the Palazzo dei Priori and the cathedral you see a very large fountain. This is the fontana Maggiore. It is carved with panels depicting the astrological signs, the months of the year; Aesop' s fables and mythical monsters.

This fountain was created between 1277 and 1278.

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There are several view points in Perugia where you can enjoy great landscapes!

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There are many narrow streets in the old core of the city to explore.

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One of the places I visited as a day trip form Perugia was Castiglione del Lago.

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The main street in Castiglione del Lago.

This small village is situated on a hill on the eastern shore of the lake Trasimeno. It is or Etruscan origin.

Its old core is surrounded by walls built between XII and XIII centuries with three doors.

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Palazzo della Corgna is the main sight of Castiglione del Lago. This palace was built in 1560. I didn' t visit it because it was closed when I was in Castiglione. It is usually closed from 1 p. m to 3 p. m every day.

The palace is linked via a passageway to the Rocca del Leone. It is a fortress made of five towers. It was built in 1247.

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Even in Castiglione del Lago you can walk along some narrow streets.

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There is a small fountain in the old core of the village if you are thisty.

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The lake!

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I suppose the old core of Castiglione should be around one kilometer from the lake Trasimeno.

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This is a staircase you have to climb to get to the old core of Castiglione. There is also a road that takes there.

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I visited a village I didn' t like much; Magione.

I thought Magione was one of the villages near lake Trasimeno, but it is not. The old center of Magione is some three kilometers far from the lake.

The main sight of Magione is the castle of the knights of Malta.

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A constuction already existed where the castle is situated today before 1100. It was originally a residence and a "hospitium" for the pilgrims travelling to Rome or Jerusalem. This building was managed by the Hierosolymitan knights. Towards the end of 1300 the kinights of Malta turned the "hospitium" into a castle.

The courtyard of the castle is opened to visitors. You can visit some rooms into the castle prior an appointment.

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The main square in Magione is a bit uphill. There is the town hall here. It looks like a castle.

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Magione is a place to spend two or three hours; maybe more if you are going there to visit the castle.

Both Castiglione del Lago and Magione are easily reachable by coach from Perugia.

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I also re visited Gubbio. This town lies at the foot of mount Ingino.

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There is a palace to visit in Gubbio; the Palazzo Ducale. It was built betwen 1474 and 1482 on orders by duke Federico di Montefeltro (see my
post about Urbino).

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There is not much to see inside this palace, but there is a collection of paintings dated from the XIII to the XVIII century.

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Gubbio was built on a hill. You have to climb a bit if you like to explore it properly. There is an lift that takes to the upper area of the town. You can see its entrance in this pic; on the left of the staircase.

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This is the Palazzo dei Consoli. It stands in the main square of Gubbio; piazza Grande. This palace houses a museum.

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I had a very good crescia for lunch. It is a typical local flatbread sandwich. My crescia was filled with lot of gongorzola cheese.

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There is an area I like a lot in Gubbio. It is where there is the Camignano river.

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There are some houses near the river. This one has a door that is shorter than me.

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Another house near the river.

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This is the lunatics' fountain (la fontana dei matti). If your turn around it three times in the presence of somebody who lives in Gubbio you can go to a shop and buy a lunatics' degree.

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I went to Gubbio by coach from Perugia. The journey took around one hour and it was not comfortable.

Posted by Maurizioagos 08:46 Archived in Italy Comments (7)

Krakow.

Some years ago I attended a VT Euro meeting in Krakow. As I' ve already wrote Virtual Tourist was a good travel related web site I liked a lot.

I didn' t want to go to Krakow. It seemed to me an ordinary place not worth a visit. I was wrong. Krakow is a beautiful city with various sights.

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The old town of the city is surrounded by the Planty. It is a four kilometers park created between 1822 and 1830.

The Medieval city walls were mostly demolished to build this green area. It is a complex of several gardens designed in various styles and adorned with monuments.

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This piture was taken from the Planty. I think it is part of the garden of a museum.

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Saint Florian' s Gate was built around the 1307 to protect the northern entrance to the city. The roof was built in the Baroque style in 1660.

Originally there were eight gates and thirty nine towers in the city. Most of them were destroyed in the 19th century.

Today only three towers; built in the 15th century and a portion of walls adjacent to this gate have survived.

From S. Florian's Gate starts Florianska ulica (street) that leads to the Rynek Glowny; Krakow' s main square.

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Rynek Glowny is the largest Medieval square in Poland. It' s surrounded by many old palaces, cafes, shops and restaurants.

The highlights of this square are St. Mary ' s church that was built between 1287 and 1320 on the remains of a Romanesque church. It was restored at the end of the XIX century.

In the middle of the square the long building you see is the Sukiennice (cloth hall). It was originally built in the 14th century as a center for the cloth trade. It was destroyed by fire in 1555 and rebuilt in the Renaissance style with alterations made in the 19th century.

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Besides this building you see what remains of the old town hall; the tower. The 14th century town hall was pulled down in the 1820's.

On a corner of this square lies the small church of S. Adalbert. It was built the X century and was reconstructed between 1611 and 1618.

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This square serves also as a place for open air events. There is also a web cam at Rynek Glowny. Here you see some VT members in front of it.

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Veit Loss' altar is the main highlight of St. Mary Basilica.

It was carved by a famous sculptor named Veit Loss between 1477 and 1489. It is made of four panels that features over 200 limewood human sculptures.

This altar is about 13 m high and 11 m wide when the panels of the triptych are completely opened. The main scene in the center shows the moment Jesus' mother is passing away in the presence of the apostles.

Every day, except sunday you can see the ceremony of the opening of this altar at 11.50 a. m.

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Here you see part of Kanonicza street. From 1951 to 1963 Karol Wojtila; pope John Paul II lived at 19 and 20 of this street.

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A beautiful carved portal at Kanonicza street.

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Karol Wojtyla had lived for forty years in Krakow before he became pope. Well, this is only a picture of Wojtyla behind a window. It seems the real Wojtyla; isn' t it?

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There is a beautiful castle in Krakow.

It was the residence of Polish monarchs since the 11th to the early 17th century. The building was enlarged and rebuilt various time. What you see there today dates mostly from the early 16th century.

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Inside the castle there are many rooms to visit. I visited it with several VT members and a tourist guide.

We visited the second floor. On this floor and I suppose on other floors too there are lots of Belgian tapestries representing biblical scenes, animals et al.

I was very impressed by the Ambassadors' Hall because this has a roof with 30 wooden heads. They were 194 long ago.

Unfortunately it is not allowed to take any pictures inside the castle, so I only took a couple of shots of its beautiful and huge courtyard.

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Here you see some beautiful VT members in the castle gardens.

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The cathedral is dedicated to the saints Venceslas and Stanislaus. Is is situated besides the castle

The current building is the third church constructed on this area. The first church was built of wood, probably around 1020. It was destroyed by fire and then it was replaced by a second cathedral that subsequently burnt down again.

The church we see today was consecrated in 1364.

The church has 18 chapels, a crypt where many kings queens and statesmen of Poland are buried.

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Kazimierz is a district south of the old town. It was an independent city from the XIV to the XIX centuries. Part of this area was a Jews neighboorhood.

Here you can visit seven synagogues. Two of them still serve as venues for religious ceremonies.

The Old synagogue, or Stara synagogue (see pic) is the oldest synagogue in Poland. It seems it was built in the 15th century.

In the 16th century it was severely damaged in a fire and rebuilt around 1570.

During the nazi occupation of the city it was turned into a warehouse and was completely ruined. It was renovated in the 1950' s and at the beginning of the 20th century. Today it houses the Jewish History Museum; a division of the Historical Museum of Krakow. Here you can see a permanent exibition of Jewish culture and its traditions.

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The Remuh synagogue dates from the 16th century and underwent a number of changes during the 17th and the 18th centuries. It was restored in 1829. During the WWII the nazi used it as a warehouse, but they didn' t destroyed it. It was reconstructed in 1957.

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Besides this synagogue there is an old cemetery that was used from 1551 to 1800. The nazi destroyed it. It was renovated and reconstructed in 1959.

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Cafe Mlynek is a nice restaurant in the Kaziemierz area. It has two dining rooms.

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This cafe-restaurant serves only vegetarian meals, as vegetarian pierogi (a typical Polish kind of filled dumplings, crepes and also pasta (noddles) with vegetable toppings.

When I visited it I had two kinds of pierogi and both were good. Once I had a sweet crepe with a kind of cheese.

It seems this cafe-restaurant to be part of Nad Mlynkiem; where I had my room.

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I attended a guided tour of the city with a good number of VT members. We were also taken to the top of a palace where we could enjoy a landscape over part of the city.

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I think this palace could be a music school. If my memory serves me well it is not far from saint Francis' church.

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This is the facade of the Słowacki theatre. It was built on the site of a Medieval church; in 1893

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The theatre is opened to visitors in July and august only on a guided tour.

It is possible to do several day trips from Krakow. For instance you can visit the Wieliczka salt mine.

As I have seen from lots of pictures on the web; this is a salt mine with many sculptures made of sand. This salt mine is situated in Wieliczka; just around 16 kilometers from the city.

Another trip you could do from Krakow is to the Auschwitz - Birkenau concentration camp.

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I didn't visit these places, but I visited the Pszczyna Castle. It is a mansion, more than a castle. It was built in the 13th century and rebuilt in the 17th century; in the 18th and also in the 19th century,

The Pszczyna Castle is located in the town of Psczyna; 37 kilometers south of Katowice.

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Several rooms are opened to visitors into this mansion.

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The interiors of this mansion date to the 19th and the 20th centuries.

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Some kilometers far from the mansion there is an bison farm. There is also a skansen (rebuilt old typical farm houses) area nearby. I didn' t take any pictures of the bisons. They were having a nap!

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:27 Archived in Poland Tagged krakow poland. Comments (7)

Bressanone.

... Brixen...in German and in English.

Bressanone is a beautiful town situated some 40 kilometers from Bolzano. I have visited it several times as a day trip. It takes around one hour and half to get there from the village where I live; by train.

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You could start your visit to Bressanone from piazza del Duomo. It is the main square of this town.

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On piazza del Duomo you see part of the town hall, the duomo (cathedral), saint Michael church and a large and modern fountain.

The duomo (the cathedral) was rebuilt at the end of the XII century. It was originally built on the remains of a previous church; this probably dated to the X century.

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If you are going to visit the cathedral in Bressanone, don' t miss a visit to its cloister.

Here you will see lots of frescoes painted from the XIV to the XI centuries.

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Besides the frescoes there are some buildings inside the cloister; as a chapel with frescoes (saint John's church). the Madonna' s church which has frescoes as well and the baptistery with frescoes from 1210 go 1320.

The entrance to the cloister is to the right of the church door.

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One of the highlights of Bressanone is the Bishops' Palace.

The construction of this large three storeys building was started in the XIII century. It was rebuilt various times through the centuries. What we see today dates to the 1707 and 1711.

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Here the princes - bishops and later the bishops lived. The princes - bishops were priests who ruled over a territory.

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Many rooms inside the palace are opened to visitors who are allowed to enjoy them with a guided tour or by themselves.

Another part pof the palace was where the German emperors were housed as guests of the princes - bishops.

Another area of this palace houses the Museo Diocesano; with parts of the cathedral (duomo) museum and a large collection of ancient cribs.

The Bishops' Palace is not fully open in the winter. During this season you can only visit the rooms with the cribs.

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Il Giardino dei Signori ( the Lords Garden) is a small garden built originally around 1570. It was rebuilt in 1991.

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Inside there was a fish tank, a small summer house, an aviary and an orangery. This was used to protect plants during the winter. There were lemons, oranges trees, and laurels inside.

Today the Lords Garden has some flowerbeds, a fountain and a few benches. It is surrounded by a wall.

This garden is situated near the Bishop' s Palace.

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An interesting event held every year at the end of september and the beginning of october is the Mercato del pane e dello strudel.

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This food market is held at piazza Duomo.

Here you can see lots of stalls where you can buy various kinds of bread and sweets made by bakeries located in South Thyrol. You can also sample some bread. Here you will find ordinary and sweet bread.

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In the center of the square many long tables are set for this event. You have to buy your food (typical food) at some stalls. Drinks are served by some waiters.

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There are two streets with porticoes in Bressanone; as in other towns in South Tyrol: See Bolzano and Merano.

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These porticoes streets are lined with lots of shops.

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Don' t miss Brixen if you are in Trentino Alto Adige!

Posted by Maurizioagos 01:18 Archived in Italy Tagged bressanone bolzano. trentino. Comments (4)

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)

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