A Travellerspoint blog

Bergamo; some sights, typical food and a trip to a castle.

sunny

Bergamo is a city situated around 40 kilometers northeast of Milan. It is divided into two parts; the upper town (Città Alta) and the lower town (Città Bassa).

The upper town is the old core of Bergamo; the lower town is the modern part of this city.

On this post I will tell you something about the upper town.

You can easily go to Bergamo from various countries by air. In fact there is an airport nearby. It is located near a village named Orio al Serio.

This airport has only a terminal. It is used mostly by various low cost air companies as Ryanair, Wind Jet and Wizz Air. Inside there are several shops, a pharmacy, two banks and a tourist office.

large_54ddf4c0-7b16-11e9-a080-a9915b44360c.JPG

It is possible to go the the upper town from the lower town in Bergamo by bus or by funicular. The funicular has two cars. Each has a capacity of 50 people (seated and standing).

Its first run was in 1887. This funicular was restored in 1921, in 1963-64 and in 1988.

It runs from 7 a. m. to 12 p. m. every day. It departs from the station in viale Vittorio Emanuele. It takes around half an hour to go to the funicular station from the train station by foot, but you can go there by bus as well.

large_Mura.JPG

The upper town is surrounded by around six kilometers of walls. These already existed at Roman times. They were rebuilt during the Middle Ages. From 1561 to 1588 these were reconstructed by the Venetians. They demolished 250 buildings to build them; including some churches and convents.

The walls were built in order to face enemies attacks, but never underwent any siege.

Take a walk around these old walls to enjoy great views over the countryside and the lower city.

large_ec153120-6e58-11e9-b50b-3b55a969ce9d.JPG

large_34b72d50-6e5b-11e9-b50b-3b55a969ce9d.JPG

large_Campanone.JPG

Piazza Vecchia is the main square in the upper town. It is surrounded by various buildings.

large_4651dc40-6e5b-11e9-b50b-3b55a969ce9d.JPG

One of the palaces surrounding piazza Vecchia is Palazzo della Ragione. It was the seat of the chief magistrate, or governor who ruled Bergamo from the 16th until the end of the 18th century.

Palazzo della Ragione was built during the second half of the XII century and rebuilt in the 1500' s. It is joined by a bridge to another palace; Palazzo del Podestà . It was built between XII and XIII centuries.

On the north east side of the square stands the Palazzo Nuovo, or Biblioteca Angelo Mai; the civic library. Its construction began at the beginning XVII century and was finished in 1958.

There are some restaurants and cafes in this square.

large_5d020c90-6e82-11e9-9ec6-cdf17480663d.JPG

Torre Civica (the civic tower) is also called the "Campanone" because it has a very large bell inside. Large bell could be translated as "campanone". This sounds 180 times at 10 p. m. every evening to signal the old curfew when the gates of Bergamo were about to close. This tower was probably built between the XI and the XII centuries.

I don' t think it is worth to climb around 250 stairs to get to the top of this tower to enjoy the landscape. There are other places in Bergamo from where you can see a nice one.

large_2ca27f90-6f4e-11e9-b4fc-71715d699192.JPG

Piazza Duomo is a situated at the back of piazza Vecchia. It is surrounded by some religious buildings as the cathedral (duomo). It is dedicated to saint Alessandro.

It was built on a pre existing church probably constructed in the VI century. It was rebuilt in 1449; at the end of 1600 and in the 1800.

Opposite the cathedral you can see the baptistery. It is an octagonal building dating from 1340. Originally it was located inside the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.

large_503d3a60-6e5b-11e9-b50b-3b55a969ce9d.JPG

Near the cathedral there is the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. It was built in 1137 as a vow to the Virgin after the plague in 1135 on the site of a church dating around VIII century. Its interior was modified between the 16th and the 17th centuries in Baroque style.

The church houses the tomb of the composer Gaetano Donizetti and several Florentine and Flemish tapestries made in the 1500-1600.

Joined to the Basilica is the Cappella Colleoni. This mausoleum was ordered to be built by Bartolomeo Colleoni (a soldier and a leader) for himself and his daughter Medea between 1472 and 1476.

The sacristy of the basilica of santa Maria Maggiore was demolished to build this chapel.

The basilica Santa Maria Maggiore. The main entrance.

large_6b23e610-6e4e-11e9-beec-6d4b4f93dea4.JPG

Part of a tapestry inside the basilica.

large_700a04c0-6e4e-11e9-beec-6d4b4f93dea4.JPG

The Baroque confession chair.

large_623ab5b0-6e4e-11e9-beec-6d4b4f93dea4.JPG

The bishop hall (Aula della Curia) is a 12th century judgement hall.

Not many people know about this place. I was on a guided tour of the Città Alta and our guide took us there. It is located to the left of the Colleoni chapel. You have to climb a flight of stairs to get there.

large_6042dd50-6e4e-11e9-beec-6d4b4f93dea4.JPG

This large hall has five rows of 13th century frescoes depicting biblical scenes and other works. There are scenes as the last supper, Jesus washing the feet of an apostle. Kiss of Judas and so on.

large_Tempietto.JPG

The Tempietto di Santa Croce. This small church dates to the first half of the XI century. I have read it is decorated with frescoes inside.

large_Battacchio.JPG

large_659615b0-6e4e-11e9-beec-6d4b4f93dea4.JPG

You can spot some beautiful door knockers in the Città Alta.

large_09d83e60-6f34-11e9-a8e7-bfa6bc9de06d.JPG

One of the museum I visited in Bergamo was the Museo Donizettiano. This nice museum is dedicated to Gaetano Donizetti. He was a very famous music composer. Gaetano was born on november 29th 1797 and died in 1848. He composed about seventy operas in thirty years.

large_0848ebd0-6f34-11e9-a8e7-bfa6bc9de06d.JPG

This museum occupies two rooms in a fourteenth - sixteenth century palace; the Palazzo della Misericordia Maggiore. Here you can see many things belonged to this composer; his piano, several portraits and various documents There are also the bed he died in and a chair he used to sit in when he was severely ill.

I am not a opera lover or an expert on this matter, but I enjoyed this museum.

large_43556520-6e5b-11e9-b50b-3b55a969ce9d.JPG

La Rocca is a fortress was built between 1331 and 1336. It is located on a hill, which was believed to have been the Roman capitol. Its original building was constructed by the Celts from the IV century A. D. The medieval building was begun in 1331 by John of Louxembourg and completed by Azzone Visconti (lord of Milan from 1329 to 1339) in 1336.

Through the centuries this building has undergone various enlargements. Inside the fortress there is the nineteenth-century section of the historical museum of the city.

A memorial park dedicated to the first world war fallen surrounds the fortress. There you can see lots of monuments , a small tank and some cannons.

large_3fc7d190-6e5b-11e9-b50b-3b55a969ce9d.JPG

La Rocca is a good place to enjoy the views over the upper, the lower city and other areas.

large_0b7a3e60-6e5f-11e9-beec-6d4b4f93dea4.JPG

One of the churches I liked much in Bergamo was the curch of San Michele al pozzo bianco. It was originally built in the VIII century; rebuilt around the XII and the XIII centuries and restored in the 1400' s. ù

It is named al pozzo bianco probably because there was a well made from white marble nearby. Pozzo bianco means "white well" in Italian.

large_077de370-6e5f-11e9-beec-6d4b4f93dea4.JPG

Inside you can see several frescoes painted in the 1400 and 1500. There is also a cycle of frescoes made by Lorenzo Lotto; in the chapel of the Madonna. This church has a crypt with frescoes as well.

large_fb806e30-6e5e-11e9-beec-6d4b4f93dea4.JPG

There are some typical sweets and food in Bergamo which are worth a try.

Polenta e osei is a typical cake of Bergamo. It is the sweet version of polenta (mashed corn) with small birds. This cake is sold in various confectionery shopes and bakeries in Bergamo.

This good dessert is made with sponge cake, chocolate and hazelnuts creams, butter and some rum. It is covered with a layer of yellow marzipan and sprinkled with yellow cristallized sugar. The small birds that you see on top of this cake are made with marzipan covered with chocolate.

large_759eda00-6e4e-11e9-beec-6d4b4f93dea4.JPG

A typical first course in Bergamo is Casoncelli alla bergamasca are a kind of stuffed pasta filled with bread crumbs, egg, cheese, ground beef, salami or sausage, spinach, raisins, amaretto biscuits, pear and garlic.

These are served with melted butter flavoured with sage leaves and sprinkled with grated Grana Padano cheese and chopped cooked bacon.

This first course is believed to have originated in the countryside outside Bergamo where they were created as a way of using up left overs.

You can find casoncelli, also called "casunsei" in many restaurants in Bergamo.

large_9923f4a0-6e45-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

The Donizetti cake is a ring shaped cake created by Alessandro Balzer (see Balzer confectionery in upper Bergamo) in 1948 to commemorate hundred years from the death of the musical composer Donizetti.

It is a simple and good cake sprinkled with castor sugar. You can buy it at various bakeries and confectioneries in Bergamo.

large_64a44fc0-733d-11e9-bcc1-930d38e69529.JPG

It is difficult for me not to go inside the Tresoldi bakery when I visit Bergamo. This small bakery is a good place to buy good pastries and also pizza by the slice. My favourite treats there are small pastries with fruit.

Tresoldi bakery is located in via Colleoni; the upper town main street.

large_c29f9000-6f4e-11e9-b4fc-71715d699192.jpg

Sweet Irene is one of my favourite cafe restaurant in Bergamo. It is located in the lower area of Bergamo. It is made of two rooms. One of these is downstairs. It is a kind of cellar.

Here you can have food as quiches and sandwiches, but you can choose your meal from the menu of the day as well.

At this cafe they have a good selection of pastries and cakes.

large_372e7780-701f-11e9-8634-9fa848de4364.JPG

Vox is a good place to visit at the so-called happy hour. This is a period of time, usually from 5.30 p. m. to 9 p. m. when you can have a drink (alcoholic or non alcoholic) accompanied with various nibbles (chips, olives and more). At happy hour time you can help yourself with the food you see on the plates on the counter. Vox is also a restaurant. It is located in the Lower Town.

large_Statua-Donizetti.JPG

Here you see a beautiful statue dedicated to Donizetti. You can find it in the lower area of Bergamo.

large_cc9bc9d0-6e58-11e9-b50b-3b55a969ce9d.JPG

I had a pleasant visit to the castle in Grumello del Monte with a group of VT members (I was a member of Virtual Tourist...www.virtualtourist.com).

Grumello del Monte is some 18 km east of Bergamo. I went there by train.

large_e884b760-6e58-11e9-b50b-3b55a969ce9d.JPG

Probably this castle was originally built around the X century. It also was owned by Bartolomeo Colleoni in 1400. It was turned into a mansion in the XVIII century.

large_d6181270-6e58-11e9-b50b-3b55a969ce9d.JPG

large_d3d108a0-6e58-11e9-b50b-3b55a969ce9d.JPG

Only some rooms, a chapel, the ex stable and part of a tower are opened to visitors at this manor. So if you are going to visit a castle with lots of beautifully decorated rooms could be disappointed. You have to book if you like to visit the castle.

large_dc394930-6e58-11e9-b50b-3b55a969ce9d.JPG

large_10731062_828603337191668_4569404236222477317_n.jpg

A presentation of several kinds of wines was included in the tour. We could sample various kinds of wines accompanied with cold cuts and cheeses. I think this was the best part of the visit. The owners of the castle run a winery. There is a shop at the castle. Here you can buy wines and some souvenirs.

If you will stay more than three or four days in Bergamo you can do several day trips for here. For instance you could go to the Como and Iseo lakes, to Milan and to several other places.

Posted by Maurizioagos 11:47 Archived in Italy Tagged italy del bergamo grumello lombardy. monte. Comments (6)

Marostica.

sunny

Marostica is a town located some kilometers from Bassano del Grappa. It is situated in the Veneto region.

Its old core is quite small, but there is an interesting sight to visit; a castle. Well, there are two castles in reality in Marostica.

This town is well known for a (human) chess game.

large_3bafe4e0-6e46-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

Piazza Castello is the main square in Marostica, It was created in the 14th century. This square is where a chess game is played with human pieces. This is due in the second week end of september; in the even years.

On this square you see the marble chessboard realized in 1954 for the first human chess game and the Doglione palace. It was originally a medieval fortress which hosted the armoury and the chancellery and the Monte di Pietà during the Venetian rule. It was restored in the 19th century. Today it is the seat of a local bank. Opposite this palace there is the lower castle.

large_37b70c60-6e46-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

The Doglione palace

large_2aacbb00-6e46-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

There is a small chessboard on the ground floor of the Doglione.

large_c66598b0-6f4e-11e9-b4fc-71715d699192.jpg

large_e094ef60-6f4e-11e9-b4fc-71715d699192.jpg

Piazza Castello is flanked by two rows of porticoes. You can find various shops, some cafes and restaurants under these.

large_3aef4f20-6f66-11e9-bc3c-afc01c9e2166.JPG

There are two castles in Marostica. These were built in 1312.

Castello Inferiore; the lower castle is located in the main square. The upper castle; Castello Superiore, is situated on the top of a hill. It was built on a Roman construction. Inside there is a restaurant. This castle overlooks the town.

Inside lower castle; on the first floor there are some rooms to visit; as Sala del Consiglio; built between 1662 and 1663 and Sala del Camino ("camino" means fireplace). Outside the first floor there are two loggias with frescoes painted between XV and XVIII centuries. Inside the castle there is also a prison.

large_5fa8d650-6e45-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

large_5a62bd50-6e45-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

large_55835560-6e45-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

On the same floor of the lower castle there is a museum with several costumes used for the chess game re enactment.

large_50ecb640-6e45-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

large_47303050-6e45-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

large_68153590-6e45-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

You can end your visit of the castle walking along the ramparts to enjoy a beautiful landscape over the main square of Marostica and the surrounding hills.

large_6fc4ad70-6e45-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

large_28eeb750-6e46-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

There are several churches in the old center of Marostica. I suppose these are more than four. In this picture you can spot one of them.

large_310359a0-6e46-11e9-94c1-0956825dadfd.JPG

This is one of the entrances of the town.

large_273f9da0-6dcb-11e9-a812-ff8c5ee19e66.JPG

Caffè Centrale is a cafe restaurant where I usually have lunch when I visit Marostica. It is one of the cafes -restaurants under the porticoes at the main square.

The first time I visited Marostica the menu at this cafe caught my attention due to some peculiar dishes there.

That time I had gnocchi (dumplings) with gorgonzola cheese and nuts. I like them very much. The second time I went at Caffe Centrale I had rice with asparagus. It was good.

large_173a0da0-6dcb-11e9-a812-ff8c5ee19e66.JPG

Marostica is a nice place to spend some hours, or even a couple of days if there is a festival or a concert in the main square.

Posted by Maurizioagos 11:48 Archived in Italy Tagged del grappa bassano marostica chess. Comments (5)

Two castles and an island not far from Trieste.

sunny

If you are going to spend more than a couple of days in Trieste, you could visit two beautiful castles and an island. There is no need to rent a car, because the castles and the island are easily reachable by public trasportation from Trieste.

I visited the castles and the island some years ago.

large_94398530-6c4d-11e9-8a19-51fde1ff5092.jpg

Miramare castle was built between 1856 and 1860 by orders of Maximilian of the House of Habsburg (1832-1867). He was Franz Joseph' s (emperor of Austria) youngest brother. This castle is located in Grignano.

large_98216dc0-6c4d-11e9-8a19-51fde1ff5092.jpg

Inside you can visit more than 20 rooms. All these have original furniture. You can see the private apartments where Maximilian and his wife Charlotte lived for a short period; the guests rooms and the throne room.

large_99ef9e10-6c4d-11e9-8a19-51fde1ff5092.jpg

large_5523a010-6dbf-11e9-8c26-2f3ecc540307.jpg

large_cd7aada0-6d93-11e9-8f1a-092389d70d80.jpg

The castle is surrounded by a huge park with ponds, statues and some buildings as the stables and the so called Castelletto. Here Maximilian and Charlotte lived while the castle was being constructed.

large_a120be30-6c4d-11e9-8a19-51fde1ff5092.jpg

Duino is a town not far from Trieste. Here you can visit a castle. Well, in reality there are two castles in Duino. The old and the new one. This one is open to visitors.

The new castle was built around 1400. What we see today are some buildings constructed in different years.

This castle belonged to various people and was also used as a prison. At the end of the 19th century it became property of the prince Alexander of Thurn und Taxis.

Over the years this castle hosted many famous artists as Strauss, Liszt, Twain and Rainer Maria Rilke.

large_a3bc9ec0-6c4d-11e9-8a19-51fde1ff5092.jpg

large_a5b47720-6c4d-11e9-8a19-51fde1ff5092.jpg

large_ab4d1cf0-6c4d-11e9-8a19-51fde1ff5092.jpg

I took this picture from the castle tower.

large_53d869f0-6d94-11e9-8f1a-092389d70d80.jpg

Another picture from the castle tower.

large_b006d470-6c4d-11e9-8a19-51fde1ff5092.jpg

The "old" castle was built in the XI century. It is now in ruins. You can see it from a balcony and from the tower of the new castle.

large_Grado.JPG

Grado is an island situated 52 km from Trieste. It is linked to the mainland by two bridges.

large_4ad0f4a0-6dbf-11e9-8c26-2f3ecc540307.jpg

large_b8e99650-6d78-11e9-ae45-23d37112345c.JPG

large_b9502050-6d78-11e9-b312-c7a86155ce59.JPG

One of the highlights in Grado is the basilica of saint Euphemia. It has a beautiful mosaic pavement which covers almost the entire floor surface.

This church dates from the end of the VI century. It was built on the site of a previous basilica built between the IV and V centuries.

Beside this church there is a baptistery which dates to the fifth century. In this picture you see part of the basilica of saint Euphemia.

large_ccb81530-6d78-11e9-b312-c7a86155ce59.JPG

Some meters from the church you can visit the basilica of saint Maria delle Grazie. This church was built at the end of the VI century. It was built over another one of the V century. It is smaller than the basilica of S. Euphemia and houses a beautiful colourful Madonna.

large_befff940-6aa7-11e9-aee0-23b3228abc7f.JPG

large_bc875820-6aa7-11e9-aee0-23b3228abc7f.JPG

large_b47bdd90-6aa7-11e9-aee0-23b3228abc7f.JPG

large_c62aaf20-6d78-11e9-b312-c7a86155ce59.JPG

Once you visited the churches and the baptistery you could have a stroll in the town center.

The old core of Grado is made mostly of stone houses. It has narrow streets (calli), small squares (campielli) as in Venice. You can wander in the center of Grado for at least a couple of hours or maybe more.

There are even some Roman ruins in this town.

I went to Grado from Trieste by coach from the bus station. I took a coach to Monfalcone. Once in Monfalcone I crossed the road and I took a bus to Grado.

The bus station in Grado is in piazza Carpaccio; which is just a couple of streets from the harbour.

Posted by Maurizioagos 09:20 Archived in Italy Tagged trieste gargnano duino. Comments (2)

Memories of Trieste.

sunny

Trieste is a city in northeastern Italy. It is situated between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia. It is also located near Croatia.

This city is worth a stop of a couple of days or more if you are going to Slovenia or to Croatia. You could even choose it as a base to do explore some towns or villages in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region.

It is possible and easy to go to various destinations in eastern Europe from Trieste, by coach. There are coaches to several places in Croatia, Slovenia, Romania and to other countries departing from the bus station in Trieste.

The bus station is situated at piazza della Libertà . It is just some meters from the railway station. This station is not a nice place, but there is a convenient cafe and some shops inside.

I visited Trieste lots of time and also some weeks ago.

large_a93f2040-6aa7-11e9-aee0-23b3228abc7f.JPG

Piazza dell' Unità d' Italia is the main square in Trieste. It is surrounded by several palaces built mostly in the 19th century.

Among these you can see the town hall; built in 1875. The government palace (1904-1905); with mosaics and a loggia and Palazzo Stratti that houses a historical cafe named Caffe degli Specchi.

This square is very large and opens to the sea.

large_826683f0-6aa7-11e9-85fb-e1f1d4019a85.JPG

large_6a7de690-6a73-11e9-87f4-c108e5c5f1e0.JPG

Opposite the town hall there is a huge fountain; the fountain of the four continents. It was built between 1751 and 1754. Here are represented four continents, because the fifth; Australia wasn' t discovered at that time yet.

large_644186b0-6a73-11e9-87f4-c108e5c5f1e0.JPG

large_77eb3f80-6a73-11e9-87f4-c108e5c5f1e0.jpg

large_67ce2fe0-6a73-11e9-87f4-c108e5c5f1e0.JPG

large_7c20f9f0-6a73-11e9-87f4-c108e5c5f1e0.jpg

When I visit Trieste I like to explore the old town. I mean the area around piazza Cavana which is very near piazza dell' Unità  d' Italia. This is an area with a maze of streets and very old buildings. You can also find some Roman remains there.

There are also various shops and cafes in this neighborhood.

Piazza Cavana; the square you see in this picture, was previously named piazza del Sale (i. e. salt square) until 1829, because of a salt storeroom which was situated at the end of this square.

large_816fc580-6a73-11e9-87f4-c108e5c5f1e0.JPG

There is even a Roman arch in the old town; the Arco di Riccardo. It was built in the I century B. C.

large_5b238d10-6aa7-11e9-85fb-e1f1d4019a85.JPG

large_5de2ad10-6aa7-11e9-85fb-e1f1d4019a85.JPG

Here you see another Roman find.

large_e7e0fdd0-6aa9-11e9-af3c-bb7d5c230e4a.JPG

There are several palaces built in Liberty style in this city.

large_Liberty.JPG

Here you see part of another palace built in Liberty style.

large_676c6330-6aa7-11e9-85fb-e1f1d4019a85.JPG

Borgo Teresiano is a neighbourhood characterized by grid like streets. It was built on the place where the salt pans were situated. This area was built on order by the Austrian emperor Charles VI and completed by her daughter Maria Teresa in the 1800' s.

Here you can see the Canal Grande; built between 1750 and 1756. It is bordered by several palaces; by the church of saint Antonio Nuovo, several cafes, restaurants and shops.

In this picture you see a statue of the Irish writer James Joyce. He lived for some time in Trieste.

large_68f15580-6aa7-11e9-85fb-e1f1d4019a85.JPG

I spotted this stone face on the bridge you see in the previous picture.

large_cfefa540-6d93-11e9-8f1a-092389d70d80.jpg

This is Palazzo Gopcevich. It houses the Civico Museo Teatrale Carlo Shmidl. It is a museum related to the theatre.

large_ad2e3260-6a73-11e9-87f4-c108e5c5f1e0.JPG

The Serbian ortodox church was built on the site of a previous church that was used both by the Greek and the Serbian communities in the '700. It was opened in 1868.

It is surmounted by five light blue domes; one large and four smaller.

large_a82dade0-6a73-11e9-87f4-c108e5c5f1e0.jpg

large_c16f4930-6a73-11e9-87f4-c108e5c5f1e0.jpg

large_d1d88f30-6c43-11e9-aa1e-fd06f335e361.JPG

Inside the church you can see the iconostasis; that is a group of icons partly covered in gold and silver. This was built in Russia at the beginning of the ' 800.

A silver chandelier that was a present by Paolo Petrovich; (future tsar Paul I) when he visited Trieste in 1772 is another highlight of this church. Many other beautiful work of art will surely catch your attention inside this church.

large_CIMG7708.JPG

Here you see another cupola inside the church.

large_2847f5e0-6aaa-11e9-af3c-bb7d5c230e4a.JPG

Bar pasticceria Urbanis is a budget restaurant where I usually have lunch when I am in Trieste. It is also a meeting place where people go to have an aperitivo (a drink taken before meals).

Urbanis is an historic cafe, but it is modern furnished.

large_0f610fa0-6aa8-11e9-aee0-23b3228abc7f.JPG

At Urbanis ' they have a menu. but they also serve a menu of the day. Here food is really cheap. Drinks served at the table are expensive.

large_746a7b50-6b72-11e9-8a24-1568c2f4c7c3.JPG

Another church worth a visit in Trieste is the Greek ortodox church of saint Nicholas. It was built between 1784 and 1787 and completed in 1821.

large_764b2230-6b72-11e9-8a24-1568c2f4c7c3.JPG

This church has a single nave and its light comes from some small windows and chandeliers. For this reason it is not easy to take picutes inside.

Into this church you can see the iconostasis with several icons and several paintings.

The nave is overlooked by two balconies. The lower one was once set for women; the upper one was reserved for the choir.

large_70a97bb0-6b72-11e9-8a24-1568c2f4c7c3.JPG

There is a good number of museums in Trieste. I' d recommend to visit Museo Revoltella. This is a modern art museum.

The original palace which houses this museum was built between 1854 and 1858. It was owned by the baron Pasquale Revoltella (1795 - 1869) who was an entrepeneur and a financier.

In the 60' s of the last century two other palaces where added to this one to form a modern art museum with around 350 paintings and sculptures. Here many masterpieces by Italian and foreigner artists are on display.

large_6e8a9350-6b72-11e9-8a24-1568c2f4c7c3.JPG

large_898358c0-6aa7-11e9-85fb-e1f1d4019a85.JPG

On the ground floor of this palace there is the library. The first floor houses the baron Revoltella' s private aparments. The second floor was used for parties and banquets. Here you can see the dining room, the ball room and some other rooms.

large_2aac93a0-f10e-11e9-acf3-8730b062ab65.JPG

Sircelli is a cafe confectionery I usually visit around 5 p. m. when I visit Trieste. It was opened in 1933 as a bakery. Some years ago it was enlarged and completely refurbished. Unfortunately this cafe is quite small, so sometimes it is not easy to find a seat here.

Here you can find a large selection of pastries, cakes, some savoury food as pizza by the slice and various kinds of bread filled with cold cuts.

large_1fdc05a0-f10e-11e9-b69c-2f67f65cf41e.JPG

A piece of prestniz at Sircelli' s. It is a typical Triestine cake.

large_f2adcce0-6c0a-11e9-b0f3-09a0ba93a507.JPG

I like their apple pie and the pastry with pear and chocolate.

large_98188fe0-6aa7-11e9-aee0-23b3228abc7f.JPG

There is a nice long promenade not far from Sircelli' s. Viale XX Settembre. This tree lined street links via Carducci with Il Giulia Shopping Center. It is bordered by lots of cafes, eateries and shops. There are even some cinemas here. Amost all this street is car free.

large_9817a580-6aa7-11e9-85fb-e1f1d4019a85.JPG

Here' s another picture taken on viale XX Settembre.

large_cf26b4c0-f10d-11e9-acf3-8730b062ab65.JPG

One of the main sights in Trieste is saint Justus cathedral. It is located on a hill overlooking Trieste.

large_700f23a0-f10d-11e9-b69c-2f67f65cf41e.JPG

Towards the middle of the V century there was a basilica on the site of this cathedral. It replaced a Roman temple.

This church was probably destroyed in the IX century. Between the IX and the X century two churches were built on its site. In the XIV century these were joined to form the cathedral you see today.

large_953ee300-6aa7-11e9-85fb-e1f1d4019a85.JPG

There are three mosaics and some frescoes inside this church.

large_bdda25d0-f10d-11e9-b69c-2f67f65cf41e.JPG

The mosaic on the apse on the left; date to the beginning of the XII century. These depict the Madonna, the angels Gabriel, Michael and apostles.

The mosaic on the apse on the right date around the XIII century. Here you see Christ with saints Justus and saint Servolo. On the central apse there is a mosaic made in 1932.

large_6cd26f30-f10d-11e9-b69c-2f67f65cf41e.JPG

large_4cf58b20-f10d-11e9-b69c-2f67f65cf41e.JPG

I like this chapel a lot!

large_4f69d790-6aa7-11e9-be95-c7753af21922.JPG

Next to the cathedral you can see the castle. What we see today is a large construction built between 1468 and1636.

It is thought there was an early bronze age hillfort around 2000 BC at the place of this castle.

In the Middle Age the Venetian built another fortress. It was destroyed in the XIV century.

From 1468 to 1471 Fredrick III of Absburg built another constuction on that site. Other works were made by the Venetians between 1508 and 1509. The castle was completed in 1630.

The museum inside the castle is made up of a furnished room and the Casa del Capitano. This is the oldest building in the castle. It houses a collection of weaponry, some furniture and other things.

Temporary exibitions are held at the castle. Inside the castle courtyard various concerts and shows are held.

Once you visited the museum you can stroll on the ramparts on the castle to enjoy a beautiful landscape over the city.

large_50936370-6aa7-11e9-af3c-439464029d84.JPG

There is also a chapel inside the castle.

large_56ef5940-6aa7-11e9-85fb-e1f1d4019a85.JPG

Mikeze and Jakeze. These are the original mechanical staues which striked the hours on the top of the town hall in piazza dell' Unità d' Italia. They are stored into the castle.

Posted by Maurizioagos 03:50 Archived in Italy Tagged trieste italy. Comments (2)

The castle of Torrechiara.

sunny

I visited this castle in 2017.

large_6ba91a00-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

The castle of Torrechiara is located on a hill in Torrechiara; a hamlet which is part of a village; Langhirano; situated some 18 kilometers from Parma.

It was built between 1448 and 1460 on a older fortress by count Pier Maria de Rossi II ; a military leader. The castle had a defensive purpose, but it was built as a mansion for the count' s lover Bianca Pellegrini.

There are lots of rooms to visit inside this castle. All of these have frescoes well preserved despite of their age.

There is even a kitchen and a chapel into the castle; Saint Nicomedes oratory.

Some scenes of the 1985 movie Ladyhawke were shot at this castle.

large_68714790-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

The Golden Room is the main sight into this castle. Its name derives from the golden leaves that decorated the tiles on the walls long ago. It was used as bed room and studio for Pier Maria de Rossi.

large_52e0f470-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

Here you see another spot of the Golden Room.

large_64e16a10-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

In this picture you see part of the Victory Room.

large_60251a80-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

This picture was taken into the Sunset Room. This was one of my favourite ones. In this room you see hunting scenes and various birds flying.

large_5e06a750-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

large_5a808dd0-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

large_58378830-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

large_557b7570-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

This picture was probably taken into the Room of the Angels.

large_4ef08060-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

There are some legends about this castle.

They say you can see Pier Maria' s ghost wandering at full moon nights saying "nunc et semper" (now and forever). These words are probably related to his his relationship with Bianca.

Another legend says a ghost of a woman walks at night and kisses every man she meets.

You can go to Langhirano by bus from Parma. Once you are in the village you have to walk up a very long road. The visit to this castle is worth the effort.

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:27 Archived in Italy Tagged italy castle parma langhirano Comments (2)

Parma.

...

sunny

I have been to Parma twice in some months only (2016 or 2017...I don' t remember). The first ime I visited this city, it didn' t impressed me much. I appreciated it more the second time I visited it.

Parma is not a very beautiful city, but it is nice. It has a good choice of things to see. There are several churches and some museums to visit; a large park and a plethora of shops.

large_0f64ebd0-69da-11e9-b743-49e19ba28861.JPG

One of Parma' s main sights is the baptistery. This octagonal tall structure was built in 1196 and finished in 1307.

large_1347a440-69da-11e9-b743-49e19ba28861.JPG

Inside it is decorated with frescoes between the XIII and the XIV centuries. There are also frescoes on its dome. These were painted in the third decade of the XIII centuries.

large_16e5b290-69da-11e9-b743-49e19ba28861.JPG

large_19d27240-69da-11e9-b743-49e19ba28861.JPG

large_1bf30850-69da-11e9-b743-49e19ba28861.JPG

large_1e959fa0-69da-11e9-b743-49e19ba28861.JPG

large_11b39f20-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

Beside the baptistery I visited the cathedral of Parma (duomo).

large_13e65da0-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

large_10b7b2f0-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

The cathedral highlight is the dome. It was painted by Antonio Allegri, called Correggio between 1524 and 1530.  It depicts the Virgin Mary with clouds, apostles and angels.I think one should do more than one visit to the cathedral to appreciate this worship place. 

large_14ba4f70-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

large_32a9e270-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

I also visited the church of saint John the Evangelist. I is part of a monastery. 

Here I visited the cloisters and  the old library.  This  was frescoed  in one year  only; between 1574  and  1575.  A priest told me a lot of things about this library and talked me about the frescoes of this beautiful room.

large_b263fe50-69dc-11e9-a03a-b7f3a7eccc1c.JPG

large_39828250-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

large_3db46c30-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

large_3ef1a720-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

large_0d34cdc0-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

Sometimes, on the way to my hotel I had a stroll at a large public park; the Parco Ducale. It was laid out in 1561 by the duke Ottavio Farnese as park for his villa. In 1700 fell under disrepair. After 1749 it was restored. It was later restored even in the 1800 and between the years 2000 and 2001.

large_10250fe0-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

large_05c3e580-69cc-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

This park has a large lake, various kind of trees and some beautiful statues. There are some buildings inside as well; including the Palazzo del Giardino. I haven' t visited this palace, but I will do it next time I visit Parma.

Art lovers can visit the Palazzo della Pilotta. It is  a huge palace built from 1583 and enlarged through the centuries. It houses more than 700 masterpieces from the Middle Ages to the 1900. Moreover there is a wooden theater inside this  palace; the Farnese theater. 

There are also a couple (or more) of museums inside the palace. I only did a very fast tour inside this palace, so I cannot write much about it.

large_bf059b70-69df-11e9-9fc2-05e90344c2b5.JPG

I usually had lunch at Magnosfera when I was in the city. This is a self service cafe and restaurant situated just a few steps from the old center of Parma. It has a large dining room and even if this restaurant is very popular, I always found a seat.

At Magnosfera you can find several first and second courses and various vegetables you can combine and make your salad. There are also several fruits and desserts. Here You can have a pizza as well.

Well, I tried to describe some things one shouldn' t miss in Parma. There is much more to see in this town. Moreover, is it possible to do several day trips from this town.

.

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:46 Archived in Italy Tagged emilia romagna. parma; Comments (0)

Bologna.

...

sunny

I have visited Bologna a couple of times; as day trips from Ferrara; in 2016 and 2017. There are daily trains from Ferrara to Bologna every day. The journey takes around half an hour.

Bologna is called "la dotta", "la grassa" and "la rossa". "La dotta" (i. e. educated) beacuse of its old university. It was one of the first university settled in the occidental world. "La grassa" (i. e. fat) is a nickname due to the good food you can have in Bologna. "La rossa" (i. e. the red) is an adjective Bologna got for the reddish colour of most of its buildings.

large_eda2e140-685e-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

Bologna has a network of around 38 kilometers of covered walkways. The first porticoes date from the late Middle ages, but probably they already existed in 1041.

The porticoes were made due to the population growth; possibly because of the university students who came to the city. The upper storeys of the buildings were enlarged and consequently the porticoes downstairs were made.

large_Portico.JPG

In Bologna you can even find some very old porticoes made of bricks or wood.

large_CIMG6549.JPG

Piazza Maggiore is Bologna main square. It is surrounded by several palaces.

One of these is Palazzo d' Accursio. It was built by some buildings joined together through the centuries. This is Bologna' s town hall. Another palace on piazza Maggiore is Palazzo del Podestà . It was built around 1200.

Opposite you see a church; the basilica of San Petronio. Next to this church stands the Palazzo dei Banchi. Here bankers and money changers worked.

Piazza Maggiore is connected to another square; piazza del Nettuno.

large_CIMG6540.JPG

Palazzo d' Accursio, or Palazzo Comunale is a 15,000 square meters complex made of three palaces. The oldest dates to the 12th century. It was originally he house of the jurist Accursio. Later it became the seat of the Anziani (elders); the higher magistrates of the city.

large_0d658690-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

Inside this palace several rooms are opened to visitors.

On the first floor you can see Sala d' Ercole. This room is into the oldest part of the building. Sala del Consiglio Comunale has frescoed painted in 1676. It is used for the town hall meetings. Sala Rossa (the red room). It was the main room for the senate meetings.

On the second floor you can visit the chapel and Sala Farnese. The chapel was built in 1400 and enlarged between 1561 and 1565. It was restored in 1600. There are several frescoes dated to the 1562 inside. On the second floor you can also visit a museum; the Collezioni Comunali d' Arte; here you can see works of art from the 1200 to the 1900.

large_0b9d97d0-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

large_114299b0-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

large_13e1ae90-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

large_15db82c0-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

large_1cb422a0-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

Palazzo dell' Archiginnasio; the old university, was built between 1562 e il 1565 to bring together under one place the several university faculties that had been scattered around the city. It was the seat of the university of Bologna until 1803.

It is a two storeys palace; built around a courtyard. On its first floor there are the rooms of the legisti (they were law students) and the rooms of the artisti (they studied other things). On the same floor there are two aule magne; one of these is the so - called Stabat Mater; covered with coats of arms of Italian and foreigner students who attended the university.

Another room you can visit has an anatomical theatre. It is where anatomy lessons where held. Here the students watched the dissection of human corpses. The anatomical theatre was build in 1637 and restored after the second world war. It has its wooden walls decorated with statues of famous physicians and famous anatomists.

Palazzo dell' Archiginnasio also houses the public library.

large_447411b0-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

The Museo Civico Archeologico (the archaeological museum) is housed inside the ancient Ospedale della Vita e della Morte (hospital of life and death). This palace dates to the XV century.

Here are housed several collections which come from the university, from the collection of the painter Pelagio Palagi and from finds from digs in Bologna and in some Emilia Romagna areas.

On the basement of this museum there is a large Egyptian collection with sarcophagi, and lots of funeral items. There is a lapidarium and a plaster cast gallery.

Once you visited these sections you can to go to the first floor where you can head to the prehistory, the Etruscan, the Celt and the Roman sections. There is even a Greek collection to visit here.

large_468872c0-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

There are some Roman mosaics inside this museum.

large_79e23340-685f-11e9-a7ed-57e9cdcde1ae.JPG

The Quadrilatero market is practically a maze of narrow streets lined with food shops, restaurants and cafes.

It is located to the east of piazza Maggiore. It is bordered by via Rizzoli, via d' Azeglio, via Farini and via Castiglione.

In the evening this area becomes a place where you can have a drink or a dinner at one of the many restaurants and cafes there.

large_e3e30930-69cd-11e9-a2f9-2f9242413f19.JPG

large_7d8dd620-685f-11e9-a7ed-57e9cdcde1ae.JPG

Here you can find lots of shops; even very small ones where you can buy fruit, vegetables, meat, fishes; bread, pastries and other local food.

large_81befcb0-685f-11e9-a7ed-57e9cdcde1ae.JPG

Tamburini is a good restaurant to have lunch. It is a self service restaurant and a food shop as well.

Here you can buy various kinds of cold cuts, cheeses, cakes and also take away food for lunch or dinner.

At the restaurant you can help yourself of four first courses at least, some second courses, various vegetable dishes and some desserts.

large_85487190-685f-11e9-a7ed-57e9cdcde1ae.JPG

This restaurant is some meters far from the Quadrilatero market.

large_da8c3f70-6908-11e9-bd3a-05377081916c.JPG

In the Middle Ages there were around 100 towers in Bologna. Today there are around 20 of them. The most famous of these are the two towers; the tower degli Asinelli and la Garisenda.

The tower degli Asinelli was built between 1109 and 1119. It is around 100 meters tall. It was probably built by the Asinelli Family. There are 498 stairs to get to its top. Surely you can enjoy a very beautiful landscape over the city from there. This tower was used as jail sometimes.

The Garisenda tower is 48 meters tall. It was shortened due to a fall of the soil and for the excessive leaning.

large_27139f50-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

Saint Stephen basilica. According the tradition it was Saint Petronio who create this basilica. He was Bologna' s bishop from 431 to around 450. The aim of this construction was to imitate the Holy sepulcre in Jerusalem. This worship place was first built around 400 A. D. over a Roman temple of goddess Isis.

Originally it was made of seven churches, but after the renovations works made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the number was reduced to four.

large_41fef300-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

large_284fefe0-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

The first church you will enter is the church of the Crocifisso. It dates to the VIII century. This church was called this way , because a 1300 crucifix is on display inside. Another church you will visit is the church of the Santo Sepolcro. This is the oldest construction of the whole complex. It is a church built in dodecagonal shape.

Another church here is the basilica dei Santi Vitale ed Agricola. It was built in the V century, but it was restored and finished in the XII century.

The last church you can visit here is the cappella della Benda (the chapel of the bandage). Part of this church is used as a museum.

large_2c52b370-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

large_2e0e4620-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

large_3cdb7d30-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

The complex includes a small museum of religious crafts. It is housed into the chapel of the bandage.

large_d6e7c2e0-6994-11e9-a54b-e107a5540c58.JPG

large_50b71b70-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

Corte Isolani is a public passageway which links strada (street) Maggiore and via Santo Stefano. Inside there are various courtyards with several upmarket shops and some eateries.

At both ends of Corte Isolani there are two palaces. Palazzo Isolani which dates from the XV century and Corte Isolani. This was built in the XIII century. It has a third storey carried by a porch made of two brick pillars and oak timbers of nine meters of heights.

large_4d9f5420-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

A restaurant inside Corte Isolani.

large_4a50c560-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

I suppose there are some offices at Corte Isolani.

large_52beab40-685f-11e9-a7ed-57e9cdcde1ae.JPG

Nice spot at Corte Isolani.

large_57fdbf60-685f-11e9-a7ed-57e9cdcde1ae.JPG

The church of saint Dominic was built between 1221 and 1233 to house the relics of saint Dominic. It was enlarged between 1228 and 1240 and restored between 1728 and 1732.

One of its main sights is the Chapel of s. Dominic in the right aisle. It houses the Ark of s. Dominic. This masterpiece was created through several centuries. It is made of a sarcophagus carved by Nicola Pisano in 1267. Its upper part was added from 1469 to 1473 by Niccolò da Bari.

Michelangelo made an angel (you see it on the right) in 1494 and two statues of sain Petronius and saint Proculus.

large_5fb59bb0-685f-11e9-a7ed-57e9cdcde1ae.JPG

large_62d5ee80-685f-11e9-ab4e-e70d3417ecdb.JPG

large_5b339600-685f-11e9-a7ed-57e9cdcde1ae.JPG

Another sights inside the church is situated behind the main altar. These are old wooden choir stalls with Old and New Testament scenes made by friar Damiano from Bergamo and his brother Stefano. They carved them between 1530 and 1549. It is said they used 30 different kinds of wood to made them.

large_eca34a50-6908-11e9-bd3a-05377081916c.JPG

Gelateria Gianni is a ice cream place recommended by two VT friends on their VT pages about Bologna (see ex ...virtualtourist.com); Ingrid Trekki and Toonsarah.

I founded it by chance. I don' t remember which ice cream flavours I chose the first time I visited Gianni' s. The second time I went there I think I had a scoop of coffee flavour ice cream and another one of yoghurt. I am not sure about it. I liked it very much. The scoops were big.

large_ef7e2fb0-6908-11e9-bd3a-05377081916c.JPG

There are three branches of this gelateria in Bologna. I went to that one besides the two towers. There aren' t any chairs to enjoy your ice cream inside this ice cream parlour, but you can sit outside on a low stone wall.

large_Canale.JPG

Bologna has a long network of underground canals. These were created from the XII to the XVI centuries as a transportations way and to give power to the watermills and to the city's farms. From the 50' s they were covered.

One you can see in the city center is the canale delle Moline. You can see through a small window in via Piella. It is really a picturesque sight as you can see from my picture.

You can find some other canals in Bologna. Just ask the tourist office for a leaflet about these. The tourist office is located in piazza Maggiore.

Don' t skip a visit to Bologna if you are in the area. Even if you can spend only some hours there.

Posted by Maurizioagos 03:42 Archived in Italy Tagged bologna romagna emilia Comments (2)

Ferrara.

...

sunny 22 °C

Ferrara is a city situated 44 kilometers northeast of Bologna. It has a beautiful Medieval old core, Some old mansions open to visitors, a castle and lots of churches.

The last time I visited Ferrara it was in 2017; if my memory serves me well.

large_beb6f250-6786-11e9-ba35-4fd36c20cd16.jpg

One of the main sight of Ferrara is the Estense castle. Originally this castle was a tower; built in the XIII century.

In 1385 by Niccolò II d' Este ordered the construction of a big fortress in order to defend himself and his family against the citizens' uprisings.

Ferrara' s citizens protested against heavy taxation at that time. After a few centuries the danger of uprisings ceased and from 1450 the castle became a wonderful court residence.

The d' Este family lived in the castle until 1589 when the city was put under the rule of the papacy. This family ruled Ferrara since 1332.

large_54018630-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

large_5b2fe730-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

You can visit the castle on yourself or on a guided tour (this will costs you some euros more).

You can go inside the dungeons; these have low entrances. Then you could visit the chapel of Renee of France; wife of Ercole II. It is decorated with marbles and frescoes. Other rooms to visit are; the Room of Dawn, the Small Room of the Games and the Room of the Games. A proper visit to the castle should take at least two hours.

large_5ef74f70-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

large_633aec90-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

large_651eeed0-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

large_69e80fa0-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

Giardino degli aranci (the oranges garden). A small garden (balcony) inside the castle.

large_74cd46d0-6777-11e9-b159-21b180c172e8.jpg

Piazza (i. e. square) Municipale. This picture was taken during a historical re enactment.

large_4f18b080-6819-11e9-ac4c-ef5257651c50.JPG

Newly wed on the staircase in piazza Municipale.

The palace which is now used as town hall was the ducal palace. It was built in 1245 and later enlarged. The ducal palce was where the Estense family lived until the XVI century.

The main entrance of the palace is through the so called Volto del Cavallo (the horse' s face); a big arcade. This is flanked by two sculptures. To the right is a statue of Niccolò III on horseback. To the left you see his son Borso; seated on a throne. These are not original statues, but copies.

If you pass through the Volto del Cavallo you get to piazza Municipale. This was once the ducal courtyard. Here you see a yellow staircase built in 1481. Next to it there is a chapel, now used as a theatre.

large_173f74f0-66b1-11e9-95bb-abd4c62defa2.JPG

Inside the town hall (go up the staircase) you can visit the Duchesses' Room and the Sala dell'Arengo. This is decorated with frescoes painted between 1934 and 1938. The Duchesses' Room is a very small room decorated between 1555 and 1560. It was probably created for Eleanor and Lucrezia d' Este; Ercole II' s daughters.

In this picture you see part of this tiny room.

large_17ae1540-66b1-11e9-95bb-abd4c62defa2.JPG

Here' s another picture taken into the Duchesses' Room.

large_d9c72020-65e6-11e9-a4e9-2f6d37f8ab43.JPG

large_72f1e760-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

The cathedral was built in the XII century. It was restored and modified between 1712 and 1880. Its facade is divided into three sections. The lower part was built in Romanesque style. The upper part was built some decades later in Gothic style.

The cathedral bell tower was built between 1451 and 1493. It is unfinished even if the last works were done at the end of the XVI century.

One of the things I liked a lot inside the cathedral was a large crib created in the '700 by four artists living in the Naples area. It is made by 58 statues. Here' s some pics of this masterpiece.

large_3f4af960-6819-11e9-ac4c-ef5257651c50.JPG

large_3a8979b0-6819-11e9-ac4c-ef5257651c50.JPG

large_32ebdc20-6819-11e9-ac4c-ef5257651c50.JPG

large_78c154a0-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

The cathedral' s facade.

large_8a7e3190-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

Along the right side of the cathedral there is a long portico with shops. This is the Loggia dei Merciai. It dates to the 15th century.

large_91bdd0a0-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

Via (i. e. street) San Romano.

large_49bbb420-6819-11e9-ac4c-ef5257651c50.JPG

Zazie is a hole in the wall under the arcades of via San Romano. Here you can have a smoochie, a salad, the soup of the day, yoghurts and something else.

There are some chairs and small tables inside this place and some tables and chairs outside.

All the drinks and food are served in disposable glasses.

large_46182790-6819-11e9-ac4c-ef5257651c50.JPG

I tried some smoochies at Zazie' s. I liked them much.

The first time I went there I had a salad with cous cous. It was good.

large_9f8a1270-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

large_a439dee0-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

Via delle Volte. This long street takes its name from the arches that join the buildings along it.

large_a96061f0-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

Via delle Volte was a Medieval street where merchants had their warehouses and probably their houses. Long ago it was also a place where prostitutes used to work.

large_Nuovo2.jpg

You can explore Ferrara for hours and discover lots of nice spots...

large_c1daa080-6786-11e9-ba35-4fd36c20cd16.jpg

palaces, houses, churches...

large_b9890a50-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

Casa Romei is one of the mansions open to visitors. It was built by a merchant; Giovanni Romei in the XV century. It was enlarged for his second marriage.

large_bb366c30-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

There are several rooms to visit inside Casa Romei. On the ground floor you can visit the hall of the sybille and the hall of the prophets. These have beautiful and quite well preserved frescoes.

On the first floor there is the cardinal Ippolito d' Este' s apartment. Here you will visit some rooms. There is even a small chapel.

large_bdb241a0-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

large_e5f0d470-66b5-11e9-876e-db84df5d8a69.JPG

Casa Romei is also a museum with sculptures, paintings and frescoes.

large_cbc27c30-6786-11e9-ba35-4fd36c20cd16.JPG

Another palace I visited in Ferrara is the Palazzina of Marfisa d' Este. It was built from 1559 on order by Francesco d' Este; son of Alfonso I and Lucrezia Borgia. From 1578 it was inherited by his daughter Marfisa who lived there until her death.

large_ad81b8c0-6782-11e9-ba35-4fd36c20cd16.JPG

Inside this building you can see several rooms with beautiful frescoed roofs; partly restored in the XX century. The furniture you see there date from the XVI to the XVII centuries.

This building has a garden with a loggia that was used as a theatre.

large_c4e584a0-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

Palazzo Schifanoia is a palace situated quite far from the center of Ferrara.

The name given to this large palace could be translated as "to spur boredom". Its was used as a building for enjoyment and to receive guests. Its construction begun from 1385. It was enlarged around 1470 on Borso d' Este' s orders.

The palace was also enlarged again in 1493.

large_c6f2b9c0-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

On the first floor (piano nobile) there is a room with frescoes painted from 1469 and 1470. This is the "ciclo dei mesi"; (the cycle of the months). There is another room to visit on the same floor; the Sala delle Virtù; also called Sala degli Stucchi.

Part of this palace is closed to visitors due to the damages caused by the 2012 earthquake.

large_cb3f0970-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

In this picture you can see part of Sala degli Stucchi.

large_411f0520-66b0-11e9-95bb-abd4c62defa2.JPG

Palazzo dei Diamanti is another sight of the city. The name of this huge palace comes from over 8000 pink and white marble stones cut in the form of pyramids that cover its facade. The diamond was one of the emblem of the d' Este family.

The works on this palace begun in 1493 by Biagio Rossetti. It was modified and completed in the next century. This palace was built for Sigismondo d' Este; duke Ercole I' s brother.

large_4af3a6f0-66b0-11e9-95bb-abd4c62defa2.JPG

Most of the ground floor of this building is used for temporary exibitions. On the first floor you can visit the pinacoteca nazionale. It is a large collection of paintings from XIII to the XIX century.

large_de9d53a0-6783-11e9-ba35-4fd36c20cd16.JPG

There is a botanical garden in Ferrara. It is not large, but it is a nice place to spend a couple of hours.

large_e350f0a0-6783-11e9-ba35-4fd36c20cd16.JPG

This garden is located not far from Palazzo dei Diamanti.

large_edc8e510-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

Thie monastery of sant Antonio in Polesine was founded in the Middle Ages by the Agustinians monks. In 1257 Azzo d' Este bought the buildings and the area where this monastery was located from them. In 1258 year his daughter Beatrice and her companions (nuns) went to live there.

There are two churches here. The inner one is used by the nuns. Inside this one you can visit three chapels with lots of old frescoes.

large_ee2cfe10-6517-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

It is forbidden to take pictures into the monastery, but I was able to take this one.

large_899c8eb0-6518-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

The fourth saturday and sunday of every month; except in august; an interesting craft market is held in Ferrara. It is held opposite the castle entrance and at piazza Savonarola; which is just outside the castle.

This market is made of various stalls where you can find something nice to take home or buy for yourself. At the craft market you can find home decorations, garments, jewellery and many other things.

When I visited this market there were not many stalls, but there were lots of beautiful things.

large_8da03ca0-6518-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

large_91c4e010-6518-11e9-a008-330eaa849384.JPG

La coppia (called "ciupeta" in the local dialect) is the typical local bread.

The first written informations about it comes from 1536 when a court cook at the Estense court reported about a kind of twisted bread at a carnival banquet offered by the duke. Perhaps a similar kind of bread still existed in the XIII century.

This bread is made of wheat flour of 0 kind, water, lard, extra virgin oil, yeast, salt and malt. It has a x shape with its end made of a kind of twisted bread sticks.

A typical Ferrarese dish you should try is the cappellacci di zucca. These are large noodles filled with a mixture of pumpkin, Reggian Parmesan or Parma Grana cheese; eggs, grated bread, eggs, salt, and nutmeg.

Ginger and pepper were added to the mixture centuries ago.

They are served with butter and sage or with ragu.

The first written recipe of this dish dates to the 1584. Probably the name cappellacci comes from the resemblance of the huts worn by country men at that times.

I also have a typical Ferrarese cake to recommend. The pampepato. This cake is made with bitter chocolate mixed into the dough and covered with bitter chocolate. Other ingredients of this cake are; hazels, almonds, cinnamon and pepper.

Perhaps Its name comes from pampapato which was intended as "pan del papa"; the Pope's bread.

Pampepato was possibly invented by the nuns of the monastery of the Sacred Heart in 1600. They got inspiration for this creation from an ancient recipe by a cook. The nuns used to send this cake to priests at Christmas time. This is a typical Christmas cake, but you can find it all year round at several bakeries in Ferrara.

large_b2f9aca0-6781-11e9-9adb-5d6896bde315.JPG

Buy a My Fe; the city card. It allows you to visit several palaces, museums and the castle for a single visit for around 10 euros (2015 price).

You will have discounts at some shops with this card as well.

This card is very useful if you like to visit most of the attractions in this city. It makes you save lots of money. You can buy it at the castle or at some historical houses or museums.

I bought a two days tourist card and it was enough for me to visit all the main attractions in Ferrara. There are cards for more days on sale as well.

Posted by Maurizioagos 11:22 Archived in Italy Tagged ferrara. Comments (6)

Modena.

sunny

Modena is a pleasant town some 40 kilometers far from Bologna.

I have visited it twice; as a day trip from Ferrara. I went to Modena by train.

The center of Modena is not far from the train station.

large_3e93d600-6345-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

The Giardino Ducale is probably the first sights you can visit coming from the train station.

large_469f2980-6345-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

This beautiful garden was created in the late '500 and modified in the ' 800. In 1739 it was opened to the public. Here you can see a lake, various plants and a playground area. Joined to this garden there is a botanical garden. It was created in 1758 by the duke Francesco III to grow rare plants and also medicinal ones.

large_46d861f0-6345-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

Inside this garden there is a nice building: the Palazzina del giardino Estense. It was built around 1632 and 1634 for the duke Francesco d' Este. Today it is used for art exibitions.

large_73f4bbb0-6346-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

Piazza Grande is Modena' s main square. It was created in the second half of the XII century. It is bordered by the cathedral, by the the town hall and by the bishop' s palace. It is paved with rounded cobblestones.

Here you won' t miss a big red stone. The Pedra Ringadora. It probably was part of an ancient Roman building. In the Middle Ages it was used as a stage for the speakers, but even as a stone of shame.

It was also used to display dead bodies for the identification.

large_793bbf10-6346-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

La Bonissima is a nice small statue of a woman which dates to the 1268. There are various stories about it.

They say it could represent a generous noble woman who gave food to poor people in a famine period.

Another story is that La Bonissima should represent honesty at commerce. Bonissima comes from " bona esma" i. e. fair mesure. In old times this statue held a scale and was located on pedestal where various units of measure were written.

You can see La Bonissima on the municipal palace (the town hall) between via Castellano and piazza Grande.

large_7e802a60-6346-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

The cathedral of Modena (duomo) was built from 1099 and completed between 1100 and 1300. This church stands on the site where two previous churches had been built since the fifth century.

large_8268fd50-6346-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

It was built by the architect Lanfranco on the site of the grave of Saint Geminiano.

From the end of 1100 to 1300 the works of this church were carried on by the so-called Maestri Campionesi. They were architects who came from Campione; in the Lombardy region.

The bell tower joined to the cathedral is named Ghirlandina. It is 86 meters tall. I think you can climb it to its top.

large_8a95bb80-6346-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

Inside the cathedral there is a crypt. Here you can see the sarcophagus of Saint Geminiano and lots of nice carved columns.

large_8fc42dd0-6346-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

large_9a19e680-6346-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

The town hall is made from various palaces joined together and restored between the 16th and the 17th centuries. These palaces were originally built from the XII century.

large_9e4edda0-6346-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

Inside the town hall there are some rooms open to visitors.

Here is a short summary; the Camerino dei Confirmati. This room was painted in 1770. Another room is the Sala del Fuoco. It is decorated with frescoes dated to 1546.

The Sala del Consiglio Vecchio has a ceiling painted at the beginning of the 1600.

Another interesting room is the Sala degli Arazzi. Its walls are decorated with 18th century paintings on tapestry like canvases. Another room you can visit is the Sala dei Matrimoni; the wedding hall.

large_a1aa64b0-6346-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

large_1d4ec050-634e-11e9-ba7a-4d23a0eb01ca.JPG

The Mercato Albinelli is a quite large covered market. It was built in the 20' s of the 1900 in Liberty style.

Here you can find a large selection of fruits and vegetables stalls.

There are also several meat and fish stalls and some bakeries as well. Here you can find several typical Modenese pastries. This market is a good place to buy various typical products of the Emilia Romanga region; as cheeses, cold cuts and ravioli (filled dumplings).

There is even a kind of pharmacy into the market.

You can have a lunch inside this market. There are some eateries inside.

large_df2e6cb0-69cb-11e9-b216-f5a790a691c2.JPG

This market is open usually every morning except on sundays. It is not far from the main square.

large_1f87e770-634e-11e9-ba7a-4d23a0eb01ca.JPG

large_216e81c0-634e-11e9-ba7a-4d23a0eb01ca.JPG

large_CIMG6557.JPG

The Palazzo dei Musei is a very large palace which its original destination would be to become a hostel for the poors. Ercole II decided to turn it into a place for arts in 1788. This was meant as a school where young people would be educated to learn various crafts.

This palace houses several museums, as a museum of Medieval and modern art, and an archaeological and ethnological one.

Some of them are closed in the afternoon. One of these that is open until late in the evening is the Galleria Estense. This is an art collection belonged to the Este family. It is made of lots of paintings, some statues and other beautiful masterpieces. I liked very much this museum.

large_CIMG6559.JPG

large_CIMG6560.JPG

large_af658f80-6346-11e9-8a6a-81a315acf328.JPG

Palazzo Ducale was built from 1634 on the site of an earlier castle. It was used as the court of the Este family until 1861. Today it is occupied by the military accademy.

You can visit it inside on guided visits some saturdays and sundays. You have to book your visit at the IAT office in piazza Grande, 14. Tel.059 2032660.

Inside you will visit the Salone d' Onore with 1696 frescoes and the 18th century Salottino d' Oro.

I haven' t visited this palace yet, but I am going to do it next time I visit Modena.

Posted by Maurizioagos 23:44 Archived in Italy Tagged italy modena emilia romagna. Comments (0)

Valeggio sul Mincio.

sunny

Valeggio sul Mincio is a large village situated some 30 kilometers from Verona; in the Veneto region.

There are two beautiful sights in Valeggio. A large park; the Sigurtà Gardens and Borghetto sul Mincio; a beautiful hamlet.

Valeggio has also a castle, or what remains of a castle. It was built between the X and the XIV centuries. I visited it long ago. There is nothing to see inside it. Perhaps you can climb to the top of its tower. The castle is located on a hill.

large_f2647470-5c8b-11e9-9bd0-459f563011ef.JPG

The Sigurtà Gardens is a very lare park. Originally it was a walled orchard and part of the estate of Villa Maffei; a 1617 mansion.

Carlo Sigurtà ; a pharmaceutical tycoon bought this orchard in 1941 and began to create this park. He had the right to get water from the river Mincio. Later on the works on this park were carried on by his nephew Enzo Sigurtà .

The park extends over 125 acres. There are lots trees, flowers, several small lakes, a hedge maze and some buildings here.

The facilities at Parco Sigurtà  include five kiosk where you can buy food and beverages, the lavatories and a souvenirs shop.

Inside this park you can rent a bicycle, a golf cart or take the tourist train which rides along a seven kilometers route.

Sigurtà  Park is open every day including weekends and public holidays; from march to the fist days of november.

large_f5749aa0-5c8b-11e9-9bd0-459f563011ef.JPG

large_da2e0870-5e08-11e9-9a3d-21cea2526a8b.JPG

There are even a few farm animals housed in a area called "fattoria didattica".

large_fb420c10-5c8b-11e9-9bd0-459f563011ef.JPG

large_fbda7b80-5c8b-11e9-a979-056b6ef9ff33.JPGlarge_ff526430-5c8b-11e9-a979-056b6ef9ff33.JPGlarge_dee54ad0-5d4b-11e9-8858-a16ef3751640.JPG
large_10d34990-5c8c-11e9-a979-056b6ef9ff33.JPG

large_09a73280-5c8c-11e9-a979-056b6ef9ff33.JPG

There is a chapel into the park.

large_129b5f60-5c8c-11e9-a979-056b6ef9ff33.JPG

large_c63a4a30-5d4b-11e9-8858-a16ef3751640.JPG

Borghetto sul Mincio is a hamlet and is part of Valeggio Sul Mincio. It is divided in two areas by the Mincio river. It was built in 1400 by corn and rice workers.

In Borghetto there is a church; some old watermills and a good choice of cafes and restaurants. I have read there are around ten houses there.

Borghetto sul Mincio is the birthplace of Ivana Spagna; a popular Italian pop singer.

large_1b3b9fe0-5c8c-11e9-9bd0-459f563011ef.JPG

large_1b0b8f30-5c8c-11e9-a979-056b6ef9ff33.JPG

large_1891b590-5c8c-11e9-a979-056b6ef9ff33.JPG

This hamlet is about 3 kilometers far from the center of Valeggio Sul Mincio.

Don' t miss this beautiful small place if you visit Valeggio sul Mincio!

large_82d665e0-db7b-11e9-a2bb-8d2c075367f2.JPG

A good place to have dinner, or lunch in Valeggio sul Mincio is the cafe confectionery Martini Flavio. Here they serve a good selection of pastries, ice creams and savoury food as well.

large_856a5730-db7b-11e9-a2bb-8d2c075367f2.JPG

Here, on the menu there is a good choiche of sandwiches and piadine. Piadina is a kind of flat bread filled with various food as ham, cheese, or, and vegetables. The filling for a piadina could be anything you like.

Posted by Maurizioagos 04:44 Archived in Italy Tagged flowers sul italy. plants. valeggio mincio borghetto Comments (3)

My second holiday in Santorini.

...

sunny

Santorini or Thera is an island in the southern Aegean sea. It is part of the Cycladic Islands.

A couple of years ago, circa I went back to Santorini after many years.

The first time I visited Santorini I booked my room in Fira. This village is the capital of the island. It is a very touristy place. There are some museums and a couple of churches worth a visit there.

large_5368f030-5a15-11e9-b750-e747d4a9515c.JPG

On my first holiday on the island one of the things I liked to do (usually in the evenings) was a long stroll from Fira to Imerovigli. I did the same stroll also on this holiday.

large_CIMG7063.JPG

large_5af99570-5a15-11e9-b750-e747d4a9515c.JPG

I took these three picture during one of these strolls on my last holiday in Santorini.

large_69b1bde0-5a15-11e9-b750-e747d4a9515c.JPG

The Saint John the Baptist Cathedral in Fira was built in 1823. It was restored and rebuilt in 1970 after the earthquake of 1956. It is really a beautiful church.

large_6d244f60-5a15-11e9-b750-e747d4a9515c.JPG

Here you see another picture taken into the catholic cathedral.

large_72c64400-5a15-11e9-b750-e747d4a9515c.JPG

Another church worth da visit, or maybe more is the Ortodox Metropolitan Cathedral. It was built in 1827. It was damaged during the 1956 eartquake. It was then renovated.

large_76c33b30-5a15-11e9-b750-e747d4a9515c.JPG

Another picture taken inside this church.

large_8405b390-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

There are some museums in Fira. One of these is the Museum of Prehistoric Thira. I had visited it on my first viit to Santorini and I re visited it on this holiday.

large_80e9f4a0-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

This museum houses a large collection of ancient finds as vases, weapons, jewels and fossil plants. These were discovered in Akrotiri, Potamos and other places on the island.

large_7e0439d0-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

The highlight of the museum are the fragments of wall frescoes found in Akrotiri. They decpict various subjects as women, azure monkeys and naked fishermen.

As you can see these frescoes are well preserved despite of their old age.

large_cd246bc0-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

The Argyros Mansion is a beautiful mansion worth a visit. It is located in Messaria. This villa belonged to Emmanuel Argyros; a trader of local wine. It was built in 1888. In 1956 it was partly destroyed by the earthquake. After more than 30 years it was restored and turned into a museum.

large_cc449310-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

Inside this mansion you can see furniture and items from the 19th century.

large_c86c3ae0-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

During the guided tour (you are not allowed to visit the villa on you own) you will be showed the living room; a small music room. The dining room; the owner' s office and three bedrooms.

large_Oia.JPG

Oia, also called Ia, is one of the most popular destinations in Santorini.This is the most famous place to enjoy the sunset (a "must do thing" on the island).

large_8d83a9e0-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

Oia is situated on the northernmost area of the island. It is 11 kilometers far form Fira.

There are practically two streets in this village. One of these is long and marble paved,

large_8ad775a0-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

There are lots of rock hewn houses and also captain' s buildings in Oia. These are now used as cafes, restaurants and shops.

Oia has several churches and a naval museum.

Part of Oia was rebuilt in a few years after the 1956 earthquake.

large_d56d2b70-5adb-11e9-a428-e9a49b26764f.JPG

There is a popular bookshop in Oia. Its name is Atlantis Books, It was first opened in 2004. It was moved from 2005 in the building where it stands today.

large_d82df920-5adb-11e9-a428-e9a49b26764f.JPG

This bookshop is quite small, but full of various kinds of book. Here you can find a good choice of English language books about Greek culture and history. At Atlantis Books they also sell rare first editions books and books in foreign languages.

large_Pyrgos.JPG

Pyrgos is another village worth a visit in Santorini. It is situated around 7. 5 kilometers south east of Fira. It was built amphitheatrically on a hill, at the foot of Profitis Elias mountain.

large_a5b24e90-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

One of the main sights in Pyrgos is the Kasteli. It is a fortress built arouns 1580 by the Venetians to defend the inhabitants from the invaders. There is a cafe restaurants inside the fortress.

large_a0ed4c70-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

There are lots of typical cave houses in Pyrgos as well.

large_b8a95930-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

Megalochori is a nice village where you will not find many tourists. There are not lots of shops and eateries there, but there are some hotels in case you' like to look for you accomodation in a quiet village.

large_be9416a0-5a15-11e9-adfc-23c19992d547.JPG

Here you see part of the main square in Megalochori.

large_8a5d4a50-5a1a-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

There is a lot of typical cave houses, a maze of streets and stairs in Megalochori, as in other villages on the island.

large_Megalohori.JPG

A nice spot in Megalochori.

large_d9c796e0-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

Most of the beaches in Santorini are made of black sand and peebles. I have been to two of these on this holiday. I went at the beaches in Kamari and Perissa. I booked a room in Perissa.

On this picture you see part of the beach in Kamari.

large_Kamari.JPG

Here is another picture taken at the beach in Kamari. This village is 10 kilometers from Fira; at the southe east coast. Here you' ll find a black sand and shingle beach. It is five kilometers long. There is a good choice of shops, cafes and restaurants nearby.

large_e186ed40-5a15-11e9-9859-59846591dda7.JPG

Perissa is a village about 13 kilometers from Fira; on the south east coast. It has a 7 kilometers long black beach. Being a tourist resort; as Kamari, there are lots of shops, cafes and eateries here as well.

This picture was taken at the beach in Perissa in the evening.

There are other villages to visit and things to do in Santorini. I hope to go there again quite soon.

Posted by Maurizioagos 09:34 Archived in Greece Tagged greece island santorini europe. Comments (6)

Malcesine.

sunny

Malcesine is a beautiful lake side resort situated on the eastern shore of Lake Garda. It is some 60 kilometers far from Verona.

It has a beautiful old core made of a maze of narrow cobbled lanes and stone houses.

Malcesine has a good choice of accomodations, restaurants, cafes and shops. It is a very popular summer holiday resort.

large_CIMG7660.JPG

I suppose this should be one of the narrowest street in the world. Vicolo Picalof.

large_CIMG7662.JPG

Here you see another picture of this narrow lane.

large_CIMG7663.JPGlarge_CIMG7665.JPG

A stone house with a balcony. I like this spot.

large_CIMG7683.JPG

Close up of the balcony.

large_CIMG7681.JPG

A house with a coat of arms on its facade.

large_668bd440-4c08-11e9-969b-b3e91612c7b3.JPG

The castle is the main sight in Malcesine. Its name is Castello Scaligero. It was probably built by the Lombards around 500 A. C. on a previous fortress. In 590 it was destroyed by the Franks. They rebuilt it in 806.

It was occupied by the della Scala family from 1277 to 1378. Later, the Visconti family from Milan and the Republic of Venice hold it. Then it was in the hands of the French and the Austrians. During the period of the Austrian rule, which ended in 1866 major renovations work took place inside.

large_CIMG7679.JPG

Today the castle houses a museum of natural history; a room dedicated to the German writer Goethe and his visit to Malcesine in 1786. Some areas of the castle are used for various entertainments and for temporary exibitions.

The castle has a tower. You can climb it to its top and enjoy a beautiful landscape over the town.

large_CIMG7684.JPG

Part of the castle from afar.

large_CIMG7670.JPG

In this picture you see part of the harbour. It is surrounded by a good number of cafes and restaurants. From the harbour you can take a boat to other resort on the lake as Limone or Riva del Garda.

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:55 Archived in Italy Tagged lake italy garda malcesine garda. Comments (2)

Florence; a covered market, Oltrarno and more.

semi-overcast

On march 1 I decided to explore a bit more Florence, so I stayed the whole day in the city.

large_2c46e760-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

Florence has lots of markets. I am not a fan of these, but I like to visit some food markets now and then.

A market one shouldn' t miss is San Lorenzo market. This is made up of two markets. An indoor market known as "mercato centrale" and an outdoor market with lots of stalls selling leather items, clothings and souvenirs.

large_2f656570-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

At the indoor market you can find almost every kind of food you like. Even various typical Tuscan food. There are also some stalls selling exotic food.

large_32c30f60-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

You can also have a meal inside this market. In fact there are several cafes and eateries there. So, you can have a sandwich, a dessert, a proper meal or a drink.

This market is open from monday to saturday; from 7 .00 a. m. to 2.00 p. m.

large_3ca1ea60-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

I had read on a guide book that there are some Medieval streets in Florence. Via delle Terme is one of these.

large_3e5e8e80-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

Here you see part of another Medieval street; borgo Santi Apostoli. Both via delle Terme and borgo Santi Apostli are situated quite near Ponte Vecchio.

large_47c6d9f0-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

Oltrarno means "beyond the Arno". The Arno is the river that divides Florence in two parts. Oltrarno is where the Pitti palace is located. I visited this palace some years ago. It was built in the second half of 1400. In 1500 it was modified and enlarged. It houses several museums.

large_4a487bc0-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

Oltrarno is a nice area to explore and to discover some nice things as this tiny jewellery shop.

large_4f0d2fc0-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

Piazza Santo Spirito is a nice square in the Oltrarno area. It is surrounded by several buildings. There is a good choice of restaurants here.

This square takes its name from the church you see here. it was built on the ruins of a Agostinian convent dated to the 1200; between 1444 and 1488.

A daily marked is held at this square from monday to saturday. From 8 a. m. to 2 p. m.

large_66b195d0-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

I had a lunch at a restaurant in this square. Its name is Tamerò. This restaurant is a quite odd place.

large_6c2e4f30-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

Tamerò is probably one of the cheapest restaurants in Piazza Santo Spirito. I had a good dish of pici with cacio e pepe (noodles with cheese and pepper).

large_7fee0100-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

Orsanmichele church was originally built as a grain market on the site of an oratory dedicated to saint Michael.

It burnt down in 1304. In 1337 a new and bigger loggia was built there.

At the end of the XV century the market was moved and the building was turned into a church. On its facades there are 14 niches with tall statues of patron saints of various guilds; judges, cloth merchants, bankers and so on.

large_811235b0-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

In this picture you can see part of Orsanmichele church inside.

large_84d976e0-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

Ponte Vecchio with its shops lit is really a nice thing to see.

large_8798bdf0-4754-11e9-b91a-a9e406ae6767.JPG

Here' s another picture of the bridge; taken in the evening.

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:29 Archived in Italy Tagged florence market. orsanmichele oltrarno. Comments (0)

A day trip to San Gimignano.

San Gimignano; the Medieval Manhattan.

sunny

San Gimignano is a walled hill town located 56 kilometers southwest of Florence.

Originally it was the seat of a small Etruscan village. The town took its name from saint Gimignanus, who is said to have saved the town from the barbarian hordes.

San Gimignano developed considerably during the Middle Ages and the Reinassance thanks to the Via Francigena. The town was a stopping point for catholic pilgrims on their way to Rome.

Today San Gimignano has 14 Medieval towers. Long ago there were 72 of them.

In San Gimignano there are also some museums, some churches and a plethora of shops, cafes and restaurants.

large_DSCN0415.JPG

The colleggiata or Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta; also called duomo is one of the highlights in San Gimignano. It was built in the year 1000 and consacred in the 1148.

large_42d2d350-45b9-11e9-8041-fb25bb86cef0.JPG

Its walls are completely coverd by frescoes painted in the 14th. These were never restored, but only cleaned some years ago.

large_4788ba40-45b9-11e9-8041-fb25bb86cef0.JPG

These frescoes depict stories of the Old and the New Testament. You will be given an audioguide when you buy your entrance ticket to the church.

large_4ac82dd0-45b9-11e9-8041-fb25bb86cef0.JPGlarge_4ec7e420-45b9-11e9-8041-fb25bb86cef0.JPGlarge_53898ae0-45b9-11e9-8041-fb25bb86cef0.JPG

Here you see the facade of the duomo. You have to walk under the arch to enter the church.

large_Loggia.JPG

This loggia; Loggia del Comune (comune means town hall) was built in 1338. It was a gathering place used by politicians long ago. I think it is a meeting place for locals today. The loggia is located opposite the colleggiata.

large_62368fc0-45b9-11e9-b4db-bf093c819adc.JPG

Piazza della Cisterna is a beautiful square situated some meters from Piazza del Duomo where the Colleggiata is situated. This square has a triangular shape. It is surrounded by several palaces. There are also some restaurants and shops here. This square takes its name from the cistern you see in its middle.

.large_659cc530-45b9-11e9-b4db-bf093c819adc.JPGlarge_Torri.JPG

Here you can see some towers. I took this picture at the Rocca di Montestaffoli. It is practically a pleasant park with some remains of a fortress.

large_6cd4c320-45b9-11e9-b4db-bf093c819adc.JPG

Another thing to do in San Gimignano is to get lost.

large_73655d80-45b9-11e9-b4db-bf093c819adc.JPG

large_74179250-45c0-11e9-b769-2b0d73c8225a.JPG

Posted by Maurizioagos 02:13 Archived in Italy Tagged san gimignano towers. tuscany. Comments (8)

A day trip to Siena.

...

sunny

Siena is a well preserved Medieval town located 30 miles south of Florence. It is set on three hills. So, if you like to explore it quite well, you should climb a bit on some steep streets.

large_b55ac860-4285-11e9-83d0-a31a1693aafc.JPG

Piazza del Campo is Siena main square. This large scallop shaped square is divided in nine segments representing the Council of the Nine. This group of people ruled the Medieval Siena from 1292 to 1355.

large_baf34720-4285-11e9-83d0-a31a1693aafc.JPG

In Piazza del Campo, a historical bareback horse race called "Palio" is held twice every year; on 2th july and 16th august.

large_47f83310-4286-11e9-a174-3b330f3bdc9f.JPG

The Palazzo Pubblico is one of the main sights in Siena. It was built between 1288 and 1342 circa. It is used as town hall. This palace also houses the civic museum. This museum is made of several rooms.

This palace has a tall tower you can climb. The Torre del Mangia. It was built between 1338 and 1348.

I took this picture inside the Sala della Pace (peace). Three walls of this room are painted with large frescoes with the subject about a good and a bad government of the city of Siena. This frescoes were painted in 1337.

large_34ea9330-4286-11e9-b946-2b62247a4588.JPG

The largest room inside the Palazzo Pubblico is the Sala del Mappamondo. Here you see a large fresco with the Madonna, saints and some angels.

Unfortunately it is not possible to spot the glitters in this picture. I had never see glitters on a paintings before...I was quite impressed about this thing.

large_64456fa0-42a5-11e9-8772-7109581cf45d.JPG

Here you see another beautiful fresco. I don' t remember the name of the room where it is located.

large_Duomo.JPG

The church you see in this picture is Siena cathedral. It was probably built between 1215 and 1263. In my opinion its main sights are the Piccolomini library and the decorated floor.

large_cd6e0f50-42a5-11e9-8772-7109581cf45d.JPG

The floor of the cathedral is completely covered with inlaid marble mosaics. These were created between the 14th and the 16th century.

They represent scenes from the Old Testament, an episode of the New Testament, the Sybille and other subjects.

large_eaec5070-4285-11e9-83d0-a31a1693aafc.JPG

The Piccolomini library is joined to the cathedral. It was commissioned by Francesco Piccolomini Todeschini (pope Pius III) for his uncle Enea Silvio Piccolomini; pope Pius II. The walls of this room are painted with beautiful frescoes.

large_f172d8b0-4285-11e9-83d0-a31a1693aafc.JPG

There are some ancient books inside the library, but I was attracted by the beautiful frescoes which depict various scenes of pope Pius II' s life.

large_20060910-44fa-11e9-b35b-b7df0201b838.JPG

Here you see another picture taken into the library.

large_0575fc20-4286-11e9-b946-2b62247a4588.JPG

I was lucky enough to find the floor uncovered enough. So I could admire this art work and take some pices. Most of the time the floor is much covered.

large_0c856370-4286-11e9-b946-2b62247a4588.JPGlarge_12d09060-4286-11e9-b946-2b62247a4588.JPG

This part of mosaic and the previous two depict the wheel of fortune and the She wolf, surrounded by the emblems of the cities allied with Siena.

large_1853b260-4286-11e9-b946-2b62247a4588.JPGlarge_1d990810-4286-11e9-b946-2b62247a4588.JPG

....One of the many Sybillas you can find on the floor.

large_6ad6be60-4286-11e9-a174-3b330f3bdc9f.JPG

Siena is also made of backstreets and arches.

large_74170f70-4286-11e9-a174-3b330f3bdc9f.JPG

I visited Saint Catherine' s house. Well, It is a place made of a couple of chapels and other rooms built where some rooms of her house were. Here you can see several paintings about the saint' s life and also some of her relics.

large_7a2e3410-4286-11e9-a174-3b330f3bdc9f.JPG

Saint Catherine' s house is really a nice place to spend some time if you visit Siena.

large_74c49c70-42a5-11e9-8772-7109581cf45d.JPG

After the visit to Saint Catherine' s house I had a large slice of pizza at a nice place Chianti and Pizza. It was very good. Chianti and Pizza is located in via delle Terme.

large_7a000710-42a5-11e9-8772-7109581cf45d.JPG

There are some musical instruments inside Chianti and Pizza. These make a nice wall decorations.

After my lunch I headed to Saint Francis' church. It is a large church, but it didin' impress me much. This church houses the skull of Saint Catherine and a real protrait of the saint painted by a friend of her. Unfortunately This painting is located qutie far so it is not possible to watch it properly.

large_81de9650-4286-11e9-a174-3b330f3bdc9f.JPG

Just outside of Saint Francis' church you can admire this beautiful landscape.

large_87335550-4286-11e9-a174-3b330f3bdc9f.JPG

Another beautiful landscape.

large_93ebb620-4286-11e9-a174-3b330f3bdc9f.JPG

This is the facade of the Palazzo Pubblico. I took this picture late in the evening.

I hope to go back to Siena quite soon! I liked it very much.

Posted by Maurizioagos 12:08 Archived in Italy Tagged siena Comments (2)

(Entries 31 - 45 of 56) « Page 1 2 [3] 4 »