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    Piazza del Plebiscito

    Piazza del Plebiscito, formerly known as Largo di Palazzo, is a beautiful large square in Naples, with an area of about 25,000 square meters, bordered at one end by the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) and at the other by the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola.   SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 17th century, the Palazzo Reale was built by the architect Domenico Fontana, who turned the palace facade towards an open space, which will be known as Largo di Palazzo. The space became the vital center of the city and, at the same time, a very important public representation area. When the viceroy settled in the Royal Palace, the square did not have an adequate conformation, and the side of Largo facing the sea was embellished with various sculptural elements, including a majestic three-arched fountain designed by Pietro Bernini and Michelangelo Naccherino, and a colossal bust of Jupiter found in Pozzuoli, named Gigante di Palazzo. At the end of the 18th century, Palazzo Salerno was built on a project by Francesco Sicuro for Ferdinand IV of Naples, changing somehow the appearance of the square. Only at the beginning of the 19th century, during the Napoleonic period, the Read more [...]

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    Piazza dell’Anfiteatro

    Piazza dell’Anfiteatro is a wonderful square in Lucca, built on the remains of an ancient Roman amphitheater, which determined its closed elliptical shape.   SHORT HISTORY A large amphitheater was built here in the 1st or the 2nd century BC, under Emperor Claudius, and was finished in the Flavian period. The structure, with fifty-four arches and 18 rows of seats, could accommodate around 10,000 spectators. In the 6th century, during the Gothic Wars, under siege by the Byzantine general Narses, the amphitheatre was fortified by the closure of the outside arches. Following the shape of the ancient amphitheater, the square was born in the Middle Ages, and in this era was called parlascio, a word derived from the Latin paralisium, meaning amphitheater. Progressively, the square was filled with buildings, used as warehouses, shops or prison. In the 19th century, thanks to the architect Lorenzo Nottolini, was decided an urban renewal of the structure. The space of the arena was freed from the small buildings that crowded it and the Via dell’ Anfiteatro was built around it. The new space was used for the city market, until – in the first half of the 20th century – the market was moved Read more [...]

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    Piazza del Campo

    With its unique shell shape, Piazza del Campo, the main square in Siena, stands as one of most beautiful in Italy and the world. Renowed as the place where twice a year the Palio di Siena is held, Piazza del Campo is a perfect example of cultural and architectural integrity, invaluable for humanity.   SHORT HISTORY The first documented information about the square is from 1169, that speaks about the arrangement of the Campo, referring both to the current Piazza del Campo and to the near Piazza del Mercato (the Market Square) as a singular area. From 1193, the area was divided in two, and until 1270, the space was used for fairs and markets. In 1262, the first measures to improve the layout of the square were taken, imposing among other things the obligation to build only mullioned windows and forbidding the construction of terraces. The history of the square is strongly intertwined with that of the Palazzo Pubblico, started in 1297 and finished in 1310. At the same time, private palaces were built in the square, Torre dell Mangia was raised between 1325 and 1344, and the square was paved in fishbone-patterned red brick and divided by eight Read more [...]

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    Siena Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

    The Cathedral of Siena, dedicated to the of the Assumption of Saint Mary, is located in the homonymous square in the historical center of the city, being one of the most beautiful churches in Italy, a great exemple of Romanesque-Gothic architecture.   SHORT HISTORY It seems that the current cathedral replaced a first church dedicated to Saint Mary, built around the 9th century, which in turn replaced an ancient temple dedicated to Minerva. The first real information about the building of the cathedral is from 1226, when the first costs and contracts related to the construction were recorded. Probably, the works had begun some time before that, because the consecration tooked place, according to the tradition, on November 18, 1179. Between 1238 and 1285, the church was administered by the monks of San Galgano. From 1284 to 1297, Giovanni Pisano was responsible for the construction of the lower part of the facade, completed between 1299 and 1317 by Camaino di Crescentino, father of the sculptor Tino di Camaino. The bell-tower, at a height of 77 meters, was finished in 1313. The works were completed in 1370.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is elevated on a Read more [...]

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    Pisa Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

    Located in the famous Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), between the Baptistery of San Giovanni and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, or the Duomo di Pisa, is a masterpiece of the Romanesque style, representing the tangible proof of the prestige and wealth achieved by the Maritime Republic of Pisa at its height.   SHORT HISTORY The building of Pisa Cathedral was started in 1064 by the architect Buscheto, at the same time with the reconstruction of the Basilica of Saint Mark, in Venice, as part of the race between the two maritime republics to create the most beautiful and sumptuous place of worship. The cathedral was consecrated with great pomp on September 26th, 1118, by Pope Gelasius II. In the first half of the 12th century, the cathedral was enlarged under the direction of architect Rainaldo. He designed a new facade, built by the sculptors Guglielmo and Biduino. The work ended in 1180, as documented by the date on the bronze knockers made by Bonanno Pisano for the main door. Following the disastrous fire of 1595, the roof of the church was redone and the three bronze doors of the facade were executed Read more [...]

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    Prato della Valle

    With 88,620 square meters, Prato della Valle is the largest square in Europe and one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. The current configuration dates back to the late 18th century and is characterized by a central elliptical island, called Memmia island, surrounded by a canal on whose banks is a double ring of statues, with an outer circumference of 1450 meters.   SHORT HISTORY In the Roman times, the area was known as Campo Marzio, named after Mars, the god of war, because it was used as a place for military meetings. Since the 12th century, various shows and games have been documented in Prato. From 1257, horse races are held here to commemorate the liberation from the tyranny of Ezzelino III da Romano. In 1310 a more extensive intervention in the area was carried out under the guidance of Fra Giovanni Eremitano. Between the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century, the town’s forgery was built near the Prato. During the 15th century, an imposing palace was built on the northern corner of Prato, as the residence of Cardinal Bessarione, now known as Palazzo Angeli. In 1498, the old Basilica of Santa Giustina Read more [...]

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    Scrovegni Chapel

    The Scrovegni Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni), dedicated to St. Mary of the Charity, commissioned by Enrico degli Scrovegni and frescoed between 1303 and 1305 by the painter and architect Giotto di Bondone, is one of the most important masterpieces of Western art. Since 2006, the Scrovegni Chapel has been nominated to become the second UNESCO World Heritage Site in Padua, the first being the 16th century botanical garden.   SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 14th century, Enrico Scrovegni, a rich Paduan banker, had bought a land in Padua, in an ancient Roman area, to build a sumptuous palace and a chapel that will be used as a family mausoleum. For painting the chapel, he comissioned the Florentine Giotto, who started the work in 1303 and finished it before March 25th, 1305, when the chapel was consecrated. Giotto painted the entire inner surface of the oratory with a unitary iconography, helped by a team of about forty employees. Palazzo Scrovegni was demolished in 1827 to obtain precious materials and make room for two condominiums, and the chapel was officially acquired by the Municipality of Padua. Immediately after the purchase, the condominiums were demolished and the chapel was restored. In Read more [...]

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    Church of San Giorgio Maggiore

    There are many churches in Venice, and many are beautiful, but few impress like the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore. It may be the place, because not many churches have their own island, or it may be the bell-tower, probably second in height after the one in the Saint Mark’s Square, but we can easily believe that, among all, the inspiration of Andrea Palladio matters probably the most.   SHORT HISTORY In 982, the Doge Tribuno Memmo donated the island of San Giorgio Maggiore to a benedictine monk, who will establish here a monastery. The church, built five years later, from brick and wood, will last until 1223, when it will be severely damaged by an earthquake. The Doge Pietro Ziani will fix it, only to retreat to the island a few years later. In 1109, the relics of St. Stephen will be brought here from Constantinople, and the annual celebration held on 26 December, on the saint’s day, will become one of the most popular Christian holidays in the Venetian calendar. The church we see today was begun by Andrea Palladio in 1565 and completed after his death, in 1610. The one who finished the project was, apparently, Vincenzo Read more [...]

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    Arezzo Cathedral of Saints Donato and Peter

    The Cathedral of Saints Donato and Peter (Cattedrale di Santi Donato e Pietro) is the main catholic church in Arezzo, dominating the city from the height of San Pietro Hill.   SHORT HISTORY An important event, which contributed to the construction of the cathedral, was the visit of Pope Gregorio X, which took place on December 20, 1275, returning from the Council of Lyon. The Pope, seriously ill, died in Arezzo on January 10, leaving the sum of thirty gold florins for the building of the new Cathedral. In 1277, the decree of the bishop Guglielmo degli Ubertini was promulgated, which stated the desire to build a church “to the honor of God, of the Blessed Virgin and of the patron Saint Donato”. In 1289, the year of the Battle of Campaldino, the church, already consecrated, presented a fully built apse and the first two bays. In 1384, the sale of the Municipality of Arezzo to the Signoria of Florence led to an interruption of the construction, which was resumed in 1471 and ended in 1511. In the early 17th century, following the new rules of the Council of Trent, a modernization operation was carried out with the renewal of Read more [...]

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    Florence Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

    Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, known as the Duomo of Florence, is one of the most famous churches in Italy. When it was completed, in the 15th century, it was the largest church in the world, while today it is the third in Europe after St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London.   SHORT HISTORY In 1294, the Commune of Florence orders the construction of a new cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore (St. Mary of the Flower). Two years later, the architect Arnolfo di Cambio is comissioned to design the cathedral, but he dies a few years later. In 1334, Giotto di Bondone was appointed as the architect of the cathedral. In the same year, he starts the building of the bell-tower. Three years later, Giotto dies. Between 1337 and 1343, the works are supervised by Andrea Pisano, but he is banished from Florence and Francesco Talenti takes his place. Talenti alters Arnolfo’s design and completes the bell-tower in 1359. After 1366, Giovanni di Lapo Ghini joins him. In 1420, Filippo Brunelleschi wins the competition for building the cathedral’s dome, opens the construction site and, 16 years later, in 1436, the dome is completed and Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Pitti

    Palazzo Pitti was the residence of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, that was inhabited, over time, by the Medici, by the Habsburg-Lorraine and, after the Unification of Italy, by the Savoy. Palazzo Pitti hosts the Palatine Gallery, the Royal Apartments, the Apartment of the Duchess of Aosta, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Treasury of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, the Costume Gallery, the Porcelain Museum and the Carriage Museum. The museal complex of Palazzo Pitti also includes the Boboli Gardens.   SHORT HISTORY Luca Pitti, a rival of the Medici family, wanted a more luxurious residence than the one built by Michelozzo for Cosimo the Elder. Around 1440, Pitti entrusted the project to Filippo Brunelleschi, but the architect died 12 years before the construction began, and the architect that will build Palazzo Pitti will be Luca Fancelli, a pupil and collaborator of Brunelleschi. The construction was started around 1458 but, due to design problems and financial difficulties, the works were temporarily interrupted in 1465. Luca Pitti died in 1472. Around 1550, Buonaccorso Pitti sold the palace to Eleonora di Toledo, wife of Cosimo I de’ Medici and daughter of the Viceroy of Naples. The palace thus became the main Read more [...]

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    Il Redentore

    When you are looking at the Giudecca Island, from Zattere, your eyes are attracted by the splendid creation of Andrea Palladio, Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore or, commonly known, Il Redentore (The Redeemer). The church impresses at first from the distance, thanks to its massive structure, but only in front of it you will be able to discover the details that complete one of the most valuable architectural creations of the Venetian Renaissance.   SHORT HISTORY After the plague epidemic of 1575-1577, that killed over 50,000 Venetians, the Senate of the Republic decided to build a church to celebrate the end of the scourge and to thank the Divinity. The mission was entrusted to the great Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, who was to begin the construction in 1577 and to leave it, after his death in 1580, to Antonio da Ponte, who would complete it many years later, in 1592. After the church was finished, the Venetian Senate established that every July, a pontoon will be built to link Zattere with the Giudecca island. In time, this tradition will become an important celebration for the Venetians, known as Festa del Redentore.   ARCHITECTURE Considered the most beautiful church built by Palladio, Read more [...]

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    Fontana Maggiore

    Fontana Maggiore is considered the most beautiful and famous fountain of the Middle Ages, the emblem of the medieval Perugia and the simbol of the city for almost 800 years.   SHORT HISTORY Fontana Maggiore was built between 1275 and 1278 by the sculptors Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, father and son. The fountain was damaged by the earthquake of 1348, and its panels were restored in an arbitrary order. In 1948, it was restored with inappropriate materials (cement), and it was necessary a further restoration. In March 2017, Fontana Maggiore has returned to its splendor after a long restoration.   ARCHITECTURE The fountain consists of two polygonal pools in white and pink stone, topped by a bronze cup with a bronze group of three nymphs supporting an amphora, from which the water flows. Originally, on their heads, there were four bronze griffins, for each cardinal point, that are now exposed in the National Gallery of Umbria. The tiles of the lower basin reproduce emblematic scenes of the Old Testament (the seduction of Adam by Eva, of Samson by Dalila), of the foundation of Rome, a calendar cycle of agricultural works interspersed with representations of the zodiacal signs. These are followed Read more [...]

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    Spoleto Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

    Spoleto Cathedral (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta or the Duomo di Spoleto) is a beautiful church in Spoleto dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   SHORT HISTORY The Spoleto Cathedral was built at the end of the 12th century, replacing the building of Santa Maria del Vescovato, which was dating back to the 8th or 9th century. Earlier, on this place, was an ancient christian temple dedicated to the martyr Primiano di Larino. The crypt of San Primiano, from the 9th century, represents the only remaining element of the building that stood on this place.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE On the façade of the church, embellished by the mosaic of Solsterno, are the arcades of the portico built in 1491 by Ambrogio Barocci. Inside the Cathedral, you can find numerous works of art. At the beginning of the left aisle, you can admire the painting by Alberto Sotio (around 1187). The apse has a remarkable painting with Stories of the Virgin by Filippo Lippi, made between 1467 and 1469. You can also find here a bronze sculpture of Urbano VIII by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and a painting by Annibale Carracci. Interesting is the chapel of Sant’Anna, built Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi

    The Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi is the mother church of Roman Catholic Franciscan Order, an important place of pilgrimage, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Here, Saint Francis, one of the most venerated religious figures of the Catholic Church, is buried.   SHORT HISTORY The Basilica of Saint Francis is composed, actually, from two churches. The Lower Church was built between 1228 and 1230, only 4 years after the saint’s death, and the Upper Church was built between 1230 and 1253. The Sacro Convento friary, with its imposing walls supported by 53 arches and powerful buttresses, was built between the 12th and the 15th century with stone from the near Mount Subasio. An important part of the friary was built under the reign of Pope Sixtus IV, a Franciscan, near the end of the 15th century. A crypt was dug in 1818, for the tomb of Saint Francis. Now, the remains of the saint are kept in a stone urn in the Lower Church.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE You can enter the Lower Church through a wonderful portico with two arches and three rose windows. Inside, you can find invaluable paintings by Giotto (the Chapel of Mary Read more [...]

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    Uffizi Gallery

    The Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi) is the most visited Italian museum and the 11th art museum in the world, by the number of visits, with over 3 million visitors in 2016. Situated near the Piazza della Signoria, in the Historic Centre of Florence, the museum hosts a collection of priceless works, most of them from the period of the Italian Renaissance.   SHORT HISTORY The building of the Uffizi Gallery started in 1560, under the request of Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de’ Medici. The original architect was Giorgio Vasari, one of the leading architects during the 15th century. The initial role of the building was to shelter the offices (uffizi), hence the name, but for the next two hundred years, the building was destined to house the art collections of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. In 1737, the last of the Medici family, Anna Maria Luisa, decided to leave the collections belonging to her family to the city of Florence, and in 1769, the place was opened to the public, the first in Europe to be called a “museum”.   ART The art inside the Uffizi includes ancient and modern paintings and sculptures, precious furnishings, clothes, jewellery, Read more [...]

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    Basilica di Santa Croce

    Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is a beautiful Franciscan church situated in Piazza di Santa Croce, in Florence. Here, Michelangelo Buonarroti, one of the greatest sculptors of all time, is buried.   SHORT HISTORY It is said that, in the year 1211, Saint Francis arrived in Florence. In a little island created by the Arno River, there was a chapel dedicated to the Holy Cross which would be donated to Saint Francis and from which the present church would take the name. The construction of the church started in 1294, after a project elaborated probably by Arnolfo di Cambio, one of the most important architects of that time. Over time, many great artists worked here, such as Giotto, Taddeo and Agnolo Gaddi, Maso di Banco, Giovanni da Milano, Brunelleschi and Michelozzo. Due to floods and epidemics, the basilica was finished at the end of the 14th century and was consecrated in 1442 by Pope Eugenio IV. With many difficulties, the last works were done until 1504, but then the funding came to an end and the church remained without a façade. The current façade was built in neo-gothic style between 1853 and 1863 by the architect Read more [...]

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    Colosseum

    Located in the archaeological center of Rome, the Flavian Amphitheatre, or more commonly known as the Colosseum, is one of the most visited attractions of the Eternal City. The Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre not only in the city of Rome, but in the whole world, symbol of the power of the mighty Roman Empire.   SHORT HISTORY The construction of the Colosseum began in the year 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian, of the Flavian dynasty, hence the name of Flavian Amphitheatre. The amphitheatre was inaugurated by Titus, son of Vespasian, in 80 AD, and completed by his brother, Domitian, in 82 AD. In 217, after a fire, the Colosseum was partially destroyed. The restoration works closed the amphitheatre for five years, and the games moved to the Circus Maximus. In the year 523, the Colosseum hosted the last spectacle and, afterwards, the amphitheatre went through a period of neglect. In the 6th century, it was used as a burial area, and later as a castle. The name Colosseum appeared for the first time in the 8th century, and it probably derived from the colossal statue of Nero which was found near the monument. In 1803, after an earthquake, Read more [...]

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    Basilica of St. John Lateran

    The Basilica of the Most Holy Savior and of the Saints John the Baptist and Evangelist in the Lateran, commonly called Basilica of St. John Lateran, is the mother church of all the Catholic churches in Rome and the entire world. It is the highest ranking of the four papal major basilicas, receiving the title of archbasilica.   SHORT HISTORY Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano was consecrated in 324 by Pope Sylvester I, and dedicated to the Most Holy Savior. In the ninth century, Pope Sergio III dedicated it to St. John the Baptist, while in the twelfth century, Pope Lucio II dedicated it to St. John the Evangelist. At the end of the 13th century, great works were undertaken under Bonifacio VIII, with the frescoes by Giotto and by Cimabue, today lost. In the 14th century, with the shift of papal power from Rome to Avignon, the church will be abandoned, and after the return of the papacy to Rome, due to the poor condition of the Basilica, the popes will prefer the Vatican. In the 18th century, the facade of the Basilica was finally completed with the new prospect of Alessandro Galilei. On the occasion of the Read more [...]

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    Pantheon

    With a history of nearly 2000 years, the Pantheon is the best preserved roman building in the world. Once a Roman temple, the Pantheon is now a catholic church, and one of the main attractions in Rome.   SHORT HISTORY Although the inscription on the frontispiece shows that it was built by Marcus Agrippa, the Roman consul, Agrippa’s pantheon was built in fact during the reign of Augustus, between 27 and 25 BC, and it burned in the year 80 AD. The façade was the only part to be saved, that was later used to rebuild the new pantheon. The temple was rebuilt by the Emperor Domitian, but it was burnt again in 110 AD. Today’s building was built between the years 118 and 125 AD, during the reign of Hadrian. In 609, Pope Bonifacio IV converted the Pantheon into a Christian church and consecrated it to St. Mary and the Martyrs. Two kings of Italy are buried in the Pantheon – Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, as well as the painters Raphael and Annibale Carracci, the composer Arcangelo Corelli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi.   ARCHITECTURE At 43 meters wide and 43 meters high, the Pantheon’s dome is Read more [...]

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    Trevi Fountain

    The Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in Rome and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The monument has been featured in many films including Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, Roman Holiday and Three Coins in the Fountain. Over time, a tradition related to the fountain has developed – almost every tourist throws a coin in the fountain, using the right hand over the left shoulder, hoping, according to the legend, to return to Rome. An estimated 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day, meaning that the fountain swallows over 1 million Euros each year.   SHORT HISTORY In the year 1730, Pope Clement XII organized a contest for the construction of Fontana di Trevi. Alessandro Galilei, a Florentine, won, and Nicola Salvi came second. The city was not satisfied with the winner being from Florence, and the commission was awarded to Salvi. The work began in 1732 and the monument was completed long after Salvi’s death in 1751. Pietro Bracci’s sculpture, Oceanus, was set in the central niche and Giuseppe Pannini completed it in 1762. The fountain was inaugurated on May 22 by Pope Clement XIII.   Read more [...]

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    Santa Maria della Salute

    On the southern bank of the Grand Canal, near to its end leading to St. Mark’s Basin, one of the most beautiful churches of Venice, Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, was built in the 17th century. A symbolic picture of the floating city, that appears in many of the documentaries about Venetian architecture, but also in many paintings left by famous artists such as Michele Marieschi, Francesco Guardi, John Singer Sargent, Walter Sickert and, of course, Canaletto.   SHORT HISTORY After the plague of 1630, which is said to have killed nearly a third of the population of Venice, the Venetian senate decided to build a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. After a competition between several architects of that time, the project was entrusted to the young Baldassare Longhena. The construction began in 1631, but the soil was not solid enough to support this massive structure, and the church was to be completed very late, not until 1687, five years after Longhena’s death. Every year, on November 21, Festa della Madonna della Salute is celebrated. The Venetians build a bridge over the Grand Canal, from San Marco to Dorsoduro, where locals go to worship the Virgin Mary, and Read more [...]

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    Bridge of Sighs

    Looking at the Bridge of Sighs from Ponte della Paglia, we can still imagine Casanova going over the Rio di Palazzo, from the prison to the Doge’s Palace, sighing for freedom. The Venetian adventurer, who was arrested in 1755, would escape a few months later from prison, but for many others, this route over the Bridge of Sighs probably offered the last glance to the outside world.   SHORT HISTORY The Bridge of Sighs (“Ponte dei Sospiri”, in Italian) was built at the beginning of the 17th century by Antonio Contino, on the order of the Doge Marino Grimani. Antonio Contino, the successor of another famous architect, Antonio da Ponte (the creator of the Rialto Bridge), has built between 1600 and 1603 this baroque construction from white limestone to link the New Prison and the Doge’s Palace, where the prisoners were taken to be judged. The bridge became famous in the 19th century because of Lord Byron, who painted it romantically in a poem called Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Over time, the Bridge of Sighs will become a well-known Venetian symbol with bitter-sweet connotations, mixing the suffering and the desire for freedom of those who crossed it, with the hope of Read more [...]

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    Doge’s Palace

    To get to know the supreme expression of Venetian culture, whether you are attracted to architecture, painting, sculpture or all together, a visit to the Doge’s Palace is imperative. Although we are often tempted to recommend the discovery of Venice on narrow streets and hidden canals, early in the morning or late in the evening, we can equally say that visiting Venice without seeing the Doge’s Palace, in the middle of the day, inside and outside, can be considered a missed visit.   SHORT HISTORY Initially built of wood in the 9th century, the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) was rebuilt several times afterwards, acquiring the form we see today between 1340 and 1424, with the construction of the Great Council Chamber under the supervision of the architect Filippo Calendario. After that period, new constructions have been added to the palace, under the care of Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon (father and son), of which we can remember the Porta della Carta, the main entrance that directs visitors to the inner courtyard. After a major fire that occurred in 1483, the inner courtyard will be rebuilt in a Renaissance style by architect Antonio Rizzo. The exterior of the white and pink marble Read more [...]

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    St. Mark’s Square

    St. Mark’s Square is so famous that it does not need yet another presentation. A collection of religious, cultural, historical symbols, and a symbol in itself, this square is the dream of millions of tourists who are preparing for the road. Whoever you ask about Venice, or even better about the most important place in Venice, well, that person would give you one answer: Piazza San Marco.   SHORT HISTORY By the 9th century, St. Mark’s Square was just a small free area in front of the St. Mark’s Basilica. It was to be enlarged to the present form only in 1177, when the two canals that interrupted it were filled. This change was made with the occasion of the visit of Pope Alexander III and Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, who met in Venice to sign a truce. In 1797, Venice was under French occupation, and the Procuratie Nuove building in San Marco Square became the residence of the Emperor Napoleon and his stepfather, Eugene de Beauharnais. Napoleon built a new wing, called Ala Napoleonica, facing towards Basilica di San Marco. The square was paved for the first time in the second part of the 12th century, and the Read more [...]

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    Rialto Bridge

    Where the Grand Canal is narrowing to slip carefully between San Polo and San Marco, the Venetians thought of building a bridge. And because they’ve been thinking about it for a while, at one point, they’ve done it – the Rialto Bridge. Ponte di Rialto is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, the oldest one, at the same time, and if you will allow us, the most beautiful one.   SHORT HISTORY The first bridge built in 1180 was a wooden bridge and was supported by boats. It was replaced twice in 1264 and 1310 by wood structures, and it collapsed twice, in 1444, during a festivity, under the weight of the crowd, and in 1521. All these were, practically, training for the stone bridge that was to be born between 1588 and 1591, under the supervision of an architect with an interesting name, Antonio da Ponte (ponte means bridge in italian).   ARCHITECTURE The Rialto Bridge is a multi-arched stone bridge in which a number of jewelry and souvenir shops are now crammed. Two ramps climb to meet romantically under the portico at the top, where tourists have the talent to gather in a Read more [...]

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    Ponte Vecchio

    Across the river Arno, at its narrowest point, there is a bridge called Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge). The bridge was built in 1345, and is the only Florentine bridge that survived World War II.   SHORT HISTORY The first bridge on this place was a wooden bridge built in the year 966, that was destroyed by a flood in 1117. Reconstructed from stone, it was swept away again in 1333. Today’s bridge was built in 1335, and was attributed to Taddeo Gaddi by the architect and historian Giorgio Vasari, but its origin is still disputed. Unlike all other bridges in Florence, Ponte Vecchio was not destroyed by the Germans in the World War II, apparently, because of an order from Hitler himself.   ARCHITECTURE Ponte Vecchio is composed of three segmental arches: the main arch has a span of 30 meters and a 4.4 meters height, and the two side arches each span 27 meters and have a height of 3.5 meters. Since the 13th century, shops have been built on the bridge. At first, there were all sorts of shops, from butchers to fishmongers, but in 1593, Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, decreed that only goldsmiths Read more [...]

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    Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo

    The Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo, commonly known as the Church of Sant’Antonio Nuovo, is the largest Catholic church in Trieste. The church, dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, is located on the square with the same name, at the end of the Grand Canal of Trieste.   SHORT HISTORY A private chapel dedicated to the Annunciation stood on this place until the middle of the 18th century. After the chapel was opened to the public, the structure became insufficient for worshippers, so it was decided to raise a larger church dedicated to Sant’Antonio Nuovo. Around 1771, the church was completed, but soon the new structure became also inadequate for the large number of believers who attended the services. Therefore, in 1808, a competition was held for a new church dedicated to Saint Anthony. The same year, the Neoclassical project of the Swiss architect Pietro Nobile won the competition. However, the work began only in 1825, and the consecration of the imposing church took place only in 1849. In 1958, the two pipe organs of the church were built by the Mascioni company, both with electric transmission.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church is characterized by a majestic Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Municipio

    Palazzo del Municipio is a palace located in Piazza Unità d’Italia, which houses the seat of the Municipality of Trieste.   SHORT HISTORY In the second half of the 19th century, the old Palazzo Pubblico or Palazzo del Magistrato was demolished, to make room for a new building dedicated to the municipality. For the new building, was chosen the project of the Trieste architect Giuseppe Bruni, who a few years earlier designed Palazzo Modello, located on the same square. The project was approved on September 17, 1873, and the work began at the end of the same year under the direction of the engineer and architect Eugenio Geiringer. The works ended in 1875. From a stage in front of the palace, Mussolini announced in 1938 the promulgation of racial laws in Italy, while on November 4, 1954, from the central balcony of the building, the president Luigi Einaudi and the mayor of the city, Gianni Bartoli, greeted the crowd gathered in the square during the celebrations for the return of Trieste to Italy.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the building, which overlooks Piazza Unità d’Italia, is built in an eclectic style, and consists of two lateral bodies of four floors, Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Luogotenenza Austriaca

    Palazzo della Luogotenenza Austriaca (Palace of the Austrian Lieutenancy) or Palazzo della Prefettura (Palace of the Prefecture) is one of the most important palaces in Trieste, located in Piazza Unità d’Italia. Dating back to the Habsburg rule in Trieste, the palace was the seat of the Austrian Lieutenancy, and today houses the Prefecture of Trieste.   SHORT HISTORY The Palace of the Austrian Lieutenancy replaced an old Governmental Palace, built in 1764 by the order of Maria Theresa of Austria, according to the design of the architect Giovanni Fusconi, where the offices of the Imperial Arsenal were located. Demolished in 1899, the old building gave way to the new construction, the last of the monumental buildings in the square, built between 1901 and 1905, after a design by the architect Emil Artmann. After being the residence of the last three Austrian lieutenants, in 1918 the palace became the seat of the military governor of Venezia Giulia, Carlo Petitti di Roreto, and after the establishment of the province of Trieste in 1922, the seat of the prefecture.   ARCHITECTURE The sumptuous facade of the palace has a double loggia located in the center, which functioned as a stage for the governor Read more [...]

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    Church of San Zaccaria

    The Church of San Zaccaria is a beautiful church in Venice, located in the sestiere (district) of Castello, in Campo San Zaccaria, not far from the St. Mark’s Square. The church is dedicated to Saint Zechariah, father of Saint John the Baptist.   SHORT HISTORY A first church was built on this place in 827 by Doge Giustiniano Partecipazio to accommodate the remains of San Zaccaria, who were donated by the Byzantine Emperor Leo V the Armenian to the city of Venice. An adjacent convent was built around the same time. In 1105, a terrible fire destroyed the ancient church and the convent, and it is said that more than a hundred nuns, who took refuge in the basement, died asphyxiated. The current church was started in 1444 by the architect Antonio Gambello, and completed after his death, in 1504, by the architect Mauro Codussi. The church was consecrated in 1543.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The superb facade of the church, in Istrian stone, is divided in style between the lower two orders, work of Gambello, in late-Gothic style, and the upper orders, by Codussi, in Renaissance style. The facade, with many mullioned windows, is dominated by a large arched Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli

    The Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli is a beautiful church in Venice, located in the sestiere of Cannaregio.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built between 1481 and 1489, at the behest of the Lombard merchant Angelo Amadi, who desired a proper shrine for a painting depicting the Virgin, inherited from his uncle, Francesco Amadi. The painting, dating back to the beginning of the 15th century, was considered miraculous by the inhabitants of the area. The project was entrusted to the architect Pietro Lombardo who, with the help of his sons, Tullio and Antonio, designed and built this small church. One of the first Renaissance-style churches built in Venice, it was renovated during the 16th century, without changing its external appearance. In 1997, the church was the subject of a careful restoration, which allowed the locals and tourists alike to fully enjoy its artistic beauty.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade, divided into five sectors by pilasters, has two orders. The lower order, with Corinthian capitals, is architraved, while the upper one, in Ionic style, is composed of 5 blind arches. Above the facade, there is a large semicircular pediment, decorated with a rose window, 3 oculi and 2 Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Morosini Sagredo

    Palazzo Morosini Sagredo, also known as Ca’ Sagredo in the Venetian dialect, is a palace in Venice, located in the sestiere of Cannaregio, overlooking the Grand Canal between Palazzetto Foscari and Palazzo Giustinian Pesaro.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built starting with 1382, at the behest of the Morosini family, in particular at the will of Michele Morosini, Doge of Venice for a few months. At the beginning of the 18th century, the building was purchased by Gerardo Sagredo, relative of the more famous Nicolò Sagredo, the 105th Doge of Venice. Under the new ownership, the building was restored by the architect Andrea Tirali, who built the monumental staircase and had the attic decorated with stucco. The architect Tommaso Temanza also worked on the project. In 1913, the palace was sold by the Sagredo family, and later was restored to its former glory by the Superintendency of Fine Arts in Venice, being declared a National Monument. Today, Ca’ Sagredo is a 5-star hotel which features an impressive art collection. The hotel has 42 rooms and suites sumptuously decorated, and public areas which display masterpieces by famous Venetian artists of the past.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade of the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Bembo

    Palazzo Bembo is a palace in Venice, overlooking the Grand Canal, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), not far from the Rialto Bridge and next to Palazzo Dolfin Manin.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Bembo was built in the 15th century by the Bembo family, by merging several Byzantine style buildings dating back to the 11th century. Over the centuries, the interior of the palace was remodeled several times, but it maintained its original external structure, except for the shape of the attic. Today, the palace houses the hotel Palazzo Bembo – Exclusive Accommodation and it is also an exhibition space of contemporary art.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of Palazzo Bembo has a clear Venetian Gothic appearance, with its three levels of lancet windows. The polifora on the third floor, with the beautiful balustrade, stands out. The floors are separated by stone bas-relief frames. Inside, there is a 17th-century staircase overlooking the internal courtyard that leads to the main floor, where we can find decorations in Baroque style dating back to the same century.   HOW TO GET THERE The closest vaporetto stop is Rialto, located about 50 meters away, on the waterbus Lines 1 and 2. To find the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Ruzzini

    Palazzo Ruzzini is a palace in Venice, overlooking the Grand Canal, located in the sestiere (district) of Cannaregio, near the Fondaco dei Tedeschi and the Rialto Bridge.   SHORT HISTORY A fairly recent palace, Palazzo Ruzzini was built near the end of the 19th century on the site of the ancient Fondaco dei Persiani (Warehouse of the Persians), a building demolished in 1830.   ARCHITECTURE The palace was built in neo-Renaissance style, with an extremely schematic facade characterized by the contrast between the color of the bricks and that of the Istrian stone that frames the openings. On the ground floor, there is a water portal flanked by two triple-light windows. On the second floor, there are six mullioned windows, and the coat of arms of the Ruzzini family, dating back to the second half of the 14th century. On the third floor, there is a four-light window in the center, divided by Corinthian columns, and four mullioned windows on the sides, all decorated with balustrades. The fourth floor is similar to the one below, the only difference being the triple-light window in the center. On the fifth floor, the attic, there are six rectangular windows and a recent coat Read more [...]

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    Fondaco dei Tedeschi

    Fondaco dei Tedeschi is a large palace in Venice, located in the sestiere of San Marco, overlooking the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge.   SHORT HISTORY Fondaco dei Tedeschi (Warehouse of the Germans) was built around the same time as the Fondaco dei Turchi (Warehouse of the Turks), in the first half of the 13th century. The palace was the landing point for goods brought by the German merchants from Nuremberg, Judenburg and Augsburg. The original palace was destroyed by a devastating fire on the night of January 28, 1505. Soon after, the Venetian Senate decided to rebuild it on a project by Girolamo Tedesco. The reconstruction took place between 1505 and 1508. The building was owned for a long time by the Italian Post Office. In 2008, the palace was purchased by the Benetton Group for an amount of 53 million euros, and was restored by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. The palace was converted into a shopping center and was opened to the public on October 1, 2016.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE Fondaco dei Tedeschi is a large building with a square-plan and three levels around an internal courtyard, covered by a glass and steel structure. The Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Querini Papozze

    Palazzo Querini Papozze is a palace in Venice, located in the Cannaregio district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between Palazzo Correr Contarini Zorzi and Palazzo Emo a San Leonardo.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in Byzantine style for the Querini family, who owned it until the 19th century. Later, the palace was renovated in Gothic and Renaissance styles, and was partially destroyed by a fire on October 21, 1815.   ARCHITECTURE The palace is characterized by a large but simple and functional facade, with rectangular openings. The facade has 43 windows on four floors and three doors on the ground floor. The coat of arms of the Querini family on the facade is a recent copy. Of the ancient building, only a well remains in the courtyard and a porch overlooking the rear. Inside the courtyard, there is a large garden, which, among its peculiarities, has a bridge built during the 19th century.   HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Querini Papozze is located near the intersection of the Grand Canal with the Canale di Cannaregio. The closest vaporetto stop is Guglie, located about 250 meters away, on the waterbus Lines 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 and 5.2.

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    Palazzo Correr Contarini Zorzi

    Palazzo Correr Contarini Zorzi is a magnificent palace in Venice, located in the sestiere of Canneregio, overlooking the Grand Canal between Palazzo Querini Papozze and Palazzo Gritti. The palace is also known as Ca’ dei Cuori (House of Hearts), given the presence of wrought iron heart decorations on the facade.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Correr Contarini Zorzi was built in 1678 by the noble Correr family on the site of an ancient Gothic palace, of which only the corner columns survived. Later, the palace passed to the Soranzo, Zorzi and Contarini families. The roof terrace was added in the 20th century, when the palace was owned by the de Mombell family.   ARCHITECTURE The palace has a majestic 17th-century facade overlooking the Grand Canal, characterized by the presence of two imposing monumental water portals, marked by arched heads and composed of a main opening surrounded by four quadrangular windows. There are two noble floors, of equal importance and with the same design. They are characterised by the presence of a mullioned three-light window with a small balcony, positioned to the left, flanked by other mullioned windows, which also continue on the side facades. Frames of Istrian stone highlight the symmetrical Read more [...]

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    Church of San Simeone Piccolo

    The Church of San Simeone Piccolo, also known as Santi Simeone e Giuda (Saints Simon and Judas), is a church in Venice, overlooking the Grand Canal, located in the sestiere of Santa Croce, in front of the Santa Lucia railway station.   SHORT HISTORY The original church was founded in the 9th century by the noble families of Adoldi and Briosi, and was consecrated on June 21, 1271. The ancient church probably had a basilica plan with three naves and was built parallel to the Grand Canal. In 1718, the rebuilding of the church began under the direction of the architect Giovanni Antonio Scalfarotto. The works were completed 20 years later, and the religious building was consecrated on April 27, 1738, being one of the last churches built in Venice. Today, the Church of San Simeone Piccolo is the only church in Venice where the Mass is celebrated in Latin.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The church is modeled on the Pantheon of Rome, with a cylindrical body, a copper-clad dome and a Corinthian pronaos. The pronaos set against a circular plan is a solution already adopted in the twin churches of Piazza del Popolo in Rome. It is surmounted by Read more [...]

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    Hotel Patavium

    Hotel Patavium is a 3-Star hotel in Padua, located about 1.2 kilometers from the Scrovegni Chapel and about 1 kilometer from the Piazza dei Signori. The hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with satellite LCD TV, telephone and mini-bar. Some rooms come with wood floors or private terraces. Junior suites feature a hydromassage bath. The hotel has a private garden, where breakfast can be served. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.   HOW TO GET THERE Hotel Patavium is located about 1 kilometer from the Padua railway station. The closest bus stop, Beato Pellegrino 105, is located right in front of the hotel, on the bus Lines U09 and U11.

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    Majestic Toscanelli

    Majestic Toscanelli is a 4-Star boutique hotel in Padua, located in the historical center of the city, about 200 meters away from the Piazza delle Erbe and the imposing Palazzo della Ragione. The hotel offers 34 rooms designed in various styles, with carpeted or hardwood floors. All rooms have free WiFi, air conditioning and a satellite TV. A generous and varied buffet breakfast is served daily. The guests of Majestic Toscanelli are allowed to take their car into the city’s restricted-traffic area.   HOW TO GET THERE Majestic Toscanelli is located about 1.4 kilometers from the Padua railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazza delle Erbe, about 140 meters away, on the bus Line U02. The closest tram stop is Livio, about 300 meters away, on the tram Line SIR1.

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    B&B Ai Carraresi

    B&B Ai Carraresi is a bed and breakfast in Padua, located in the historical center of the city, about 400 meters from the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and about 750 meters from the square of Prato della Valle. All the rooms come with a seating area, a flat-screen TV and a shared bathroom with a hairdryer, bidet and bath or a shower. Free WiFi is featured throughout the property and the B&B also offers a shared lounge. An Italian breakfast is available every morning.   HOW TO GET THERE B&B Ai Carraresi is located about 2.1 kilometers from the Padua railway station. The closest bus stop is Barbarigo 58, located about 180 meters away, on the bus Line U02.

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    Piazza della Frutta

    Piazza della Frutta (Fruit Square), once called Piazza del Peronio, is a beautiful square in Padua, dominated by the imposing Palazzo della Ragione. Together with the nearby Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza della Frutta was, for centuries, the commercial center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY The area was inhabited since pre-Roman times, as evidenced by numerous archaeological finds. According to some, it was a site of trade already during the Roman age, but owes its current conformation to a period between the 10th and 11th centuries. The square was occupied by numerous shops and stalls, selling all kinds of goods, especially vegetables and fruits. With the construction of the Palazzo della Ragione at the beginning of the 13th century, an attempt was made to arrange the various points of sale – under the hall, the sellers of fabrics and fur were installed, the vendors of poultry and game to the east, the sellers of fruits and vegetables to the west, while the removable stalls with leather were placed in the center of the square. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the medieval houses enclosing the square were renovated, with the rectification of the arcades. In the first half of the Read more [...]

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    Loggia del Consiglio

    Loggia del Consiglio is a beautiful Late Renaissance palace in Padua, located in the southwestern corner of Piazza dei Signori. Beginning with 1240, when the large hall of Palazzo della Ragione was destroyed in a fire, the city’s council met in the Loggia del Consiglio, hence the name of the building. The palace is also known as the Loggia della Gran Guardia, because it was used as a military commandment during the Austrian domination.   SHORT HISTORY The elegant Mannerist building was designed by Annibale Maggi from Bassano, and built starting with the year 1496. The works proceeded slowly and were often interrupted by long pauses, of which the longest was after the Siege of Padua by the Roman Emperor Maximilian I, in 1509, during the War of the League of Cambrai. The work resumed in 1516 under the guidance of Biagio del Bigio from Ferrara, and later, starting with 1530, continued under the direction of the architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto. Faconetto, due also to his work on the Torre dell’Orologio, played an important role in the new configuration of the square. In 1866, the Loggia del Consiglio became part of the municipal patrimony, and was subsequently used for cultural Read more [...]

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    Torre dell’Orologio

    Torre dell’Orologio is a medieval clock tower in Padua, located between Palazzo del Capitanio and Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, in Piazza dei Signori.   SHORT HISTORY The tower was built in the first half of the 14th century, as a fortified entrance to the Carrarese Royal Palace, owned by the noble family of da Carrara, Lords of Padua. However, its current appearance is due to the works began 1426 at the behest of the Captain Bartolomeo Morosini, concluded with the inauguration of the clock on the Feast of Saint Anthony from 1437. The astronomical clock that dominates the square is the oldest mechanism of its kind in the world. It is actually a reconstruction from 1436 of the clock built by Jacopo Dondi in 1344, and placed on the tower of the southern gate of the Carrarese Palace. The clock is the work of Matteo Novello and Giovanni and Gian Pietro delle Caldiere. In 1531, the nobleman Vitale Lando comissioned the large triumphal arch located at the base of the tower to the architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto. In June 2010, the monument undergone a careful restoration work that affected both the architectural structure of the tower and the mechanisms of the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Monte di Pietà

    Palazzo del Monte di Pietà is a medieval palace in Padua, located near the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, on the northern side of Piazza Duomo.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built between the 13th and 14th centuries, and it belonged to the famous moneylender Rinaldo Scrovegni. At the beginning of the 14th century, it was destroyed by a fire and subsequently abandoned. The palace was taken over by the noble family of da Carrara, and with the annexation of Padua by the Republic of Venice at the beginning of the 15th century, the building became the property of the Venetian government. A fire damaged much of the building in the first half of the 16th century. Doge Andrea Gritti, at the request of the bishop Pietro Barozzi, sold the palace for 10,000 ducats to the Monte di Pietà institution, founded by the Franciscans a few decades earlier to combat usury. The renovation of the facade was entrusted to the Veronese architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto, who redesigned the building on the basis of the six-arched loggia and the perimeter walls that survived the fire. The headquarters of the Monte di Pietà was inaugurated in 1533, while in the following Read more [...]

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    Piazza delle Erbe

    Piazza delle Erbe, also known in the past as Piazza delle Biade (Corn Square), Piazza del Vino (Wine Square) or Piazza della Giustizia (Justice Square), is a beautiful square in Padua, located in the historical center of the city. The square is dominated by the magnificent Palazzo della Ragione.   SHORT HISTORY The area dates back to pre-Roman times, as evidenced by the numerous archaeological finds. Although the place was destined for trade since the imperial age, its current conformation dates back to a period between the 9th and the 11th centuries. After the construction of the Palazzo della Ragione at the beginning of the 13th century, the various shops were reorganized – under the portico of the palace, the sellers of fabrics and fur were installed, the sellers of wrought iron in the east of the square, the sellers of wine in the west, while the stalls with grains and leather were installed in the center of the square. The goldsmiths were located under the portico of the Palazzo del Podestà, built also in the 13th century in the eastern side of the square. In the 18th century, the arcades of the medieval houses located to the south of Read more [...]

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    Porta Liviana

    Porta Liviana, known also as Porta di Pontecorvo, is a city gate in Padua, part of the Mura Cinquecentesche (16th Century Walls). The gate now appears detached from the walls and therefore presents itself as an isolated monument. Originally, the walls were linked to the sides of the gate, where today two semicircular niches can be seen.   SHORT HISTORY The walls, also known as the Mura Veneziane, were built by the Venetian Republic during the first decades of the 16th century, as a project of the captain Bartolomeo d’Alviano. The walls were protected on its west flank by a canal known as the Fossa Bastioni. The construction of the Porta Liviana was begun immediately after the Siege of Padua from 1509, in the context of the War of the League of Cambrai. It was the first gate to be completed in 1517, and was probably based on a design by the Lugano architect Sebastiano Mariani. The gate was dedicated to Bartolomeo d’Alviano, who died on October 7, 1515.   ARCHITECTURE The gate is actually a cube of 16 meters on each side, with the arches of the passage underlined, on the two opposing facades, by pilasters, entablature and tympanum Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Zacco al Prà

    Palazzo Zacco al Prà is a beautiful palace in Padua, located on the western side of the square of Prato della Valle.   SHORT HISTORY The construction of the building was begun on December 19, 1555, commissioned by Marco, an exponent of the Zacco family of Padua. The building was designed by Andrea Moroni, and probably incorporated some pre-existing buildings. The construction was completed in less than two years and, by 1557, the palace was already occupied by its owners. The Zacco family resided in the palace until the early 1800s. One of the last major events that took place in the palace was the stay of the Austrian Emperor Francis II of Habsburg and his wife, Carolina Augusta of Bavaria. On June 27, 1839, the last descendants of the historic owners sold the building to the Armenian Mekhitarist Congregation. Four years later, the palace became the Collegio Morat. Later, the property was taken over by the municipality of Padua, which in 1904 ceded it to the Italian state. Palazzo Zacco was declared a building of artistic interest on April 24, 1925. Occupied by various Military Commands, Palazzo Zacco became the Padua headquarters of the Officer’s Club of the Italian Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santa Giustina

    Basilica of Santa Giustina, dedicated to Saint Justina of Padua, is an important Catholic church in Padua, located in the square of Prato della Valle.   SHORT HISTORY In the 6th century, the praetorian prefect Venanzio Opilione built a basilica on the site of the tomb of Saint Justina of Padua, martyred in 304. The basilica, which in the meantime was flanked by an important Benedictine monastery, collapsed due to the earthquake of 1117. The church was rebuilt in the following years, reusing what remained of the previous construction. Between the 14th and the 16th centuries, the choir, the sacristy and the Chapel of San Luca were built. In this period, the adjacent monastery was also rebuilt. Starting with 1501, a new construction was begun on the project of Girolamo da Brescia. After abandoning the da Brescia project, the monks entrusted the work to Sebastiano da Lugano and then to Andrea Briosco. After the death of the latter, the direction of the work passed to Andrea Moroni and then to Andrea da Valle. The huge construction site lasted for more than a century. The basilica was solemnly consecrated on March 14, 1606. Following the Napoleonic ecclesiastical laws, the abbey was Read more [...]