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    Palazzo Soliano

    Palazzo Soliano is a medieval palace in Orvieto, located in Piazza del Duomo, near the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. The palace, also known as Palazzo di Boniface VIII, because was built by the will of Pope Boniface VIII, houses the Emilio Greco Museum (Museo Emilio Greco) and the Opera del Duomo Museum – MODO (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo).   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Soliano was built starting with 1297, at the behest of Pope Boniface VIII. The construction was interrupted in 1303, after the pope’s death. Starting with 1330, after a period of abandonment, the palace was used for the storage of materials for the construction site of the cathedral. In 1361, a fire caused serious damage to the palace. In 1493, on the occasion of the arrival in Orvieto of Pope Alexander VI, the structure was consolidated. During those times, the palio of Orvieto was held in Piazza del Duomo. In 1504, due to a large number of people who watched the palio from the terrace of Palazzo Soliano, the roof of the palace collapsed. Thirty years later, due to the risks of collapse, the entire structure was subjected to numerous modifications. Over the centuries, the palace underwent numerous Read more [...]

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    Fortezza Albornoz

    Fortezza Albornoz, also known as Rocca di Albornoz, is a fortress in Orvieto, located in Piazza Cahen, on the eastern edge of the historical center of the town.   SHORT HISTORY Fortezza Albornoz was built starting with 1364 in a strategic point of Orvieto, on the eastern edge of a cliff, as part of the work of reorganization of papal power in the central Italy by Cardinal Egidio Albornoz. The project was entrusted to the military architect Ugolino di Montemarte, whose noble family had possessions in the area. In 1389, the fortress was partially destroyed, during a time when the city was passing through some internal struggles. In 1413, Francesco I Orsini strengthened the defensive system of the fortress, but, in the following year, the new fortification failed to repel the assaults of Ladislaus the Magnanimous, King of Naples. In poor conditions, Fortezza Albornoz was then rebuilt by Antonio da Carpi on the old perimeter, with the addition of a circular tower to protect the gate, and was completed in 1450 under the supervision of Bernardo Rossellino. In 1527, when Pope Clement VII took refuge in Orvieto after the Sack of Rome, he commissioned Antonio da Sangallo the Younger to Read more [...]

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    Church of San Fortunato

    The Church of San Fortunato is a church in Perugia, located in Piazza Braccio Fortebraccio, between Via Pinturicchio and Via Bartolo, in the northern part of the historical center of the city. The church, one of the oldest in Perugia, is dedicated to Saint Fortunatus of Todi.   SHORT HISTORY According to tradition, the church was built on the ruins of an Etruscan structure, not far from the Arch of Augustus. However, the presence of the church is attested since 1163. Around 1630, the Sylvestrines (Congregazione Silvestrina) moved here from the Church of Santa Maria Nuova, which in turn was sold to the Servants of Mary. The Church of San Fortunato was rebuilt starting with 1634. In 2017, after long restoration works following the 1997 earthquake, the church was reopened for worship, and also became a multipurpose space for cultural activities.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE On the facade of the church, there is a round arched portal, surmounted by a rose window. Above the rose window, there is a mullioned window in the center, and two other single windows on the sides. The portal and the windows have terracotta frames. The roof and the bell-gable are remains of the medieval Read more [...]

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    Church of Gran Madre di Dio

    The Church of Gran Madre di Dio, dedicated to Mary, Mother of Jesus (Great Mother of God), is a Neoclassical church in Turin, located in Piazza Gran Madre di Dio, on the eastern bank of the Po River.   SHORT HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF GRAN MADRE DI DIO The church was built to celebrate the return of King Vittorio Emanuele I of Savoy on May 20, 1814, after the retreat of Napoleon’s army and the end of the French domination. The project was entrusted to Ferdinando Bonsignore, the official architect of the court of Savoy, who designed the structure in Neoclassical style, inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. The first stone was laid by Vittorio Emanuele on July 23, 1818. The construction of the church was then interrupted for about a decade, and resumed only in 1827, under the reign of Carlo Felice. The church was inaugurated in 1831 under the reign of his successor, Carlo Alberto.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF THE CHURCH OF GRAN MADRE DI DIO The church rises above the surrounding square thanks to a high base consisting of a wide staircase. At the end of the staircase, there is a large pronaos, consisting of Read more [...]

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    Porta Palatina

    Porta Palatina is a Roman city gate in Turin, which once allowed access from the north to the ancient city of Iulia Augusta Taurinorum. The gate is located in Piazza Cesare Augusto, not far from the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista.   SHORT HISTORY OF PORTA PALATINA The Palatine Gate was built in the 1st century BC during the Augustan or the Flavian Age, preceding the construction of the city walls. Porta Palatina maintained its function as a city gate for a long time, and in the 11th century it was transformed into a fort. In 1404, after centuries of decay, the left tower was rebuilt, and both towers were completed by battlements for defensive purposes. In the early decades of the 18th century, the urban renewal process initiated by Vittorio Amedeo II provided also for the demolition of the Palatine Gate. However, the dismantling was not carried out thanks to the intervention of the architect Antonio Bertola, who managed to convince the duke to preserve the ancient monument. Starting with 1724, the towers of the gate were used as a prison. In 1860, with the construction of the new prison of the city, Porta Palatina was restored. In the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Carignano

    Palazzo Carignano is a large palace in Turin, located between Piazza Carignano and Piazza Carlo Alberto, in the historical center of the city. Together with Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) and Palazzo Madama, Palazzo Carignano was placed in 1997 on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy. Today, the palace houses on the ground floor the offices of the regional directorate of the museums of Piedmont, and on the noble floor the National Museum of the Italian Risorgimento (Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento Italiano).   SHORT HISTORY OF PALAZZO CARIGNANO Palazzo Carignano was commissioned by Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy, Prince of Carignano, to the architect Guarino Guarini, one of the greatest exponents of Piedmontese Baroque. The work began in 1679, under the direction of Guarini’s collaborator, Gian Francesco Baroncelli, and was completed in 1685. In 1831, Carlo Alberto became the King of Sardinia, and the palace was ceded to the State Property, which housed here the Council of State and the Post Office. Starting with 1848, the palace was used as the seat of the Chamber of Deputies of the Subalpine Parliament. On this occasion, the architect Carlo Sada modified the splendid ballroom, located Read more [...]

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    Piazza della Repubblica

    Piazza della Repubblica is one of the main squares of Florence, located in the historical center of the city, about 200 meters away from the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.   SHORT HISTORY Piazza della Repubblica was the center of the ancient city of Florence during the Roman times. Here, there was the Roman forum, which gathered the most important religious and civil buildings of that period. During the Middle Ages, Piazza della Repubblica was defined as a public space intended for trade, while the square of the Cathedral (Piazza del Duomo) was a place for politics, and Piazza della Signoria for civil affairs. In the 16th century, the square was renamed Mercato Vecchio (Old Market), due to the construction of Loggia del Mercato Nuovo near Ponte Vecchio. Here was also the Jewish Ghetto, where Cosimo I forced the local Jews to reside. The only evidence left of the Old Market square is Colonna della Dovizia (Column of Wealth), also known as Colonna dell’Abbondanza (Column of the Abundance). The current version of the column dates back to 1431 and has on top a statue representing the Abundance, made by Giovan Battista Foggini, who replaced the original by Donatello, irreparably Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santo Spirito

    The Basilica di Santo Spirito (Basilica of the Holy Spirit) is a Renaissance-style church in Florence, located in the Oltrarno district, in Piazza Santo Spirito.   SHORT HISTORY In 1250, Spinello Accolti and Omodeo di Guido donated to the Augustinian friar Aldobrandino a house and two vineyards in the Oltrarno area for the construction of a church, which was originally dedicated, in 1252, to the Virgin Mary, to the Holy Spirit and to all the Saints. In 1269, a community of Augustinian friars settled permanently in Florence, and began on this site the construction of a church dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Starting with 1397, the Municipality provided funds for the construction of a new basilica, but the work began only in 1434, when the project was entrusted to Filippo Brunelleschi. After the death of Brunelleschi in 1446, the construction site passed into the hands of his three disciples, Antonio Manetti, Giovanni da Gaiole and Salvi d’Andrea. In 1471, a serious fire destroyed many works of art in the church. Salvi d’Andrea built the dome between 1479 and 1481, and the internal facade between 1483 and 1487. Consecrated in 1481, the basilica was completed in 1487. Giuliano da Sangallo’s sacristy Read more [...]

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    Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata

    The Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata is a church in Florence, located in the homonymous square, in the northern part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY According to tradition, a small oratory dedicated to the Virgin was built on this area in 1081. Around 1233, the abandoned oratory was taken over by the Servants of Mary. In 1250, the Servants of Mary laid the first stone for the construction of a larger basilica. The church and the adjoining convent were dedicated to Santa Maria dei Servi, from the name of the religious order. In 1252, according to legend, the Servants of Mary commissioned a painter called Bartolomeo to paint a fresco of the Annunciation. Despite several attempts, the painter could not paint the face of the Virgin. One day, Bartolomeo fell asleep, and when he woke up, by a miracle, the painting was completed. The fresco became the object of great veneration and deep devotion of the Florentines. Towards the end of the 13th century, the floor of the church was redone and the choir stalls were carved by master Guglielmo of Calabria. In the first half of the 14th century, various chapels and altars were Read more [...]

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    Church of San Salvatore in Ognissanti

    The Church of San Salvatore in Ognissanti, or simply the Church of Ognissanti (Church of All Saints), is a church in Florence, located in the homonymous square.   SHORT HISTORY In 1239, the Humiliati arrived in Florence, and settled outside the city. In 1251, they started a church as part of a larger conventual complex. In 1571, the order of the Humiliati was suppressed at the behest of Cosimo I, and the Franciscans replaced them in the convent. Renovation work began immediately. Two cloisters were built, and the church was rededicated in 1582 to San Salvatore. In 1627, the interior of the church was restructured to a design by the architect Matteo Segaloni, commissioned by Ferdinando II de’ Medici. New altars, paintings and sculptures embellished the church. In 1637, the facade in Baroque style was completed by Matteo Nigetti. In 1872, the facade was completely redone in travertine.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church develops on three levels. The lower one has a large portal in the center, flanked by two niches. The portal has a lunette with the Coronation of the Virgin and Saints by Benedetto Buglioni. The second order has a niche in the center Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Lenzi

    Palazzo Lenzi is a palace in Florence, located in Piazza Ognissanti, in the western part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built around the year 1470 by the Lenzi family on a design by an unknown architect. The Lenzi family resided in the palace until the middle of the 17th century, when the palace was bought by the Buini family, who modernized the interior. In 1765, the palace passed to the Quaratesi family. In the 19th century, Palazzo Lenzi was used as a hotel, under the name of Locanda di Russia. Around the middle of the 19th century, the whole area changed its appearance, with the construction of Palazzo Giuntini and the Hotel Excelsior. At the end of the 19th century, the palace was purchased by the antiquarian Luigi Pisani, who began a series of important restorations. The works were supervised by the architect Luigi Del Moro and the painter Pietro Baldancoli. After the restorations were completed, Luigi Pisani placed his art and antiques gallery in the palace. In 1908, the palace became the seat of the French Institute of the University of Grenoble. Then, in 1912, it became the seat of the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Corsini al Parione

    Palazzo Corsini al Parione is one of the most sumptuous private palaces in Florence, located on the homonymous Lungarno Corsini, halfway between Ponte Santa Trinita and Ponte alla Carraia.   SHORT HISTORY Until the 16th century, there were various buildings on this area, the most important of them being the Casino del Parione and the house of the lawyer Tommaso Compagni, decorated by a fresco with the Nine Muses by Bernardino Poccetti. The land was owned first by the Marquis of Marignano, then by Giovanni de’ Medici, son of Cosimo I and Eleonora degli Albizi. In 1621, the property passed to Cardinal Giovan Carlo de’ Medici, and in 1640 it was sold to Maddalena Machiavelli, mother of Bartolomeo Corsini. Bartolomeo Corsini began the construction of a new building in 1656, initially with the contribution of the architect Alfonso Parigi the Younger, who was succeeded later by Ferdinando Tacca, and by Pierfrancesco Silvani. After Silvani’s death in 1685, the work was continued by Antonio Maria Ferri, who gave the current appearance to the structure: the three bodies articulated around a central courtyard, the monumental staircase and the facade on Lungarno Corsini. Today, the palace is still partly inhabited by the descendants Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Gianfigliazzi Bonaparte

    Palazzo Gianfigliazzi Bonaparte is a palace in Florence, located on Lungarno Corsini, about 60 meters away from Ponte Santa Trinita.   SHORT HISTORY Until the end of the 18th century, Palazzo Gianfigliazzi Bonaparte was the property of the noble Gianfigliazzi family, who also owned the adjacent Palazzo Gianfigliazzi. In 1825, the palace was bought by Louis Bonaparte, the younger brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the former King of Holland in exile. Later, the palace was used as a hotel called Delle Quattro Nazioni (Of the Four Nations). In 1827, as a plaque on the facade recalls, the Italian writer and poet Alessandro Manzoni lived there for a month. Around the middle of the 19th century, the palace was owned by the Lamporecchi family, who sold it to the Belgian Van der Linden d’Hooghvorst. At that time, the building was restored by the architect Bartolommeo Silvestri, who rearranged the windows on the facade and closed the panoramic loggia on the top floor. Changes were also made to the interior, where the halls were renovated to host sumptuous receptions. At the end of the 19th century, Palazzo Gianfigliazzi Bonaparte was sold to the Cesaroni Venanzi family. Today, it belongs to the Campodonico Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Gianfigliazzi

    Palazzo Gianfigliazzi is a palace in Florence, located on Lungarno Corsini, about 50 meters away from Ponte Santa Trinita.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built by the Ruggerini family in the 13th century, then passed to the Fastelli-Petribuoni family. At the beginning of the 15th century, it became the property of the Gianfigliazzi family. In the 17th century, the palace was renovated by the architect Gherardo Silvani. Towards the middle of the following century, it was rented to Princess Louise of Stolberg-Gedern, wife of Charles Edward Stuart, pretender to the English throne. In 1853, the building passed to the Masetti family, who enlarged it by one floor and changed the arrangement of the windows on the facade. Today, Palazzo Gianfigliazzi belongs to a real estate company, and houses the 4-Star hotel Palazzo Alfieri Residenza d’Epoca.   HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Gianfigliazzi is located about 1 kilometer away from the Santa Maria Novella railway station. The closest bus stop is Frescobaldi, located in Piazza de’ Frescobaldi, about 180 meters away, on the bus Lines 11, C3 and C4.

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    Ponte Santa Trinita

    Ponte Santa Trinita is a beautiful bridge in Florence, located on the Arno River, which connects Piazza Santa Trinita to Piazza de’ Frescobaldi.   SHORT HISTORY Ponte Santa Trinita was built in wood in 1252, thanks to Filippo Ugoni, Mayor of Florence, at the behest of the noble Frescobaldi family, and took the name of the nearby Basilica of Santa Trinita. In 1259, the bridge collapsed under the weight of the crowd watching a show on the Arno. It was rebuilt in stone, but was destroyed again by the great flood of 1333. The subsequent rebuilding lasted fifty years, and was completed in 1415. In 1557, Ponte Santa Trinita was again deteriorated by a flood, and Cosimo I commissioned Bartolomeo Ammannati to build a new bridge, based on a design by Michelangelo. The construction began in 1567, and the work was completed in 1571. The bridge was destroyed by the retreating Germans on August 4, 1944, at the end of the Second World War. In 1952, the architect Riccardo Gizdulich began to supervise the reconstruction works, together with the engineer Emilio Brizzi. The reconstructed bridge was inaugurated on March 16, 1958.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The bridge is built in Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Borsa

    Palazzo della Borsa is a large palace in Florence, located on Lungarno Diaz, about 100 meters away from the Uffizi Gallery.   SHORT HISTORY The area in which the palace currently stands was occupied until the mid-19th century by Tiratoio delle Grazie, an edifice belonging to the guild of Arte della Lana (Wool Art). When the ancient guilds were dissolved by the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, the site was chosen for a large building suitable for housing the Chamber of Commerce, the Stock Exchange and the Tuscan National Bank. Palazzo della Borsa was built between 1858 and 1860 on a project by the young architect Michelangelo Maiorfi, reworked with significant changes by Emilio De Fabris. Around 1915, the entrance from Piazza dei Giudici was opened, and some internal works were carried out based on a project by the architect Ugo Giusti. An intervention by the architect Ezio Cerpi, which led to the raising of the entire attic, thus obtaining the second floor and bringing the structure to its current volume, is dated to 1931. The smooth plaster on the facade and the construction of a large hall in the eastern side of the palace, intended for the Stock Exchange, date Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Malenchini Alberti

    Palazzo Malenchini Alberti is a palace in Florence, located in Via dei Benci, at the intersection with Lungarno Generale Diaz.   SHORT HISTORY The noble family of Alberti di Catenaia settled in this area of Florence in the first half of the 13th century. The family purchased several properties and merged them to form a large structure in which they resided. Between 1760 and 1763, the fronts of the buildings were unified into a single facade, on the initiative of Giovan Vincenzo Alberti, Count of the Holy Roman Empire. Giovan Vincenzo’s son, Leon Battista, died without heirs in 1836, and the palace passed to a nephew belonging to the Mori Ubaldini family. Between 1838 and 1839, the new family renovated the palace, under the direction of the architect Vittorio Bellini. Other interventions took place between 1849 and 1851 by the architects Odoardo Razzi and Niccolò Salvi. The first created the Neo-Renaissance facade, inaugurated in 1850. The second took care of the loggia on the northern side of the palace’s garden. At the end of the 19th century, the palace was bought at auction by the Dukes of Chaulnes, distant descendants of the Alberti. In 1887, they left Florence, and the Read more [...]

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    Piazza Santa Croce

    Piazza Santa Croce is a beautiful square in Florence, located in the eastern part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY On this area, in ancient times, there was an island formed by two arms of the Arno River. The Franciscans, who arrived in Florence around 1226, chose this isolated area for their settlement. Similarly to Piazza Santa Maria Novella, where the Dominicans settled, Piazza Santa Croce was born about a century later, to accommodate the crowds of faithful arriving on pilgrimage to the Basilica of Santa Croce. During the Renaissance, the rectangular shape of the square made it the ideal place for knightly jousting, games and popular competitions, such as Calcio Storico Fiorentino. In Piazza Santa Croce, took place the famous game of February 17, 1530, during the siege of the city. Around that time, the square was bordered by wooden barriers that permanently delimited the area destined for games. At the end of the 18th century, under the rule of Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany, the wooden barriers were replaced by stone pillars that can still be seen today.   ARCHITECTURE The most important building in Piazza Santa Croce is, without doubt, the Basilica Read more [...]

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    Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali

    Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali, also known as Palazzo Lavison, is an imposing palace in Florence, located in Piazza della Signoria, across the square from Palazzo Vecchio.   SHORT HISTORY Around 1864, some buildings in the area, such as the ancient Tower of the Infangati (Torre degli Infangati), the Church of Santa Cecilia, the seat of Arte del Cambio and the Pisani Loggia (Loggia dei Pisani), were demolished. In 1871, the Baron Edoardo Lavison commissioned the architect Giovanni Carlo Landi to build a palace in their place. In 1872, on the corner with Via Vacchereccia, the Rivoire Café was opened by the chocolatier and pastry chef Enrico Rivoire, which became over time one of the most famous places in Florence. After it was owned by the Fenzi banking family, the palace was purchased at the beginning of the 20th century by the Assicurazioni Generali company. Between 2010 and 2011, the palace was the subject of a structural consolidation and rehabilitation intervention. It was inaugurated in January 2012, under the new name of Palazzo del Leone.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace develops on four floors. On the ground floor, there are 9 arches occupied by large windows, except for the Read more [...]

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    Piazza Santa Maria Novella

    Piazza Santa Maria Novella is a beautiful square in Florence, located in the western part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY The square was built starting with 1287 on the initiative of the Municipality of Florence, and completed around 1325. Later, the square became, thanks to its size, the setting for competitions such as Palio dei Cocchi (a race with carriages), established by Cosimo I in 1563. The two marble obelisks, works of Bartolomeo Ammannati, were erected around the same time. Closed to traffic in the late 1980s, the square was recently restylized, and a new pavement was added.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella dominates the square. Completed in Renaissance style by Leon Battista Alberti in 1470, at the behest of the wealthy merchant Giovanni Rucellai, the beautiful facade of the church can be admired from any point in the square. On the southern side of Piazza Santa Maria Novella, there is the loggia of the Hospital of Saint Paul (Ospedale di San Paolo), founded in the 13th century and enlarged in the 15th century, with the addition of a portico. Today, the building houses Museo Novecento, dedicated to the Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of Santi Pietro e Donato

    The Cathedral of Santi Pietro e Donato is the Cathedral of Arezzo, located in Piazza del Duomo, on top of the San Pietro Hill.   SHORT HISTORY An important event, which contributed to the construction of the Cathedral, was the visit to Arezzo of Pope Gregorio X, which took place on December 20, 1275, on his return 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 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 Donatus”. 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, when Arezzo was annexed to the Tuscan state dominated by Florence, the construction of the Cathedral was stopped. The works were resumed only in 1471, and were completed 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 the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici

    Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici is a 14th-century palace in Arezzo, located in the beautiful Piazza Grande. The palace houses the organization of Fraternita dei Laici, an institution founded in 1262, still active today and very involved in projects of social and cultural interest.   SHORT HISTORY The palace, started in 1375, was completed only in the second half of the 16th century. Between 1550 and 1560, the facade was finished with the construction of the balcony and the lunar phases of the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic clock, built in 1552 by Felice di Salvatore Vannucci. The part of the palace towards the apse of the Church of Santa Maria della Pieve was completed in the second half of the 16th century, following a project by Giorgio Vasari. The renovation of Palazzo della Fraternita in 1781, supported by the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena, led to the opening of the Library to the public. Today, the palace houses the Fraternita dei Laici Museum, reopened in 2010.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The original painting of Christ from the external lunette of the central portal, work of Spinello Aretino, was replaced by a copy at the end of the 1970s, and is now in Read more [...]

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    Palazzo delle Logge

    Palazzo delle Logge, also known as Logge Vasari, is a large Renaissance-style palace in Arezzo, located in the beautiful Piazza Grande.   SHORT HISTORY In 1384, Arezzo was annexed to the Tuscan state dominated by Florence, and during the following centuries the Florentine influence became visible in the architecture of the city. In 1560, Piazza Grande changed radically, at the behest of Cosimo I de’ Medici. As a demonstration of the strength of the Florentine lordship, he demolished Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo del Comune and other buildings located in the northern part of the square. The new layout of the square was designed by Giorgio Vasari, who started Palazzo delle Logge in 1573, one year before his death. The palace was completed in 1595 by the architect Alfonso Parigi.   ARCHITECTURE Palazzo delle Logge has a bright, yellow facade, on which the profiles of the architectural elements – pillars, arches, cornices, and windows with low arched tympanum, stand out. The palace has a long portico under which the entrances of the ancient shops, with the characteristic parapets, open. In the center of the loggia, a short staircase connects Piazza Grande with Piazza del Praticino, located higher on the San Pietro Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria della Pieve

    The Church of Santa Maria della Pieve is a Romanesque church in Arezzo, located in Corso Italia, with the apse facing Piazza Grande.   SHORT HISTORY The first documented information about a church in this area dates back to the year 1008. However, the current structure was begun in the 12th century, thanks to the funds provided by the Municipality of Arezzo. In the 13th century, a new facade was built, while the high bell-tower was completed only in 1330. During the 16th century and later, the interior of the church was modified with stucco and Baroque-style decorations. In the 19th century, a renovation eliminated all the Baroque decorations, with the aim of restoring the church to its original Romanesque appearance.   ARCHITECTURE The facade overlooking Corso Italia, rebuilt in the 13th century, has three loggias supported by small columns. The two lower loggias are arched, and the third is surmounted by an architrave. The apse overlooking Piazza Grande is divided vertically into three superimposed orders – the first is made up of blind arches, while the second and the third of loggias. The church has four portals, three on the main facade, separated by blind arches, and one on Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santa Chiara

    The Basilica of Santa Chiara is a church in Gothic style in Assisi, located in the homonymous square, in the southern part of the historical center of the town. The church is dedicated to Saint Clare of Assisi, founder of the Order of Poor Clares, known today as the Order of Saint Clare.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built after the death of Saint Clare, between 1257 and 1265, around the ancient Church of San Giorgio, which kept the remains of Saint Francis until 1230. The construction works were carried out by the architect Filippo da Campello. The remains of Saint Clare were transferred in 1260 to the new basilica, while the solemn consecration of the church took place in 1265, in the presence of Pope Clement IV. The crypt that now houses the tomb of the saint was built only in 1850.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The architectural style of the church is Gothic, and closely resembles the almost contemporary Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. The exterior of the church is characterized by three large polygonal buttresses, which reinforce the left side of the structure. The facade is made of rows of white and pink stone. The Read more [...]

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    Ponte Sant’Angelo

    Ponte Sant’Angelo, also known as Pons Aelius (Aelian Bridge), Pons Hadriani (Hadrian’s Bridge) or Ponte di Castello (Castle Bridge), is an ancient bridge in Rome, which connects Piazza di Ponte Sant’Angelo to the Lungotevere Castello, in front of the Sant’Angelo Castle.   SHORT HISTORY The bridge was built in the year 134 by the emperor Hadrian, based on a project by a certain Demetrianus, to connect his mausoleum, now Castel Sant’Angelo, to the left bank of the Tiber River. Ponte Sant’Angelo was covered with travertine and had three arches, which could be accessed by ramps. The ramps were supported by three minor arches on the left bank of the river and two on the right bank, but were destroyed in 1893 for the construction of the river banks. In July 472, the bridge was used by the Gothic troops of Ricimer to attack the eastern part of the city, defended by the Roman emperor Anthemius. In the Middle Ages, Ponte Sant’Angelo was used by pilgrims on their way to the Saint Peter’s Basilica, and was also known as the Bridge of Saint Peter (Pons Sancti Petri). In 1535, Pope Clement VII had the statues of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Quirinale

    Palazzo del Quirinale is a historic palace in Rome, located on the homonymous hill, overlooking the homonymous square. The palace was the official residence of the King of Italy since 1870, and is the residence of the President of the Italian Republic since 1946.   SHORT HISTORY Before the construction of the Quirinal Palace, on this site was a building known as Villa di Monte Cavallo, one of the Roman residences of Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este. In 1583, Pope Gregory XIII began an expansion of the villa, to make it a real summer residence. The project was entrusted to the architect Ottaviano Mascherino and the works were completed in 1585. The successor of Gregory XIII, Pope Sixtus V, decided in 1587 to buy the villa with the intention of making it the summer residence of the pontiff. With the help of the architect Domenico Fontana, he expanded the palace and remodeled the entire area. Pope Paul V was the pontiff who commissioned the completion of the works on the main building of the Quirinale. He entrusted the extension work to Flaminio Ponzio, who built the wing facing the garden, Sala del Concistoro and Cappella dell’Annunziata (Chapel of the Annunciation). After Read more [...]

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    Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali

    Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali is a Neo-Renaissance palace in Rome, located on the eastern side of Piazza Venezia, opposite the much older Palazzo Venezia.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built between 1906 and 1911 on the site of the ancient Palazzo Bolognetti-Torlonia and Palazzo Nepoti. The previous buildings were demolished at the beginning of the 20th century, to allow the expansion of Piazza Venezia, designed by Giuseppe Sacconi, to adapt it to the presence of the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II (Vittoriano). Sacconi outlined the general appearance of the new building, designed in detail by the architect Guido Cirilli, assisted by Arturo Pazzi and Alberto Manassei.   ARCHITECTURE Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali takes up the fundamental characteristics of Palazzo Venezia, including its square tower. The facade of the palace is characterized on the ground floor by a portico surmounted by a string course, and by a long series of Romanesque mullioned windows on the second floor, surmounted by small windows. Between these small windows, above the main portal, there is a 16th century bas-relief depicting the Lion of Saint Mark. The bas-relief was taken from the Portello Novo Tower, in Padua, and it was the symbol of the Read more [...]

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    Via dei Fori Imperiali

    Via dei Fori Imperiali is one of the most scenic streets in Rome, which connects Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum. Walking along it, you can admire on both sides of the street the Forums of Caesar, Trajan, Augustus and Nerva.   SHORT HISTORY After Rome became the capital of Italy in 1870, large connecting roads began to open, such as Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Via Nazionale. In the regulatory plans of the city from 1873, 1883 and 1909, a street between Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum was planned. The idea of the road reappeared in the Fascist period. At first, during its construction, the street was named Via dei Monti, then, when it was inaugurated, was called Via dell’Impero. The architect Antonio Muñoz was responsible for the general project, while Raffaele De Vico was in charge with the arrangement of the green areas, and Corrado Ricci with the excavation and arrangement of the archaeological areas. Via dei Fori Imperiali was built between 1924 and 1932, and was inaugurated by Benito Mussolini on October 28, 1932, as part of the celebrations for the tenth anniversary of the March on Rome. In 1945, after the end of the Second World War, Read more [...]

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    Via della Conciliazione

    Via della Conciliazione is a street in Rome, which connects Piazza Pia to Piazza Papa Pio XII, in front of Piazza San Pietro.   SHORT HISTORY Following the official reconciliation between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See on February 11, 1929, the fascist government decided to built a wide road to link the capital of Italy to the Vatican State. Via della Conciliazione was designed by the architects Marcello Piacentini and Attilio Spaccarelli, and built starting in 1936 with the demolition of the so-called Spina di Borgo – the backbone of the historical Borgo district. The street was completed on the occasion of the 1950 Jubilee, with the installation of two rows of obelisk-shaped lamp holders. The intervention caused the loss of a large part of the urban fabric of the Borgo district, with the demolition of important buildings like Palazzo dei Convertendi, Palazzo Jacopo da Brescia, Palazzo del Governatore, Palazzo Alicorni, Palazzo Rusticucci-Accoramboni and the Church of San Giacomo in Scossacavalli. The palaces of the Convertendi, Jacopo da Brescia, Alicorni and Rusticucci were rebuilt, using in the reconstruction elements of the demolished buildings. The ancient Church of San Lorenzo in Piscibus underwent radical transformations and was incorporated Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Latmiral

    Palazzo Latmiral is a palace in Rome, located in Via della Conciliazione, between Palazzo Torlonia and the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina. The palace currently houses the Embassy of Brazil to the Holy See.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Latmiral was built in 1887 for Giuseppe Latmiral, on a project by the architect Agide Spinedi. At the time of its construction, the palace incorporated into its eastern facade overlooking Vicolo del Campanile a 15th-century house with three floors known as Casa del Boia. The house has semicircular windows and a frescoed facade by the painter Giulio Romano. In the first decades of the 20th century, the palace was renovated by the architects Marcello Piacentini and Attilio Spaccarelli.   HOW TO GET THERE The closest Metro station is Ottaviano, located about 1 kilometer away, on the Metro Line A. The closest bus stop is Traspontina/Conciliazione, located about 120 meters away, on the bus Lines 23, 40 and 982.

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    Palazzo Torlonia

    Palazzo Torlonia, also known as Palazzo Castellesi or Palazzo del Corneto, is a Renaissance palace in Rome, located in Via della Conciliazione, near Palazzo dei Convertendi.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built between 1499 and 1517 for Cardinal Adriano Castellesi, an important dignitary of the papal court. The project of the building was attributed to Donato Bramante. The building was built in Piazza Scossacavalli, in the context of the redevelopment of the entire urban sector, after the opening of the new Via Alessandrina. In 1504, the Cardinal Castellesi handed the palace to Henry VII, King of England. Later, Henry VII gave the building to Lorenzo Campeggio, the last Cardinal Protector of England, who lived in the palace between 1519 and 1524. Between 1609 and 1635, the palace was owned by the Borghese family. In 1760, it was named Palazzo Giraud, when it became the property of a French family of bankers. In 1820, the palace was purchased by the Torlonia family. Palazzo Torlonia is the only historic palace in the area which remained untouched during the works for the construction of Via della Conciliazione, in the first decades of the 20th century.   ARCHITECTURE Palazzo Torlonia has a facade Read more [...]

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    Palazzo dei Convertendi

    Palazzo dei Convertendi, also known as Palazzo della Congregazione per le Chiese Orientali (Palace of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches), is a Renaissance palace in Rome, located in Via della Conciliazione, adjacent to Palazzo Rusticucci-Accoramboni.   SHORT HISTORY Around the middle of the 15th century, on the northwestern edge of Piazza Scossacavalli, there was a building known as della Stufa. In the 16th century, the building was sold to the noble Caprini family, who erected in its place a palace on a design by Donato Bramante. The palace was sold in 1517 to the painter Raphael, who died in the building in 1520. On his death, the building was sold to Cardinal Pietro Accolti. After the Cardinal’s death, the palace was inherited by his nephew Benedetto, Cardinal of Ravenna. Accused of corruption, Benedetto was incarcerated in Castel Sant’Angelo, and released after paying his debts. For this, the Cardinal borrowed the sum from the Florentine bankers Giulio and Lorenzo Strozzi, who later obtained the palace. Then, the Strozzi family sold the collapsing palace to Cardinal Giovanni Francesco Commendone. The Cardinal had the palace restored by Annibale Lippi, and sold the building in 1584 to Camilla Peretti, sister of Pope Sixtus Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Rusticucci-Accoramboni

    Palazzo Rusticucci-Accoramboni is a Late Renaissance palace in Rome, located in Via della Conciliazione, about 120 meters away from Piazza San Pietro.   SHORT HISTORY Girolamo Rusticucci, secretary of Pope Pius V and later cardinal, bought a building on March 31, 1572. Rusticucci also bought some nearby buildings, with the aim of expanding the original structure. In 1584, Rusticucci commissioned Domenico Fontana to design a larger palace. After the death of Pope Sixtus V, Fontana was transfered to Naples, and the works were completed by his nephew, Carlo Maderno. Around 1630, the Nazarene College, one of the oldest schools in Rome, was housed in the palace for a short time. Around the middle of the 17th century, the cardinal’s heirs sold the palace to the Accoramboni family. In 1667, the construction of the colonnade in Piazza San Pietro by Gian Lorenzo Bernini made it necessary to demolish the last block of houses located in front of the square. Its demolition created a new square, bordered on the north side by Palazzo Rusticucci, which gave it its name. In the 20th century, the palace became the seat of the Belgian Historical Institute, and then it was occupied by the Congregation of Read more [...]

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    Church of Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza

    The Church of Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza is a Baroque church in Rome dedicated to Saint Ivo of Kermartin, located in Corso del Rinascimento, about 100 meters away from Piazza Navona.   SHORT HISTORY In 1632, Francesco Borromini became the main architect of Palazzo della Sapienza, the palace of the University of Rome. At that time, the layout of the courtyard of the palace was already defined by Giacomo della Porta, and a circular church with small chapels was planned. The work on the church began only in 1643, and continued for over twenty years. The first construction phase was from 1643 to 1655. After an interruption, the work resumed in 1659, with the completion of the church, the construction of the Alessandrina Library and the facades of the palace overlooking Piazza Sant’Eustachio and Via dei Canestrari. The church was consecrated in 1660, although the works continued for a few more years. The library was instead completed after the death of Francesco Borromini.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The church has a large courtyard in front. Its facade is concave, with five blind arches on each of the first two floors. The central arch on the ground floor is occupied by the Read more [...]

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    Piazza del Popolo

    Piazza del Popolo (People’s Square) is a large square in Rome, located at the foot of the Pincian Hill, near the Villa Borghese gardens.   SHORT HISTORY Until the end of the 19th century, when it assumed its current shape, Piazza del Popolo was a modest square with a trapezoidal shape. At the time of the Napoleonic occupation, the architectural and urban aspect of the square was revised by the architect Giuseppe Valadier. Thanks to his intervention, the square assumed the current elliptical shape, completed by a double exedra, decorated with numerous fountains and statues. In 1818, Valadier removed the old fountain of Giacomo Della Porta, and replaced it with a new structure – four fountains in the form of lions, around the base of the obelisk. Valadier continued its work of renewal the square by arranging also the slopes of the Pincian Hill, connecting Piazza del Popolo and the hill with wide ramps, adorned by trees.   ARCHITECTURE Piazza del Popolo houses three churches. Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo is the oldest one, located next to the gate with the same name, Porta del Popolo. The church was built in the 11th century by Pope Pasquale II, but Read more [...]

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    Piazza Venezia

    Piazza Venezia is a beautiful square in Rome, located at the foot of the Capitoline Hill, between Piazza di San Marco, to the west, and Piazza della Madonna di Loreto, to the east. In the square, five of the most important streets of the city meet: Via dei Fori Imperiali, Via Cesare Battisti, Via del Corso, Via del Plebiscito, and Via del Teatro di Marcello.   SHORT HISTORY The current appearance of the square derives largely from the demolition and reconstruction interventions carried out between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, following the construction of the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II (Vittoriano). Originally, the square extended only in the western half of the current one, and Via del Corso started from its northeastern corner. The imposing Vittoriano required a wider space in front, and it was decided to enlarge Piazza Venezia and make it symmetrical to the axis of Via del Corso. The extension was designed in its general lines by Giuseppe Sacconi and then defined by Guido Cirilli. For this enlargement, the buildings present in the eastern part of the future square were demolished and Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali was built. Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Laterano

    Palazzo del Laterano is a Renaissance palace in Rome, located in Piazza di Porta San Giovanni, adjacent to the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano. The palace was the official residence of the Roman pontiffs for many centuries. Today, it houses the Papal State Historical Museum (Museo Storico dello Stato Pontificio), the offices of the Vicariate of Rome and the apartment of the Cardinal Vicar of His Holiness for Rome.   SHORT HISTORY The area was named after the original owners, the Plauzi Laterani family, who owned a large palace on this site. After a member of this family, designated consul, was accused around the year 66 of conspiracy against Nero, the properties of the family, together with the adjoining palace, were confiscated. At the beginning of the 4th century, the monumental Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano was built, and consecrated in 324 by Pope Sylvester I. Around the middle of the 8th century, Pope Zacharias built a triclinium (formal dining room) in the ancient Lateran Palace, and decorated it with marble, glass and precious metals, mosaics and frescoes. A few decades later, Pope Leo III built another triclinium, and installed, in the center of the room paved with Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo al Celio

    The Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo al Celio is a church in Rome, located in the homonymous square, on the Caelian Hill, about 700 meters away from the Roman Forum and the Colosseum.   SHORT HISTORY The church was erected starting with 398 by the Roman senator Byzantis on the site of an ancient structure dating back to the first century AD. The church was used first as a domus ecclesiae (house church) by a Christian community, and then, according to tradition, became the burial ground of the Saints John and Paul, who were martyred during the reign of the emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus. In 410, the church was damaged by the Visigoths of Alaric I, during the sack of Rome, then by an earthquake in 442, and was finally destroyed by the Normans in 1084. In the 12th century, Pope Paschal II restored the church, and built the bell-tower and the portico. The structure was remodeled again in the following centuries. The church took on its current appearance in 1951, when Cardinal Francis Joseph Spellman had the facade restored.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church is characterized by a portico along its entire width. Above the portico, Read more [...]

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    Church of San Martino

    The Church of San Martino (Chiesa del Divo Martino) is a church in Romanesque style, dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, in Portofino.   SHORT HISTORY The church was probably built during the 12th century, around the same time the Church of San Giorgio was erected. The structure is mentioned in a document of 1130, with the decision of Pope Innocent II to cede the property to the monks of the nearby Abbey of San Fruttuoso, and again in 1164, where the same privileges were confirmed by Pope Alexander III. The consecration of the church took place on June 10, 1548, and on March 8, 1550, the ownership of the religious building passed to the Prince Andrea Doria and his heirs, through a papal bull of Pope Julius III. During the 19th century, the Church of San Martino was renovated and expanded, and took its current shape.   ART Inside, there are several pictorial and sculptural works, such as the wooden group depicting the Deposition of Christ by the Genoese sculptor Anton Maria Maragliano, the canvas of the Madonna del Rosario by an unknown painter, an Annunciation of the 18th century, and a painting depicting the Saints Rocco, Sebastiano and Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santo Stefano

    The Basilica of Santo Stefano, also known as the Seven Churches (Sette Chiese), is a complex of religious buildings in Bologna, located in the homonymous square.   SHORT HISTORY Around the year 100 AD, a pagan temple dedicated to Isis was built on this site. In 393, Ambrosio, the bishop of Milan, discovered the tombs of the first Christian martyrs of Bologna, Vitale and Agricola, and a small chapel was built near the temple of Isis to preserve their remains. The church is known today as the Church of the Saints Vitale and Agricola. In the 5th century, Petronius, the bishop of Bologna, converted the temple of Isis into a baptistery. Around the year 450, he was buried here. Now, the structure is known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Basilica del Sepolcro). In 727, Liutprand, king of the Lombards, invaded the city and built, to the right of the Holy Sepulcher, a prominent basilica, naming it after San Giovanni Battista (Saint John the Baptist). Later, the religious building became the Church of the Holy Crucifix (Chiesa del Crocifisso). The complex was devastated during the invasion of the Hungarians at the beginning of the 10th century, and was largely Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Domenico

    The Basilica of San Domenico is an important church in Bologna, located in the homonymous square. The church houses the remains of San Domenico (Saint Dominic), founder of the Dominican Order, who died in 1221 in the adjacent convent.   SHORT HISTORY Saint Dominic arrived in Bologna in January 1218, and settled in the convent of the Church of Santa Maria della Purificazione, located outside the city walls. In 1219, the saint moved to the Convent of San Nicolò delle Vigne, where the current basilica stands. Saint Dominic died on August 6, 1221. In 1233, his remains were placed in a cypress chest, enclosed in a simple marble sarcophagus, and placed behind the altar of a side chapel of the right aisle. The following year, San Domenico was canonized by Pope Gregory IX. In 1267, his remains were placed in a monument known as the Ark of Saint Dominic (Arca di San Domenico). Starting with 1228, the old church of San Nicolò delle Vigne was enlarged, with the demolition of the apse and the extension of the nave. The construction works of the new basilica were completed in 1240, with the building of the sober Romanesque facade. The basilica was Read more [...]

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    Porta Galliera

    Porta Galliera is an imposing medieval gate in Bologna, located in Piazza XX Settembre, in the northern part of the historical center of the city. Porta Galliera is the most decorated of all the remaining gates of Bologna.   SHORT HISTORY Porta Galliera was built at the beginning of the 13th century, when the third wall of the city was raised. With a length of about 7.6 kilometers and a polygonal shape, the outer wall of Bologna had 12 gates equipped with a drawbridge, to cross the external moat. The gate was rebuilt in the 14th century, in conjunction with the works for the construction of the nearby Galliera Castle (Castello di Galliera), erected between 1330 and 1333 by Cardinal Bertrando del Poggetto for the Pope John XXII. The fortress was however destroyed in 1334 by the Bolognese population rebelling against the Papal State. In the 17th century, the gate was subject to several renovations, and between 1661 and 1663, due to the poor state of the original foundations, it was completely rebuilt based on a design by Bartolomeo Provaglia. Porta Galliera witnessed the final event of the insurrection of August 8, 1848. Through the gate, the last left open Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Sansedoni

    Palazzo Sansedoni is a medieval palace located on the northern side of Piazza del Campo, in Siena. Today, the palace houses the Monte dei Paschi di Siena Foundation.   SHORT HISTORY The palace takes its name from the noble Sansedoni family, one of the most powerful families of Siena during the Middle Ages. Palazzo Sansedoni was built at the beginning of the 13th century, by joining several ancient buildings. In 1339, the architect Agostino di Giovanni oversaw the reconstruction and expansion of the palace. The majestic brick facade of the palace facing the square dates back to an 18th-century renovation in Gothic style by the architect Ferdinando Ruggieri.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The concave facade of Palazzo Sansedoni, which follows the curvature of the square, is composed of four orders, three of them with trifore mullioned windows. The facade is topped by battlements above a frieze of round arches. The tower of the palace, positioned asymmetrically to the left of the building, was truncated in 1760, because Torre del Mangia, located nearby, had to be the tallest building in the square. Inside, various rooms have 18th-century decorations, work of Francesco Melani, Giuseppe Melani and Gian Domenico Ferretti. Anton Domenico Gabbiani Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Francesco

    The Basilica of San Francesco is a Romanesque church in Siena, located in the homonymous square. Dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, the church is officiated by the Order of Friars Minor Conventual.   SHORT HISTORY The Franciscans arrived in Siena shortly after the death of Saint Francis in 1226. Between 1228 and 1255, a first church was erected on this site. The current church was built between 1326 and 1475 in Gothic style, enlarging the pre-existing church. In 1655, a fire damaged the church, leaving it in ruins for over two centuries. Between 1763 and 1765, the current bell tower was built, based on a project by Paolo Posi. In 1855, following the suppression of religious orders carried out by Napoleon, the convent became the property of the Archdiocese of Siena, which made it the seat of the Archiepiscopal Seminary. The church was restored in Neo-Gothic style at the end of the 19th century. The works were entrusted to Giuseppe Partini for the interior, and to Vittorio Mariani and Gaetano Ceccarelli for the exterior. In 1968, the ancient Convent adjacent to the Basilica was purchased by the University of Siena, where the Department of Economics, Politics and Statistics is Read more [...]

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    Princess Art Hotel

    Princess Art Hotel is a 4-Star hotel in Ferrara, located in Via Mascheraio, about 200 meters away from Piazza Ariostea and about 700 meters away from the Este Castle. Princess Art Hotel offers air-conditioned rooms, with antique furnishings, exposed wood-beamed ceilings and a private bathroom with a bath or shower. Some rooms have a fireplace or seating area. Guests can relax in the shared garden or on the outdoor patio, which is equipped with tables and chairs.   HOW TO GET THERE Princess Art Hotel is located about 2 kilometers away from the Ferrara railway station. The closest bus stop, Palestro Mascheraio, is located about 120 meters away, on the bus Line 3.

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    Hotel Mercure Ferrara

    Hotel Mercure Ferrara is a 4-Star hotel in Ferrara, located in Largo Castello, a few meters away from Castello Estense. The hotel offers rooms with a classic design, with wood floors and elegant furnishings. Suites includes a private wellness area. Each room features a full HD LED TV with international channels, and free WiFi.   HOW TO GET THERE Hotel Mercure Ferrara is located about 1.5 kilometers away from the Ferrara railway station. The closest bus stop, Cavour Giardini, is located in Viale Cavour, about 180 meters away, on the bus Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11 and 21.

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    Hotel Nazionale

    Hotel Nazionale is a 3-Star hotel in Ferrara, located in Corso Porta Reno, about 90 meters away from Piazza Trento e Trieste, and about 300 meters away from the Este Castle. Hotel Nazionale offers modern rooms with LCD TV and free WiFi. Each room, with a contemporary design with wood floors and allergy-free furnishings, features a safety deposit box and a private bathroom with hairdryer and toiletries. A buffet breakfast is served each morning and gluten-free dishes are available on request.   HOW TO GET THERE Hotel Nazionale is located about 1.6 kilometers away from the Ferrara railway station. The closest bus stop, Corso Porta Reno, is located near the hotel, on the bus Lines 4 and 11.

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    Piazza Trento e Trieste

    Piazza Trento e Trieste, formerly known as Piazza delle Erbe for the market held there in the past, is the main square of Ferrara.   SHORT HISTORY The medieval square appeared at the same time with the Cathedral of San Giorgio, in the 12th century, and since its inception it became the fulcrum of the political, economic and religious powers of the city.   ARCHITECTURE The square, rectangular in shape, is crossed by a sidewalk 120 meters long and 12 meters wide, called listone. Around the square, you can still admire various ancient buildings, some of them in their original appearance, while others have undergone various renovations and transformations over time. In the northern part of the square, there is the Cathedral of San Giorgio, the Cathedral of Ferrara, built starting with 1235 and completed in 1177. Behind the Cathedral, there is the bell-tower, an unfinished work of Leon Battista Alberti. On the southern side of the Cathedral, runs Loggia dei Merciai, which since the beginning was dedicated to the merchants and to their various shops. The structure still retains its function today, hosting modern shops and commercial activities. The ancient seat of the Shoemakers’ Guild, Palazzo di San Crispino, Read more [...]

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    Fontebranda

    Fontebranda is a medieval fountain in Siena, located near Porta di Fontebranda, one of the remaining gates of the ancient city walls.   SHORT HISTORY The first mention of Fontebranda dates back to the year 1081. The fountain was enlarged in 1193, and rebuilt in bricks and travertine in 1246 by Giovanni di Stefano, for the Wool Guild, who needed a permanent source of water. Saint Catherine of Siena was born and lived near the fountain, and that is why she is also known as the Saint of Fontebranda.   ARCHITECTURE The fountain is characterized by three large ogival Gothic arches surmounted by merlons and a row of blind arches with triangular motifs. The front is adorned with four lion-shaped gushes, with the emblem of Siena in the center. Beyond the water tank, there are more than 25 kilometers of conduits, partly excavated and partly inside the walls, whose medium height is about 1.75 meters, with a width of about 0.90 meters. Today, you can walk through this tunnels, where rainwater, collected in a small channel carved in the walkway, flows with an inclination of one meter per kilometer, from the springs located in the Sienese countryside. These pipelines, in Read more [...]