Fontana del Commercio (Fountain of Commerce) is a beautiful fountain located in Piazza della Repubblica, the main square of Pizzo Calabro. SHORT HISTORY The project of the fountain was approved on June 16, 1857, by the mayor Emanuele Alcalà, without the possibility of building it in the immediate future, due to lack of funds. The fountain was realized seven years later, in 1864, on a project by the architect Giuseppe Santulli di Monteleone, for an amount of 1029 ducats. For the construction of the fountain was used the granite from the base of an equestrian statue in marble destroyed in 1860. ARCHITECTURE The fountain from Piazza della Repubblica is made of granite, with a shell in the center, containing a stylized dolphin inside. The water comes out of seven nozzles, one placed in the central shell, and the other placed in the mouths of six human and anthropomorphic figures. HOW TO GET THERE Fontana del Commercio is located in Piazza della Repubblica, about 1.4 kilometers away from the Pizzo railway station. To find it on foot, use the map below.
The Chapel of Madonnina del Mare is a chapel built in a small cave in Via San Francesco da Paola, in Scilla. In the chapel, on a marble altar, there is a bronze sculpture of the Virgin and Child. Because is near the entrance to the Port of Scilla, the statue is also known as Madonnina del Porto. SHORT HISTORY The cave in which the altar stands today is the result of the excavations carried out by the German troops during the Second World War, when the soldiers tried to create a shelter against bombing. The Via San Francesco da Paola was built around the middle of the 20th century, and the statue of the Virgin, work of the sculptor Monteleone, was placed in the cave in 1953. During the 1970s, the tunnel that surrounds the rock of Scilla, in which the chapel is found today, was also built. HOW TO GET THERE The Chapel of Madonnina del Mare is located about 750 meters away from the Scilla train station. To find the chapel on foot, use the map below.
Fontana Storica della Sirena is a beautiful fountain located in the Chianalea district, in Scilla, about 100 meters away from the picturesque Port of Scilla. Of modern construction, the fountain is located in Via Grotte, in a small open space between the buildings. The sculpture recalls the myth of the Scylla mermaid, to which Scilla is closely linked. ARCHITECTURE The fountain’s basin is built in brick and stone. The upper part presents a sculpture of a rock made of concrete, which supports an enamelled terracotta statue depicting a mermaid holding a shell in her hands. Behind this composition, another large shell acts as a background. HOW TO GET THERE The fountain is located about 800 meters away from the Scilla railway station. To find the fountain on foot, use the map below.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception (Chiesa dell’Immacolata) is a church in Scilla, located in the immediate vicinity of the Ruffo Castle. SHORT HISTORY Ancient Greek parchments speak about the existence of a church on this place since the early centuries of Christianity, linked more or less to the fortress built nearby around the 5th century. During the Norman domination of the area, the church was dedicated to the Madonna dell’Itria, a title widely used by the Greek churches and imported later to the southern Italy. Following the earthquakes of 1509 and 1599, the church, badly damaged, was rebuilt and enlarged. This new church was dedicated to the Holy Virgin under the title of the Immaculate Conception. During the earthquake of February 5, 1783, the roof and the magnificent dome collapsed. Two days later, the whole central vault fell. The church was rebuilt in brick and stone between 1825 and 1875. In 1894, the church was damaged again, and extensive restorations became necessary. On this occasion, the bell towers were lowered and the brick vault was replaced by a wooden roof. At the beginning of 20th century, the interior of the church was beautifully frescoed, but it was destroyed Read more [...]
The Church of San Rocco is a relatively new church in Scilla, dedicated to Saint Roch, the patron saint of the town, located in the homonymous square, in Piazza San Rocco. SHORT HISTORY The cult of San Rocco was probably born in Scilla in the 15th century, when the area was hit by a plague and the saint was credited for saving the locals. Around that time, Scilla had important commercial relations with Venice, where the relics of San Rocco were held. In the 16th century, one of the saint’s statues was transported from Venice to Scilla, and San Rocco became the patron saint of the town. The Church of San Rocco was built in 1738, on the site of a former church dedicated to St. George. The church was heavily hit by the earthquakes of 1783 and 1908, being rebuilt each time. The today’s church is the result of a rebuilding started in the 1970s and completed in August 1990. The rebuilding was made with the help of the local people, and it became necessary after the damage suffered by the building during the Second World War. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church, with two Read more [...]
The Church of Santa Maria di Porto Salvo is a 18th-century church located in a small square in the center of the Chianalea district, in Scilla. SHORT HISTORY The church was built in 1700 by the Brotherhood of Santa Maria di Porto Salvo, in the beautiful Chianalea district. The church was damaged by the cataclysms of 1783 and 1908, but it was not completely destroyed. Each time, it was rebuilt at the expense of the inhabitants of the neighborhood. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The church, with a rectangular plan and a single nave, is a beautiful example of the 18th-century architecture, for its harmonious and delicate style, both on the outside and inside. The facade, of a dirty white color, has four pilasters with a very high base, surmounted by a triangular body with a cross at the top. In the center of the frontispiece, there is a circular tondo representing Maria Santissima di Porto Salvo. Between the external and internal pilasters, there are two cornices with a rectangular shape and concave corners, while between the two central pilasters is the wooden portal from the 18th-century, divided into six squares surrounded by frames. Inside, there were five altars, all Read more [...]
Dimora Amalfitana is a guesthouse in Monopoli, located in the historical center of the city, about 200 meters away from the Old Port. The guesthouse offers rooms that guarantee maximum comfort, characterized by pleasant and modern lines, all located in the same building. All the rooms include a desk and are equipped with a private bathroom, while some rooms feature a balcony. An Italian breakfast is available each morning at the property. HOW TO GET THERE Dimora Amalfitana is located about 1.2 kilometers away from the Monopoli train station. To find it easily, use the map below.
B&B Al Picchio is a bed and breakfast located in a modern area of Monopoli, about 450 meters away from the historical center of the city. B&B Al Picchio offers air-conditioned rooms, free WiFi throughout the property and free parking nearby. All the rooms come with an LCD TV and a desk. The bathroom includes a hairdryer and free toiletries. HOW TO GET THERE The B&B Al Picchio is located about 1.4 kilometers away from the Monopoli railway station. To find it easily, use the map below.
Santa Maria 24 is a beautiful apartment in Monopoli, located a few meters from the Castle of Charles V and the Old Port of the city. The apartment features free WiFi and a terrace, and every room is air conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV. Some rooms feature a seating area, and a coffee machine is available in the apartment. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom fitted with a bidet, free toiletries and a hair dryer. HOW TO GET THERE The apartment is located on the Lungomare Santa Maria, about 1.4 kilometers away from the Monopoli train station. To find it easily, use the map below.
Palazzo Martinelli-Meo Evoli is a palace built along the ancient walls of Monopoli, close to the Old Port of the city and the Castle of Charles V. SHORT HISTORY The palace was owned, at first, by the Bandino family, then by the Carbonelli and Lentini families and finally by the Martinelli family, who bought it at the end of the 18th century. The Martinellis were a wealthy family from Mola, relocated here in the second half of the 18th entury, attracted by the commercial opportunities offered by Monopoli. ARCHITECTURE The building, on three levels, overlooks the Porto Vecchio. The long facade has 18th-century windows, while the monumental entrance portal and the balconies on the first floor were built in the Neo-Gothic style around the mid-19th century. The loggia, built on a portico with three arches, produces a remarkable scenographic effect, overlooking the port with eight ogival arches in Neo-Gothic style, and a balcony with balustrade. Inside, beyond the wide entrance hall, there is a courtyard with a beautiful open staircase and an 18th-century loggia on three levels. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Martinelli is located about 1.3 kilometers away from the Monopoli railway station. To find it Read more [...]
Porto Vechio (Old Port) is an ancient port in Monopoli, located at the northen limit of the historical center of the city. The port is the true home of the typical fishing boats called gozzi (or vozz, in the local dialect), almost 5 meters long, usually painted in bright red and blue. Porto Vecchio, with its red lighthouse, the Castle of Charles V, the beautiful Palazzo Martinelli-Meo Evoli and the typical colorful gozzi boats, is, by far, the most picturesque area of Monopoli. SHORT HISTORY The history of the Old Port of Monopoli is lost in time and probably coincides with the history of the city itself. Archaeological excavations carried out between 1985 and 2011, have shown the existence of a Messapian city of the 6th century BC, equipped with fortifications overlooking the ancient port. The cove of the ancient port was protected from the winds and had an important natural basin, and it seems beyond doubt that this basin was the place from which the today’s city began to develop. Around the first century AD, the Roman city possessed a large gate with direct access to the quay area. The defensive structure is currently incorporated in the Castle Read more [...]
The Castle of Charles V is a 16th century fortress in Monopoli, built during the Spanish domination of the city. The castle is located in the historical center of the city, on a promontory called Punta Pinna, near the Old Port of Monopoli. SHORT HISTORY The castle was built in the first half of the 16th century by the Emperor Charles V, as part of the coastal fortification system of the area. The works were carried out under the supervision of the Viceroy Don Pedro of Toledo or, according to other versions, under the Marquis Don Ferrante Loffredo, and were finished in 1552. In 1600, the fortress was enlarged and restructured, both on the outside and inside, transforming the castle from a purely defensive structure to a residential one. In the first half of the 19th century, the castle became a prison, which was abolished only in 1969. After it was abandoned for some time, the castle was consolidated in the 1990s and is now used as a venue for important cultural events, such as painting and photography exhibitions. ARCHITECTURE The plan of the castle is enriched by pentagonal bastions. The main entrance is found to the south, Read more [...]
Villa Zagara is a spacious villa in Pizzo, with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a large terrace and an enclosed parking with automatic gate. Villa Zagara features air conditioning, flat-screen TV, and a kitchen with dishwasher and oven. The villa also offers a seating area and 3 bathrooms with a bath and a bidet. HOW TO GET THERE Villa Zagara is located about 2.8 kilometers away from the Pizzo railway station. To find easily the villa, use the map below.
B&B Casa Dorsi is a bed and breakfast located in the northern area of the historical center of Polignano a Mare, close to the Lama Monachile Beach. The B&B is hosted by an ancient stone house recently renovated. The rooms feature original floors, wooden furniture and wrought-iron beds. All the rooms have an LCD TV and a fridge, and most are air conditioned. The suites and apartments also feature a fully equipped kitchenette. HOW TO GET THERE The B&B is located about 800 meters away from the Polignano a Mare railway station. Use the map below to find it easily.
Tra le Mura is a guesthouse located in the historical center of Polignano a Mare, about 350 meters away from the Lama Monachile Beach. Tra le Mura offers modern rooms with air conditioning, flat-screen TV and a refrigerator. Some have a balcony and sea view. The guesthouse also features a terrace and free Wi-Fi is available on the property. An Italian breakfast is served every morning on the terrace and includes hot drinks, mineral water and croissants. HOW TO GET THERE Tra le Mura is located about 550 meters away from the Polignano a Mare train station. Use the map below to find it easily.
Sei Stelle Mama is a bed and breakfast located in Polignano a Mare, in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, near the Palazzo dell’Orologio. The B&B is hosted in a historic building which dates back to the 19th century, with vaulted ceilings and decorated with beautiful friezes. Sei Stelle Mama offers three rooms (Deluxe, Superior and French) united by the excellence of their furnishings. Each room is equiped with mini-bar and the WiFi is available everywhere. A breakfast is served every day from 7.30 am to 10.30 am on the ground floor, on the terrace or in your room. HOW TO GET THERE Sei Stelle Mama is located about 700 meters away from the Polignano a Mare train station. To find it easily, use the map below.
B&B Dei Serafini is a bed and breakfast located in the historical center of Polignano a Mare, close to the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II and Palazzo dell’Orologio. The B&B has a new and exclusive breakfast room, overlooking the sea, where you can enjoy a tasty continental breakfast. In the evening, the breakfast room turns into an exclusive lounge bar, where you can taste great cocktails and some special appetizers. HOW TO GET THERE The B&B is located about 600 meters away from the Polignano a Mare train station. To find it easily, use the map below.
There are at least two things in Polignano a Mare which remind of the great Italian singer Domenico Modugno. The first is the seafront which bears his name, located in the northwestern part of the city, and the second is the statue dedicated to him, in the immediate vicinity. THE ARTIST Domenico Modugno was born in Polignano a Mare, on January 9, 1928. When he was little, his father taught him to play the guitar and accordion. He wrote his first song at the age of 15. Later, he became a leading figure in theater, television, radio and cinematography. Domenico Modugno won the San Remo Music Festival – the most popular Italian song contest, four times. He starred in 45 films and recorded 230 songs. His most famous song, Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu, universally known as Volare, was released in 1958 and became one of the best-known songs in the world, translated into more than 20 languages. On August 26, 1993, Domenico Modugno held in Polignano a Mare the last major concert of his career, attended by 70,000 people. One year later, he died of heart attack on the island of Lampedusa. THE STATUE The statue, three Read more [...]
Palazzo dell’Orologio (Clock Palace) is a small palace located in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, in the historical center of Polignano a Mare. SHORT HISTORY The palace has medieval origins and was once the seat of the city’s Town Hall. The two ground floor rooms were used as a warehouse for a while and, later, the room in the back was converted into a prison, as attested by the grating which is still visible in Via Tanese Innocente. In the second half of the 18th century, a clock was added to the facade, replacing an old sundial. A small part of the sundial is still visible today, under the clock. ARCHITECTURE The palace is built on three floors, with a facade embelished by decorations in Rococo style, particularly visible around windows, which hide the medieval origins of the building. Between the two windows of the first floor, under the clock, we can find the town’s coat of arms. Above the clock, in a niche, there is the statue of San Vito, the patron saint of Polignano a Mare. The statue is surmounted by a beautiful bell gable. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo dell’Orologio is located about 750 meters Read more [...]
Lama Monachile Beach, also known as Cala Porto, is a small public beach in Polignano a Mare, located near the historical center of the city. The beach, enclosed between two rocky walls, is probably the most photographed spot on the Apulian coast. The beach is about 40 meters wide and is made entirely of pebbles. The water is very clear, but the beach doesn’t get too much sunshine during the day, due to the high cliffs flanking it. Lama Monachile has a Blue Flag certification and, since 2008, the beach and the nearby waters are the scene of the Red Bull Cliff Diving competition. HOW TO GET THERE The beach is located about 800 meters away from the Polignano a Mare train station, or about 12 minutes on foot. From the train station, walk along Viale delle Rimembranze, make left on Via Pompeo Sarnelli and, when you reach Piazza Giuseppe Verdi, search the staircase which leads to the beach, located near the Bridge of Lama Monachile.
The Church of San Giovanni Battista Decollato (Saint John the Baptist Beheaded), abbreviated in the Venetian dialect as San Zan Degolà, is a church located in the sestiere of Santa Croce, in Venice. SHORT HISTORY The church was founded in the 8th century, but the first documented information dates back to the beginning of the 11th century, when the church was rebuilt by the Venier family, residing in a palace nearby. In 1213, the church was renovated at the expense of the Pesaro family, and again in 1703, when the current facade and the bell tower were built. In 1807, the Napoleonic decrees suppressed the parish and led to the deconsecration of the church, which was transformed into a warehouse. In 1818, the church was reopened and assigned to the parish of San Giacomo dall’Orio, to which it still belongs as a vicarial church. Today, the church is the seat of the Russian Orthodox Christian community and the liturgies are held regularly every week. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The church is one of the rare examples of Venetian-Byzantine architecture that remained fairly intact in its original conception up to the present day. Only the facade and the bell tower Read more [...]
Palazzo Contarini Fasan, also called Casa di Desdemona (House of Desdemona), is one of the smallest palaces overlooking the Grand Canal, located in the sestiere of San Marco, in Venice. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Contarini was built around 1475 and belonged to the Contarini family. The name Fasan is probably derived from the passion of its owners for hunting pheasants. Thanks to legend, the palace is traditionally considered the home of Desdemona, a character in William Shakespeare’s play Othello. ARCHITECTURE The palace has a Gothic facade developed in height, on three floors, with no access to water. On the ground floor, there are 3 small rectangular windows. On the first floor, there are three lancet windows separated by white stone columns, and a balcony. On the second floor, we can find two lancet windows, and between them, under a small square opening, there is the large coat of arms of the Contarini family, in bas-relief. The top of the facade is crossed by a jagged cornice, under which can be observed the traces of the 15th-century frescoes that once embellished the entire facade. HOW TO GET THERE The closest waterbus station is Giglio, on the Line 1, but Read more [...]
Palazzo Smith Mangilli Valmarana is a palace overlooking the Grand Canal, located in the sestiere of Cannaregio, in Venice. The palace is known above all as the residence of Joseph Smith, the British consul in Venice between 1744 and 1760. John Smith was also a patron of arts and a collector, the agent of Canaletto for several years and the facilitator for the purchases of his works by the British aristocrats. SHORT HISTORY Originally, the palace was a Byzantine Gothic building, owned by the Trevisan nobles from 1518 to 1666, and later by the Ceffis family. In 1740, the palace became the seat of the English Embassy and the residence of Smith, and it was transformed according to the taste of the era. In 1743, the painter Antonio Visentini designed the new facade of the palace and started the works, which were completed in 1751. Smith died in 1770, and the palace was sold by his widow to the Count Giuseppe Mangilli in 1784. The count added the two top floors and entrusted the redecoration of the interior to the architect Giannantonio Selva, who also built the La Fenice Theater. Later, the palace was sold to the Valmarana family. Read more [...]
The Church of San Giovanni in Bragora is a church located in the homonymous square, in the sestiere of Castello, in Venice. SHORT HISTORY Although the first document mentioning the church dates back to 1090, it seems that the structure was built earlier, in 829. The church was rebuilt in the 10th century, under Doge Pietro III Candiano, to house some presumed relics of St. John the Baptist, to which is dedicated, and again in 1178. In 1464, when Pietro Barbo became Pope Paul II, the church was restructured according to a late Gothic style by the architect Sebastiano Mariani, taking its current form. The works lasted thirty years, from 1475 to 1505, at the end of which it was reconsecrated, as it is shown on the facade, on the lintel above the entrance, under the lunette. In 1481, the chapel dedicated to Saint John the Merciful was built, which houses the precious relics of the saint since 1249. Over time, the bell tower of the church collapsed several times. The first structure, from the 9th century, underwent a major renovation between 1475 and 1498, only to be demolished in 1567 due to its precarious condition. Rebuilt in 1568, Read more [...]
Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti is a palace in Venice, located in the sestiere of San Marco, in the immediate vicinity of the Accademia Bridge. Since 1999, it belongs to the Venetian Institute of Science, Letters and Arts, which hosts frequent cultural events. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in Gothic style in the second half of the 15th century by the Marcello family. It was inhabited later by the Gussoni and the Cavalli families. In 1847, the palace was ceded to the young Archduke Friedrich Ferdinand of Austria, who initiated a series of works for the modernization of the building. Later, the palazzo passed to Enrico, Count of Chambord, who commissioned the architect Giovanni Battista Meduna to renovate the structure. Meduna redesigned the palace, which became one of the emblems of the Venetian 19th century. In 1878, the building was bought by the Baron Raimondo Franchetti. Franchetti started a radical restoration under the direction of the architect Camillo Boito. In September 1922, the widow of Raimondo, Sarah Luisa de Rothschild, sold the building to the Istituto Federale di Credito per il Risorgimento delle Venezie, which proceeded to a new phase of works and functional adaptations. ARCHITECTURE The palace is a Read more [...]
Palazzo Dolfin Manin is a palace overlooking the Grand Canal, not far from the Rialto Bridge, located in the sestiere of San Marco, in Venice. Today, the palace houses the Venice branch of the Banca d’Italia. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in 1536 by Jacopo Sansovino for the Dolfin family, by merging two pre-existing buildings from the Middle Ages. In 1801, the palace became the residence of the noble Manin family. Ludovico Manin, the last Doge of Venice, commissioned the architect Giannantonio Selva to make important modifications and reconstructions to the palace. The architect eliminated the inner courtyard and replaced the entry staircase with a more sumptuous one in the Neoclassical style. In 1797, Ludovico Manin accepted the surrender to the French army of Napoleon. After that moment, he lived for another five years segregated in the palace. The palace remained the property of the Manin family until 1867, when it passed to the Banca Nazionale del Regno. Some restorations were carried out between 1968 and 1971, and a further restoration was completed in 2002. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace was built between 1538 and 1547 by the great architect Jacopo Tatti, known as Sansovino. It is Read more [...]
The Church of San Marcuola is a church dedicated to Saints Hermagoras and Fortunatus, located in the sestiere of Cannaregio, in Venice. The church is situated across the Grand Canal from the Fondaco dei Turchi. The name Marcuola comes from the Venetian pronunciation for Hermagoras. SHORT HISTORY The current church was built in the 12th century on the site of an ancient church from the 9th century, thanks to the contributions of the Memmo family, owners of the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. In 1663, minor changes were made to the structure. Later, the architect Antonio Gaspari presented a new renovation project, but the works were started only after his death, under the direction of the architect Giorgio Massari. In 1736, Giorgio Massari managed to complete the interior of the church, but the facade remained unfinished. In 1779, the church was consecrated for the last time by the Patriarch Federico Maria Giovanelli. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The church has a single nave with a square plan, covered by a barrel vault. The presbytery was created from a semicircular apse, and is practically the vestibule of the beautiful rectangular main chapel, surmounted by an oval dome, supported by four columns. Read more [...]
Casa dei Tre Oci (House of Three Eyes), also known as Casa di Maria, is a palace overlooking the Giudecca Canal, located near Le Zitelle, in the sestiere of Dorsoduro, on the Giudecca island, in Venice. The name of the palace comes from the three large windows on its facade, which resemble three eyes (òci meaning eyes in the Venetian dialect). SHORT HISTORY Casa dei Tre Oci is a 20th century palazzo linked to many illustrious names. It was built between 1912 and 1913 by the painter Mario de Maria, who made it his new Venetian residence. The painter, wanting to commemorate his beloved daughter Silvia, who disappeared a few years earlier, built the house with three large windows on the facade, representing the three surviving members of his family: himself, his wife Emilia Voight and his son Astolfo. The mullioned window placed above them symbolizes the deceased daughter. In this palace, after the death of de Maria, people linked to the art world stayed and lived, like the architect Renzo Piano. In 1970, Enrico Maria Salerno set some scenes of the film The Anonymous Venetian in the palace. Today, the palace is owned by Polymnia Venezia, a company Read more [...]
The Church of Spirito Santo (Church of the Holy Spirit) is a church located on the Zattere promenade, in the sestiere of Dorsoduro, in Venice. SHORT HISTORY In 1483, the monastery of the Augustinian nuns of the Holy Spirit was founded on this place, with a church enclosed within its walls. From the beginning, the monastery distinguished itself by scandals caused by the nuns, documented by the archives of the time. In the first decades of the 16th century, when the foundations of the Zattere were settled on the Giudecca Canal, the monastery was restructured in a radical way. The old church was demolished to make room for the cloister and, in 1506, the construction of the current church began, with the facade oriented towards the Giudecca Canal. At the same time, near the church, separated from it by the Calle Larga della Chiesa, the building of the School of the Holy Spirit was also started. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church has a poorly proportioned structure: the portal and the two side windows on the ground floor apparently denote an initial project focused more on the width of the building than on its height, while the second Read more [...]
Faro di Murano is a lighthouse located in the southern area of the Murano island, in the Venetian Lagoon. SHORT HISTORY Since the time of the Venetian Republic, there has always been a lighthouse on the island. At first, it was built as a wooden tower, on whose top a fire was lit, with the light being reflected by mirrors. A first true lighthouse was built here in 1912, a metal tower on piles which was deactivated in 1934, when the current lighthouse was erected. The current lighthouse was designed and built in Istrian stone by the engineer Mario Moro. Until the 1960s, the lighthouse worked on gas, and then it was powered by electricity. Today, the ignition is automated and, like all the lighthouses in Italy, is managed by the Italian Navy. ARCHITECTURE The current lighthouse is more exposed to the lagoon than the previous one, and was surrounded by stone boulders to protect it. In the lower part, there are two bas-reliefs, depicting two Madonnas, one located above the entrance door of the lighthouse, the other on the opposite side, towards the lagoon. Black stripes were painted in the upper part, to facilitate visibility in fog. Read more [...]
On the island of Torcello, in the square in front of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, there is an ancient stone chair named Attila’s Throne. One legend has it that, during the Huns invasion of Italy, their King Attila, known as the Scourge of God, arrived on Torcello, where the inhabitants of the nearby Roman city of Altino found refuge, and used the throne. In reality, Attila never set his foot on the island. Another legend says that if you sit on the throne, you will certainly return to Torcello sooner or later, but our suspicion is that it has nothing to do with the stone… If it happens to come back to Torcello at some point, you will do it just because this wild island remained in your heart. SHORT HISTORY Though it is named Attila’s Throne, the chair has nothing to do with the King of the Huns. The stone chair dates back to the 5th century, when the first settlers arrived on the island. The throne probably served as the seat of the Bishop of Torcello or that of the governor of the island. HOW TO GET THERE You can get to Torcello by Read more [...]
Ponte del Diavolo (Devil’s Bridge) is one of the two bridges which still exists on the island of Torcello and, at the same time, one of the only two bridges without parapets still found in the Venetian Lagoon, the other being Ponte del Chiodo, located in the sestiere of Cannaregio, in Venice. SHORT HISTORY Recent archaeological studies confirmed that the bridge was built in the 15th century, on the site of a previous narrow bridge from the 13th century. The origin of its name was not yet established. Some locals claim to come from the surname of a local family, Diavoli, and others remember the legend of a pact with the devil that a young man made in the 19th century, during the Austrian occupation of Venice, to recover his dead lover. On August 6, 2009, the radical restoration of the monument was completed, with an intervention that rigorously maintained the original structure, reinforcing the arch of the bridge. HOW TO GET THERE To get to the island of Torcello, from Burano, you can take the waterbus Line 9. From Venice, you can take the waterbus Line 12. Ponte del Diavolo is located across the Canale Maggiore, about Read more [...]
The Church of Santa Fosca is a church dedicated to Saint Fusca of Ravenna, located on the island of Torcello, in the Venice Lagoon, part of the largest complex of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Saint Fusca of Ravenna was a child martyr killed along with her nurse, Maura, around 250 AD, in Ravenna, under the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Decius. SHORT HISTORY It seems that a church dedicated to Santa Fosca existed on this place since the first half of the 9th century. Around 1000, the building was part of the larger project promoted by the Bishop Orso Orseolo, for the reconstruction of the entire complex of the cathedral. The building received its current appearance around the 12th century, when it was rebuilt to house the relics of the christian martyrs Fosca and Maura, arrived from Sabratha, in Africa. ARCHITECTURE The church, with a circular plan, is an example of the Venetian-Byzantine style. It stands outside the remains of the ancient city square, next to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the remains of the ancient baptistery. The church is surrounded by a portico on five sides. The arches are supported by columns with Read more [...]
Palazzo Miani Coletti Giusti is a beautiful palace overlooking the Grand Canal, located in the sestiere of Cannaregio, in Venice. The palace is adjacent to the wonderful Ca d’Oro. SHORT HISTORY The palace, as engraved on the facade, was built in 1766. The palace was own in turn by the Miani family, by the Coletti and the Giusti. Today, together with Ca d’Oro, it houses the art museum Galleria Giorgio Franchetti. ARCHITECTURE The palace has a light green facade, work of the painter and architect Antonio Visentini, and is built on four floors. Overall, in the architecture of the facade we can find various allusions to the style promoted by the architect Andrea Palladio. The building has some peculiarities, such as the presence of the four water portals surrounded by Doric semicolumns and separated by three niches containing statues depicting personalities of the time, of the many single-lancet windows that replace the typical mullioned windows, of a cornice with an unusual arch in the middle and of an imposing dormer between two terraces with balustrades. The top floor is characterized by the presence of two circular niches closed by triangular tympanums. HOW TO GET THERE The closest Read more [...]
Palazzetto Foscari del Prà is a small palace in the Venetian Gothic style overlooking the Grand Canal, in the sestiere of Cannaregio, in Venice. The palace is located near the Church of Santa Sofia, at equal distance between Palazzo Michiel dalle Colonne and Ca d’Oro. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the second half of the 15th century. In 1488, the Foscari family bought the building from the Longin family. In 1520, the ambassador of the Duke of Mantua and Duke Federico Gonzaga lived here for a certain period of time. In the early 1700s, the prominent German merchant Sigismund Streit lived there. After being owned by the Del Prà family, the Giannetti Hotels Group bought the palace in 2003 and transformed it in a 4-star hotel. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace, without particular architectural merit, is noticeable thanks to the Gothic and asymmetric polifora (window divided by multiple columns). On the top floor, the facade was badly remodeled, with the balconies of the windows invading the marble framing of the window below. On the top floor, we can also find the coat of arms of the Foscari family. HOW TO GET THERE The closest waterbus Read more [...]
Palazzo Cavalli, also known as Palazzo Corner Martinengo, is a palace overlooking the Grand Canal, located in the sestiere of San Marco, in Venice. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the 16th century and underwent several renovations in the following centuries. At the beginning of the 16th century, Bartolomeo d’Alviano lived there, great military leader of the Venetian Republic, who distinguished himself in the defence of the city against the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian. In 1521, following the marriage of a daughter of Alvise Corner with Agostino Contarini, the palace passed to the Contarini family. Around 1830, the palace was inherited by the Mocenigo family, who, in turn, sold the building in 1858 to Maria Dorotea Ulbricht. From her, Palazzo Cavalli passed to the Cavalieri family and later to the Ravenna family. In the 19th century, it was the place where the American writer James Fenimore Cooper lived for a while. Initially transformed into a hotel, the palace is now home to the Tide Forecast and Warning Center of the Municipality of Venice. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace, an example of Venetian Gothic style from the 16th century, is three stories high. The ground floor has Read more [...]
The Church of Santa Maria del Rosario, commonly known as I Gesuati (the Jesuates), is a church located on the Fondamenta delle Zattere, in the sestiere of Dorsoduro, in Venice. The Gesuati name comes from the religious order of the Jesuates, suppressed in 1668, which possessed a large convent in the area, later bought by the Dominicans. SHORT HISTORY The Compagnia dei Poveri Gesuati (Company of the Poor Jesuates) was formed at the end of the 14th century, and in 1432 began the construction of the nearby Church of Santa Maria della Visitazione and of the adjacent convent. With the dissolution of the order, the complex passed to the Dominicans, who shortly after began the construction of a new larger church further along the Zattere. The church was built between 1726 and 1735 by the architect Giorgio Massari, with the collaboration of Giambattista Tiepolo and Gian Maria Morlaiter, and was consecrated on September 29, 1743, by the Patriarch Alvise Foscari. With the suppression of the religious orders in 1810, the church became a parish church. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The classical facade is divided into three parts by semi-columns with composite capitals and completed on the sides by composite Read more [...]
The Church of San Pietro di Castello is an important church in Venice, which, until 1807, it was the city’s cathedral. The church is located on the northeastern area of Venice, in the Castello sestiere, not far from the Arsenale. SHORT HISTORY As reported by the chronicler Giovanni Diacono, the building of the Church of San Pietro began around 822, and was completed nine years later, probably in 831. In 1120, a fire devastated the church, and a new larger structure was built, with a baptistery next to it dedicated to San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist), now lost. In 1451, with the suppression of the Patriarchate of Grado and the constitution of the Diocese of Castello of the Patriarchate of Venice, by the bull of Pope Nicholas V, the Basilica of Saint Peter became the new Cathedral of Venice. Between 1508 and 1524, the Patriarch Antonio Contarini decided to carry out restoration works on the ceiling, the vaults and the floor of the church. Between 1512 and 1526, the minor chapels were rebuilt and the decorations were redone. In 1558, the Patriarch Vienzo Diedo commissioned Andrea Palladio to rebuilt the facade and the interior of church. However, Read more [...]
The Merchant of Venice is a brand of perfumes which expresses the uniqueness of Venice, created by the Vidal Family, a family involved in the arts of perfumery for more than a century. The Merchant of Venice is a brand that has its conceptual origins in the ancient Art of Perfumery originated in Venice, and in its centuries old trade with the Orient. The line is inspired by the Mude, the maritime trade routes that covered a very large area from Asia to Africa. The Mude started from Venice and reached many different harbours, which were the exchange centers for raw materials and finished products. Through master craftsmen such as the Muschieri (perfumers) and the Saoneri (soap makers), new techniques of production were invented that made the Venetian perfumes and cosmetics highly sought after in all Europe. The prestige of the brand expresses itself by precious fragrances carried out by perfurmers who reinterprete the ancient recipes. The sophisticated creations are boxed in precious perfume bottles inspired by the millenary art of Venetian glass. HOW TO GET THERE The Merchant of Venice flagship store is located in the sestiere San Marco, in Campo San Fantin. The closest waterbus station is Read more [...]
Hotel A La Commedia is a 4-Star hotel in Venice, located in the sestiere San Marco, about 200 meters from the Rialto Bridge and 300 meters from the St. Mark’s Square. A La Commedia Hotel is set in a historic building, fully restored in 2006. Its terrace offers beautiful views of Venice. The hotel offers 35 rooms and suites distributed over 4 floors, with LCD TV with satellite channels and air conditioning. Wi-Fi is provided for free in the entire building. HOW TO GET THERE The closest waterbus station is Rialto, on the Lines 1 and 2, located about 130 meters away. To find the hotel on foot, use the map below.
Casa Filomena is an apartment in Ostuni, located in the southern area of the city. The apartment has 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a dining area and 1 bathroom with a bidet and shower. A flat-screen TV with cable channels is available. The apartment offers air conditioning and free WiFi, and features a terrace. HOW TO GET THERE The apartment is located in Via Pietro Galvani, 21, about 800 meters south of the historical center of the city. To find it easily, use the map below.
Palazzo Stunis Charme B&B is a bed and breakfast located in Ostuni, about 800 meters south of the historical center of the city. Each room of the B&B is equiped with a private bathroom, and provides free WiFi, air conditioning and a flat-screen TV. A continental breakfast is available each morning at the bed and breakfast. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Stunis Charme B&B is located on the Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi, 255, in the southern part of Ostuni. To find it easily, use the map below.
Arcuève is a beautiful apartment in Ostuni, located south from the historical center of the city. The apartment is composed of a living room with dining area, a fully equipped kitchen and 2 bathrooms. The apartment features a terrace, free WiFi, air conditioning, flat-screen TV, and a 24-hour front desk. HOW TO GET THERE The apartment is located about 200 meters away from the southern limit of the old town of Ostuni. To find it easily, use the map below.
Dimora Terra Marique is an apartment located in the beautiful historic center of Ostuni, close to the main tourist attractions of the city. The apartment is equipped with a double bedroom, bathroom with shower, TV, air conditioning, WiFi and mini bar. HOW TO GET THERE The apartment is located in Via Gaetano Tanzarella Vitale, about 150 meters away from the Cathedral of Ostuni. To find it on foot, use the map below.
The Church of Santa Maria della Stella is a church in Ostuni, located in an interruption of the northern walls of the city. SHORT HISTORY In the first half of the 16th century, a poor widow, mother of three girls, took care every day, for a month, of an image of the Madonna painted in a niche in the wall of the city, located near a small gate called Porticella. Her gesture was gratified daily by a gift she found in the niche, a coin and a loaf of bread. The place soon became a destination for pilgrimages, and it was decided to build a small chapel in which to place the image of the Virgin. The structure was named, at first, Santa Maria della Porticella. In the last decades of the 16th century, the structure was expanded, and the new church changed its name to Santa Maria della Stella (Saint Mary of the Star). The local bourgeoisie was responsible for the decoration of the interior and for the private chapels of the church. Probably damaged by the earthquake of 1743, despite some interventions made in 1812, the church was closed for worship in 1835 and soon collapsed. Between Read more [...]
The Church of Santa Maria Vergine del Monte Carmelo, or shorter the Church of Carmine, is a beautiful church in Ostuni, located near the southeastern border of the historical center of the city. SHORT HISTORY The Carmelite Convent in Ostuni, dedicated to Santa Maria della Misericordia, was built in the second half of the 15th century outside the city walls. The convent had a simple, square-shaped form, with a garden in the middle. The adjacent church was built between 1590 and 1593 by the master masons Nicola Francesco de Marseglia and Matteo de Molendinis, assuming the title of Santa Maria del Monte Carmelo. Around the middle of the 17th century, the church had twelve chapels decorated by wealthy citizens, but in 1775 the chapels were reduced to six, plus two minor ones. In the first half of the 18th century, some renovation works were carried out by the architect Giuseppe Fasano, especially in the presbytery area and in the side chapels. In 1810, following the suppression of the Carmelite order in the Kingdom of Naples, the church was entrusted to the care of the Carmine confraternity, active since the 16th century. In 1819, the Carmelites returned to their home Read more [...]
The Cathedral of Ostuni, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, is a beautiful church located on the highest hill of the city, right in the middle of the old town, in Piazza Beato Giovanni Paolo II. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, built in the 15th century, was declared a national monument in 1902. SHORT HISTORY Between 1228 and 1229, Frederick II of Swabia built here a Romanesque church, on the ruins of an Orthodox church erected prior to the year 1000. The construction of the Cathedral began after the earthquake of 1456, during the Episcopate of Nicola Arpone, and was completed in 1495. The church was radically transformed twice: in 1750, by the will of the Bishop Francesco Antonio Scoppa, and in 1898, on the behest of the Bishop Salvatore Palmieri. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church, facing west, with Gothic elements, is divided into three parts by thin pilasters. The facade has its fulcrum in the large central rosette, in which the Christ is surrounded by seven cherubs. On the lunettes of the side entrances are the bas-reliefs of San Giovanni Battista, on the right, and of San Biagio, on the left. Read more [...]
The Spire of Sant’Oronzo is a column dedicated to Saint Orontius of Lecce, placed in the heart of Ostuni, between the main square of the city, Piazza della Libertà, and the small but beautiful square Piazza Sant’Oronzo. Saint Orontius, a Christian martyr, is venerated by the Roman Catholic Church, being considered the first Bishop of Lecce. Each year, a three-day festival is held in Ostuni between August 25 and 27, in his honor. SHORT HISTORY The Spire of Sant’Oronzo was built in 1771 by the architect Giuseppe Greco. The column is an ex-voto strongly desired by the faithful to thank the Saint, who protected the city from the plague and the famine in the 18th century. ARCHITECTURE The spire is about 20 meters in height and was built in Baroque style. The testimony of perennial devotion to the protector of the city is quoted in Latin on epigraphic plates, supported by angels and placed on the first order of the column, on each of the four faces. The next order is crowned by a beautiful balustrade, with four statues on its corners: San Biagio, Sant’Antonio da Padova, Sant’Irene and San Gregorio Armeno, all minor patrons of the city. Read more [...]
The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grata is a small church that stands in a prominent position outside the historical center of Ostuni, surrounded by gardens, in a rural area known as Contrada Rosara. SHORT HISTORY The first documented information about a church in this place dates back to the beginning of the 18th century. The current church was built between 1896 and 1910 by the architect Gaetano Jurleo, who was also responsible for the facade of the Church of San Francesco d’Assisi. The sanctuary was solemnly consecrated by the Archbishop Tommaso Valeri on August 18, 1912. The old church was then demolished. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grata was built on a natural cistern destined since ancient times to store water necessary for the irrigation of the nearby gardens. To date, this cistern is full of water, causing considerable damage to the church above. The symmetrical facade of the church is made up of two main parts: the base, characterized by the entrance portal and a plinth on which four Corinthian pilasters and four niches are set, and the upper part, characterized by a central semicircular window surmounted by the emblem with the Read more [...]
The Church of San Francesco d’Assisi is a beautiful church located in the main square of Ostuni, Piazza della Libertà, adjacent to the Palazzo di Città (Palace of the City). SHORT HISTORY The church was founded in 1304 by the Order of the Minor Friars, on a land donated by Philip I, Prince of Taranto. The friars took care of it for the next five centuries, and after the suppression of the religious orders in 1813, the church was given to the Archconfraternity of the Immaculate, which still manages it. In 1615, the Church of San Francesco d’Assisi underwent major transformations, being largely rebuilt. In the second half of the 18th century, the church was renovated under the direction of the master mason and sculptor Giuseppe Fasano, assisted by his son Carlo and by Nicolantonio Maldarella. The facade was designed in 1883 by the architect Gaetano Jurleo, to harmonize it with the adjacent facade of the Palazzo di Città, which today hosts the Town Hall. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church is divided into two orders by a cornice. On the upper order, there is an atypical window of Romanesque inspiration. In the lower part, near the door, Read more [...]