All SEE

One of the most beautiful countries in the world, Italy is well known for its rich art and culture, and for its numerous landmarks. With 54 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than any other country in the world, and an estimated 100,000 monuments of any sort (churches, palaces, museums, fountains, sculptures and archaeological remains), Italy is home to about half of the world’s artistic treasures. And if you are looking for inspiration, find below a list of the most famous tourist attractions …

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    Piazza del Plebiscito

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

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    Piazza dell’Anfiteatro

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

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    Cathedral of San Martino

    The Cathedral of San Martino is the Cathedral of Lucca, located in the homonymous square, in the historical center of the city. According to tradition, the Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, was founded by San Frediano in the 6th century, then rebuilt by Anselmo da Baggio, Bishop of the city, in 1060, and finally remodeled in its current form in the 12th and 13th centuries.   SHORT HISTORY In the 8th century, the Church of San Martino received the title of Cathedral from the Church of San Giovanni and Santa Reparata, located nearby. The Cathedral was completely rebuilt starting with 1060, and solemnly consecrated in 1070 by Anselmo da Baggio, who, at the time of the consecration, was Pope Alexander II, but also kept the title of Bishop of Lucca. In 1204, Guido Bigarelli of Como began the work on the facade. In 1372, two years after the liberation from the Pisan domination, the apse of the church and the wall of the transept were completed in Gothic style. The works were finished around 1390.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The main facade of the church was begun in 1204 by Guido Bigarelli of Como. The facade consists of Read more [...]

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    Piazza del Campo

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

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    Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

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

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    Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

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

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    Prato della Valle

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

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    Scrovegni Chapel

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

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    Piazza Grande

    Piazza Grande is the main square of Arezzo, located in the center of the medieval city. With an inclined trapezoidal shape, the square is one of the most beautiful in Tuscany and in the whole of Italy. In Piazza Grande, twice a year, in June and September, takes place the Joust of the Saracen (Giostra del Saracino), a traditional festival with a medieval fragrance.   SHORT HISTORY In the early Middle Ages, the area of the current square was used for the livestock market, and was called Platea Porcorum. In the 13th century, the space definitively became a square, and during the 14th century, with the construction of the buildings around it, Piazza Grande took on its current appearance on three of its sides. In 1560, Cosimo I de’ Medici, as a demonstration of the strength of the new Florentine lordship, demolished Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo del Comune and other buildings to the north of the square. At the behest of the same Cosimo I de’ Medici, the new layout of Piazza Grande was designed by Giorgio Vasari. He closed the square to the north with Palazzo delle Logge, built between 1573 and 1595. As a new political and economical Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

    The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, commonly known as the Duomo of Florence, is one of the most famous churches in Italy and the world. When it was completed, in the 15th century, it was the largest church in the world, while today is the third in Europe, after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Cathedral of the Nativity of Saint Mary in Milan.   SHORT HISTORY In 1294, the government of Florence ordered the construction of a new cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore (Saint Mary of the Flower), on the site of the city’s second cathedral dedicated to Santa Reparata. In 1296, the architect Arnolfo di Cambio was comissioned to design the cathedral, but he died only a few years later. In 1334, Giotto di Bondone was appointed as the architect of the cathedral, and he started the building of the bell-tower. Three years later, Giotto died. Starting with 1337, the construction was supervised by Andrea Pisano, until 1348, when the Black Death halted the works. Francesco Talenti, who took Pisano’s place in 1349, altered Arnolfo’s design, and completed the bell-tower in 1359. After 1366, Giovanni di Lapo Ghini joined him. In 1420, Filippo Brunelleschi Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Francesco

    The Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi is a church in Gothic style in Assisi, located in the western part of the historical center of the town. The Basilica of Saint Francis is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Franciscan Order, an important place of pilgrimage, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Here, Saint Francis, one of the most venerated religious figures of the Catholic Church, is buried.   SHORT HISTORY The Basilica of Saint Francis is composed, actually, of two churches. The Lower Church was built between 1228 and 1230, only 4 years after the saint’s death, at the behest of Pope Gregory IX, while the Upper Church was built between 1230 and 1253. Both churches were consecrated on May 25, 1253, by Pope Innocent IV. The Sacro Convento friary, with its imposing walls supported by 53 arches and powerful buttresses, was erected between the 12th and the 15th century with stone from the near Mount Subasio. An important part of the friary was built under the pontificate of Pope Sixtus IV, a Franciscan, near the end of the 15th century. A crypt was dug in 1818, for the tomb of Saint Francis. Now, the remains of Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santa Croce

    Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is a beautiful Franciscan church located in Piazza di Santa Croce, in Florence. The church is the burial place of Michelangelo Buonarroti, one of the greatest sculptors of all time. Besides Michelangelo, inside the church are buried many famous people, including the scientist Galileo Galilei, the politician and philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli, the writer Vittorio Alfieri, the poet Ugo Foscolo and the composer Gioachino Rossini. Due to this fact, the Basilica of Santa Croce is also known as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell’Itale Glorie).   SHORT HISTORY According to legend, in 1211, Saint Francis of Assisi arrived in Florence. On a little island created by the Arno River, there was a chapel dedicated to the Holy Cross, which was donated to Saint Francis, and from which the current church borrowed the name. The building of the church started in 1294, after a project elaborated probably by Arnolfo di Cambio, one of the most important architects of that time. During its construction, many great artists worked here, such as Giotto di Bondone, Taddeo and Agnolo Gaddi, Maso di Banco, Giovanni da Milano, Filippo Brunelleschi and Michelozzo. Due to floods and Read more [...]

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    Colosseum

    The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, is a Roman amphitheater located in the archaeological center of Rome. One of the most visited attractions of the Eternal City, the Colosseum is the largest amphitheater in the world, symbol of the power of the mighty Roman Empire.   SHORT HISTORY The construction of the Colosseum began in the year 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian, of the Flavian dynasty, hence the name of Flavian Amphitheater. The amphitheater was inaugurated by Titus, son of Vespasian, in 80 AD, and completed by his brother, Domitian, in 82 AD. In 217, after a fire, the Colosseum was partially destroyed. The restoration works closed the amphitheater for five years, and the games were moved to the Circus Maximus. The last gladiatorial fights held in the Colosseum are mentioned around the year 435, and in 523 the structure hosted the last spectacle. Afterwards, the amphitheater went through a period of neglect. Starting with the 6th century, the amphitheater was used as a burial area. In the 13th century, the Frangipani family fortified it, using it as a castle. The name Colosseum appeared for the first time in the 8th century, and it probably derived from Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano

    The Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano is the Cathedral of Rome, and the mother church of all the Catholic churches in the entire world. The basilica is located on the Caelian Hill, in the homonymous square. The church is the highest ranking of the four papal major basilicas, receiving the unique title of archbasilica. Its official name is Papal Archbasilica Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist in the Lateran (Arcibasilica Papale del Santissimo Salvatore e dei Santi Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista in Laterano).   SHORT HISTORY The Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano was built in the 4th century in an area owned by the Plauzi Laterani family, which was confiscated by the Roman Empire during the time of Nero. At the beginning of the 4th century, Constantine the Great gave the ancient land and the Lateran residence, now the Lateran Palace, to the bishop of Rome. The church was completed in the first decades of the 4th century, and consecrated in 324 by Pope Sylvester I, who dedicated it to the Most Holy Saviour. In 410, Rome was devastated by the Visigoths of Alaric, and in 455 by Read more [...]

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    Castel Sant’Angelo

    Castel Sant’Angelo, also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian or Mole Adrianorum, is an imposing castle in Rome, located on the right bank of the River Tiber, not far from the Vatican.   SHORT HISTORY In the year 135 AD, the roman emperor Hadrian commissioned a mausoleum for himself and his family, a monument worthy of the Antonine dynasty. The works were completed by Antonino Pio in 139 AD. To link it to the Campus Martius area, Hadrian built also a bridge, Pons Aelius, the current Ponte Sant’Angelo. In 401, the mausoleum was included in the Aurelian Walls, and became a fortress, losing its original function as a sepulcher. As a castle, it defended the city in 410 against the Visigoths of Alaric, and in 455 against the Vandals of Genseric. In the first half of the 10th century, the castle became the stronghold of Senator Theophylact, who also used it as a prison. In the second half of the 10th century, the castle passed into the hands of the Crescenzi family. Later, the castle was owned by the Pierleoni family and subsequently by the Orsini family. Beginning with the 14th century, the papacy connected the castle to the Saint Read more [...]

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    Pantheon

    The Pantheon is a former Roman temple in Rome, located in Piazza della Rotonda, not far from the Trevi Fountain. With a history of nearly 2000 years, the Pantheon is the best preserved Roman structure in the world. Once a Roman temple, the Pantheon is now a Catholic church, and one of the main attractions of Rome.   SHORT HISTORY Although the inscription on the frontispiece shows that it was built by Marcus Agrippa, the Roman consul, Agrippa’s temple was erected in fact during the reign of Augustus, between 27 and 25 BC, and it was destroyed in a fire in 80 AD. The facade was the only part to be saved, that was later used to rebuild the new temple. The Pantheon was rebuilt by the emperor Domitian, but it was damaged again by a fire in 110. According to tradition, the current structure was built between the years 118 and 125 AD, during the reign of Hadrian. In 609, Pope Boniface IV converted the Pantheon into a Christian church and dedicated it to Saint Mary and the Martyrs. Around that time, the church was known as Santa Maria della Rotonda or Santa Maria ad Martyres. Two kings of Read more [...]

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    Fontana di Trevi

    Fontana di Trevi is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions of Rome and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The monumental fountain is located in Piazza di Trevi, not far from Palazzo del Quirinale and the homonymous square. The monument was featured in many films, including Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, Roman Holiday and Three Coins in the Fountain.   INTERESTING FACT: Over time, a custom related to the fountain appeared – almost every tourist throws a coin in the fountain, using the right hand over the left shoulder, hoping, according to tradition, to return to Rome. An estimated 3,000€ are thrown into the fountain every day, meaning that the fountain swallows over 1 million € each year. SHORT HISTORY The Trevi Fountain is closely linked to Aqua Virgo, an aqueduct which dates back to the times of emperor Augustus. Although damaged by the siege of the Goths in 537, the aqueduct remained in use throughout the Middle Ages. The terminal point of the aqueduct was located on the eastern side of the Quirinal Hill, near a crossroad called Treio. At its center, a fountain was built in the 15th century. In 1640, after a series Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Pietro

    The Basilica of San Pietro, known officially as the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican (Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano), is a Renaissance church in the Vatican City, located in Piazza San Pietro. Although the basilica is technically not in Italy, you can easily visit it during your trip to Rome, and that is why we included it among the tourist attractions of the Eternal City. The Saint Peter’s Basilica is the largest of the four papal basilicas of Rome, and is considered the largest church in the world both for its size and for its importance as the center of Catholicism. However, it is not the cathedral church of the Roman diocese, since this title belongs to the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, which is also the mother of all the Catholic churches in the world.   SHORT HISTORY On this site, there was another church built during the 4th century by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, where, according to tradition, the first apostle of Jesus, Saint Peter, was buried after he was crucified by the emperor Nero. In the 15th century, under Pope Nicholas V, the Constantinian basilica underwent a radical transformation. Read more [...]

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    Bridge of Sighs

    The Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) is a famous bridge in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), only a few meters away from Piazza San Marco. The bridge connects the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) to the New Prison (Prigioni Nuove), crossing over the canal of Rio del Palazzo. Admiring Ponte dei Sospiri from Ponte della Paglia, we can still imagine Casanova crossing the bridge, looking at the San Giorgio Maggiore island in the distance, sighing for freedom. The Venetian adventurer, who was arrested in 1755, escaped a few months later from prison, but for many others, passing over the Bridge of Sighs probably offered the last glance to the outside world.   SHORT HISTORY OF THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS Ponte dei Sospiri was built at the beginning of the 17th century by the architect Antonio Contino, son of Bernardino Contino and grandson of Antonio Da Ponte, the architect of the Rialto Bridge. More precisely, the bridge was built between 1600 and 1603 at the behest of Doge Marino Grimani, whose coat of arms is carved on the bridge, to link the New Prison and the Doge’s Palace, where the prisoners were taken to be judged. The bridge Read more [...]

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    Doge’s Palace

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

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    Piazza San Marco

    Piazza San Marco, known in English as the St. Mark’s Square, is so famous that it does not need another presentation. A collection of religious, cultural, historical symbols, and a symbol in itself, this square is the dream of millions of tourists who are preparing to travel. Whoever you ask about Venice, or even better about the most important place in Venice, that person would give you one answer: Piazza San Marco.   SHORT HISTORY During the 9th century, Piazza San Marco was just a small free area in front of the St. Mark’s Basilica. It was enlarged to the present form only in 1177, when the two canals that crossed it were filled. This change was made with the occasion of the visit of Pope Alexander III and Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, who met in Venice to sign a truce. The square was paved for the first time in the second part of the 12th century, and the pavement was changed only six centuries later, in 1723. The design was the work of the architect Andrea Tirali. The pavement was restored in 1890, keeping the model used by Tirali. In 1797, Venice was under French occupation, and the Read more [...]

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    Rialto Bridge

    The Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) is the oldest of the four bridges crossing the Grand Canal, in Venice, and by far the most beautiful of them all.   SHORT HISTORY OF THE RIALTO BRIDGE According to some chronicles, the first bridge over the Grand Canal built on this spot was a wooden bridge supported by boats. The first true bridge was built in the second half of the 12th century, more precisely around 1180, by the architect Nicolò Barattiero, during the time of Doge Sebastiano Ziani. The bridge was called Ponte della Moneta (Bridge of the Coins), due to a coin mint located nearby. The wooden bridge was replaced twice, in 1264, during the reign of Doge Renier Zen, and in 1310, when was damaged during the retreat of the rebels led by Bajamonte Tiepolo. In 1444, Ponte di Rialto collapsed under the weight of a large crowd gathered to watch the procession of the bride of the Marquis of Ferrara. In 1503, the construction of a stone bridge was proposed for the first time. The first project was carried out in 1514 by Fra Giovanni Giocondo, but the bridge didn’t last long and collapsed in 1524. In 1551, Read more [...]

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    Ponte Vecchio

    Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is a medieval arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence. The bridge connects the northern bank of the river (Piazza del Duomo, Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi Gallery) with the southern bank (Palazzo Pitti and the Basilica of Santo Spirito).   SHORT HISTORY The first bridge on this site was a wooden one built in the year 966, that was destroyed by a flood in 1117. Reconstructed from stone, the bridge was swept away again in 1333. The current bridge was built in 1335, and was attributed to Taddeo Gaddi by the architect and historian Giorgio Vasari, but its origin is still disputed. Unlike all the other bridges in Florence, Ponte Vecchio was not destroyed by the Germans in the World War II, apparently, because of an order from Hitler himself.   ARCHITECTURE Ponte Vecchio is composed of three segmental arches: the main arch has a span of 30 meters and 4.4 meters in height, and the two side arches each span 27 meters and have a height of about 3.5 meters. Starting with the 13th century, various shops were built on the bridge. At first, there were all sorts of shops, from butchers to Read more [...]

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    Loggia and Odeo Cornaro

    The Loggia and Odeo Cornaro are two Renaissance buildings in Padua, located in the eastern part of the historical center of the city, not far from the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. The structures were part of a larger complex of buildings and gardens built by Alvise Cornaro in the first half of the 16th century, in the vast park of his residence. Of the original complex, only a rectangular courtyard of about 32 by 18 meters remains. The Loggia occupies the entire short side, while the Odeo stands in the center of the long side.   SHORT HISTORY OF THE LOGGIA AND ODEO CORNARO The Loggia was desired by Alvise Cornaro as a physical expression of the idea of a humanist theater. The structure, designed by the architect and painter Giovanni Maria Falconetto from Verona, was built starting with 1524. The Odeo was built ten years after the Loggia, and it was the space intended for music and poetic recitations. Starting with 1540, the Odeo became the seat of the Academy of the Burning Ones (Accademia degli Infiammati), a philosophical and literary academy in Padua.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF THE LOGGIA AND ODEO CORNARO The Loggia is Read more [...]

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    Castelvecchio

    Castelvecchio, formerly known as Castello della Torlonga, is a fortification in Padua, located in the southern part of the historical center of the city. The castle assumed the name of Castelvecchio (Old Castle) when the construction of Castelnuovo (New Castle) began in 1513. It was also called Castello di Ezzelino, due to the sinister charm evoked by Ezzelino III da Romano, tyrant of Padua in the 13th century. Today, in reference to the lordship of the House of Carrara, it is frequently referred to as Castello Carrarese.   SHORT HISTORY OF CASTELVECCHIO The Long Tower (Torlonga) was built in the 9th century in a strategic area, where the Bacchiglione River is dividing into Tronco Maestro and Naviglio. Between the 10th and 11th centuries, the tower was surrounded by a short wall that protected it. In 1237, Ezzelino III da Romano, tyrant of Padua, began building a castle around Torlonga and added another tower. Starting with 1241, Ezzelino planned the repression of the Guelph opposition and thus began to segregate the prisoners in the basement of the new castle and in the towers. In 1256, the Crusaders entered Padua at the behest of Pope Alexander IV and occupied the city. The Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Mocenigo Ca’ Vecchia

    Palazzo Mocenigo Ca’ Vecchia is a palace in Venice, located in the sestiere (district) of San Marco, part of the architectural complex of Palazzi Mocenigo. The complex is composed of four palaces, with the three on the left known as Palazzi Mocenigo Ca’ Nova and the one on the right as Palazzo Mocenigo Ca’ Vecchia. Palazzo Mocenigo Ca’ Vecchia is located on the far right of the complex, overlooking the Grand Canal next to Palazzo Contarini delle Figure.   SHORT HISTORY OF PALAZZO MOCENIGO CA’ VECCHIA Despite the name of Ca’ Vecchia (Old House), it is the most recent building of the complex. Palazzo Mocenigo Ca’ Vecchia was built at the beginning of the 17th century, more precisely between 1623 and 1625, on a project by the architect Francesco Contin, on the site of an ancient structure dating back to the 15th century. Once in precarious conditions, it was recently renovated and divided into several properties. The facade, once yellow, is now painted white. Over time, the palace had prestigious guests, such as the Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno at the end of the 16th century, and the writer Thomas Moore and the poet Lord Byron at the beginning of the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Mocenigo il Nero

    Palazzo Mocenigo il Nero is a palace in Venice, located in the sestiere (district) of San Marco, part of the architectural complex of Palazzi Mocenigo. The complex is composed of four palaces, with the three on the left known as Palazzi Mocenigo Ca’ Nova and the one on the right as Palazzo Mocenigo Ca’ Vecchia. Palazzo Mocenigo il Nero is located on the far left of the complex, overlooking the Grand Canal next to Palazzo Corner Gheltof.   SHORT HISTORY OF PALAZZO MOCENIGO IL NERO In the second half of the 16th century, Palazzo Mocenigo il Nero replaced a previous structure dating back to the 15th century. The palace was mainly used for receptions, as evidenced by the large atrium and the monumental staircase. One of the most sumptuous celebrations was in honor of Doge Alvise Mocenigo, after winning the Battle of Lepanto. In 1716, Pisana Cornaro Mocenigo received Frederick Augustus III, the King of Poland, with a sumptuous party. At the beginning of the 20th century, the palace passed by inheritance to the Robilant family, who sold it after a short while.   ARCHITECTURE OF PALAZZO MOCENIGO IL NERO The facade of the palace is characterized by the three Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Corner Gheltof

    Palazzo Corner Gheltof is a Gothic-style palace in Venice, located in the sestiere (district) of San Marco. The palace overlooks the Grand Canal between Fondaco Marcello and the complex of Palazzi Mocenigo.   SHORT HISTORY OF PALAZZO CORNER GHELTOF The construction date of the palace remains unknown. Palazzo Corner Gheltof was partially rebuilt in the 16th century.   ARCHITECTURE OF PALAZZO CORNER GHELTOFF The palace is characterized by the presence of two facades of different dates. The rear one, facing a large courtyard, still has Byzantine elements, including a well dating back to the 10th or 11th centuries, parapets with pointed arched balconies and an open staircase. The front facade overlooking Canal Grande, dating back to the end of the 16th century, is organized around a central axis made up of a water portal, a serliana (Palladian window) on the first noble floor and a quadrifora on the second noble floor. On the second noble floor, there are also two coats of arms.   TIP: To admire every palace, church and bridge built on the Grand Canal, the best option is to take the waterbus Line 1 from Piazzale Roma, which will get you in about 45 minutes to San Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Tron a San Beneto

    Palazzo Tron a San Beneto is a palace in Venice, located in the sestiere (district) of San Marco, not far from the Rialto Bridge. The palace overlooks the Grand Canal between Palazzo Corner Contarini dei Cavalli and Palazzo D’Anna Viaro Martinengo Volpi di Misurata.   SHORT HISTORY OF PALAZZO TRON A SAN BENETO The ground floor and the first floor of the palace were probably built in the 13th century, making it one of the oldest buildings on the Grand Canal. In the 15th century, Palazzo Tron a San Beneto was rebuilt under Nicolò Tron, the 68th Doge of Venice and the most famous bearer of the family name. At the beginning of the 17th century, the diplomat, politician and agronomist Nicoló Tron, named after his ancestor, left the palace to his son, Andrea Tron, the procurator of San Marco. When Chiara Tron, who was childless, died at the end of the 18th century, and the family branch of Tron a San Beneto died out, the property went in direct succession to the patrician family Donà Dalle Rose. Later, the palace, with the exception of the second floor, was sold to the Vivante merchant family. Around the middle of the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Corner Contarini dei Cavalli

    Palazzo Corner Contarini dei Cavalli is a palace in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between Palazzo Grimani di San Luca and Palazzo Tron.   SHORT HISTORY OF PALAZZO CORNER CONTARINI DEI CAVALLI Palazzo Corner Contarini dei Cavalli was built around the middle of 15th century on the site of an ancient building dating back to the 12th century. At the beginning of the 16th century, Bartolomeo d’Alviano resided in the palace. He was a captain who distinguished himself in the defence of the Venetian Republic against the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian. In 1521, the palace passed through marriage to the Contarini family, who kept it until 1830, when it was sold to the Mocenigo family. Later, the palace passed successively to the Ulbricht family, to the Cavalieri family and to the Ravenna family. Currently, the building houses offices of the Ministry of Justice.   ARCHITECTURE OF PALAZZO CORNER CONTARINI DEI CAVALLI The palace was built in Venetian-Gothic style, but has different architectural styles on its floors, as it was subject to various renovations over the centuries. The ground floor is covered with a 17th-century ashlar, with a central water portal which uses the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Donà Balbi

    Palazzo Donà Balbi is a palace in Venice, located in the Santa Croce district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal opposite Palazzo Flangini.   SHORT HISTORY OF PALAZZO DONÀ BALBI The palace was built in the 17th century, most likely by joining several adjacent buildings. Owned by the Province of Venice, the building is the current seat of the Regional Scholastic Office (Ufficio Scolastico Regionale).   ARCHITECTURE OF PALAZZO DONÀ BALBI The sober plastered facade of the palace is divided into three parts. The right part is the main one, presenting the only access door and four-light windows with balconies on both noble floors. The other two parts are instead characterized by three single lancet windows. All the openings have round arches surmounted by cornices. On the ground floor, there were two secondary access doors, now closed.   TIP: To admire every palace, church and bridge built on the Grand Canal, the best option is to take the waterbus Line 1 from Piazzale Roma, which will get you in about 45 minutes to San Marco Vallaresso, located near Piazza San Marco and the eastern end of the canal. And if you need more time to admire the scenery, take an enchanting Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Grimani di San Luca

    Palazzo Grimani di San Luca is an imposing Renaissance-style palace in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal not far from the Rialto Bridge.   SHORT HISTORY OF PALAZZO GRIMANI DI SAN LUCA In March 1556, the noble Girolamo Grimani aquired a ruined palace on the Grand Canal owned by the brothers Bertuccio and Marino Contarini. In the summer of 1557, he decided to build a new palace on this site, and the project was given to the architect Michele Sanmicheli. In 1559, the ground floor was completed, but Sanmicheli died, and the direction of the construction was entrusted in 1561 to Giangiacomo de’ Grigi. The tasks of de’ Grigi was to complete the ground floor with a mezzanine, and to build the first and second floors. In November 1566, a dispute arose between Grimani and de’ Grigi, mainly in relation to the facade and the sum of money that the client still had to pay to the architect. The dispute was resolved thanks to the intervention of three illustrious architects – Andrea Palladio, Jacopo Sansovino and Pietro Guberni, who established what was still to be done, the cost and the date by which the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Marcello

    Palazzo Marcello is a palace in Venice, located in the Cannaregio district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between Ca’ Vendramin Calergi and Palazzo Molin Erizzo.   SHORT HISTORY OF PALAZZO MARCELLO Around the middle of the 15th century, the palace belonged to the Molin della Maddalena family. At the time, the structure had only one noble floor, in addition to the mezzanine and the ground floor. The palace passed to the Marcello family in 1517 due to the marriage between Marco Antonio Marcello and Caterina Molin di Nadalin. Towards the end of the 17th century, Palazzo Marcello was rebuilt. The captain Lorenzo Marcello was born in the palace in 1603, and the composer Benedetto Marcello in 1686. In the palace, the English writer Frederick Rolfe died of a heart attack on October 25, 1913.   ARCHITECTURE OF PALAZZO MARCELLO On the two noble floors, the palace has two large five-light windows decorated with round arches. The five-light windows are flanked by pairs of sigle-light windows, also with rounded arches. The presence of the two water portals suggests that the building was used by two families. In addition to the portals, the ground floor has five rectangular windows. The mezzanine has Read more [...]

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    Campo Sant’Angelo

    Campo Sant’Angelo, known in Venetian dialect as Campo Sant’Anzolo, is a square in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere). The campo owes its name to the homonymous church that once stood there.   SHORT HISTORY OF CAMPO SANT’ANGELO Campo Sant’Angelo was once separated by Rio de Sant Anzolo, which currently delimits its southwestern side, by the Church of San Michele Arcangelo. The church was demolished at the beginning of the 19th century, in the wake of the Napoleonic suppression of Italian religious orders.   ARCHITECTURE OF CAMPO SANT’ANGELO Campo Sant’Angelo is a large square located about halfway between Campo Santo Stefano and the smaller Campo Manin. The square is overlooked by palaces of great historical-architectural importance. On its northwestern side, there is Palazzo Trevisan Pisani, also known as Palazzo Somachi, built in the 17th century for the Trevisan family and ceded later to the Pisani family. Adjacent to Palazzo Trevisan Pisani, we can find Palazzo Gritti, also known as Palazzo Gritti Morosini, built in the 16th century for the noble Gritti family. On the eastern part of the square, there is Palazzo Duodo a Sant’Angelo, built in the 15th century for the Duodo family and bought later by Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Grimani Marcello

    Palazzo Grimani Marcello, also known as Palazzo Vendramin Grimani, is a palace in Venice, located in the San Polo district (sestiere). The palace overlooks the Grand Canal between Palazzo Cappello Layard and Palazzo Querini Dubois.   SHORT HISTORY OF PALAZZO GRIMANI MARCELLO Palazzo Grimani Marcello was built in the 18th century on the site of an ancient building dating back to the 12th century. In 1825, Carlo Bevilacqua frescoed the internal rooms. After a two-year renovation by the Foundation of the Golden Tree (Fondazione dell’Albero d’Oro), the palace was reopened to the public in 2021. Now, the visitors can admire the art collection inside the palace, which is also used for temporary exhibitions.   ARCHITECTURE OF PALAZZO GRIMANI MARCELLO The tripartite facade, decorated with numerous sculptural elements, is divided by pilasters with Corinthian capitals and covered entirely in white Istrian stone. The ground floor is characterized by the presence of a large water portal with a square arch and four openings with a triangular tympanum. The first noble floor is characterized by a three-mullioned window with a protruding balcony. On the second floor, the balustrade is on the facade line, and the columns dividing the window rest directly on the Read more [...]

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    Piazza Grande

    Piazza Grande is the main square of Modena, located in the historical center of the city. The square, together with the Cathedral of Modena and the Ghirlandina Tower, was included in 1997 in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.   SHORT HISTORY OF PIAZZA GRANDE The residential nucleus of the medieval Modena was formed around the ancient cathedral of the city, starting with the 7th century. Towards the end of the 9th century, the bishop Leodoino fortified the city, and the oldest part of the current Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) was built near the cathedral. In 1099, the construction of the new cathedral began and the square began to take shape. Its northern side was defined by the Cathedral, the western side by the Bishop’s Palace, and the eastern side by the Town Hall. In 1501, Modena was hit by an earthquake, and the merlons of the Town Hall fell. In 1580, the square was cleaned, and the paving was arranged with stones and bricks. At the beginning of the 17th century, a new building was built on the southern side of the square for the Residence of the Judges (Residentia dei Giudici). In the first half of the Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santa Maria in Porto

    The Basilica of Santa Maria in Porto is a Baroque church in Ravenna, located in Via di Roma, in the southeastern part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY OF THE BASILICA OF SANTA MARIA IN PORTO In the first half of the 15th century, the Canons Regular of Santa Maria in Porto decided to build their own monastery in Porto Fuori, a village located about 4 kilometers from the walls of Ravenna. However, the Venetian rulers of Ravenna decided that the monastery will be built within the city walls. Therefore, a piece of land near Porta Nuova was purchased in 1496. The canons settled there in 1503, and the construction works on the monastery were completed in 1509. In 1511, the project for a new church was presented by the architect Bernardino Tavella. The construction of the church, however, began only in 1553, and continued in the following decades. On October 8, 1606, the archbishop of Ravenna together with the cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini consecrated the Basilica of Santa Maria in Porto. In 1710, the high altar was built and, in 1784, the facade was completed by the architect Camillo Morigia. In 1797, the French plundered the Read more [...]

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    Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

    The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is a funeral monument in Ravenna, located in Via Galla Placidia, in the northern part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY OF THE MAUSOLEUM OF GALLA PLACIDIA According to tradition, the structure was built by Galla Placidia, daughter of the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, and mother of the Emperor Valentinian III, for herself, her husband Constantius III and her brother Honorius. She was Queen consort to Ataulf, King of the Visigoths, between 414 and 415, Empress consort to Constantius III between 417 and 421, and managed the government administration as a regent during the early reign of Valentinian III. Although the legend has it that the body of Galla Placidia was brought back to Ravenna and placed in a sarcophagus in the mausoleum, it was almost certain that she died in Rome in 450, and she was buried in the Honorian Mausoleum. The mausoleum was probably used as a chapel of the Church of the Holy Cross (Chiesa di Santa Croce), located nearby. In 1996, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites entitled Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna.   ARCHITECTURE OF THE MAUSOLEUM Read more [...]

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    Teatro Municipale Romolo Valli

    Teatro Municipale Romolo Valli is the most important theater in Reggio Emilia, located in Piazza Martiri del 7 Luglio 1960, in the historical center of the city. Romolo Valli was a well-known Italian actor born in Reggio Emilia, who, throughout his career, collaborated with Vittorio De Sica, Sergio Leone, Roman Polanski, Roger Vadim, and Luchino Visconti.   SHORT HISTORY OF TEATRO MUNICIPALE ROMOLO VALLI The building was designed and completed by the architect Cesare Costa of Modena, and built between 1852 and 1857. The works were directed by the local engineer Antonio Tegani. The theater was inaugurated on April 21, 1857, with the opera Vittor Pisani by the composer Achille Peri.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF THE ROMOLO VALLI MUNICIPAL THEATER The building has a rectangular plan with a length of 80 meters and a width of about 44 meters, with two additional rectangular loggias. The Romolo Valli Municipal Theater has a Neoclassical facade on two orders, in brick and marble, with Tuscan columns on the ground floor and Ionic pilasters on the upper floor. The upper part of the facade has 13 rectangular windows surmounted by bas-reliefs. Allegorical statues are placed on the entablature of the facade. The interior Read more [...]

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    Piazza Camillo Prampolini

    Piazza Camillo Prampolini, also known as Piazza del Duomo, is one of the main squares of Reggio Emilia, located in the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY OF PIAZZA CAMILLO PRAMPOLINI The square was born during the Renaissance period, and was known as Piazza Grande (Large Square), in contrast to Piazza San Prospero, which was called Piazza Piccola (Small Square). In the 19th century, the square was named after Vittorio Emanuele II, and after 1945 it was unofficially dedicated to the socialist politician Camillo Prampolini.   ARCHITECTURE OF PIAZZA CAMILLO PRAMPOLINI The most important building in the square, located on its eastern side, is the Cathedral of Reggio Emilia, dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. The Cathedral was built in Romanesque style starting with the 13th century. Its unfinished facade dates back to the 16th century. To the left of the Cathedral stands the Bishop’s Palace (Palazzo Vescovile) and the Baptistery built during the Middle Ages, which was later renovated and deprived of its main apse. On the northern side of the square stands Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, from which the Civic Tower (Torre Civica) with the clock rises. On the opposite side of the square, there Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

    The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is the Cathedral of Reggio Emilia, located in Piazza Camillo Prampolini, in the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY OF THE CATHEDRAL OF SANTA MARIA ASSUNTA The first documents attesting to the existence of a church in the area date back to the middle of the 9th century. However, the structure was probably built in the 5th century. At the beginning of the 10th century, after repeated incursions of the Magyars, the Emperor Ludovico III entrusted bishop Pietro with the construction of the walls around the episcopal palace and the Cathedral. On December 26, 1228, the bell tower of the Cathedral collapsed. In 1268, under bishop Guido da Fogliano, the octagonal lantern and the current bell tower were built. In 1522, the enormous embossed copper statue of the Madonna with Child, by Bartolomeo Spani, was placed on the lantern. In 1544, Prospero Sogari, also known as Clemente, was commissioned to build the new facade of the church. The work on the facade started shortly after, but, due to lack of resources, it was stopped after a while. In 1557, the statues of Adam and Eve, also works by Spani, were placed above Read more [...]

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    Teatro Ludovico Ariosto

    Teatro Ludovico Ariosto is the second most important theater of Reggio Emilia, after the Romolo Valli Municipal Theater. The theater is located in Piazza della Vittoria, in the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY OF TEATRO LUDOVICO ARIOSTO On this site, the Cittadella Theater (Teatro della Cittadella) was built between 1740 and 1741 to a design by Antonio Cugini. The Citadella Theater was destroyed by fire on the night of April 21, 1851. Traces of the old structure are still visible along the colonnade that borders the southern wall of the current theater, overlooking Corso Benedetto Cairoli. Teatro Ludovico Ariosto was erected in 1878. The project, on a design by the architect Achille Grimaldi, was financed by Ulderico Levi, a member of one of the most important Jewish families in the city. The Ludovico Ariosto Theater was designed as a space with multiple uses, suitable both for prose and for equestrian performances. In 1927, the Municipality carried out a profound renovation. The orchestra space was added, the structures necessary for the equestrian shows were eliminated, and the exterior and interior were decorated by Anselmo Govi with late Art Nouveau motifs. The last major restoration of the theater took Read more [...]

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    Piazze dei Teatri

    Piazze dei Teatri (Squares of Theaters) are a complex of squares and streets in Reggio Emilia, located in the northern part of the historical center of the city. The squares are overlooked by the three main theaters of Reggio Emilia – Teatro Romolo Valli, Teatro Ludovico Ariosto and Teatro Cavallerizza. Piazze dei Teatri are composed of the following squares – Piazza Martiri del 7 Luglio 1960, located in front of the Romolo Valli Municipal Theater, and Piazza della Vittoria, located in front of the Ludovico Ariosto Theater.   SHORT HISTORY OF PIAZZE DEI TEATRI From the beginning of the 19th century, the area underwent numerous transformations. Originally, the Cittadella Theater and the Ducal Palace overlooked this area. Both structures were demolished around the middle of the 19th century, and their place was taken by the Ludovico Ariosto Theater and the Romolo Valli Municipal Theater. The square in front of the Ariosto Theater, with the war memorial of the First World War, was the so-called Piazza d’Armi, renamed Piazza della Vittoria after 1918.   ARCHITECTURE OF PIAZZE DEI TEATRI In the western part of Piazza della Vittoria, there is the Ludovico Ariosto Theater, built starting with 1878 on the remains of Read more [...]

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    Church of Christ

    The Church of Christ (Chiesa del Cristo), also known as the Oratory of Christ (Oratorio del Cristo), is a Baroque church in Reggio Emilia. The church is located in Piazza Luigi Roversi, commonly known as Piazza del Cristo, in the southern part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST The church was built starting with 1758 by the religious congregation Compagnia del Suffragio, to shelter a fresco of a crucifix painted with oil on plaster during the plague which affected the region between 1630 and 1631. The facade of the church was added in 1761, on a project by the architect Giovan Battista Cattani, also known as Cavallari. The church was closed during the Napoleonic era, and it was reopened in 1814. In 1887, the structure was restored under the direction of the engineer Albertini. The church is now home to the Orthodox Romanian congregation.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST The church has a characteristic Baroque convex facade decorated with statues and emblems. The facade has a large portal in the center, flanked by two pairs of columns with Composite capitals. Between the columns, there are niches housing Read more [...]

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    Church of San Francesco

    The Church of San Francesco, also known as the Church of the Immaculate Conception and of San Francesco, is a church in Reggio Emilia, located in Piazza Martiri del 7 Luglio 1960.   SHORT HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF SAN FRANCESCO The church was built in the second half of the 13th century on a pre-existing structure dedicated to San Luca, which served as the chapel of the imperial palace. After having undergone various interventions over the centuries, the church was rebuilt in 1725, according to the project of the architect Giovanni Maria Ferraroni. Between 1856 and 1857, the facade of the church was rebuilt in Neoclassical style by Pietro Marchelli.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF THE CHURCH OF SAN FRANCESCO The church has a terracotta facade surmounted by a triangular pediment supported by pilasters. Above the main portal, there is a mosaic of Saint Francis receiving the stigmata. The interior, in Baroque style, has a single nave with vaulted ceilings, a cupola and the choir.   HOW TO GET TO THE CHURCH OF SAN FRANCESCO The church is located about 1 kilometer away from the Reggio Emilia railway station. The closest bus stop is located in Via Nobili, about Read more [...]

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    Church of San Domenico

    The Church of San Domenico is a church in Ancona, located in Piazza del Plebiscito, in the historical center of the city. The church occupies one of the two short sides of the square, at the top of a large stairway. SHORT HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF SAN DOMENICO For the construction of the current church, a pre-existing structure from the 13th century dedicated to the same saint was demolished. The Church of San Domenico was designed by Carlo Marchionni in 1763, and the first stone was laid in 1771. The structure was completed in 1778, without a facade. In 1798, with the French occupation and the advent of the Republic of Ancona, the church was used as a barracks. The upper part of the facade remained unfinished. During the bombings of the Second World War, the church was damaged and the roof partially collapsed. The venerated image of the Incoronata (Crowned), coming from the previous church and placed in a side chapel, was destroyed, as were two statues by Gioacchino Varlè and some paintings. After the war, the church was restored and the destroyed statues and paintings were replaced by others. The church was reopened for worship in 1948. Read more [...]

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    Piazza Cavour

    Piazza Cavour is one of the main squares of Ancona, located in the eastern part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY OF PIAZZA CAVOUR In 1861, after the unification of Italy, the engineers Gabuzzi, De Bosis, Bianchi and Daretti drew an urban expansion plan for Ancona. The plan included the construction of a square, designed in detail in 1862 and inaugurated in 1868. In the center of the square was placed a monument to Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, the work of Aristodemo Costoli. Piazza Cavour, with an area of three hectares, was designed together with Corso Vittorio Emanuele, now Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi, which starts from the square. The square was then on the edge of the urban area, in contact with a section of the city walls. Porta Cavour, a city gate with a double arch, opened in the walls that bordered the square. Between 1923 and 1925, Porta Cavour and the stretch of wall that bordered the square were demolished to allow the expansion of the city along the axis of Viale della Vittoria. Since then, Piazza Cavour assumed a new role, becoming a link between the historical districts of the city and the Read more [...]

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    Castel Sismondo

    Castel Sismondo, also known as Rocca Malatestiana, is a castle in Rimini, located in Piazza Malatesta, in the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY OF CASTEL SISMONDO Castel Sismondo was built at the behest of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, starting with 1437, in a period of great prosperity for the House of Malatesta. The castle was conceived both as a fortress and a palace of grandiose proportions, to represent the power of the lord over the city. Sigismondo was, in fact, the one who designed the castle, but was supported by various architects, such as Cristoforo Foschi, Matteo Nuti and Filippo Brunelleschi. The fortress was built on a pre-existing structure, a large fortified complex built by Sigismondo’s brother and predecessor, Galeotto Roberto. The construction began on May 20, 1437, and was completed about 15 years later, with some of the decorative works lasting until 1454. During the works, in order to create a large buffer zone around the moat, an entire complex of buildings was demolished, including the Baptistery of San Giovanni and the Convent of Santa Caterina. The decline of the House of Malatesta at the end of the 15th century determined the beginning of Read more [...]

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    Arco di Augusto

    Arco di Augusto (Arch of Augustus) is a Roman triumphal arch in Rimini, located in the southern part of the historical center of the city. The Arch of Augustus is the best-preserved Roman arch in the world. Together with the Bridge of Tiberius, the arch is one of the symbols of Rimini, and both monuments appear on the coat of arms of the city.   SHORT HISTORY OF ARCO DI AUGUSTO Arco di Augusto was built in 27 BC, by decree of the Roman Senate, in order to honor Emperor Augustus for having restored Via Flaminia, Via Emilia and Via Popilia. In fact, the arch marked the end of Via Flaminia, which connected Rimini to Rome, the capital of the Empire. Back then, Via Flaminia was continued by the decumanus maximus (east-west-oriented Roman road), today’s Corso d’Augusto, which led to the entrance to the ancient Via Emilia. Arco di Augusto remained the main gate of the city, flanked by modest buildings, until the Fascist period. Between 1936 and 1938, at the behest of Benito Mussolini, it was isolated by demolishing the adjacent buildings.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF THE ARCH OF AUGUSTUS The arch was built in travertine from Nabresina, Read more [...]

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    Ponte di Tiberio

    Ponte di Tiberio (Bridge of Tiberius), also known as the Bridge of Augustus, is a Roman bridge in Rimini, located in the northern part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY OF PONTE DI TIBERIO The construction of the Tiberius Bridge was started in 14 AD under the government of Emperor Augustus, and was completed in 21 AD under Emperor Tiberius. It served as a bridge over the Marecchia River, before the course of the river was diverted. The bridge is a national monument since 1885, and it appears on the coat of arms of Rimini. Until recently, the bridge was part of the city road network and was open to normal traffic, excluding heavy vehicles. The definitive pedestrianization of the bridge began on an experimental basis on May 30, 2020.   ARCHITECTURE OF THE BRIDGE OF TIBERIUS The Bridge of Tiberius was built in Istrian stone, in a sober, but, at the same time, harmonious style. The bridge is paved with trachyte stones, has a width of 4.80 meters and a length of 74 meters. It is flanked by sidewalks about 30 centimeters high and about 60 centimeters wide. The structure is made up of five Read more [...]