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 …

  •   Favorite

    Fontana Pretoria

    Fontana Pretoria is a spectacular fountain located in the heart of the historic centre of Palermo, in the square with the same name, Piazza Pretoria. The fountain is decorated with sculptures of the Twelve Olympians and other mythological and allegorical figures.   SHORT HISTORY The fountain was built in 1554, in Florence, by Francesco Camilliani, for the garden of Don Luigi Alvarez de Toledo. In 1573, driven by his debts and about to move to Naples, Don Luigi sold the fountain to the Palermo Senate. The fountain arrived in Palermo on May 26, 1574, disassembled in 644 pieces, with some sculptures being damaged during transport or retained by the previous owner. Therefore, some adaptations were necessary and some pieces were added. The recomposition of the fountain was made by Camillo Camilliani, son of Francesco, with the help of Michelangelo Naccherino, and Fontana Pretoria was finished in 1581. In the 18th and 19th centuries, due to the nudity of statues, the square was popularly known as Piazza della Vergogna (Square of Shame). In November 1998, a restoration work was undertaken, which lasted until November 2003. In December of the same year, the fountain was reopened.   ARCHITECTURE The fountain has a Read more [...]

  •   Favorite

    Marina Corricella

    Marina Corricella is the old picturesque port of Procida, a myriad of pastel-colored houses arranged along a natural amphitheatre that overlooks a crystal clear water. Evocative and romantic, Marina di Corricella is a quiet and seductive refuge with unique architecture for those who prefer relaxing holidays, without the noise of motor vehicles or crowds of people. The 17th century port is famous for its interesting architecture, a mixture of stairs, arches, domes, windows, loggias and colorful facades. From over 25 movies filmed on the island, we can mention at least two which are directly related to Marina Corricella: Il Postino (The Postman), starring Philippe Noiret, Massimo Troisi and Maria Grazia Cucinotta, and The Talented Mr. Ripley, with Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow.   TIP: You can get the best view of the Marina Corricella from the southern side of the small bay bounded by the Punta dei Monaci to the north and Punta di Pizzaco to the south, in Via Pizzaco. The belvedere is dedicated to the Italian novelist Elsa Morante, and is by far the most beautiful panoramic point of the island.   HOW TO GET THERE To get to Marina Corricella, you must first get to Read more [...]

  •   Favorite

    Castel dell’Ovo

    Castel dell’Ovo is the oldest castle in Naples and is one of the constructions that stand out the most when you approach the city from the sea. Its name derives from an ancient legend about the Latin poet Virgil, who hid an egg in the foundation of the fortress, saying that its breaking would have caused not only the collapse of the castle, but also a series of disastrous catastrophes to the city of Naples. During the 14th century, the castle suffered extensive damage due to the partial collapse of an arch and, to prevent the panic spreading among the population for the alleged future catastrophes that would have hit the city, the queen Giovanna I had to swear she had replaced the broken egg.   SHORT HISTORY In a document dating back to 1128, a fortification is mentioned on the island of Megaride, now a peninsula, the place where the Castel dell’Ovo will be built later. In 1140, Roger the Norman, conquering Naples, settled in this fortress. Castel dell’Ovo is further fortified in 1222 by Frederick II, who makes it the seat of the royal treasure and has other towers built, the castle becoming a palace and a state Read more [...]

  •   Favorite

    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 [...]

  •   Favorite

    Piazza dell’Anfiteatro

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

  •   Favorite

    Piazza del Campo

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

  •   Favorite

    Siena Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

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

  •   Favorite

    Pisa Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

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

  •   Favorite

    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 [...]

  •   Favorite

    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 [...]

  •   Favorite

    Church of San Giorgio Maggiore

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

  •   Favorite

    Arezzo Cathedral of Saints Donato and Peter

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

  •   Favorite

    Florence Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

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

  •   Favorite

    Palazzo Pitti

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

  •   Favorite

    Il Redentore

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

  •   Favorite

    Fontana Maggiore

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

  •   Favorite

    Spoleto Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

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

  •   Favorite

    Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi

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

  •   Favorite

    Uffizi Gallery

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

  •   Favorite

    Basilica di Santa Croce

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

  •   Favorite

    Colosseum

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

  •   Favorite

    Basilica of St. John Lateran

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

  •   Favorite

    Pantheon

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

  •   Favorite

    Trevi Fountain

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

  •   Favorite

    Santa Maria della Salute

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

  •   Favorite

    Bridge of Sighs

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

  •   Favorite

    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 [...]

  •   Favorite

    St. Mark’s Square

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

  •   Favorite

    Rialto Bridge

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

  •   Favorite

    Ponte Vecchio

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

  •   Favorite

    Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

    Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is the main artery of the historical center of Pordenone. The street, with its relatively sinuous course, invites you to stroll under the shelter of its arcades, being the perfect route for the local passeggiata (a leisurely walk, taken especially in the evening in Italian cities).   SHORT HISTORY Once, the street was named Contrada Maggiore, and it connected the two main city gates: Porta de Soto (or Furlana), towards the river, and Porta de Sora (or Trevisana), near Piazza Cavour, both demolished in the 19th century.   ARCHITECTURE The pedestrian street starts from Piazza Cavour, towards the Noncello River, and ends about 450 meters away, in front of the Communal Palace (Palazzo Comunale). The power of the ancient Pordenone is still visible on the street, in the sequence of buildings belonging to the noble families of the past… Walking from Piazza Cavour, on the western side of the street, at No. 10, there is Casa Simoni, built in the 14th century. The house, with two floors, has a frescoed facade with two windows with trefoil arches in Gothic style, flanking the city coat of arms. At No. 44, we can find the majestic Casa Gregoris-Bassani, Read more [...]

  •   Favorite

    Loggia di San Giovanni

    The Loggia di San Giovanni, also known as the Porch of Saint John (Porticato di San Giovanni), is a historical monument located in Piazza della Libertà, in Udine.   SHORT HISTORY Initially, in Piazza della Libertà, there was the Church of San Giovanni which, after the earthquake of 1511, was demolished and rebuilt by the Lombard architect Bernardino da Morcote. In addition to rebuilding the church, Bernardino da Morcote designed the homonymous Loggia. Bernardino da Morcote had to face various difficulties during the building of the porch, because the new Loggia and the church had to lean on the already existing clock tower. The Loggia, after years of neglect, was completely renovated in the second half of the 19th century, returning to its original splendor. In 1917, the Austrians occupied Udine and transformed the Loggia of San Giovanni into a guard post. On November 3, 1918, Udine was liberated from the Austrian dominion. In 1921, Raimondo D’Aronco planned the restructuring of the church, transforming it into the Pantheon of the Fallen of the First World War. The works ended in December 1926.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The Porch of San Giovanni consists of a colonnade with a triumphal arch in Read more [...]

  •   Favorite

    Church of San Francesco

    The Church of San Francesco is one of the oldest churches in Udine, now deconsecrated and used for temporary exhibitions. The church is located in Piazza Girolamo Venerio, about 160 meters away from the Cathedral of Udine and about 350 meters away from the Loggia del Lionello.   SHORT HISTORY The presence of the first Franciscan convent in Udine is documented in 1259. The consecration of the Church of San Francesco, built nearby, dates back to July 1266, and was celebrated by Alberto da Colle, the bishop of Concordia. In 1769, the Municipality of Udine acquired the convent with the intention of turning it into a hospital. The convent was used as a hospital until 1920s, while the Church of San Francesco was used as a deposit. The church was heavily damaged by the bombing of the Second World War, then restored. In the last few decades, the church was used for temporary exhibitions, especially by local artists. The convent, on the other hand, was first used as a history museum and, after a long and heavy restoration, it became the Court of Udine.   ARCHITECTURE The church is a simple Romanesque construction, following the strict Franciscan rules – gabled Read more [...]

  •   Favorite

    Casa Veneziana

    Casa Veneziana (Venetian House), also known as Palazzetto, is a Venetian palace in Udine, located on the eastern side of Piazza XX Settembre, about 350 meters away from Piazza della Libertà.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the 15th century for the Montegnacco family, in Via Rialto, near the Loggia del Lionello. In January 1910, for the construction of the new Town Hall, the demolition of the existing buildings between Via Rialto and Via Cavour was planned. After a heated debate on whether to demolish the palazzo, perhaps the only remaining vestige from the Venetian era in Udine, it was decided to preserve this ancient building, at least in the original elements of the facade. Casa Veneziana was thus disassembled and later, in 1929, it was reassembled in Piazza XX Settembre, where is currently located. Some frescoes were lost.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace, built in Venetian-Gothic style, is structured on three levels, with alternating mullioned windows of various shapes. The main portal is surmounted by a three-light window and a small balcony. The attic has four rectangular windows.   HOW TO GET THERE Casa Veneziana is located about 900 meters away from the Udine railway Read more [...]

  •   Favorite

    Piazza Giacomo Matteotti

    Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, also known as Piazza San Giacomo or Mercato Nuovo (New Market), is a beautiful square in Udine, located about 120 meters away from Piazza della Libertà and Loggia del Lionello.   SHORT HISTORY Piazza San Giacomo is the oldest square in Udine after Piazza della Libertà. The square appeared in the 13th century to house the new city market, hence the name Mercato Nuovo. After the Second World War, the square was named after the deputy Giacomo Matteotti, assassinated by Fascists in 1924. Until the 1980s, the square was a rather infamous area. Today, home to numerous bars and restaurants, Piazza Giacomo Matteotti is the heart of the nightlife in Udine and one of the busiest places in the city.   ARCHITECTURE The square is surrounded by buildings dating back to the Middle Ages. Some of the buildings are still embellished by frescoes with geometric and floral decorations. The central part of the square has a large base of stone blocks. In the center of the square, there is a fountain built in 1543 by the stonemason Mastro Cipriano, on a project by the famous architect Giovanni da Udine. Also in the square, we can find the Read more [...]

  • Favorite

    Church of San Giacomo

    The Church of San Giacomo is a church in Udine, located in Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, about 230 meters away from Piazza della Libertà and Loggia del Lionello.   SHORT HISTORY The structure was built in 1378, initially as a chapel, which was later enlarged. The facade of the church dates back to 1525, and was built by the architect and sculptor Bernardino da Morcote.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE On the facade, above the main portal of the church, there is a balcony and two mullioned windows. Above the balcony, we can find the clock, surmounted by the belfry. The interior of the church was heavily transformed during the Baroque period. The ceiling was decorated by Pietro Venier with Stories of Saint James. Inside, we can find beautiful works of art. Placed on the first altar on the right, there is The Virgin with Saints Apollonia and Agata by Fulvio Griffoni, dating back to the 17th century. On the second altar on the right, there is San Fabio interceding for souls in purgatory, a work by Pietro Venier dating back to the 18th century. On the first altar on the left, we can find The Virgin surrounded by saints by Antonio Read more [...]

  • Favorite

    Piazza della Libertà

    Piazza della Libertà, also known as Piazza Libertà, is the oldest square in Udine, located in the valley below the Castle of Udine.   SHORT HISTORY Piazza Libertà changed its name several times over the centuries. During the Middle Ages, the square was known as Piazza del Vino (Square of the Wine). In 1350, after the town council established there, the square took the name of Piazza del Comune, and after 1500, with the arrival of the Venetians, it took the name of one of the lieutenants, becoming Piazza Contarena. After the unification of Friuli with Italy in 1866, the square was dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II. An equestrian monument dedicated to the King was inaugurated on August 26, 1883, and transfered in 1947 to the Ricasoli Gardens. Only after the Second World War, the square was named Piazza della Libertà.   ARCHITECTURE The most important building in the square is the Town Hall, Loggia del Lionello, a palace in Venetian Gothic style, built between 1448 and 1457 after a design by Nicolò Lionello. Opposite the Town Hall, we can find the Loggia di San Giovanni, built in 1533 by the Lombard architect Bernardino da Morcote. As an integral part Read more [...]

  • Favorite

    Palazzo Stratti

    Palazzo Stratti, also known as the Casa Stratti (Stratti House), is a palace in Trieste, located in Piazza Unità d’Italia.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in 1839 at the behest of the merchant Nicolò Stratti, who entrusted the project to the architect Antonio Buttazzoni, one of the most appreciated designers in the city at the time. In 1846, due to some economic difficulties, Stratti was forced to sell the building to Assicurazioni Generali, the current owner. In the same period, the historic Caffè degli Specchi was inaugurated on the ground floor of the building. In the following decades, the Neoclassical aspect of the building was modified by the restorations carried out by the architects Andrea Seu, Eugenio Geiringer and Giovanni Righetti. Andrea Seu made changes to the facades, inserting pilasters and giving them a more symmetrical appearance, by raising the side bodies and changing the position of the balconies. In 1872, Geiringer and Righetti made a series of changes to the facade overlooking Piazza Unità d’Italia, which became more important in the context of the urban transformation of the square in the second part of the 19th century.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The building is characterized by a Read more [...]

  • Favorite

    Palazzo Genel

    Palazzo Genel is an imposing palace in Trieste, located in Piazza del Ponte Rosso, near the Canal Grande.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in 1873 by Domenico Monti for Alessandro Genel, a wealthy textile merchant, and his brothers Felice and Agostino. The palace was built on the site of the 18th-century house of Pietro Antonio Rossetti. At the beginning of the 20th century, the palace became the headquarters of the Anglo-Austrian Bank. In 1927, it was completely renovated to house the Italian Commercial Bank, and starting with 1938 it was the headquarters of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro in Trieste.   ARCHITECTURE The massive structure has a square plan and five floors. The main facade overlooking Piazza del Ponte Rosso is characterised by a monumental central body with six columns in Ionic style, and balconies with stone balustrades. The columns support an architrave with floral decorations, and the facade is crowned by a balustrade with six vases in Neoclassical style. The ground floor has a series of round arches with keystones on top and massive wrought iron railings, while the other floors have 11 rectangular windows enriched by stone frames. Inside, we can find a square courtyard with Read more [...]

  • Favorite

    Grand Canal of Trieste

    The Grand Canal of Trieste (Canal Grande di Trieste) is a navigable canal located in the center of the city, halfway between the Trieste Centrale railway station and Piazza Unità d’Italia.   SHORT HISTORY The Grand Canal was built between 1754 and 1756 by the Venetian Matteo Pirona. The canal was built to allow boats to sail to the city center to unload and load their goods. In its initial conformation, the canal was longer than is today, and stretched as far as the Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo. The final part of the canal was filled in 1934, with the rubble resulting from the demolition of the old city, thus obtaining the current Piazza Sant’Antonio Nuovo.   ARCHITECTURE The canal is overlooked by Palazzo Aedes, known as the Red Skyscraper, built in 1928 by the architect Arduino Berlam, by the Palazzo Gopcevich, built in 1850 by the architect Giovanni Andrea Berlam, by the Neoclassical Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo, built in 1849 by the architect Pietro Nobile, and by the Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Spyridon, built in 1869 by the architect Carlo Maciachini. Other notable buildings near the Grand Canal are Palazzo Genel, built in 1873 by Domenico Monti, Palazzo Read more [...]

  • Favorite

    Palazzo Gopcevich

    Palazzo Gopcevich is a palace in Trieste, located near the harbour, on the bank of the Canal Grande. Since 2006, the palace houses the Civic Theater Museum Carlo Schmidl.   SHORT HISTORY The building was commisioned by a member of a noble Serbian family, Spiridione Gopcevich, and designed by the Triestine architect Giovanni Berlam. The construction of the palace began in 1850. The palace was bought in 1998 by the Municipality of Trieste. The Theater Museum of Trieste was founded in 1924 by the Triestine music publisher and collector Carlo Schmidl, and until 1991 it was hosted in the Municipal Theater Giuseppe Verdi. In 1992, the museum was temporarily moved to Palazzo Morpurgo, and on December 16, 2006, it was opened in Palazzo Gopcevich.   ARCHITECTURE With its double arched windows and the plasterwork inspired by the decoration of Palazzo Vendramin Calergi, in Venice, Palazzo Gopcevich is one the most important examples of Eclecticism in Trieste. The windows on the first floor are decorated by lunettes with marble statues representing the Serbian monarchs. Inside the palace, especially on the first floor, we can find rich ceiling decorations with plaster and tempera and refined wooden floors with mother-of-pearl marquetry.   THE Read more [...]

  • Favorite

    Piazza della Borsa

    Piazza della Borsa is a square in Trieste, located between Corso Italia, an important artery of the city, and Piazza Unità d’Italia. The square was the economic center of the city throughout the 19th century.   SHORT HISTORY The square was initially called Piazza della Dogana (Customs Square), from the name of the building that stood in place of the current Palazzo del Tergesteo. Its current name derives from the Palazzo della Borsa Vecchia (Palace of the Old Stock Exchange), built in 1806 by the architect Antonio Mollari to house the activities of the stock market traders. Palazzo della Borsa, which is one of the most important examples of Trieste’s Neoclassical buildings, is currently the seat of the Trieste Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture. The palace is called the Old Stock Exchange, as the Stock Exchange moved in 1844 in the Palazzo del Tergesteo, and then, in 1928, in an adjoining building (Palazzo Dreher), which became known as the New Exchange. Next to Palazzo della Borsa, there was once the Canal Piccolo, still remembered today by the name of the street. The canal was filled in 1816. In the square, we can find the Art Nouveau palace built Read more [...]

  • Favorite

    Palazzo del Lloyd Triestino

    Palazzo del Lloyd Triestino is a palace in Trieste, located in the beautiful Piazza Unità d’Italia. Formerly the headquarters of the shipping company Lloyd Triestino di Navigazione, the palace now houses the offices of the Presidency and Council of the Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.   SHORT HISTORY Lloyd Triestino shipping company was established in 1833, and had its first headquarters in Piazza Tommaseo, then in Piazza della Borsa. In 1880, a property was purchased in Piazza Unità d’Italia and a competition was held for the design of the new building, in which architects from Vienna and Trieste participated. Seven projects were submitted, but none of them met the needs of the company’s council, so it was decided to entrust the construction to the senior Austrian architect Heinrich von Ferstel. The first stone was laid on December 6, 1880, and the construction was completed in 1883. On May 1st, 1945, during the Second World War, the palace was seriously damaged by the artillery shells fired by the Germans. During the years 1966 and 1967, the building underwent a radical restoration, consolidation and extension, with the internal floor raised towards the courtyard. In 1991, the building became the seat of the Read more [...]

  • Favorite

    Church of Santa Maria Maggiore

    The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, also known as the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a church in Trieste, located at the foot of the San Giusto Hill.   SHORT HISTORY The history of the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore is closely linked to that of the Jesuit congregation of Trieste. In 1619, two Jesuits, Giuseppe Mezler and Gregorio Salateo, arrived in Trieste. Thanks to its good relationship with the government of the time, the Jesuit order developed rapidly. The congregation commissioned the construction of a school, which is now located next to the current Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Shortly after, it was decided to build the church, dedicated to the Madonna, which became the largest church in the city at that time. The first stone was laid on October 10, 1627, by the bishop Rinaldo Scarlicchio. However, the completion of the church took decades. When the church was consecrated on October 11, 1682, by the bishop Giacomo Ferdinando Gorizutti, the roof of the building was still partially uncovered. In November of the same year, the church’s wooden dome was destroyed by a fire that broke out in a nearby oil mill. When Read more [...]

  • Favorite

    Teatro Romano

    Teatro Romano is a roman amphitheater located in Trieste, at the foot of the San Giusto Hill, on the edge of the old city.   SHORT HISTORY At the time of its construction, dated to the end of the 1st century BC, the theater was located outside the city walls. Back then, the sea reached up to this area, and the theater was practically on its shore. At the beginning of the 2nd century AD, the theater was expanded, probably at the behest of Quinto Petronio Modesto, procurator of the emperor Trajan, mentioned in several inscriptions. Over the centuries, the theater was hidden by the structures that rose around it. Considered lost, it was rediscovered in 1814 by the architect Pietro Nobile, but only in 1938 was it brought to light, during the demolition of a part of the old city. The statues and inscriptions found in the excavations are kept at the Tergestino Lapidarium, in the Castle of San Giusto. Nowadays, the amphitheater is still occasionally used for outdoor summer shows.   ARCHITECTURE According to the Greek custom, the amphitheater takes advantage of the natural slope of the hill. The seating area is divided into four main sections by Read more [...]

  • Favorite

    Castello di San Giusto

    Castello di San Giusto is a castle in Trieste, located on the hill of the same name, a few meters away from the Cathedral of San Giusto.   SHORT HISTORY After the sack of the city by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III in 1469, remembered as the Destruction of Trieste, after the massacres, looting and plague that followed, the people of Trieste were punished to build a fortress at their own expense. The castle was built on the Capitoline Hill, on the ruins of a Venetian castle. It was a two-story building with an adjacent tower. In the early 16th century, when the city temporarily came under the domination of the Republic of Venice, the fortress was extended with a semicircular bastion. After the return of the Empire, the works continued, but without haste. First, between 1551 and 1561, the southeast bastion was built, called Lalio after its designer, Domenico de Lalio. The northern part, already planned by the Venetians, was completed in 1595, and the last bastion, called Pomis, after the imperial architect Giovanni Pietro de Pomis, was finished in 1630. In 1930, the Italian authorities identified the tourist opportunity of the site. The fortress was restored, became a Read more [...]

  • Favorite

    Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo

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

  • Favorite

    Palazzo del Municipio

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

  • Favorite

    Palazzo della Luogotenenza Austriaca

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

  • Favorite

    Church of San Zaccaria

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