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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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    Columns of San Lorenzo

    The Columns of San Lorenzo (Colonne di San Lorenzo) is a late Roman monument in Milan, located in front of the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore, near the Medieval Ticinese Gate (Porta Ticinese Medievale). The Columns have a particular emotional meaning for the Milanese, testifying the history of the ancient Mediolanum, capital of the Western Roman Empire between the 3rd and the 5th century.   SHORT HISTORY The Columns of San Lorenzo were brought here in the 4th century, to form an atrium in front of the ancient basilica. The columns came from various Roman buildings dating back to the 2nd or 3rd century, probably from a pagan temple located in the area of today’s Piazza Santa Maria Beltrade. Until 1935, in the current square located between the Columns and the Basilica of San Lorenzo, there were old buildings, which were demolished to give greater coherence and monumentality to the basilica. The new square was subsequently occupied by the tram tracks, which in the 1990s were moved beyond the Columns. In 1937, the bronze statue of the Emperor Constantine was placed in the square, a modern copy of the antique original preserved in Rome.   ARCHITECTURE The Columns of San Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore

    Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore is one of the oldest churches in Milan, and together with the Columns of San Lorenzo, located a few meters away, is considered an important Roman monumental complex. The church is dedicated to Saint Lawrence, one of the seven deacons of Rome, who was martyred in 258 during the persecution of the Christians by the Roman Emperor Valerian.   SHORT HISTORY The church dates back to a period between the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 5th century, and was built on the remains of a temple dedicated to Hercules by the Emperor Maximian. The church was damaged by fire in 1071 and 1072, its dome collapsed in 1103, and it was destroyed again by fire in 1124. The church was then rebuilt in Romanesque style, maintaining the original internal layout. During the Middle Ages, the basilica remained a symbol of the Roman heritage in Milan, and a privileged burial place for the city’s bishops. In 1573, the dome of the church collapsed once again during a liturgical celebration. Given the importance of the building, Cardinal Carlo Borromeo comissioned the architect Martino Bassi to rebuilt the dome according to the tastes of Read more [...]

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    Torre Bissara

    Torre Bissara, also known as Torre di Piazza, is a medieval tower in Vicenza, about 82 meters in height, located in Piazza dei Signori, adjacent to the famous Basilica Palladiana.   SHORT HISTORY The tower was built in 1174, at the behest of the Bissari family, next to their palace. Between 1211 and 1229, the Municipality of Vicenza bought both the palace and the tower. After it was spared by the terrible earthquake of January 25, 1348, it was raised towards the middle of the 15th century to its current height. Over the centuries, there were numerous interventions to maintain the stability and beauty of the tower. On March 18, 1945, the tower, together with the Basilica Palladiana, was hit by an Anglo-American bombing. The top of the tower caught fire and the dome collapsed to the ground. The bells also fell, destroying the pavement of the square. In the following years, along with the Basilica, the tower was rebuilt, not without controversy concerning the form, partly different from the original one. In 2002, a radical restoration of the tower began. The intervention concerned the consolidation of the tower and the restoration of surfaces, friezes and decorations.   ARCHITECTURE At Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Porto in Piazza Castello

    Palazzo Porto in Piazza Castello, also known as Porto Breganze, is a palace in Vicenza, located in Piazza Castello, designed around 1571 by the architect Andrea Palladio for Alessandro Porto. It is one of the two palaces designed by Palladio in Vicenza for the Porto family, the other being Palazzo Porto, for Iseppo Porto, in Contrà Porti, and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.   SHORT HISTORY Alessandro Porto inherited the family properties in Piazza Castello after the death of his father, Benedetto Porto, which took place in 1571. The family assets were divided between the brothers Alessandro, Orazio and Pompeo. Francesco Thiene, owner of the Palladian palace of the same name at the other end of Piazza Castello, married Isabella Porto, Alessandro’s sister, and a competition began between the two families for having the most imposing palace in the square. The palace was designed with seven bays and a courtyard with an exedra, as shown by an analysis of the surviving walls, but the works were stopped near the end of the 16th century and never resumed. The reasons remain unknown. Between October 2009 and the first Read more [...]

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    Corso Andrea Palladio

    Corso Andrea Palladio is the main street of Vicenza, named in 1945 after the famous Renaissance architect. About 700 meters in lenght, it crosses the historical center of the city from west to east, respectively from Porta Castello to Piazza Giacomo Matteotti.   SHORT HISTORY The current street corresponds substantially to what, in Roman times, was the decumanus maximus (the main road in a Roman city, oriented from west to east). Also called strata major, after the construction of the early medieval walls of the city, it was bordered to the west by the Porta Feliciana and to the east by the Porta San Pietro. During the Middle Ages, but also in modern times, Corso Palladio retained the function of linking the neighbouring cities of Veneto, respectively Verona and Padua. Near its edges, there were inns, taverns and, later, parking lots. In 1847, the historian Cesare Cantù called it the most elegant street in Europe, if you do not count the Grand Canal of the incomparable Venice. In 1866, after the annexation of Veneto to the Kingdom of Italy, the street was officially called Corso Principe Umberto. In 1943, the name was changed to Corso Ettore Muti and finally, after Read more [...]

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    Piazza dei Signori

    Piazza dei Signori is the main square of Vicenza, located in the historical center of the city. Originally a Roman forum and then a market, the square is best known today for the Basilica Palladiana, the grandiose work of Andrea Palladio. The square has a rectangular shape and is delimited to the southwest by the Palladian Basilica and the Bissara Tower, while on the opposite side we can find the Loggia del Capitaniato and the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, which incorporates the beautiful Church of San Vincenzo.   SHORT HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE In antiquity, the area of Piazza dei Signori was the site of the Roman forum of Vicetia. Later, during the Middle Ages, the area was called Perònio, and was the center of the political, commercial and social life of the city. The oldest building in the square is the Bissara Tower (Torre Bissara), built in 1174 at the behest of the Bissara family, next to their palace. In the 13th century, the municipality of Vicenza bought both the palace and the tower. After escaping the terrible earthquake of January 25, 1348, the tower was raised around the middle of the 15th century, reaching its current height. Near Read more [...]

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    Church of San Vincenzo

    The Church of San Vincenzo is a beautiful church in Vicenza, located in Piazza dei Signori, in front of the Palladian Basilica, dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, the patron saint of the city.   SHORT HISTORY After the Christian martyr Vincent of Saragossa was killed in 304 during the persecution of Christians under Diocletian, his cult spread rapidly throughout Europe, reaching Vicenza in the first centuries of the first millennium of our Era. In the second half of the 14th century, during the Scaligeri domination of the city, the cult of San Vincenzo was revived. The construction of a church dedicated to him was begun in 1385 and completed in 1387. During the 15th century, the church was rebuilt and its facade was oriented towards Piazza dei Signori. In 1486, a Monte di Pietà office was created in Vicenza by the Catholic Church, which established a pawnshop in the Church of San Vincenzo. Ten years later, the Monte di Pietà building collapsed and, in 1499, work began on a new building adjacent to the church, with the simultaneous renovation of the church itself. During the 16th century, the works were completed with the construction of the two wings of Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria in Foro

    The Church of Santa Maria in Foro is a church in Vicenza, located in Piazza Biade, a small square adjacent to Piazza dei Signori. The church is also called dei Servi, due to the fact that it was built by the Order of Friar Servants of Mary.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built starting with 1404, the year in which Vicenza passed under the domination of the Republic of Venice. At the beginning of the 15th century, the Servite Order arrived in Vicenza and entrusted the construction of the church to the architect Giampietro Cirmisone, who completed the works in 1425. Some decorations were added between 1432 and 1435. The Servants of Mary lived in the adjacent convent until 1788, when the order was suppressed. Afterwards, the Municipality of Vicenza took care of the church until 1797, when the building became a military warehouse for the troops of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1810, the parish of the Church of San Michele was transferred here, and the Church of Santa Maria in Foro was again open for worship.   ARCHITECTURE The plain facade of the church is embellished by nine statues, two of which are attributed to the sculptor Orazio Marinali, Read more [...]

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    Loggia del Capitaniato

    Loggia del Capitaniato, also known as the Palazzo del Capitaniato or Loggia Bernarda, is a palace in Vicenza, located in the central Piazza dei Signori, in front of the Basilica Palladiana. The palace, designed in 1565 by the architect Andrea Palladio, is currently the seat of the city council. In 1994, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.   SHORT HISTORY In 1565, the Municipality of Vicenza asked Andrea Palladio to build a palace for the Captain, the military head in charge of the city on behalf of the Republic of Venice. The palace was to replace a pre-existing medieval building, already used as the residence of the Captain. Because the construction of the Palladian Basilica was still in progress, Palladio found himself engaged on two fronts located in the same square. For the Palazzo del Capitaniato, he was able to exploit the architectural and stylistic knowledge acquired in the last 20 years of work in Vicenza. Like many other buildings of the Venetian architect, the palace remained partially unfinished. The works were stopped in 1572, with only three bays built, instead of the five or seven originally Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Chiericati

    Palazzo Chiericati is a Renaissance palace in Vicenza, located in Piazza Matteotti, next to the Corso Andrea Palladio, in the vicinity of Teatro Olimpico. Designed in 1550 by the architect Andrea Palladio, the palace houses the Civic Museum of Vicenza since 1855, and was included in 1994 in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was commissioned by Count Girolamo Chiericati to Andrea Palladio in 1550, and the construction of the palace began in the following year. In 1557, the count died and the works were stopped. The son of Girolamo, Valerio, limited himself to decorate the interiors of the palace, involving some great artists of the time, like Bartolomeo Ridolfi, Giovanni Battista Zelotti, Giovanni Antonio Fasolo and Battista Franco. The palace remained unfinished for more than a century, and it was completed only in 1680, following the design of Palladio, who died in 1580. The Municipality of Vicenza purchased the building in 1839 from the Chiericati family, with the intention of collecting the most important art of the city. The palace was restored by the architects Berti and Giovanni Miglioranza, and the Civic Museum was inaugurated Read more [...]

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    Piazza dei Signori

    Piazza dei Signori, also known as Piazza Dante, is a beautiful square located in the historical center of Verona, adjacent to Piazza delle Erbe.   SHORT HISTORY The square was formed in the Middle Ages, and was gradually defined by the palaces that were built around it. The first building, erected near the end of the 12th century, was the Palazzo della Ragione, followed between the 13th and 14th centuries by the palaces built by the powerful family of Della Scala, Lords of Verona. From the beginning, the square assumed political and administrative functions, and became the most important place in the city during the Venetian domination. Around the middle of the 17th century, a fountain was built by Pietro Tedesco in the center of the square. However, by the turn of the century, it was decided that it was insufficient to decorate such a monumental square, and the fountain was demolished. In 1865, a new monument was built in the center of the square – the statue of the Italian poet Dante Aligheri, work of the sculptor Ugo Zannoni.   ARCHITECTURE In the southern corner of the square, we can find the Palazzo della Ragione, which was built at Read more [...]

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    Arco dei Gavi

    Arco dei Gavi is a monument in Verona, located just outside the walls of the ancient Roman city. The arch was built around the middle of the 1st century to celebrate the gens Gavia, an important Roman family of Verona.   SHORT HISTORY The arch was commissioned by the Gavia family to the architect Lucius Vitruvius Cerdo, and built in the last years of the reign of Augustus or in the first years of the reign of Tiberius, around the middle of the 1st century. Erected along the Via Postumia as an isolated monument, it was later stripped of the decorative elements and incorporated into the new municipal walls built in the 12th century. Around that time, the arch changed its function and was used as an urban gate, being called the Gate of San Zeno (Porta di San Zeno). During the Scaligeri domination, the arch became part of the defensive system of Castelvecchio, built in the second half of the 14th century. During the Venetian domination, which financed the construction of the Venetian walls, the structure lost its defensive function. In 1550, the Venetian Republic ceded the area around the building to private individuals. The new owner decided to Read more [...]

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    Church of San Fermo Maggiore

    The Church of San Fermo Maggiore is a church located in the historical center of Verona, dedicated to Saint Fermus, a Christian martyr under Emperor Maximian.   SHORT HISTORY According to tradition, Saints Fermus and Rusticus were martyred in Verona in 304 AD, and the locals built a church in their honor in the 5th or 6th century. However, the first traces of this church date back to the 8th century. In 755, the bishop of Verona, Annone, who is now venerated as a saint, received the relics of Saints Fermus and Rusticus and placed them under the altar of the church dedicated to them. Between 1065 and 1143, the Benedictines completely restructured the complex and built two churches in Romanesque style: the lower one to preserve the relics, and the upper one for the daily celebrations. They also started the construction of the bell tower, which was completed only in the 13th century. In 1261, the Franciscans took the place of the Benedictines and rebuilt the upper church. The work was completed around 1350. In the following centuries, inside the church were added chapels, altars and funeral monuments. In 1759, the relics were placed in the altar of the Read more [...]

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    Ponte della Vittoria

    Ponte della Vittoria (Bridge of Victory) is a bridge in Verona, built across the Adige river. The bridge owes its name to the victory of Vittorio Veneto, a battle that led to the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the First World War.   SHORT HISTORY In 1925, the Municipality of Verona announced a national competition for the construction of a monumental bridge to celebrate the Battle of Vittorio Veneto and the memory of the Veronese victims. The competition, attended by numerous designers, was won by the architect Ettore Fagiuoli and the engineer Ferruccio Cipriani. The construction began on November 4, 1928, and was completed in 1931. The inauguration took place on November 4, 1929. The construction site of the bridge saw the destruction of some surrounding buildings. On the night of April 25, 1945, the bridge was destroyed by the retreating Germans, along with all the other bridges in Verona, including the Ponte di Castelvecchio. Only the right arch remained intact, which was used by the Allies as a support for the construction of an iron bridge, indispensable for continuing the pursuit of the German troops. In 1947, Ettore Fagiuoli redesigned the bridge, and on August 29, 1953, Ponte Read more [...]

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    Ponte di Castelvecchio

    Ponte di Castelvecchio, also known as Ponte Scaligero, is a medieval bridge in Verona, across the Adige river, part of the fortress of Castelvecchio.   SHORT HISTORY The bridge was built between 1354 and 1356 under the lordship of Cangrande II della Scala, to ensure the fortress of Castelvecchio with an escape route to the Tyrol, in case there had been a riot by one of the enemy factions within the city. The structure of the bridge remained untouched for about five centuries, until 1802, when the French, following the Treaty of Lunéville, demolished the tower on the southern side and eliminated the battlements. In 1820, the battlements were reconstructed by the Austrians on the orders of Emperor Francis I of Austria. The bridge was destroyed on April 24, 1945, by the retreating Germans, along with all the other bridges in Verona. In the post-war period, it was decided to rebuild it together with other important monuments of the city lost during the Second World War. For the reconstruction project, the architect Piero Gazzola collaborated with the engineer Alberto Minghetti for the technical part and the architect Libero Cecchini for the artistic part. The work began at the end of Read more [...]

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    Torre dei Lamberti

    Torre dei Lamberti is a medieval tower in Verona, 84 meters high, located in Piazza delle Erbe, in the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY The tower was built by the powerful Lamberti family starting with the 11th century. The lower part of the tower, from terracotta and tuff blocks, dates back to that period. In 1140, the structure became a civic tower and the first bell, Rengo, was installed. The bell sounded to summon the Arengo (City Council) and for calling the army in an emergency. In 1272, a second bell, called Marangona, was added. The Marangona sounded a warning in the event of fire and it marked the hours of the day, thereby regulating the city life. In 1311, the third bell was installed, called Consolata. In May 1403, the lightning struck the top of the tower, and the restoration work began only in 1448, and lasted until 1464. In the same period, the tower was elevated to 84 meters. In 1779, there was the proposal to place a large clock on the tower, but the watchmaker who was comissioned to make the clock died before starting the work. Only in 1798, the count Giovanni Sagramoso Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santa Anastasia

    Basilica of Santa Anastasia is an important Catholic church in Verona, located in the northern area of the historical center of the city, in Piazza Santa Anastasia. Although the church is named after the Dominican Saint Peter Martyr, it is better known as Santa Anastasia due to an ancient Arian cult building which stood on this place, dedicated to Anastasia of Sirmium.   SHORT HISTORY The origins of the Church of Santa Anastasia are very ancient. It is believed that already in the Longobard era, where the current building stands, there were two Christian churches that, according to tradition, were built at the behest of the Ostrogoth King Theodoric. One was dedicated to Saint Remigius of Reims and the other to Saint Anastasia, a Christian martyr under Diocletian, whose cult spread from Constantinople to Verona around the 8th century. The oldest information about this structure is contained in a diploma dated October 2, 890, issued by the King of Italy Berengario I. A second mention of the church is found in a document dated May 12, 1082. Subsequently, a decree of 1087 lists the numerous possessions of the church. The Dominican friars arrived in Verona around 1220, and settled outside Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Barbieri

    Palazzo Barbieri, also known as Palazzo della Gran Guardia Nuova, is a Neoclassical palace in Verona, located in Piazza Bra, near the famous Arena di Verona. Today, the palace is the city’s Town Hall.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Barbieri was designed by the architect Giuseppe Barbieri, who was also the author of the Monumental Cemetery of Verona. The construction of the palace began in 1836 and was completed in 1848. During the Austrian occupation, the building was used mainly for military purposes, as the headquarters of the Imperial Royal Command of the City. After the region of Veneto became part of the Kingdom of Italy, the palace was chosen as the seat of the Municipality of Verona. On the night of February 23, 1945, in one of the most destructive bombings of World War II, Palazzo Barbieri was hit and badly damaged. After the war, it was quickly rebuilt and enlarged, after a design by the architects Raffaele Benatti and Guido Troiani, and inaugurated in March 1950.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The palace has an imposing facade, with a pronaos set on a central block, delimited by tall Corinthian semi-columns. After the damage suffered during the World War II, a Read more [...]

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    Piazza Bra

    Piazza Bra is the largest square in Verona, located in historical center of the city. The most important structure in the square is, without doubt, the famous Roman amphitheater known as the Arena di Verona. The Arena, located in the northern part of the square, was built in the 1st century AD. Still used today, the Arena is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind and the world’s eighth-largest Roman amphitheater.   SHORT HISTORY The area began to take the shape of a square only in the first half of the 16th century, when the architect Michele Sanmicheli completed the Honorij Palace (Palazzo degli Honorij), which delimited the western side of the future square. The first attempt to transform the dirt road into a square belonged to the mayor Alvise Mocenigo, who wanted to create a meeting place for the Veronese bourgeoisie. He inaugurated the first part of the Liston, the paved sidewalk that flanks the Bra Square, in 1770. On March 13, 1782, Francesco Menegatti presented a project for the definitive paving of the Liston and, after his intervention, the Bra became the favorite place for afternoon walks. Palazzo della Gran Guardia, began by the Venetians Read more [...]

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    Porta San Zeno

    Porta San Zeno is a monumental gate in Verona, located in Piazza Bacanal, about 270 meters from the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore.   SHORT HISTORY The gate was designed by the Veronese architect Michele Sanmicheli in 1541, upon returning from his journey in the eastern Mediterranean. Two inscriptions on the front and back of the gate, both dated 1542, suggest that its construction was extremely short, ending in less than a year. The gate was one of the two main entry points to the city, along with Porta San Giorgio, for the visitors who came from the Brenner Pass, a mountain pass through the Alps which forms the border between Italy and Austria.   ARCHITECTURE The gate is inserted in the wall delimited on the north by the Bastion of San Procolo and on the south by the Bastion of San Zeno, and is located near the latter. The plan of the gate is square, with a large central vaulted entrance and a pavilion roof. A side walkway and the guardroom are located laterally, while other rooms can be found on the second floor. In the past, the gate was equipped with wooden drawbridges, which were lowered onto the Read more [...]

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    Piazza Paolo VI

    Piazza Paolo VI, also known as Piazza del Duomo, is one of the main squares of Brescia, located about 100 meters from Piazza della Loggia and about the same from Piazza della Vittoria. Part of the historical center of Brescia, it is known as Piazza del Duomo due to the presence of the two cathedrals of the city, and it was named after Pope Paul VI after his death.   ARCHITECTURE The square appeared in medieval times, through the construction of the buildings that surround it. One of the buildings of that era is Palazzo Broletto, which today also includes the Civic Tower (Torre del Pegol) and the Loggia delle Grida, located on the northeast side of the square, dating back to the 13th century. Palazzo Broletto is considered the oldest public building in Brescia, and today it houses the Prefecture, the Provincial Administration and some municipal offices. On the eastern part of the square, we can also find the New Cathedral of Brescia, built between 1604 and 1825, in various architectural styles ranging from the late Baroque to the Rococo. The next structure is the Old Cathedral of the city, known also as La Rotonda, an example of Romanesque Read more [...]

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    Church of San Lorenzo

    Rich in pictorial and sculptural works of art, the Church of San Lorenzo, dedicated to Saint Lawrence, is one of the most important churches in Brescia.   SHORT HISTORY The first mention of the church can be found in a document dating back to the 11th century, but the place of worship was probably built long before this time. The first important interventions on the ancient structure took place at the end of the 15th century, at the behest of the provost Bernardino Fabio. At the beginning of the 16th century, Girolamo Romani, better known as Romanino, was commissioned to paint the Lamentation over the Dead Christ for the Chapel of the Passion. The painting remained in the chapel until 1871, and then was sold and transferred to various private collections in Italy and England. Today, the work is found in Venice, in the Gallerie dell’Accademia. From this moment on, many other artists worked in the church, including Callisto Piazza, Lattanzio Gambara, Pietro Marone and Prospero Rabaglio. In the 17th century, with the spread of the cult of Saint Carlo Borromeo, the church was enriched with an altar dedicated to him, decorated with an altarpiece by Francesco Giugno. The other Read more [...]

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    Monument to Bella Italia

    The Monument to Bella Italia, officially a monument dedicated to the fallen of the Ten Days of Brescia, is a sculpture located in the northeast area of Piazza della Loggia, in Brescia. The sculpture is the work of Giovanni Battista Lombardi from 1864 and was donated to the city by King Vittorio Emanuele II.   SHORT HISTORY On the site where the monument stands today, there was originally a column with the Lion of Saint Mark on top, a sign of the domination of the Republic of Venice over the city of Brescia. The column was erected between 1454 and 1455, and near its base there were held, for centuries, the executions of those condemned to death, in front of a large public. Finally demolished in 1797 by the revolutionaries, it left an empty space which was filled a few decades later, in 1864, by the new monument. The statue was conceived in the full Italian Unification climate to commemorate the fallen of the Ten Days of Brescia and was executed by the sculptor Giovanni Battista Lombardi at the behest of Vittorio Emanuele II. The inauguration took place in 1864, and the sculpture still occupies the northeastern portion of the Read more [...]

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    Church of San Francesco d’Assisi

    The Church of San Francesco d’Assisi is a church in Brescia, dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. The church is flanked by an ancient Franciscan convent dating back to the 14th century.   SHORT HISTORY The church was completed in 1265, but it was not frescoed until the early 14th century. In the 15th century, the church was enriched with 5 altars, two of which painted by Moretto (Alessandro Bonvicino) and Romanino (Girolamo Romani), great masters of the early Renaissance in Brescia. In the 16th century, in the left nave of the church, the Chapel of the Immaculate was built in Renaissance style. With the advent of the French in 1797, the church and the adjoining convent underwent a phase of decadence in which archives were destroyed and many rooms were ruined. Only in 1839, thanks to the architect Rodolfo Vantini, the church was the subject of modernization work, taking on some Neoclassical elements. In 1928, the Friars Minor returned to live in both the convent and the church, and thanks to various restorations, they were able to recover a part of the ancient artistic heritage.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church, in Romanesque-Gothic style, restored in Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Martinengo Palatini

    Palazzo Martinengo Palatini is a beautiful palace in Brescia, located in Piazza del Mercato. Built in the 15th century and completely rebuilt at the beginning of the 18th century, is one of the most elegant Baroque palaces of the city.   SHORT HISTORY In 1457, Giovanni Martinengo bought a piece of land in the area where the ancient medieval walls were located. With other successive purchases, the family became the owner of the entire space between Piazza delle Erbe, now Piazza del Mercato, Corso Palestro and Via Fratelli Porcellaga. In 1479, the sons of Giovanni were appointed palatine counts by the Emperor Maximilian of Austria, which generated the new family branch of the Martinengo Palatini. One of their descendants, Teofilo, decided to demolish the 15th-century palace and to build a new one. Teofilo began the construction, but never see it finished, dying in the early 18th century. The palace was finally completed by his son, Curzio III, in 1710. With the extinction of the family branch in 1874, the building was donated to the Municipality of Brescia, which set up some offices in the palace, as well as the Musical Institute Venturi, which used the main hall as an auditorium Read more [...]

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    Piazza del Mercato

    Piazza del Mercato is a beautiful square in Brescia, located southwest of Piazza della Vittoria and Piazza della Loggia, along Corso Palestro.   SHORT HISTORY In 1435, on the southern part of the square, sellers of cloths and linen appeared, placing their wooden huts there. In 1481, the Municipality of Brescia built a long arcade with residences for the shopkeepers on the first floor. In 1558, a similar structure was built on the northern part of the square, where Lodovico Beretta erected a palace with the same function, known today as Palazzo Beretta. During the 17th century, the last two monumental buildings in the square were built: the Church of the Madonna del Lino, in the southern part, in 1608, and the Martinengo Palatini Palace in the western part, began in 1672, but completed only in 1710. At the beginning of the 19th century, other interventions were made to the square: the wooden huts leaning against the buildings were eliminated, the arcades were paved and, in the center, a large fountain was built after a design by Giovanni Donegani with the statue of Abundance by Giovanni Antonio Labus. The bombardments of the Second World War seriously damaged the square and Read more [...]

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    Brescia Old Cathedral

    The Old Cathedral (Duomo Vecchio), also known as La Rotonda because of its round layout and officially as the Winter Co-Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, is a Romanesque church in Brescia. The Old Cathedral is located near the New Cathedral (Duomo Nuovo), in Piazza Paolo VI.   SHORT HISTORY The history of the Old Cathedral begins with the demolition of the ancient Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore de Dom, an early Christian structure built perhaps in the 7th century. The construction of the cathedral began in the 11th century and was completed in the first half of the 12th century. Towards the end of the 13th century, Berardo Maggi, bishop of Brescia, made an enlargement of the presbytery and had the interiors decorated. Between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, the architect Bernardino da Martinengo extended the presbytery to the east, covering it with cross vaults in Gothic style. Around the same time, the transept was also added, completed with the Chapel of the Holy Crosses on the left side. In this phase of construction, Filippo Grassi, the future architect of the Palazzo della Loggia, also participated. The keystones are the work of Read more [...]

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    Piazza della Vittoria

    Piazza della Vittoria is a beautiful square in Brescia, located about 100 meters away from the Piazza della Loggia and the Palazzo della Loggia.   SHORT HISTORY In 1927, the Municipality of Brescia, supported by the Fascist politician Augusto Turati, by the Fascist Party and by Benito Mussolini himself, held a competition for a new urban redesign of the ancient medieval area of the Pescherie district. The winner was the Roman architect Marcello Piacentini. The demolition of the area began in 1929 and was completed in less than two years. During the works, buildings of great historical value were lost, such as the 15th-century slaughterhouse and the Romanesque Church of Sant’Ambrogio, rebuilt in the 18th century. In 1932, during the ceremony of inauguration of the square, which coincided with the tenth anniversary of the birth of fascism, Benito Mussolini himself was present and gave a speech. The construction of the large underground car park, which took place in 1974, forced large ventilation grids to be opened over a large part of the central area of the square. The general renovation of the square, connected to the creation of the Metro station, was completed at the end of 2013. The area Read more [...]

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    Torre dell’Orologio

    Torre dell’Orologio is a beautiful clock tower in Brescia, located in Piazza della Loggia, opposite the Palazzo della Loggia.   SHORT HISTORY The Clock Tower was built between 1540 and 1550 on a design by Lodovico Beretta, a local architect who also contributed to the construction of the Palazzo della Loggia. The tower houses a complex mechanical clock, installed between 1544 and 1546, probably replacing a previous mechanism. The clock, on two different dials, marks the hours, the moon phases and the zodiac signs.   ARCHITECTURE The side of the tower facing Piazza della Loggia has an astronomical quadrant and a tympanum painted by Gian Giacomo Lamberti in 1547, while the second side, which overlooks Via Beccaria, has a gilded quadrant of an unknown author. On the upper part of the tower, there are two rods and a bronze bell, and two copper automata installed in 1581, depicting two men with a hammer, known in the Brescian dialect as the Màcc de le ure (Crazy of the hours). In 1595, a long portico in white Botticino marble was built by the architect Piero Maria Bagnadore at the base of the tower. Passing under the tower through a passage created in Read more [...]

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    Piazza della Loggia

    Piazza della Loggia is a rectangular square in Brescia, enclosed by a series of buildings from the Venetian period, among which stands the Palazzo della Loggia, the seat of the city’s Municipal Council.   SHORT HISTORY Piazza della Loggia was designed during the Renaissance, and its construction began at the end of the 15th century. The square became the beating heart of the city, both for its position and for the presence of the Loggia, a palace built between 1489 and 1574. On May 28, 1974, a bombing took place in the square during an anti-fascist demonstration, killing 8 people and wounding 102.   ARCHITECTURE The square is surrounded by 16th-century buildings in Venetian style, quite modest in appearance, but with a strong visual impact. Opposite to the Loggia, on the eastern side of the square, we can find the arcades, also in Renaissance style, surmounted by the Clock Tower, named for the presence of an ancient clock added in 1546. On the southern side of the square, there is the old Monte di Pietà building, erected between 1484 and 1489, which has a small Venetian loggia divided into two arches in the lower part, and the main facade adorned Read more [...]

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    Church of Sant’Andrea

    The Church of Sant’Andrea is a church in Bergamo, located in Via Porta Dipinta 39, in the upper part of the city, known as Città Alta.   SHORT HISTORY In the State Archive of Bergamo, there is a notarial deed dated back to 785, which certifies the existence of a proto-Christian basilica on this place, called Basilica Sancti Andreae. Due to the damage caused by the construction of the Venetian Walls between 1561 and 1588, the old basilica obtained compensation of 300 scudi from the Venetian Republic, thanks to which it was renovated and reconsecrated in 1592. A subsequent reconstruction of the church dates back to 1689, with the laying of the foundation stone on June 23 by Bishop Daniele Giustiniani. In 1805, by a decree of Napoleon Bonaparte, the adjacent parish of San Michele al Pozzo Bianco was suppressed and its territory was annexed to the parish of Sant’Andrea. The ancient church was thus too small for this new territory and for a rather large population, and in in 1829 the architect Giacomo Romilli was commissioned to plan its complete renovation. Giacomo Romilli’s project included a neoclassical building, with a facade marked by pilasters and a tympanum, a small Read more [...]

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    Church of Sant’Agostino

    The Church of Sant’Agostino is a beautiful church in Bergamo, located near the eastern walls of the Città Alta and the homonymous gate of the city. Since 2015, the church houses the Aula Magna of the University of Bergamo.   SHORT HISTORY The Church of Sant’Agostino was built starting with 1290, on the site of a pre-existing church dedicated to Saints Philip and James. The new church was dedicated to Saints Philip, James and Augustine, and was consecrated on February 11, 1347, by the bishop Bernardo Bernardi. In the early 15th century, the church and the adjacent monastery were in a serious state of decay, and the complex was completely abandoned in 1441. Around the middle of the 15th century, the friar Giovanni da Novara obtained permission to sell some properties of the church, and used the money thus obtained to repair some of the buildings of the monastic complex. During the 15th century, seven chapels were built on each side of the church, for important families of Bergamo, who, in turn, donated the funds needed to repair the buildings. Jacopo Filippo Foresti was the friar responsible for the reconstruction of the church, with the contributions obtained from the families. Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Ragione

    Palazzo della Ragione is a palace in Bergamo, located in the upper part of the city, Città Alta. The palace stands across the Piazza Vecchia from the Palazzo Nuovo, bordering also the Piazza del Duomo to the north.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built at the end of the 12th century, more precisely between 1183 and 1198, making it the oldest town hall in Italy. The building maintained its role as a political center even after the end of the communal era, when, with the arrival of the Republic of Venice in the first half of the 15th century, it was used as the palace of justice, hence the name della Ragione (of reason). The palace, which was already in a bad shape at the beginning of the 16th century, suffered serious damage in 1513, after a fire. Its reconstruction began in 1538 under the direction of the architect Pietro Isabello, and was completed in 1554. The works on the exterior were started in March 1539, and the Lion of St. Mark was placed on the facade in April of the same year. Subsequently, the southern wall was restored. The rebuilding of the loggia on the ground floor began Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Medolago Albani

    Palazzo Medolago Albani is a beautiful palace located in the ancient part of Bergamo, Città Alta, on Viale delle Mura, near Porta San Giacomo.   SHORT HISTORY The palace, a beautiful example of Neoclassical architecture, was built by the architect Simone Cantoni in 1770. In 1841, the palace was bought by Count Giacomo Medolago Albani, an ancestor of the current owners. Over time, the palace underwent many transformations, becoming one of the most important buildings of the city and home to one of the most notable historical and cultural events of the time. The visits of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria with his wife Elizabeth of Bavaria and the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II are evidenced by the commemorative stone slabs placed at the entrance to the building.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The palace is an admirable example of an aristocratic building of the late 18th century. The facade, on two floors, with 8 semi-columns, is surmounted by a fake balcony with a decoration in the middle and four statues depicting the Architecture, Sculpture, Painting and Poetry, works of the sculptor Antonio Gelpi. Between the two floors, we can find five medallions of Carrara marble depicting scenes inspired Read more [...]

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    Porta San Giacomo

    Porta San Giacomo (Saint James Gate) is one of the four Venetian gates of the Città Alta, the ancient part of Bergamo. The gate represents the southern entrance to the old city, and due to its elevated position, it can be seen from afar.   SHORT HISTORY The construction of the Venetian walls (Mura Venete) surrounding the Città Alta began in 1561, as part of a defensive system meant to protect the western territories of the Venetian Republic from Milan, which, after the peace treaty signed in 1559 at Cateau-Cambrésis, became a Spanish province. The Venetian walls have four gates: Porta San Lorenzo, Porta Sant’Agostino, Porta Sant’Alessandro and Porta San Giacomo. The gates were named, except for the Porta Sant’Agostino, after neighbouring churches. Porta San Giacomo was built in 1593, replacing a wooden structure dating back to the middle of the 16th century. The gate was completed with a fresco depicting the winged lion of Saint Mark by Gian Paolo Cavagna. The masonry bridge leading to the gate was built in 1780, and renovated at the end of the 19th century, to enlarge the access area to the Medolago Alabani palace, located nearby. The two small arches of the gate Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria Immacolata delle Grazie

    The Church of Santa Maria Immacolata delle Grazie is a beautiful church in Bergamo, located on Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, near the Porta Nuova.   SHORT HISTORY Saint Bernardino of Siena came to Bergamo in 1419 for the second time to quell the feuds that divided the Guelph and Ghibelline families of the city. Pietro Ondei, influenced by his preaching, gave the saint a piece of land to build a church and a convent for the Franciscan friars. The church was founded on April 27, 1422, by the bishop Francesco Aregazzi. The project of urban reorganization of the city from the 19th century included the construction of a large avenue – Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, which connected the railway station to Porta Sant’Agostino, one of the entrances to the upper part of the city, Bergamo Alta. For this reason, the monastic order was suppressed in 1810, the church was demolished in 1856 and then rebuilt a little further from the original place. The ancient church was dedicated to the Madonna delle Grazie, but with the dogmatic proclamation of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 1854, the bishop of Bergamo, Pietro Luigi Speranza, renamed the church to Santa Maria Immacolata delle Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Nuovo

    Palazzo Nuovo is a beautiful palace in Bergamo, located in the upper part of the city, Città Alta, on the northern side of the Piazza Vecchia, across the square from the Palazzo della Ragione. The palace currently houses the Angelo Mai Civic Library, one of the most important historic preservation institutions in Italy, with over 677,000 volumes, 2,200 incunabula and 16,800 manuscripts.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Nuovo, as it was called in contrast to the Palazzo Vecchio (Palazzo della Ragione), was built by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi to house the city’s town hall. The construction of the palace began in the early 17th century, and was definitively completed only in 1958 with the placing of six statues, works of the sculptor Tobia Vescovi, on the facade overlooking the Piazza Vecchia. The access loggia, which lightens the facade, was designed by the architect Andrea Ceresola, who was also responsible for the reconstruction of the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa. The white marble facade was built in 1928 by the architect Ernesto Pirovano, who took into account the initial project of Scamozzi. The Angelo Mai Civic Library, which was initially housed in the Palazzo della Ragione, was transferred in 1928 to the Palazzo Read more [...]

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    Piazza Vecchia

    Piazza Vecchia (Old Square) is a beautiful square in Bergamo, located on the upper part of the city, known as the Città Alta. For many centuries, the square was the fulcrum of the political and civil power of Bergamo, and today is a favorite meeting place for locals.   SHORT HISTORY Piazza Vecchia was built on the place of the ancient Roman forum of the city. Beginning with the 11th century, numerous dwellings were built on the square. In the 13th century, the reclamation of the area began, and the dwellings were demolished. The square became the city center only in the Middle Ages, more precisely in the 12th century, with the construction of the Palazzo della Ragione, the seat of the Municipality. The buildings surrounding the square were built starting with the 15th century.   ARCHITECTURE To the north of the square, we can find the Palazzo Nuovo, which houses the Angelo Mai Library. The palace was built to a design by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi starting with the early 17th century and was completed only in 1958, with the placing of the last ornamental works on the facade. In the western part of the square, there is the Read more [...]

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    Church of Saints Bartholomew and Stephen

    The Church of Saints Bartholomew and Stephen is a beautiful church in Bergamo, located in the modern part of the city, known as Città Bassa, along the famous Sentierone, one of the most important avenues of the town.   SHORT HISTORY A former church dedicated to Saint Stephen was demolished on November 11, 1561, for the construction of the Venetian walls which surrounds the Città Alta. From the numerous friars who lived in the convent, only eight remained as guests in the Church of San Bernardino. On August 14, 1572, the friars moved to the small Church of San Bartolomeo, given to them by the Pope Pius V. The Church of Saint Bartholomew was rebuilt in the first half of the 17th century, more precisely between 1603 and 1642, on a project by the architect Anton Maria Caneva of Como. The church was consecrated on January 19, 1782, by the bishop of Bergamo, Giovanni Paolo Dolfin.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The church has a simple structure, but at the same time elegant and grandiose, measuring 60 meters in lenght and 14 meters in width, without the chapels. The facade, completed at the end of the 19th century by the architect Read more [...]

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    Isola Tiberina

    Isola Tiberina (Tiber Island) is a small island in Rome, on the river Tiber, conected to the two banks of the river by Ponte Cestio and Ponte Fabricio.   SHORT HISTORY According to legend, the island was formed in 510 BC from the wheat and grain harvested in the nearby area of Campo Marzio (Field of Mars), a land owned by the hated tyrant Tarquinius Superbus. In the 3rd century BC, the island housed the temple of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. In the first half of the 1st century BC, Isola Tiberina was paved with travertine and the bridges Fabricio and Cestio were built. By then, the island resembled a ship, and an obelisk was erected in the middle, symbolizing the vessel’s mast. In time, the obelisk was destroyed and replaced with a column. After it was removed in 1867, Pope Pius IX had an aedicula (small shrine) put in its place. In 998, Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, built the Basilica of San Bartolomeo all’Isola, on the ruins of the Asclepius temple. Due to the church, in the early 20th century, the Tiber Island was called the Isola di San Bartolomeo (Saint Bartholomew Island) and the Cestius Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Consulta

    Palazzo della Consulta is a palace in Rome, located in Piazza del Quirinale, which houses the Constitutional Court of the Italian Republic since 1955.   SHORT HISTORY The palace rises on the remains of the Baths of Constantine, on the southern slope of the Quirinal Hill, replacing a previous building erected under Pope Sixtus V by Cardinal Ferrero da Vercelli to house the Sacred Congregation of the Consulta (Papal State Council) and then expanded by Pope Paul V in the early 17th century. The current palace, which was completed in 1737 under the direction of the architect Ferdinando Fuga, was commissioned by Pope Clement XII to house both the headquarters of the secretariat of the Sacred Congregation of the Consulta and the Signatura dei Brevi, both the corps of Cavalrymen and that of the Corazze (Noble Guard). Between 1798 and 1814, the palace was the seat of the Prefecture of Rome, and starting with 1849, during the Roman Republic, it was the seat of the Government of the triumvirate of Giuseppe Mazzini, Carlo Armellini and Aurelio Saffi. After the annexation of Rome, from 1871 to 1874, the hereditary Prince Umberto I resided in the palace with his wife, Margherita di Read more [...]

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    Palazzo delle Scuderie del Quirinale

    Palazzo delle Scuderie del Quirinale (Palace of the Quirinal Stables) is a palace in Rome, located in the southern area of the Piazza del Quirinale, on the opposite side of the Palazzo del Quirinale.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo delle Scuderie del Quirinale was built between 1722 and 1732 on a piece of land owned by the Colonna family, close to another building owned by the same family, the beautiful Palazzo Colonna. The project of the current palace belongs to the architect Alessandro Specchi, who was commissioned by Pope Innocent XIII to design a building intended to replace the previous one built in the early 18th century by Carlo Fontana. When Innocent XIII died, in 1730, the new Pope Clement XII entrusted Ferdinando Fuga with the task of completing the work. The building maintained its original function as a stable until 1938, the year in which it was transformed into a garage. In the 1980s, the palace was transformed into a museum of carriages. Between 1997 and 1999, it was completely restored to a design by the Friulian architect Gae Aulenti, in time for the Jubilee of the year 2000. Designed as an important exhibition space of about 1,500 square meters, Read more [...]

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    Piazza del Quirinale

    Piazza del Quirinale is one of the many beautiful squares of Rome, located on the Quirinal Hill, near the palace of the same name.   ARCHITECTURE The square is located on top of the Quirinal Hill, the highest of the seven hills of Rome, so called because once there stood the temple of Quirino. The square is bordered to the north-east by the imposing Palazzo del Quirinale, the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic, built between the years 1573 and 1585 by Martino Longhi and Ottaviano Mascherino as the summer residence of the Roman pontiffs. The east side of the square is bordered by the Palazzo della Consulta. The building, which was completed in 1737 under the direction of the architect Ferdinando Fuga, was commissioned by Pope Clement XII to house the Papal State court. Between 1798 and 1814, the palace was the seat of the Prefecture of Rome, and from 1871 to 1874 was the residence of Prince Umberto I. In 1955, the palace became the seat of the Constitutional Court of Italy. Another building flanking the square, near the Palazzo della Consulta, is the Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi, commissioned in 1603 by the Borghese family. On the Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Susanna alle Terme di Diocleziano

    The Church of Saint Susanna at the Baths of Diocletian (Chiesa di Santa Susanna alle Terme di Diocleziano) is a beautiful church in Rome, located about 250 meters from the Piazza della Repubblica.   SHORT HISTORY The Church of Santa Susanna is one of the oldest churches in Rome. The original place of worship was built around the year 280 AD on the remains of three Roman villas, outside the wall of the Baths of Diocletian and the Servian Wall, the first wall built to defend the city. According to tradition, the church was built in Susanna’s House, where the Saint was martyred in 294 AD. Excavations made in the 19th century, actually brought to light the remains of a Roman house from the 3rd century, now visible through the glass paving of the sacristy. Other excavations from 1990 brought to light a Roman sarcophagus with fragments of painted plaster inside. Pope Sergius I restored the church at the end of the 7th century, Pope Leo III rebuilt it from the ground in 796 and later, in 1475, the church was rebuilt again by Pope Sixtus IV. The facade of the church was completed in Baroque style in 1603 by Read more [...]

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    Port of Ischia

    The Port of Ischia is a completely natural harbor on Ischia, located in the northern part of the island.   SHORT HISTORY In ancient times, the port was actually a lake known as the Lago del Borgo. The lake was formed probably in the 4th or 3rd century BC in the crater of a volcano, which later collapsed due to an earthquake. The lake was over two meters deep, measured about 100,000 square meters and contained an inhabited small island called Tondo. In 1670, a small opening was created to fill the lake with water every time its level dropped. On the southern hill, near the lake, a casino was built in 1735 by Francesco Buonocore, which was at the same time a holiday home for himself and a luxury clinic for famous people. The place exerted an irresistible attraction for Ferdinand IV, King of the Two Sicilies, who dedicated himself to frequent fishing parties on the lake. The enthusiasm for the place led him to rent the casino, some neighboring lands and the lake, owned at that time by the University of Ischia. Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies between 1830 and 1859, expressed his opinion in favor Read more [...]

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    Beach of San Pietro

    The Beach of San Pietro is a beautiful beach on the island of Ischia, located about 450 meters away from the Port of Ischia. The fine sand of the beach and the shallow waters are ideal for families with children and for older people. The beach is almost 600 meters long and about 70 meters in its widest part. Concession beaches alternate with sections of free beaches, and there are also many bars and restaurants in the area. Due to its location near the historical center of Ischia, where numerous hotels await their guests during the summer months, the Beach of San Pietro can be overcrowded in July and August.   HOW TO GET THERE The Beach of San Pietro is located about 270 meters from the Piazzale Antica Reggia and about 150 meters from the central Via Roma. Although it is easy to find, if you need directions, use the map below.

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    Church of San Nicolò l’Arena

    The Church of San Nicolò l’Arena is a church in Catania, located in Piazza Dante Alighieri. The church, measuring 105 meters in length, about 71 meters in width in the transept area, with a maximum height of 66 meters at the dome, is the largest in Sicily. The first church erected by the Benedictines in Catania was entitled Sancti Nicolai de Arenis, after the Saint Nicholas of Bari and the red sandstone (rena rossa) of Nicolosi, a town in the province of Catania from which the monks arrived.   SHORT HISTORY The grandiose Monastery of San Nicolò l’Arena was founded on November 28, 1558. The church was inaugurated in 1578, in the presence of the viceroy of Sicily Juan de la Cerda. In 1669, the structure was destroyed by the Etna eruption that struck the western side of the city. Starting with 1687, the church was rebuilt further south than the original site, on a project by the Roman architect Giovanni Battista Contini. In 1693, the works were interrupted by the violent earthquake of the Val di Noto, and for the next thirty years the monastery remained without a main church. In 1730, the construction of the church was resumed, Read more [...]

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    Teatro Massimo Vincenzo Bellini

    Teatro Massimo Vincenzo Bellini is an opera house in Catania, named after the local-born composer Vincenzo Bellini. The theater is located in the square with the same name, about 350 meters from the Piazza del Duomo and the Cathedral of Sant’Agata.   SHORT HISTORY The construction of a public theater in Catania was proposed right after the earthquake of the Val di Noto of 1693, which destroyed most of the cities in the area, but a foundation stone was laid only in 1812, over 100 years after the terrible event. In 1870, the architect Andrea Scala was given the task of finding a suitable site to build a new theater, and after examining the various options it was decided for the Piazza Cutelli area. Despite the financial uncertainties, the project was approved, and Scala, with the assistance of the Milanese architect Carlo Sada, carried out the works. In 1880, the company financing the project ended up in liquidation, and was replaced by the Municipality, which decided to make some modifications to the structure of the theater. In 1887, the building was completed, but the inauguration took place only on May 31, 1890, with Norma, an opera by Vincenzo Bellini.   Read more [...]

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    Fontana dell’Amenano

    Fontana dell’Amenano is a beautiful fountain in Catania, located in the southern part of Piazza del Duomo, next to the Palazzo del Seminario dei Chierici and near the Cathedral of Sant’Agata.   SHORT HISTORY The fountain was built in 1867 by the Neapolitan sculptor Tito Angelini.   ARCHITECTURE The fountain consists of a large shell in white Carrara marble, in which stands the statue of the river Amenano, represented as a young man. The statue holds a cornucopia from which water flows into a convex basin. On each side of the statue, there is the sculpture of a triton. The shell rests on a base on which is placed the coat of arms of the city. On the opposite side of the fountain, we can find an emblem that contains the year in which the monument was inaugurated. From the basin of the fountain, the water pours into the underground river Amenano, located about two meters below the square level. Behind the fountain, a lava stone staircase leads to the Pescheria, the ancient city market of Catania.   HOW TO GET THERE Fontana dell’Amenano is located about 1.4 kilometers from the Catania Centrale railway station. The closest bus stop is Read more [...]

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    Piazza del Duomo

    Piazza del Duomo is the main square of Catania, located at the intersection of three important boulevards – Via Etnea, the historical axis of the city, Via Giuseppe Garibaldi and Via Vittorio Emanuele II.   ARCHITECTURE On the eastern side of the square, stands the Cathedral of Sant’Agata, Duomo di Catania, from which the square takes its name. The Cathedral was destroyed by the earthquake of 1693, and was rebuilt in the 18th century by the architect Girolamo Palazzotto, with the facade designed by Giovanni Battista Vaccarini. In 1857, the bell tower of the Cathedral was completed, and the current layout of the churchyard appeared in the 19th century. To the south of the square, there is the Palazzo del Seminario dei Chierici, a Baroque palace rebuilt after the earthquake of the Val di Noto, in the first decades of the 18th century by the architect Alonzo di Benedetto, and subsequently enlarged in 1757 by Francesco Battaglia. Between the Palace of the Seminary of the Clerics and the Cathedral of Sant’Agata, there is the Porta Uzeda, which connects the two buildings mentioned above, beeing also the southern entrance to the square. The Uzeda Gate was named after the Spanish viceroy Read more [...]