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, here is a list of Italy’s best-known attractions and sights…

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    Palazzo Agostini

    Palazzo Agostini, commonly known as Palazzo dell’Ussero or Palazzo Rosso (Red Palace), is one of the most beautiful palaces in Pisa and one of the main examples of Gothic architecture in Tuscany. The palace, belonging to the noble family Agostini Fantini Venerosi della Seta Gaetani Bocca Grassi, is home to the Caffè dell’Ussero starting with 1775, and houses the Cinema Lumière since 1899.   SHORT HISTORY In the first half of the 14th century, the Astajo family built their palace by merging two older buildings. In 1447, the heirs of Jacopo and Filippo Astajo ceded the palace to Antonio Primi. Later, the palace passed to the Florentine family Visdomini who, on 25 January 1465, ceded it to the brothers Antonio and Pietro, Pisan goldsmiths. In 1496, the palace was bought by Mariano and Pietro Agostini, belonging to a family of mercantile origin, specialized in the silk trade. The palace was restored in 1895 on a project of the architect Angelo Giannini. On May 12, 1895, the roof was added by Luigi Corona, on a design of the architect Luigi Del Moro.   ARCHITECTURE The facade, covered in terracotta tiles with a characteristic reddish color, from which the palace draws its Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Cristina

    The Church of Santa Cristina is a church located on the southern bank of the Arno river, on the Lungarno Gambacorti, in Pisa, a few meters away from the Palazzo Blu.   SHORT HISTORY The church is documented since the 8th century, but the external apsidal structures are attributed to the 10th century. The church was destroyed by a flood in 1115 and rebuilt in 1118. From the 13th to the 16th century, it was the property of the Canonici del Duomo. The Count Luigi Archinto, member of a prominent Milanese family, moved to Pisa in the late 18th century, and in 1814 he acquired the Agnello palace adjacent to the church. The Count Archinto commissioned the reconstruction of the church, which was in a very poor conservation. The church was restored in its current form in 1816 on a project by Francesco Riccetti, when the bell tower was also built. In 1854, according to the project of Lanfranco Mei regarding the enlargement of the Lungarno Gambacorti, the position of the church was in a strong contrast with the harmony of the nearby buildings. Saved by the proposal of demolition, it was decided to rectify the rectory overlooking the river. Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Giuli Rosselmini Gualandi

    Palazzo Giuli Rosselmini Gualandi is a palace located in Pisa, on the Lungarno Gambacorti, near the Church of Santa Cristina. The palace has recently become known as the Palazzo Blu (Blue Palace), because of the restored color of its plasterwork.   SHORT HISTORY On November 14, 1356, Doge Giovanni Dell’Agnello, owner of some properties in the area, obtained permission to enlarge some of his buildings, thus raising the first nucleus of the palace, a structure composed of large pillars, with two or more modules, joined to form ogival arches, filled with bricks and decorated with single mullioned windows. During the first Florentine domination, between 1406 and 1494, the building underwent considerable changes, due to the decline of the Dell’Agnello family. Passed to the Municipality at the end of the 14th century, it became the property of the Republic of Florence, which used it as the headquarters for the five supervisors of the occupied city, until it was given back to Giovan Bernardino Dell’Agnello. Towards the end of the 16th century, the complex was transformed by the families of Sancasciano and Del Testa. It was precisely Emilio Del Testa, who in 1593 radically transformed the building to a sumptuous late-Renaissance palace, Read more [...]

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    Piazza dei Cavalieri

    Piazza dei Cavalieri is, after the more famous Piazza dei Miracoli, the second most important square of the city of Pisa. In ancient times, the square represented the center of civil power, while starting from the second half of the 16th century it became the headquarters of the Order of the Knights of Saint Stephen, commissioned by the Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici.   SHORT HISTORY Starting with 1140, Piazza dei Cavalieri became the heart of the municipality of Pisa, with buildings and churches used by the different magistrates of the city. After the seizure of power by the Pisan people in 1254, it was built by merging pre-existing buildings the Palazzo degli Anziani (Palace of the Elders), today the Palazzo della Carovana. The Captain of the People (Capitano del Popolo) resided in the nearby Palazzo dell’Orologio, which belonged to the Gualandi family and incorporated the famous Tower of Muda or Della Fame, where in 1289 the Count Ugolino died. The works for the complete transformation of the square began in 1558, after Cosimo I decided to dedicate it to the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen, founded with papal approval in 1562. Giorgio Vasari was comissioned to Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Canonica

    Palazzo della Canonica is a palace dating from the 16th century, located in Piazza dei Cavalieri, in Pisa, near the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, across the square from the Palazzo della Carovana.   SHORT HISTORY In 1567, Cosimo I de’ Medici donated the medieval buildings standing between Via Ulisse Dini and Via San Frediano, to provide quarters for the important and influential division of the priests of the Order of Knights of Saint Stephen. Giorgio Vasari was comissioned to design the palace, along with the whole new layout of the square, and David Fortini was the architect to built it. The works on the building lasted over forty years, because most of the funds available were directed to the construction of the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri. The interventions continued until the 17th century. Between 1604 and 1607, the rooms on the top floor were built, which were renovated between 1690 and 1692, with further additions at the middle of the 19th century.   ARCHITECTURE The long facade of the palace closely resembles that of the Palazzo della Carovana. Three rows of windows define its facade as a whole, masking the differences between the medieval buildings joined Read more [...]

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    Church of San Francesco

    The Church of San Francesco is a church dating from the 13th century, located in Piazza San Francesco, in Pisa.   SHORT HISTORY Mentioned for the first time in a document from 1233, the church was rebuilt starting with 1261 at the behest of the archbishop Federico Visconti. Between 1265 and 1270, the works were directed by Giovanni di Simone. During this time, the slender bell-tower was also built. The new church included many private chapels belonging to noble Pisan families. The chapels, which preserve ancient tombs, were built and adorned by the Pisan families, who exercised the right of patronage on the church, while the Franciscan monks only limited themselves to the administration of the cult. Two new cloisters and the San Bernardino chapel were added in the 15th century. The marble facade dates back to 1603, and the interior was renovated in the same 17th century. In 1863, following a law of December 1861, the church and convent were deconsecrated and converted to military barracks. All the objects, paintings and ornaments were therefore withdrawn by the families, who exercised their patronage rights. On 7 July 1866, the church was transformed into a warehouse. On 22 May 1893, the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Lanfreducci

    Palazzo Lanfreducci, also called Palazzo alla Giornata or Palazzo Upezzinghi, after the 19th century owners, is a Mannerist or early Baroque-style palace on the Lungarno Antonio Pacinotti, in Pisa. The building is now the seat of the Rectorate of the University of Pisa.   SHORT HISTORY Built at the behest of Francesco Lanfreducci, Knight of Malta and exponent of an important and ancient family of Pisa from the 13th century, the palace owes its present appearance to the Sienese architect Cosimo Pugliani, who suprevised the works between 1594 and the early 17th century. The Pisans called it Palazzo alla Giornata, inspired by the motto chosen by its owner. One of the many legends raised by the enigmatic motto alla Giornata (on the day of the battle) tells that, after a long imprisonment in Algiers, the Knight Lanfreducci placed that inscription above the door as a reflection on the precariousness of life. Behind the palace, there was a church called San Biagio delle Catene, owned by the Lanfreducci family. Torre dei Lanfreducci (Tower of Lanfreducci) is one of Pisa’s best preserved medieval towers, located in the internal courtyard of the palace. The tower, with a rectangular plan, was built in two Read more [...]

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    Ponte di Mezzo

    Ponte di Mezzo, commonly known as the Ponte Conte Ugolino, is a bridge over the Arno river, in Pisa. The bridge connects Piazza Garibaldi, belonging to Tramontana, the northern part of the city, to Piazza XX Settembre, located south of the river, in Mezzogiorno. Every year, on the last Saturday of June, a historical reenactment event takes place on the Ponte di Mezzo, known as the Battle of the Bridge (Gioco del Ponte).   SHORT HISTORY Until the 12th century, Pisa had only one bridge, made initially of wood, which connected the two banks of the Arno river in the position where currently is the Church of Santa Cristina. In 1035, the year of the victory of Lipari, the wooden bridge was rebuilt in stone and moved further east, where currently stands the Ponte di Mezzo. The bridge was restored by the order of Pietro Gambacorta in 1388, owner of the homonymous palace. In 1635, the bridge, known at the time as Ponte Vecchio, collapsed due to a flood of the Arno. The reconstruction work took about thirty years, and the bridge was completed in 1660. In the early decades of the 20th century, Pisa’s tram network went into service, Read more [...]

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    Palazzo dell’Orologio

    Palazzo dell’Orologio (Palace of the Clock) is a palace in Pisa, located in Piazza dei Cavalieri, near the more famous Palazzo della Carovana and about 100 meters away from the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavaleri.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo dell’Orologio is an ancient medieval building where the Captain of the People (Capitano del Popolo) resided from 1357, when the palace already belonged to the Gualandi family. When the palace was built, it incorporated the famous Torre della Muda (or della Fame – Tower of Hunger) where in 1289 the Count Ugolino Della Gherardesca, along with his sons and grandchildren, died of hunger. The profile of the tower is still recognizable to the left of the central arch, where the 20th-century four-light window opens today. Starting with 1566, the palace housed the infirmary of the Order of the Knights of Saint Stephen. The health manager was called Bonomo, and for this reason the palace is also known as Palazzo del Bonomo. The current appearance of the palace dates back to 1605-1608, when two neighboring buildings were joined through an arch with a clock, according to a project of Giorgio Vasari from 1554. Between 1607 and 1609, Giovanni Stefano Marucelli and Read more [...]

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    Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri

    The Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri is a church dedicated to Saint Stephen, first martyr of Christianity, located in the historical center of Pisa, in Piazza dei Cavalieri, near to the beautiful Palazzo della Carovana.   SHORT HISTORY The first stone of the church was laid on 17 April 1565 by Cosimo I de’ Medici. The church was built for the Order of the Knights of Saint Stephen, founded by the Grand Duke to combat Saracen piracy in the Mediterranean. Designed by Giorgio Vasari, with the works being supervised by David Fortini, the church was built on the site of the old Church of San Sebastiano alle Fabbriche Maggiori, documented since 1074. The construction was completed in August 1567, and the church was consecrated on December 1569. The bell tower, added between 1570 and 1572, was erected by Giovanni Fancelli based on a design by Vasari. In the following century, the church was decorated with most of the paintings that are still on display, painted by the greatest Florentine masters of the 17th century. The altar and the nave were designed by Pier Francesco Silvani. Between 1683 and 1691, the two side bodies were built, used as dressing rooms Read more [...]

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    Church of San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno

    The Church of San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno (St. Paul on the bank of the Arno), is a church from the 10th century located in Pisa, on the Lungarno Sidney Sonnino, in the homonymous square.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built around the year 925 and is attested in documents dating back to 1032. The associated convent has been documented since 1147. The church and the monastery belonged to the Benedictine monks until 1092, when it was given to the Vallumbrosan monks. In the mid-twelfth century, it was enlarged in similar forms to the contemporary Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Later, the church and the monastery were entrusted to the cardinal Landolfo Marramauro and, in the 16th century, it was assigned to the Order of the Knights of Saint Stephen. After the suppression of the order, the church became a parish. In the 19th century, several restorations were made, but the building suffered some damage during the Second World War and was therefore restored again between 1949 and 1952. Just as a result of the post-war interventions, most of the buildings adjacent to the church were demolished. In 2012, it was closed due to precarious conditions. Restoration started in Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria della Spina

    The Church of Santa Maria della Spina is a small Gothic church in Pisa, located on the southern bank of the river Arno. The title della Spina comes from a thorn of the crown of thorns placed on Christ during his Crucifixion, which was brought to the church in 1333, but is kept in the Church of Santa Chiara since the 19th century.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built in 1230 by the Gualandi family, and it was originally called Santa Maria di Pontenovo, because of a nearby bridge across the river Arno that connected Via Sant’Antonio to Via Santa Maria, collapsed in the 15th century. Between 1323 and 1376, enlargement works were made, probably under the direction of the architect Lupo di Francesco. Starting with the 5th decade of the 15th century, the works were supervised by the architect Andrea Pisano and his son, Nino. After the unification of Italy, the city council and a commission formed by members of the Academy of Fine Arts decided to dismantle and rebuild the church on a higher ground. The works, led by the architect Vincenzo Micheli, started in 1871 and ended in 1875. This intervention moved the building a few Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Toscanelli

    Palazzo Toscanelli, known until the 19th century as the Palazzo Lanfranchi, is a Renaissance-style palace located on the Lungarno Mediceo, in Pisa, about 120 meters away of the Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici. Since 1913, the palace is the seat of the State Archive (Archivio di Stato di Pisa), which holds an impressive collection of documents from the archives of the Pisan Republic. Over time, the archive was enriched with documents from the Pisan monasteries or donations from private individuals belonging to noble Tuscan families.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the first half of the 16th century by Bartolomeo Lanfranchi. Another palace commissioned later by Alessandro Lanfranchi stands across the Arno river. In 1576, the palace was refurbished after a design by Francesco Mosca. Lord Byron lived in the palace between 1821 and 1822. From here, the English poet left for Greece, where he died in 1824. The Toscanelli family bought the palace in 1827. The current appearance of the building dates back to the same 19th century, when Palazzo Toscanelli was renovated by the architect Alessandro Gherardesca. Giovan Battista Toscanelli and his wife, Angiola Cipriani, lived in the palace, gaining over time a large and prominent art Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici

    Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici, formerly Palazzo Appiano, is a palace in Pisa, located on the Lungarno Mediceo, about 120 meters away of Palazzo Toscanelli. Today, Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici is the seat of the Prefecture.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the 13th century, on the site of a previous building dating back to the 11th century. The Appiani family, lords of Pisa between 1392 and 1398, lived here until 1446, when the palace was bought by the Medici family. Lorenzo de’ Medici often stayed there, as he came to the Tuscan coast to cure his frail health. The King Charles VIII of France, guest of Piero di Lorenzo de’ Medici, also known as Piero the Unfortunate, resided in the palace in 1494, when Florence rebelled against Piero and he was exiled from the city. In 1539, the palace was the residence of Cosimo I de’ Medici. In 1574, Francesco I de’ Medici built a new Medici palace in Pisa, Palazzo Reale, and by 1784, the Medici Palace was sold to Jacopo Finocchietti. In 1871, the architect Ranieri Simonelli was comissioned by Vittoria Spinola, the morganatic daughter of Vittorio Emanuele II, to restore the palace. The architect transformed Read more [...]

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    Arch of Constantine

    The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch with three archways, located in Rome, near the Colosseum. The arch was commissioned by the Roman Senate to commemorate the victory of Constantine the Great against Maxentius in the Battle of Ponte Milvo in 312.   SHORT HISTORY It seems that the monument was built at the time of Hadrian, Roman emperor between 117 and 138, and subsequently remodeled in the Constantinian era, with the displacement of the columns, the remaking of the attic, the insertion of the Trajan frieze on the inner walls of the central archway, and the execution of the reliefs and decorations specific to the time of Constantine. The arch was inaugurated in 315, on the occasion of the decennial of Constantine’s reign. In 1530, Lorenzino de’ Medici was expelled from Rome for cutting the heads of the sculptures on the arch, which were partially restored in the 18th century. In 1960, during the Games of the XVII Olympiad, the Arch of Constantine was the spectacular finish line for the marathon event won barefoot by the Ethiopian Abebe Bikila.   ARCHITECTURE The Arch of Constantine is 21 meters high, 25.9 meters wide and 7.4 meters deep. The central Read more [...]

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    Theatre of Marcellus

    The Theatre of Marcellus is an ancient theater in Rome, built at the behest of Julius Caesar in the southern area of Campo Marzio, between the Tiber River and the Campidoglio.   SHORT HISTORY Julius Caesar wanted a theater to rival the one built in Campo Marzio by Pompey. For this purpose, a large area was expropriated, and many buildings were demolished. At the death of Caesar, only the foundations had been laid, and the work was resumed by Augustus, who raised a building larger than originally planned. The first use of the building for performances dates back to the year 17 BC. In 13 BC, the theatre was officially inaugurated, and dedicated to Marcus Claudius Marcellus, the nephew of Augustus. A first restoration of the theatre took place under Vespasian, in the first century AD, and other restorations were made under Severus Alexander, in the third century. In medieval times, the area was gradually occupied by small buildings and the theatre was turned into a fortified castle.   ARCHITECTURE The original height of the building was approximately 32.60 meters, while its diameter was about 111 meters, and it could hold up to 20,000 spectators. The travertine facade has three Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria di Loreto

    The Church of Santa Maria di Loreto is a beautiful church located in Piazza Venezia, in Rome, close to the Trajan’s Column and the Forum of Trajan.   SHORT HISTORY In 1500, the Congregazione dei Fornai (Congregation of Bakers) obtained from Pope Alexander VI a small chapel, that was demolished to build the current church. The works, based on a project by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, were started in 1507. The dome of the church was built by Giacomo del Duca in 1582. In the 19th century, the church was restored by Luca Carimini, and completed with a presbytery by Giuseppe Sacconi, the architect of the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The architecture is characterized by pilasters in travertine that stand out on the brick walls, and is notable for the beauty of its proportions. The project is characterized by simple overlapping volumes – the body of the church with a square plan, surmounted by the octagonal volume of the drum, on which is placed the dome. At the top of the dome, we can find the lantern, with a very elaborate shape. The interior is octagonal in shape, with four chapels, and the Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli

    The Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli is a church located on the Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill), in Rome, known for housing relics belonging to Saint Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine.   SHORT HISTORY A first church was built here in the 6th century, on the ruins of a Temple dedicated to Juno Moneta. In the 9th century, the church was taken over by the papacy. Near the end of the 12th century, Palazzo Senatorio (Senatorial Palace) was built on the Capitoline Hill, and the area started to develop. In 1250, the Pope Innocent IV granted the ownership of the church to the Franciscan Order. The Franciscans restored the church, giving it the current Romanesque-Gothic appearance. The imposing marble staircase was built in 1348, as a vow to the Virgin, to put an end to the plague that raged throughout Europe. During the occupation of Rome, in 1797, the French took possession of the hill, killing the Franciscan friars and reducing the church to a stable. The restorations of the church began as early as 1799, the little temple of Saint Helena was rebuilt in 1833, and the new organ of the choir was inaugurated in 1848. With the Unification of Read more [...]

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    National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II

    The National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II (Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II), commonly known as Vittoriano or Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), is a large monument located in Piazza Venezia, on the northern slope of the Campidoglio Hill, in Rome. The monument, which can be seen from almost every point in the city, is dedicated to Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy, the first king of the unified Kingdom of Italy, and to the idea of Risorgimento, the process of national unity and liberation from foreign domination.   SHORT HISTORY After the death of Victor Emmanuel II on 9 January 1878, there have been several initiatives to build a permanent monument to celebrate the king. On September 23, 1880, it was launched an international competition for the project of the monument, in which 311 competitors took part. The competition was won by the French architect Henri-Paul Nénot, but his project was later abandoned. After a second and a third competition, it was chosen in 1884 the project of the young architect Giuseppe Sacconi. After the death of Giuseppe Sacconi, which took place in 1905, the works continued under the direction of Gaetano Koch, Manfredo Manfredi and Pio Piacentini. Read more [...]

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    Trajan’s Column

    The Trajan’s Column is an ancient monument built to celebrate the conquest of Dacia by the emperor Trajan. Nearly 2000 years after its construction, the column is almost intact, and it’s the best preserved element of the Trajan’s Forum, the largest Imperial Forum of Rome.   SHORT HISTORY The column, probably built under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus, was inaugurated on May 12, 113 AD, and describes the wars with Dacia held between 101 and 106. In 1162, a document of the medieval Senate established the column as a public property and forbade its damage. During the 16th century, some private buildings in the vicinity of the column were demolished, to create a space around it, and the monument can be admired from afar. In 1588, under Pope Sixtus V, the column was renovated by Domenico Fontana. On that occasion, the bronze statue of St. Peter was placed at the top of the column and a fence was erected.   ARCHITECTURE The column is 29.78 meters in height, or 39.86 meters if you include the pedestal and the statue on top, has a 3.83 meters in diameter, and is made from 20 Carrara marble blocks, each weighing Read more [...]

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    Forum of Trajan

    The Forum of Trajan, also known as Forum Ulpium, is the largest and most monumental of the Imperial Forums of Rome, and the last in chronological order.   SHORT HISTORY Built by the emperor Trajan with the spoils of war from the conquest of Dacia, and inaugurated in 112, the forum was arranged parallel to the Forum of Caesar and perpendicular to that of Augustus. The building of the new monumental complex, commissioned by Trajan himself, required extensive excavation work, involving the elimination of the saddle that connected the Capitoline and Quirinale Hills, and closed the valley of the Fori Imperiali towards Campo Marzio. At the same time, the Mercati di Traiano (Trajan’s Markets) were built, a complex of buildings with mainly administrative functions, linked to the activities that took place in the forum. The project of the new complex is attributed to Apollodorus of Damascus, who accompanied Trajan in his military campaigns in Dacia.   ARCHITECTURE The complex, which measures 300 meters in length and 185 meters in width, includes the Trajan’s Markets, the Basilica Ulpia, a porticoed courtyard with the Trajan’s Column and the Ulpian Library. All the buildings of the Forum were covered with marbles and stuccos, Read more [...]

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    Palazzo di Giustizia

    Palazzo di Giustizia is the seat of the Supreme Court of Cassation of Italy, located in Piazza Cavour, in Rome. The palace is commonly called the Palazzaccio (Bad Palace), due to its unusual dimensions, excessive decorations and laborious construction, which led, at the beginning of the 20th century, to the suspicion of corruption.   SHORT HISTORY The palace, one of the major works created after the proclamation of Rome as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, was built between 1889 and 1911 by the Perugian architect Guglielmo Calderini. The official inauguration of the works, with the laying of the first stone, took place on the afternoon of 14 March 1889, in the presence of the sovereigns Umberto I and Margherita. The palace was inaugurated 22 years after the beginning of the works, in the presence of the sovereign Vittorio Emanuele III, on 11 January 1911. At the end of the sixties, the cracks and collapses increased, a commission of specialists was established to decide the fate of the monument, and most of them called for its demolition. However, the demolition cost was enormous, and it was decided that the palace will be saved. In the seventies, the palace underwent Read more [...]

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    Piazza di Spagna

    Piazza di Spagna, known in the past as Piazza di Francia, is one of the most beautiful squares in Rome. The square owes its name to the Palazzo di Spagna, seat of the Embassy of Spain among the Holy See.   ARCHITECTURE To the east of the square, we can find the Spanish Steps, a monumental staircase of 135 steps built between 1723 and 1725, which makes the connection between Piazza di Spagna, at the base, and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Church of Trinità dei Monti, at the top. On the right corner of the staircase is the house of the English poet John Keats, who died there in 1821. Today, the building hosts a museum dedicated to his memory and that of his friend Percy Bysshe Shelley. On the left corner of the staircase is the Babington’s tea room, a traditional English tea shop founded in 1893 by two English women, Isabel Cargill and Anne Marie Babington. To the south of the square stands the Palazzo di Propaganda Fide, a palace owned by the Holy See. Its main facade was designed by the sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and the front side of the Via Read more [...]

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    Piazza della Repubblica

    Piazza della Repubblica is one of the most famous squares in Rome, located on the Viminal Hill, the smallest of the seven hills of the city, a few hundred meters away from the Termini station, in front of the Baths of Diocletian.   SHORT HISTORY The first name of the square, Piazza dell’Esedra, still very common today, originates from the great exedra of the Roman baths, whose perimeter is traced by the semicircular colonnade of the square. The arcades that embellish the square were built between 1887 and 1898 by the architect Gaetano Koch, precisely in memory of the ancient buildings that stood there.   ARCHITECTURE The Fountain of the Naiads in the center of the square is the work of the Palermitan sculptor Mario Rutelli, who carved it in 1901. The naiads represented are the Nymph of the Lakes, the Nymph of the Rivers, the Nymph of the Oceans and the Nymph of the Underground Waters. At the center of the fountain is the Glaucus group, sculpted in 1912, symbolizing man’s domination over natural forces. To the north of the square, we can find the Baths of Diocletian, public baths in ancient Rome, built between 298 and 306 AD. Read more [...]

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    Castello di Riomaggiore

    Castello di Riomaggiore is a castle located in the upper part of the historic center of Riomaggiore. The castle, with a quadrangular structure and two stubby circular towers, was used originally for defensive purposes, and later converted into a cemetery. Today, the castle is used by the municipality as a conference hall and cultural center.   SHORT HISTORY According to historical sources, the castle was built by the Turcotti Marquises in 1260, lords of the village of Ripalta, near Borghetto di Vara, on the ruins of a pre-existing fortress. After the domination of the Count Nicolò Fieschi, a new castle, located on the hill that divides the valley of Rio Maggiore from that of Rio Finale, was finally completed by the Republic of Genoa between the 15th and 16th centuries. During the French domination of Napoleon Bonaparte, the internal area of the fort was filled with earth and destined for the burial of the deceased locals. At the end of the 20th century, the whole complex underwent a general recovery, being converted into a cultural center.   HOW TO GET THERE The Castle of Riomaggiore is located about 450 meters away from the Riomaggiore train station, or about 10 minutes on Read more [...]

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    Oratorio dei Santi Rocco e Sebastiano

    Oratorio dei Santi Rocco e Sebastiano (the Oratory of Saints Roch and Sebastian) is a small place of worship located in the beautiful seaside village of Riomaggiore. The oratory is built in a panoramic position next to the Castle of Riomaggiore, on the ridge that separates the Rio Maggiore valley, where the village rises.   SHORT HISTORY The Oratory of San Rocco was built in 1480 as a sign of gratitude for the end of the plague that killed almost half the population of the village. According to some people, the oratory was built almost a century later.   ARCHITECTURE The small building, with very simple architectural forms, is preceded by a portico. The interior, consisting of a single room covered by a lowered barrel vault and decorated with devotional frescoes, takes light from small windows splayed in the thickness of the walls. On the baroque altar there is a triptych with the Virgin and Child between Saints Roch and Sebastian.   HOW TO GET THERE The Oratory of San Rocco is about 450 meters away from the Riomaggiore train station, or about 8-10 minutes on foot. Depending on the route you choose to reach the oratory, you may encounter Read more [...]

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    Castello dei Doria

    Castello dei Doria is a castle located on a rocky ridge about 70 meters high, in Vernazza. The castle was named after the Doria family, originally from Genoa, one of the most important noble families in the history of Italy.   SHORT HISTORY The first informations about a castle in Vernazza dates back to the 13th century, but it is believed that the first nucleus of the building dates back to the 11th century, and that it was built during the domination of the Obertenghi, a family of Italian nobility descended from Count Obert I of Luni. In particular, the cylindrical tower, which currently stands in the middle of the castel’s terrace, and which was restored during the 20th century, is the oldest part of the fortification. In the 12th century, the castle and the village of Vernazza passed to the bishops of Luni, to the Da Passano family and then to the Fieschi in the second half of the century. Occupied in the same century by Pisa, in the attacks related to the Battle of Meloria, in which also sailors and ships from Vernazza participated, the castle soon returned into the hands of the Genoese. During the crucial phases Read more [...]

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    Castello della Dragonara

    Castello della Dragonara, known also as the Castel Dragone, is a castle in Camogli, located in Via Isola, near the Church of Santa Maria Assunta.   SHORT HISTORY According to some historical sources, the castle was probably built in the first half of the 13th century. In the second half of the 14th century, the castle, to ensure the safety of the fishing village of Camogli, was repeatedly reinforced, receiving the necessary weapons from the Republic of Genoa. In the 14th century, the Dragonara Castle was attacked several times. Well documented are the assaults made by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan, and the one made by Nicolò Fieschi in 1366. Between 1428 and 1430, the castle was considerably enlarged and reinforced, especially the adjacent watchtower. In 1438, the Duchy of Milan besieged the castle, destroying its walls. A few years later, the inhabitants of the seaside village built new walls around the castle. In 1448, due to a conflict between Camogli, Recco and Genoa, the Republic demanded the immediate destruction of the castle. The castle was destroyed, but it was rebuilt again only six years later and given to the Doge of Genoa. In the 16th century, the castle Read more [...]

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    Church of San Pietro

    The Church of San Pietro is an ancient church dedicated to Saint Peter, built on a rocky edge in Portovenere, facing the beautiful Gulf of Poets.   SHORT HISTORY The original church was founded on the ancient remains of a pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Venus Erycina, and was consecrated in 1198. The black and white bands on the walls were added by the Genoese in the 13th century, presumably between 1256 and 1277. The church lost its parochial title at the end of the 14th century, in favor of the Church of San Lorenzo, and was officiated by the secular clergy until 1798. In 1494, the church was affected by the attacks of the Aragonese, and later, during the Napoleonic era, was used as a battery to defend the Gulf of La Spezia. The church underwent a significant restoration work between 1929 and 1934.   ARCHITECTURE The original church is a work in the Syriac tradition of the 5th century, with a rectangular plan and a semicircular apse. Two round arches connect this space with the newer church. The latter has a structural wooden roof and the presbytery is divided into three chapels, covered with ogival and cross Read more [...]

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    Church of San Lorenzo

    The Church of San Lorenzo is a religious building dedicated to Saint Lawrence, located in a dominant position on a hill overlooking the village of Portovenere, close to the Castello Doria. The church is also known today as the Sanctuary of the White Madonna (Santuario della Madonna Bianca), the White Madonna being the patron saint of Portovenere.   SHORT HISTORY According to some historical sources, a first church was erected here in Romanesque style starting with 1098, on a place where, in ancient times, there was probably a temple dedicated to Jupiter. The church was consecrated in 1130 by Pope Innocent II. At the end of the 14th century, the Church of San Lorenzo inherited the parochial title from the Church of San Pietro. In 1340, a fire damaged the church and, in 1494, the building was partially destroyed by the incursion of the Aragonese. For these reasons, the church underwent restoration works between 1494 and 1582. These interventions consisted in the replacement of the black Portoro marble columns with white marble columns, the demolition of the presbytery’s nave tower and its replacement with an octagonal dome, the reconstruction of the bell tower next to the apse and the replacement Read more [...]

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    Castello Doria

    Castello Doria is a castle located on a rocky hill overlooking the seaside village of Portovenere, one of the great examples of military architecture of the Republic of Genoa.   SHORT HISTORY An ancient fortress already existed in this place when, in 1139, the Republic of Genoa gained control of the village of Portovenere, with the help of the local lords of Vezzano. In 1161, the castle was rebuilt closer to the Church of San Pietro, and the new building was virtually annexed to the old fortified structure, including two identical watch towers. In the 13th century, the castle was the center of the struggles between Genoa and Pisa for the conquest of the surrounding lands. In the second half of the 15th century, Genoa decided to demolish the castle and rebuild it in a modern style, according to the architectural and military canons of the period. The rebuilding works continued in the 15th and 16th centuries, but the fortress took its current appearance only in the 17th century. During the French domination of Napoleon Bonaparte, at the beginning of the 19th century, the castle was used as a prison, without altering its architectural forms. Today, the ancient Genoese fortress Read more [...]

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    Church of the Immaculate Conception

    The Church of the Immaculate Conception (Chiesa dell’Immacolata Concezione) is a beautiful church in Sestri Levante, located on an elevated position to the east of Baia del Silenzio.   SHORT HISTORY The first Capuchin friars arrived in the village in 1609, and settled right in the center of Sestri Levante. In 1640, they built a church with a conventual structure attached, the today’s complex of the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli. The urbanization of the town in the following years, which no longer allowed the friars proper isolation from the population, led them to choose a more isolated location on the hill located east of the Bay of Silence. The construction of the new complex began in 1683 and ended in 1688, the year of the transfer of the order to the new convent. The former complex was sold in 1686 to the Secular Priests of San Pietro in Vincoli. In the agreement signed with the Seculars, it was agreed that any work of art and furnishings should remain the property of the Capuchins. The property of the convent was managed directly by the friars until 1866 when, for unknown reasons, the church and the convent were sold to Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth

    The Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth is a beautiful church in Sestri Levante, located in Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, near the wonderful Baia del Silenzio.   SHORT HISTORY The presence of a small chapel dedicated to Saint Mary of Nazareth is attested on this place as early as 1368. In 1604, the building of a new church began, supervised by the architect Gio Batta Carbone, who will finish the work almost 12 years later, in 1616. The church inherited the title of co-cathedral of the diocese of Brugnato from the pre-existing Church of San Nicolò, and was the residence of the bishops of the diocese from the 16th to the 18th century. In the first half of the 19th century, Giambattista Prato restructured the facade of the church, also adding a neoclassical pronaos.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The interior has a structure with three naves divided by square pillars with pilasters on which rounded arches rest. The decorations are dated between the 18th and 19th centuries. The central nave has a barrel vault with lunettes, a raised presbytery and a semicircular apse. In the side aisles there are several side chapels with small cross vaults. The high altar with polychrome Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Borsa

    Palazzo della Nuova Borsa Valori, better known as Palazzo della Borsa, is a historic palace in Genoa, located in Piazza De Ferrari. Built by the architects Dario Carbone and Amedeo Pieragostini, the palace has an architecture that recalls the neo-cinquecentesco style, while the interiors, by Adolfo Coppedè, are inspired by the Art Nouveau style.   SHORT HISTORY In 1855, a decree officially announced the birth of the Trading Exchange in Genoa, hosted by the Loggia di Banchi and the Palazzo Senarega, and administered by the city’s Chamber of Commerce. On June 27, 1905, a new company, Società Nuova Borsa, was born for the construction of the Palazzo della Borsa. The place where the building stands today was bought in 1906 by the company mentioned above, and the palace was inaugurated on 20 July 1912. In 1912, the Stock Market remained in the Loggia di Banchi, while the Stock Exchange moved to Piazza De Ferrari, in the new building of Palazzo della Borsa. With the computerization of the exchanges and the transition to the electronic system, the Genoese Stock Exchange closed on 28 February 1994. Today, the building is mainly used as an exhibition space.   ARCHITECTURE The monumental facade with Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Ducale

    Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) is a historical palace in Genoa, the residence of the Doge since 1339 and, today, the main cultural center of the city, which offers exhibitions, conferences, festivals, shows and all sort of educational activities.   SHORT HISTORY After the Battle of Meloria against the Republic of Pisa and the Battle of Curzola against Venice, both fought at the end of the 13th century, Genoa became the superpower of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the economic leader of the region. Therefore, during those times, the city felt the need for a sumptuous representative palace and, in 1298, the building of the Doge’s Palace begun. Palazzo Ducale was built around the palace of Alberto Fieschi, with its Torre del Popolo (Tower of the People), which forms the original core of the complex. The Tower became one of the symbols of political power of Genoa, and the tolls of its bell announced the most solemn and tragic moments of the city. Starting with the 14th century, the Tower of the People became a dungeon for political prisoners, conspirators and anarchists, and remained a prison until the 20th century. The palace was named Ducale in 1339, when it became the seat Read more [...]

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    Piazza De Ferrari

    Piazza De Ferrari is the main square of Genoa, and the commercial, financial and economic hub of the city. The square is dedicated to Raffaele De Ferrari, Duke of Galliera, politician and banker. With an irregular shape, due to successive urban interventions, which led to the unification of two adjoining areas, the square is part of the ancient sestiere (district) of Portoria, and occupies an area of about 11,000 square meters.   SHORT HISTORY After the annexation of the Ligurian Republic to the Kingdom of Sardinia, in 1814, the local authorities decided to create a large public space in the heart of the Portoria district, destined to become a place of social and cultural meeting. On June 2, 1818, King Vittorio Emanuele I authorized the demolition of the Church of San Domenico, to build the Carlo Felice Theater, designed by the architect Carlo Barabino and completed in 1827. A two-storey building appeared in 1831, destined for the Linguistic Academy (Palazzo dell’Academia Ligustica). In 1877, one year after his death, it was decided to name the square after Raffaele De Ferrari. In 1893, the monument of Giuseppe Garibaldi was inaugurated in front of the colonnade of the Carlo Felice Theater. The Read more [...]

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    Arco della Pace

    Arco della Pace is a triumphal arch in Milan, a neoclassical monument located between the beginning of Corso Sempione and the northern edge of the Sempione Park. The arch, inaugurated on 10 September 1838 during a ceremony attended by the newly crowned emperor Ferdinand I of Austria, is dedicated to the peace established between the European nations at the Vienna Congress of 1815.   SHORT HISTORY The first arch was built in January 1806, on the design of Luigi Cagnola, to celebrate the arrival in Milan of the newlyweds Eugène de Beauharnais, Viceroy of Italy, and Princess Augusta of Bavaria. The arch was raised on Corso di Porta Orientale, now Corso Venezia, and was built from canvas, plastic and timber. Given the success of the arch among foreign visitors, the council of Milan, the municipality of the time, decreed on 8 February that a new marble arch will be erected in a more appropriate place. The new work, designed also by Cagnola to celebrate the French victory in the Battle of Jena, was built starting with the autumn of 1807. The works were directed by Cagnola himself and supervised by Domenico Moglia, Nicola Pirovano, Francesco Peverelli and Bai Gio Battista, Read more [...]

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    Church of San Giovanni Battista

    The Church of San Giovanni Battista (Church of St. John the Baptist) is one of the most important churches in Matera, located outside the walls of the historical center of the city, in Piazza San Giovanni.   SHORT HISTORY A church was documented on this place since 1204, under the title of Santa Maria Nuova. The church belonged to the Benedictine monks, who abandoned it in 1212. Between 1230 and 1233, the Archbishop Andrea built a new church for the Augustinian nuns arrived in Matera from Palestine in 1198, and hosted for a while in the rupestrian Monastery of Madonna delle Virtù. After 1412, the nuns left the rule of St. Augustine to take that of St. Dominic, and the convent changed its title to Santa Maria dell’Annunziata. The church was abandoned in 1480, during the War of Otranto, because its position outside the city walls was too risky for the nuns. In 1610, the main facade of the church was incorporated into the adjacent hospital building, and the current facade is, actually, its right side. The church was reopened as a place of worship in 1695 by the Spanish Archbishop Antonio De Los Ryos y Colminarez, and dedicated to Read more [...]

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    Church of Saints Peter and Paul

    The Church of Saints Peter and Paul (Chiesa dei Santi Pietro e Paolo), commonly known as the Church of San Pietro Caveoso, is a church in Matera, located in the southern ancient district of the city, Sasso Caveoso.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built in 1218, but undergone numerous changes and renovations over the centuries, and many of its original features were lost in time. In the 17th century, the church was completely renovated and the current facade was built. At the same time, the bell tower was raised and the interior of the church was enlarged, with the addition of the side chapels. In 1706, the church was re-consecrated, as indicated on a plaque, and new improvements were made. The cusp was added on the bell tower, the interior was covered with stucco and decorations, and a wooden false ceiling was placed under the tufa roof.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The Baroque facade presents, in the lower part, three portals with a simple frame. Above each of them, there are semi-circular niches containing statues. Above the central portal, there is the Madonna of Mercy, St. Paul the Apostle above the portal on the right and St. Peter the Read more [...]

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    Church of San Giuseppe

    The Church of San Giuseppe is a beautiful church in Taormina, dedicated to Saint Joseph. The church, built in Baroque style in the second half of the 17th century, stands near the famous Torre dell’Orologio, dominating the main square of the town, Piazza IX Aprile.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built after 1650 as the seat of the Confraternity of the Souls in Purgatory. On the facade of the church and also inside, there are numerous references to the confraternity: inscriptions, coats of arms, details of sculptures, bas-reliefs, mottos and allegorical figures. In 1919, the church was given to the Fathers of the Salesian Order, present in Taormina since 1911. The order enriched the church with new sculptures and thematic frescoes. In Autumn 2015, water infiltrations and humidity caused by heavy rain determined the collapse of the ceiling, and the church was closed for consolidation and restoration works.   ARCHITECTURE A majestic double staircase leads to the church, and both the stairs and the porch in front of the building are fenced with a magnificent stone balustrade. The facade has a large central portal that leads into the church, and two small side portals, of which the right one Read more [...]

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    Piazza IX Aprile

    Piazza IX Aprile is the main square of Taormina and, by far, the most beautiful one, located about halfway down the main street of the town, Corso Umberto. The square is populated with many interesting monuments and, from its terrace, you can admire a magnificent panorama of the Mount Etna, the Bay of Naxos and the Teatro Greco, the ancient theater of the city. Characteristic are the outdoor cafés and the artists who draw caricatures.   SHORT HISTORY The square is called Piazza IX Aprile because on April 9, 1860, during a Mass held in the Cathedral of Taormina, rumors came about the arrival of Giuseppe Garibaldi in Marsala, a town in western Sicily, to start the liberation of the island from the Bourbon domination. The rumors turned out to be false, and Garibaldi arrived in Marsala a month later, on May 9. Before 1860, the square was called Piazza Sant’Agostino, after the Church of Sant’Agostino built in 1448 on the eastern side of the square, now deconsecrated and serving as the public library.   ARCHITECTURE Another religious building located on Piazza IX Aprile is the Church of San Giuseppe, built in the 17th century. The church represents a beautiful Read more [...]

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    Castello Ursino

    Castello Ursino is an interesting castle in Catania, former seat of the Sicilian parliament starting with the 13th century and residence of the Aragonese sovereigns until the 15th century. Since 20 October 1934, the castle is home to the Civic Museum.   SHORT HISTORY The Ursino Castle was built in the 13th century by Frederick II of Swabia, King of Sicily and Holy Roman Emperor, as part of the defensive system of the eastern Sicily, which also included the Maniace Castle of Syracuse and the Swabian Castle of Augusta. The project was entrusted to the military architect Riccardo da Lentini. In 1296, the castle was taken by Robert of Anjou, King of Naples, and subsequently was conquered again by the Aragonese. The King Frederick III of Sicily inhabited the castle from the end of the 13th century until his death, in 1337. In the early 15th century, the castle was surrounded by various buildings, and Martin I, King of Sicily, cleared the space around it, to obtain a square named today Piazza Federico di Svevia. In the 16th century, a bastion called San Giorgio was built to defend the castle and some changes were made in the Renaissance style. Starting Read more [...]

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    Porta Garibaldi

    Porta Garibaldi (Garibaldi Gate), called also Porta Ferdinandea, in honor of Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies, is a triumphal arch located at the western end of Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, between Piazza Palestro and Piazza Crocifisso, in Catania. Through the gate, it can be seen in the distance, at the other end of Via Garibaldi, the wonderful Cathedral of Sant’Agata.   SHORT HISTORY In ancient times, the gates to a city were very important, from the defense point of view. The gates were, in fact, the last barrier against a possible siege. The walls that surrounded Catania were built starting with 1541, on the initiative of the Viceroy Giovanni Vega. In 1621, there were seven gates, and three more were added later. The first seven gates were built for defensive purposes, while the other three had only an ornamental function. One of the last three gates was Porta Ferdinandea, built in 1768 to celebrate the marriage between Ferdinand I of The Two Sicilies and Maria Carolina of Austria. The gate was designed by the architects Stefano Ittar and Francesco Battaglia. Another name of the gate is Porta del Fortino, which comes from a fort built by the Viceroy Claudio Read more [...]

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    Church of the Holy Spirit

    The Church of the Holy Spirit (Chiesa dello Spirito Santo) is a beautiful church located on the seafront of the Ortygia island, in Syracuse.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built in 1727, during the Spanish domination of Sicily, by the architect Pompeo Picherali. The church stands on the site of the ancient First Church of Syracuse, built in the 4th century by the Bishop Germano and affected by the earthquakes of 1542 and 1693.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church, built in Baroque style, has three orders separated by scrolls and marked by pilasters, surmounted by a three-mullioned window. The whole facade from white limestone is a continuous play of shapes, rich in decorations, with Corinthian elements. The church is the only one in Syracuse with an external dome. The dome has a diameter of 8 meters and is also in Baroque style The interior of the church has a Latin cross plan with three aisles. The vaults are decorated with frescoes and stucco. Unfortunately, today, the church is in poor condition, due to the numerous water infiltrations from the roof. The majestic pipe organ is in complete abandon and the stuccos and frescoes on the roof are Read more [...]

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    Castello Maniace

    Castello Maniace is one of the most important monuments of the Swabian period, a magnificent example of the military architecture of the Roman Emperor Frederick II, located on the tip of the island of Ortygia, in Syracuse. The name of the castle derives from Giorgio Maniace, a Byzantine general who, in 1038, regained the city of Syracuse from the hands of the Arabs. The castle has a massive quadrilateral structure of 51 meters per side and about 12 meters high. At the four corners of the building are four cylindrical towers. The average thickness of the walls is about 3.5 meters.   SHORT HISTORY On the place where the castle stands today, strategically important for the defense of the harbour, there were fortifications since the time of the Greeks. The building of the castle is attributed to Emperor Frederick II, who entrusted its construction to the architect Riccardo da Lentini, shortly after returning from the Crusade in the Holy Land. The construction took place between 1232 and 1239. In 1266, the castle passed to the Angevins and, in 1282, it was conquered by the Syracusans in the revolt of April 11. In 1325, Peter II of Sicily, the son of Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia

    The Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia is a church dedicated to the patron saint of Syracuse, Saint Lucia, located in Piazza Duomo, on the beautiful island of Ortygia, in Syracuse. The church is the place where is held, every year in May, the Feast of Santa Lucia delle Quaglie, to celebrate the miracle of 1646 which occurred right here.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built between 1695 and 1703 after a project by the architect Luciano Caracciolo, on the site of a monastery from the 15th century, which was completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. Originally, the facade overlooked the street Via Picherali, but now it’s facing the main square of the city, Piazza Duomo. The structure of the church was heavily damaged during the Second World War, and a restoration took place in the 20th century. The flooring of the nave was replaced in 1970, as it was severely damaged due to humidity.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade is entirely built of light limestone and is divided in two orders by a wrought iron balcony. The balcony is not the original one, which was dismantled during the Second World War. The sumptuous portal of the Read more [...]

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    Church of San Giovanni Battista

    The Church of San Giovanni Battista is a church located in the upper part of the historical center of Riomaggiore.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built in 1340, as stated by a plaque on the facade, at the behest of the bishop of the diocese of Luni, Antonio Fieschi. Due to a collapse of the church, an important restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1871. The extension of the complex and the reconstruction of the facade in the neo-gothic style preserved, however, the 14th-century rose window in white Carrara marble.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE On the left side of the church, are still visible today the single-lancet windows and the two entrances in Gothic style decorated with zoomorphic and anthropomorphic elements. The interior has a basilica plan and is divided into three naves, with ogival arches. Among the preserved works of art inside the church are a triptych in the right aisle, attributed to the master Benedetto Antelami, a painting depicting the Preaching of John the Baptist, work of the painter Domenico Fiasella, a wooden crucifix by Anton Maria Maragliano and a marble pulpit of 1663.   HOW TO GET THERE The Church of San Giovanni Battista is Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia

    The Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia is located in the seaside village of Vernazza, near the main square of the town, Piazza Guglielmo Marconi.   SHORT HISTORY It seems that a first church in Romanesque style was built on this place in the 11th century. Two centuries later, the current church was raised on the foundations of the previous one, of which only the apse remained. The new building is mentioned for the first time in a document from 1318. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, the structure was considerably enlarged, however, destroying the medieval facade. In the 18th century, the church underwent a new renovation, with the interior being redecorated in Baroque style. From the 19th century, the access to the church is made from the square, through a door built in the apse area. Between 1964 and 1970, new restorations were made: the wooden roof was replaced, the bell tower was elevated and the interior was again redecorated in Romanesque style.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The church has a 40-meter-high octagonal bell-tower, crowned with arches and with an ogival dome on top. Inside, there are two paintings from the 17th century, a processional crate and a wooden crucifix, Read more [...]

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    Vernazza Beach

    Vernazza Beach is a rocky beach in Vernazza, somewhat hidden from the eyes of the tourists coming down from the train station, on Via Roma, heading towards the small port of the town. The beach is relatively new. It was formed by the debris during the flood of 2011, when the town was almost put to the ground. The beach is not spectacular, but its location near the cliff of Vernazza, with the colorful houses overlooking from above, makes it an interesting stop on your trip along the Ligurian coast.   HOW TO GET THERE To access the beach, walk down on Via Roma, the main street of the town, until you see on your left an opening in the rock. Through this passage, you will reach the beach.

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    Church of Santa Maria Assunta

    Along with the sea, the beach and the colorful buildings, the back of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta completes the superb painting of this beautiful seaside town named Camogli.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built, according to historical sources, in the 12th century, on a rock in the immediate vicinity of the marina. Over the years, the structure has undergone various interventions and extensions, especially in the 16th century and in the 19th century. In 1970, in the three niches of the facade facing the small Isola square, the statues of the saints Prospero, Fortunato and the Madonna del Boschetto were placed. The building was consecrated in 1826 by the Archbishop of Genoa, Monsignor Luigi Lambruschini, and again, in 1847, by Monsignor Placido Maria Tadini.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The interior, decorated in Baroque style, consists of three naves and is entirely covered with fine stuccos in gold and polychrome marble. In the vault, frescoes of the late 19th century are preserved, made by the painters Nicolò Barabino and Francesco Semino. The high altar was made by the sculptor Andrea Casareggio, while in the sacristy we can find a painting by Luca Cambiaso. The chapels of the right Read more [...]