The Fountain of Neptune (Fontana del Nettuno) is a wonderful fountain made by Giambologna in the 16th century, located in the square dedicated to the same deity of the sea, in Bologna. The basin of the fountain stands on a base with three steps. At the center of the basin, there is a pedestal flanked by four Nereids, and on this pedestal stands the majestic figure of Neptune. SHORT HISTORY The Fountain of Neptune is, in fact, a collaborative project of Zanobio Portigiani, Tommaso Laureti and Giambologna, commissioned by the vice-minister Pier Donato Cesi to glorify the papal government of Pope Pius IV. The purpose of the fountain was to embellish the new Piazza del Nettuno, adjacent to Piazza Maggiore. The project was assigned on August 2, 1563, to the Bolognese architect Zanobio Portigiani, to the Palermitan architect Tommaso Laureti, who was delegated to execute the architectural structure of the fountain, and finally to the Flemish mannerist sculptor Giambologna (Jean Boulogne), commissioned to build the bronze statue of Neptune and the sculptural parts. The fountain was completed in 1566. In 1604, a high fence was built around the fountain, which effectively managed to prevent acts of vandalism. The fence Read more [...]
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 [...]
There are at least two things in Polignano a Mare which remind of the great Italian singer Domenico Modugno. The first is the seafront which bears his name, located in the northwestern part of the city, and the second is the statue dedicated to him, in the immediate vicinity. THE ARTIST Domenico Modugno was born in Polignano a Mare, on January 9, 1928. When he was little, his father taught him to play the guitar and accordion. He wrote his first song at the age of 15. Later, he became a leading figure in theater, television, radio and cinematography. Domenico Modugno won the San Remo Music Festival – the most popular Italian song contest, four times. He starred in 45 films and recorded 230 songs. His most famous song, Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu, universally known as Volare, was released in 1958 and became one of the best-known songs in the world, translated into more than 20 languages. On August 26, 1993, Domenico Modugno held in Polignano a Mare the last major concert of his career, attended by 70,000 people. One year later, he died of heart attack on the island of Lampedusa. THE STATUE The statue, three Read more [...]
The Spire of Sant’Oronzo is a column dedicated to Saint Orontius of Lecce, placed in the heart of Ostuni, between the main square of the city, Piazza della Libertà, and the small but beautiful square Piazza Sant’Oronzo. Saint Orontius, a Christian martyr, is venerated by the Roman Catholic Church, being considered the first Bishop of Lecce. Each year, a three-day festival is held in Ostuni between August 25 and 27, in his honor. SHORT HISTORY The Spire of Sant’Oronzo was built in 1771 by the architect Giuseppe Greco. The column is an ex-voto strongly desired by the faithful to thank the Saint, who protected the city from the plague and the famine in the 18th century. ARCHITECTURE The spire is about 20 meters in height and was built in Baroque style. The testimony of perennial devotion to the protector of the city is quoted in Latin on epigraphic plates, supported by angels and placed on the first order of the column, on each of the four faces. The next order is crowned by a beautiful balustrade, with four statues on its corners: San Biagio, Sant’Antonio da Padova, Sant’Irene and San Gregorio Armeno, all minor patrons of the city. Read more [...]
On the staircase leading to the Cathedral of Arezzo, is placed an imposing statue of Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany between 1587 and 1609. The statue was designed by Giambologna, or Jean Boulogne, known also as Giovanni da Bologna, sculptor remembered for his marble and bronze statuary, but it was sculpted by Pietro Francavilla, a French-Italian sculptor. The statue was erected by the people of Arezzo as a sign of gratitude for the reclamation of the Valdichiana (Chiana Valley), which was an important addition to the territory of Arezzo. HOW TO GET THERE Being only a few meters away from the Arezzo Cathedral, the statue is not hard to find. The closest station is in Via Ricasoli, where you can get with the bus CS2.
The statue of Ferdinando III of Habsburg-Lorraine, located at the end of Piaggia di Murello, in the intersection with Via Saracino, was executed by the Florentine sculptor Stefano Ricci. The statue was placed in Piazza Grande, on 13 April 1822, and a century later, in 1932, it was moved to its current position. Ferdinand III of Habsburg-Lorraine was the Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1790 to 1801 and from 1814 to 1824, Grand Duke of Salzburg from 1803 to 1805 and Grand Duke of Würzburg from 1805 to 1814. The statue was erected in gratitude for his excellent work in the field of communication between Arezzo and Tuscany. Via Anconetana, at the time the main communication route with the Adriatic, was one of his projects. The relief placed at the base of the monument is the work of the Aretine sculptor Ranieri Bartolini. The relief describes allegorically the union of the two tuscan rivers, Chiana and Arno, emblematic moment for the valleys of Arezzo. HOW TO GET THERE The closest bus station is in Via Ricasoli, about 100 meters from the statue, but if you are discovering the historical center of Arezzo on foot, you will probably pass by Read more [...]
Near the Spoleto train station, there is a monument that you can easily overlook. Its name is Teodelapio, which comes from one of the first Lombard dukes of Spoleto, who reigned in the 7th century, Theudelapius. SHORT HISTORY The story began in 1962, at the fifth edition of the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of the Two Worlds), curated by Giovanni Carandente. In March 1962, Giovanni Carandente invited Alexander Calder to participate in the event. He asked him to create a piece of art that could serve as a triumphal arch at the entrance to the city and become its symbol. Alexander Calder was an American sculptor known for his Mobile sculptures, which are moving due to air currents, but also for the monumental stationary sculptures that are called Stabiles. The American sculptor designed a metal monument, kept today in the Carandente Museum, inside Palazzo Collicola. The sculpture was enlarged 27 times, being the first of many Stabiles of Calder and the only one on the Italian soil. 18 meters in height, the work is considered the first stationary monumental sculpture in the world. HOW TO GET THERE It’s simple! The Teodelapio is right in front of the Read more [...]