Burano in the Venetian Lagoon

1 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

Burano as seen from Mazzorbo © Unofeld781/cc-by-sa-3.0

Burano as seen from Mazzorbo © Unofeld781/cc-by-sa-3.0

Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy, near Torcello at the northern end of the lagoon, known for its lace work and brightly coloured homes. The primary economy is tourism. Burano is 7 kilometres (4 miles) from Venice, a 45-minute trip from St. Mark’s Square by vaporetto, a Venetian water bus.   read more…

Fondaco dei Turchi in Venice

17 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  6 minutes

Fondaco dei Turchi © Didier Descouens/cc-by-sa-4.0

Fondaco dei Turchi © Didier Descouens/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Fondaco dei Turchi is a Veneto-Gothic style palazzo, later on named as the Turks’ Inn, on the Grand Canal of Venice, northeast Italy. It was described by Augustus Hare in the 19th century as “a Byzantine palace of the 9th century, and one of the earliest buildings, not ecclesiastical, in Venice. …. A few years ago it was one of the most unique and curious buildings in Europe, and the most important specimen of Italo-Byzantine architecture, but it was modernised and almost rebuilt by the … government in 1869″.   read more…

Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan

11 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Giovanni Dall'Orto

© Giovanni Dall’Orto

Santa Maria delle Grazie (“Holy Mary of Grace”) is a church and Dominican convent in Milan, northern Italy, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church contains the mural of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which is in the refectory of the convent. Duke of Milan Francesco I Sforza ordered the construction of a Dominican convent and church at the site of a prior chapel dedicated to the Marian devotion of St Mary of the Graces. The main architect, Guiniforte Solari, designed the convent (the Gothic nave), which was completed by 1469. Construction of the church took decades. Duke Ludovico Sforza decided to have the church serve as the Sforza family burial site, and rebuilt the cloister and the apse, both completed after 1490. Ludovico’s wife Beatrice was buried in the church in 1497.   read more…

Chigi Palace in Rome

7 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  8 minutes

Chigi Palace and column of Marcus Aurelius © flickr.com - jimmyweee/cc-by-2.0

Chigi Palace and column of Marcus Aurelius © flickr.com – jimmyweee/cc-by-2.0

The Chigi Palace (Italian: Palazzo Chigi) is a palace and former noble residence in Rome which is the seat of the Council of Ministers and the official residence of the Prime Minister of Italy. Since 13 February 2021, the tenant of the Chigi Palace has been Prime Minister Mario Draghi. It is located in the Piazza Colonna, next to Palazzo Montecitorio, seat of the Chamber of Deputies.   read more…

Mercato Centrale in Florence

25 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  3 minutes

Mercato Centrale, built in 1874 by Giuseppe Mengoni © Txllxt TxllxT/cc-by-sa-4.0

Mercato Centrale, built in 1874 by Giuseppe Mengoni © Txllxt TxllxT/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Mercato Centrale (English: Central Market) in Florence is located between via dell’Ariento, via Sant’Antonino, via Panicale and Piazza del Mercato Centrale. It is one of the results from the time of risanamento, the period when Florence was the capital of Italy in the late nineteenth century. It was designed by Giuseppe Mengoni, an architect who also conceived the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.   read more…

Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in Turin

17 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  6 minutes

Castello del Valentino © panoramio.com - Michael Paraskevas/cc-by-sa-3.0

Castello del Valentino © panoramio.com – Michael Paraskevas/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Residences of the Royal House of Savoy are a group of buildings in Turin and the Metropolitan City of Turin, in Piedmont (northern Italy). It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1997. The House of Savoy is an ancient royal family, being founded in year 1003 in the Savoy region (now in Rhône-Alpes, France), later expanding so that by 1720 it reigned over the Kingdom of Sardinia in northwestern Italy. Through its junior branch, the House of Savoy-Carignano, it led the unification of Italy in 1861 and ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until the end of World War II. At this time, King Victor Emanuel III abdicated in favour of his son Umberto II but after an institutional referendum in 1946, the monarchy was abolished, a republic was established, and members of the House of Savoy were required to leave the country. After many decades of diplomacy, the family has since been allowed to return to Italy.   read more…

Palazzo Madama in Rome

15 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Fratello.Gracco/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Fratello.Gracco/cc-by-sa-4.0

Palazzo Madama in Rome is the seat of the Senate of the Italian Republic, the upper house of the Italian Parliament. After the extinction of the Medici in 1743, the palace was handed over to the House of Lorraine and, later, to Pope Benedict XIV, who made it the seat of the Papal Government. In 1849, Pius IX moved here the Ministries of Finances and of the Public Debt, as well as the Papal Post Offices. In 1871, after the conquest of Rome by the newly formed Kingdom of Italy, the palazzo became the seat of the Senate of the Kingdom of Italy.   read more…

Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella in the Veneto region

25 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  4 minutes

© Adert/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Adert/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella (Venetian: Sant’Anbroxio) is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Verona in the Italian region Veneto, located about 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of Venice and about 15 km (9 mi) northwest of Verona. Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella borders the following municipalities: Cavaion Veronese, Dolcè, Fumane, Pastrengo, Pescantina, Rivoli Veronese, and San Pietro in Cariano.   read more…

Portrait: Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect

24 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  7 minutes

Leonardo da Vinci by Francesco Melzi

Leonardo da Vinci by Francesco Melzi

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he also became known for his notebooks, in which he made drawings and notes on a variety of subjects, including anatomy, astronomy, botany, cartography, painting, and paleontology. Leonardo is widely regarded to have been a genius who epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal, and his collective works compose a contribution to later generations of artists matched only by that of his younger contemporary, Michelangelo.   read more…

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