The sail training ship Amerigo Vespucci

24 January 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  6 minutes

Americo Vespucio in Venice © Celio Maielo/GFDL

Americo Vespucio in Venice © Celio Maielo/GFDL

The Amerigo Vespucci is a tall ship of the Marina Militare, named after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Its home port is Livorno in Tuscany, and it is in use as a training ship. In 1925, the Regia Marina ordered two school ships to a design by General Lieutenant Francesco Rotundi of the Italian Navy Engineering Corps, inspired by the style of large late 18th century 74-cannon ships of the line (like the neapolitan ship “Monarca”). The first, the Cristoforo Colombo, was put into service in 1928 and was used by the Italian Navy until 1943. After World War II, this ship was handed over to the USSR as part of the war reparations and was shortly afterwards decommissioned. The second ship was the Amerigo Vespucci, built in 1930 at the (formerly Royal) Naval Shipyard of Castellammare di Stabia (Naples). She was launched on February 22, 1931, and put into service in July of that year.   read more…

The port city of Livorno

11 February 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Teatro Goldoni © Lucarelli

Teatro Goldoni © Lucarelli

Livorno is a port city on the Tyrrhenian Sea on the western edge of Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Livorno, having a population of approximately 160,000 residents in 2009. The Venice district retains much of its original town planning and architectural features such as the bridges, narrow lanes, the noblemen’s houses and a dense network of canals which once linked the port to its storehouses. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Livorno, by then grown up and open to the world, had a lively appearance marked by neo-classical buildings, public parks housing important museums and cultural institutions, “Liberty” villas with sea views and the market.   read more…

Theme Week Tuscany – Montepulciano

28 January 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Montepulciano © Adrian Michael

Montepulciano © Adrian Michael

Montepulciano is a medieval and Renaissance hill town and comune in the province of Siena in southern Tuscany, in Italy. Montepulciano, with an elevation of 605 m, sits on a high limestone ridge. By car it is 13 km E of Pienza; 70 km SE of Siena, 124 km SE of Florence, and 186 km north of Rome.   read more…

Theme Week Tuscany – Arezzo

27 January 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Piazza Grande © LPLT

Piazza Grande © LPLT

Arezzo is a city and comune in Central Italy, capital of the province of the same name, located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 km southeast of Florence, at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In 2011 the population was about 100,000. Arezzo is set on a steep hill rising from the floodplain of the River Arno. In the upper part of the town are the cathedral, the town hall and the Medici Fortress (Fortezza Medicea), from which the main streets branch off towards the lower part as far as the gates. The upper part of the town maintains its medieval appearance despite the addition of later structures.   read more…

Theme Week Tuscany – Portoferraio on Elba

26 January 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  5 minutes

© Magrathea

© Magrathea

Portoferraio is a town and comune in the province of Livorno, on the edge of the eponymous harbour of the island of Elba. It is the island’s largest city. Because of its terrain, many of its buildings are situated on the slopes of a tiny hill surrounded on three sides by the sea.   read more…

Theme Week Tuscany – Viareggio

25 January 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

The Burlamacca canal © Sailko

The Burlamacca canal © Sailko

Viareggio is a city and comune located in northern Tuscany, Italy, on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. With a population of over 64,000 it is the main centre of the northern Tuscan Riviera known as Versilia, and the second largest city within the Province of Lucca.   read more…

Theme Week Tuscany – Carrara

24 January 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

Piazza Alberica with Beatrice Maria d'Este monument © Davide Papalini

Piazza Alberica with Beatrice Maria d’Este monument © Davide Papalini

Carrara is a city and comune in the province of Massa-Carrara, notable for the white or blue-grey marble quarried there. It is on the Carrione River, some 100 kilometres (62 mi) west-northwest of Florence. Its motto is Fortitudo mea in rota (Latin for “My force is in the wheel”).   read more…

Theme Week Tuscany

23 January 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

Poppi © flickr.com / 74701705@N00

Poppi © flickr.com / 74701705@N00

Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres (8,900 sq mi) and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence (Firenze). Tuscany is known for its gorgeous landscapes, its rich artistic legacy and its vast influence on high culture. Tuscany is widely regarded as the true birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, and has been home to some of the most influential people in the history of arts and science, such as Petrarch, Dante, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Amerigo Vespucci, Luca Pacioli and Puccini. Due to this, the region has several museums (such as the Uffizi, the Pitti Palace and the Chianciano Museum of Art). Tuscany has a unique culinary tradition, and is famous for its wines (most famous of which are Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino).   read more…

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