Capitoline Hill in Rome

21 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  22 minutes

Piazza del Campidoglio, on the top of Capitoline Hill, with the Palazzo Senatorio © Alvesgaspar/cc-by-sa-4.0

Piazza del Campidoglio, on the top of Capitoline Hill, with the Palazzo Senatorio © Alvesgaspar/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Capitolium or Capitoline Hill (Italian: Campidoglio), between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the Seven Hills of Rome. The hill was earlier known as Mons Saturnius, dedicated to the god Saturn. The word Capitolium first meant the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus later built here, and afterwards it was used for the whole hill (and even other temples of Jupiter on other hills), thus Mons Capitolinus (the adjective noun of Capitolium). In an etymological myth, ancient sources connect the name to caput (“head”, “summit”) and the tale was that, when laying the foundations for the temple, the head of a man was found, some sources even saying it was the head of some Tolus or Olus. The Capitolium was regarded by the Romans as indestructible, and was adopted as a symbol of eternity.   read more…

Portrait: The sculptor, painter, architect and poet Michelangelo

28 August 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  9 minutes

Michelangelo by Daniele da Volterra © Metropolitan Museum of Art - online collection

Michelangelo by Daniele da Volterra © Metropolitan Museum of Art – online collection

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni or more commonly known by his first name Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance born in the Republic of Florence, who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Considered by many the greatest artist of his lifetime, and by some the greatest artist of all time, his artistic versatility was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival, the fellow Florentine and client of the Medici, Leonardo da Vinci.   read more…

The Sistine Chapel

13 June 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  5 minutes

Sistine Chapel © Maus-Trauden/GFDL

Sistine Chapel © Maus-Trauden/GFDL

Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio and others. Under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted 1,100 m2 (12,000 sq ft) of the chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512. The ceiling, and especially The Last Judgment (1535–1541), is widely believed to be Michelangelo’s crowning achievement in painting.   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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