Tag Archives: Renaissance

UNESCO Wine Regions in Vino con Vista Piedmont Italy

English: Fountain at Agliè castle (The castle ...

English: Fountain at Agliè castle (The castle in one of the residences of the Royal House of Savoy), Agliè, Turin, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Piedmont is one of Italy’s finest wine regions. In northwestern Piedmont, Nebbiolo grapes thrive and ultimately become Barolo and Barbaresco wine. “Rare vintages of Barolos (1985 or 1990) become favorites of serious wine enthusiasts with an extraordinary aging capacity. Click on this link to view Wine Spectator’s Piedmont wine map:

http://assets.winespectator.com/wso/Maps/Piedmontmap.pdf

This region’s terroir is also perfect for Barbera, Dolcetto, Brachetto and Grignolino.

The Castle of Agliè is one of the residences o...

The Castle of Agliè is one of the residences of the Royal House of Savoy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many interesting sites in this region of Italy. In the middle of the 16th century, the Savoy dynasty built a number of castles, villas and hunting lodges in and around Turin creating a UNESCO World Heritage complex.

In the hilly areas of the Langhe, Monferrato and the foothills many monastic complexes were built. The Sanctuary of San Michele is a Benedictine monastery founded in the 10th century on the summit of Mount Pirchiriano.

Piedmont is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/multimedia/photos/photos-for-the-new-inscriptions-2014/italy/

 

Reggia di Venaria Reale, Torino - interni cate...

Reggia di Venaria Reale, Torino – interni category:user:Twice25 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Turin is the largest city in the hilly region of Piedmont. It was historically under Austro-Hungarian domination www.turismotorino.org.  The  amazing residences of the Royal House of Savoy include the Palazzo Reale, the Royal Armory, the Library and Stables.

Filippo Lippi

Filippo Lippi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fra Filippo Lippi - IMGP6044

Fra Filippo Lippi – IMGP6044 (Photo credit: indianadinos)

Fra Filippo Lippi - Sts Gregory and Jerome - W...

Fra Filippo Lippi – Sts Gregory and Jerome – WGA13179 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Castello di Rivoli (Torino)

Castello di Rivoli (Torino) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Royal house of Savoy Coat of Arms, flags of th...

Royal house of Savoy Coat of Arms, flags of the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Collar of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation Italiano: Stemma della casa reale di Savoia, bandiere del Regno di Sardegna e collare dell’Ordine supremo della Santissima Annunziata. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fra Filippo Lippi - The Doctors of the Church ...

Fra Filippo Lippi – The Doctors of the Church – WGA13177 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Visit the Pinocoteca dell’Accademia Albertina and the Galleria Sabauda for Renaissance art. Bellini, Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi masterpieces can be found in these galleries.

Fra Filippo Lippi - Sts Gregory and Jerome (de...

Fra Filippo Lippi – Sts Gregory and Jerome (detail) – WGA13182 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The original Holy Shroud (Sacra Sindone) of Turin is kept in Turin’s Duomo in a silver casket inside a marble coffer. The replica is available for viewing. Carbon testing in the late 1980’s indicated that the shroud dates back to the 12th century; so it apparently was not wrapped around Christ after his crucifixion. Visit the  museum of the Holy Shroud  on Via San Domenico.

Travel to Castello del Poggio.  Admire the 390 acres of vineyards dominated by the medieval fortification that belonged to the nobele Buneis family that once gaurded the city of Asti. You can see a vast amphitheater called the Val del Temp that was owned by the Templars in the 12th century. I love their fruity Barbera DiAsti DOC. Guided visits and tastings are by appointment only. www.poggio.it

Here are some of the Annual Festivals in Piemonte:

ASTI Douja D’Or; prestigious producers participate in the parade and celebration the second Saturday and Sunday in September.

The Palio of Asti is Italy’s most ancicent horse race with a historic procession and over 1000 people dressed in medieval attire in September.

lesser coat of arms of the Kingdom of Italy (1...

lesser coat of arms of the Kingdom of Italy (1890), instituted by Royal Decree n. 7282, 3rd series, 27 November 1890. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alba Palio degli Asini is the Race of the Donkeys is on the first Sunday of October.

The Alba Truffle Festival is also in October.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Books at www.vino-con-vista.com

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The Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence is the “National Pantheon”

A monument to the florentines fallen during th...

A monument to the florentines fallen during the WW1. God the Father, by Bandinelli. Santa Croce cloister, Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Crucifixion, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence...

Crucifixion, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pulpit, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence, Italy.

Pulpit, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Français : Monument à la mémoire de Donatello,...

Français : Monument à la mémoire de Donatello, Basilique Santa Croce de Florence, Italie. 1895. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Exterior of the Basilica of Santa Cro...

English: Exterior of the Basilica of Santa Croce (Florence). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tondo of an apostle by Luca della Robbia in th...

Tondo of an apostle by Luca della Robbia in the Pazzi Chapel, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Santa Croce is the church of the Franciscans and was built in the Italian gothic style.  It was completed in 1442.

Français : La porte principale de la basilique...

Français : La porte principale de la basilique de la Sainte-Croix (Santa Croce) à Florence, Italie. English: The main gate of Basilica Santa Croce in Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Santa Croce

Santa Croce (Photo credit: Dorina Bernard)

The Neo-Gothic façade was re-clad in 1863 in pink, green and white Tuscan marble. It is located in the Piazza di Santa Croce.

Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence, Italy

Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence, Italy (Photo credit: SpirosK)

Florence Italy

Tondo of an apostle by Luca della Robbia in th...

Tondo of an apostle by Luca della Robbia in the Pazzi Chapel, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is dubbed the “National Pantheon” because it has tombs or centotaphs of the greatest Italians.  A centotaph is a funerary monument without the remains of the deceased.

The six-pointed star in the central tympanum is Medieval and these rays  symbolize St. Bernadino. In Christian art, there are many saints associated with this star: St. Bruno bears a star on his breast; Saint Dominic, Saint Humbert and Saint Peter of Alcantara have this star on their head or forehead.

Florence Italy

The beautiful bell tower was rebuilt in 1842 by Gaetano Baccani because it was destroyed by a bolt of lightning in 1512.

Michelangelo's tomb

Michelangelo’s tomb (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Florence Italy

Tondo of Saint Matthew the Evangelist on the d...

Tondo of Saint Matthew the Evangelist on the dome of Pazzi Chapel, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence, Italy (It has been suggested that it was the work of Donatello.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tondo of Saint John the Evangelist on the dome...

Tondo of Saint John the Evangelist on the dome of Pazzi Chapel, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence, Italy (It has been suggested that it was the work of Donatello.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

South of the church, visit the secret garden and cloisters. The Pazzi Chapel was designed by Brunelleschi in 1429. It is set in front of the neo-Gothic bell-tower. The chapel  is adorned by  terracotta tondi of the apostles by Luca della Robbia and by roundels of the Evangelists by Donatello.

The loggia was built and decorated in grey sandstone and decorated with terracotta.

inside view of the Dome hidden in the portico ...

inside view of the Dome hidden in the portico of Cappella dei Pazzi, Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tondo of an apostle by Luca della Robbia in th...

Tondo of an apostle by Luca della Robbia in the Pazzi Chapel, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Main Chapel was commissioned by Jacopo degli Alberti. The polyptych on the altar was redone in the 19th century and portrays the Virgin, Saints and Fathers of the Church crowned by a large crucifix by “Maestro de Figline” who worked in Giotto’s workshop. There is a beautiful Polyptych by Giotto and his pupils in the Baroncelli Chapel.

FLorence Italy

The Florentine Pantheon has tombs and monuments to legendary citizens. Many marble tombstones cover the floor of Santa Croce.

Renaissance tombs exalted the dead person’s achievements on earth. Most of the monuments is Santa Croce have designated allegorical figures to depict the earthly accomplishments of the deceased. The wall of the right nave contains the “Monument to Michelangelo” by Vasari (1570).

Michelangelo Buonarroti

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Michelangelo returned to Florence between in 1499–1501, after after the fall Girolamo Savonarola who was executed in 1498. Michelangelo was asked to complete a colossal statue portraying David that was started 40 years earlier by Agostino di Duccio.

David

David (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Statue of David  would occupy a prominent spot  in the Piazza della Signoria, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. Today the statue outside the Palazzo Vecchio is a replica. The real David is in the Academia in Florence.

Michelangelo-Buonarroti-David-Replica-Florence

Michelangelo-Buonarroti-David-Replica-Florence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This famous sculpture was made from a marble block from the quarries at Carrara.

In 1505, Michelangelo was invited back to Rome by Pope Julius II to build the Pope’s tomb. He worked on the tomb for 40 years.

The tomb of Pope Julius II by Michelangelo and...

The tomb of Pope Julius II by Michelangelo and its statue of Moise in the basilica San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The tomb is located in the Church of S. Pietro in Vincoli in Rome and  Michelangelo’s statue of Moses is the central feature.

Statue of Moses by Michelangelo, church San Pi...

Statue of Moses by Michelangelo, church San Pietro in Vincoli; Rome, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Michelangelo died, Vasari erected his tomb in Santa Croce. The sarcophagus is surrounded by allegorical figures of “Painting” by Battista Lorenzi, “Sculpture” by Valerio Cioli and “Architecture” by Giovanni dell’Opera.  The bust of Michelangelo was carved by Lorenzi. The beautiful frescoes that flank the monument were done by Domenico Ghirlandaio.

On November 17, 2015, they launched a  Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the restoration of the Pazzi Chapel Loggia, one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture, in the Santa Croce complex. make your contribution here: http://www.santacroceopera.it/en/Opera_Sponsor.aspx

cappella pazzi, santa croce, florence

The interior of Santa Croce, Florence

The interior of Santa Croce, Florence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides to Italy at www.vino-con-vista.com

Florence Italy

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Magical Florence Italy

English: Il Duomo, in Florenece, Italy seen at...

English: Il Duomo, in Florenece, Italy seen at night from Michelangelo’s Piazza. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Photograph of Ponte Vecchio at night....

English: Photograph of Ponte Vecchio at night. Florence, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Brunelleschi cuppola, as seen from the rig...

The Brunelleschi cuppola, as seen from the right side of the cathedral. Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inside Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence)

Inside Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arno river in Florence, Italy

Arno river in Florence, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Giotto's belltower (campanile) in Florence, It...

Giotto’s belltower (campanile) in Florence, Italy. Français : Campanile de la Cathédrale Santa maria del Fiore, Florence (Italie). Українська: Дзвіниця Катедрального Собору Санта-Марія-дель-Фьоре у Флоренції, Італія (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The façade of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Flore...

The façade of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Florence Cathedral. Annotations for the three mosaics tympanums (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

View of Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore with...
Image via Wikipedia
English: Taken from the Ponte Vecchio in Flore...

English: Taken from the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy, of the River Arno… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A prophet, detail of the bronze main portal of...

A prophet, detail of the bronze main portal of the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore of Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inside Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence)

Inside Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Procession at the Cathedral and the Baptistry ...

Procession at the Cathedral and the Baptistry (right) during the 18th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Statue of Saint Reparata, martyr, Patron of Fl...

Statue of Saint Reparata, martyr, Patron of Florence, Italy. Main portal of the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did he feed that Tuscan boar an acorn?

Florence is the world’s celebrated jewel of the Italian Renaissance. Packed with art and architecture, Florence is famous for voluptuous domes and incredible food and wine adventures. There are plenty of intimate restaurants and Vino con Vistas opportunities at every corner. She rose to economic and cultural pre-eminence under the mighty Medici dynasty in the 15th and 16th centuries. The churches, galleries and palaces are brimming with Renaissance masterpieces.

The façade of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Flore...

The façade of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Florence Cathedral. Annotations for the three mosaics tympanums (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vino con VIsta in Florence  Italy

Vino con VIsta in Florence Italy

The city was built on the site of an Etruscan settlement and has 600 years of extraordinary artistic activity. It is an incredibly compact city for walking.  Walk to the Piazzale Michelangelo at sunset for a glimmering moonlit cityscape.  Marvel at her panoramic glory as the cloak of darkness descends over her dimly lit splendor.

Here are some UNESCO photos of Florence, Italy: http://www.ourplaceworldheritage.com/custom.cfm?&action=site&regionid=9&site_country=ITALY&site_name=Historic Centre of Florence&siteid=292

English: flor

English: flor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Natural and man-made disasters have threatened the city’s wealth of art history.  In 1966, the Arno River’s devastating flood destroyed or severely damaged Florentine treasures.  In 1993, a mafia bomb exploded near the Uffizi and severely damaged the gallery. The Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge to escape Nazi bombs during World War II.

Last Judgment (detail ). Dome of Florence Cath...

Last Judgment (detail ). Dome of Florence Cathedral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Her glorious past is evident in the monumental grandeur of her structures. The 13th century cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Church of Santa Croce, the Uffizi, Santa Maria Novella, the Galleria dell’Accademia, the Bargello and the Pitti Palace are incredible repositories of Renaissance art.

Front view of the Florence Cathedral

Front view of the Florence Cathedral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Andrea di bonaiuto, dettaglio dal cappoellone ...

Andrea di bonaiuto, dettaglio dal cappoellone degli spagnoli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Florence has the largest concentration of Renaissance art and sculpture in the world. Landmark cloisters, chapels and refectories are all galleries of Renaissance art.

Book a room at Hotel Lungarno
on the banks of the Arno with stunning views of the Ponte Vecchio and over 400 original works of art  including Picasso and Ferragamo’s fashion sketches.

art of italy

art of italy (Photo credit: waldopics)

To learn more about Florence read www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides and

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

Statue of Saint Zenobius, Presumed first bisho...

Statue of Saint Zenobius, Presumed first bishop of Florence, Italy. Main portal of the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Buon Natale and Christmas: Interesting Holiday Events in Florence Italy

Piazza Santa Croce
Image via Wikipedia

Florence is the world’s celebrated jewel of Renaissance art and architecture. It is famous for perfect voluptuous domes and  intimate restaurants with perfect steaks and wine. The Uffizi is the perfect art museum and and the Palazzo Pitti has the perfect Royal apartments. The Accademia has the perfect sculptures and the Baptistry has the perfect doors. Even the tombs are perfect at Santa Croce. The leather is perfect, the silk is perfect and the perfume made at Santa Maria Novella is perfect.

Accademia - DSC 1177 ep

Accademia – DSC 1177 ep (Photo credit: Eric.Parker)

Via Tornabuoni is a perfect street  for shopping with  designer powerhouses like Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Enrico Coveri, Roberto Cavalli and Emilio Pucci willing to sell you holiday goodies. Even the Piazzas are perfect! Florence is the perfect UNESCO site with many perfect “Vino con Vista” opportunities.

English: Loggia dei Lanzi

English: Loggia dei Lanzi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Florence rose to economic and cultural pre-eminence under the mighty Medici dynasty in the 15th and 16th centuries. The churches, galleries and palaces contain the world’s largest concentration of Renaissance art and sculpture.

loggia dei lanzi florence

loggia dei lanzi florence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Perseus holding the head of Medusa, b...

English: Perseus holding the head of Medusa, by Benvenuto Cellini, Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence; Italie Français : Persée tenant la tête de Méduse, par Benvenuto Cellini, Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence, Italie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palais Pitti, Florence

Palais Pitti, Florence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The city was built on the site of an Etruscan settlement, and has 600 years of extraordinary artistic activity. It is an incredibly compact city for walking.  Walk to the Piazzale Michelangelo at sunset for a perfect glimmering moonlit cityscape.  Marvel at Florence’s panoramic glory as the cloak of darkness descends over her dimly lit splendor.

"The Rape of Polyxena", sculpture by...

“The Rape of Polyxena”, sculpture by Pio Fedi (1816-1892), in 1866 : Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence, Italy. Photo by Thermos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Natural and man-made disasters have threatened the city’s wealth of art history and perfection.  In 1966, the Arno River’s devastating flood destroyed or severely damaged Florentine treasures.  In 1993, a mafia bomb exploded near the Uffizi and severely damaged the gallery. The Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge to escape Nazi bombs.

Loggia dei Lanzi.

Loggia dei Lanzi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Her glorious past is evident in the monumental grandeur and perfection of her structures:  the 13th-century cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, the Church of Santa Croce, the Uffizi, Santa Maria Novella, the Galleria dell’Accademia, the Bargello and the Pitti Palace.  Works of art history grace every public building. Landmark cloisters, chapels and refectories are galleries of perfect Renaissance art.

The façade of Santa Maria Novella, completed b...

The façade of Santa Maria Novella, completed by Leon Battista Alberti in 1470. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Loggia dei Lanzi

The Loggia dei Lanzi (Photo credit: **Mary**)

Stroll the Via dei Calzaiuoli, between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria and imagine the creative genius that flourished in this city; evidenced by the works in the Loggia dei Lanzi. The Loggia was originally designed to shelter dignitaries watching civic ceremonies.

The Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna, i...

The Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna, in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This elegant, compact city, is bounded on the southern side by the glistening Arno River.  Distinctive works of great masters such as Giotto, Brunelleschi, Botticelli and Michelangelo adorn every nook and cranny of this perfectly majestic city. Visit Florence during the holidays for the perfect vacation.

Perfect Holiday Events in Florence:

German Christmas Market in Piazza Santa Croce from December 1- 19

“Florence Noel” at the Stazione Leopoldo from December 4-12

“Fierucola di Natale”  in Piazza Santo Spirito on December 19th

Christmas Party in Gambassi Terme on December 4-5

Annual “Sagra Antichi Sapori di Toscana” at Lastra a Signa December 3-8

“Sagra del Tartufo e Antichi Sapori del Mugello” in Borgo San Lorenzo December 8-12

Happy Holidays from Vino con Vista

Buon Natale and Happy Holidays from www.vino-con-vista.com

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Assisi is a UNESCO Site in Umbria Italy

The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi (St. Fr...
Image by S Moses via Flickr

The town of Assisi in Umbria is a fascinating place to view Franciscan sites in the Perugia region of Umbria. Assisi is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Italy.

St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1182-1220)

St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1182-1220) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Assisi is the birth and burial place of St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan order.  The Franciscans take the vow of poverty. St. Francis and St. Catherine are the patron saints of Italy. Assisi is located at the foot of Mount Subasio.  This medieval city is built on a hill. It is closely associated with disseminating the work of the Franciscan Order throughout the world; the universal message of peace and tolerance. Assisi was also the birthplace of Saint Clare in Perugia.

Assisi’s most cherished monument is the Basilica of St. Francis. Giotto and Cimabue have painted frescoes on the walls and ceilings. In the Gothic upper basilica,  Giotto’s 28 panels of frescoes where painted in the late 1290s and depict the life of Saint Francis. Cimabue’s frescoes are in the transept, cross vaults and apses.

In the lower basilica thee are more masterpieces from the Florentine and Sienese Schools of the 1300s including Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti. Y0u can visit the crypt which is the resting place of Saint Francis. You can also visit the cloister and the Museum of the Treasury.

“Its medieval ensemble of artistic masterpieces, such as the Basilica of San Francesco and paintings by Cimabue, Pietro Lorenzetti, Simone Martini and Giotto have significantly contributed to the development of Italian and European art and architecture.” UNESCO

St. Francis (1182-1226) was canonized by Pope Gregory IX on July 16, 1228.  The basilica was founded in 1228 after his canonization. Completed in 1253, it has an upper church and a lower church and is frequently visited by religious pilgrims from around the world. The frescoed basilica is a monument to St. Francis. The Franciscans offer free guided tours in English.

Giotto di Bondone - Saint Francis and Saint Cl...

Giotto di Bondone – Saint Francis and Saint Clare – WGA09163 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Simone Martini, fresco detail depicting Saint ...

Simone Martini, fresco detail depicting Saint Clare of Assisi, (1322–26), Lower basilica of San Francesco, Assisi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pietro Lorenzetti fresco detail, Assisi Basili...

Pietro Lorenzetti fresco detail, Assisi Basilica, 1310-1329. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Crucifixion

Crucifixion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Franciscan Allegories: Allegory of Obedience

Franciscan Allegories: Allegory of Obedience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. Francis of Assisi renounces his worldly go...

St. Francis of Assisi renounces his worldly goods in a painting attributed to Giotto di Bondone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dansk: Giotto: Udfrielsen af hæretikeren Pietr...

Dansk: Giotto: Udfrielsen af hæretikeren Pietro,San Francesco basilikaen, Assisi English: Giotto: Liberation of the heretic Peter,Basilica of Saint Francis,Assisi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the Legend of St. Francis frescoes at A...

One of the Legend of St. Francis frescoes at Assisi, the authorship of which is disputed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Prayer of Saint Francis

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen”

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides. To learn more about Italy read www.vino-con-vista.com 

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Top Ten Reasons to Travel to Vino con Vista Italy

Pic taken outside Corropoli, Abruzzo, Italy.
Image via Wikipedia
Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, Italy.

Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vernazza town in Liguria, Italy. Vernazza is i...

Vernazza town in Liguria, Italy. Vernazza is in the cinque terre region. Français : Le village de Vernazza, dans les cinque terre, en Ligurie (Italie). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cathedral of Pisa (Duomo di Pisa), Ap...

English: Cathedral of Pisa (Duomo di Pisa), Apse, Pisa, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Detail of the façade (facade) of the ...

English: Detail of the façade (facade) of the Duomo Santa Maria Cathedral in Pisa (Italy). Nederlands: Detail van de façade (voorkant) van de Duomo Santa Maria Kathedraal in Pisa (Italië). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Baptistery of the Pisa Cathedral,...

English: The Baptistery of the Pisa Cathedral, Italy (at night). Français : Vue nocturne du baptistère de la cathédrale de Pise, en Italie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

View of the Cathedral of Pisa (Duomo) and Bell...

View of the Cathedral of Pisa (Duomo) and Bell Tower (Campanile) from the southwest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italy is one of the world’s most alluring travel destinations. It is brimming with outstanding art, historical buildings and spectacular fountains.

Spanische Treppe in Rom

Spanische Treppe in Rom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are magnificent bridges and churches with sculptures by Bernini and Michelangelo. The Food and Wine is outstanding and there are plenty of enchanting villages for touring and tasting. Italy is a premier wine tourism destination.

English: Rome, the Coloseum, originally known ...

English: Rome, the Coloseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre Italiano: Il Colosseo a Roma, originariamente conosciuto come Anfiteatro Flavio Polski: Rzymskie Koloseum, znane też jako Amfiteatr Flawiuszów (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italiano: Collage di vari immagini di Roma.

Italiano: Collage di vari immagini di Roma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are the Top Ten Reasons to Travel to Italy:

1. It is the historic and cultural epicenter of the Etruscans, the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church

English: Cathedral of Pisa (Duomo di Pisa), Pi...

English: Cathedral of Pisa (Duomo di Pisa), Pisa, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and the Renaissance.

Capo Conca at Conca dei Marini, Almalfi Coast ...

Capo Conca at Conca dei Marini, Almalfi Coast (10/10/2007) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rome, the Coloseum, originally known as the Fl...

Rome, the Coloseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre Italiano: Il Colosseo a Roma, originariamente conosciuto come Anfiteatro Flavio Polski: Rzymskie Koloseum, znane też jako Amfiteatr Flawiuszów (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italy  is imbued with superlatives. Italy has more than 47  World Heritage; more sites than any other country in the world. They have sultry fashion and vehicle design, outstanding culinary and entertainment options, spectacular beaches and magnificent art and architecture.

Spagna, Spanish Steps, Spanische Treppe in Rom

Spagna, Spanish Steps, Spanische Treppe in Rom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enzo Ferrari

Enzo Ferrari (Photo credit: kenjonbro)

Castel Sant' Angelo, Roma.

Castel Sant’ Angelo, Roma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the 5 villages known as "Cinque Te...

One of the 5 villages known as “Cinque Terre” in Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enzo Ferrari

Enzo Ferrari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2.  Italy is also a manufacturing juggernaut.  It produces sexy, powerful driving machines.  In 1929, Enzo Ferrari founded the racing team that led to the famous sports car.

English: Autodromo Dino and Enzo Ferrari in Im...

English: Autodromo Dino and Enzo Ferrari in Imola in Italy. Start of an inline-skater competition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The legendary Ferrari auto company recently  built a new museum in Ferrari’s hometown of Modena.

Tour the museum here: http://www.businessinsider.com/take-a-look-inside-the-ferrari-museum-2012-8?op=1#ixzz24r0pztPS.

Prestigious nameplates like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati thrill car enthusiasts around the world.

Ferrari 308

Ferrari 308 (Photo credit: dave_7)

orange enzo ferrari

Ilario Bandini and Enzo Ferrari in Forlì in 1964.

Ilario Bandini and Enzo Ferrari in Forlì in 1964. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italian design prowess spills over into the motorcycle industry.  The sleek curves of Ducati, Cagiva, Aprilia and Motoguzzi offer exciting, desirable rides.  Even the country’s Fiats and Vespas are alluring. The cacophony of Italy’s motorcycless can be heard throughout the world.

English: Castel Sant'Angelo/St. Angelo and Pon...

English: Castel Sant’Angelo/St. Angelo and Ponte Sant’Angelo (Rome) Français : Pont Sant’Angelo, Rome (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mount Etna seen from the town of Taormina.

Mount Etna seen from the town of Taormina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3.  Captivating panoramic vistas of the peninsula’s majestic mountains, volcanoes and glistening seas enhance Italy’s timeless charm.  The fascinating array of sights and travel experiences includes glorious cityscapes overflowing with art and architectural masterpieces in the Vatican City are captivating! Churches and museums are repositories of magnificent art. Saint Peter’s Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums contain the most spectacular art collection in the world. The Uffizi in Florence has more masterpieces per square foot than any other art museum in the world.

St. Peter's Basilica in Rome seen from the roo...

St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome seen from the roof of Castel Sant’Angelo. Location: Rome Taken: September 2004 Source: Wikipedia Commons Photographer: Wolfgang Stuck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Last Judgement

The Last Judgement (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The left half of the entire ceiling, after res...

The left half of the entire ceiling, after restoration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sicily 2009

Sicily 2009 (Photo credit: mad_76)

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino 2003 I...

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino 2003 Italian wine from Tuscany made from Sangiovese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4.  Italy’s historic cities are surrounded by dreamy landscapes coveted and replicated by Renaissance artists.  Rolling hills are carpeted with vineyards and olive and citrus groves.  The micro climates of wine regions from Piedmont to Sicily provide the Italian wine producers with resources and endless opportunities to produce highly-regarded local wines. Sangiovese, Trebbiano,  Barbera and Nebbiolo grapes become estate wines that ultimately stock wine cellars throughout Italy. Italy supplies the world with the finest Barolo, Brunello, Amarone and Chianti wines. There are more than 300 varietals that are cultivated in many locations: by the sea, on the foothills of the magnificent mountains and in the southern-most volcanic islands.

World-wide Italian wine sales in 2011 were 13 billion euros with 700,000 wine estates and 30,000 bottlers. Outstanding wines earn accolades like “Three Glasses” (Tre Bicchieri) from Gamberro Rosso.  In 2012, from over 20,000 wines tasted by Gambero Rosso panels, only 375 labels attained the “Tre Bicchieri” status. By the way, Italy also has outstanding olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Italian Food & Wine

Italian Olive Oil

Montalcino, Toscana, Italia

Montalcino, Toscana, Italia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Logo of the United Nations Educational, Scient...

Logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5.  In 1972, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed the World Heritage Convention.  This International Treaty was designed to preserve the world’s greatest cultural and natural sites. Italy has a wide array of the designated World Heritage Sites.  The sites range from archeological ruins to distinctive city centers like Rome, Florence and Venice. Sicily has incredible Greek Theaters and Temples.

Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taormina 05

Taormina 05 (Photo credit: Giovy.it)

6. Italy’s reputation as Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” destination is enhanced by the availability of superb accommodations.  Italians have mastered the art of seaside lounging; many hotels offer rejuvenating spas, rooftop observatories and infinity pools.

English: Plaque to Federico Fellini on the Via...

English: Plaque to Federico Fellini on the Via Veneto, Rome, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Historic monasteries and villas have been converted into luxuriously appointed five-star hotel properties that meet the discriminating needs of sophisticated sojourners.

If you go to Rome, stay at the Hotel Majestic Roma on the Via Venato. This is one of my favorite properties. The historic architect Gaetano Koch catered to the luxury crowd and the hotel served as a backdrop for Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”. I love the panoramic views from the balconies of the newly renovated restaurant overlooking the Via Venato.

Interior of the Grand Hotel Minerva in Rome Italy

I love the Grand Hotel Mineva in Rome because everytime you walk out of the front door, you get to see Bernini’s famous elephant in Piazza della Minerva.Bernini

Grand Hotel Minerva in Rome Italy

Another one of my favorites is the Hotel de Russie. The 18th century terraced gardens are close to the Popolo churches and they serve a great de Russie Martini with caviar. Near the Spanish Steps, stay at the Hotel Eden near the Via Condotti. They have a fabulous rooftop restaurant called La Teraza. The Hassler is at the top of the Spanish Steps. The 1885 building was reconstructed in 1938. There are fabulous views of the Pantheon, Aventino Hill and the Borghese Gardens through the 6th floor windows. Have lunch at the Palm Court Garden. I must admit that my favorite Vino con Vista hotel in Italy is Villa Cimbrone in Ravello; perched high above the Amalfi Coast.

View from Ravello, Italy, down into the bay.

View from Ravello, Italy, down into the bay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ravello Italy coast

Ravello Italy coast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7.  Government-supported agritourism is growing exponentially across Italy since its inception in 1985.  Agriturismo allows travelers to stay and dine at working farms.  The government offers tax breaks and incentives to farmers who create rooms for tourists.  There were more than 14,000 agriturismi in Italy in 2007; over 3500 in Tuscany and about 600 in Sardinia.

Door of the Cathedral’s Bell Tower in Alghero Sardinia

8.  The nation’s flourishing culinary culture spawns superb cooking schools and gourmet restaurants.  Many detail-obsessed chefs use fresh farm-to-table ingredients. Notable chefs earn sought after Michelin Stars, as well as Italy’s coveted “Tre Forchette” (Three Forks) Awards.

Pasta vongole in Naples, Italy.

Pasta vongole in Naples, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

9.  “Buon Ricordo” is an association of gastronomic entrepreneurs founded in 1964 (www.buonricordo.com). The union of member restaurants promotes regional cuisine with specialty entrees, membership cards and charming ceramic collector plates that celebrate local culinary tradition. There are more than 100 Buon Ricordo Restaurants in Italy. Card-carrying Buon Ricordo members are afforded hotel privileges as well. Outstanding Italian restaurateurs are passionately committed to palate-pleasing regional cuisine and wine. They offer extensive wine lists that provide depth and diversity of labels and vintages.  They frequently retain devoted wine directors and sommeliers. By the way, Italy has the best desserts in the world!

Italian Food & Wine

YUMMY!!

Armani is another example of luxury designer c...

Armani is another example of luxury designer clothing label. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

10.  Italy is a shopping paradise.  Designer fashion luminaries grace Italy’s catwalks.  Socialites and celebrities embrace the designs of Italian purveyors like Gucci, Pucci, Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Armani, Prada, Valentino and Ferragamo.  Italy’s haute couture and ready-to-wear adorn global fashionistas.

To learn more about Italy read www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides.

Rome

Rome (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

English: Map of Italy and its districts.

English: Map of Italy and its districts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Angelo

Angelo (Photo credit: aldoaldoz)

 

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Vino con Vista Loves Italian Renaissance Art

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria d...
Image via Wikipedia
English: Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. R...

English: Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. Red chalk. 33 × 21 cm. Turin, Royal Library (inv.no. 15571). NOTE This image is in red chalk. Do not revert to the black and white image. Deutsch: Kopf eines bärtigen Mannes, sog. Selbstbildnis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Annunciation (1475–1480)—Uffizi, is thought to...

Annunciation (1475–1480)—Uffizi, is thought to be Leonardo’s earliest complete work. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This complex Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo...

This complex Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo da Vinci was never completed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Death of Leonardo da Vinci by François-Guillau...

Death of Leonardo da Vinci by François-Guillaume Ménageot (now to be seen in the observatory and museum at Amboise). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Michelangelo-pieta

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Raffael 006

Image via Wikipedia

Leonardo da Vinci - Madonna Litta - WGA12702

Leonardo da Vinci – Madonna Litta – WGA12702 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Euro-standard circulation Italian 1 euro coin ...

Euro-standard circulation Italian 1 euro coin (national/obverse side). The design represents Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of the proportions of the human body (also known as the Vitruvian man). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Statue of Leonardo da Vinci ...by himself ? In...

Statue of Leonardo da Vinci …by himself ? In front of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and Saint...

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and Saint John the Baptist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Leonardo da Vinci was the embodiment of a Renaissance Man because he excelled at a variety of worthwhile endeavors. He was a celebrated sculptor, painter, architect, engineer and scientist. Leonardo’s “Vitruvian Man” represents the perfectly proportioned man.

English: Studies of Embryos by Leonardo da Vin...

English: Studies of Embryos by Leonardo da Vinci (Pen over red chalk 1510-1513) Français : étude anatomique du foetus dans l’uterus, par Léonard de Vinci (1510-1513, Plume, encre sur papier) Cette célèbre étude montre un foetus âgé de 4 mois. Outre l’image extrêmement plastique de la “position foetale”, Leonard cherche à visualiser la constitution du placenta. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Watch the following video showing four major Italian Renaissance artists and their work : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVQBVE9BzYk

tempera on gesso, pitch and mastic

Image via Wikipedia

Michelangelo Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbZen2OOA3M&feature=related

Giotto - The Entombment of Mary - Google Art P...

Image via Wikipedia

Titian, Raphael, Giotto Video:

Raphael - Von der Ropp Madonna

Image via Wikipedia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBTtjDMBIbk&feature=related Botticelli Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOILQzTfYww&feature=related are notable Renaissance artists who were commissioned by wealthy families and popes.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Leonardo

Leonardo (Photo credit: Arenamontanus)

The contributions of these artists decorate the walls of churches, palaces and museums around the world. The Renaissance flourished in Italy and Italian masters graced humanity with a wealth of masterpieces Bartolommeo Vivarini from Venice produced works of art for cities across Northern Italy and down the Adriatic Coast including this altarpiece of “Saint Mark” around 1490.

Italian Renaissance art

 Cosme Tura from Ferrara painted “Saint George” around 1474 for the Church of San Giorgio fuori le Mura in Ferrara. Carlo Crivelli from Venice painted the “Madonna and Child” in 1468. Alessandro Mattia da Farnese from Rome painted the “Portrait of Prince Augusto Chigi” in 1664. Giovanni di Paolo from Sienna painted “The Madonna and Child with Angels” in 1475. Sano di Pietro from Siena painted “Saint Catherine of Siena” in about 1450. Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro) from Florence painted “The Madonna and Child” in 1411-1413. Giotto‘s “God the Father with Angels”

Italian Renaissance art

Perugino from Umbria

Saint Jerome

Bernardino Luini from Milan painted “The Conversion of the Magdalene” (An Allegory of Modesty and Vanity) in 1520 with gesturing hands.

Italian Renaissance art

Catena’s “Holy Family” I love Luca Signorelli’s, “The Coronation of the Virgin” 1508

Italian Renaissance Art

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A Video Vino Con Vista Tour of Rome

[Forum Boario, Rome, Italy] (LOC)

[Forum Boario, Rome, Italy] (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

Rome

Rome (Photo credit: tejvanphotos)

English: The seven hills of Rome Српски / Srps...

English: The seven hills of Rome Српски / Srpski: Седам брежуљака Рима (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Via Appia, a road connecting the city of Rome ...

Via Appia, a road connecting the city of Rome to the Southern parts of Italy remains usable even today. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Currently ancient Rome covers the modern munic...

Currently ancient Rome covers the modern municipi 1, 2 and 3. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tour the magnificence of Ancient Rome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIeZfHLByvQ&feature=related

[Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy] (LOC)

[Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy] (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

or Modern Rome

http://www.5min.com/Video/Travel-to-Rome-Italy-113368082

To learn more about Rome visit www.vino-con-vista.com

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides to Italy and

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites
 

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Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Festival 2013 in Florence Italy

Italiano: Collage di varie foto di Firenze

Italiano: Collage di varie foto di Firenze (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Attend Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in the cradle of the Renaissance and the capital of European culture. Florence is brimming with magnificent works of art and architecture. Florence was the city that spawned the Renaissance and the home of many notable composers, musicians, artists and poets who were inspired by the beauty of the Tuscan landscape.

WHEN: April 2-24. 2013

Download the program here: http://www.eventoitaliano.it/uploads/documenti/maggio_musicale_fiorentino_programme_2013.pdf

Zubin Mehta conducting the Israeli Philharmoni...

Zubin Mehta conducting the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre(NCPA) in Mumbai. A series of concerts were held to mark the centenary of Mehli Mehta, Zubin’s father. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino is also famous for the contributions of conductor Zubin Mehta. In 1990, he conducted the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in the first ever Three Tenors concert in Rome. This annual event is the “oldest and most prestigious music festival in Europe after Salzburg, which attracts the greatest concert, opera and contemporary artists in the world.” This event highlights the long musical tradition of Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. The extraordinary Florentine music tradition is rooted in the musical passions of the Medici court during the Renaissance.

David piazzale michelangelo

David piazzale michelangelo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Verdi - il Trovatore, Del Monaco,Tebaldi, Simi...

Verdi – il Trovatore, Del Monaco,Tebaldi, Simionato, Tozzi, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orch. Suisse Romande, Erede, London ffss OS 25040 (Photo credit: Piano Piano!)

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino includes an opera festival. It was founded in April 1933 by conductor Vittorio Gui. with the aim of presenting contemporary and forgotten operas in visually dramatic productions. It was the first music festival in Italy. The first opera presented was Verdi‘s early Nabucco, his early operas then being rarely staged. The festival takes place in late April and last until June, typically with four operas. This Festival offers international music performances and the city’s biggest arts featival between April 30th and June 2nd.

Florence Roofs

Florence Roofs (Photo credit: plemeljr)

Photograph of Ponte Vecchio at night. Florence...

Photograph of Ponte Vecchio at night. Florence, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Duomo in Florence

Duomo in Florence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While you are there, visit the the Palazzo Vecchio and the Galleria degli Uffizi. The Galleria dell’Accademia has Michelangelo’s David (1501-4). The Museo del  Bargello is another one of my favorites where you can admire fine treasures from the Renaissance. Don’t miss the Museum of St. Mark’s, brimming with Fra Angelico’s masterpieces. The Santissima Annunziata Piazza has the Lodge of the Holy Innocents by Brunelleschi.

Ecce Homo

Ecce Homo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The façade of Santa Maria Novella, completed b...

The façade of Santa Maria Novella, completed by Leon Battista Alberti in 1470. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Cathedral Piazza of Santa Maria del Fiore has Giotto’s campanile on one side and the Baptistry of St John in front, with the Gates of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti. To the west of the cathedral, visit the imposing Strozzi Palace and the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. The Basilica’s facade was designed by Leon Battista Alberti. Visit the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi by Michelozzo and the St. Lawrence Basilica by Brunelleschi; the sacristies were designed by Donatello and Michelangelo.

Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Italy File:Brogi, G...

Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Italy File:Brogi, Giacomo (1822-1881) – n. 3039 – Firenze – Palazzo Pitti (lato di Boboli).jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cross the Ponte Vecchio and visit the Oltrarno quarter, with the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. Travel to the Holy Ghost Basilica by Filippo Brunelleschi and the Carmelite Church, with its frescoes by Masolino, Masaccio and Filippino Lippi.

front of Pitti Palace

front of Pitti Palace (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Take pictures of Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome on the main cathedral and Ghiberti’s Baptistery doors. Buy some jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio or stroll along the jade-colored Arno River.

Sanminiato

Sanminiato (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The historic center of Florence is a sight to behold from Piazzale Michelangelo, located under the Romanesque Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, where construction was initiated in 1013. Travel to Fiesole, with spectacular views of the Arno valley. Then travel to the wine regions that surround Florence in the beautiful Tuscan countryside.

To find out what’s happening in Florence visit: www.firenze.net

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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10 Reasons to Travel to Urbino: A UNESCO Site in Le Marche

Federico III da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino. P...
Image via Wikipedia
see filename

see filename (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: "Euclid of Megara" (lat: Ev...

English: “Euclid of Megara” (lat: Evklidi Megaren), Panel from the Series ‘Famous Men’, Justus of Ghent, about 1474, Panel, 102 x 80 cm, Urbino, Galleria Nazionale delle Marche. This picture is meant to represent the famous mathematician Euclid of Alexandria, who was, in medieval times, wrongly identified with Euclid of Megara, the disciple of Socrates. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Le Marche, not far from the Adriatic Sea, the savvy traveler will find the small hill town of Urbino.  It is perched between the Foglio and Metauro Rivers.

Urbino

Urbino (Photo credit: kekkoz)

Le Marche enjoys more than 100 miles of clean Adriatic coastline with long stretches of sandy beaches. The regional capital is Ancona where an annual “Summer Jamboree Festival” is held with bands from all over the world. www.summerjamboree.com

Urbino was declared a dukedom in the middle of the 15th century and has a Ducal Palace with cellars and servants quarters. Raphael and Bramante were famous local Renaissance artists. Urbino’s historic center has a magnificent array of medieval and well-preserved Renaissance buildings nestled in a picturesque countryside setting that was inscribed by UNESCO in 1998. The historic center has interesting sites that include: The Oratory of St. John the Baptist, Raphael’s birth house, the churches of St. Francis and St. Dominic, the Oratory of St. Gaetano, the cloistered convent of St. Claire and of the Church of St. Bernardino. There is a fabulous VIno con Vista panorama of the city from the Albornoz Fortress.

Battista Sforza, Duchess of Urbino. Portrait b...

Battista Sforza, Duchess of Urbino. Portrait by Piero della Francesca. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Urbino’s illustrious past rivals Florence in terms of its cultural significance during the Renaissance.  This town attracted many humanist scholars and Renaissance artists in the 15th century.  These trailblazers ultimately influenced cultural developments elsewhere in Europe. Urbino became a Ducal city during the Renaissance.

For more information visit: http://www.le-marche.com/

Portrait of a Young Woman (best known as La Mu...

Portrait of a Young Woman (best known as La Muta), Raphael, 1507-1508, Galleria Nazionale delle Marche. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Urbino was the birthplace of Raffaello Sanzio in 1483. He  lived at Casa Natale di Raffaello and his former residence warrants a visit. The birthplace of Raphael is a small 14th-century building with a charming interior courtyard. What was probably the artist’s first important work, a Madonna and Child, is located in the first-floor room where he was born in 1483. His superb artistic skills adorn the walls of the Vatican in his legendary “School of Athens” masterpiece.

Italiano: Scuola di Atene English: The School ...

Italiano: Scuola di Atene English: The School of Athens – fresco by Raffaello Sanzio (w) Español: La escuela de Atenas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Urbino: Palazzo Ducale & Duomo

Urbino: Palazzo Ducale & Duomo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. Visit the elegantly proportioned Palazzo Ducale that was built for Duke Federico da Montefeltro and his wife Battista Sforza as a defensive structure in 1460 designed by architect by Luciano da Laurana and Francesco di Giorgio Martini.

It is one of the most beautiful architectural works of the Italian Renaissance. The palace is perched high on a hill with panoramic views of the countryside.  The façade of the palace is flanked by two dominating towers. Montefeltro was a patron of the arts who ruled Urbino from 1444-1482. The 3rd Sunday in August, attend “Festa del Ducca” in Urbino to honor  the Duke.

Galleria Nazionale delle Marche

Galleria Nazionale delle Marche (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3.  The palace houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche  (The Marche National Gallery) and holds the most significant collection of Marchigiana art.  This museum is the home to works by Raphael, Piero della Francesca, Tizano, Paolo Uccello and Luca Signorelli.

4.  The elegant, Neo-Classical Duomo was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1789.  It was done by Giuseppe Valadier, Architect of the Holy See.The impressive cathedral is in Piazza Duca Federico and has a beautiful painting of the “Last Supper” by Federico Barocci. The cathedral/Duomo was largely rebuilt in the late 18th century, during the papacy of Pius VII who completing the reconstruction left unfinished during the reign of Clement XI.

Urbino

Urbino (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Urbino, Marche, Italia

Urbino, Marche, Italia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5.  Have a “Vino con Vista” at La Vecchia Fornarina close to Piazza della Republica.  It is the oldest restaurant in Urbino.  Order some fish stew with a glass of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi (DOC) , a crisp white wine. Order some red Piceno (DOC) vino at the Mamiani Hotel on Via Bernini and enjoy the beautiful view. Duke Federico preferred sour cherry wine made from marasca cherries called Visner.  After dinner, order some chocolate and sip some chilled Visner as you toast Federico Montefeltro. He was the enlightened lord that was instrumental in transforming this lovely city. Distilled wines like aniseed liqueurs are popular in this region (Mistra and Anisetta).

6. Visit the Umani Ronchi Winery.  Try some Medoro Marche Sangiovese or Le Busche Marche Bianco (www.unmanironchi.com). Visit the International Wine Label Museum in Cupramontana.

7.  A haven for Foodies, the cuisine has been influenced by Romagna to the north and Abruzzi to the south. From polenta to porchetta and white truffles, the regional specialties of the Marches include:  “Olive all’Ascolana” stuffed with mince, eggs, cheese and dipped in egg and breadcrumbs and fried in olive oil; Stoccafisso in Potacchio, Brodetto and Coniglio in Porchetta.  Fossa cheese is aged while buried in a pit. “Vincisgrassi” is lasagne with mushrooms, truffles and chicken livers covered with bechamel sauce and baked to perfection. Cannelloni, maccheroncini di Campofilone and cresce tagliate are popular first courses in the Marche. In sea-side areas the “Arrosto Segreto” is made with mackerel, anchovies and sardines; this cooking process allows the fish to be cooked on both sides at the same time like a fish panini. In Urbino, the delicious braciola is stuffed and braised in white wine. Try some Prosciutto di Montefeltro. You can sign up for Cooking School at:  http://www.latavolamarche.com

8.  In August, attend the “Sagra delle Frittelle” of Massignano in the Ascoli Piceno fortress. This Fritter Fest is a 50 year old Italian Food Festival. The Macerata Opera Festival is held in Sferisterio from July 15 to August 15 www.maceratagallery.it.

9.  More notable holy places include: the 14th-century Oratory of St John the Baptist with outstanding frescoes by Luca Signorelli and the 14th century Church of San Francesco with an interior that was redesigned in the 18th century. The Church of San Domenico is basically a 13th-century structure with an articulated portal that was added during the Renaissance period, surmounted by a beautiful oriel window by Luca della Robbia. The Santa Chiara and San Bernardino monasteries are good examples of Renaissance architecture.

10.  Attend glorious “Holiday Festivals and Events” in the town of Candelara in December in the province of Macerata and also in the town of Fano in Giardini Amiani.

Italiano: Veduta della città di Urbino dalla c...

Italiano: Veduta della città di Urbino dalla collina del castello. Si ammira la Cattedrale e il Palazzo Ducale sulla sinistra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides to Italy and Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

To learn more about Italy read www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides.

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