Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Castles in Italy

In each region there are many Italian medieval castles. A good number of these fortifications are a result of a medieval history complicated.  For example, the famous Matilda of Canossa in its territories in Tuscany and Emilia had a complex defense system with many castles. Even the pope changed an ancient funerary mausoleum to have a castle near the Vatican.

Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome

Italians are very fond of visiting the castles that were built by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (1194-1250) and in particular the beautiful castle of Castel del Monte in Apulia.

Castel del Monte (Apulia)

This castle was built by Frederick II as his private residence and its architecture has several symbolic values. There are also books on the esoteric meaning of this castle.
But the emperor had castles for military reasons in other areas of Puglia and Italy.

Castle of Prato in Tuscany

Tourists love very castles where the guides speak of ancient stories of love and among these ancient manors we mention the castles of Gradara and Torrechiara.

Gradara Castle is famous for the love story of Paolo and Francesca
(in the Marche region, not far from the Adriatic Sea)

Castle Torrechiara in the region Emilia
the place is famous for the love between the owner and the beautiful mistress

Some rooms of the castle Torrechiara were painted during the Renaissance. Many tourists are fascinated by the famous Golden Chamber.
Other castles are famous for different reasons. For example the famous occultist Count Alessandro di Cagliostro was imprisoned in the Fortress of San Leo, not far from the small republic of San Marino.

San Leo Rocca

Tourists often appreciate also the castles near the lakes.

The castle on Lake Bracciano, not far from Rome

Sirmione, Lake Garda

Beautiful castles there are so many other places. From Sicily to Piedmont. 
To see more photos, we propose the link "Italian castles"


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Rome, history and art around Via Veneto

Via Vittorio Veneto, called often Via Veneto, is one of the most famous, elegant streets of Rome. Federico Fellini's classic film La Dolce Vita was partly centered on this area. The Embassy of the United States and many famous hotels are located along the avenue.

old photo of the street with the palace Margherita ( American Embassy)

However, in the Via Veneto, there are some really interesting buildings.There are for example the church of the Capuchin friars with a strange museum and the ancient Porta Pinciana.

the church is famous for the crypt and many remains of friars buried on old times. Inside the church there are several paintings by artists such as Guido Reni, Giovanni Lanfranco and Domenichino.Some people speculate that a painting was done by Michelangelo Merisi called Caravaggio
The Archangel Michael, painted by Guido Reni.
Porta Pinciana is an old wall in Rome. We document this monument with an old engraving by Giuseppe Vasi.
 The gate is located near the Villa Borghese Gardens at the end of Via Veneto.
The architecture of some hotels is often interesting. But in the restaurant of a hotel at number 70 of Via Veneto you can see also a valuable frescos by the artist Guido Cadorin. These murals were painted at the beginning of the fascist period, and historians acknowledge some people and also the journalist Margherita Sarfatti friend of Mussolini. The woman later emigrated in South America, in 1938 when Mussolini wanted the racial laws.
In Via Veneto tourists can arrive with a staircase to the beautiful church of S.Isidoro-Capo Le Case.
the staircase and the church of S. Isidoro -photo by Alpy

We publish some photos of the church and the small convent.

interior of the church-photo by A.Pav
fresco in the cloister, photo by A.Pav

sculptures in the chapel Da Sylva-photo by A.Pav

The Chapel Da Sylva was commissioned by a wealthy gentleman Portuguese, friend of the sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, but the chapel was largely  made  by colleagues of the famous artistAt the end of Via Veneto, Piazza Barberini, tourists can admire two beautiful fountains made by Bernini

fountain of Api 
Tritone fountain 

Shortly far from the square there is Palazzo Barberini with important collection of paintings.
Many years ago a lot of land in the area belonged to the Ludovisi family and tourists can rarely see a famous fresco (Aurora) by Guercino in the Casino Boncompagni-Ludovisi.


Monday, 10 November 2014

In Milan, Raphael for Christmas

In the beautiful town hall in Milan, from 3 December until 11 January, tourists and art lovers will be able to see the famous painting by Raphael's "Madonna
Esterházy "owned by the museum in Budapest.
The beautiful picture was painted by Raphael around 1508. Later the painting was donated by Pope Clement XI to Elisabetta Cristina di Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel and then passed to the family Esterházy in Hungary.

The painting will be exhibited in the old room "Alessi".

Madonna and Child with S.Giovannino, photo by wikipedia

the beautiful courtyard of the town hall in Milan (palazzo Marino)

The palace is located near the famous theater "La Scala".
At the moment in Milan you can see the nice exhibition "the ladies of the Pollaiolo" at the Poldi Pezzoli. From April 2015 there will also be an exhibition on the works of Leonardo da Vinci.

the ladies by the Pollaiolo brothers-Poldi Pezzoli Museum

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Art exhibition in a castle. St. Sebastian paintings

The Miradolo Castle not far from Turin, is hosting an exhibition dedicated to some paintings of St. Sebastian. The castle is in the area of ​​Pinerolo and also has a nice park.

photo of the Foundation Cosso

In the exhibition, visitors can see several paintings made between the XV and XVII. 

painting by Titian, photo studio Esseci

painting by Francesco Raibolini (cailled Il Francia),  photo studio Esseci

Caravaggio school, photo studio Esseci

Other interesting paintings are attributed to artists Cola dell'Amatrice, Carlo Crivelli, Rubens, Guercino, Guido Reni, Mattia Preti, Luca Giordano, De Ribeira etc. It 'also visible a ceramic statue of Andrea della Robbia. The exhibition will be open until the first week of March 2015. The initiative is organized by the foundation Cosso, by Vittorio Sgarbi, with the collaboration of Antonio D'Amico
The memory of St. Sebastian regard some old events in this area of Piedmont.
In the castle there are also a café and other visitor services.
It should be noted that the nearby town of Pinerolo belonged for a long time the king of France.

the old Pinerolo

Because of its location the fortress of Pinerolo was often used as a prison for important personages in France.