Showing posts with label history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label history. Show all posts

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Byzantine art in eastern Sicily

In a period of the Middle Ages, in eastern Sicily, Byzantine art has left some evidence. In some areas the monks had many relationships with Eastern Christians.
After the Arab domination had been a bit 'of Byzantine culture. The Norman kings to decorate their beautiful churches asked often the collaboration of many artists of the Byzantine school.

We publish some interesting photos.

fresco in Syracuse, crypt San Marziano 
photo by Susanna Valpreda

fresco of St. Barbara in Pantalica necropolis (read wikipedia)
photo by Susanna Valpreda

On these topics a book written in Italian is also acquirable on Amazon

Susanna Valpreda: Sikelia-In Sicilia orientale nel periodo bizantino
Read more

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Nativity scenes in Rome

The tradition of the Nativity scenes in Italy begins in the Middle Ages and St. Francis personally executed one in Greccio, a village in north of Rome.
In Naples, the people are very fond of this tradition, and there is also a road where they sell the parts people need.
In Naples there is also an interesting museum at the Certosa di San Martino.
In Rome, the tradition is a bit 'different but we say some.
In the ancient church of SS.Cosma and Damiano, not far from the Forum, you can see, almost all year, a beautiful nativity eighteenth-century, Neapolitan style.

The Nativity Scene in SS.Cosma Damiano (photo by Luciano B)
enlargeable pictures

Other interesting nativity scenes are usually set up in many Roman churches and always has a quite successful one proposed in Santa Maria in Aracoeli.
On the subject of the Nativity we mention however two important works: the frescoes by Pinturicchio in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo and the nativity scene sculpted by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1291, now visible in the museum of Santa Maria Maggiore.

fresco by Pinturicchio

Detail of the Nativity sculpted by Arnolfo di Cambio (photo ap)
see the full scene in wikipedia

Many inhabitants of Rome still make the Nativity scene at home and sometimes they build them with pieces of plastic.
There are also very modern representations.

composition of 2011 in Piazza Venezia (photo ap)

Finally, almost every year at Christmas time, is an exhibition near the church of Santa Maria del Popolo.

show cribs 2015-2016

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Medici villa at Poggio a Caiano and the old kitchens

The beautiful villa- not far from Prato and Florence- was commissioned by Lorenzo de 'Medici  around the year 1480.

the architect of the villa was Giuliano da Sangallo
photo alpy 2012

The villa's gardens are very beautiful and inside the building are preserved several works of art.
The villa can be visited also the small theater that was built by Marguerite Louise d'Orl矇ans (the wife of a duke of Tuscany) and the apartment of Bianca Cappello, who died here in 1587.
In the large hall are visible frescoes by Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Franciabigio, Alessandro Allori etc.
The villa was also used by the King of Italy, then some of the furniture and decorations are the nineteenth century.
Other villas belonged to the historic Medici family are visited by tourists. Also Villa of Petraia is interesting.
From July 4 to October 25, 2015, visitors can extend their tour by visiting the old kitchen of the villa and a special exhibition. To access some old rooms need to book.
The exhibition shows several ancient paintings of kitchens, cooks and food. Some works of art come from important museums or private collections.

ancient fireplace kitchen-photo by Opera Laboratori Fiorentini-Civita

painting of Giacomo Ceruti said Pitocchetto - painted in the fifth decade
 of the eighteenth century-photo by Opera Laboratori Fiorentini-Civita

The private kitchens of the nobles were largely designed and built between 1614 and 1619 during the reign of Cosimo II de 'Medici.
If you choose a hotel in Prato can see also the beautiful cathedral and many beautiful monuments.

Prato cathedral -photo ap

frescos in Prato, photo s.b




Thursday, 11 June 2015

Paintings by Filippino Lippi in San Gimignano

At the museums of San Gimignano (Siena) will soon be proposed for public viewing works by Filippino Lippi.
The small but interesting exhibition is scheduled from June 13 to November 1, 2015. For the occasion people will see the two round paintings of 1483 and 1484, some drawings, some ancient manuscripts and Renaissance frames.
Important part of the exhibition are two paintings depicting the one the Angel of the Annunciation, the other the Annunziata. Just as it had been requested in 1482 by the Priors and Captains for the Town Hall of San Gimignano.

exhibition poster

Virgin Annunciate, 1483-84. San Gimignano (photo by Civita)

Studies for the figure of a saint kneeling with a crosier, and for a standing figure with 
a turban- Metal needle, with lead white highlights on grey prepared paper (photo by Civita)

old letter: the Priors and Captains of the Guelph Party earmark an additional sum of thirty lire for the Annunciation  (photo by Civita)
Text translation: for the effigy of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin to adorn the Hall of Hearings. Whereas it has been previously deliberated that an effigy of the Annunciation shall be painted in the Hall of Hearings of this Palazzo as a mark of honour for the community and in celebration of the most glorious Virgin Mary, the mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and whereas in that connection nothing has yet been done, in accordance with the proposal of Niccol簷 di Agostino Abbracciabeni, one of the Priors, it is hereby established that the present Priors and Captains cause to be painted in the Hall of Hearings the effigy of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary on two square or round panels, whichever they consider to be most fitting, for the production of which no more must be spent than the 50 lire already set aside in addition to 30 lire which the present chamberlain will set aside with monies to be taken from the profits accruing from said municipality's vineyards

the old town hall of San Gimignano (photo Geobia/wiki)
HISTORY: in the valley adjacent to San Gimignano in ancient times there were Etruscan settlements. Some legends say that around 63 BC two young Romans built two castles. However the town of San Gimignano is only mentioned in a document of 929. In later times the area was crossed by the Via Francigena. San Gimignano had an appreciable population around the end of the twelfth century.

Valdelsa: landscape of the hills around the river Elsa

books by Alpav in Lulu

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Architecture, Open House Rome

In Rome for the fourth time an association in collaboration with various government agencies offer people the chance to visit different buildings from different periods.

Hopen House Roma, to learn about the architecture
9 and 10 May 2015

The buildings that tourists and students can visit are numerous. Interested persons can view the program of the event on the website: hopen house Roma
The possibility of knowing architectural works not well known is obviously considerable. The program also provides complementary initiatives.
The event collaborate many volunteers and some scholars of architecture. We publish photos of some of the buildings are open.

palace Congressi Eur/Rome  -photo idorosario

old house De Crescenzi -photo Louis Do Rosario

Corsini palace, photo a.zucconi

Coni palace

farmhouse Pius V

palace Congressi-Eur (photo louis do rosario)

foto a cura ufficio stampa Hopen House Roma


Thursday, 23 April 2015

The fires of Agnone and art in Molise

In the beautiful town of Agnone every year in December there is a beautiful and traditional parade of torches. In the local dialect this ancient event is called the "'ndocciata".
Below we publish some photos of this particular event.

the procession of torches-photo Iride G.

a large torch of Agnone-photo Iride G.

'ndocciata:  fires illuminates tourists- photo Iride G.

However Agnone there are to visit several old churches and the old bell foundry.

In this city there is also a museum of bells. Above is reproduced a stamp by Italy

Agnone is a beautiful town of Molise, one of the smallest Italian regions. In very ancient times here there were the ancient Sunnis. In the Middle Ages it was very important in the area the great monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno which remain the ruins and fragments of frescoes. The main cities are Campobasso and Isernia.  The Molise region also has a historic town on the coast of the Adriatic Sea: Termoli

the ancient theater in the archaeological area of Pietrabbondante

fresco in San Vincenzo al Volturno-photo by wikipedia

old fountain (Fontana Fraterna) in Isernia, photo Guuz (wiki)

Termoli, the old cathedral


Monday, 13 April 2015

Rome and the ancient people of the Po valley

Since May 9, 2015 to January 17, 2016 Santa Giulia Museum in Brescia will host the exhibition "Brixia, Rome and the people of the Po. A meeting of cultures: III-I century BC"

poster of the exhibition in Brescia

The exhibition documents particularly the cultural situation that was created in the Po Valley and other areas from the battle of 295 BC to Sentinum until full inclusion of people of the north . In the 49 BC was in fact extended Roman citizenship.
In addition to the visible artifacts of the Museum of Santa Giulia, the archaeological park of Brixia (Brescia) has a great documentary value.

the Capitolium in Brescia -photo Studio Esseci

the ancient amphitheater of Brescia-photo Studio Esseci

old photo 


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Abbeys in Italy

Many abbeys were founded in Italy in the medieval period. Sometimes few princes and kings collaborated to their foundation.
The oldest is probably the abbey of Montecassino, founded in 529 by St. Benedict. Shortly after the monks built- in an isolated area-  the great monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno, which was later destroyed. In the following centuries were built other famous abbeys. In the eighth century Anselmo began work on the construction of the Abbey of Nonantola. In the ninth century the monasteries of Cava dei Tirreni and Pomposa. For many other abbeys the foundation date is uncertain, and other important monasteries were built after the tenth century.
There are monasteries in all Italian regions. In Rome  the abbey of the Tre Fontane was built in a place that was frequented by San Paolo. Nearby Rome tourists can visit the abbeys of Casamari, Fossanova and Farfa.
Among the monasteries in Tuscany should be mentioned the interesting ruins of San Galgano. But people will like also S.Antimo, Monte Oliveto Maggiore etc

San Galgano -photo Focusphoto

In many places there are important works of art. In many places there are important works of art. For example, in the sanctuary of La Verna in Tuscany there are works by Andrea della Robbia.

the church in Nonantola Abbey

Nonantola: entrance portal -photo ap

Pomposa near Ferrara

Farfa: entrance portal -photo ap

detail in the monastery of Cava dei Tirreni -photo ap

Fossanova-foto ap

Polirone Abbey

For more see other page

books by Alpav in Lulu

Friday, 20 February 2015

History and art on the coast south of Rome

Some cities on the coast just south of Rome, have an interesting cultural heritage and remarkable natural beauty.
However, few tourists visit this area or sometimes just go to some beautiful beaches.
The ancient Romans loved this coast and had built some roads. A major highway was the ancient Appian that had on the way the temple of Jupiter in Terracina.
The ancients also appreciated the wine that is produced from dark times.
Even some Roman emperors had beautiful villas. Nero had a villa at Anzio, Tiberius had an important residence in Sperlonga, the emperor Domitian had a house in the Circeo, the orator Cicero summer resided in Formia near Gaeta.
The island of Ponza was used for the exile of some noble dissidents.

archeology in Sperlonga-photo alpav


In the medieval period and even after the most important city of the area was Gaeta. In this town there is an important seaport.

old church in Gaeta-photo ap

Gaeta has a special place called "montagna spaccata"

the bell tower of the Cathedral of Gaeta

old fresco-photo ap
many works of art are in the Diocesan Museum of Gaeta

old cathedral in Terracina

medieval area of Formia-photo ap

Even the gastronomy of this area is very much appreciated. A Gaeta tourists love the special pizza called "Tiella". Even in the islands of Ponza and Ventotene the inhabitants cook interesting dishes.