Murano: More than Glass Blowing

When there were impossible crowds in Venice, Murano was a great escape. It is still a great place to go to. In Murano, like in Venice the consequences of COVID are severe; very much so. Although walking the streets and visiting the famous sites is more pleasant now, it is painful to see their empty […]

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Dream Castles

Time to Draw those Bridges! Done with the battles, territories defended, done with Guelphs and Ghibellines, done also with feudal lords and dark Middle Ages, courts and cannons all are finished; now Italy finds itself with a landscape full of very beautiful castles too often forgotten. An Italian Treasure to Discover Castles are a unique […]

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Uncomfortable Architecture

Why Are So Many Fascist Monuments Still Standing in Italy? That is the question that Ruth Ben-Ghiat wondered about on an article (in October 5, 2017), for The New Yorker. She asked why in Italy buildings and monuments of the Mussolini era still shown off.  I am not so sure that we can easily say […]

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Six Pairs of Hands to Build Bridges

During my latest boat trip on the Venetian Laguna, I admired the “Six Pairs of Hands” at the Arsenale. They are quite visible from afar, and they are supposed to be admired also by the Biennale visitors. In 2019, at the “Arsenale”,  a gigantic installation consisting of 6 pairs of hands that start from the […]

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A Mysterious Armenian Island in Venice

So, we’ll go no more a roving    So late into the night, Though the heart be still as loving,    And the moon be still as bright. LORD BYRON San Lazzaro degli Armeni There is a small island just 20 minutes by vaporetto from Piazza San Marco, just in front of that long strip of land […]

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Villages and History

Strassoldo Perhaps one of the best hamlets on the The most beautiful Village list. Strassoldo is one quiet place where I would want to just move there for the summer and nobody should bother me until September 30th.   It is a rare example of an ancient medieval village, extremely well preserved, and of unique charm. […]

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The Gardens of Este

Three thousand years of history Atheste was the original latin name of Este, almost 1000 years BC, Este was the center of paleovenetian culture; there flourished a real civilization endowed with strong characteristic elements, which knew how to weave commercial relationships with the most varied populations. A Roman Colony In the first century BC ‘Ateste‘ […]

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The Greatest “Dome” on Earth

There are two great domes in Italy, equally famous; the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, in Florence; and Saint Peter in Rome. The latter on a project by Michelangelo, but resumed after his death by two architects (Giacomo Della Porta (1533-1602) and Domenico Fontana (1543-1607). Yet the ONE dome is the one in Florence, […]

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The Talented Mr. Mochi

I often admired the works of Francesco Mochi and often wondered why he is relatively well-known both in Italy and abroad. Even back then careers had their up-&-downs and were subjected to patrons and/or plain luck. Family connections helped too. Mochi does deserve more recognition and appreciation in my view. His early dramatic works are […]

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Just a Matter of Feathers

Carnevale is underway this week in Venice, although the real deal will be this weekend, and Tuesday, which marks the beginning of lent, with Ash Wednesday. This year there were fewer people. Maybe because of Coronavirus, or maybe because of the latest big flood. It was, however, a feast for the eyes, and the photographers. […]

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A “Most Beautiful” Castell’Arquato

Welcome to Castell’Arquato beautiful medieval village and listed on the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy” list!  Castell’Arquato is strategically located on the first hills of the Val D’Arda, and it is perched along the hillside dominating the view.  Just about thirty kilometers (or 18 miles), from Piacenza and a just a bit more from Parma. […]

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Colorful Piacenza

Piacenza and its Colors Not much is known about Piacenza, because the town is often overlooked in favor of the illustrious towns of the Emilia region (like Parma for example), yet it has always been in a strategic position, on the banks  of the largest river in Italy, the link between Lombardy and Emilia Romagna […]

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