La Rotonda Opened its Four Doors

I visited Villa “La Rotonda,” Palladio‘s most charming Villa, many times over, but never inside. The estate is still privately owned, and the owner was a relatively private person. Therefore the visits were permitted only the outside and to walk around the four identical facades. Nevertheless, it was still a lovely sight and worth seeing. […]

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Dante’s Inferno, … It’s an Ice Cream!

Isn’t that a relief?  700 years after the death of the Supreme Poet, there are three limited editions ice creams dedicated to the three Dante canticles, for an engaging and surprising experience—created by Magnum—a trio of ice creams to transition from the provocation of Hell to the purity of Paradise. Magnum X Dante The journey […]

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Small and Cute Cividale

Italy has a great number of small provincial towns, often overlooked in favor of other major destination. Quite understandable though; the big five (Rome, Naples, Florence, Venice and Milan), are a must see in anybody’s travel list. But for the habituee, or the discerning art lover, there are small “sleepy” provincial towns that are worth […]

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The Other Patron of Venice

St. Theodor He was the original patron of Venice. He is in fact that guy on one of the two columns in Piazza San Marco, next to Palazzo Ducale.  One is the Saint Mark’s Lion and the other San Todaro (in Venitian), having killed a dragon. The dragon is nothing like Viserion—the scaring dragon of […]

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Clauiano—A “Most Beautiful Village”

As we have regained our freedom to roam, we seize every occasion to move around, walk, visit, and just enjoy the freedom and the tardy and unwilling Spring we are having. I’m determined to see many (not all, it may be impossible I’m afraid), of the villages that are part of the prestigious club “The […]

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Monte di Pietà or “Pawnbroker”

Something not to overlook when visiting any Italian city are the Monte di Pietà buildings. Often they are the most prominent buildings of the city. The “Monte di Pietà” was nothing more than the common “Pawnbroker.” What makes it very different in Italy is the beautiful, richly decorated building that once was the “Pawnbrokers” of […]

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The Mimosa Award: Catherine de Medicis

Catherine de Medicis wasn’t beautiful, and not even charming. Her great-grandfather, now dead for about forty years, was the great Lorenzo, known as The Magnificent, Lord of Florence. She had very little to be happy about. Her mother died a few days after her birth and her father, Lorenzo II, also died two weeks later. […]

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The Whereabouts of St. Mark

I was always fascinated by the story of St. Mark, whose remains are richly guarded under the main altar inside the Basilica of San Marco in Venice. Especially when I look at the beautiful mosaic on the facade of the Basilica where the remains of San Marco are covered with a blue sheet… like he […]

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Rialto

For the Venice habitué when you say “Rialto” it is not just the bridge the first thing that comes to mind, but the fish market just off the famous bridge. Rialto Bridge is the undisputed symbol of the city and one of the most iconic bridges in Venice, the Rialto market also has another architectural […]

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Of Books and Cathedrals

Recently I read Follett’s latest book “The Evening and the Morning” A prequel to the [more] successful “Pillars of the Earth.” It was the Cathedral building adventures that captivated me, although much more so in the “Pillars” than on this last book. But it was the book that pushed me to visit a Cathedral as […]

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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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