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THE VALLEY OF TEMPLES

posted by on March 10th, 2017

One of the most fascinating areas of Sicily is undoubtedly the famous Valley of the Temples, impressive testimony of the Magna Grecia in Sicily.Since 1997 the Valley of the Temples is on the list of World Heritage.
The park that welcomes it’s the largest archaeological park in the world: about 1300 hectares.
The Valley of the Temples contains ten Doric temples, shrines and three different cemeteries:
Montelusa, Moses, Pezzino, Roman necropolis and the tomb of Theron, Early Christian and Acrosoli.
They are also present in water projects like the garden of Kolymbetra and Hypogeum, fortifications and a part of a Hellenistic-Roman quarter. Among the places of meeting of ancient Greece, the Agora are lower near the temple of Olympian Zeus and the upper Agora in the museum complex. And still a Olympeion and Bouleuterion (boardroom) Roman era of Greek plan.

Temple of Concord
In the wonderful and enchanting Valley of the Temples, there where the story has remained intact and present, is the Temple of Concord.
It is a temple of the ancient Greek city of Akragas and was built in 430. C., has a square shape and covers an area of 843.38 square meters and extends for 13,481 meters high, really imposing measures which hand down the greatness of Greek civilization. The main cell was preceded by an antechamber very spartan with two columns and was followed by another hall, used as a treasurer of votive gifts and the archives of the temple.
The colonnade respects the classic models, with 6 by 13 columns, and each column is made up of 4 drums, with a bundle of 20 channels with a sharp edge.

The name of this temple was chosen by the historian Fazello who found a Latin inscription nearby dedicated to the Concordia of Agrigentini, but that has nothing to do with it. In 597 the Temple of Concord was transformed into a Christian basilica by Bishop Gregory.
Such as the Temple of Hera that of the Concordia was built on a solid base, built in order to limit the unevenness of the rocky terrain.
The excellent condition of this temple is one of the sacred buildings of the most remarkable classical. The interior and the exterior of the temple were covered with a white stucco finish highlighted by polychrome elements, the twelve arches that can be seen were dug in the cell walls and tombs carved into the floor date back to the period when the Temple was transformed in the basilica. Getting to this place is like stepping back in time, the magnificence envelops you and makes you relive the magical ancient atmosphere, makes you feel the pathos of those who in faith and admiration went to these places, once in Agrigento is impossible not to visit the Valley of the Temples and temple of Concordia.
It is highly recommended to visit the Temple of Concord and the entire Valley of the Temples to not miss one of the most beautiful places that Sicily offers.

Temple of Juno (Hera Lacinia)
On the highest point of the Valley of the Temples hill is the temple of Juno, Hera Lacinia, founded in 460 BC, a magnificent temple whose columns had a direct impact on four steps, built with twenty slots and four drums. Inside the temple are the Pronao, the cell or Naos, where the traces of the fire caused by the Carthaginians in 406 BC are still visible, and the opisthodomos.
On the sides of the compartment door were the stairs to the roof while the base with three steps on the bottom was added at a later date.
On the east side of the altar remains are preceded by a staircase of ten steps leading to the floor where they celebrated the sacrifices.

The restorations that this temple has undergone many are from the end of the eighteenth century until the last of 2000/2006. To the west of the temple is located Porta III of which today you can see very little because of the rocky ridge landslide. Originally this door was open in an oblique recess with respect to the line of fortifications and was struck by a still visible roadway. The defensive system, the late sixth century. BC, was reinforced during the fourth century. B.C. with an imposing tower of which today remains part of the collapse of the high. The attribution of this temple to Juno is due to an incorrect interpretation of a piece by a Latin author. How much beauty and charm as it encased in one of the most important temples of the story, where there were once performed sacrifices, there where men came to ask forgiveness or grace, there where time has swept away the small tracks with wind and with the rain but nothing has been against the monumentality of these ancient works.

Just few minutes from Agrigento and The Valley of the Temples is located Villa Concordia: strategically located close to Agrigento and the majestic archeological site Valley of the Temples, Concordia is an exclusive villa with private swimming pool, ideal for those seeking privacy, comfort and relaxation. This luxury villa is set in a pleasant rural area, hidden among the rocks, not too far from the beach and the city. Immersed in a luxuriant garden, the property consists of three buildings overlooking the large pool and a beautiful Jacuzzi.

ALBEROBELLO

posted by on March 7th, 2017

The view gets lost in colored glimpses of lands and grass, little hills that go down to the valley, continuing the breathless landscape. This is the Itria Valley, in the southend part of the Murgia area. Here stand up Alberobello, with its Trulli.

Somewhere you have to visit it at least once. The old town is almost entirely trulli and quite spectacular, a trip into fairyland. Don’t miss the 2 storey Trullo Savrano. Plenty of restaurants and wonderful little shops full of handicrafts at very reasonable prices. Free wine tasting in many of the shops. Many of the shopkeepers invite you in to view their goods but don’t be put off by this. They won’t be offended if you don’t buy – they are just so proud of their products and want to share them with you. Great hand made woollen and linen goods at exceptional prices.

Sunsets, dawns, star-spangled nights and snowfalls give to the Trulli always a new guises. These are shows that renew the magic also for the local citizens!

The “Trulli’s Valley” also known as Valle d’Itria, is placed in the heart of the tableland of Murgia which is called “Murgia of the Trulli”, represents an environmental and cultural Unicom that has always aroused in tourists hyperbolic descriptions. It is a town spread in extent of the valley with more then twenty thousand home settlings homogeneous in the essential structure (Trullo), but variously elaborated and utilized according to the specific and individual requirements.

There is not a tourist that, visiting Puglia, doesn’t stop in Alberobello, bewitched by the beauty of a land that seems so far from the rest of the world.

Learn more about Trullis in Puglia.

5 HIDDEN TREASURES OF THE AMALFI COAST NOT TO BE MISSED

posted by on February 1st, 2017

The Amalfi Coast is the stretched coastline of Campania, located south of the Sorrento Peninsula, overlooking the Gulf of Salerno; it is bordered to the west from Positano to the east from Vietri sul Mare. It is a stretch of coastline famous worldwide for its natural beauty, home to major tourist sites. Considered a World Heritage by UNESCO named after the town of Amalfi, the central nucleus of the coast, not only geographically but also historically. The Amalfi Coast is known for its diversity: each of the places of the coast has its own character and its traditions. But here are some less known places for tourists, yet very interesting, places connected to the history and tradition of the local people.

Pogerola of Amalfi


This characteristic village renowned for its tranquility, during the Middle Ages was known under the name of Castrum Pigellula. It was a real defensive castle which, together with Castrum Scalelle and a mighty wall, surrounded the town of Amalfi defending from enemy attacks. From the top of the hill you can admire the enchanting scenery of the Gulf of Salerno, from the Amalfi Coast up to the islands of Li Galli and further down, the villages of Lone and Pastena. Worth visiting the sixteenth century church of Madonna delle Grazie, in the main square, the church of San Michele of XII century and the church of Santa Maria Vergine of the twelfth century, with a nice porch covered with vaults.

Valle delle Ferriere


The setting of the reserve is very picturesque, full of waterfalls that create ideal conditions for the proliferation of a very rich flora and fauna. Here can you easily see the Woodwardia radicans, an endemic species of fern, and with a little bit of luck, one can encounter small and rare amphibians such as the newt Apennine. Going down towards Amalfi, the trial runs along some old abandoned paper mills that now prelude to the visit of a paper mill restored in the center. For its abundance of water, this valley has hosted in the past some mills and an ironworks. The metal came from Elba, landed at Amalfi and was transported by mule along the valley to the ironworks, where the work was done. The energy was supplied by the water and the head needed to melt was obtained by burning wood, available in abundance.

Fjord of Furore, Amalfi


Created by the incessant work of a creek that runs down the mountain into the sea, and hosted by a friendly and tiny fishing village, the fjord is also bypassed by the highway with a suspended 30 meters high bridge, from where, every summer, the World Great Heights Diving Championships take place.
A platform mounted at 28 meters heights, in front of the cliff overlooking the sea. It is the diving competition from great heights from the Fjord of Furore. A competition of great tradition and charm in a breathtaking setting in the small village of the Amalfi Coast, where hundreds of people watch the race from the ground but also from the boats anchored away from the shore of the Fjord in order to avoid the athletes to reach during their dive a speed of 100 km/hour.

Cloister of Paradise, Amalfi


The cloister, which is accessed from the left side of the atrium of the Cathedral (the portal with carved doorposts was once the entrance to the church-chapel of the Crucifix), was built in 1266-68 by the archbishop Filippo Augustariccio, used as a cemetery for distinguished citizens, as an peristyle of double columns that support highly acute and intersecting arches. Abandoned at the beginning of the century XVII and restored in 1908, it offers some frescoed chapels built during the period when the site housed the remains of the nobles.

Cathedral of Amalfi


The Cathedral of Amalfi is located at the top of a monumental staircase and dominates the main square of the small villages. The present façade with its porch is the work of the eighteenth century reconstruction. The tower bell dates back from the second half of the twelfth century; between this and the new façade you notice the pediment of the primitive cathedral of Amalfi, known as the Crucifix Chapel, dating from the tenth century. The body of the tower has typical characteristics of many buildings in Campania.
The top instead dates back to 1276 and consists of a central cylindrical core surrounded by four corner turrets. The reason why it seems to have a Calabrian-Byzantine origin is because this was often used in some towers of Campania, such as those of Salerno and Caserta.
The construction of the new cathedral which is parallel to the one of the tenth century started in the mid eleventh century.
In 1208 the Cardinal Capuano brought from Constantinople to Amalfi the remains of St. Andrew, who were placed into the crypt. During the following decades several works of embellishment and enlargement of the church were done, but the church however kept its original structure.
Under the porch you can still find the preserved original portal with its original Byzantine bronze door, there since 1065. The interior is in Baroque style although the original structure of the church is still recognizable. Dating back to the thirteenth century are the mighty Egyptian granite columns that support the triumphal arch. North of the church of the Crucifix, the cloister of Paradise extends, built between 1266 and 1268, as a cemetery for the burial of the famous people of the city.

CASTEL DEL MONTE, PUGLIA: BETWEEN FIBONACCI, ESOTERICISM AND HISTORY

posted by on December 2nd, 2016

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Castel del Monte was built by Emperor Federico II in the thirteenth century, 18 km from the town of Andria, Puglia.

Castel del Monte has been studied by historians, architects and mere observers, based on assumptions and beliefs very different, sometimes irreconcilable: some see it “simply” as a magnificent building, a masterpiece of style, a comfortable mansion; others consider it a temple of high spirituality, an esoteric book, the culmination of the initiatory knowledge.

Castel del Monte is affected by the legendary and totalizing personality of Federico II and everything in the castle is based on the magic number 8. Moreover, the castle has many symbolic, mathematical and geometrical matches. The floors, fireplaces, windows, everything seems to follow the sequence of the famous mathematician Fibonacci.

References to astronomy are not missing: the columns at the entrance have two lions, one of them looks exactly in the direction where the sun rises during the winter solstice, while the other looks in the direction where the sun rises during the summer solstice.

If you go to Apulia, do not miss the opportunity to visit this magic castle!

Find out more about villas in Apulia!