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archive of July, 2013


posted by on July 31st, 2013

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Italian city-states developed into separate cultural and political centres, and knew perfectly how to combine the glorious past with the present.

The Romanesque and Gothic art were followed by more nature-inspired illustrations until there was the rediscovery of the ancient world and the Renaissance emerged in Italy.

Starting from Florence, there was a new style of art dominating Italy, which was strongly supported by the church, but also by the rich cities.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1520), Michelangelo (1475-1564), Raphael (1483-1520) and Titian (1488/90-1576) marked the heyday of the Italian Renaissance and left many wonderful works that make the hearts of all lovers of art beat faster.

Two artists with important and fascinating works then marked the transition to Baroque: Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) and Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1573-1610), whose works can be seen in Naples and Rome.


posted by on July 25th, 2013

Situated in central-southern Tuscany, the Province of Siena extends over some of the most famous and fascinating Tuscan territories, e.g. the southern hills of Chianti, Val d’Elsa and Val di Merse, Val d’Arbia, Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia, right up to the slopes of Mount Amiata.

The Province’s Capital, Siena, is a magnificent city of art with characteristic alleys, wards (rioni) and towers, artisan shops and buildings that make it a not-to-be-missed touristic destination for Italians and foreigners. Moving through Siena’s lands and immersing yourself in this atmosphere is a magical adventure, a trip through many landscapes, from dense woodlands to old farms, from clay hills to stupendous paths.

Furthermore, the territory preserves numerous remains from the Middle Ages, springing out along the Via Francigena, the great pilgrimage road to Rome that crossed Val d’Elsa, the city of Siena and Val d’Orcia. Walking through this countryside, you can admire impressive abbeys such as Sant’Antimo, Romanesque parishes (pievi) and characteristic small towns (borghi) such as San Quirico d’Orcia or San Gimignano, which preserve their original appearance to this day.

The Chianti area, home to the famous wine, is also an enchanting part of Tuscany that hosts tucked-away towns such as Castellina, and dense vineyards, such as those of Radda in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti or Castelnuovo Berardenga, as well as delicious enogastronomic itineraries.

The landscape south of Siena leading towards the Medieval center of Asciano is dominated by the typical Crete, clay lands where erosion has created crevices, openings and cracks. It is an impressive area where the imposing Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore stands out. Val d’Elsa is also very impressive with its characteristic towns Colle di Val d’Elsa, Poggibonsi and San Gimignano, that boasts inestimable artistic heritage.

Val di Merse is constituted of solitary but fascinating places, including the ruins of the San Galgano Abbey that date back to the 13th Century. Val di Chiana provokes emotion and offers its visitors elevated health and well-being, thanks to its thermal spa centers in Chianciano Terme, Montepulciano and San Casciano dei Bagni.

Hills and gullies, Tuscan cypress trees, the river, olive groves and vineyards: this is the landscape animating Val d’Orcia, protected by UNESCO. Here magnificent towns abide, from Pienza and San Quirico to Montalcino and Castiglione; in the west lie Mount Amiata and the solitary Rocca di Radicofani.


posted by on July 16th, 2013


Italy counts 49 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within its borders, more than any other country on the World Heritage List.

The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the UNESCO General Conference on November 16, 1972, states that the organization is the official designator of these sites.

The goal of the Convention is to identify, according to precise criteria, areas and places containing unique characteristics, of great importance for culture, archaeology, environment or landscape.

Italy’s World Heritage Sites are well-known. The Dolomites; the city of Verona; Ferrara and the Po River Delta; the historic centres of San Gimignano, Florence and Rome; Villa Adriana and Villa D’Este in Tivoli; the archaeological area of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata; the Sassi cave architecture and churches of Matera; the Amalfi Coast and the Aeolian Islands are just some among many others.

All 49 sites have been, at one time or another, travel destinations for those seeking out history, art and culture in the Bel Paese.


posted by on July 8th, 2013

Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

“What is important to my work is the individual picture. What matters most is that each picture stands on its own, with its own place and feeling.”

Recently McCurry realized some exclusive pictures of Umbria, just presented in first international preview in Milan before to be exhibited at New York for the celebration of the italian culture in the USA.

The exhibition is called Sensational Umbria! and it’s the summary of design culture in Umbria.