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posts tagged ‘ art in Tuscany ’

DISCOVERY ITALY WITH YOUR DOG IN MANTOVA: THE CITY OF CULTURE 2016

posted by Home In Italy on August 16th, 2016

Mantova is the city of culture 2016…. So why not go there and discover its beauty together with your four legged friend?
This is a city that has its roots very far, connected to the Gonzaga family who constructed one of the main centers of the Italian and European Renaissance period and has been included to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The nature of Mantova is overloaded with beauties: hills full of history, intense green landscapes, hydrography rich of rivers and canals.

It starts at Mincio, at Via San Giorgio where you can leave your car and start enjoying walks with your dog, including a lovely break in the green shores of ‘Lago di Mezzo’.
After a few steps you reach the square called Sordello, where the House of Rigoletto is situated. Here stands the imposing castle ‘Castello di San Giorgio’.
Tourists from all over the world come to the fort to admire the Bridal Chamber, or ‘Camera Picta’, painted by Andrea Mantegna between 1465 and 1475, the artist’s tribute to the family of Gonzaga – to visit, a reservation is required.
With the same ticket, free for children under 18 and for those over 65, you can visit, in additional to the ‘Camera Picta’, a part of ‘Castel San Giorgio’ and Palazzo Ducale’: The palace of the Gonzaga family, a sumptuous complex of apartments, lounge areas, corridors, courtyards and gardens – recommend to visit is the apartment of widow Isabella d’Este.
Going through ‘Portico dei Lattonai’, under the ‘Palazzo della Ragione’, you cross the nearby square ‘Broletto’, where you can browse through the various shops and buy the famous “sbrisolona”, a cake of poor origins, many years ago the ingredients in fact where typical of the countryside traditions, made of corn flour, lard and hazelnuts.
From ‘Palazzo della Ragione’, built in the mid-thirteenth century to host the city’s meetings, to the square ‘Broletto’ up to the most beautiful square ‘Piazza delle Erbe’.

On its Eastern side, you can see the ‘Torre dell’Orologio’, inside this tower you can find the museum ‘Museo dell’ Opera’, which exposes the mechanisms of the period of the watch, and from the top you can have a beautiful view of the city and its lake that surrounds it.When you continue toward south you reach the palace ‘Palazzo Te’, this masterpiece of Giulio Romano, is the most fascinating and mysterious residence of Mantova; built by the marquis Federico II Gonzaga, who for a long time was looking for a home for his entertainment; it is decorated with symbols and myth scenes.At one time ‘Palazzo Te’ stood at the center of an island surrounded by the waters of a lake and a green forest. This visit includes the ‘Cortile d’Onore’, the ‘Sala dei Cavalli’, the rooms of Cupid and Psyche, the ‘Venti’, the ‘Aquile’, the sumptuous room of the plasters and the chamber of the Giants, the largest and best known of ‘Palazzo Te’. Only guide dogs for the blind people can enter, so it is better to organize this beforehand and maybe take turns!
And if you want to explore the unspoiled nature of the park ‘Parco del Mincio’ to get lost between sounds and breathtaking views, your four legged friend can join you for a cruise on the river.

And if you fancy a typical dish of Mantova in the evening, at ‘Osteria delle Erbe’ also your four legged friend is welcome and can enter without any problem.

From Kandinsky to Pollock. The great art of Guggenheim

posted by Home In Italy on March 18th, 2016

Organized by the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation and the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation in New York and Venice, the art exposition of Peggy and Guggenheim is in Florence, with the European and American art of the 20′s until the 60′s. Within the frame of one of the masterpieces of Florentine Renaissance it is possible to admire works of Kandinsky, Pollock and Green Silver, as the result of an extensive research and the tireless work done by the two real stars of the show. Peggy and Solomon, always looking for the ‘genius’. They allowed the comparison among the European masters and the great personalities of the American art scene.

Through the Guggenheim collections it is possible to retrace the birth of the new avant-garde after World War II and the evolution of artistic movements that have succeeded until the sixties of the twentieth century. Among the artists featured in the exhibition there are: Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Alberto Burri, Emilio Vedova, Jean Dubuffet, Lucio Fontana, Jackson Pollock, Marc Rothko, Wilhelm de Kooning, Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Cy Twombly.

Where: Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
When: From 19th March 2016 to 24th July 2016
More info: www.palazzostrozzi.org online tickets: ticket.ticket.palazzostrozzi.org

What to see in Lucca: ten ideas for a daytrip

posted by Home In Italy on February 23rd, 2016

Extract from the article written by Luca Bonora – Touring club

Lucca is a city of Roman foundation and purely medieval, as it still bears witness to the walls of its beautiful Old Town. It houses several important cultural events, among which the Lucca Comics & Games is the most important event in Europe linked to the world of comics, games, cinema, fantasy literature and science fiction.
The city is a top tourist destination and worth a visit all year around. Lucca is a hospitable city, easy to be explored, with excellent gastronomy and rich natural surroundings and history.
So, here are 10 things to do in Lucca for those who will visit at Lucca Comics & games but also for those who would like to come back to have more time … and less crowds.

1. THE GROVE ON THE TOWER
The best way to see a small city is from the top. This also applies to Lucca, which in the Middle Ages boasted 250 towers, of all shapes and sizes. Today, only two are open to visitors: the Guinigi Tower and the Clock Tower. The Guinigi Tower was commissioned by the Guinigi, rich and powerful family of merchants of Lucca in the fifteenth century. It is 45 meters high and the top has a small garden where, for centuries, grow beautiful trees. This peculiarity makes it unique, and makes even the visual a symbol of the city. The climb, challenging, has 230 steps. Still higher is the Clock Tower, which houses a great mechanical clock of the seventeenth century, still working.

2. THE CATHEDRAL OF SAN MARTINO
Example of Romanesque Renaissance, is one of the places not to be missed.

3. THE ELEGANCE OF SAN MICHELE
A masterpiece of Romanesque Gothic architecture, this church presents a mixture of styles due to its long construction, between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries.

4. THE ART GALLERY
Precious noble house built between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that has preserved many of the original furnishings and decorations, the palace Mansi (property of the same rich family) is now the most important art gallery of Lucca. A hundred works among which Tintoretto, Beccafumi, Pontormo and many important painters Lucca 800 and 900.

5. THE SQUARE
Uniquely shaped ellipses, square Amphitheatre is one of the most beautiful in Italy. Built starting in 1830 by the architect Nottolini, it resumes the ancient route of the Roman amphitheater.

6. MUSICA MAESTRO
Throughout the year, Lucca hosts the Puccini and his Lucca Festival, the only permanent music festival in the world. Concerts and events are mainly housed in the Basilica of St. John, but also in the square of the Amphitheatre and other places and churches.

7. THE MEDIEVAL WALLS
The walls are another symbol of the city. They are the largest monument of Lucca and one of the largest in Tuscany: a perimeter of 4 km, 30 meters wide and 12 high, made between 1513 and 1645.

8. A COFFEE RICH IN HISTORY
What makes the story of a city is not only palaces, churches and walls, but also the clubs. As the Antico Caffè delle Mura, back to the original splendor and reopened in 2012, with a café, a bistro and a stylish restaurant.

9. THE DEVIL’S BRIDGE
Going up to Barga, passing for Borgo a Mozzano, a small town known for a bridge, commonly known as Devil’s Bridge. Built in the fifteenth century by the Countess Matilde di Canossa, the legend says that the manufacturer, unable to raise the last arch to complete his work, implored the help of the Devil. He signed an alliance with the Devil and sacrificed the fist soul that had crossed the bridge. And the fist one to walk on the bridge was a dog. On Devil’s Bridge every Halloween takes place the most spectacular event linked to this ancient Celtic celebration.

10. HOME OF GIOVANNI PASCOLI
Among the places outside the city, we recommend without any doubt Barga, a town at the center of the middle Serchio valley for centuries Florentine enclave. Near Barga, Castelvecchio Pascoli, is the house where the poet Giovanni Pascoli lived from 1895 to 1912.

Florence in 2 days, 8 kms and 7 stops

posted by Home In Italy on November 17th, 2015

Basilica of St. Croce: the construction of the church began in 1295, but the neo-Gothic façade dates back to the nineteenth century. Inside, there are frescoes by Giotto on the life of St. Francis and the wooden crucifix by Donatello. The Pazzi Chapel demonstrates the perfection of the architecture of Brunelleschi.

Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge of the town. Rebuilt in 1345, it risked to be destroyed by the terrible floods of 1966. The arcades and the craftsmen (jewelers and goldsmiths) draw crowds of shoppers and onlookers.

Vasari Corridor: A striking passage, which tastes of secret and adventure, allows you to walk, unseen and “raised” from the Uffizi Gallery to the Pitti Palace. It was built in 1565 by the Grand Duke Cosimo I for safety reasons. The walk is between XVII and XVIII century art works and portraits and it takes place on the Old Bridge and crosses the houses d ‘Oltrarno.

Palazzo Pitti: this huge Renaissance palace dominates and frames the square on three sides. The palace was built and designed by Brunelleschi for a rival family of the Medici, the Pitti. In 1549, however, the palace was acquired by the wife of Cosimo I de ‘Medici, who turned it into a princely residence. With an extraordinary collection of paintings of sec. XVI, XVII and XVIII, including paintings by Raffaello and Tiziano, The Palazzo Pitti is one of the richest art galleries in the world.