Make Italy Yours

A blog of Italian Culture and Nature

Venice: Boat Building, Bridge Fights and a Boat Legend

Under Western Skies

As I was researching locations for the recent Part 4 of Ye Bigge Sleepe, I concentrated on the Dorsoduro portion of Venice, because the Università Ca’ Foscari, one of the places that figured in the story is there. That jogged a memory from a walk The Counselor and I took there one afternoon, with only a general idea of a destination in mind.

We encountered this scene:

squero-di-san-trovaso-brad-nixon-2000

We’d happened upon Lo Squero di San Trovaso: “The Boat Builders of San Trovaso.”

In numerous trips to Venice, we’d seen hundreds of boats and ridden in a few, including gondolas. I’d never seriously wondered where gondolas come from, but that’s one place.

The boatyard is marked with a red flag near the bottom center of the map:

dorsoduro-map-marked

According to their website, the squero has been there since at least the 17th Century. The wooden architecture of the boatyard buildings isn’t typically…

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Franco Battiato: E più ti amo

Stupenda versione di Battiato. “E più ti amo” è un brano del francese Alain Barrière, “Plus je t’entends”, che l’interprete originario portò anche nella classifica italiana fra il settembre e il novembre del 1964. La versione di Franco Battiato richiama però il testo scritto in italiano da Gino Paoli che incise questo romantico brano nel 1965.

Luigi Maria Corsanico

 

Franco Battiato

 

 

How to fall in love with Verona in one easy step

Prayers and Piazzas

If the universe had commissioned Walt Disney to create Italy, what he would have crafted, in my opinion, would have looked like today’s Verona. Verona is that exquisite, and magical.

File:20110720 Verona 3078.jpg

Verona Image Credit

Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way. The entire city of Verona has been named one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. Often, a UNESCO site is something more specific, such as the church in Milan which houses Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, or the ancient dwellings known as trulli in Puglia’s Alberobello. Many Italian cities, such as Florence, Siena and Naples, do find themselves on the heritage list, but it is specifically for their historic city centers (i centri storici). In Verona, the UNESCO powers that be found the city’s urban structure and architecture so captivating, that they honored the entire city with World Heritage status.

Falling in…

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Cute church on Ischia

Bagni di Lucca and Beyond

In spring this year we spent a couple of days on gorgeous Ischia, one of the islands in the spectacular Bay of Naples. Our lovely friends Stephanie and Paul took us on a tour of the island on a rickety bus which hurtled around the narrow road at breakneck speed.

One of the highlights along the way was the pretty little church, Santa Maria del Soccorso, which sits on a promontory jutting into the sea, Punta del Soccorso.

Ischia

image

The facade is a mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. The church has had many transformations since it was rescued from an old Augustinian monastery founded in the 14th century.

Ischia

The entrance is via a semicircular staircase decorated with polychrome majolica tiles.

Ischia

The tiles are repeated in the wall around the church and on the cross at the side.

Ischia

Ischia

Ischia

Ischia

Ischia

The interior is a cool respite from the heat of the day.

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Italian Past Tense Verbs to Use EVERY Day!

Conversational Italian!

Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

Do you want to speak Italian more easily and confidently by the end of 2017?

I believe that “commonly used phrases” are the key for how we can all build fluency in any language in a short time.

If we learn how to incorporate “commonly used phrases” when we speak Italian, we will be able to express ourselves more easily and quickly. We will be on our way to building complex sentences and speaking more like we do in our native language!

This post is the third in a series that will originate in our Conversational Italian! Facebook group.After our group has had a chance to use these phrases, I will post them on this blog for everyone to try.

Our third  series of “commonly used phrases,” that will help us talk more easily will build on the phrase structure used…

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Pane e tulipani (film) by Silvio Soldini

 

 

Save time for Orvieto’s Etruscan Museum

kimberlysullivan

Orvieto Etruscan Museum, ItalyThere’s so much to see when you’re visiting the medieval Umbrian town of Orvieto, that you may forget to stop by the Fondazione Museo Claudio Faina, but that would be  a mistake.

This museum, which houses both the collection of the Faina Counts and Orvieto’s civic collection, is most impressive for its Etruscan objects – this is after all, one of the regions most associated with Etruscan civilization. But there are also impressive items from Ancient Greece and Rome.

Orvieto Etruscan Museum, ItalyAnd the noble home with its frescoed rooms in which the collection is held – just across the piazza from Orvieto’s impressive Duomo, and boasting spectacular views onto the Duomo’s 14th century mosaic facade – is worth the price of admission alone.

Conte Claudio Faina (1875-1954) seems to have been an obsessive collector of Etruscan artifacts.

Orvieto Etruscan Museum, ItalyMany are from nearby Etruscan tombs, but it seems he also had close ties to…

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