Make Italy Yours

A blog of Italian Culture and Nature

Category: Travel in Italy

Craco ( Matera-Basilicata ) Paese di pietre e sassi- Le fiabe che vanno scomparendo -Country of rocks and stones-The fairy tales that are disappearing

ventisqueras

tsb12762se il tempo fosse polvere per i nostri occhi non ci sarebbe  nessuna misericordia, ma il tempo costruisce la polvere sugli uomini e sulle cose per mantenerle in bilico nella memoria…poi un soffio di vento le disperde ancora e per sempre

castelmezzano1200

immobile nell’abbraccio di potenti spuntoni rocciosi immobile nel tempo : Craco  ( Cracun o Graculum, dal significato in latino” piccolo campo di grano” ) nome ricevuto quando se ne hanno le prime certe notizie storiche dall’arcivescovo Amaldo di Tricarico circa nel 1060, è uno dei cosiddetti paesi fantasma, cui ho dedicato una particolare posizione nel mio blog denominandoli ” Le fiabe che vanno scomparendo ”

dsc_7177-arrivo-a-cracosono circa 6.000 in tutta la penisola perlopiù piccoli agglomerati di case o piccolissimi borghi la maggior parte siti tra le montagne o sulle colline, abbandonati dagli abitanti nel corso degli anni o dei secoli  per varie cause, frane, smottamenti, terremoti

397090gli abitanti emigrati…

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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:

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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:

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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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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.

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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

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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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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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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Italophilia

Who doesn’t love quaint towns?? If you are in Italy or traveling there anytime soon, this list is a keeper. You will feel blessed to be in a country with so many varied choices of charming towns. Although this list is not exhaustive, it certainly includes many of my favorites. I will keep adding more to this list as and when I can. If you have any favorites, feel free to share 🙂

Perugia:

With an annual chocolate and jazz festival to its kitty, Perugia is quite a catch. It is still quite unknown to a first time Italy traveler so take a chance next time you are in Italy. Visit this medieval town before it gets run down by mass tourism and selfie sellers.

be3c2-dsc02647 Piazza IV Novembre

1cd45-dsc02626 Umbrian Views

Montegiove:

Deep in the green heart of Italy and quite close to Perugia is another small town with an ancient castle, a…

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Finding the veiled Christ in Italy

Sweet Travel

Italy is brimming with religious iconry, churches, crosses and monuments to faith. I have no real Catholic background to draw from so much of it all is mysterious and novel for me.

I am deeply moved by Italians connection to Mary.

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I have been to many churches from Palermo to Milan and places in between. I go for all sorts of reasons: the art, the beauty, the stillness, a chance to have a sit down and for a connection, a feeling, an emotion. There are a few places that stand out for me; they captured me at the time of my visit. I would feel my heart swell.

The veiled Christ sculpture in Cappella Sansevero in Naples was one of those.

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Another was St Paul outside the walls, (san paolo fuori le mura), Santa Maria Maggiore and Saint John Lateran (san giovanni laterano) all in Rome. The domine quo vadis on the…

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