Make Italy Yours

A blog of Italian Culture and Nature

Category: Travel in Italy

The Englishwoman visits Senigallia’s Biblioteca Antonelliana. Part I: Manuscripts.

Libraries and rare books in Le Marche

Senigallia is a pleasant resort town. As well as its lively Lungomare (Promenade) and its Spiaggia di Velluto (velvet beach), it boasts an attractive old town and a fine communal library.

It is much easier to explain face to face, rather than on the telephone, who I am; a British librarian, and what I want to do; spread awareness of the bibliographic treasures of Le Marche. So it was easy to book an appointment to look at some of the manuscripts and rare books in Senigallia’s  library, and return a day or two later, as Senigallia is just down the road from us. The staff were most welcoming and helpful. The conditions were not the best for photography, but I thought you’d like to see the manuscripts anyway.

The Biblioteca Antonelliana is called after Cardinal Antonelli, its founder, who in 1767 left all his books to the public administration of…

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The Englishwoman visits Offagna

Hill towns of Le Marche, Italy

I’ve been silent for some time because my family was keeping me busy. I am freer now, and looking forward to sharing more about life in Le Marche.

Offagna is a good place to visit if you have just been to  IKEA and want to enjoy somewhere uniquely Marchigiano. Or if you are touring it’s convenient for Ancona, but a different world.

We drove along winding hilly roads with breathtaking views on either side, and adopted our usual technique of not studying the map but parking just under the walls – there’s always somewhere – going through the gate, and walking up towards the Rocca, or castle. Most  hill towns have them and when we took our girls round them, we tended to grade them according to the size of the Rocca. Corinaldo hasn’t got one at all, Mondavio’s is one of the best, and Offagna’s is impressive too.

The…

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Journey to Italy (by Roberto Rossellini)

 

In the Heart of Ferrara – Majestic Castle

Travelling with Lyn

Situated in the centre of the city of Ferrara, you cannot miss this great medieval castle which is surrounded by a large moat. TheCastello Estense is a large block with four corner towers.

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During my 2 day stay in Ferrara we visited this fairy tale castle. We thought we might have a short visit, but were soon rapt by the history and magnificence of the place itself and were inside for an entire morning. There is almost too much to take in on one visit: there is so much to see and read. I’d like to give a special mention to the quality of the information boards in English. The writing, the explanations, the translation were all superb – and the information boards were at the perfect height.
Highlights for us included the dungeons, the ‘archaeology room’, the kitchens (and the explanations about the role of the Scalco), the…

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A Church with a View

Prayers and Piazzas

Image result for san miniato al monte

Outside, the day was steamy and still, a typical late afternoon July day in Florence. But inside, ahhhh, inside the walls of San Miniato al Monte, which have stood watch over the Florentines since 1018 from one of the city’s highest points, inside was cool and subdued.

We happened to wander in at 17:30, which, on summer weekdays, is the mass featuring Gregorian chants. It was haunting and magical, even for 10-year-old Daughter, who, after three weeks in Italy with her obsessive mamma, had well had her fill of churches.

Here’s Firenze, from San Miniato al Monte’s perspective:

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San Miniato al Monte is an easy walk from Piazzale Michelangelo, and I highly recommend you sneak in a visit, even if it’s just a quick one, should you find yourself in Florence.

San Miniato al Monte will be featured in my upcoming post, Churches of Florence: A Love Story.

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How I would See Italy

Travel in Italy Blog

People always ask me, “What order would you see places in Italy?” All of Italy is great! You can not make a bad decision! Everyone that has been there has an opinion. This BLOG/VLOG is mine. I would see the famous big cities first because they are important. So the order would be:

  • Rome
  • Florence
  • Venice
  • Naples

But Milan, Siena, San Gimignano, Positano, Capri … are also important places to see.

The only rules I have are:

  1. Take your time in each place. Don’t rush and try to see all of Italy in a single trip. You will only see the inside of busses and trains.
  2. Sit at outside bars or trattorias and observe the people (non tourists) around you. Begin to understand Italian life.
  3. Try to communicate with locals.
  4. After the big cities, go to small resorts and mountain towns.
  5. Eat where the locals eat. DON’T EAT AT TOURISTY…

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Stretching my legs with a passeggiata in Sora, Italy

kimberlysullivan

Sora, Lazio, ItalyI’ve long been curious to visit the town of Sora, in Italy’s Lazio region and located in the province of Frosinone – just along the border with Abruzzo.

Since it’s a little off the beaten trail from the surrounding areas I visit more often (including the wonderful Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo), I’ve never managed to get there.

Sora, Lazio, ItalyThis summer, however, as I was dropping one child off at tennis camp in Abruzzo and picking up another at running camp in the southernmost point in Lazio, I noticed that the long trip between the two destinations happened to take me by Sora.

Sora, Lazio, ItalyAnd so I finally visited the town on a sunny Sunday in July – and after all the driving behind me and all that ahead of me, it was the perfect excuse to park, stretch my legs and explore the town.

This town with a population of a little over…

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