Home in Italy - Luxury villas in Italy
Europe +39 075 505 78 65
UK toll free 0 808 189 0999
US and Canada toll free 1 877 293 7654

you are viewing travel tips Italy

Are you ready for EXPO? The event of the year, not to miss.

posted by Home In Italy on April 14th, 2015

Expo 2015 Feeding the planet, energy for life

Everything is ready: Milan will be the center of the world, from the Expo Gate in front of the Sforzesco Castel on the Navigli canals, to Rho, the new city of the food. Until October 31st, we will talk about food as “energy of our planet”, with the participation of 147 countries, exhibitions, conferences, temporary installations, events and new metropolitan icons, as the Bosco Verticale, the two skyscrapers with more than 900 trees species and 83900 sqm of terraces, created by Stefano Boeri.

The theme at the center of the event

Food is nourishment, pleasure, taste, home, family, art, war, peace, affection, love and, most of all, “Food is Life”, for us and for the planet.
A unique journey not to be missed among people arriving from far away offering their foods, their cultures, their traditions, their shows. A journey that describes “a place where cultures, traditions and flavors cross between extraordinary architectures”.

The China Corporate United Pavillon at Expo 2015

EXPO will host four thematic areas, from the Pavillon Zero, which tells the story of man through his relationship with food, to Future Food District, which explains how technology will change the storage, distribution, purchase and consumption of food. The other two areas are the Biodiversity Park, a large garden where it is reproduced the variety of ecosystems which can be found on our planet, and the Art & Food, an extraordinary exhibition showing how the relationship between art and food has changed over the centuries.

The Vanke Pavillon created by Daniel Libeskind

Expo Milano 2015 introduces a new model of Universal Exhibition: not only a showcase of the best technologies for a sustainable future, but a global and interactive event with thousands of cultural occasions and entertainment both inside and outside the exhibition site. Shows, concerts, conferences, show cooking, workshops and exhibitions will transform Expo Milano 2015 in a big party with a chance to learn while having fun.

Five greatest Italian architects

posted by Home In Italy on April 7th, 2015
“Was it true glory? Time will end the arduous doubt” said Alessandro Manzoni about Napoleon Bonaparte in his famous poem “Il Cinque maggio”. But this is true for any great man who tries to make a mark in the history: only those who come after will be able to judge with due detachment. And this is even more true in the arts, where momentary trends might lead to big awards while the artist is alive but might inexorably forget his works once time allows a correct evaluation.
For this reason, it is very difficult to decide which are the greatest Italian contemporary architects: in the last fifty years, many Italian architects have been dominating the Italian and international scenes, deserving to enter our top five list. In the end, we have chosen five artists and we hope you will agree with us; if not, there is always space for your comments at the end of the article!

Renzo Piano
Born in Genova in 1937, Renzo Piano is without any doubt the greatest contemporary architect. His awards speak for him: he won the prestigious Imperial Japanese section in 1995, the Pritzker Prize in 1998, the Sonning Prize, the Compasso d’Oro, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, and dozens of other awards around the world.
He studied in Florence and Milan and travelled in the United States and Great Britain, where he met his colleague Richard Rogers. The real breakthrough in his career came in 1971, when he and Rogers won the competition to design the new Centre Pompidou in Paris, which immediately became the manifesto of the so-called high-tech architecture.
Among his works, we can list the Old harbor of Genoa and the aquarium, the Stadium of Bari, Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, the Kansai International Airport in Osaka and the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, the London skyscraper The Shard (the highest in Europe), the New York Times Tower in Manhattan, the new Palace of Justice in Paris and the skyscraper Intesa Sanpaolo in Turin.

Great creation of Renzo Piano, the Shard

Aldo Rossi
An architect who died prematurely in 1997 due to a car accident, and perhaps for this in part today unjustly forgotten, Aldo Rossi is the only other Italian with Renzo Piano, who won the Pritzker Prize, in 1990.
Born in 1931 in Milan, Rossi approaches the post-modenism in reaction to the rationalism of his era, creating controversial works, as the Monument to Sandro Pertini in Milan and the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht. What is memorable of Rossi is his theoretical contribution with essays, articles and exhibitions.

The Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht

Gae Aulenti
Born in 1927 in Friuli from a family of southern origins, Gaetana Aulenti graduated from the Politecnico of Milan in the early fifties and started soon to adhering to neo-liberty and cooperating with many magazines.
She restructured the Orsay Museum in Paris, the National Museum of Catalan Art in Barcelona and Piazzale Cadorna in Milan.

Interior of the Orsay museum

Orsay museum in Paris

Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass, Italian-Austrian architect, known not only for his architectural achievements, but also for his work in industrial design. He graduated from the Politecnico of Turin and moved to Milan, where he started working with the Olivetti, drawing many electronic products. He collaborated with Alessi and founded the Memphis group, creating furniture, chairs and bookcases, which are now hosted in the best museums in the world (some of them are in permanent collection of the MoMa in New York). Form an architectural point of view, he realized various private homes in Italy and abroad, in addition to the interiors of Milano Malpensa airport.

creation of the artist Sottsass, in Maui

The Acme House, Maui

Massimiliano Fuksas
We decided to close our top five with Massimiliano Fuksas, very famous in Italy and known throughout the world for its achievements.
Born in Rome in 1944, he began working in Italy together with Anna Maria Sacconi, seeing his fame progressively growing throughout Europe, up to the realization of the University Brest and Limoges, the Vienna Twin Tower, the Fiera Milano Rho-Pero, the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa in Tel Aviv and various projects still in process as the new Congress Centre and the skyscraper Piedmont region of Turin, which should be opened this year.

The Bolle creation by Fuksas

Le Bolle, Bassano del Grappa

The wonderful Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa

posted by Home In Italy on March 11th, 2015

Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa

The wonderful Piazza dei Miracoli, also known as the Square of Miracles in Pisa is likely one of the most famous landmarks in the world. The square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, is not located in the city center as you might imagine, but it is situated northwest of the fortified wall of the city. The the Square of Miracles has been considered central to religious life since the Etruscan time: the three structures that it comprises, symbolize the main stages of a human’s life: The Baptistery represents birth, the Cathedral life and the Cemetery, of course, alludes to death.
And what about the Tower of Pisa? Well, we have not forgotten it! The so-called Leaning Tower is actually part of the Cathedral, being its Bell Tower.
The square is surrounded by a beautiful green lawn where tourists and students can lie down and relax in this historical setting of rare beauty. The name “Square of Miracles” was given only after the First World War , when the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio in the last novel “Maybe, maybe not” credits it with these words: “The Ardea rotated over the sky of Christ, over the meadow of Miracles”.
Its building began in the XI century and, after various changes, it was completed only in the XIX century, when the architect Alessandro Gherardesca gave the square its final present appearance. The latest changes have been done in the Fascist era: the monument Lupa di Rome was built and 17 cypress were planted, in memory of the militants died during the War.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
Emblem of the Pisan Romanesque, designed by the architect Bruscheto in 1604, the Cathedral represents through its splendor the influence of different styles and cultures. Byzantine and Islamic components testify the richness of the Maritime Republic of Pisa in the past; pay attention to the columns in the Cathedral and you will certainly remember those typical of the mosques.
Despite the fire of 1956, in the Cathedral are preserved many important works of art, including a mosaic by Cimabue, a masterpiece of Giovanni Pisano and works of Beccafumi and Andrea del Sarto.

The Baptistery
The works for the construction of the Baptistery, which is the largest in Italy, began in 1152 under the direction of the architect Diotislavi. Positioned in front of the Cathedral, it was entirely revisited by Nicola Pisano and his son Giovanni in the mid XIII century. They both modified it following the Gothic style and added a loggia and a hemispherical dome. At the center of the Baptistery there is the baptismal font by Guido Bigarelli from Arogno, originally lit by a light coming from an opening in the ceiling, now covered by the Dome. The Pulpit by Nicola Pisano (1255-1260) recounts scenes from the Life of Christ on five panels, while the columns represent the Virtues. We can clearly perceive a classical style in the work, not surprisingly Nicola Pisano is entitled a precursor of the Renaissance.

Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa
The Leaning Tower
The beginning of the construction of the Tower dates back to 1173 and its slope is due to the land where it was built, which is not perpendicular and subject to constant failures. 55 meters high, it has a slope of 5° south and to reach the top you have to climb 294 steps. The tower was closed to public from 1990 to 2001 due to stability problems.

The Graveyard
The Camposanto is an ancient monumental cemetery located north of the Square of Miracles. It has a rectangular structure with an inner cloister in Gothic arches. Following the tradition, the cemetery was built around a good quantity of Holy Land, coming from the place where Jesus Crist was crucified. In the meadow at the center of the cloister there are numerous tombs and sarcophagi of the Roman age, while in the floor of the corridor there are the tombs of the nobles families of Pisa. Here you can admire many works of art including the Pulpit by Giovanni Pisano, the lamp of Galileo Galilei, frescoes by Benozzo, Gozzoli, Buonamico Buffalmacco with the famous “The Triumph of Death”, the Tabernacle of Della Robbia and many others.

The city offers many beautiful monuments, churches and museums to visit, but the Square of Miracles itself is worth travelling to Pisa. The beauties preserved in the square are numerous, you’ll need a day to discover them all inside. So, what are you waiting for?

Dreaming about sun… Sicily here we come!

posted by Home In Italy on February 16th, 2015

With Christmas as a vague memory, days are now slowly beginning to lengthen and although summer is still far away, our desire to travel is champing at a bit! So let’s start daydreaming and, why not, thinking about your summer holiday… because, you know, to book a holiday is never too early!

Our fist selection is the southern coast of Sicily, from Agrigento to Catania. Here, in spring time, you can already reach the shore (timidly!) and enjoy the first warm rays of the sun. Sicily is the ideal place for outdoor dining with its rich cuisine and its enchanting atmosphere between baroque and exotic.

Lying on the hills of the Etna Vulcan, Mascalucia is an excellent base for exploring the East cost and getting lost in its pistachios plantations. If you like trekking, our suggestion is to organize a daytour in the Natural Reserve “La Timpa” in Acireale: here you will see many natural phenomena summarizing the history of Etna. The natural park is the overlapping of many eruptive eras; from light grey ancient lava to the dark grey one, with special crystals of augite, typical of the more recent eruptions.

Take advantage of the proximity of Catania and spend at least one afternoon in this lovely city. Not to be missed the historic pastry laboratory of Nonna Vincenza in San Placido square, where you can taste and buy delicious pastries with almonds and pistachios, cream horns with ricotta cheese and chocolate and, of course, the famous cannoli.

Just outside Catania, you will get lost among lemon trees and gardens of historic interest. Take note of the Garden Biviere Lenitni (Siracusa), which is a spectacular Mediterranean garden created in the late Sixties. As legend would have it, in this place Hercules, son of Zeus, brought the skin of the defeated lion Nemean as a gift to Ceres, goddess of the harvest. He created a lake that was named after him: Lacus Erculeus (during centuries, the lake changed its name and Arabs called it Beveré, which means waterhole for sheep and fish). Here you can admire lush palm trees, blue Jacaranda, old roses, Yucca specimen and unusual Xanthorrea trees.

The hottest and more exotic sea of Sicily is located just south of Syracuse. Forget beach resorts and imagine yourself lying in the uncontaminated nature: the Cala di Terrauzza, the protected area of Plemmirio and the Marchesa di Cassibile beach.

And now, tell us, don’t you feel a sudden desire of Sicily? We can already perceive the smell of citrus, cannoli and chocolate while the wind is brushing the palm trees.