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Arab-Norman Palermo – A new entry in the UNESCO’s World Heritage

posted by Home In Italy on August 4th, 2015

The recent news is that Palermo became a member of the UNESCO’s World Heritage, which is the 51th site in Italy, the first nation in the ranking. The decision was made during the last meeting of the World Committee in Born held during July 2015.

The UNESCO’s World Heritage is a marvellous list made of amazing cultural and natural sites all around the world. They are wonderful and unique places considered a human heritage.

Located on the northern coast of Sicily, Arab-Norman Palermo itinerary includes nine religious and civil structures dating from the era of the Norman kingdom of Sicily (1130 – 1194): in particular there are three churches, a bridge, two palaces, three cathedrals including the cathedrals of Monreale and Cefalú.

These monuments represent the social-cultural syncretism between Byzantines, Islamic and Western cultures on Sicily, from which the new concepts of space, decoration and traditional structure of this art were originated.

There are also testimonies of people of different cultures as Latin, French, Byzantine, Muslim, Jewish and Lombard regarding the coexistence.

“Il Palazzo dei Normanni”

The Norman Palace is the oldest royal residence in Europe and was build during the Islamic domination of Sicily (lasting from 827 to 1091). Following the Normans to reign and to transform the original Arabic palace in a complex structure, making also the Palatine Chapel, a three-aisled basilica in Byzantine – Norman style.
Today the Norman Palace is also home to the Sicilian Regional Assembly and the Astronomical Observatory citizen.

“San Giovanni degli Eremiti”

The church of San Giovanni of the Heremits. Located near the Norman Palace, dates back to the 6th century and was first a mosque, then a Christian church by the will of the sovereign Ruggero II, finally restored in 1880 in order to bring out the calls to the East, as proved from the domes colour red.

“Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio”

The church of St. Mary’s is also known as Church of Martorana and it is a testimony of the power held by the Byzantine and Orthodox religious culture in Palermo. Exiles Albanians, indeed took refuge here during the persecution of the Turks, leaving significant traces of their culture in the style of painting and in religious ritual.
The variety of artistic styles of this church is an example of what this city has always been a melting pot of cultures and a model of coexistence between peoples and religions.

“San Cataldo”

Inside the church of St. Cataldo, Christian temple built in the 20th century, it is possible to admire the marble floors decorated with Arabian style mosaics. The church is located at Piazza Bellini, near the church of the Matrorana.

“Santa Vergine Maria Assunta”

The main church in Palermo is the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Assumption. It represents the most successful expression of different styles, such as the Gothic, Baroque, Norma Romanesque and Neoclassical. Be inspired by the stately building and during the summer participate at the evening visits rooftops, in order to admire the city from the top and take memorable photographs.

“Zisa’s Palace”

Today the Palace of the Zisa, originally a royal residence, is a museum of Islamic art and a garden, recently renovated. Zisa in Arabic means “beautiful”: you will totally agree after having walked through the castle discovering the beauty of musciarabia, wooden screens and everyday objects as candlesticks or bowls. The district is named Zisa because of the building, which also includes a park and a villa in art nouveau style.

“The Admiral Bridge”

This monument was build to connect the city to the gardens beyond the river Oreto and in 1860, during the expedition of the Thousand. Here came the battle between Garibaldi and the troops Bourbon. This Norman bridge now offers a different view from the original, because the river that flowed under the bridge was diverted and now there is a garden surrounded by tree lined streets and succulents.

“Cefalù Cathedral”

The cathedral of Cefalù is famous mostly because of its cloister, a masterpiece of medieval Sicily. Cefalù is situated on a 70km distance from Palermo and it is recommended for its beaches. Indeed, it is part of the Madonie, one of the most beautiful nature reserves in the region.
The cathedral also has a complex history since the project was modified several times and the church was never completed finally.

“Monreale Cathedral”

Built in the 12th century, the Byzantine mosaics that decorate the interior will amaze and surprise you by its attention to detail. The cloister is undoubtedly the most sublime from the architectural point of view, the highest result of Byzantine remained unchanged over the time.

Travel to Piedmont region to discover “The King’s Pantry”

posted by Home In Italy on June 11th, 2015

Have you ever wondered which was the King’s diet? And who knows how were the royal sumptuous banquets prepared? Which was the gastronomic production inside the court? To answer all these questions and much more, the Piedmont Region and Torino city organize the thematic tours of The King’s Pantry.

The Banquet, Piedmont2015

From June the 1st to October the 31st 2015, the wonderful heritage of villas, castles, palaces and residences of Piedmont region will come alive to offer artistic, historical and gastronomic tours. The set of royal residences, 21 in total, is a gem part of the UNESCO World Heritage and it is now the time to discover it!
Plunge into the ordinary life of that time: a walking itinerary through royal gardens and royal kitchens to discover the food production and to know different aspects of living at the court of the Savoy Family. The King’s Pantry is a wonderful opportunity to discover all the historic and cultural richness of this region, with a special consideration for all that had to do with the food.

UNESCO World Heritage

Let’s see in detail the events of the Pantry:

Castello di RivoliAt table with the King. A Royal Residence, its history and its protagonists
Every Sunday and bank holidays starting from 4:30 pm

Reggia di VenariaTour inside the Royal Kitchen and The Royal Potager
Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm

Palazzina di Caccia di StupinigiFrom Stupinigi to the rest of the world
every second Saturday of the month, 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm

Palazzina di Caccia di StupinigiFamilies at museum
first and third Sunday of July, September and October, 3:00 pm and 4:30 pm

Palazzina di Caccia di StupinigiFocus: The food and the land within the crown of delights
12th July 3:00 pm and 4:30 pm

Palazzo MadamaPalazzo Madama Garden Tour
from Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (last entrance at 5:00 pm)

Villa della ReginaVilla della Regina vineyard
9th and 23rd June, 14th and 28th July, 11th and 25th August, 8th and 22nd September, 13th and 27th October at 10:00 am

Castello di RacconigiRacconigi Royal Kitchens tour
Saturday and Sunday 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Castello di AglièDiscovering Savoy Dukes’ kitchens
tour of the kitchen with a tour guide, every Friday at 4:00 pm and Saturday at 10:00 am

Castello de La MandriaFlavored-Rose
20th June 6:30 pm

Castello de La MandriaGood morning Majesty
20th September 10:30 am

Piedmont and Turin to discover the King's Pantry

We are already excited about the program, which seems a dream! We just have to decide which event to take part… and it will be hard to choose!
The Piedmont region created the Royal Card, valid 48 hours, which gives the possibility to enter three royal residences, unlimited use of tourist bus city sightseeing of Torino and other special discounts for the events. The Royal Card is a win-win if you decide to organize a weekend in the beautiful city of Turin.

The greatest photography exhibitions in Milan

posted by Home In Italy on May 20th, 2015

In this period, Milan is hosting many art exhibitions of considerable interest. These are unique opportunities to observe the art works of personalities of great prominence in the international scene: the names of Biley, Brassai and Robert Capa are among the protagonists. In this article, we will focus on the three exhibitions we consider really worth to be visited.

art in Milan

Let’s start with the exhibitions entirely dedicated to David Bailey, which will be open until the 2nd of June 2015 at the PAC – Pavilion of Contemporary Art in Via Palestro 14. The journey inside the universe of the Swinging London photographer twists and turns along a fascinating exposition, where portraits of music, fashion and cinema stars bare the real essence of the protagonists. You will see the most vivid expressions of the Queen Elizabeth, Mike Jagger, Paul McCartney, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Jack Nicholson, Grace Jones, Kate Moss and Johnny Depp, or even the historical record covers of the Rolling Stones, Marianne Faithfull, Alice Cooper and Cat Stevens.

David Bailey art exhibition in Milan

The poetic “Brassai. Pour l’amour de Paris “, instead, is set up, up to 28th of June 2015, in the Palazzo Morando, in Via Sant’Andrea 6. The exhibition pays tribute to the great Hungarian photographer and his beloved Paris, offering the opportunity to admire 260 shots that immortalize the majestic beauty of the French capital: it goes from the most hidden corners of the city to the details of the expressions of its inhabitants, creating an exciting glimpse of Paris, from the 20s to 70s. To top it all a wonderful initiative of the Institut français in Milan, offering a festival of showings dedicated to the Paris of the years of Brassai (cinema Corso Magenta 63).

Brassai in Milan, art exhibition

We conclude with another important event that has been enriching the city since last January: it’s Robert Capa in Italy – 1943-1944, one of the most important retrospective ever devoted to the father of photojournalism. The collection brings together the intense images captured by the photographer during the final phase of World War II. The exhibition is hosted in the halls of the Spazio Oberdan in Viale Vittorio Veneto 2 and will be open until the 22nd of May.

Trussardi alla Scala, the restaurant of the fashion house in the heart of Milan

posted by Home In Italy on May 7th, 2015

The elegance of the fashion house Trussardi, an impeccable cuisine made of excellent ingredients, a superb location: these and other factors make the restaurant Trussardi alla Scala one of the cult of haute cuisine in Milan. The fashion house was able to combine design, style and haute cuisine in a place that is a reference point for aficionados and celebrities, thanks to a perfect blend of flavors, aromas and refined environment where every meal becomes a multi sensory experience.

Trussardi alla scala restaurant

Overlooking Piazza della Scala, the restaurant has been designed as a place where the modern and cosmopolitan elegance is declared in every room. A style where refinement is in every detail, creating an atmosphere full of charm with large spaces, windows overlooking the square, the warm tones of wood, gold and leather that welcome guests.
The design of the restaurant is combined with a kitchen that enhances flavors combining Italian and French traditions, with a constant search for fresh and high quality ingredients. The credit for this success belongs to the chef Luigi Taglienti, who was able to bring a pure and direct cuisine, with a perfect balance of taste and flavors and obtained the first Michelin star in 2013.

The chef Luigi Taglienti

Together with chef Carlo Cracco, external consultant of the restaurant, chef Taglienti found a place where he can express his view of the cuisine: experimentation, discipline, research on raw materials, technique and expertise: everything is aimed to excite the customer.

art of living, art of elegance

Environments immersed in the Trussardi elegance, a refined and informal style, where it is possible to relax and enjoy the dishes of the chef, rediscovering flavors and local products, in a perfect mix of tradition and innovation: for haute cuisine lovers, a stop at Trussardi alla Scala is a must.

Trussardi alla Scala, overlooking the Scala square in Milan