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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?

EXCLUSIVE WINE TASTING

posted by Home In Italy on November 23rd, 2013

Home in Italy would like to welcome its guests in Umbria with a special gift. They are kindly invited to experience an exclusive Wine Tasting in Enoteca Properzio, Spello, Umbria.

Imagine entering a room with ancient origins, dating back to medieval times, where the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. This is Enoteca Properzio, one of the most popular wine stores in Italy, not only for the high quality of its products, but also for the context in which it is inserted.

The wine tasting experience is a trip through intense, fruity aromas and some of the best sparkling Italian and foreign wines, a memorable experience of senses.

Everything that the enoteca of your dreams would have, is here: marble floor, prosciutto slicer, coffee machine, cheeses beyond inventory, hams galore, that wonderful aroma of Italian food shops and some 2,200 wines alongside typical Umbrian products” (The Independent Traveller).

The wine bar Enoteca Properzio, in the heart of Umbria, carries more than 2,200 labels, along with wine pairings – olive oils, honey, marmalades, sauces, mushrooms, truffles, and more” (New York Living).

A wine-tasting featuring the best vintages of Italy’s premier winemakers” (Condè Nast Traveler).

Recently voted one of Italy’s top ten wine shops by an Italian wine magazine, this enoteca gives serious wine buffs a run for their money. Presided over by the enthusiastic Angelini brothers, it stocks some 2,200 global wines, including a vast selection from Umbria. The enoteca occupies part of Palazzo dei Canonici, its sleek contemporary styling encased in ancient bricks vaults” (Time Out).

Today the free Wine Tasting is available only for Umbria bookings because of the location of the enoteca.

DISCOVER ITALY: SIENA

posted by Home In Italy on July 25th, 2013

Situated in central-southern Tuscany, the Province of Siena extends over some of the most famous and fascinating Tuscan territories, e.g. the southern hills of Chianti, Val d’Elsa and Val di Merse, Val d’Arbia, Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia, right up to the slopes of Mount Amiata.

The Province’s Capital, Siena, is a magnificent city of art with characteristic alleys, wards (rioni) and towers, artisan shops and buildings that make it a not-to-be-missed touristic destination for Italians and foreigners. Moving through Siena’s lands and immersing yourself in this atmosphere is a magical adventure, a trip through many landscapes, from dense woodlands to old farms, from clay hills to stupendous paths.

Furthermore, the territory preserves numerous remains from the Middle Ages, springing out along the Via Francigena, the great pilgrimage road to Rome that crossed Val d’Elsa, the city of Siena and Val d’Orcia. Walking through this countryside, you can admire impressive abbeys such as Sant’Antimo, Romanesque parishes (pievi) and characteristic small towns (borghi) such as San Quirico d’Orcia or San Gimignano, which preserve their original appearance to this day.

The Chianti area, home to the famous wine, is also an enchanting part of Tuscany that hosts tucked-away towns such as Castellina, and dense vineyards, such as those of Radda in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti or Castelnuovo Berardenga, as well as delicious enogastronomic itineraries.

The landscape south of Siena leading towards the Medieval center of Asciano is dominated by the typical Crete, clay lands where erosion has created crevices, openings and cracks. It is an impressive area where the imposing Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore stands out. Val d’Elsa is also very impressive with its characteristic towns Colle di Val d’Elsa, Poggibonsi and San Gimignano, that boasts inestimable artistic heritage.

Val di Merse is constituted of solitary but fascinating places, including the ruins of the San Galgano Abbey that date back to the 13th Century. Val di Chiana provokes emotion and offers its visitors elevated health and well-being, thanks to its thermal spa centers in Chianciano Terme, Montepulciano and San Casciano dei Bagni.

Hills and gullies, Tuscan cypress trees, the river, olive groves and vineyards: this is the landscape animating Val d’Orcia, protected by UNESCO. Here magnificent towns abide, from Pienza and San Quirico to Montalcino and Castiglione; in the west lie Mount Amiata and the solitary Rocca di Radicofani.

KANDINSKY EXHIBITION IN PISA

posted by Home In Italy on October 31st, 2012

Fifty works by Russian master Wassily Kandinsky (the “Father of Abstract Art”) will be on display in the Auditorium of Pisa’s Palazzo Blu until February, 2013. The exhibit retraces the years between 1901 and 1922, the period when Kandinsky left the Soviet Union.
The expo begins by guiding visitors through the artist’s first paintings, realized during the Symbolist movement – to the works from the Murnau period. It ends with the largest canvases created during the few years in which Kandinsky – with his The Blue Rider – became the point of unity between the Western and Russian avant-garde movements.

For more information, please click here

Opening Hours
Monday – Friday: 10 AM – 7 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM – 8 PM

Where: Palazzo Blu
City: Pisa
Address: Lungarno Gambacorti 9
Region: Tuscan