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posts tagged ‘ discovering Italy ’

DISCOVERY ITALY WITH YOUR DOG IN MANTOVA: THE CITY OF CULTURE 2016

posted by Home In Italy on August 16th, 2016

Mantova is the city of culture 2016…. So why not go there and discover its beauty together with your four legged friend?
This is a city that has its roots very far, connected to the Gonzaga family who constructed one of the main centers of the Italian and European Renaissance period and has been included to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The nature of Mantova is overloaded with beauties: hills full of history, intense green landscapes, hydrography rich of rivers and canals.

It starts at Mincio, at Via San Giorgio where you can leave your car and start enjoying walks with your dog, including a lovely break in the green shores of ‘Lago di Mezzo’.
After a few steps you reach the square called Sordello, where the House of Rigoletto is situated. Here stands the imposing castle ‘Castello di San Giorgio’.
Tourists from all over the world come to the fort to admire the Bridal Chamber, or ‘Camera Picta’, painted by Andrea Mantegna between 1465 and 1475, the artist’s tribute to the family of Gonzaga – to visit, a reservation is required.
With the same ticket, free for children under 18 and for those over 65, you can visit, in additional to the ‘Camera Picta’, a part of ‘Castel San Giorgio’ and Palazzo Ducale’: The palace of the Gonzaga family, a sumptuous complex of apartments, lounge areas, corridors, courtyards and gardens – recommend to visit is the apartment of widow Isabella d’Este.
Going through ‘Portico dei Lattonai’, under the ‘Palazzo della Ragione’, you cross the nearby square ‘Broletto’, where you can browse through the various shops and buy the famous “sbrisolona”, a cake of poor origins, many years ago the ingredients in fact where typical of the countryside traditions, made of corn flour, lard and hazelnuts.
From ‘Palazzo della Ragione’, built in the mid-thirteenth century to host the city’s meetings, to the square ‘Broletto’ up to the most beautiful square ‘Piazza delle Erbe’.

On its Eastern side, you can see the ‘Torre dell’Orologio’, inside this tower you can find the museum ‘Museo dell’ Opera’, which exposes the mechanisms of the period of the watch, and from the top you can have a beautiful view of the city and its lake that surrounds it.When you continue toward south you reach the palace ‘Palazzo Te’, this masterpiece of Giulio Romano, is the most fascinating and mysterious residence of Mantova; built by the marquis Federico II Gonzaga, who for a long time was looking for a home for his entertainment; it is decorated with symbols and myth scenes.At one time ‘Palazzo Te’ stood at the center of an island surrounded by the waters of a lake and a green forest. This visit includes the ‘Cortile d’Onore’, the ‘Sala dei Cavalli’, the rooms of Cupid and Psyche, the ‘Venti’, the ‘Aquile’, the sumptuous room of the plasters and the chamber of the Giants, the largest and best known of ‘Palazzo Te’. Only guide dogs for the blind people can enter, so it is better to organize this beforehand and maybe take turns!
And if you want to explore the unspoiled nature of the park ‘Parco del Mincio’ to get lost between sounds and breathtaking views, your four legged friend can join you for a cruise on the river.

And if you fancy a typical dish of Mantova in the evening, at ‘Osteria delle Erbe’ also your four legged friend is welcome and can enter without any problem.

THE ONION FESTIVAL. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT? UMBRIA ALSO CELEBRATES THE EXISTENCE OF THE VEGETABLE!

posted by Home In Italy on August 10th, 2016

Cannara, a beautiful medieval village in the province of Perugia, in Umbria, organizes in September a big party dedicated to onions. It is a traditional gourmet at the end of the summer, named: ‘Festa della cipollo di Cannara’! Now already celebrating its 36th edition, which became a national reference which reaches 230 thousand visitors every year.

The amazing quality of the food available in each of the five stands every day during the festival, provide hundreds of meals. Dishes whose recipes date back to 1500, as old as the binding of the onion of Cannara. Growing onions is an integral part of the history of the country in the province of Perugia.
There is already a trace of this in the lecture of 1500, while in the nineteenth century advanced techniques were used to improve the quality and production which at the end of the last century has exceeded 80 percent of the total in the region. Cannara is one of the places where the onion is still cultivated using the traditional methods, which have little to do with the intensive mass production, significant binding the people in Umbria, and considered the main source of survival for centuries.
The event is scheduled for the 31st of August 2016 and will close on September 11th (on the 5th of September there will be no events).
In addition to the excellent dishes with and without onions, this festival also offers exhibitions and artistic events which will culminate with the celebration of the patron saint, San Matteo, 21st of September.

The village of only four thousand inhabitants offers visitors a valuable museum where you can admire intact ancient mosaics, remains and archaeological findings. The museum will remain open to public during the festival until late in the evening.
Cannara retains a number of aspects from the Franciscan period. It is in this village that St. Francis of Assisi conceived the third Franciscan order and the famous ‘Predica agli uccelli’ well portrayed by Benozzo Gozzoli.

BLUE FLAG 2016 AND THE CLEANEST BEACHES IN ITALY

posted by Home In Italy on August 8th, 2016

Every year everybody is looking forward to the award event given by FEE, meaning ‘Foundation for environmental Education’, to the cleanest beaches of Italy. This year 292 Italian beaches are selected by the FEE to participate: 11 beaches more than last year. Beaches from north to south of the country are able to wave the ‘Blue Flag’. The award is given to coastal municipalities and marines based on the quality of the water The selection of the beaches is based on an international and, in general, the practices based on the development of the environment. The award has an international aspect, this year on top of the list is Spain with even 685 ‘Blue Flags’, but Italia is the country of which 5% of its beaches is awarded on a world wide level.

The consequence if this event is optimal for tourism, which in practical terms is measured by significant increases in tourist flows: according to research from the university of Urbino and Perugia, 94% of the ‘Blue Flag’ beaches benefit from a strengthening of the image. In general the summer of 2016 confirms a record of tourism in Italy. The number of tourists increase with 9,5% with respect of last year.
Going back to the topic of the Italian beaches, here below some examples of the beaches in Italy selected by FEE:

At first Sardinia conquers the podium of honor for its boom of ‘Blue Flags’ in 2016, with its 11 selected places for this event, these are 3 more than last year because Teulada, Sassari and Badesi got added to the list. Other places in Sardinia which got selected are Capo Testa in Santa Teresa di Gallura and l’isola Caprera.
Tuscany is the second most awarded by the FEE and wins a further award for the north parts, Massa Carrara and Punta Ala. Following to this are Carovigno in Brindisi Puglia, Silvi Marina in Abruzzo, Levanto in Liguria, Praia a Mare in Calabria, Anacapri which is part of the Capri island and l’isola Vulcano which is one of the archaeological island of Sicily.

OPERA FESTIVAL: ARENA OF VERONA

posted by Home In Italy on July 29th, 2016

Last  June the 24th it was inaugurated the 94th edition of the Opera Festival at the Arena of Verona (which will end on August 28th ) with five Opera Titles: Carmen by Georges Bizet, Aida, La Traviata, Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi, Turandot by Giacomo Puccini and a ballet event with Roberto Bolle. 5 titles for a total of 46 nights of art.

Only the titles of these works would be enough to attract tourists, but the event’s added value is the place of the performance, historical, magical, surreal. The Arena of Verona is in fact the third-largest Roman amphitheater in Italy, one of the symbols of the region. Its history is very old, from documents and testimony is believed that the arena was built in the early decades of the century, under Augustus. Today, this impressive amphitheater is located in the city center (Piazza Bra); on the contrary, it originally stood outside the city walls.

Since 1800 it has been hosting a number of operas and since 1913, with the first performance of Aida, officially opened the Arena Opera Festival; the Verona amphitheater became the largest opera house in the world.