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  • Writer's pictureGregory T. Wilkins

Italy 2023 (Part 2)


Broken Vessel in Murano Warehouse ************************************************************************ Venice, Italy

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia The Natural History Museum is housed in the Fontego dei Turchi, built as a palazzo for the Pesaro family in the 13th century. With its imposing Grand Canal façade, it is one of the most famous secular buildings in Venice. Its double loggia in the so-called Venetian-Byzantine style reflects the purpose for which the building was created, as a trading depot for goods coming from the East; the corner towers are similar to the defensive structures that were part of Early Medieval family palazzi. In 1381 the building was given to Nicolò d’Este, lord of Ferrara, and then (in 1621) – after changing hands several times – became the Fontego for Turkish merchants in the city (the place where they were expected to live and do their business). It was used for this purpose right up until 1838, and then from 1865 onwards underwent extensive restoration work. Thereafter it housed the Museo Correr and later, from 1923, the Natural History Museum. The museum was set up to house various local scientific collections: from the Museo Correr, from the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti and others. Over time, this material was added to, through acquisitions and donations, to make up the present rich, varied and fragile collection that spans 700 million years, with 2 million finds, zoological, entomological and botanical collections, fossils and anatomic preparations, as well as ethnographic collections, ‘marvels’ and a library with over 40 thousand volumes.


Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - entrance

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia


Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - entrance

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - entrance


Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - entrance


The collection today is okay, but I was underwhelmed in part because I have see other collections that are more impressive. For a city the size of Venice, it is an wonderful resource. I was particularly surprised to see some photographs by the Aga Khan's son that focused on whales.

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - African Taxidermy

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - African Taxidermy I must admit, I got a little creeped out seeing a gorilla outstretched as well as feet of rhinos.

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - Beetles

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - dinosaur

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - Bat Taxidermy

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - Primate

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - Taxidermy

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - Taxidermy

Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia - Human

*******************************************************


was the residence of the San State branch of the Mocengio family, one of the most important Venetian families. Seven members of the family were Doges of Venice.


The Palazzo Mocenigo was bequeathed to the city of Venice by Alvise Nicolò Mocenigo in 1945. He was the last descendant of the family and intended the palazzo to be used "as a Gallery of Art, to supplement Museo Correr. In 1985, the palazzo was designated as the Museum and Study Centre of the History of Fabrics and Costumes. The museum contains collections of textiles and costumes, mainly from the Correr, Guggenheim, and Cini collections, as well as the Palazzo Grassi. Palazzo Mocenigo also has a library on the first floor covering the history of costumes, fabrics, and fashion with a focus on the 18th century. The museum was restored and reopened in 2013.


Embroidery Detail


Embroidery Detail

Embroidery Detail



Embroidery Detail

*********************************************

Entrance

Peggy Guggenheim Museum is located on the Grand Canal in the Dorosoduro sestiere. It is one of the most visited attractions in Venice. The collection is housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni , an 18th-century palace, which was the home of the American heiress Peggy Guggenheim for three decades. She began displaying her private collection to the public seasonally in 1951. After her death in 1979, it passed to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which opened the collection year-round from 1980.

The collection includes works of prominent Italian futurists and American modernists working in such genres as Cubism, Surrealism, and abstract expressionism. It also includes sculptural works.

Gino Severini Sea = Dancer 1914

Tancredi Parmegianni Untitled 1955

Jackson Pollock The Moon Woman 1942

Peggy Guggenheim was a former wife of artist Max Ernst and a niece of the mining magnate, Solomon R. Guggenheim.. She collected the artworks mostly between 1938 and 1946, buying works in Europe as World War II began, and later in the USA, where she discovered the talent of Jackson Pollock among others. The museum houses an impressive selection of modern art. Its picturesque setting and well-respected collection attract some 400,000 visitors per year, making it the most-visited site in Venice after the Doge's Palace.


The garden on the Grand Canal and in the courtyard also host works of art and with a new addition of a building houses a space for merchandise sales and restaurant.


Marino Marini The Angel of the City 1948

******************************************* Burano and Murano, Italy Most people think of Venice and often times forget about the outer islands. The beauty and history of Venice is staggering and not to be overlooked by its crowds. This is a city, after all, that is home to 80,000 residents…and yet sees up to 25 million tourists a year. It’s a ratio that can disillusion even the most die-hard Venice lovers—myself included. The city is even considering a tourist tax to help with infrastructure and the wear and tear of the island. There are more than a hundred islands in Venice’s 212-square-mile ecosystem, but most tourists simply camp out near St. Mark’s Square and rarely venture beyond the clogged arteries that connect the main sights of the Rialto, the Grand Canal, and the Bridge of Sighs. The outer islands, however, are where traditional Venetian culture still runs deep, where layers of history can be peeled back in still-quiet settings. While the vast majority still visit Venice, even some of the outer islands are getting packed -- namely, Burano and Murano.

Burano Burano is a short boat ride from Venice and 4 miles away (roughly 45 minutes by Vaporetto). It is best known for it brightly colored houses and history of lace making. Approximately 2,800 people live here, and it is supported by tourism.

Burano

Burano

Burano

Burano

Burano

Burano

Burano

Burano

Burano When Leonardo da Vinci visited in 1481, he purchased a cloth for the main altar of the Duomo di Milano. The lace was soon exported across Europe, but trade began to decline in the 18th century and the industry did not revive until 1872, when a school of lacemaking was opened. Lacemaking on the island boomed again, but few who live there now make lace in the traditional manner as it is extremely time-consuming and therefore expensive. Most of the "lace" that is there is made now by machine and imported from China.


Burano Lace

Burano Lace

Burano Lace

Burano Lace A short ferry ride to Murano, the island is famous for its glass. One miles away from Venice and 5,000 inhabitants, the island (1 mile across) gets clogged by tourists. In 1291, all the glassmakers were required to move to Murano. Murano's glassmakers were soon numbered among the island's most prominent citizens. By the fourteenth century, glassmakers were allowed to wear swords, enjoyed immunity from prosecution by the Venetian state and found their daughters married into Venice's most affluent families. While benefiting from certain statutory privileges, glassmakers were forbidden to leave the Republic. However, many of them took the risks associated with migration and established glass furnaces in surrounding cities and farther afield — sometimes in England and the Netherlands.


Murano Glass

Murano Glass

Murano Glass

Murano Glass

Murano Glass In the following century, exports began, and the island became famous, initially for glass beads and mirrors. At one time, Murano was the main producer of glass in Europe. The island later became known for chandeliers. Although decline set in during the eighteenth century, glassmaking is still the island's main industry. **************************************************

Bologna, Italy

Utility Cover

Bologna, Italy is a city in and the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy, of which it is also its largest. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, with about 400,000 inhabitants and 150 different nationalities. More than 1,000,000 people live in the metropolitan region. It is known as the Fat City for its rich cuisine, and the Red City for its red tiled rooftops and, more recently, its leftist politics. It is also called the Learned City because it is home to one of the oldest universities in the world - University of Bologna.

Famous for its towers, churches and lengthy porticos, Bologna has a well-preserved historical center, thanks to a careful restoration and conservation policy which began at the end of the 1970s. the university of Bologna was established in AD 1088, the city has a large student population that gives it a cosmopolitan character. I came to Bologna for Various Voices - a queer, international music i festival that occurs every four years. It was to occur earlier, but Covid-19 put the planet into hibernation and had to be rescheduled to 2023. Various Voices has a 35-year history, with 15 different editions hosted in several European cities: from 1985 in Cologne (Germany) with 4 choirs from 4 nations, to 2018 in Munich (Germany) with more than 100 choirs from 19 nations and 2700 delegates. It is part of Llegato. Legato is the European Association of LGBTQ+ Choirs: more than 128 member choirs from 20 countries with approximately 4,120 singers. The association promotes art, culture and understanding between nations, staging choral singing events with participants from many European nations. It maintains an up to date list of LGBTQ+ Choirs in Europe and publishes events being run by these choirs locally. ​Legato connects new LGBTQ+ Choirs with more experienced ones so that they can avoid some of the pitfalls of starting a new Choir. It is actively supporting the development of LGBTQ+ Choirs in Eastern Europe, where in many countries to be LGBTQ+ is considered a crime, and people are persecuted. Legato works for the emancipation of LGBTQ+ individuals in Europe and combat discrimination against these groups. One of the first things that caught my eye was the street art in doorways, on walls, around corners, and in hidden spaces. Everywhere I turned, I discovered something different. It is a city filled with a happy surprises that will delight the eye - even if it is for a fleeting moment.

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

I stayed at local Air B&B called Tilia - Via del Cestello 4, 40124 Bologna, Italy. It is in a house with small garden. I had a private, ensuite room with daily breakfast. The room had 12 feet ceilings, large windows that poured in the light, and wood floors. I usually don't stay somewhere this nice, but I had professional development money from the university to use for my attendance at Various Voices. The location is approximately 30 minutes from the railroad and close to the city center.


Tilia - Room Ensuite

Tilia - Room

Tilia - Room

Tilia - Room ************************************************************** Basilica dei Santi Bartolomeo e Gaetano was moved to minor basilica status in 1924 by Pope Pius XI. It was dedicated to Saint Bartholomew in the 5th century and built by Saint Petronious on the foundations of an early Christian church. (In the place where today's basilica stands, a modest-sized church existed in the 13th century.) In 1516, the Gozzadini family entrusted Andrea Marchesi with a project that also included the renovation of the existing church. The project was interrupted due to the killing of Giovanni di Bernardino Gozzadini in 1516, with the construction of only the portico still visible today.



Inlaid Marble from Altar The church is divided internally by three naves and has rich Baroque decoration throughout the space. The vault of the central nave is frescoed with quadratures and the Stories of San Gaetano (starting from the counter-façade: Vision of San Gaetano , Spirituality of Saint Cajetan , the Fight against heresy ).

In the apse three scenes from the life of Saint Bartholomew are depicted: on the left Saint Bartholomew preaches to the Armenians and destroys the idol , on the right Saint Bartholomew frees the daughter of the king of Armenia from the devil and in the center the Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew .



The large dome was decorated by the Rolli brothers in the mid-1600s. The side chapels are embellished with some notable 17th century Bolognese paintings. Above the entrance door is the organ built by Giuseppe Colonna in 1644 and modified and restored several times.




Ceiling

Main Altar

Mosaic Floor

Main Altar


Looking Toward Organ The beautiful bell tower, with baroque lines, is about fifty meters high and is one of the tallest in Bologna, but this characteristic is unfortunately penalized by the nearby and looming presence of the Two Towers. On the side facing Piazza di Porta Ravegnana there is the clock face, inaugurated by Camillo Franchini in 1857, which is still perfectly functional. *************************************************


Basilica di San Petronio - Stained Glass Basilica di San Petronio is the largest church in Bologna. It dominates the Piazza Maggiore in front and, despite being largely unfinished, it is one of the largest churches in Europe. Its imposing dimensions (132 meters long and 60 meters wide, with a vault height of 44.27 meters, while on the facade it reaches 51 meters making it the sixth largest church in Italy (the fifth, if we exclude San Pietro, which has been part of the territory of Vatican City). With its volume of 258,000 m³, the basilica is the largest brick Gothic church built in the world and is a minor basilica.

Basilica di San Petronio

Basilica di San Petronio - Stained Glass

Basilica di San Petronio

Basilica di San Petronio

Basilica di San Petronio - Stained Glass

Basilica di San Petronio

Basilica di San Petronio - Main Altar *************************************************************** Cattedrale Di San Pietro a.k.a. Bologna Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Peter and is the seat of the Archbishop of Bologna. Most of the present building dates from the 17th century, with a few parts from the late 16th century. There was already a cathedral on the site (on the present Via Indipendenza) in 1028. This church was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1141. It was reconstructed, and consecrated by Pope Lucius III in 1184. The campanile is the 2nd largest in the city.


Bologna Cathedral - Organ Pipes

Bologna Cathedral - Organ Pipes

Bologna Cathedral

Bologna Cathedral

Bologna Cathedral

Bologna Cathedral - Ceiling

Bologna Cathedral ********************************************** Chiesa de San Giovanni Battista dei Celestini was founded by Pietro da Morrone who later became Pope with the name of Celestine V, had established itself in Bologna in 1368. The monks had been invited by Antonio di Ubaldino Galluzzi, a nobleman, whose family owned a group of buildings in area (hence the modern name of Corte de' Galluzzi). The monastery and the adjacent church were dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

The Church, the monastery and the bell tower underwent important expansion and renovation works in 1500 (the Church in 1524-1554, the monastery in the years 1560-1561 and finally the bell tower in 1580), but the current shape is due to an eighteenth-century intervention by Carlo Francesco Dotti and Francesco Tadolini.


Chiesa de San Giovanni Battista dei Celestini - Ceiling

Chiesa de San Giovanni Battista dei Celestini - Altar Cloth

Chiesa de San Giovanni Battista dei Celestini - Main Altar

Chiesa de San Giovanni Battista dei Celestini ********************************************** Chiesa dei Filippini Madonna di Galliera e di San Flippo Neri (a.k.a. Madonna di Galliera) is a church with a Renassance cafde and Baroque interiors. Located in central Bologna on Via Manzoni, it is infornt of Palazzo Ghisilardi Fava.


The church was acquired in 1622 by Oratorians. The original church at the site was founded in 1304 by a charitable order which translates into Confraternity of the Shameful Poor (Compagnia dei Poveri Vergognosi). By 1479 they began construction of the sculpturally rich stone facade. The interiors were all refurbished by the Oratorians. The church suffered damage in World War II. In 2014, the church had undergone restoration.


Madonna di Galliera - Ceiling

Madonna di Gallier

Madonna di Gallier

Madonna di Gallier - Ceiling

Madonna di Gallier - Ceiling

Madonna di Gallier - Ceiling ************************************************** The Basilica of San Martino Maggiore is located in the square of the same name in the historic center of Bologna . It constitutes a parish governed by the Carmelite fathers. In August 1941 Pope Pius XII elevated it to a minor basilica.


Basilica of San Martino Maggiore - Entrance

Basilica of San Martino Maggiore

Basilica of San Martino Maggiore

Basilica of San Martino Maggiore ********************************************** Costs in Euro: $497.34 - 6 nights at Tilia with breakfast, private room and bath $9.00 - Laundry $7.60 - 3 day Milan Metro pass $13.53 - mozzarella, salad, proseco, proscuitto, herbs, tomatoes $7 - 2 tshirts $1.60 sandwich $2.80 sandwich and cookies $13 - 3 day Metro pass $4.90 sandwich $10 - museum with university ID $12.81 - salad, proscuitto, cookies, watermelon, mint, balsamic, mozzarella, salami $10.78 - lettucs, beer, salami, cookies, sandwich, wine $13 - Metro pass for 3 days $6.34 - sandwich, cookies, Coke $32 - roudtrp train to Como $3.48 - salad, salami, mozzarella $2.20 - Metro to train station $13 - train to airport $7.50 - airport food - Coke, cookie, sandwich


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