Photos and Words

Every day is different

Posts from the ‘italy’ category

Sicilia /5

As Goethe once wrote: ‘Sicily is the key to everything.’ I travelled there for the first time in April 2018. Something I had postponed for too long. I walked in the streets of Noto and felt the history of the city. I felt in my own country, somewhere I knew, and, at the same time, somewhere new, somewhere where there is a lot I need to explore.

Noto 2018
Noto 2018
Noto 2018
Noto 2018

Cappella degli Scrovegni

The Scrovegni Chapel, dedicated to St. Mary of the Charity, frescoed between 1303 and 1305 by Giotto, upon the commission of Enrico degli Scrovegni, is one of the most important masterpieces of Western art. The frescoes, which narrate events in the lives of the Virgin Mary and Christ, cover the entire walls. On the wall opposite the altar is the grandiose Universal Judgement, which concludes the story of human salvation.
The chapel was originally attached to the Scrovegni family palace, built after 1300, following the elliptical outline of the remains of the Roman arena. The Chapel was acquired by the City of Padova in 1880, and the vulnerable frescoes were subjected to several specialized restoration operations during the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Enrico Scrovegni was a Paduan money-lender who lived around the time of Giotto and Dante. He was the son of Reginaldo degli Scrovegni and Capellina Malacapelli, and was married twice, first to a member of the Carrara family, then to Jacopina (Giacomina) d’Este, daughter of Francesco d’Este, Marquis of Ferrara. He may have been a member of the Cavalieri Gaudenti. Enrico is most famous as the patron of Giotto, commissioning the great painter to paint the famous Scrovegni Chapel, c.1303-5, which he also commissioned. There is a tradition that he hired Giotto to atone for the sin of usury, although there is debate about whether this idea has any foundation. Dante placed his father in the Seventh Circle of Hell for his notoriously ill-gotten gains, and Enrico himself was a moneylender on a grand scale; it is these facts that have given rise to the tradition. Against the idea that he founded the chapel as an act of atonement may be cited the fact that it was a very sumptuous commission for his own personal use, attached to the grand palace that he built for himself. In 1320 Enrico Scrovegni fled the wars and civil strife that plagued Padua at the time, and settled in Venice. He was formally banished from Padua in 1328, and died in Venice in 1336

Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padova, Italy 2019
Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padova, Italy 2019
Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padova, Italy 2019
Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padova, Italy 2019
Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padova, Italy 2019
Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padova, Italy 2019
Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padova, Italy 2019
Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padova, Italy 2019
Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padova, Italy 2019

At least one photo a day

Delay

The announcement was clear. The train from Milan that we had to catch was travelling with 55 min delay. Instead of 21:15, we would (maybe) leave by after 22:00. We were in Mantova. We had come from Ferrara and had been travelling for three days. We had walked a lot. Visited great cities. All we wanted was to get home. We had to kill time at an empty station where everything but the toilets was closed.

I started to think about the commuters to/from Milan who have to take this train everyday. Getting back home by 21:15 or 22:00 is really different, especially when you have to get on the train the following morning by 07:00. The kids are probably already sleeping when you get home and may be still asleep when you get up to get to the station in the morning. Then the frustration of the train being late every single day.

I walk to the toilet. A young woman with the cleaning cart is on the platform next to them and is chatting with a staff of the railways. There is no paper. I come out and ask her about paper. She says that the paper is finished. I see some paper on her cart and ask her if I can take it. She says she cannot give it to me as those are the last ones and the company that hires her has no money to buy more. She says that her salary has not been paid for for four months and adds that the railways have not been paying her company for the cleaning services they provide. The chap she is talking to nods as is he was to say: this is how things are in his country.

The speaker announces the arrival of the delayed train on track 4. We get there. The train slowly approaches the platform looking tired of being constantly late. The doors open after bip: bip, bip, bip. The commuters hurry off on their way to their homes knowing that tomorrow it will probably be the same.

Mantova, Italy 2019
Mantova, Italy 2019
Mantova, Italy 2019
Mantova, Italy 2019
Mantova, Italy 2019
Ferrara, Italy 2019

At least one photo a day

Piazza delle Erbe

Piazza delle Erbe is one of the many squares in the historic center of Padua. For centuries, with Piazza della Frutta, it was the commercial center of the city. In the two squares is one of the largest markets in Italy. Unlike Piazza dei Signori, the civic theater of celebrations, Piazza delle Erbe was the site of the folk festivities. The square is dominated by the imposing Palazzo della Ragione. The area was active in pre-Roman times. By the time of Imperial Rome, homes gave way to businesses. Its present design is from the tenth and eleventh centuries. The space was occupied by a number of shops and stalls selling all kinds of goods, from the edible to luxury goods. With the construction of the Palazzo della Ragione in the early thirteenth century that areas were assigned to specific types of goods. (Wikipedia)

Piazza delle Erbe, Padova, Italy 2019

At least one photo a day

Faith

The Pontifical Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica in Padova, dedicated to St. Anthony. Although the Basilica is visited as a place of pilgrimage by people from all over the world, it is not the titular cathedral of the city, a title belonging to the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Mary of Padua. The basilica is known locally as “il Santo”. It is one of the eight international shrines recognized by the Holy See. Construction of the Basilica probably began around 1232, just one year after the death of St. Anthony. It was completed in 1310 although several structural modifications (including the falling of the ambulatory and the construction of a new choir screen) took place between the end of the 14th and the mid-15th century. The Saint, according to his will, had been buried in the small church of Santa Maria Mater Domini, probably dating from the late 12th century and near which a convent was founded by him in 1229. This church was incorporated into the present basilica as the Cappella della Madonna Mora (Chapel of the Dark Madonna). Sant’Antonio is a giant edifice without a precise architectural style. Over the centuries, it has grown under a variety of different influences as shown by the exterior details. (Wikipedia)

San Antonio da Padova, Padova, Italy 2019.
Pilgrims, Padova, Italy 2019.
Ex voto, Padova, Italy 2019.
Ex voto, Padova, Italy 2019.

At least one photo a day

Back in Padova

I had to take a break from Padova. I travelled last week and did not have the street photos from Padova with me. This is where I left it last week. I am sitting on a marble bench in downtown Padova. I wanted to sit after having walked the whole morning. I sit and feel my back stretching. I sip some water from my flask. People walk around me. Some eat an icecream. Others are into their calls on their smartphones. Some seem to be in a hurry. Some walk slowly as if they are killing time. I take my camera out. Zoom to about 35mm and start taking taking photos of pedestrians walking past me.

Pedestrians, Padova 2019
Pedestrians, Padova 2019
Pedestrians, Padova 2019
Pedestrians, Padova 2019
Pedestrians, Padova 2019
Pedestrians, Padova 2019
Pedestrians, Padova 2019
Pedestrians, Padova 2019

At least one photo a day

Graffiti in the streets of Bologna

No more wars, Bologna 2019
Believe, Bologna 2019
Fight with poetry, Bologna 2019
Murales, Bologna 2019
Ciao Lucio, Bologna 2019
Enough, Bologna 2019

At least one photo a day

Urban landscape

Basilica Santo Stefano, Bologna 2019
Piazza Maggiore, Bologna 2019
San Petronio, Bologna 2019
Basilica Santo Stefano, Bologna 2019

At least one photo a day

Now in Bologna

Bologna is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, at the heart of a metropolitan area of about one million people.

Of Etruscan origin, the city has been a major urban centre for centuries, first under the Etruscans, then under the Romans (Bononia), then again in the Middle Ages, as a free municipality and signoria, when it was among the largest European cities by population. Famous for its towers, churches and lengthy porticoes, Bologna has a well-preserved historical centre, thanks to a careful restoration and conservation policy which began at the end of the 1970s. Home to the oldest university in the world, the University of Bologna, established in AD 1088, the city has a large student population that gives it a cosmopolitan character. In 2000 it was declared European capital of culture and in 2006, a UNESCO “City of Music” and became part of the Creative Cities Network.

Wait a minute, Bologna 2019
Through the piazza, Bologna 2019
Midday walk, Bologna 2019

At least one photo a day

Streets of Ferrara

Piazza, Ferrara 2019
Rotonda Foschini, Ferrara 2019
Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara 2019
Old town, Ferrara 2019
Old town, Ferrara 2019

Let’s go to Ferrara

Ferrara is a city in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy. As of 2016 it had 132,009 inhabitants. The town has broad streets and numerous palaces dating from the Renaissance, when it hosted the court of the House of Este. For its beauty and cultural importance, it has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. (Wikipedia)

Railway station, Ferrara 2019
Downtown, Ferrara 2019
Old town, Ferrara 2019
Via Spilimbecco, Ferrara 2019
Rotonda Foschini, Ferrara 2019

At least one photo a day

Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore

The church was founded in 1137 on the site of another church from the 8th century dedicated to St Mary, which had been in turn erected over a Roman temple of the Clemence. The high altar was consecrated in 1185 and in 1187 the presbytery and the transept wings were completed. Due to financial troubles, the works dragged for the whole 13th–14th centuries. The bell tower was built from 1436 (being completed around the end of the century), while in 1481–1491 a new sacristy added after the old one had been destroyed by Bartolomeo Colleoni to erect his personal mausoleum, the Colleoni Chapel.

In 1521, Pietro Isabello finished the south-western portal, also known as Porta della Fontana. The edifice was restored and modified in the 17th century.

Santa Maria Maggiore, Bergamo 2019
Santa Maria Maggiore, Bergamo 2019
Santa Maria Maggiore, Bergamo 2019

At least one photo a day

%d bloggers like this: