Category: Europe

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Faroe Islands, Denmark

Faroe Islands, Denmark

The Faroe Islands are located in the north of the Atlantic, in the open ocean, significantly north of Scotland. Officially, they belong to Denmark, but in fact life in the Faroe Islands is subject not so much to the Danish crown as to its own laws and rules. Tourists are not waiting here for azure waters, chic hotels and well-trained bartenders serving colorful cocktails to vacationers on the beach. The nearest inhabited coast is Icelandic, and it is 450 km away. But if you are looking for a place to escape from everything, then the Faroe Islands are the perfect place for this.

In one of its publications, National Geographic magazine called the Faroe Islands the best islands in the world. It seems that even their inhabitants themselves more than agree with this characterization.

How to get to the Faroe Islands

By plane to Torshavn with a transfer through Denmark (Copenhagen) or Norway (Bergen or Stavanger). The most popular local transport in the Faroe Islands is, of course, water, and you need to travel between the islands by ferry. In the summer, you can also take a ferry from Bergen to Tórshavn.


According to cachedhealth, the Faroe Islands are not part of the Schengen area. To visit these territories, it is necessary to obtain a national Danish visa, valid for entry into the Faroe Islands, in addition to the regular Danish Schengen visa. If the tourist already has a valid Schengen visa of another country, it is enough to apply for a national Danish visa with a note about entering the Faroe Islands. The list of required documents and the process of obtaining a visa to the Faroe Islands is identical to the process of obtaining a Schengen visa to Denmark.


In total, the Faroe Islands include 18 islands, and people live on all but the last, Small Dimun. The first inhabitants appeared on the islands around the 8th-9th centuries; then the islands saw the Vikings and for some time served as a staging post in their sea expeditions. Once the Faroe Islands were divided between Norway and Denmark, but at the beginning of the 19th century they were completely taken over by the Danes. During the Second World War, the islands were occupied by Great Britain in response to the capture of Denmark by the Germans (this did not affect the course of the war in any way). The next year after the end of the war, the Faroe Islands were about to secede from the Kingdom of Denmark, but it was not there: the maximum that the islanders achieved was partial sovereignty.

Interesting Facts

In one of its publications, National Geographic magazine named the Faroe Islands the best islands in the world (this is a consolidated expert assessment of half a thousand specialists in the tourism industry). It seems that even their inhabitants themselves more than agree with this characterization. Despite the fact that the economy of the islands rests, figuratively speaking, on sheep and herring, the weather is gloomy, and fuel and other essential items have to be purchased on the mainland for five hundred kilometers, the standard of living in the Faroe Islands is one of the highest in the world. And almost all the islanders are ardent patriots who optimistically paint their houses in different colors in spite of gloomy weather and gray skies.

Due to unacceptable fishing taxes for local residents, the Faroe Islands have not yet entered the European Union.

Faroese cuisine

The traditional dishes of the Faroes, dense and simple, are all rather curious, but by modern standards they cannot be called healthy. Although local dishes, for obvious reasons, are often prepared from fish, the Faroese themselves prefer fatty and unsalted meat, in particular lamb, and potatoes from vegetables. However, more and more European establishments have recently been opened in large settlements. So you need to look specifically for traditional restaurants to try smorrebrod for breakfast (a sandwich with butter and meat eaten with cutlery), for lunch – dried cod and mutton kidney soup, and for dinner – puffin meat pie, rhubarb and potatoes.

Weather in the Faroe Islands

The climate here cannot be called mild: in summer it usually does not get warmer than +15 ° C, it rains about 280 days a year, and the winds blow almost constantly. Therefore, there are few trees on the islands – solid rocks and moss, but there are a lot of carved picturesque fjords, bays, bays and mountains.

In winter, the islands are very wet and particularly cold. But the Gulf Stream washing them does not allow coastal waters to freeze and even maintains their temperature at about +10 ° C. This season, when there are no people around, and the water is especially clear, is considered ideal for diving enthusiasts.

3 things to do in the Faroe Islands:

  1. Buy and bring home to your grandmother a few hanks of local first-class sheep’s wool for knitting. This can be done in almost any grocery store.
  2. Get to the town of Skopun on the island of Sandoy, where the largest mailbox in the world is located. This is a huge blue building of several human heights, against which you should definitely take a picture (alas, the box is non-functional).
  3. Try local meat and fish dried-cured snacks: whale meat and lamb in the Faroe Islands are dried in a dozen different ways, sometimes for a year.

Faroe Islands, Denmark

Places to Visit in Amiens, France

Places to Visit in Amiens, France

The fascinating city of Amiens is located in the north of France, about one hundred and twenty kilometers from Paris. The city was first called Samarobriva by the Gauls and then Ambianum by the Romans. In any case, today’s Amiens can be called the new top of city trips in our opinion. In addition to an extensive range of shops, there is plenty of culture to sniff, you can enjoy delicious food and fun events are regularly organized. As part of Unesco World Heritage, there are impressive buildings to visit such as Notre-Dame de Amiens and the belfry. And during the night of Amien’s ‘Nuit Blanche’, there are all kinds of stages where you can be treated to drama, music and dance performances. This cultural event is very popular in the region and certainly among the inhabitants of Amiens. But the flea and antique markets on the Avenue du General Foy are also popular. People from all over the region and far beyond come together and there is soon a pleasant bustle. When the lights come on in the evening, Amiens comes into full bloom. An experience that you should definitely not miss.

Top 10 Things to Do in Amiens

#1. Amiens Cathedral
According to HEALTHKNOWING.COM, Notre-Dame de Armiens is the jewel of the city. The Gothic building was built in the thirteenth century and has since been called the largest Gothic cathedral in France. Over the years there have been a number of extensions and adjustments, such as the second gallery between the towers on the front facade. The visible highlights of Amiens Cathedral include the magnificent floor, nave, statues by André Beaunevau, the tombs of Bishops Geoffroy d’Eu and Évrard de Fouilloy, and the Baroque pulpit. Of course there are many more wonderful details to discover. As part of Unesco World Heritage, you should not miss a visit to this impressive cathedral of Amiens.

#2. Musée de Picardie
The impressive art museum of Amiens is housed in a beautiful old building, whose architectural style can be described as ‘second empire’. This architectural style was mainly used during the second half of the nineteenth century. Inaugurated in 1867, the museum has a variety of art on display from different centuries. The archeology department is located in the basement of the museum. Here you’ll find parts of Roman murals found at Pompei, fifth-century jewelry and even a mummy. The Musee de Picardie is a priceless museum and very special inside and out.

#3. La Maison de Jules Verne
The acclaimed writer Jules Verne was a famous resident of Amiens. With titles such as ‘Cinq semaines en balloon’ five weeks in a balloon and ‘Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours’ a journey around the world in eighty days, he managed to win over many fans. His stories and the vision of the future stated in them are remarkable. Some of these were read as fantasy at the time, but have recently actually happened. Because of this, he is also considered a future predictor. The house in which he and his wife Honorine settled around 1882 is now an open museum. Here you get a clear picture of his life and his passions.

#4. Hortillonnages
The area called in Amiens les Hortillonnages is a kind of floating garden. Within this part of Amiens people used to be supplied with fruit and vegetables. Goods were traded via boats and there was a lot of trade. Every year in June, the traditional clothing is taken out of the closet and the market looks like centuries ago. By taking a trip through the more than sixty-five kilometers of canals, you can explore the Hortillonnages d’Amiens, which counts more than three hundred hectares, with a boat. The flora and fauna within this nature reserve are an experience in itself.

#5. Cimetiere de la Madeleine
This Amiens cemetery is located outside the city center. Cimetière de la Madeleine was inaugurated around 1817 and has since had quite a few prominent names on graves. The grave of the famous resident of Amiens, Jules Verne, can also be found here. You will also find military graves of soldiers who fell during the bombing of the Second World War. Other famous or influential persons buried here are Jean-Baptiste Dijon, Georges Guittet, Pierre Lefort, Rene Daveluy and Charles Gabriel Vérecque. The wooded area and the fauna present within this hilly area give you the feeling of being in a park.

#6. Parc du Grand Marais
This park of more than twenty-two hectares is located in the west of Amiens. This beloved park is frequently used by walkers, skaters and sportsmen. This Parc du Grand Marais and accompanying playground are also popular for a family picnic. The present water and the accompanying bridges provide romantic pictures.

#7. Le Grand Parc Naturel de la Préhistoire Samara
In addition to the botanical garden of Amiens, the historic park of Samara also contains a piece of history. By means of various reconstructions, an attempt has been made to reflect different episodes from the past. There are old houses to visit, old crafts are performed and some archaeological findings are exhibited. This lively museum and park is a lot of fun and educational to visit. In the accompanying arboretum, various tree species can be discovered, such as the ginkgo.

#8. Saint Leu
This part of the city is affectionately referred to as the Venice of Amiens. The many canals containing the River Somme soon provide the resemblance. The area is popular for visiting art galleries, bookshops, antique dealers and the cozy terraces. On Saturdays there is a water market to visit. You have to get out of bed early for this, because this is only in the morning.

#9. Zoo d’Amiens Amiens
Zoo is located on the Esplanade Hotoie, just outside the city center. The six-hectare park has about sixty different animal species. The park was established in 1952 and slowly the animal species have been expanded. Today you will find sea lions, cranes, penguins, wolves, zebras, elephants, iguanas and monkeys.

#10. Christmas market
All of France and the surrounding area flock to Amiens’ Christmas market ‘Les Parfums d’hiver, le marche de Noël d’Amiens’. Absolutely everything is being pulled out for this grand event. For no less than five weeks, the city center will be filled with the most beautiful Christmas decorations, cozy stalls, all kinds of delicacies and, above all, conviviality. The city with all its lights can be admired in a unique way from the Ferris wheel. Even the cathedral is decked out in a matching fashion.

Amiens, France

Sights of Roermond, Netherlands

Sights of Roermond, Netherlands

Roermond is one of the largest tourist destinations in Limburg. That is a striking fact if you know that Roermond is surpassed by several other places in terms of the number of inhabitants, but also in terms of the number of hotel beds. For example, Maastricht and Valkenburg have more overnight stays than Roermond. Roermond’s strength lies mainly in day tourism. On an annual basis, millions of visitors come to the Designer Outlet Roermond. It regularly causes traffic jams in and around Roermond during the weekends. Not surprising when you know that this outlet is the largest in all of Europe. But Roermond has much more to offer than bargain hunting. Roermond can count itself among the nicest cities in Limburg. Nice enough to spend a whole day or more. Thanks to the three-minute walking distance between the outlet shopping mall and the center, more and more people are also visiting the city of Roermond itself.

According to GRADPHYSICS.COM, Roermond promotes itself as a city to experience, enjoy and discover. Rightly so. Within the city there are plenty of beautiful places and beautiful buildings to admire, you can experience various activities and the Burgundian touch ensures that the inner person will fully enjoy a visit to this centrally located city in Limburg.

Our top 10 sights of Roermond consists of a nice mix of all kinds of things you can see and do in this city located on the Roer and the Maas. Use our list as a guideline to make your visit to Roermond a successful city trip.

Top 10 sights of Roermond

#1. Market

The Markt is the main square of Roermond. Here you will find the historic city hall of Roermond, St. Christopher’s Cathedral and various monumental buildings. The town hall in particular is a true block catcher. The symmetrically built town hall is located at Markt 31. It has undergone the necessary adjustments and restorations over the years. The facade dates from the year 1700. A remarkable element is the turret in which there is a beautiful chime. At the end of the twentieth century, the chimes were supplemented by a group of moving images that revolve around the tower of the town hall every afternoon at noon.

The Gothic St. Christopher’s Cathedral is another striking building on the Markt. This gothic cathedral was built in 1410. During the Second World War, this church suffered some war damage. During the reconstruction of the church tower, some adjustments were made. The centrally hung cross with Jesus Christ is a striking eye-catcher in the church.

On the western side there are mainly catering establishments. In the warmer season, the terraces of these companies contribute to the cozy atmosphere of the Markt.

#2. Munsterplein and Munsterkerk

Roermond’s number two attraction has also been set aside for a square. It concerns Munsterplein, which, if you ask us, is just a bit nicer than the Markt on summer days. Two striking buildings on the Munsterplein: the Munsterkerk and the kiosk. The Munsterkerk is older than St. Christopher’s Cathedral. It was built in the early thirteenth century. Several restorations have taken place, in which both the interior and the exterior of the church have been modified. The famous Roermond architect Pierre Cuypers also contributed to this. There is also a statue of Cuypers on the Munsterplein. This monument was unveiled in 1930, nine years after the death of this famous inhabitant of Roermond.

There is another design by Cuypers on the Munsterplein: the kiosk. The twelve-sided cast-iron kiosk is spanned with a flattened dome made of wood. From the kiosk you have a beautiful view over the Munsterplein and the Munsterkerk.

#3. Cuypers House

The name Pierre Cuypers has already been mentioned above. This famous Dutch architect was born in Roermond in 1827. He studied in Antwerp at the Art Academy to become an architect. Two years after graduating, he became the city architect of Roermond. Within the city you will find several examples of his architectural skills. Cuypers is best known for his designs for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Amsterdam Central Station.

His former home in Roermond has been transformed into a museum dedicated to Cuypers: the Cuypershuis. Get to know some objects from his former workshops, such as his much-used pointing device. Walk through his old studio and see designs made by Cuypers.

#4. Roerkade

If you are talking about cozy atmospheric places in Roermond, then the Roerkade should definitely be mentioned. The Roerkade is a succession of restaurants, cafes and associated terraces. The location on the Roer provides a picturesque setting. It is especially wonderful to stay here during the warmer spring and summer days. The so-called Maasplassen tours depart from the Roerkade. These cruises on the Maasplassen are organized all year round.

#5. Designer Outlet Roermond

If you ensure that tens of thousands to sometimes a quarter of a million visitors come to Roermond every week, then you have earned a place in the top 10 sights of Roermond. Designer Outlet Roermond is the largest outlet shopping center in the Netherlands and even the whole of Europe. The majority of visitors are Belgians, Germans and Dutch. They flock to the more than two hundred shops and restaurants that this top attraction has. The visitors are mainly interested in buying designer clothes, accessories and a number of other products at great discounts. The range is large enough to spend a whole day shopping.

#6. Stone Bridge

The Stone Bridge or Maria Theresia Bridge spans the Roer. This monumental bridge was built in 1771, replacing an earlier bridge. The Stone Bridge has four arches and is now only accessible to cyclists and pedestrians. The bridge connects the center of Roermond with the picturesque St. Jacob suburb. This small district is located between the Roer and the Maas. The Suburb St. Jacob is a stopping point on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella. From here it is about 2,285 kilometers to the final destination.

#7. ECI Culture Factory

The Electro Chemical Industry (ECI) was an electrochemical company located on the outskirts of Roermond. After ECI ceased production in 1974, the buildings fell into disrepair. Some of the monumental factory buildings have been refurbished and given a different purpose. The complex is now known as the ECI Cultuurfabriek. A number of cultural activities in Roermond have been brought together here. Think of film, theatre, song, dance and all kinds of visual arts. A striking detail is the enormous chimney that towers above the ECI Cultuurfabriek. There are two catering establishments in the complex, including the refined Restaurant One.

#8. Rat tower

Roermond was once surrounded by city walls. The first wall was built around 1232, when Roermond received city rights. A new wall was added in the fourteenth century. That was necessary because of the growth of the city. The new fortress had 20 towers. Two of these eventually survived: the Rattentoren and the ruins of the Carrentoren. The rest of the Roermond city wall and the associated towers have been demolished.

The Rattentoren is a round corner tower that was built at the end of the fourteenth century. Over the centuries, the tower has had different names. The name Rattentoren is due to the fact that this place was used as a rubbish dump in the eighteenth century. On the top floor of the Rattentoren you can see a beautiful model of Roermond as a medieval city. This is only possible on days when the Rattentoren is open.

#9. Roermond sign

Important tourist cities increasingly have large letters in the city where tourists can capture themselves. Who doesn’t know the well-known Iamsterdam sign that can be seen in various places in the capital Amsterdam. Roermond is also participating in this trend. On the Stationsplein, in front of Roermond train station, you can have yourself immortalized with the touristic logo of Roermond. This consists of the white letters ROER and a red mouth behind it.

#10. Castle Hattem and the memorial monuments

Unfortunately, human history is full of wars. Wars produce casualties. Memorial monuments ensure that the people who died are remembered. There is a small park at Hattem Castle, which was built in the seventeenth century. This park used to be known as Stadspark Hattem. Nowadays the name is used as National Memorial Park Roermond. There are several memorial monuments in this park. The National Indies Monument 1945-1962 is the most famous monument. It commemorates the more than 6,200 Dutch soldiers who fell during the battle in the former Dutch East Indies and New Guinea.

The castle and its park are located just south of the center of Roermond. Kasteel Hattem is the smallest castle in the Netherlands. A hotel-restaurant is now located in this castle, which has been declared a national monument.

Roermond, Netherlands

Best time to visit Ardennes, Belgium

Best time to visit Ardennes, Belgium

Best time to visit the Ardennes

Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to the Ardennes? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. For the Dutch and Belgians, the Ardennes is a popular holiday destination for those who want to be active or enjoy nature. This low mountain range is mainly located in Belgium and partly extends over the northeast of France and the northern part of Luxembourg. In the Ardennes you will find all kinds of landscapes such as dense forests, vast meadows and beautiful peatlands. The many attractive villages and charming towns make the Ardennes a fascinating holiday destination. A fairly large part of the tourists comes because of the many outdoor activities that can be done. Think of hiking, cycling, canoeing, survival trips and cross-country skiing.

Best months for the Ardennes

According to shoppingpicks, it is almost impossible to indicate a best travel time for the Ardennes. If you ask us when you have the best chance of good weather in the Ardennes, it is from June to August . These are the warmest months of the year, in which you have a reasonable chance of beautiful days with pleasant temperatures.

A destination for the whole year

For those who are not afraid of the cold, rain or getting dirty during outdoor activities, the Ardennes can be visited all year round. Every season has its own charm. In winter you can enjoy winter landscapes and in the higher places you can regularly participate in various forms of winter sports. In the spring you can see nature come to life. Summer offers the most pleasant weather for a holiday in the Ardennes. Finally, there is autumn. This is perhaps the most beautiful season in terms of landscapes. In the course of autumn you can see nature transform into a magical world full of reds, browns, yellows and greens thanks to the autumn colours. The best week in that regard varies a bit from year to year. It usually falls somewhere between October 10 and 25.

The Ardennes during the school holidays

The Ardennes are a great holiday destination for every school holiday. During the Christmas holidays you can enjoy yourself by a crackling fire or in a jacuzzi (if available), while it is bleak and cool outside. If you are lucky, there is enough snow for winter sports, such as skiing or cross-country skiing. The same applies to spring break. Especially if it falls early (in February), there is a reasonable chance that you can enjoy winter sports in the higher places in the Ardennes.

The May holiday is the period when nature blossoms. You see the Ardennes getting greener every day. The weather conditions for outdoor activities are getting better and better. If you’re lucky, you’ll get radiant spring weather with higher temperatures. Cooler and gray days with rain are also possible.

The summer holidays are the best travel period for the Ardennes. With afternoon temperatures that average between 18 and 22 degrees, it is often pleasant. The chance of dry and sunny weather is greater than the chance of gray rainy days. When it rains in the summer, it usually involves summer showers. They can be spicy and accompanied by thunder. Pay close attention to the weather forecast when you go out into nature. Thunderstorms and lightning can pose a risk when you are outdoors.

The autumn holidays mainly mean enjoying autumn colors and scents. This school holiday falls in the most beautiful part of the autumn. The weather can go either way. There is absolutely no long-term expectation for this.

Ardennes, Belgium 2

Arrival to Berlin, Germany

Arrival to Berlin, Germany

By plane

According to ETAIZHOU.INFO, Berlin’s only airport is Berlin Brandenburg Airport BER on the south-eastern outskirts of the city. Berlin Tegel TXL Airport in north-west Berlin ceased operations in 2020.

From BER airport to the city center

When you arrive at BER Airport, you have several options for getting into the city.

There are three terminals at BER . Terminals 1 and 2 were newly created when the airport was completed, Terminal 5 dates from the time of the former Berlin-Schoenefeld Airport, which is still used for passenger handling.

With the S-Bahn and the Airport Express

The train station “Flughafen BER – Terminal 1-2” is located directly below Terminal 1. From here you can take the S-Bahn and the Airport Express (FEX) as well as several regional trains to Berlin.

The Airport-Express FEX takes you to Berlin Central Station in about 30 minutes . On the way there, the FEX passes the Ostkreuz and Gesundbrunnen stations.

The regional trains RE7 and RB14 run hourly between 4:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. directly to the city center and stop at the Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstraße, Hauptbahnhof, Zoologischer Garten and Charlottenburg stops. This is definitely the fastest option towards the middle .

If you are heading towards Potsdam, then we recommend the regional train RB22, which takes you to Potsdam every hour.

The S9 runs every 20 minutes , connecting the airport with the eastern and northern parts of the Berlin Ringbahn. After about 30 minutes you are z. B. at Ostkreuz, where you can change to other S-Bahn trains.

The S45 also runs every 20 minutes and connects the airport with the southern and western parts of the Ringbahn.

Note : The S-Bahn stops at the two stations “Terminal 1-2” and “Terminal 5”, the FEX and the regional trains only stop at “Terminal 1-2”.

By bus and subway

The X7 and X71 buses run right in front of both terminals and will take you to the Rudow underground station (U7) in just a few minutes. The connection can be worthwhile for you if you want to go to Neukölln, Kreuzberg or a place that is right next to a U7 train station.

There is also another express bus, the BER Airportshuttle Bus . Here you pay an additional surcharge for the express bus in addition to your normal public transport ticket.

Buy a ticket

In Terminal 1 of the airport you will find ticket machines on levels E0 and U2 . In Terminal 5, a ticket machine can be found in section L.

However, if several planes have just arrived at once, you might have to queue there in a long line. Also, don’t forget to stamp your ticket before departure . You will find the machines for this on the respective platform.

For all the options presented here, you need a single ticket for the ABC fare zone (EUR 3.80).

If you are taking the bus, you can easily buy your ticket from the bus driver.

By train

Traveling by Deutsche Bahn is often worthwhile. Most of the time you arrive at the Berlin Central Station and can change there to the S-Bahn. Many trains also stop either at Südkreuz and Gesundbrunnen or at Ostbahnhof.

Click here to find a cheap train ticket to Berlin .

By car

Parking spaces in Berlin are either scarce or very expensive. You also need good nerves for city traffic.

If you come by car, you should find out beforehand where you can park or whether your hotel offers parking spaces.

Frequently asked questions about Berlin

When is the best time to travel to Berlin?

Berlin is always possible! There is also no real off-season anymore, where maybe there is less going on. You can have a great time in Berlin at any time of the year and there is always a lot going on.

In spring, Berliners are drawn to the cafés and restaurants.

In the summer, all of Berlin is outside. Open-air cinemas are opening up everywhere, the parks are getting fuller, and there is always something going on at the markets.

In autumn, the operas, theaters and stages return from the summer break, and there are many exhibitions and events. It will also be colourful, e.g. B. at the Festival of Lights.

In December it gets Christmassy at over 60 different Christmas markets. In the cooler winter months you can go shopping or relax in wellness oases.

How many days do you have to plan for Berlin?

A weekend in Berlin is always a good start to get to know the start. As is so often the case, when you have more time, you can explore a city in a more relaxed manner and immerse yourself even more in city life.

It is best to plan a long weekend and maybe even stay until the beginning of the week, then the return journey is usually cheaper and you have more time to explore Berlin.

Is it safe in Berlin?

Berlin is generally a very safe city. Of course, there are always media-related incidents.

However, you should consider the following when traveling to Berlin:

As in any city, you should watch your valuables and maybe not walk alone through any unlit parks in Berlin in the middle of the night.

Alexanderplatz and especially the square around the TV tower is not that cozy late at night and there are a lot of questionable characters hanging around. There is a police station here, but it might be better to walk around it.

Television tower

Treatment Programs in SPA Hotels in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Treatment Programs in SPA Hotels in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic


It is known that with age and with a number of diseases, the supply of tissues with oxygen decreases. The elixir of life – oxygen – the body cannot store for future use – it is continuously consumed during breathing.

Oxygen plays a very important role in all metabolic processes and only in case of its sufficient presence in the body can the process of combustion and energy production from nutrients function reliably. Since the body constantly needs oxygen to stay healthy and active, its deficiency can lead to severe disorders of many organs. The clearest signs of lack of oxygen include symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy, trouble concentrating, and sleep disturbances. Multi-stage oxygen therapy is based on data obtained by Prof. Manfred von Arden, who showed that

The course of treatment has three components:

  • The body prepares to take in oxygen by taking vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
  • The air mixture saturated with oxygen is inhaled through disposable hygienic masks. In addition, part of the oxygen is activated using an ionizer
  • Additional physical exercises and active rest activities improve the uptake of oxygen by the tissues. At the beginning of the spa treatment, you will be examined by a spa doctor, laboratory tests, ECG will be performed, and the optimal form of therapy will be determined.

Oxygen therapy and vitamins are taken daily. Classical, underwater and reflex massages support tissue blood supply and improve metabolism. Hydrotherapy, carbonic and pearl baths cause expansion of peripheral vessels and have a positive effect on microcirculation.

Thanks to classes in the fitness center and an additional lesson in swimming, oxygen saturation of the tissues improves. The exact number and types of procedures are prescribed by a spa doctor, depending on the general health of the patient.

Medical indications:
– Ischemic heart disease;
– Atherosclerosis;
– Condition after myocardial infarction;
– Improvement of oxygen supply in diseases of the lungs and bronchi;
– Fatigue;
– High pressure;
– Disorders of blood circulation and blood supply;
– Signs of aging;
– Weakening of memory;
– visual disturbances;
– Decreased immunity;
– Pain syndrome in diseases of the musculoskeletal system.


According to AVIATIONOPEDIA.COM, the Mayr spa treatment, named after the Austrian physician and researcher Dr. Franz Xaver Mayr (1875-1965), is a therapy that can successfully treat almost all chronic diseases or diseases associated with general wear and tear of the body and diseases of civilization. “Dvořák” is the only spa hotel in Karlovy Vary that offers F.K. Mairu under the supervision of specially trained spa doctors.

Mayr’s treatment is aimed at activating the metabolism, namely, at improving the functions of digestion in the large intestine. At the same time, there is an improvement in breathing and circulatory functions, which has a positive effect on all organs as a whole and on each individual cell of the body. A person becomes healthier, his body and spirit become healthier. Mayr’s course of treatment differs from other programs in the active participation of the patient in the treatment process, since the most effective part of the therapy is dietary restriction. The degree of success that can be achieved with treatment depends on the patient’s reasonable and disciplined approach to dietary restriction.

Mayr’s treatment is a natural way to recover and maintain the health of the body as a whole. Thanks to the cleansing and restoration of the body, it will be possible to remove a huge amount of harmful, foreign substances from the body and thereby achieve continuous improvement of the entire metabolic system. Compliance with an individually prescribed diet is the basis of the course of treatment. Weight loss is not the goal of this treatment, but it is a very pleasant side effect.

Mayr’s therapy is effective primarily for the following health disorders:
– Disorders related directly to the digestive tract (chronic constipation, diarrhea, gastric or duodenal ulcer, gastritis, diseases of the biliary tract, liver damage, inflammation of the small and large intestine (colitis), chronic diseases of the pancreas)
– Respiratory disorders: repeated infectious diseases of the respiratory tract (chronic runny nose, tonsillitis, inflammation of the larynx, bronchitis, pneumonia, bronchial asthma, emphysema)
– Initial manifestations of coronary heart disease, vegetative dystonia of hyper- and hypotonic type, as well as the initial stages of heart failure
– Diseases of the musculoskeletal system: inflammatory rheumatic diseases (chronic polyarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis), gout, degenerative rheumatic diseases, all diseases from the general aging of the body in the spine and joints, for example, arthrosis in the knee and hip joints, pain in the lumbar region (lumbar diseases), sciatica, osteochondrosis of the cervical spine and its consequences
– Headaches, all forms of migraine
– Metabolic disorders such as diabetes, elevated levels of uric acid, elevated levels of lipids and cholesterol in the blood)
– Obesity and its consequences, especially in combination with the so-called risk factors (high blood pressure, high levels of sugar, lipids and cholesterol, uric acid)

In addition to the above, the Mayr method provides everyone with the opportunity to receive a course of real preventive therapy. The use of diagnostics according to Mayr makes it possible to establish the most insignificant deviations from true health.

Treatment instructions:

  • Duration of treatment In order to carry out a thorough reorientation of the metabolism with a permanent improvement in health as a consequence, it is necessary that the course of treatment last 3-4 weeks. With a shorter duration of the course, it is impossible, despite its general usefulness, to achieve similar successes.
  • Diet The basis of therapy is either to completely refuse food intake for a certain time, or to follow a very strict and moderate, easily digestible diet (usually the Mayr milk diet). Voluntary refusal to eat for a certain time is the best way to achieve purification of the body and spirit, it promises maximum success.

Instructions for behavior after the end of the course of treatment:
It would be ideal if the Mayr treatment led to a real change in your lifestyle. Returning to old habits, which resulted in various diseases, also means a return to health disorders and problems that forced you to undergo treatment.

During the first weeks after the end of treatment, you are set on the path to future health. Stable success takes place only if, thanks to a reasonable lifestyle, you manage to maintain the acquired sharpness of the senses – especially in the field of taste sensations – acquired during the recovery, as well as the feeling of satiety, which so unexpectedly woke up in you only during the treatment.

If circumstances permit, keep the two meals a day regimen (a good breakfast and after 5 hours a sufficient but simple lunch). Weak herbal tea, slightly sweetened with honey, or rather unsweetened, in the evening in small sips or spoonfuls, will help you resist the temptation to eat dinner. If it happens that dinner cannot be avoided, let it be as modest as possible. It is necessary that you “chew” your dinner and feel it. Choose food so that the proportion of components subject to fermentation is minimal. Avoid eating raw and sweet foods in the evening.

The vast majority of you can be recommended Dr. Mayr’s variable diet: for one day, in the morning and in the afternoon, eat moderate normal food. For good grinding of soft food, you can “bite” (“chew”) white bread in a small amount. And for the future, do not forget to drink enough mineral water with a low carbon dioxide content. However, it is better not to drink water with food, the best option is 1-2 hours after a meal or a quarter of an hour before a meal. Take bitter salt according to the doctor’s instructions that you received during the final examination.

Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol are not accepted by any of the living organisms, despite our desire. The decisive role is played, of course, by the individual volume that the body is able to process. The doctor’s prohibitions in this direction are justified, and they must be observed, no matter how difficult it may be. The next product, which in our time has become almost a narcotic poison for many people in terms of concentration and quantities consumed, is sugar. Sugar in large quantities may not be good for anyone, but older people should use it especially sparingly.

Raw food of any kind is highly nutritious on the one hand, but difficult to digest on the other hand. But by no means can it be abandoned completely. Fruit should be eaten in the morning, before breakfast. Vegetable salad – as an appetizer for dinner. It is not recommended to eat different varieties of fruits or assorted salads at the same time. It is much more useful to eat only one variety of fruits or vegetables at one time, which, by the way, is much better absorbed by the body.

The effect of drugs immediately after the course of treatment is significantly enhanced. If you have to take any medication immediately after treatment, be sure to let your doctor know that your body is in a hypersensitivity stage. Children are not accepted for treatment.

SPA Hotels in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

What to See in Budva (Montenegro)

What to See in Budva (Montenegro)

Most of the historical monuments are concentrated in the old city Budva. Situated on a peninsula jutting out into the sea, it is a corner of typical Venetian and Mediterranean architecture. Despite the devastating effects of the 1979 earthquake, by 1987 the old city had been completely restored. The old city is surrounded by high fortified walls erected in the 15th century before the Turkish invasion. The walls are fortified with several towers, and the citadel is located in the center. The citadel is now a museum, and next to it are three ancient churches. The Church of St. Ivan was built in the 7th century, subsequent reconstructions continued until the 17th century. The bell tower of the church is the architectural dominant of the city. The Church of the Virgin Mary was built in 840, this is the only building that has survived from the monastery that once existed here. Holy Trinity Church was built in 1804,

The vast majority of believers in Budva are Orthodox Christians. In the city and its environs there are many Orthodox churches, monasteries Podostrog, Rezhevichi, Stanevichi, Gradisti. The Catholic community in Budva was formed before the Orthodox one, and Catholic churches still exist in the city, including the famous St. Ivan Church. According to ACRONYMMONSTER.COM, music festival in the Old Town in summer- “Song of Mediterana” (at the end of June). The best Serbian, Montenegrin and European performers of classical music come here. In the ancient citadel, the festival “Grad-Theatre” is held annually (from mid-July to the end of August). Musical programs are held in the Church of the Virgin Mary, which has a unique acoustics. The so-called “Poets’ Square” is arranged on the main square: a stone table and a chair are set up on the square, from where the participants speak. Those who wish can listen to works performed by the authors themselves.

On the coast around Budva, 21 km long, there are 17 beaches. The most famous among them are the Slavic beach and Mogren, covered with small pebbles, and the sandy beach Jaz, located 4 km from Budva. Not far from Budva is the island of St. Nicholas, which the locals call “Hawaii”. You can go there by boat.

Opposite Budva in the bay there are small resorts: Becici, Milocer and the island-hotel Sveti Stefan. Becici, a small resort town, is located 4 km from the center of Budva and 1.5 km from the town of Rafailovici. This resort is known for its golden pebble beach 2 km long, which received the “Grand Prix” in 1936 in Paris, as the best in Europe. This beach is a landing site for paragliders starting from the Brajici massif, 760 m above Budva.

Milocer and Saint Stephen – these are perhaps the most luxurious resorts in Montenegro. The royal family of Karađorđević once rested on the Royal Beach in Miločer. Milocer was also a summer holiday destination for King Nikola and his family. The beaches of Milocer have fine, pleasant sand. There is also a very beautiful botanical garden in which plants are grown, brought mainly from Asia, Africa and America. Sveti Stefan is an island connected to the coast by a narrow spit of small red pebbles. It was built in the 15th century by merchants and fishermen, and only in the 1960s was it turned into a hotel town. All the old buildings have been preserved here, which, combined with modern technologies, makes it attractive for lovers of comfortable romance. The advantages of the island were appreciated by many celebrities, including Sophia Loren, Claudia Schiffer and Sylvester Stallone. Locals are proud of such facts, but the prices here are appropriate.

The small resort town of Petrovac on the sea is located 17 km from Budva in a picturesque bay. On a rock that juts out into the sea and forms a natural bay, the Venetian fortress Castello of the 16th century has been preserved. Archaeologists have discovered Roman mosaics of the 3rd-4th century BC in the vicinity of the city. 4 km east of Petrovac is the old Hradiste monastery with late medieval frescoes (first mentioned in the 14th century). Opposite the city there are two small islands – the island of St. Nedelya and Katic. On the island of Holy Week there is a small church, which was built by a fisherman who escaped here after a shipwreck. These places attract diving enthusiasts. Famous beaches: Lucice, St. Nedelya and Buljarica.

Budva (Montenegro)

Transport in Madeira Islands, Portugal

Transport in Madeira Islands, Portugal

Transport in Madeira is developed at a high level. Funchal and Porto Santo have international airports and seaports. Public transport in Funchal are buses and taxis. The bus ticket can be bought either directly on the bus or in advance at the main bus station. Funchal is divided into transport zones. Tourists can purchase a pass for two trips in zones 1, 2 and 3 and a week pass for all zones. Regular buses and minibuses run between settlements. Their route is serpentine, not through tunnels, so it’s much longer. But this has its own advantage – you can admire the scenery of the island.

According to USVSUKENGLISH.COM, taxis can be easily recognized by their yellow color. Every taxi driver has an official price list for fixed routes, approved by the local government and the Regional Taxi Drivers Association, which hangs on the back of the driver’s or passenger’s seat. Taxis can be caught right on the street or found at a special parking lot. For luggage weighing more than 30 kg, the taxi driver may charge an additional fee. Outside Funchal, taxi fares are based on mileage.

The cost of renting a car for one day ranges from 30 to 200 euros. Upon receipt of the car, the client either leaves his credit card number or a deposit. To rent, you need an international driver’s license and a “green card” – an international certificate of civil liability insurance, which can be purchased at the offices of insurance companies in Russia. The driver must be at least 22 years old and have at least a year of driving experience.

Plant and Animal World in Madeira Islands, Portugal

Madeira is covered with lush vegetation. Relic forests that covered Europe in the pre-glacial period have been preserved on its territory. Currently, these forests are under the protection of UNESCO. Along the coast there are banana plantations, thickets of mangoes, pineapples, passion fruit, avocados. There are more than 2 thousand species of flowers on the archipelago, among which the most common are orchids and bougainvillea.

Of the animals on the islands, there is a hare, in coastal waters – sea lions. The rest of the fauna is represented by birds.

Banks in Madeira Islands, Portugal

Most banks are open on weekdays from 8:30 to 15:00, some also work on Saturday from 9:00 to 13:00. Exchange offices are open from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00.

Money in Madeira Islands, Portugal

Until 2002, Madeira’s currency was the Portuguese escudo, from January 2002 the country switched to the euro. There are 100 cents in one euro. There are euro banknotes in circulation in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros and coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. Until the end of 2012, the National Bank will exchange national banknotes for euros free of charge.

In Portugal, American Express, MasterCard and Visa credit cards are widely accepted, Cirrus and Plus credit cards are not accepted.

Rate: 1 Euro (EUR) = 1.05 USD

Political State in Madeira Islands, Portugal

Since 1976 Madeira has been an autonomous region of Portugal. It has its own Government and its own Parliament, quite independent from Portugal. The Madeira Regional Parliament is an elected body that legislates in Madeira in relation to the budget, and its duties are stipulated in the Constitution. The Madeiran Government, however, cannot override the decisions of the Central Government in Lisbon and cannot violate the political integrity of Portugal. 5 members elected by popular vote represent Madeira in Lisbon.

Despite the autonomous status of Madeira, most of the laws enacted by the Central Government and the Portuguese Parliament fully apply to Madeira.

Population in Madeira Islands, Portugal

The population of Madeira is 350 thousand people, of which about a third live in Funchal. Most of the inhabitants of the island are Portuguese, a small part is represented by immigrants from the British Commonwealth.

The national language of Madeira is Portuguese. English is taught in schools and is widely used in everyday life.

Transport in Madeira Islands, Portugal

Sortavala, Russia

Sortavala, Russia

Of the architectural sights of the southern part, the buildings of the former seminary (1880), the Hospital (1898) and the former hospital of the society of sisters of mercy (1907) stand out. The Regional Museum and Tourist Center of the Northern Ladoga Region is also located here. The center is located in the house of doctor Winter, built in 1900 in the style of national romanticism, which is now an architectural monument. The museum was founded in 1992 and became the first museum in the Northern Ladoga region. His collections began to form on the basis of items from the funds of the Valaam Museum-Reserve. Nowadays, ethnographic, artistic and historical collections are presented here. Museum objects date from the 13th century to the present day. Be sure to head to Vakkosalmi City Park, where one of the best singing fields is located.

3 km from Sortavala in Taruniemi is Dr. Winter’s dacha, which today houses an elite hotel.

To the south of Sortavala, on the island of Riekkalansari, the wooden church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker has been preserved. It was built between the 18th and 19th centuries and was the only Orthodox church in the vicinity of the city.

To the north of Sortavala, just a few kilometers from the city, near the village of Helyulya, one of the most interesting archaeological sites of the Northern Ladoga region is located – the Karelian fortified settlement of Paaso. Paaso Fortress was built in the 12th century on the 83 m high Paasonvuori mountain to protect against attacks by the Swedes. In the 13th century, for unknown reasons, the settlement was wiped off the face of the Earth. On the site of the settlement, archaeologists have found objects of agriculture, pottery and jewelry crafts that are about a thousand years old.

According to THEINTERNETFAQS.COM, 17 km north of Sortavala on the river Tokhmajoki are picturesque Ruskeala waterfalls. They are small rapids with a height difference of about 2 m. The highest waterfall is the Ryumäkoski waterfall, 7 m high. In the vicinity of the waterfalls, there is a small lake and many boulders brought by the glacier. The Tohmajoki River together with the Janisjoki River are one of the main tourist attractions of the Sortavala region. They originate in Finland and flow into Ladoga. There are many rapids and low waterfalls on these rivers, which attract rafting enthusiasts here. Ruskeala village is located not far from Ruskeala waterfalls. It is first mentioned in Swedish documents under 1500. The village has long been known for its marble deposits. Even the Swedes in the 17th century were mining it here. Ruskeala marble was used in the decoration of the Kazan and St. Isaac’s Cathedrals in St. Petersburg. Currently, along the left bank of the Tokhmajoki River, three open pit mines have been formed in place of old workings. The quarries are cut by a system of mines, galleries and drifts and are partially flooded with water. In 2005, “Ruskeala Mountain Park” was founded on this site.. The central place in the park is occupied by the Marble Canyon, surrounded by sheer marble cliffs. Along its perimeter there is a hiking trail with viewing platforms from where you can admire the emerald water of the canyon. In addition, boats are offered here in order to swim around the quarry. Marble Canyon will be interesting for diving enthusiasts. Underwater visibility here is about 10 m, the depth of immersion ranges from 5 to 15 m. At the bottom of the quarry, you can see blocks of marble, trucks and wheels and explore numerous adits. On the territory of the park there are several monuments of industrial architecture – this is an old office building made of marble in the style of classicism, and lime kilns. There is an active quarry in the park, where you can get acquainted with the process of marble extraction.

If you go even further north to the Russian-Finnish border, then you will get to the international checkpoint “Vyartsilya”. Through it passes the road to the Scandinavian countries, which is called the “Blue Road”.

20 km east of Sortavala in the direction of Petrozavodsk, the village of Kiryavalahti is interesting, which is located on the shores of the bay of the same name on Lake Ladoga. Here is an architectural monument – the dacha of the pharmacist Jaskeläinen. It was built in 1935 by a Finnish architect at the foot of a cliff. From the rear, the cottage is surrounded by dense coniferous forests, and its facade overlooks the bay. The interior of the house is very beautiful. The walls here are made of black logs, the ceiling is decorated with matt beams, there is an old fireplace, and a monumental staircase leads to the second floor. Today, Jaskeläinen’s dacha is used as a hotel. Behind it, a little to the north, on the shore of Lake Haukkajärvi, Mount Petsivaara rises . This is the highest point of the Northern Ladoga region (187 m). Hiking trails are laid on the mountain, and a beautiful view opens from its top.

Sortavala region is known for its unique nature. This is the land of small bays, islands, cliffs, waterfalls, lakes and forests. The rocky islands of the region, one of which are the islands of the Valaam archipelago, are called Ladoga skerries. This is a unique natural area formed by the action of a glacier. Now projects are being developed to create a national park “Ladoga Skerries”. Many species of fish live in the waters of Lake Ladoga, the most valuable of which are salmon – salmon, trout, grayling, pike perch and whitefish, which attracts fishing enthusiasts.

To the south of the Sortavala region is the Lakhdenpokh region which is also famous for nature. However, local skerries and coastal cliffs are better known among lovers of wild and extreme tourism, official tourist routes do not pass through the area.

Sortavala, Russia

Catania, Island of Sicily (Italy)

Catania, Island of Sicily (Italy)

Picturesque and noisy Catania is a city of a volcano. Dark, closed Etna, like a recalcitrant deity, looks at the revival that reigns in the city streets and serves as an eloquent symbol of the inherent quality of the inhabitants of Catania: their hard work. It was this quality that allowed the people to be repeatedly reborn from the ashes, like a newly appeared phoenix bird, without caring about earthquakes or wars. Therefore, the symbol of their city is so suitable for the inhabitants of Catania – an elephant, a strong and kind animal, and their patron saint – Agatha, a virgin and martyr, who was able to stop even the fury of Etna with the supernatural power of her veil.

According to ESHAOXING.INFO, Catania is a dark city built of black volcanic stone, and at the same time unusually sunny and bright, because the sun shines here 2528 hours a year: more than anywhere else in Italy. This is an ancient city that arose in the pre-Greek era, which, however, is sometimes almost indifferent to its history. So, the Greek theater looks almost forgotten at the end of a small street.

The city of Catania was founded in 729 BC. e.. Its name meant “hill”, and indeed, an acropolis was built on the hill where today the large Benedicite monastery is located. Over the years, temples, a hippodrome, a gymnasium, a mint and an odeon arose around the latter.

The history of the city was also determined by the whims of Etna, which brings life, but at the same time – death and destruction. So, in 1169, as a result of a strong earthquake, 15,000 people died, in 1669 lava reached the port and rushed into the sea, leaving behind only despair, in 1693 the entire city was swept off the face of the earth by an earthquake. Under the rubble, 16,000 people died. However, this last event had not only tragic consequences. The end of the 17th century was marked by the ardor of rapid restoration, the wonderful fruits of which still today are the pride of the city.


The Fountain of the Elephant, located in the center of the Piazza Duomo, is the work of Giovan Battista Vaccarini. It consists of a figure of an elephant made of volcanic stone from the ancient Roman era and an Egyptian granite stele with hieroglyphic inscriptions relating to the cult of the goddess Isis.

The cathedral, built at the turn of the 17th century, is the main architectural monument. Its Gothic façade, dating back to the early 20th century, was designed by Giovan Battista Basile. The interior of the cathedral consists of three naves and is decorated with frescoes by Giuseppe Schuti and Pietro Paolo Vasta.

The Cathedral of St. Agatha, built in 1078-1093 on the site of the Achilles Baths, retained three apses and a high transept from the era of construction.

In the castle of Ursino, built in 1239-1250. at the behest of Frederick II of Sweve, it currently houses the City Museum. This castle, once surrounded by the sea, was the residence of the Aragonese kings in the 16th century. In the 16th century, it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style, and at the time of the volcanic eruption in 1669, it was surrounded by lava, and therefore today it is on land.

The Roman theater had a diameter of about 87 m and could accommodate more than 7,000 spectators. It was built on the hillside where the Greek acropolis was located, and it is possible that it was originally built by the Greeks. The orchestra with a diameter of 29 meters with a floor is flooded by the waters of the Amenano River. Under today’s amphitheater there are traces of other spectator seats, but they all belong to the period of the Roman Empire.

The Odeon, recently opened to the public, was intended for choir rehearsals and competitions, and could accommodate 1,300 spectators. The space between the spectator seats and the outer wall was divided into 17 rooms, of which 16 have survived today. up to the modern Penninello street. The amphitheater could accommodate 16,000 spectators and had a height of 31 m.

The Bellini Theater, built by architects A. Skala and C. Sada in the classical style in the 2nd half of the 19th century, is dedicated to the great composer born in Catania. The interior of the theater is striking in its magnificence.

Catania, Island of Sicily (Italy)

Budapest Travel Guide

Budapest Travel Guide

Independent travel in Europe is especially interesting in the circle of a friendly company, because you can always get an unusual idea where to go next, and what is worth seeing along the way. And, if you feel at home during cozy gatherings in the noisy Hungarian capital, it is worth exploring new places and cities: see the wonderful architectural forms of the Gödelle Palace, immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Middle Ages during an hour-long sightseeing cruise or unravel the ancient secrets of Eger Castle.

To Budapest by plane, train or bus?

According to, tourists adore Budapest not only because of its special culture and rich historical sights, but also because of its prime location. The real, lively and colorful capital of Hungary has an advantageous location, and thanks to well-established transport connections, an abundance of options are available where you can go from Budapest by train, private car or bus “for exploration” to neighboring cities.

Is every minute of vacation precious? – Then you can fly to Budapest by plane: flights are frequent, and prices are affordable. Hungary has a favorable schedule and local bus connections, so it is easy to find a new direction where to go from Budapest for 1-2 days.

Having a car (personal or rented) will increase the range of areas where you can go from Budapest on your own by several times, planning your travel schedule individually.

Where to stay in Budapest?

We suggest staying in the Pest area, because all popular hiking trails are intertwined here – the Parliament, Heroes’ Square and Vajdahunyad Castle are within walking distance.

Settling in the Hungarian capital is also beneficial in the area of ​​Batthyani Square. After walking enough at the foot of the hill, after visiting the outstanding “girls with umbrellas” from Budapest for one day, you can go to Aquincum or Szentendre. Nearby there is a train station, from which you can conveniently get to any desired point in the country.

If you want to relax in Budapest before your upcoming sightseeing tour, we recommend stopping by the Gellert Mountain area and Margaret Island. Comfortable spa hotels with thermal waters and healing procedures are spread throughout the territory.

Where to go and what to see in Budapest

In Budapest, where it is pleasant to relax, strolling slowly through the old streets and cruising from one attraction to another, there are amazing places that are not always included in the excursion list, but you can see on your own. Let’s open the curtain of this mystery:

  1. the philosophical garden on Mount Gellert (notable for its steel statues representing religions);
  2. ParaPark (quest entertainment for adventure lovers);
  3. Sugar (sweet shop, where you will be offered unique sugar figurines);
  4. Secret club Keret (spend a cozy evening visiting locals).

Cafes and restaurants in Budapest

Budapest is a calm and homely warm place where to go to Europe for the New Year. Indeed, in establishments and restaurants it is just as comfortable and tasty, and the variety of mouth-watering offers is not inferior to colorful French or Belgian cuisine.

We recommend visiting a cafe with cats where you can have a tasty snack and recharge with positive emotions, try 40 types of chocolate in the Gourmet Samosh house. But you can dine “on a grand scale” in a restaurant with a Michelin star (focus on 20-40 € for a main course). There are establishments with national cuisine, focused on budget tourists.

Where to go from Budapest for 1 day

For travelers who decide to explore the surroundings of Budapest on their own, we offer a small checklist that will help you organize your trips properly. In addition to energetic Budapest, you can go to Hungary to more secluded places – to the legendary island, to the homeland of the king or to colorful villages. It is important to choose the right destinations where to go from Budapest in order to have time to see all the beauties of the country – from the grandeur of St. Martin’s Cathedral to the natural magic of Lake Balaton.


Hungary warmly welcomes guests, and is always ready to offer good places where to go “from modern times to the Middle Ages.”

Szentendre is an incredible museum city, because wherever you turn you can find out a lot of interesting facts about the Hungarians. Take a look at the marzipan museum, and then ceramics, spend a couple of hours at the wine museum and be sure to buy beautiful works of local artists as a keepsake.

Aggtelek National Park

Near Budapest, where we advise you to go, it is spread over 200 sq. km. National park, which is included in the UNESCO heritage list. Slowly strolling through the park, you can see the unique flora and fauna, and a trip to the Baradla cave will be an exciting adventure.


Just 30 km from Budapest, we suggest going on an excursion to the Gödelle Palace, the residence of the Austrian monarchs. You can get here by bus or by car from Budapest in just 20-30 minutes. The beautiful building is wrapped in graceful gardens and parks, so it will be interesting to spend a day here, slowly peering into every detail of the building.


We recommend that you go not far from Budapest to a resort with the purest thermal waters. It is noteworthy that the water temperature here is always equal to 24-25°C. Swimming in the mineral waters of Lake Heviz and mud baths will be a pleasant bonus of traveling around Hungary.


Szekesfehervar is the first capital of Hungary, the site of dozens of coronations, and today a suburb of Budapest, where it is better to go for the weekend. Each building, temple or cathedral here is reminiscent of the state significance of the city – the “power” on Voroshkhaz Square, Bori Castle and the Cathedral of St. Istvan.


The island in the middle of Lake Balaton attracts romantics and nature lovers.

On a small area (12 km), the Tihany Abbey rises majestically, where the kings of Hungary are buried. Excursions here are paid, the cheapest way is to visit the island with a group for 60 €. And if you want an individual romantic walk around the abbey, prepare 275 €.


It is worth taking the bus to Pécs, the cultural capital of Europe. The most notable place here is the squares: Széchenyi, where you can see the column of the Holy Trinity, Belvaros Church, Kossuth, where you can climb the Town Hall or see the Synagogue, Domskaya with the main decoration – the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul.

Pannonhalma Abbey

From Budapest you can go on an excursion to the oldest European abbey, which is the second largest in the world. It includes an ancient monastery and a basilica. Not only the square is surprising here, but also the combination of different styles of architecture that reminds of past centuries, the presence of a rich library.


It is worth going for 2 days from Budapest to the capital of neighboring Slovakia. In such a short time, you can explore the main square, spend time in a cozy cafe on Franciscan Square, and then look into the Slovak Folk Theater. Be sure to take a walk to the castle over the Danube and go back to the 14th century through the Michal Gate.


The good transport connection of Budapest with other capitals beckons to leave for a day in Vienna. Even for a weekend spent in the homeland of Mozart, it is doomed to bring real pleasure from walking along the old streets.

Take a bike and set off towards the beautiful temples, amazing sculptures and memorable parks of the Austrian capital.

Budapest Travel Guide

France Attractions

France Attractions

Lascaux cave paintings

The Lascaux cave paintings were accidentally discovered by teenagers in 1940. They are among the best and oldest evidence of prehistoric art. The 15,000-year-old depictions of bulls, horses and reindeer led visitor Pablo Picasso to state: “We have learned nothing new”. In Montignac you can admire a scale reproduction of the unique Lascaux cave paintings. The caves themselves had to be closed to visitors because the humidity was too high and the added stress of tens of thousands of visitors threatened to destroy the masterpieces.

  • Guides to study in France, including geography, climate, economy, and tourism of the country.


Marseille was founded by the Greeks (they called it Massilia) and from here they colonized the Rhone Valley. Marseille was the European Capital of Culture in 2013. Today Marseille is France’s most important port city. The city on the Mediterranean has a character that is shaped by Provence and North Africa. The old port with a daily fish market, the Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde church built on a hill, many good restaurants (seafood dominate the menu), several museums such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Hospice de la Vieille Charité, which houses the Musée d’Archéologie Méditerranéenne and of course the Château d’If, one of France’s most notorious island fortresses, are interesting sights. The Musée Regards de Provence is new.

Biarritz and Bayonne

Biarritz and Bayonne are resort towns on the Aquitaine-Basque coast near the Spanish border. The city has been known as a cosmopolitan spa resort since the 19th century, when Biarritz was in vogue with the European aristocracy. There are some sheltered beaches, the Musée de la Mer and two large casinos. Further inland, a few kilometers from Biarritz, is Bayonne, a typically Basque town. A 13th-century cathedral and two museums – one dedicated to Basque culture – make up the main attractions.

World of wines

In France, wine lovers have countless opportunities to tailor their culinary journey to the enjoyment of wine. A good start into the world of French wines is, for example, via the picturesque and famous Alsatian wine route. The wine villages near Mâcon in southern Burgundy are also recommended. The wines of Roussillon, Provence and Corsica taste sun-kissed. The “good life” attracts many tourists to the wine-growing regions of Aquitaine and Bergerac. You should also have taken part in a wine tasting in the Loire Valley. The Marne Valley between Ferté-sous-Jouarre and Epernay is one of the prettiest valleys in France. Vineyards and orchards cover the slopes and fields of corn and sunflowers sway in the valleys.


Chamonix is ​​a magnet for winter sports fans, in summer also for hikers and mountaineers. Chamonix is ​​one of the most outstanding ski areas in France. Active vacationers get their money’s worth here. But even those who like to sit back, relax and enjoy the view will have all their expectations met with the backdrop of Mont Blanc.

Skiing in the Alps

The French Alps are home to some of Europe’s most famous ski resorts such as Courchevel, Val-d’Isère, Méribel and L’Alpe d’Huez. The entire region is vast, offering plenty of choice for skiers of all skill levels.

Watch a game of boules

Boule is as much a French tradition as French cuisine. The boule game, also called pétanque, is usually played by old men in concentrated silence in public places. They try to throw their metal balls as close as possible to a target ball.


Fishing is a popular sport in France. Whether deep sea fishing, digging for mussels and other wildlife on the mud flats, or bathing a lure in a lake, fishing is in the French blood. For fishing in inland waters, however, you do not need a fishing license for sea fishing in France. There are plenty of lakes, rivers and streams, and the natural fishing areas in the Auvergne and Pyrenees are particularly popular.


This sun-drenched region of the south-west, with its fresh Atlantic sea air, includes the departments of Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. On the coast, a total of 270 km of beaches invite you to swim. The approximately 30 km long coastline between Hossegor and Hendaye in the French Basque country is one of the best areas in Europe for surfers. In the Dordogne (as in the neighboring Lot), Cro-Magnon man, who lived in prehistoric times, has left its mark. Not only the cave paintings of Lascaux bear witness to this, but also other prehistoric sites in the Vézère valley. The medieval castles and villages in the Dordogne are also absolutely worth seeing.

France Attractions

Italy Figures and Facts

Italy Figures and Facts

Official name: Italian Republic

State structure: republic. Head of State – President

Capital: Rome

Territory: 301.2 thousand square meters km

Geographical position: The country is located in the south of Europe. It occupies the Apennine Peninsula, the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, as well as many small islands. It borders: with France – in the west, with Austria and Switzerland – in the north, with Slovakia – in the northeast. It is washed by the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea – in the west, the Adriatic – in the east, the Mediterranean – in the south. See Countryvv for labor market in Italy.

The main rivers are the Po and the Tiber. Italy is predominantly a mountainous country: its north is occupied by the southern slopes of the Alps, where the highest peak in Europe Mont Blanc (4807 m) is located; to the south – the Padana plain, on the peninsula – the mountains of the Apennines (the highest point of the city of Korno is 2914 m).

There are two tiny states in Italy : the Vatican and the Republic of San Marino.

Climate: There are three climatic zones in Italy. In the mountainous regions (Alps and Apennines), winters are cold and summers are not hot. In the vicinity of Milan, the climate is moderately warm. In the rest of Italy, winters are quite mild, dry and hot summers are softened by a light sea breeze (its influence is most noticeable on the coast of the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Seas). In the south, in the mainland and on the islands, including Sicily, the climate is subtropical.

Population: 58050 thousand people (as of 1998)

Ethnic composition of the population: Italians – 98%, Friuli – 1.9%. In addition, 300,000 Austrians, 120,000 Albanians, 100,000 Slovenes, 90,000 French, 50,000 Jews, and others live in the country. The vast majority of the population professes Catholicism.

Official language: Italian. In hotels, restaurants, tourist centers, as a rule, you can explain yourself in English and French. German is understood in ski resorts and in the resorts of the northern Adriatic. Any, even the most awkward, attempts to communicate in Italian will be met with enthusiasm.

Official holidays: January 1 – New Year, January 6 – Epiphany, April 25 – Liberation Day from fascism, May 1 – Labor Day, the first Sunday of June – Republic Proclamation Day, August 15 – Assumption, November 1 – All Saints Day, November 4 – National Unity Day, December 8 – Immaculate Conception, December 25 – Christmas, December 26 – St. Stephen’s Day. Holiday with variable date – Easter Monday.

Monetary unit: euro. Currency exchange can be done in banks, in a hotel (the exchange rate is not very favorable), at the airport. Easy to use credit cards.

Geographical position

Italy is located in southern Europe in the central Mediterranean. In the north, Italy borders on Switzerland and Austria, in the east – on Slovenia, in the northwest – on France and is washed by the waters of four seas – the Adriatic in the east, in the south – the Ionian, in the west – the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian. Italy owns the islands – Sicily, Sardinia, Elba and several small islands. The territory of the country stretches from north to south for more than 1100 km and consists of 23% of valleys (river and coastal), 35% of mountains (Alps and Apennines) and 42% of hills of various heights.

Two independent states are also located on the territory of the Apennine Peninsula: the Vatican and San Marino.

About 57.3 million people live in Italy; hence the population density of 195 people per sq. km. The most densely populated areas are Lombardy, Campania, Lazio, Sicily, Piedmont and Veneto.

History of Italy

1000 BC e. – Tribes of Ligurians, Etruscans, Italics, Latins, Sabines lived on the territory of the country.

754 BC e. – Founding of the city of Rome by the Latins.

290 BC e. – Rome subjugated the territory of Central Italy.

265 BC e. – victory over the Greek commander Pyrrhus (“Pyrrhic victory”) and the conquest of southern Italy by Rome.

264-241 BC e. – I Punic War with Carthage. Rome received the islands of Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia.

216 BC e. – During the II Punic War, the Carthaginian commander Hannibal crossed the Alps and inflicted a crushing defeat on the Romans at the Battle of Cannae.

202 BC e. – Hannibal’s army was defeated by the Roman commander Scipio in the battle of Zama. Rome received the territory of Spain.

168 BC e. The Romans conquered the Balkan Peninsula.

158 BC e. – the expansion of the power of Rome to Asia Minor and Syria.

149-146 BC e. – III Punic War, which ended with the complete destruction of Carthage.

88-79 years BC e. Sulla’s dictatorship.

73-71 years BC e. – slave uprising led by Spartacus.

58-51 years BC. – Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul (modern France).

49-45 years BC e. – civil war and the victory of Julius Caesar. The decisive battle with Pompey was won at Pharsalae in 48 BC. e.

44 BC e. – the murder in Rome of J. Caesar.

31 BC e. – the defeat of the fleet of Antony and Cleopatra by Octavian at Cape Actions.

30 BC e – accession to Rome of Egypt. Octavian becomes Emperor Augustus and Rome becomes an empire.

Beginning of the 1st century – Roman conquest of Palestine and Judea.

43 – The Romans captured Britain.

106 – Rome subjugated the Dacians (modern Romania).

395 – division of the Roman Empire into Western and Eastern (Byzantium).

410 – for the first time, the barbarians took and sacked Rome (the Visigoths, led by King Alaric).

455 – sack of Rome by vandals, destruction of many works of art.

476 – the leader of the Germanic tribes Odoacer overthrew the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustulus. Rome ceases to be the capital of the world.

488 – The Ostrogoths invaded Italy and founded their kingdom here.

554 – Byzantium established its rule in Italy.

774 – Italy is conquered by the Frankish emperor Charlemagne.

962 – campaigns in Italy of the German king Otto I. Formation of the Holy Roman Empire.

12th century – The Normans captured southern Italy and Sicily, forming the Kingdom of Sicily.

1559 – The Spaniards took possession of Sardinia and northern Italy.

1714 – the territory of northern Italy came under the rule of Austria.

1720 – formation of the Italian Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont).

1796-1814 – Napoleon’s reign over Italy.

1799 – Suvorov’s Italian campaign.

1860 – J. Garibaldi’s expedition to the south of the country and the liberation of Sicily from the Austrians.

1861 – Formation of a unified Italian kingdom under the scepter of the King of Piedmont, Victor Emmanuel II.

1866 expulsion of the Austrians from Venice.

1915 entry into World War I on the side of the Entente.

1919 – under a peace treaty, Italy received South Tyrol and Istria with the city of Trieste. The beginning of the fascist movement B. Mussolini.

1922 – “march on Rome” of the Italian fascists. Mussolini becomes prime minister (actually dictator of Italy).

1929 – Lateran agreements with the pope on the formation in the territory of Rome of the papal state of the Vatican.

1939 – “Steel Pact” about an alliance with Nazi Germany. Intervention of Italian troops in Albania.

1940 – Italy’s entry into World War II.

1943 – landing of Anglo-American troops in Sicily. Italy withdraws from the war by signing an armistice agreement. Entry into the country of German troops.

1945 – Mussolini’s execution and the end of the war in Italy.

1947 – As a result of a referendum, Italy is proclaimed a republic. Under the peace treaty, the country lost all colonies and territories in the Balkans. The city of Trieste is allocated to the free zone of the OO N.

1949 – Italy joins NATO.

1964 – reunification of the city of Trieste with the Italian Republic.

1983-1986 – active actions of the Italian government against the “Red Brigades” and the mafia.

Italy Figures and Facts

Sights of Austria

Sights of Austria

According to Ethnicityology, the main attraction of Austria is, of course, Vienna. Over the years, countless interesting places and entire areas have accumulated here. Vienna can be called one big attraction. The main tourist spot in the city is Stephansdom, which can be safely called a world-famous cultural heritage. This building is not afraid of competition. Stephansdom is a church, so the best time to visit it is during worship. On weekdays, the service starts at 07.00, and on weekends at 10.00. In addition, services are held on major holidays, it is at this time that the church is amazingly decorated. Many scientific and cultural figures devoted their works (books, studies, paintings, etc.) to such a seemingly simple building. The appearance of the cathedral is amazing, it seems to consist of hundreds of thousands of the smallest details, which make it the architectural treasury of Austria and the symbol of Vienna. The building has two towers, tourists can climb the south tower by stairs, and the north one is equipped with a special elevator. It is believed that everyone who has visited Vienna must visit this place. It is also interesting to visit the High Market Square. This is one of the most ancient parts of Vienna. Archaeologists, under the bridge of this place, discovered the remains of the Roman camp of Windbonne. After excavations, it turned out that there was a whole settlement here. In the 14th and 15th centuries, there were court buildings and a pillar of justice on this site, and sentences were announced from the balcony. The last execution at this place took place in 1703. Then, in the middle of the century, merchants who sold fish were noisy here. The so-called “Ring” is a few buildings (university, the burgtheater, the Vienna Opera, the stock exchange and the town hall), which form a kind of ring along with the embankment. Here are some of the most beautiful buildings in the city, as well as wonderful parks that attract many tourists. It is hard to believe, but some 150 years ago the center of the capital was surrounded by a wall, and only in 1857 the emperor ordered the fortification to be demolished and a boulevard built around the center. The construction of the “Ring” was completed only in 1865, two huge alleys 6.5 km long and 57 meters wide stretched along numerous buildings, and between the buildings there are beautiful parks for recreation. At the moment, this place is practically no different from what it was here at the time of completion of its construction. You can see all its sights on the tram, which travels along the entire Ringstrasse. Another famous city in Austria is the birthplace of Mozart – Salzburg. The main city attraction is the cathedral, which was built in the 13th century, as well as the cave, which is located in the south of the city. If skiing is your main goal, then this place will not disappoint you.

National cuisine of Austria

Austrian cuisine has its own established traditions, but some areas still have their own culinary customs. The variety of national cuisine is very large and Austrian cuisine is considered one of the most diverse in Europe. Meanwhile, most often the local cuisine is called not Austrian, but Viennese, which highlights the importance of the capital in its formation. The Austrian morning usually starts with a cup of coffee or milk and bread with jam or butter. In hotels and hotels, in addition to coffee, you can choose cold meat, cheese or a hot egg dish. In the provinces, breakfast can be more hearty with the inclusion of various soups, sausages, potatoes, etc. In Austria, a variety of sausages are very popular. They are usually part of a meal and are served with mustard and garnished with potatoes or salad. The main meat dish is the Viennese schnitzel, which is a large piece of veal that is fried in breadcrumbs. Due to the fact that this dish is fried very quickly, much attention is paid to its quality. When it comes to local drinks, many people consider Austria to be a country of beer. In a sense, this is true, the quality of beer produced here is practically no different from any European beer. The culture of its consumption is also well developed. The best beers are: Ottakringer, Gosser, Stiegl, etc. In addition to local beer, you can buy Czech and German beer in most bars.


In almost every city in Austria, public transport consists of buses, trams and, in some cities, trolleybuses. Vienna transport is represented by metro, trams and commuter trains. Buying a one-time pass costs 1.5 euros, this pass can be used in any transport, you can also buy a day pass – 5 euros and for three days – 12 euros. You can call a taxi by phone or hire taxi drivers standing around the clock at airports and hotels. Catching a taxi on the street is useless. Currency exchange On weekdays, banks are open from 08.00 to 17.30 with lunch breaks, and at airports and train stations, banks usually work until 20.00-22.30. You can quickly exchange money in automatic exchangers gutted throughout the country, but the commission in them is higher than when exchanging at a bank.

Sights of Austria

Tours to Montenegro and Andorra

Tours to Montenegro and Andorra

Tours to Montenegro

Cozy Montenegro is a quality beach holiday on the Adriatic, Orthodox monasteries and medieval sights, lakes and national parks, the charming capital of Podgorica and the resort of Budva. A small country surrounded by majestic mountains – by the way, not black at all, but covered with greenery – has everything a tourist needs for complete happiness.

In 1991, Montenegro was proclaimed a country of pure, untouched and protected nature. A picturesque mountain landscape, a salubrious Mediterranean climate, excellent beaches are the visiting card of the country. Surrounded by the clearest sea, caressed by the sun, Montenegro is one of the last oases in Europe, where you can hide from the hustle and bustle of modern civilization.

According to Bridgat, all those attracted by the described beauties are ready to accommodate the numerous resort towns, towns and villages with which the entire coast is dotted. Budva, Kotor, Sveti Stefan, Bar, Herceg Novi, Becici and many others – hotels, resorts and villas here are never empty in the warm season. In the capital of Montenegro – Podgorica, you will also find a lot of interesting things.

It is surprising that for all their popularity, local resort towns have not lost their originality and each of them is interesting in its own way.

Here you can fish and catch the wind in your sails, you can swim in the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Adriatic or go on an excursion to get acquainted with the cultural and historical heritage of the country and see wonderful architectural monuments or go on a pilgrimage tour and touch the Orthodox shrines, which are so Montenegro is rich.

Tours to Andorra

More recently, this small country, located between France and Spain, was little known among travelers. However, today tours to Andorra are in demand by lovers of active and, at the same time, romantic travel.

Holidays in Andorra are a great opportunity to spend your holidays in high-class ski resorts, as well as improve your health in hotels with thermal springs and with the most affordable spa treatments. Clean, as if ringing, mountain air, many hotels with a high level of service, restaurants with traditional, almost homemade cuisine will make your stay comfortable.

The tour operator in Andorra recommends individual tours to this amazing country to everyone who respects excellent shopping: only in this state there is more than one store for every indigenous person!

Visiting this small country in the heart of the ancient Pyrenees, with its unique climatic zones and attractive historical and cultural attractions, travelers from Moscow and other regions will be able to make sure that Andorra can surprise with its color and delight with new experiences and luxury shopping.


The Dead End of Italian Life Part 3

The Dead End of Italian Life Part 3

There is still a feudal nobility, partly of ancient origin, especially in the south, even more of recent origin, for the purchase of fiefdoms, for princely diplomas, especially in northern and central Italy. It is a Spanish nobility, sumptuous, all taken by the desire to excel in public even if in private it feels the pang of misery, far from offices or from the care of heritage and from any interest, “asleep in the pleasures of a happy life”, as the Vico. By now it also withdraws from the militia and loses what had been its main function. All in all, a class that is running out and crumbling: debts, partial alienation of the fiefdoms and therefore splitting of the fiefdoms themselves, ruinous judicial disputes between the feudatories with the communities or with the royal or ducal or grand-ducal chamber, confiscation of fiefdoms, etc. Always continued to manufacture some of this feudal nobility; but the more it grows in number, the more it is devalued in terms of quality. Next to, or further down, there is an urban patriciate, born from the mercantile activities, professions, legates, etc., of free or more recently formed cities. Although there were patricians invested with fiefdoms and feudatories admitted to the patriciate and ambitious to enter it by virtue of the authority it procured in city affairs, both classes also kept themselves distinct and in a position of antagonism. The aristocracy, large and small, prevailed in court offices and in the administration of communities: indeed it almost monopolized the administrations, and constituted a closed circle, with a tendency to die out like all closed circles. The bourgeoisie of business, commerce, of the bank, of the textile or metallurgical industries. Elsewhere it is argued, albeit with a more restricted Italian or regional market.

According to Thefreegeography, urban life has lost its old fervor everywhere. There are no more wars between city and city: but everywhere, the bell tower is standing more than ever: rivalry, pride of precedence, the effort of the minor ones to adapt to the major ones in terms of titles, quarrels for the distribution of the tax globally assigned to the province or to the kingdom, for military quarters, etc. And sometimes it seems that the ambition of cities is exhausted in obtaining a distinction, which is as a title of nobility for private families. And like the cities, so the minor constituted bodies, the merchant and artisan guilds, the brotherhoods, etc. The tendency of all organisms and groups to close in on themselves is always alive: indeed, in the stagnation of so many activities, of the vital lymphs, it manifests itself more visibly. Every city, feudal or royal, it has or wants to have its own physiognomy, by virtue of privileges solicited for itself. The common dependence almost seems to be an incentive to particularism. The 100 baronies are also strangers to each other. The few bourgeoisie is divided into hostile groups, even within the same city, divided and subdivided into a myriad of guilds competing with each other in the mercantile and productive classes. Between aristocracy and bourgeoisie, the bridges are almost broken, with great contempt for this and its activities. Between aristocracy and bourgeoisie on one side, plebs on the other, a very deep well. And even the plebs, in the very sphere of the same state, do not have equally connections and awareness of unity. The rural one is divided, as divided the fiefdoms. There is nothing in common between the rural plebs and those of the cities that have a favorable regime: and the economy of the former is not a little subordinated to the needs of the latter, that is, to the need for cheap bread. A compact mass of plebs is only in Naples, which came here from every part of the Kingdom but soon unified in its Neapolitan character and well identified and detached from the very province from which it came. In short, a fragmentary society, more perhaps than before, due to the action of governments who prefer to dissolve rather than strengthen the organic nuclei, and financially speculate on the love of distinguishing titles, due to the weaker pace of Italian life , of the diminished wealth, of the diminished work, of the immobilization of many capitals in luxury works, of the deviation towards purely feneratized investments, poor in social effects, sterile or almost from a political point of view.

In short, the signs of stagnation, more visible and certain than those of progress. The bad effects of all those events that have greatly changed the face of Europe since the end of the 15th century are fully felt: discovery of new countries outside the circle of action of Italian cities and states, displacement of old traffic routes , the formation of new centers of economic life in competition with the previous ones, foreign domination and, moreover, of a nation in decline. And let us also think, if we like, of a relaxation of the old energies and the old spirit of initiative, which once gave half of Italy a fast pace of life, a rapid circulation of social elements, their unity despite the heated contrasts. Or rather: those external circumstances had produced,

However, it can be admitted that the Italian of the seventeenth century, the Italian of the Spanish domination and of the Counter-Reformation, the average Italian living in Italy, has less of this energy and spirit of initiative, less creative force. This is also visible in the whole of intellectual activity, as well as in political and economic activity. The great poetry and the great art and the vigorous speculation of the previous age have fallen. Political thought and historiography have not kept the promises of the time of the politicians and historians of the ‘100. In the physical and natural sciences themselves, the first impetus was followed by a certain languor, the tendency to limit oneself to mere experimentalism and pure observation, cataloging, collection of scientific facts and materials. This gives us reason for the lesser appreciation that began to be made, outside of Italy, of Italian science and culture, although the influence of Italian physical and natural studies in Europe is considerable, there is a great echo of the studies and discoveries in the field of physiology and medicine and astronomy even between the 17th and 18th centuries. The homage he continued to give to Italy was more to its past than to its present. The Italian abroad had, after all, a shorter stature than in the previous age, although the intelligence and dexterity and versatility typical of his lineage continued to manifest in him, which reached a high degree in the Renaissance age. Of course, the judgment on Italians tends to get worse abroad. We speak of Italy as the country of Machiavellianism, in the interpretation that Machiavelli gave especially the Protestant countries, but also Catholic countries where they wanted to react to influences of Italian culture. The Italy of brigandage also appears, the Italy of dolce far niente, Italy all pomp and festivals and carnival. This negative judgment is undue, who looks at so many serious manifestations of Italian life even then, who looks at the substance of Italian life itself. And Milton, having returned to England after a few months’ residence in Florence, Rome, Naples, Venice (1638), proclaimed to his fellow citizens that he had always believed on his own, but now having known from direct experience, that Italy was not already, as they believed, an asylum for troublemakers but a hotel of humanity and civil knowledge. But that negative judgment on the Italy of knowledge and on moral Italy reflected, albeit distorting them either by too superficial observation and intelligence of Italian things, or by a nationalistic spirit.

The Dead End of Italian Life 3

The Dead End of Italian Life Part 2

The Dead End of Italian Life Part 2

In short, almost all those states and even those dynasties, from the most to the least, are in decline, both absolutely and with regard to the times and the path made by others; also those who, in the phase of the first formation, had carried out a serious and beneficial action of government, fulfilled the necessary tasks, perfected the administration, etc. are also in decline. Everywhere, relaxation of activity and energy. And everyone knows how in this time vigilance and resistance in the face of the Church and her prerogatives were not a little relaxed; in the face of the endless phalanx of religious orders, monasteries, brotherhoods, people dedicated to real or fictitious clerical life, all claiming “freedom”, that is, exemption from any burden; in front of the big dead man reconstituted as perhaps not even in the 9th and 10th centuries, even though the reasons which at the time had allowed her to carry out a social action that were not infertile had almost disappeared. Everyone knows that, disarmed of the big political functions, the barony, where it was still powerful and treacherous, as in the kingdom of Naples, then lacked almost every ability to restrain the spirit of oppression and robbery towards the vassals, prune the forest of minute privileges which were the consideration for fidelity, to bring the cities and lands they still held back into the direct administration of the state. Indeed, just as the custom of selling offices, titles, privileges spread, so did fiefdoms of cities and lands. In the mid-1600s, almost all the cities of the South were in fiefdoms. Everyone knows that the fiscal system of the principles worsened more or less everywhere, in relation to the growing needs of a policy which was often imposed by extrinsic circumstances, and to the increase of privileged groups and relative decrease in taxable income, and to the disruption of the assets of princely families, to the pomp of the courts. The irregularity and arbitrariness of the fiscal burdens also increased, even though the prince’s advantage did not increase due to the very imperfect methods of collection, to be almost all duties and gabelles contracted out or granted as a guarantee to creditors: what made the tribute. Finally, everyone knows how the communities were ruined, impoverished by redemptions, often stripped of public goods by the barons, scarce of fiscal resources for the exemptions of the richest, laden with debts, deserted by the inhabitants; how brigandage flourished or flourished in the State of the Church, in certain parts of Tuscany, in Abruzzo, in Campania, in Calabria. The awareness of these evils in governments was not always lacking. And not even any good intentions to cure them: ferocious justice against bandits, laws to protect communities from baronial usurpations, and to restore self-administration to them, etc. But who took care of its observance? Governments were once again entangled in the web of special interests: a net which they themselves disrupted with one hand, reconstituted with the other, as an expedient of government. The tasks or interference and interventions of the state have grown more than the tools of action have been perfected: hence the arbitrary, oppressive nature of the action itself and, at the same time, its scarce effectiveness. It can also be added: those Italian states increasingly inadequate to the times, by default organic or created every day more by the new state life of Europe. Or, because they were too small and prevented from growing, they morally collapsed and became corrupted by necessity; or, being, like the dominion of Spain, the dominion of a decaying nation and foreign dominion, they too were aimed, like the papal one, more outside than inside, they too were solicitous of interests that too transcended the provinces Italians subject to them. And it is doubtful that we can identify or, at least, the Neapolitans and Sicilians could and were willing to identify the defense of the Spanish monarchy, the defense of the dynastic interests of the Habsburgs, with the defense of their possessions and honor and freedom. Hence the failure of any moral foundation of that government in Italy; the concrete awareness that it was foreign to Italy.

According to Remzfamily, those states were also resentful of the general conditions of the Italian economy. Which was going through a phase that here is of real and definitive decline, there it is stagnation with more or less temporary characteristics, elsewhere it presents itself as a tiring crisis of transformation, as an effort to adapt the economy to new and less favorable general conditions . The ocean trade had not just supplanted the Mediterranean trade. Italian traders and industrialists felt the impoverishment of the Turkish market: without counting the competition of others, since Greeks, Levantines, Jews of Spanish origin, transplanted to the Levant, had become very active. The wars of religion, especially of the Thirty Years, were impoverishing Germany, which was responsible for not a small part of the trade of northern Italy, with the damage especially of Venice which saw its position deteriorate even further compared to Genoa, closer to the new traffic routes and to the towns of the new wealth. Different circumstances, but equal in effect: the industrial progress of England and that of France, which entered, after the beginning of the century. XV and after the restoration of the monarchical force, in the mercantile phase, with encouragement of all kinds to the old and new peasant industries. Thus a large part of the French clientele, and also of other countries close to France and of the peninsula itself, was taken away from the Lombard and Venetian industries. The Italian colonies in the Netherlands are in full decline, indeed dissolving, and only the various activities of individuals remain certain. Lyon, Marseille, Paris are no longer Italian banking centers. The Genoese themselves are withdrawing from Spain and many of them prefer investments in the Italian mountains or public debts, especially in Rome. Also in Italy, a banking crisis, which between the 16th and 17th centuries sent a huge number of credit institutions to the air in Florence, Venice, Genoa and elsewhere. Therefore, dispersion of capital, mistrust, tendency to hoard, stagnation rather than lack of money, very difficult credit conditions, usury. Therefore, the more sluggish life of the bourgeoisie, the slower rise of social elements to take the place of those who have disappeared, the lowering of the credit and prestige and self-awareness of the bourgeoisie, the trading activity not worthy of the noble man, the classes tending to accentuate detachment and isolation from each other.

The Dead End of Italian Life 2

The Dead End of Italian Life Part 1

The Dead End of Italian Life Part 1

We are at a standstill, in the history of the Italian states, like a river that stagnates in the middle of its course. The Spanish monarchy is worn out as a great world empire and as an Italian power, despite the props it still had in Italy. Those in Italy who abhorred wars, those who saw in the great king essentially the Catholic king, bulwark of religion, stood for the preservation of Spain. The tiny surviving states that felt threatened by the larger ones, the opponents of the Savoy, relied on Spain. The nobility, in general, Spanishized. Even the Neapolitan and Sicilian plebs invoked the protection of the distant king, on whose lands the sun never set. Those who feared the French, for the “volubility, insatiability, lightness of that nation”, as Pope Urban VIII himself said, who also solidarized with the French against the Habsburgs, was attached to the Spaniards. Indeed, the reborn French invasion in the first half of the century revived some branches of the Spanish crown in Italy: Venice itself approached it after the 1930s. But these were static supports, without development and without tomorrow. They were old conservation interests, they were aspirations to quiet do not move . Anyway, not Spain’s own strength. This decline of Spain, as military and financial resources, as prestige and credit, did not escape the contemporary Italians, who drew fears or hopes from it. The wars of Piedmont had deeply wounded it, even without major defeats and losses. The great Spanish machine was deteriorating, the disproportion between the financial resources diminishing, and the great politics to which Spain felt obliged by its traditions of power and prestige, resulted in increasing taxation and exploitation of the subjects, without the consideration. useful features. In short, that government had become a bad government, oppressive and, at the same time, slothful and impotent.

Like Spain, according to Mysteryaround, the independent states of the peninsula were in various crises. Not only the small states of the Po valley, the Farnese one of Parma and Piacenza, the Este one of Modena, the Gonzaga one of Mantua and Monferrato, living every day more of anachronistic life, in the clash of large states, they tiny states, without their own weapons , now without money to hire, without authority to make good use of the mercenaries, with no concrete goals on which to really bet. Not only, I say, the small states; but also the relatively large ones. The duchy of Piedmont, ruled by a woman, torn by dynastic discord and civil war, mastered by the French almost like a century before, stopped on the path of civil progress and Italian reputation on which Emanuele Filiberto had put it and Carlo Emanuele. The republic of Venice is better and worse. Yes, he defends his last Levant possessions with his nails and teeth; in this defense he shows energy, pride, patriotism and military vigor. And it is known how, in the long war in Candia, his admirals found their old aggressive spirit almost in front of Constantinople. However, this activity was maintained with increasing effort and inadequacy for the purposes it aimed at: therefore little less than sterile. All of Europe began to appear on those seas and there was no reason to keep those distant possessions, born and raised for the purposes of trade and navigation. In any case, tired in the East, Venice was no longer able to follow the events of the peninsula,

Worse is for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany which with Francesco I has already lost not a little of what it had gained with Cosimo I, and with Cosimo II what it had gained a little with the energetic Ferdinando I. Ferdinando II (1626-70) he tried to restore some order: but he sold the warships to the king of France and canceled the navy, that is, any possibility of making any policy in the Mediterranean. Worse with the State of the Church, which has, yes, confiscated Ferrara and then Urbino, but every day sees its organic defects worsen, due to its character as a mere instrument or of family interests or universal and transcendent interests that it had assumed. . The administration also lacks that energy that some great popes had explained in the 1500s under the assault of either Venetian or French or Spanish threats or in the ardor of the Counter-Reformation. The papacy as such is again falling from that high position it had enjoyed then. Once the Protestant danger has been curbed, many lost positions have been regained, that sense of mortal threat which had tightened so much of catholicity around its head, with a renewed spirit of dedication, and almost given birth to a new medieval theocracy, we are now at the beginning. of a new descent. With the advance of the seventeenth century, that kind of political-religious internationality of the Catholic world – and also of the Protestant one – which was formed in the midst of the religious wars and of which the pope was the natural leader, ends. Now, Political cadres distinct from religious cadres are reconstituted, believers return citizens and subjects, absolutism is strengthened at the expense of the Church and the papacy as well. The values ​​of the faith take second place or are clearly distinguished from the others, when we see not only a Richelieu and a Mazarin, but also an Urban VIII, who also in their states fought the Huguenots and pursued heretics, allied with Lutherans or indulged politically to them. We can see the passage to another age that will be of purely political and economic struggles, as already the century. XV and XVI, the religious parenthesis closed. Now, all this has a negative effect on the moral position of the papacy; and the moral position of the papacy is reflected in the efficiency of the temporal prince and on the state of the Church. Of which, already at the end of the 16th century, the Venetian speaker Paruta had sketched a very obscure picture. In the seventeenth century, it worsened in terms of internal order, economic prosperity and military capacity. Rome is always a great political center: but of intrigue rather than of conclusive industriousness. Agents of Italian and foreign princes who seek kinship with papal families, trustees of Neapolitan barons, secret informants of every large and small court, adventurers, smoke sellers, etc., are based in Rome.

The Dead End of Italian Life 1

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 8

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 8

According to Iamhigher, Pietro Cavallini from Rome achieved heroic grace and objective beauty with the relief due to a refined chiaroscuro, with a broad and dignified gesture, with the composition no longer merely frontal. Cimabue, Florentine, more daring, more dramatic, impressed the human passion more deeply: the  Crucifixion that he painted in Assisi looks like a struggle of giants, carried by a wind of despair. And he was intolerant of any linear scheme: his face of St. Francis has broken lines and planes, no longer obedient to a tradition, pervaded by impressionism. Even when in his Madonnas he is in search of grace, the monumental and the heroic prevail. Younger, Duccio di Buoninsegna from Siena is closer to Byzantine art, less popular, more refined, and possesses all the charms of color. Inspired by the sky, the images of him arise like lilies, delicate, harmonious, created with the ingenuity of a child, even when they are enveloped in all the riches of the East. With the contrast of tones he manages to create very solid volumes in the images; yet their grace is so great that it makes them appear ghosts.

Beyond the individual personalities, one feels in the painting of the late thirteenth century a greatness, a detachment from the earth, a language that seems of God, an accent of the absolute, for which the concept of the sublime becomes necessary. So that when Giotto appears immediately after, we feel that he is more ours, richer in artistic possibilities, more varied, but, at the same time, that the first greatness has disappeared, like a lost paradise. No more radiant lights, but few colors, sober richness more chiaroscuro, more relief, more form; one sees less, and since everything is limited, precise, solid, one understands more. No longer shy, aware of its central function in the world, the human figure attracts all the artist’s attention, finds a new architecture in itself, builds the scene itself. His poetry is no longer that of a liturgical hymn: is Dante’s poetry. As in Dante, the ideal power of the past is preserved in Giotto, while the doors are opened in search of reality. He is a conscious integrator of idealism and realism: his idealism allows him to feel reality with an immediacy that is not found later; and his realism allows him to bring God to earth, and to make him walk among men, instead of confining him to the top of the apses, as he used to before. Its shape is not only plastic, but also all accentuated by constructive lines; its color is new, bold, intense, but it has value above all as a way of accentuating the shape. Of his pupils, the only one who has carried out the tendencies of the master to free himself from formal limits is Maso, who paints by hints with surprising magic.

In Siena, while Giotto was making such an upheaval, people continued to dream. We abandoned ourselves to color, to wavy lines, to objective graces, to the magnificence of the oriental courts. But the color became more lively than before, the wavy lines more varied and moving, the more human graces, the more probable magnificences; and if, as in Petrarch, Simone Martini’s Lauras are in paradise, in that paradise one is softly reclining, and to get there one has not traveled the harsh path of Giotto.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti starts from the Sienese tradition of refined color, beautiful lines, a youthful feminine image, and reaches a new plastic power and a suggestion of luministic color agreement. Even in his dramatic compositions, the sense of objective beauty is so full that it becomes a calming catharsis. More impulsive, Pietro Lorenzetti possesses the qualities of his brother Ambrogio, except for the height of the dream, and reaches an intensity of dramatic expression, unknown to all, except Giovanni Pisano. The relationship between painting and feeling was then so immediate that even Simone Martini’s idyllic line could become an exceptional instrument of drama, under Barna’s brush. Then the world gets smaller. The Sienese continue to dream through colors that have become bright by habit, within lines more and more beautiful in their undulation, but sometimes calligraphic. The Rimini people, who were the first, outside of Tuscany, to feel Giotto’s art, try to infuse Byzantine warmth into Giotto’s schemes. The Modenese, the Bolognese, the Milanese, the Padovani always find new and ingenious agreements between the Florentine and Sienese traditions. The Venetians, more loyal to the Byzantine tradition, attempted a solution of the relationship between the Byzantine and the Gothic tastes, without Sienese influence, and yet in a way somewhat parallel to that of Siena. In Florence, Andrea Orcagna and, following Florence, in Pisa, Antonio Veneziano and Francesco Traini are interested in reality with that unscrupulousness that is Boccaccio’s. Divinity has already disappeared from their psychological content, and nevertheless remains in the ideal of form,

In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the miniature flourished, which in Bologna boasted the work of Oderisi da Gubbio and Franco Bolognese; the wood carving with the Sienese statues of the Annunciation, and the ivory one with Giovanni Pisano and the Embriaci in Venice. In the goldsmith’s art, Siena, mother of elegance, counts Ugolino di Vieri, famous author of the corporal of Orvieto; Pistoia remembers Leonardo di ser Giovanni, who had a capital part in the altar robbed of the statuettes by Vanni Fucci in the “sacristy of beautiful furnishings”, and then began the dossal of San Giovanni in Florence. In the art of iron, Siena gave admirable essays, among others those of Conte di Lello in the gates or grates of Orvieto. In the enamels, Venice imitated the Byzantines, especially in the Pala d’oro, and Assisi applied them to the stained glass windows of San Francesco, laughing like flowery meadows, and he glazed the terracotta heads on a blue background, within a row of rhombuses, in the gallery of the lower church, near the Circles monument. The silk drapes were woven, in imitation of those of the East, in the Palermo workshops set up by Ruggiero II.

The bronze was fused in the seals, of which a large collection of matrices is in Rome, in the Palazzo di Venezia, and the gold in the coins, of which the Augustals of Frederick II were examples, worthy of ancient times, and, at the end of the fourteenth century, the half shield of the Carraresi Francesco I and Francesco Novello, who in Padua, the first seat of Humanism, renewed the Roman imperial coins of Commodus and Septimius Severus.

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts 8

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 7

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 7

According to Holidaysort, Arnolfo had in Rome a numerous series of admirers in the Cosmati, who slavishly repeated the learned forms. Instead, in Pisa itself, in Florence and Siena, the art of Giovanni Pisano found free continuation.

Andrea Pisano, the first obscure goldsmith, who soon became famous for the commission he had in 1330 of the first door of the Baptistery of Florence, when he was already old, shows in the bronze bas-reliefs of the door, representing the history of the Baptist, that he had fully assimilated the Gothic style, to be the master of the movement; and it tends to make the story simpler and clearer, reducing the crowd, which filled Giovanni’s bas-reliefs, to a few clearly defined groups, taking care, more than its predecessors, the unity, the connection between the scenes. The proportion of the figures, within the spaces closed by jagged frames of lobes and angles, is correct, in perfect balance; the shapes, elegant and refined in modeling, are turned with goldsmith’s art despite their size: San Giovannino child in the desert, Salomè, with short curly hair and flowing tunic like that of Fra Angelico’s angels, they remain among the most exquisite examples of grace in fourteenth-century sculpture. No sculptor preceded Andrea Pisano in this fundamental reform of the composition; but a painter, Giotto. Proof of this is the beginning of marble bas-reliefs that Giotto himself made for the bell tower of S. Maria del Fiore in Florence, among which theThe art of navigation , with figures of boatmen bent over the oars, eyes fixed on the expanse of the waters, the  Theatrica  with the charioteer studied by the ancient and with panting horses, Agriculture  with the effort of the men who guide the plow and oxen pulling with great force on the hard earth.

It was therefore Andrea Pisano who said the new word in sculpture after that of Giovanni. And he was continued by Andrea Orcagna of Florence (1328-1368), architect, sculptor, painter, poet, who made Andrea’s fomie graver, more constructive, deeper, in the tabernacle of Orsanmichele in Florence (1359), where the realism of the following century is already present. He does not pile up the figures, on the contrary he seems to be afraid of pressing them into the narrow spaces; affirms his tendency to simplify the compositions, to amplify the forms, giving fullness to the faces, breadth to the mantles. The mimicry of the figures is more lively than that of Andrea Pisano: the lips and hands become speaking in the relief with the announcement of death to the Virgin ; the look of the  Solertia, who points his finger to his lips as a sign of silence, is open and lively in contrast to the deep, humble, fearful one of  Virginity . Orcagna is not a restless spirit who always tries new things; he is a hardworking, practical and hardworking teacher. In representing a solemn scene, such as that of the Assumption, he remembered that he was not only a sculptor, but also a mosaicist, to obtain the most vivid and dazzling effects with the background of blue enamel scattered with stars. And with the virtue of an architect he arranged bas-reliefs and mosaics in the tabernacle, admirable for the harmony of the parts, for the noble elegance of the whole, for the majesty assumed by the Gothic style. The angels venerate Mary, playing, singing in ecstasy; and above the pillars of the lantern, along the friezes, on the cusps, the prophets, the patriarchs and the blessed sing praises. Between the glitter of the mosaics, the brightness of the marbles and the splendor of the gold the sacred song rises. The stars twinkle along the twisted columns, in the brocades, in the stoles, in the fringes; the firmament shines on the canopy.

Outside of Florence, Gothicism continues to reign in sculpture, intent on refining the typical forms of Giovanni Pisano. Nino, son of Andrea, limits himself to studying the graceful smile of his Madonnas. He is the main auctioneer of the Pisan style in sculpture, for the diffusion that his statuettes of the Madonna had and also for the construction, in Venice, of the monument to Doge Marco Cornaro.

Giovanni di Balduccio, another Pisan, brought models to the masters of Campione and Como with the monuments of Sarzana and Genoa, and with the ark of Sant’Eustorgio in Milan, from which the other of Sant’Agostino in Pavia derives.

While Giovanni’s Pisan followers conquered the north, his Sienese followers conquered the south of Italy. Tino di Camaino senese works in Pisa, Siena, Florence, Naples, finding his best expression in the bas-reliefs with the life of St. Catherine in St. Clare of this city, where the naive grace of the recommendation makes one forget the superficial structure plastic; Lorenzo Maitani, among the subtle embroidery of the circumvented clusters of vine leaves, carries fragile bas-reliefs from the Old and New Testaments on the front of the Orvieto cathedral; Goro di Gregorio in Messina, Agostino and Agnolo di Ventura, Gano and many others spread the Pisan style throughout Italy when it was already reformed in Florence.

Through the work of Veronese marble workers, and above all of the Venetians Iacobello and Pier Paolo delle Masegne, the second half of the fourteenth century reveals a new, rough and uncomfortable activity, but a sincere researcher of reality; and in Lombardy, through the work of Giovannino de ‘Grassi, painter and illuminator, rather than sculptor, sculpture also intensifies the realistic character, and tends to lead the tortuosity of Gothic ornamentation to paroxysm. Many works dating back to the beginning of the fifteenth century are linked to these fourteenth-century forms, in S. Petronio in Bologna, in the Doge’s Palace in Venice, in the cathedral of Milan, in Naples with the Baboccio, in Florence itself with the retards.

A little later than architecture and sculpture, since the first half of the thirteenth century, Italian painting, which was popular and not courtly painting, presents itself to us with a particular grandeur. The  S. _ Francis by Bonaventura Berlinghieri, who dates back to 1235, has its own perfection. Rigid, hieratic, tormented by asceticism, the image towers over the cases of the saint’s life, painted on the sides: thus the divine overhangs the relativity of human life. And it is no coincidence that what is perhaps the oldest pictorial masterpiece in Italy speaks in the name of St. Francis. Religious life in Italy reached a creative height in the thirteenth century that has never returned. The names of St. Francis and St. Thomas, the very participation of St. Dominic in Italian life, are the most obvious indicators of that religiosity. We felt God, we thought God, we acted in the name of God. God participated in every economic, political, moral, intellectual, artistic act of the life of Italy. The passions, so intense as to leave us astonished, seemed inspired by God, whether they led to battles or directed the brushes. The models might have been Byzantine, but those works that looked like copies, full of a new content of popular religiosity, were independent of the models as works of art. Each one found, beyond the models, his own God.

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts 7

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 6

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 6

In sculpture, Pisa reigns. While the Pisan Baptistery is garlanded with statues and jagged marble cusps, the Camposanto welcomes the remains of men into the land transported from Calvary, the cathedral raises its superb forehead near the bows tower. The sculptors run from Pisa to Lucca to decorate the beautiful San Martino; they run to Perugia to sculpt the fountain where the voices of virtues, liberal arts, the Bible and history resound among the jets; the prophets, the sibyls, Plato and Aristotle rush to Siena to erect the prophets, the sibyls, Plato, and Aristotle, who, in ecstasy or in the fury of inspiration, announce the coming of the Word or the eternal truth to the faithful. Italy was conquered with chisels by Nicola d’Apulia and his school.

According to Globalsciencellc, Nicola (born in the early 1200s and died around 1280) marks the transition period between the Romanesque and the modern ages. Educated by the artists who worked for Frederick II in Puglia, he brings to Tuscany, Lucca, Prato, Pisa, Siena, Umbria, Perugia, the great classical art of the Apulian ambois and castles, and applies it to depict entire cycles of traditional Christian scenes. The pulpit of Pisa, more than all the other works, in which the collaboration of the followers takes over, gives us the knowledge of the art of Nicola d’Apulia, Roman for amplitude of forms, for classic drapery, for the great quiet of the orderly and massive compositions, still subject, like Romanesque sculpture, to the slavery of architecture. The forms, with their imposing structure,

In the art of Nicola’s son, Giovanni (circa 1250-circa 1320), the effects of movement succeed those of august composure; sculpture emancipates itself from the slavery of architectural plans; the gothic whirlwind overwhelms the agitated crowd of statues. Not Nicola d’Apulia, but Giovanni opens the new era of Italian sculpture. Already in Nicola the tendency to enrich the sculptural effect is announced progressively. In the pulpit of the cathedral of Pisa, the decoration is entirely subordinate to the architectural structure: the reliefs in leveled masses, despite the powerful construction of the form, are inserted in a methodical order within the rectangular mirrors of the polygonal parapet, and bundles of columns, three to three, they strengthen each vertex; the imperatorial figures of virtues reinforce the pillars of the arches, and the trefoil arches retain the full center. The first appearance of the pointed arch is in the pulpit of Siena, where Giovanni works for the first time next to his father, performing three bas-reliefs: the Crucifixion , the  Elected , the  Reprobate, in which new life erupts with sudden rebellion. The angels of John, in a corner of the pulpit, stormy, with cheeks swollen like those of the winds, launch the blasts of an advent of new art in the Gothic temple. Profound difference between the art of the two masters, which appears even more evident in the spring of Perugia, where from the polygonal compact and smooth tub, strengthened at the top by heavy bundles of columns, marked, in its massive grandeur, in the style of Nicola, lever the second, agile and broken; and from the second, with a faster leap, the bronze basin: smooth flower corolla into which the magnificent knot of nymphs and griffins plunges; nothing more than the art of Nicola, in this living flower born from the ardent imagination of Giovanni.

The Gothic triumphs with the pulpit of Pistoia in the lanceolate acuteness of the arches, in the cry of the statues, which no longer sit in the chair on the capitals of the columns, nor do they slowly recline within the corner of the pendentives, but give the idea of ​​agitation from below. Faci for the enthusiasm of the movements, the rapid volute of the heads raised above the bodies, gathered in long tunics with sliding bundles of folds. Finally, in the pulpit of Pisa, destroyed by a fire, now rebuilt in the cathedral, the sculptural vegetation rises and descends along the increasingly broken walls, tightening, suffocating, hiding the skeleton of the building. A people of statues form the pedestals of the pulpit; the lions roar out among those forests of convulsive, frail figures, dominated by nerves, burned with fever: the double crowns of leaves on the capitals rotate in the wind in convulsions of flame; and the images of the bas-reliefs, dry, restless, passionate, erupt from the parapet, free in space, overwhelming the architecture; Nicola’s smooth and compact rock creaks, crumbles, breaks down into fantastic shapes. The sculptural forms free themselves from architectural slavery; they conquer space, reflecting, in the painful and feverish contortions, the fatigue of the struggle that led them to liberation.

The concept of independence of sculpture from architecture, greater in Giovanni’s Gothic than in French Gothic, informs the free sculptural vegetation that nestles between the edges of the facade of the cathedral of Siena: lions and dragons, and trampling horses, pushed out of the marble walls, cutting the wind that upsets the bristly manes. Next to that people of unleashed monsters, a people of seers – prophets, sibyls, ancient philosophers – dominate the crowd, shouting to the wind the truths of science and faith.

Not only Giovanni belonged to Nicola’s school. In addition to the mediocre Fra Guglielmo da Pisa, executor of part of the ark of S. Domenico in Bologna and of a pulpit in Pistoia, the noble spreader of the art of Nicola in Rome, Perugia, Florence, Arnolfo di Cambio ( 1232-1301), more faithful than Giovanni to the master, further away from Gothic impulses, tending to refine the forms of Nicola d’Apulia with Tuscan grace. He enriches his works with mosaic decoration, used in Rome by the Cosmati; it brings to art a profoundly Tuscan sense of measure, crystalline regularity of form in full Gothic period, virtuosity of marble processing, love of minute and subtle proportions, of marble sharpness. In the ciborium of Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Italian tendency to regulate the impetus of vertical lines by means of the brake of horizontal dividers, the Italian tendency to squaring, which characterizes our Gothic style in the face of the Gothic style of France, finds its full expression. Giovanni’s feverish life stops in the statuettes that adorn Arnolfo’s food and sepulchres, small and precious, with thinly stretched drapes, inert, almost fossilized bodies. Abstract, petrified and vague are the physiognomies of Arnolfian faces, with silent protruding eyes, without gaze; outlined with rare elegance the thin paper folds of the garments; stares at her small, ribbon-like hands. Refined marble worker, Arnolfo does not care to transfuse life into sculptures, satisfied with formal elegance, with the nobility of frozen forms, of subtle and profound measure.

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts 6

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 5

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 5

The Cistercian monks brought their Burgundian-Gothic style to the abbeys of Fossanova (1197-1208), of Casamari (1217), of S. Galgano (1218-1310), of S. Martino near Viterbo (from 1215), of S. Maria d’Arborea (founded in 1208), of the three Chiaravalle, near Milan, Piacenza and Iesi. Examples of Gothic architecture from Île-deFrance can be found in Sant’Andrea di Vercelli, and in the buildings of Frederick II in Puglia and Sicily, while examples of architecture from southern France were imported by Charles I of Anjou in his kingdom of the two Sicilies, in Lucera, Naples, etc.

Gothic architecture, imported into Italy, fails to dispel the habits of Romanesque construction even when, as in the century. XIV, the fashion of the Gothic line had also invaded sculpture and painting. More measured than the French Gothic, which finds its expression in the daring of the vertical line, in the mystical upward rush, in the cry to God of the spiers pinned to the sky, the Italian Gothic avoids the extreme lightness obtained by the predominance of voids, the unrelated rows of spiers: the indigenous tendency to squaring maintains dominance, so that, more than in the architectural framework, the impulse of Gothic art on Italian art is expressed in the fantastic richness of the decoration.

According to Localtimezone, the facade of the cathedral of Siena, covered by a sumptuous heavy carpet of marble lace, with the pediment flanked by cusps like burning candelabra at the sides of an altar, with the arches and open galleries, remembrance of Romanesque churches, maintains, in the clear organism , prototype at the cathedral of Orvieto, Tuscany, Italian physiognomy. And while in the French cathedrals, the statues, stretched within the thin sheath of the garments, are channeled along the architectural profiles, with rigorous order intended to increase the hieratic impression of verticality, in the cathedral of Siena they rush with impetus out of the frames, animating the he building with the beloved Italic game of shadows created by the paroxysm of movements, free like those of the foliage that twists and licks the edges of the frames with flames. Disappears, this freedom typical of Giovanni Pisano’s art, in the cathedral of Orvieto, where the great lines of the Sienese prototype are preserved, but the surface, extended and flat, is covered, for Lorenzo Maitani, with a light sculptural embroidery, almost miniaturistic, which it does not give accents to the architecture; the pinnacles, perdu or the chiaroscuro play of multiple niches, stretch out, thin and united, as formed by superimposed bundles of rods. Arnolf’s tendency to surface turning, to marble smoothness, seems here timidly to introduce itself alongside the shapes of the Sienese cathedral. And, as always in our architecture, the gothic impetus of the pinnacles, the rise of the lines, is curbed by the intervention of the horizontal. When, in Pisa, S. Maria della Spina was adorned, an exception in Tuscan art, of a rich series of cusps elevated on the high pediments, they are not, like the Gothic spiers, true quills, but small cibori, lace canopies that four short columns hold suspended above the heads of the Virgin and the saints. And those spiers are laboriously grafted onto the always classic frame of the building.

The classic character in Arnolfian buildings is even more pronounced, despite the pointed arches and Gothic points, due to the crystalline structure that derives from the perfect sense of proportion, the marble smoothness of the surface, the logical order in which the statues are distributed in the their thin shells, from the geometry of the Cosmatesque ornament. In the cathedral of Florence, Arnolfo, to accentuate the national character of Italian Gothic architecture, plans to raise the dome, the grand crown of the building, a symbol of majesty and power, a link between Romanesque and Renaissance architecture. divine that dominates men from above, the resonant center of the temple. The elegant, marble Arnolfo, at the beginning of the fourteenth century, is already, in many respects, the man of the Renaissance:

On the other hand, the cathedral of Milan is of a completely foreign style, and precisely Germanic, a stylistic and chronological exception, since it began at the end of the century. XIV, just when Renaissance architecture was about to rise in Tuscany.

Gothic, in the decorations of the windows and doors, but of a purely Italian character, is the construction of the various municipal buildings in the major Italian centers, such as the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, the Palazzo della Signoria in Siena, the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, the Loggia dei Mercanti in Verona. The habit of decorating civil constructions with gothic spirals that were completely square, that is, far from the fundamental mystical spirit of gothic art, continued and developed above all in Venice, until towards the end of the fifteenth century, and produced a special development of the gothic style. flowery, which still constitutes the greatest architectural attraction of that city: the masterpiece of this lagoon architecture is the so-called Cà d’Oro.

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts 4

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 4

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 4

Simple, without echoes, the side door, which repeats the contrast between the pediment of the median arch and the reduced proportions of the intercolumns, is drawn with rare nobility by the taut sparkling belts, where white ribbons and rings mark the mosaic work, with sovereign calm of rhythm.

Among the most beautiful creations of the Roman marble workers are the square bell towers of the churches, regular compositions of overlapping dice, adorned with modillions in white marble, saw bricks, sometimes with majolica, vivid and happy polychrome outline with geometric shapes. With these cheerful frames, like the white teeth of brick red, and with the repeated echo of the arches from nut to nut, the Cosmati took away from the bell towers of Rome, which most of the time survived the renovated churches, like antennas of vanished ships, the impression of an overwhelming and gloomy empire, not rare in Romanesque bell towers.

As always, the art of the Cosmati takes care of the links between the members by multiplying the vivid frames: beyond the simple framing of white modillions and minute brick saws, they can be seen in the bell towers of S. Francesca Romana and Ss. Giovanni e Paolo , marble columns with protruding capitals like a hanger, as in the cloister of S. Lorenzo outside the walls, and discs, and marble crosses, even majolica bowls, always arranged according to the methodical order proper to the art of the Cosmati, which draws the its strength not from the Lombard imagination, creator of complex movements of mass, light and shadow, not from the lavish lavishness of color of the Arab-Normans, but, like our Renaissance art, from the balance, from the regularity of the constructions .

From the Cosmati derive the Umbrian marble workers, who, lacking glass tiles and fine marbles, come to paint the stone fragments, to devise combinations of white and purple stones, as we see in the mother church of S. Francesco d’Assisi: poor monotonous, they create their masterpiece in the Palazzo dei rectors of Perugia, where they meet with Pietro Cavallini, Nicola d’Apulia and Giovanni Pisano.

As in Rome, so in southern Italy and Sicily, according to Itypeauto, the study of the ancient is the foundation for new forms: the art of Campania inspires the masters of Campania; the Apulian Italo-Greek vases are an example to the great Apulian masters, and Greek art to those of Sicily. An example of the peaks of the art of the Apulian masters is the clear architecture of Castel del Monte, a multifaceted mass with powerful towers at each corner, a door studied by the reduction of a triumphal arch, and, in the keys of the vaults, rose windows and masks worthy of the classical art, sculptures where you can see the origin of Nicola d’Apulia. Equally pure forms, but at times inclined, due to the archaic fixity of the features and the pomp of the precious garments, to the art of Byzantium, can be seen in the Campania region, in the admirable pulpit of San Pantaleone in Ravello, for example, where the bust reigns from Mater Ecclesia , idol covered with heavy stoles and diadems. Life is more lively in the other bust of  Mater Ecclesia coming from Scala to the Berlin Museum: the shoulders erupt from the gulf of the mantle; under the light diadem of leaves, their frizzy hair in the wind quiver, and their open eyes bloom turgid in the sun. The great archaism, the august impassivity of the Ravello bust yield to a passionate breath of life; the new art looks from the big bright eyes of the bust of Scala. In the dazzling mosaic decoration of the ambos of Ravello, of Sessa Aurunca and of Salerno, as in the intertwined cloisters of Amalfi, the art of Campania is fascinated by the pomp of Saracen art, which dominates, with the Byzantine, in Sicily, and forms an architecture shining with oriental lights and polychrome Arabian fabrics, enriched by a pomp of color, by the fretwork of the marble lace, by an inexhaustible variety of ornaments,

Cosmatesque art, which has its full evolution in the thirteenth century, always shy from the Gothic, finally finds the dominator in Arnolfo di Cambio, in the Tuscan master who, while surrendering to the Gothic forms, brings indigenous voices into the choir, high-sounding. And it is then, when in the choir the voices of the Cosmati are added, Duce Arnolfo, to exalt the Italian traditions, that they find echoes in the art of Giotto and, for him, in all Italian painting.

Gothic architecture (v. Gothic, art), originated from three fundamental elements, from the ribs supporting the cross vaults, from the arched buttress, from the pointed arch, had the first of these elements in Lombard Romanesque architecture; on the contrary, the Lombards first understood how the way to lighten a cross vault, separating its weight and thrust, consisted in weighing each segment of vault on two crossed arches, resting on the bundled pillars, as shown in the construction of Sant’Ambrogio a Milan. But the Lombards did not draw all they could out of this ingenious discovery; they did not develop the sketched motif, so their work remained more developed than in Romanesque art in the rest of Europe, and less so than in Gothic art.

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Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 3

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 3

In Tuscany a whole series of marble architects seem to have inherited and kept intact over the centuries the classicism of forms, manifested in the Florentine Baptistery, in the cathedrals of San Miniato al Monte, of Empoli, of Fiesole, with triangular pediments and geometric marble coverings; classrooms divided into a triple nave by full-center arches, columns surmounted by Corinthian capitals, domination, in the architectural structure, of horizontal and vertical planes; floor decoration translated according to the classical order, in the still ancient technique of opus sectile .

In the Romanesque age the spirit of Rome was opposed first to Lombardism, then to Gothicism. To the multiple effects of light and shadow, implemented through the complicated arrangement of masses in the Romanesque cathedrals of northern Italy, Rome opposed its classical tradition. The color, the sparkle of gems and gold, a passion of the Middle Ages, continues to fascinate the Roman marble workers: the marbles shine with stars and roses; cathedrals appear vivid mosaic carpets that the south of Italy had learned to weave from the ruling Arabs. But both the mosaic decoration, rich and dazzling, as the sculptural decoration, where the classical motifs intertwine with the Romanesque motifs, are an integral part of the architecture, underlining its shapes, perfecting its meter. The tiles make up geometric ornaments, the colors are reduced to a few repeated notes: porphyry and serpentir10 are recessed, cut into discs and squares, within the mosaic carpet. Sumptuous apparators, the Cosmati are first and foremost builders: they subtly balance the masses of their buildings, they use the ornamentation to complete the effect of the architectural lines. In the cloister of S. Giovanni in Laterano, the point of arrival of the Prearnolfian cosmatesque art, the twenty-five arches,  divided into five orders on each side of the quadriporticus, make up, resting on a high stylobate, adorned with transenna; the bands and creasing of the arches, the thin striae of the arches, preludate Renaissance forms. leaning on a high stylobate, it adorns a barrier; the bands and creasing of the arches, the thin striae of the arches, preluding to forms of the Renaissance. leaning on a high stylobate, it adorns a barrier; the bands and creasing of the arches, the thin striae of the arches, preludate Renaissance forms.

According to Elaineqho, the door of the church of S. Tommaso in Formis, between the wide and extended cornices, is drawn with grandiloquent Roman amplitude, and on the frame the ashlars, arranged in halo rays within the arch, form only august ornament. More complex shapes appear in the portal of S. Antonio in Rome, where the system of columns and pillars, supporting the large concentric arches, divided into strips, limited by sharp cornices, creates events of intense and distinct lights and shadows. A second system of small columns and short pillars supported by the Egyptian sphinx, a motif repeated by the Cosmati, for example, in S. Giovanni in Laterano, repeats the chiaroscuro events above, breaking the edges of the smooth front of the arch: the entablature has for only a frieze is written, as in the noblest buildings of the Tuscan Renaissance.

Pietro and Nicolò di Rainerio placed their signatures above the door and the window of the church of S. Maria di Castello in Tarquinia, one of the oldest and at one time one of the most classic constructions of this medieval Roman art, which loves metric pauses, the regular ornaments, the flat drafting of the frames. In large areas, these extend around the fine golden door from the lunette, expanding its proportions, giving it an appearance of solemn and peaceful majesty, of sober splendor.

A search for grandeur – more rare than is believed in this classical art of spirit, balanced, preferring flat surfaces, on which to spread the shining notes of the mosaic – is evident in the sublime triumphal arch, which rises from the low portico of the cathedral of Civita Castellana, extended in width, closed between the wide base of degrees and the entablature adorned with a fine geometric border of rectangles and mosaic discs, a favorite of Roman wall paintings, a jeweled belt that accentuates the Cosmatesque modesty of proportions of the Ionic loggia, in comparison with the arch supported by pillars and crowned by a classic pediment.

A splendid example of mosaic decoration applied to Cosmatesque architecture are the two doors in the atrium of the cathedral of Civita Castellana, the work of the marble workers Lorenzo and Iacopo. The main door opens, jeweled with shining areas, under a regal halo of arches, which, starting from pillars and columns, draw a vast halo in degrees around the sparkling lunette of colored stones. Soft flowery mosaic belts border the jambs: wider, they spread a polychrome carpet along the pulvini, to descend, between ribbons of white marble, on the frames of the entablature, and thus tie the door, thin, refined with shapes, to the degrees of its expanses frames, to the sovereign majesty of the arches. And the domination of the surrounding gray enlivens the splendor of the polychrome tesserae and the white ribbons that trace along the jambs, on the dense varied fabric of the backgrounds, large geometric designs of rectangles and discs. Radiant center of the halo that surrounds the door, the half rose introduces a new element of a rare color in Cosmatesque art: the fretwork.

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Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 2

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 2

The two masters spread their art in Emilia, Lombardy and Veneto: in Nonantola, in the door of the abbey church, in Ferrara and in Cremona, in the cathedral; in Piacenza, and in San Benedetto Po San Benedetto di Polirone, in the large church founded by the Countess Matilde; in Parma, in the porch of the cathedral; in Verona, in the cathedral and in San Zeno, Nicolò carrying out the primitive composite images with ever greater fire and momentum, culminating in the vital tangles of the capitals of San Zeno.

After the two master promoters of the great Romanesque movement in northern Italy, a guild of architects and stonecutters rises, which goes to Trentino and establishes itself in the cathedral of Trento and in Dalmatia in the cathedral of Traù. Frequent exchanges are noted between this Romanesque art and the flourishing art in Provence during the century. XII, so that a homogeneous current – but not devoid of very evident special characteristics – joins northern Italy to the south of France, reaching Dalmatia to the east and reaching Tuscany, Lucca, Volterra, Massa Marittima.

According to Aceinland, the development of Lombard-Romanesque art, creator of pictorial effects through complex distribution of shadows and lights, accelerated towards the middle of the thirteenth century, when the Veronese quarries were exercised. Then came Antelami, crown of the Lombard movement (1178-1233). A few years after the strong sculptor of the wharf of the cathedral of Modena had cut his acrobatic caryatids in the marble, with powerful plastic synthesis, Antelami appears to us for the first time in a bas-relief of the cathedral of Parma, the Crucifixion, distinguishing himself from the massifs Lombard precursors for the elongated figurines, rigid stems within garments with filiform folds: a fine illuminator seems to succeed the grandiose models. But his art explains its faculties only later, in the Baptistery of Parma, a clear octagonal construction, where the color effect is obtained with a graduated succession of shadows and lights in regular uniform areas; the massive gravity of the Romanesque piers is attenuated in the slender columns that support the thin entablatures; the Romanesque arches under the cornice are designed with the grace of lace; and the French-style pinnacle bell towers add momentum to the corners of the building. The regular fretwork succeeds the fantastic combinations of light and shadow: the spirit of Gothic art begins to be felt in the growing subtlety of the shapes and in the dominion given to the principle of verticality. More severe than ever is the slavery of antelamic statuary to architectural forms; and the same refined virtuosity that the sculptor explains by working, in the frieze of an overdoor, the light robes of Salome, it is found in the drapes with concentric folds falling from the capitals, under sinuous abacuses. Refined, elegant in the slender figures of the friezes, an easy popular narrator of biblical legends, Antelami dresses the angels encased in niches above the main door, wooden and powerful like the prophets outside the cathedral of Fidenza as priestly majesty. The sculptor gives classical nobility to the forms of the queen of Sheba, transparent by soft veils, to the archangels inside the baptistery, a fire of attitudes and gaze. The poem of human redemption is explained in the building guarded by solemn angels and clairvoyant prophets. Let the infernal dragon open his throat, let the beasts, the errors, the vices around the source of grace: they will be dispelled by the God who subdued every power of evil; inside the Baptistery is the washing of the soul, regeneration, salvation: the dragon that threatened the root of the tree of life is defeated, pierced by the angels who circle the sacred place like heavenly guards. With the last work of Antelami, the statue of Oldrado da Tresseno in Milan, reappears in a Palazzo del Popolo, on the front of a public square – after many centuries from the monument of Theodoric in Ravenna – the equestrian statue, the heroic monument for excellence, transfigured by the thinness of timid and gentle forms, by the silky rustle of clothes.

While Antelami, in Parma, in Fidenza, in Vercelli, in Milan, spreads its delicate and slender sculptures, often dressed in fine polychrome, the Venetians, who first tried to recall the Christian forms of the early days (columns of the ciborium of San Marco, sarcophagi of the cloister of the Saint in Padua), create the great arch of the months and the angels in the cruise of San Marco, combining the antelamic forms with the refinement of the Byzantines. Romanesque art then adorned the doors of the cathedral dressed in oriental gold with a magnificence never seen before. Not the minute and poor leaves of Antelami, not geometric divisions, but an intertwining of luxuriant foliage, animals, human figures, a complex of knots, vital in every curve, in every winding of line, forms a sculptural frame to them: Byzantine embroidery lends its sumptuous fabric to the images reinforced by the Romanesque structure. Large marble lyres, composed of branches and rolled leaves, adorned with clusters of grapes, with heavy and magnificent pendants, close in the melodic curves episodes of animal fights: and leaves, trunks, beasts, are worked with the finesse proper to marble inlay more than marble sculpture. Elsewhere there are children playing at chasing each other in labyrinths of intertwined trunks, and various scenes within circles: life engulfs itself in a luxuriant vegetation of leaves and branches. Modeled with exquisite refinement of lines are the figures of the months, now intent on work, like the beautiful fowler from whose hands the birds escape in throbbing clusters, now seated in golden thrones, like August sleeping in the heat of the sun. Torpid volutes of stork’s necks around precious amphorae, coils of entwined branches, twisted calligraphic folds, finesse of chiseled features, make the monumental arch, like the priestly angels of the cruise, the sculptural masterpieces of the Venetian cathedral. Venice, which by imitating the refined works of Byzantium aimed at the decorative splendor, composed, around the time of Nicholas of Apulia, with the reliefs of the portal of St. Mark, almost a preface to a book of hours or missal, reminding the people of God lord of time and life.

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Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 1

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 1

Since the century XI began the new art, which is called Romanesque, and among us it can be properly called Italian.

The Romance arts reigned wherever the eagle of the legions flew in ancient times. It seemed then that the yeast of memories moved the earth, from Campania to Lombardy, from the banks of the Rhine to those of the Danube; sprouts sprouted from the old Roman trunks everywhere; the unity of our people was felt in the unity of the art resurrected from Aosta to Monreale. Towers rose from the valleys to protect human nests, castles rose, cities were surrounded by crenellated walls; and between the towers and castles rose the cathedral, a bulwark of religion and of the country.

According to Itypetravel, there were few sounds that were being determined in the words; and the words seemed to come out interrupted, as if in sobs. The tools that sought the expression of life were still crude, unhardened; but they were refined in the work, breaking the stones, the marbles of the torn quarries of Luni and Lombardy, of Veronese and Istria. There were still few models that taught the virtue of the ancient indigenous art, but outside the ruins the ancient statues appeared, no longer as nefarious idols, beautiful in their nakedness; and in Etruria the Arezzo vases seemed to have come down from heaven at Ristoro d’Arezzo; in Emilia, Wiligelmo and Nicolò drew the decorations of the cathedrals from Roman sarcophagi and Greek archaic marbles; in Puglia, on the Italo-Greek vases, which reappeared outside the furrows of the earth, the beautiful style was fashioned which Nicolò made eternal. Exultet , opening his arms to the light.

Romanesque art in the century. XII was already born in Italy with original local characters; and certainly not suddenly, because reasons and news reconnect it with the Ravenna forms of the century. YOU. And not in particular, such as the intertwined sculptural decoration or the construction of the cross vault on the beam pillar, can one find the first explanation of a phenomenon as complex as Romanesque art.

The first and most intimate manifestation of the Christian spirit in art was the subordination of all artistic elements to the effects of light, materially obtained from the beginning with luminous glass, with precious metals, with gems, which Byzantium and the East supplied to the ports of call. maritime city; but the internal regions, Lombardy for example, had neither wealth nor suitable ways to continue the Byzantine chromatic splendor. Before any other internal region, by natural force, Lombardy organizes the Commune, like the Romanesque cathedral. From Campione, Como, Mendrisio, the stonecutters and master masons descend in ranks, and search in the overlapping of stones and bricks, in archings for example, those same effects of light previously obtained with precious materials of metals and glass. They had to realize that their effect was more art than the previous one, because more naive, more spirit and less matter; and when, after a thousand attempts, they reached Sant’Ambrogio in Milan, they had obtained the absorption of color and light in the architectural and sculptural technique, with incalculable effects. Suffice it to say that in this way they achieved the fusion of the longitudinal system with the central one in the cross basilica, solving the problem that had remained unsolved from the century. IV onwards; and they obtained the effects of light not only inside, as had happened in the art of the early days, but also outside, by means of infinite fantasies of projections and recesses.

The work carried out between the century. VI and XI, in the regions where Byzantine action was less felt, it was not in vain for art. It was a slow, hidden, continuous work, as if within the bowels of our earth, along heaps of debris from the ancient world, through the slag of volcanoes; but the cavern opened to art, which in the darkness, in the silence, had become spiritualized, freed also from gemmale matter, reduced entirely to an artifice of lights. Thus modern art was founded in the Romanesque cathedral.

There was a lack of construction materials, and here is the people, who wanted to centralize their life in the cathedrals and palaces of the Municipality, to resort to ancient monuments to build new ones. The cathedral of Modena was then covered with marbles collected on Via dei Sepolcri, the work of the architect Lanfranco, assisted by the sculptors Wiligelmo and Nicolò, the first rude, violent, incomplete; the second creator of clear reliefs embedded in space with an almost medalistic measure, fervent inventor of weaves, coils, scrolls in the friezes of foliage and animals. Wiligelmo’s primitive, wild and heavy work alternates in incessant contrast with Nicolò’s most refined work. Next to the monsters that weave hair and tails in wild tangles on the capitals, creatures that came out of the darkness of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance seems to open the way to memories of the ancient in the rough funeral genes with reversed faces, and above all in the well-known bas-reliefs at the top of pilasters, a sculptural masterpiece of this primitive Romanesque art, sometimes close to examples of the purest Greek archaism. Wiligelmo, Nicolò and their collaborators gathered on the doors and capitals of the cathedral of Modena sacred legends, biblical and chivalric stories, lives of saints and romance songs, together with diabolical visions of monsters and vices, all the tangled knowledge of the people that in the church he wanted to see himself portrayed and exalted. While Wiligelmo adorns the facade of his sculptures erupting with brute and grandiose force from the frames, Nicolò orders his schematic and agile compositions, his elegant arabesques of human figures.

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts 1

Italy Literature Part IV

Italy Literature Part IV

As for the “young” writers, they all appear intended – in their acute need for objectivity, detachment, perspective, which does not exclude, indeed presupposes the minutiae of investigation – to the establishment of a new narrative time and language. Generation, therefore, essentially of storytellers, in which the acquisitions of previous generations are combined, not without fruit, with experiences of other literatures, especially the American and Russian, sometimes assimilated through a direct work of translation. And the banner under which this narrative is collected is that of realism: a realism, moreover, far from the nineteenth-century one, as an expression of a non-historiographical taste – even if it presents itself with social demands or with still “provincial” features – but evocative and memorialistic, which in some respects is its antithesis, aiming not so much at historical reality, at the truth, as at a reality dreamed of and made magical by memory, teeming with mysterious links between man, nature and things, all ebbs and flows between the ‘today and yesterday, between the apparent and the occult, between thought and meaning (indeed sex), between the nightmare of the limit, which is the moral law, and the levity of gambling, of gambling. A realism, in short, “surreal” (which does not necessarily mean surrealistic): which often corresponds to a strenuously analytical or psychoanalytic narrative; a narrative, sometimes, from a memorial or from a report;  but always deeply committed to tightening and portraying in characters and situations that “unconscious”, that ineffable “, which is her muse and her torment.

According to Countryvv, there are various trends and ways in which this realism has been mottled in recent years. There are writers for whom that memory is, in Proustian terms, a search for “lost time”, and narrating a retracing backwards, with the aid of Freud (and sometimes of Sade), images, dreams, memories, up to the ancestral mystery of blood . Tendency that goes from the idyllic moralizing of Alessandro Bonsanti and from the casuistic one, with sudden openings of the landscape, by Guido Piovene (Letters of a novice, 1941; Pietà contro pietà, 1946), to the tale between crepuscular and Kafkaesque by Dino Buzzati (The desert dei Tartari, 1940) or Ennio Flaiano; and which has a wide following among writers, as the one that best lends itself – with its interior monologues, its epistolary forms, its anxious evocativeness – to the need, precisely female, of introversions, confessions, fantasies. And from Paola Masino to Margherita Cattaneo, from Maria Chiappelli to Anna Maria Ortese, from Elsa Morante to Orsola Nemi to Pia d’Alessandria, the results are often very happy. (Apart from Anna Banti and Maria Bellonci in a field of research or critical-lyrical contamination). And there are writers in whom that moral or moralistic motif, which is accompanied – sometimes with a lucid, almost eighteenth-century pleasure of the intelligence – to all the new fiction, loves to be transposed into humorous ways, of satire or parody of bourgeois costume: with mimicry, spectacular, as in Vitaliano Brancati (Don Giovanni in Sicily, 1941), or surrealist, as in Tommaso Landolfi (Le due zittelle, 1946). And then there is the growing family of “neorealist” storytellers, where the interest in the external world, the environment, society, although strictly related to that for the inner life, conscious and subconscious, nevertheless makes itself felt more than in other writers: and therefore their area of ​​excavation it is, apparently, closer to the so-called everyday reality. It is the tendency that, at its extremes, Elio vittorini and Alberto Moravia have: one representative of a narrative which, due to its own ties or sympathies for the “prose of art” and for the “poetic aura” of the evocative ones, it retains even in the most crude forms (or where it most seems to trace the Americans) a tone of lyrical memory; the other represents a «sliricata» narrative, of a «prosaprosa», which tends towards art above all by virtue of intimate design and architecture. And with vittorini, whose Conversation in Sicily (1941) remains one of the salient books of these years, it should be remembered – in a very varied range of sensibilities and expressions – Cesare Pavese (Your Countries, 1941), PA Quarantotti-Gambini (L’onda dell ‘ cruiser, 1948), Giuseppe Dessì (San Silvano, 1939), Romano Bilenchi (The drought, 1941), Vasco Pratolini (Family chronicle, 1947). With Moravia, who gave us his most harmonious, most beautiful story in Agostino (1944), we will remember Francesco Jovine (The buried pastor, 1945), Ignazio Silone, Carlo Bernari, Arrigo Benedetti and Giuseppe Berto (The sky is red, 1947). And it is on this second branch of neorealism that the Marxist or populist tendency, born of the war (especially partisan), and using a language that is hardly differentiated from the news, has recently come to be grafted onto it; and that which is affected by French existentialism in certain harsh and foul-mouthed sexual accentuations. But so far – precisely due to the prevalence of the thesis or the manner – they have given to art; and from the literature of the Resistance the most poetic book remains, between story and essay, the Christ stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi.

But common to both neorealists, and a little, in general, to all new storytellers, is the intent to articulate the characters better and better than the landscape, the atmosphere or the chorus that still surround them; to ensure that the action, the “drama” is born from the fickle web of sensations and introversions, and that the dialogue resurrects and flows from the indirect narrative and the interior monologue. That dialogue through which only the character can acquire, whatever his proportions, his individuality, his voice, his “duration”. The problem of problems, for the young fiction, is here. (And to it goes in a certain sense also that of the rebirth of a theater which – after the dissolution of the old forms of bourgeois comedy, operated by Pirandello and Pirandellismo – give an adequate stage language to the new spiritual instances. Today the only true poet in this field is Ugo Betti). In any case, the young fiction, in the complex of its tendencies and, more importantly, of the works, constitutes – together with poetry – the newest and certainly the richest aspect of the future of the contemporary literary panorama.

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Italy Literature Part III

Italy Literature Part III

But there are, in this generation, the storytellers, the novelists: indeed they are among the most distinguished of today’s literature. However, their narrative, aiming to replace the objectivity of the realist or bourgeois one, against which it arose at the time, a subjectivity entirely imbued with critical and lyrical ferments, is a narrative that cares more for the individual pages or episodes than the whole, composition in a formal sense rather than in a structural sense; a narrative, in short, for the most part not yet “written”. And here too it is necessary to make a distinction between those narrators who remain, albeit with new spirits, on a more or less traditional line, such as Bruno Cicognani, Marino Moretti and Riccardo Bacchelli himself (who even refers to the historical novel, but to transpose it – and the Mill of the Po, 1938-40, he is the highest example of this – his pietas of every human work); and other narrators, such as Aldo Palazzeschi, Enrico Pea, Massimo Bontempelli, who deviate from it to make room for irrational, fantastic and similar tendencies, and who therefore, feeling in a very similar way to that of poets, the need for an expressive renewal, have exerted a singular influence on younger writers and storytellers. Thus, p. eg, Gente nel tempo (1937) or Giro del sole (1941) by Bontempelli, and the Cuccoli brothers (1948) by Palazzeschi, constitute, in the direction of a “magical realism” – understood not as mere poetry, but as effective magic of speech – goals, in their diversity, very remarkable.

Other tastes, other tendencies are those of the “middle” writers, who, having established themselves in the decade following the First World War, in the wake of the experiences of the Ronda, found in the “journey”, in the “evocative” prose, in the “idyll”, in the story with a descriptive background, in “landscapes with figures”, and the like, their appropriate forms. Forms that already marked a development with respect to the Vocian “fragment”, the Rondesque “essay” and the corresponding narrative, since on the one hand, by describing people and countries (especially Italy), one began to re-establish that contact with the ” real “, with the” object “, which the previous generation, in the dominant solipsism, had eluded; and on the other hand, by evoking, transposed into “poetic auras” or vaguely allegorized in “earthly adventures”, the spiritual ambages, anxiety or boredom of nothingness, they gave rise to those anxious themes and modes of “memory” which, mixed with Freudian elements, had a great following among younger writers. Above all, that describing and evoking was a way of narrating oneself and of narrating oneself, objectifying oneself. And over the years, in fact, these forms have taken on an increasingly narrative accent: Even in writers who naturally incline to poetic or evocative prose, such as GB Angioletti (and not only in Donata, 1941, but in the same “journeys” happy, of Old Continent, 1942) and Giovanni Comisso, who has given us new proofs of his ability to transfigure the life of the senses into luminous adventures of the imagination. Or such as Giorgio Vigolo, whose ideal autobiography tends more and more to the architectural composition of a beautiful Roman Baroque; and Gianna Manzini, with his “tales to tell”, sustained, almost “sudden” musical, by a pure inventive rhythm. According to Allcountrylist, Corrado Alvaro, on the other hand, is one of those writers who would most like to escape the lyrical enchantment, that monologizing dialogue (which in part derives from Verga), affecting his stories and novels more in a realistic substance: but in Incontri d ‘ love (1941) and in The Short Age (1946) his greatest gift still remains that choral animation of the landscape and things around astonished, ecstatic characters, almost speaking in a dream. And, in his anxious angelism, Nicola Lisi also makes the figures of his own “fables” or tales speak in a dream, however, silhouetted in a vivid light; while Luigi Bartolini translates his love for “reality” and nature into lively portraits of women and animals, in vague sylvan idylls poetically (or polemically) contrasted with murky city visions. Bonaventura Tecchi has made a great journey along the path of fiction, refining his faculties even more, in one of psychological analysis and representative synthesis. And if the ideal measure of his narration remains the idyll between light and shadow, between realism and elegism (Idilli moravi, 1939; L’isola passionate, 1945; The presence of evil, 1948), the autobiographical motifs always appear better in tune with objectivity . Rather than the novel, the “long story” is better suited to the concentrated qualities of excavation by Giani Stuparich: the felicissima Isola (1942), as proof, with respect to Returning (1941); while Bino Sanminiatelli has advantageously grafted a certain lyrical imaginism into the Tuscan background of his fiction. Veins of an irrationalism and surrealism that do not disdain reality, however, feed both the lexical (a little Dossi-like) and “macaronic” humor of CE Gadda, as well as the lyrical and larval humor of Cesare Zavattini; Achille Campanile, on the other hand, seemed to accentuate the melancholy or crepuscular expressions of his laughter. (And from him and above all from Zavattini derive, with their own tones, some of the most recent humorists, such as Giovanni Mosca and Nino Guareschi).

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Italy Literature Part II

Italy Literature Part II

Between Ungaretti and Montale, although they cannot really be said to be followers, there are some of the most valid poets of today, such as Salvatore Quasimodo, who carried out that fruitful reconciliation on his behalf, in an assiduous work of translator, especially from Greek poets. with the classics; Adriano Grande, intended to always better harmonize discourse and melody; and – younger – Leonardo Sinisgalli, happy above all in his hastily elegiac forms and tones; Alfonso Gatto, whom the most rigorous hermeticism sometimes manages to reconcile with that singing vein, with those echoes of Di Giacomo, connatural to him; Libero de Libero, which is to be preferred where, on an epigram rhythm, the fable of childhood turns into hallucinated landscapes; and again: Sandro Penna, Mario Luzi, Vittorio Sereni, Giorgio Bassani, Margherita Guidacci. Apart from, although they too relate to the experiences of pure poetry, Sibilla Aleramo must be remembered, who certainly her native D’Annunzio often manages to redeem in an almost magical amazement of moods and musical chords; Girolamo Comi, who from the anthroposophical forms of a hermeticism to Onofri has reached the clarity of a Christian vision of life, giving ever more harmonious expression to his world full of secret germinations; and Carlo Betocchi, who certain air of popular song, of an affable realism, elegiacally transposes in ineffable superrealities of dreams.

But hermeticism understood in this way, if it is a phenomenon of such importance that it also affects poets of different origins and backgrounds (like a Betti), or even opposing it (like a Cardarelli); however, it cannot be identified with all the poetry of today. Umberto Saba stands out among these poets who, with the definitive edition of the Canzoniere (1945), offered us his poetic autobiography, dominated by an expiatory sense of pain, by a biblical fatality, and yet so fervently mixed with aspects and events of his Trieste, so solicitous to the illusions or invitations of love. Poetry of medium tone, almost “spoken”, and still faithful, in metrics and vocabulary, to tradition: but its lyrical power is such as to often elevate one and renew the others.

As for dialect poetry, always flourishing in Italy, it should be noted how pure poetry has made its influence felt even on its new authors. Once all historical or folkloric interest has fallen, they appear as “minor” lyrics, which use the dialect for a subtle, ironic counterpoint to certain sentimental motifs (such as Virgilio Giotti from Trieste); or rather for a precious underlining or mixture of verbal values, according to a taste that could be defined as “macaronic” (like the Roman Mario Dell’Arco). Poetry in dialect, therefore, more than dialectal poetry: and of the tradition that comes from Belli to Pascarella (whose posthumous and unfinished Storia nostra has disappointed), the last descendant remains, with free and witty spirits, Trilussa.

According to Topschoolsintheusa, the panorama of prose is much more complex: unlike that of poetry, which is quite unitary in tendencies, as young people find themselves grappling with the same expressive problems as the elderly, it is varied not only in tendencies, but also in terms of trends. genres, of forms, of ways. Which is also the diversity of literary generations, since writers trained in a given period, in the same spiritual and cultural climate, cannot fail to appear united – above the individuality of temperaments – by certain preferences of taste, by certain consonances of poetics and attitudes.

Thus the writers who, moving from fragmentism (see App. I, p. 618), matured between the first pre-war and the post-war period, between La Voce and La Ronda, and who by now – with the disappearance of Panzini, Pirandello, Deledda – constitute the generation ” elderly “, remained faithful, for the most part, to the” prose of art “, the” essay “, the” elzeviro “, mixed in invention and reflection, lyrical inspiration and critical conscience. If anything, some of them, such as Emilio Cecchi, Bruno Barilli, Alberto Savinio, have come to accentuate their original metaphysical disposition in a magical or surreal sense. And it is no coincidence that they are also expert writers in other arts, either for critical knowledge or for direct practice. Of those arts – music, painting – in which those irrational yeasts appear to operate no less, and perhaps more, than in literature. Cecchi especially gave us, in America amara (1939) and in the last Corse al trotto (1941), new, admirable examples of his visual and analogical faculty, fueled, together, by a very refined culture and by a fabulous feeling of nature, of the unprecedented, of the primitive, which is almost an escape from it. Other writers, such as Antonio Baldini and Vincenzo Cardarelli, have instead more adhered to the “classic” lesson of the Ronda: even if the increasingly malicious classicism of a Baldini is strictly related to his love for form, plastically and sensually understood. Finally, others, such as Soffici and Papini, have rather distorted than developed their youthful impressionism, especially the latter.

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Italy Literature Part I

Italy Literature Part I

Whoever, in today’s Italian literature, hopes to find the signs of a clear detachment, of a “decisive turning point” produced by what has recently happened in the world and particularly in Italy, could perhaps be disappointed. Not that those signs are lacking at all (and just look at the more recent fiction), and this literature has estranged itself into Arcadian lazes; but being only moments or aspects of a process of renewal already underway for many years, such signs have very little of the abrupt evidence or immediacy that that researcher might perhaps expect.

Moreover, According to Usaers, Fascism itself had little effect on that process: and because the new literature, all folded in on itself to listen to the secret heartbeat of sensations, or abducted far from reality in the enchanted domains of memory, seemed to offer little grip to the dominant rhetoric. ; and because the latter, if it formulated some rough concordances between “art and life”, little was then taken care of whether they were respected. And in fact the political declamations on healthy optimism, on the primacy of race, on Romanism and the like, corresponded, in literature, to a “hermetic” poem, a narrative of unrealistic and “indifferent”, a celebrating theater, in the footsteps of Pirandello, the disintegration of the self. Not to mention the criticism, oscillating between Crocianism and hermeticism (see criticism, in this App.). Of course, in this unbridled irrationalism, that the thought, the will, the moral world overwhelms or cancels in the sense, it is also possible to recognize a common root with those psychological and political attitudes that led to the dictatorship. But it is also true that that irrationalism, which in art is called “decadentism”, was a European phenomenon long before it was Italian: and its phases, its developments – which in part still last – have been reconciled very well, in others countries, starting with France, with the freedom of institutions. In Italy that decadentism passed to politics through D’Annunzio degenerated into Futurism, that is, through a literature that became – by mechanical deterioration of the word into sound, into onomatopoeia – an action itself. But this passing happened just when the new literature, coming out of that long anti-Annunzian labor that reaches the Ronda from the Voce, he brought back the word to its lyrical essentiality. In short, fascism inherited, serving it up to the extreme consequences, that poor D’Annunzio that literature had repudiated, indeed expelled from itself to rely if ever on a completely different D’Annunzio: the “pure” and perennial one of Alcyone and nocturnal and secret prose. Fascism and new literature thus found themselves, at a given point, and with very few exceptions (such as certain “extrapaesanismo” of the early days, which was however a way), on opposite sides, speaking two different languages.

Now, if we want to make a fair assessment of the last decade, the signs mentioned must be grasped in depth, in the intimate events of that development which, in thirty years and more of tests, researches, experiences, carried out in contact with the currents more alive than European culture, it has led Italian literature to renew its taste and its expressive ways.

Therefore it is not surprising if, in poetry, the prevailing climate today is still that of pure or hermetic lyricism, being hermeticism (see in this App.), In its historically positive meaning, one of the culminating moments of that development, indeed, compared to the courtly tradition of Italian poetry, one of its most “revolutionary” manifestations. Naturally, in recent years this hermeticism has in turn evolved. The initial anti-classical trend subsided, thanks to a re-approach to the great lyrics of the past (Leopardi above all, and Petrarch: albeit read through the poetics of Poe, Baudelaire or Valéry), from the original clumps of sensations and images gradually released a certain poetic “discourse”, still elliptical and allusive, but with its own ideal continuity; just as from the dazzling alliteration of those lines and verses, rare on the white of the page, the “song” arose – with a “regular” metric, but preciously lightened and shattered: strongly paused again, but singing. And the autobiographical instances have become increasingly transposed into landscapes, hours, seasons, struck by an astonished light: which (with certain motifs of stylized mythology: swans, nymphs, sirens; Lede, Apolli, Narcisi…) are like the emblems or the allegories of those anxieties for the unknown, those nostalgia for childhood, those strenuous searches for “lost time”, in which contemporary humanity tries to elude the anguish of existence, the slavery of instincts and blood.

A mirror, in large part, of this evolution of hermeticism is the work of Giuseppe Ungaretti: in which the lyrics of The Pain (1947) mark a new moment, after those of the Joy and Sentiment of time. To a more direct and profound thrill of his “pain”, of feeling himself a “passing image” but “taken in an immortal turn”, corresponds a wider articulation of the word and of the rhythm. The Hungarian soliloquy-colloquy, that “unanimous cry” which in the Sentiment had often become hymn and prayer, here aims to resolve the heated verticality of the time in an ever-fervent horizontality, but more sinuous and, in its own way, effused: even if, of course, this involves its risks. Eugenio Montale represents, of the hermetic taste, a more acute, more difficult phase, but also more sensitive to those needs of elaborate design, of syntactic and strophic architecture, which are typical of younger poets. Ungaretti remains, so to speak, the poet of pure “subjectivity”. Montale, on the other hand, is an “objective” poet, who of the reality of things, of the external world, of the aspects of nature – observed with a critical, corrosive gaze – makes as many “occasions” to symbolize his painful sense of existence, almost of bitterness. undertow or drift. In passing from Ossi di seppia, in fact, to Le Occasions (1939) and to the more recent lyrics, he has at times exasperated his expressive travail, made his analogism even more intense; but he also knew how to draw arcane incandescences from that arid fervor of his, and give a much deeper vibration to those forms of his which hold, together, the epigrammatic and the descriptive, the motet and the poem.

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