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Author Archives: Marco Ramerini

Monteriggioni: a village surrounded by circular walls

Monteriggioni is a picturesque medieval village completely encircled from circular walls with 14 towers, situated on a low hill, approximately 10 km from Siena. Until 11th century, Monteriggioni was a station of exchange along the via Francigena. Siena transformed Monteriggioni in an imposing fortress in order protect its northern border during the wars against Florence. A FORTRESS ON THE NORTHERN BORDER ...

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Cortona: important Etruscan and medieval town

Palazzo Comunale, Cortona, Arezzo. Autor y Copyright Marco Ramerini.

Cortona (23 000 inhabitants) is a beautiful town in the province of Arezzo, which is located on the slopes of a hill about 500 meters high, is now a major tourist city with many tourist attractions primarily Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance. The town of Cortona traces its historical roots in the Etruscan period, probably founded between the sixth and ...

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Civitella Val di Chiana: a picturesque medieval village

Civitella in Val di Chiana is a picturesque village perched on a hill 523 meters above sea level. Civitella in historical times was important due to its strategic location in relation to the paths towards Siena and Florence, and his role as garrison in the proximity of the city of Arezzo. The definitive aspect of Civitella is dated to the second ...

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Buonconvento: a medieval walled village

Buonconvento is a village of just over 3,000 inhabitants located in the province of Siena at 147 meters above sea level at the confluence of the river Arbia in to river Ombrone. Buonconvento is about 30 km from Siena and is still surrounded by medieval walls, built between 1371 and 1385. The medieval village enclosed by walls has a quadrilateral plan and ...

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Etruscan tombs in Castellina in Chianti

In the area around the medieval village of Castellina in Chianti numerous testimonies of the Etruscan era have been found, including some Etruscan tombs. Among the Etruscan tombs found in Castellina in Chianti the most interesting is the Etruscan tumulus of Montecalvario. While the Etruscan necropolis of Poggino is another area where the remains of tombs of various shapes are ...

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Castellina in Chianti: a delightful medieval village

Situated on a hill, 578 meters above sea level, overlooking the river valleys of the Pesa, Arbia and Elsa, Castellina in Chianti is one of the most important villages of Chianti and a famous resort area. Castellina in Chianti, is an interesting medieval town of Etruscan origins, of this period are witness the many Etruscan tombs that are located nearby, ...

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Lucignano: a medieval village in the Val di Chiana

Lucignano (3,500 inhabitants), is a small medieval village of the Val di Chiana, located about 400 meters above sea level, in the province of Arezzo, from which is 33 km away. The origin of Lucignano probably dates from the period of the Roman Empire, when the top of the hill where today the country there was a “castrum” that controlled ...

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Sansepolcro: city of art of the Alta Valtiberina

Sansepolcro rises in the Upper Tiber Valley, in the eastern end of Tuscany, about forty kilometers from the city of Arezzo. Charming Renaissance town, Sansepolcro owes much of its fame to Piero della Francesca, a famous artist who was born here in the early fifteenth century. The center still retains its character as a city of art, with its majestic ...

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Pienza: an ideal Renaissance city in Val d’Orcia

Pienza is a wonderful village that lies on a hill dominates the Val d’ Orcia at about 490 amsl. The small city is approximately 50 km from Siena and is reachable travel along the Cassia until San Quirico d’ Orcia and then following the indications for Pienza. Another road that can be used is the Siena-Bettolle exiting at Sinalunga and ...

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Crete Senesi: the desert of Tuscany

The Crete Senesi lies southeast of Siena, they extends from the immediate environs of the city along the valleys of the rivers Arbia, Ombrone and Asso, in the municipalities of Asciano, Buonconvento, Monteroni d’Arbia, Rapolano Terme and San Giovanni d’Asso. Crete senesi literally “Siennese clays”, are formed by clay soil, formed during the Pliocene (between 5.2 to 1.8 million years ...

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Balze of Valdarno: the landscape of the Mona Lisa

A few km from the Autosole A1 Valdarno exit, between Florence and Arezzo it is possible to admire an interesting erosive phenomenon known by the name of Balze. The Balze are one of the most beautiful and fascinating landscape aspects of the Valdarno. These strange natural formations can be seen in the municipalities of Terranova Bracciolini, Loro Ciuffenna, Castelfranco di ...

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Capraia Island: a paradise for nature lovers

The island of Capraia is located about 64 km from Livorno, 42 km from the island of Elba, 37 km from the island of Gorgona and 31 km from Corsica. The island has 355 inhabitants (2007) and an area of 19.30 km ² its coastline is an extension of 27 km. Capraia is an island of volcanic origin and is ...

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Gorgona Island: an island in the Tuscan archipelago

Gorgona island is the northernmost of the islands of the Tuscany archipelago (43°25’37” lat. North) and also the smallest (2,25 km²), it rises 255 metres above the sea and is mostly mountainous and, for a large area, covered in Mediterranean maquis vegetation, it’s still place for a penal colony. Gorgona it’s about 37 km from Livorno, 39 km from Capraia ...

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Brancacci Chapel: Masaccio’s masterpiece

The Church of Santa Maria del Carmine was begun in 1268, and unfortunately damaged by fire in 1771. The interior has a nave, and was re-decorated in the eighteenth century after the fire. Fortunately the fire spared the absolute masterpiece of the church which requires anyone visiting Florence a visit to this church: the beautiful Brancacci Chapel, a masterpiece of ...

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Basilica of Santa Croce: the most beautiful Gothic church in Italy

The great square on which overlooks the Basilica of Santa Croce is surrounded by some buildings of historical interest such as the Palace dell’Antella (seventeenth century) – with beautiful frescoes by Giovanni da San Giovanni and Filippo Napoletano – and the Palazzo Cocchi Serristori (XVI century) by Baccio d’Agnolo. Basilica of Santa Croce is the principal Franciscan church in Florence ...

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Tomb of Michelangelo Buonarroti, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence

Michelangelo Buonarroti’s Tomb is the work of Vasari (1570). The tomb is located at the beginning of the right nave of the church of Santa Croce, as soon as you cross the main door of the Basilica. Above the tomb there are three sculptures that represent the personifications of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. These figures appear saddened by the disappearance ...

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Vasari Corridor: a private passage on Florence

The Vasari Corridor it’s a covered way which connects Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) to Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace), passing through the Galleria degli Uffizi (Gallery of the Uffizi) and crossing the River Arno above the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge). The Corridoio Vasariano, more than one kilometer long and 3.50 mts large, was constructed, in only five months, by Giorgio Vasari ...

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Statue of Perseus by Benvenuto Cellini: one of the most famous statues of Piazza della Signoria in Florence

Among the statues present today in the Loggia della Signoria or dei Lanzi, the Perseus by Benvenuto Cellini is probably the most important and extraordinary work from an artistic and technical point of view. This statue is considered a masterpiece of Italian Mannerist sculpture and one of the most famous statues in Piazza della Signoria in Florence. The famous bronze ...

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Loggia della Signoria (Loggia dei Lanzi): an open-air museum

The Loggia della Signoria, also called Loggia dei Lanzi because of the guard of German mercenaries (lansquenets) who stood here in the sixteenth century, was built in the fourteenth century thanks to the work of Simone di Francesco Talenti, Lorenzo di Filippo and Benci di Cione. This structure was originally used to host indoor public popular assemblies and official ceremonies ...

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The Baptistery of Florence: Saint John

The oldest monument in the Piazza del Duomo, is situated right in front of the facade of Florence Cathedral and is the Baptistery of Saint John. A first building was built already in the fifth or sixth century, this served as a baptistery and should already be octagonal as the present one. In the mid-eleventh century, the baptistery was reconstructed ...

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Orsanmichele: church of arts and crafts of Florence

Originally, in the area where it is today Orsanmichele was the oratory of San Michele in Orto, which was demolished in 1239. In its place, around 1290, Arnolfo di Cambio built a loggia for the sale of grain, then according to tradition the image of the Madonna painted on a pillar began to make miracles, and the place became a ...

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Gallery of the Academy: the Michelangelo’s David

The Galleria dell’Accademia (Gallery of the Academy of Florence), one of the most visited museums in Florence, is located on the premises of the fourteenth century Ospedale di San Matteo and the women’s monastery of S. Niccolò di Cafaggio. The gallery was founded in 1784 by Grand Duke Peter Leopold of Lorraine as a teaching collection for students of the ...

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Giotto’s bell tower: masterpiece of Gothic architecture

Giotto’s bell tower is one of the most beautiful Italian bell towers. This structure is the bell tower of the Florence Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The bell tower is detached to the right of the Duomo. This position represents the intention of the designer to highlight the importance of the bell tower compared to other surrounding buildings. The ...

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Piazza della Signoria: the center of political power

Piazza della Signoria is an open-air museum which, at every step, offers glimpses and panoramas of particular beauty. In this square there are testimonies of a thriving past and architectural treasures of enormous value. Which, then, are found a bit all over Florence. Famous in the world since ancient times, and probably the most important cultural center in Italy. Cradle ...

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How to get by plane to Florence

Florence has not, unfortunately, a major international airport – as would be desirable given the tourist importance of Florence in the world – but only a small city airport. To reach the airport in Florence from intercontinental destinations you need to stop and change your flight, in European airports such as Paris, Rome, Munich or Frankfurt. Let’s see how to ...

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