Tag Archives: museums

Art of Romanticism

The magnificent Art of Romanticism. In 1861 Italians united Italy. After some battles. Thanks also to a great engagement of artists. All the kingdoms disappear to let space to a unique country. The process that brought all the country under the same king started in 1815, after the Congress of Vienna. We call this period Risorgimento (Resurgence). It gave the chance to Italy to change its shape. People worked hard to reach the goal and art gave an important contribution to it. Art of Romanticism became the flag of the movement.

The ability of the art to make a revolution impress me a lot. This happens many times, in almost all the eras, especially in the last centuries. Anyway, who loves art has an interest in analyzing the historical context. Not only. Who loves art want to pay attention to the techniques. It’s amazing how artists changed the way to paint in the 19th century. I like a lot of painting and sculptures and going around the Italian museums and exhibitions I saw the evolution of the style. Also the differences among the artworks of the various artists of the same period.

Art of Romanticism: the 19th-century revolution

Romanticism started at the end of the 18th century. When the new generation of artists understood that Neoclassicism wasn’t influencing anymore the society, they started to search for something new. They changed completely the way to express their ideas and point of view. The art of Romanticism has various features. Romanticism canceled the Neoclassical reasoning, control, geometric perfection and, above all, imitation of the art of the ancients.

Not all the artists of the period made a radical change, but most of them yes. They wanted to draw a line to separate the past from the present. Their style was dominated by unbridled passion, strong feelings and a renewed fervor for the religious world. Moreover, if the neoclassical artist was convinced that the perfection of art had been reached by the ancients, the romantic drew, instead, inspiration from the dark and mysterious world of the Middle Ages. That period until then had been considered a period of no importance and purely negative.

Art of Romanticism in Italy

Who loves art can easily understand how nice is a journey into the art of Romanticism. That period is really amazing because it takes people into modern art. The paintings are not only a representation of a view, but there is a sign, something more. I think the feature of the style is visible in the vigorous brushstrokes capable of interpreting reality. Color and not too defined signs tell a story.

This is what I like about the art of Romanticism. Then, of course, there are many elements related to the history of that period. I love to explore the most important event of Italian unity. Also, I like to see in the paintings how Italy was at that time. The same feelings, especially talking about techniques, come from the sculpture. If you want to see art in Italy you have a lot of opportunities. But I recommend you to explore the artworks of the 18th century.

Romance artists

If you like art visit Italy. Art of Romanticism has a huge collection spread in all the country. There are many museums that offer the view of great artworks to the visitors. Time to time in various Italian cities there are thematic exhibitions. I like them because they collect paintings and sculptures also from foreign museums and private collections. So it’s easy to see some artworks that are usually not visible to the public.

I will write more about some art galleries and museums. Because Italy can show you the best examples of the art of Romanticism. But now I want to share some pictures I took during my visits. So I let you enjoy them. Before I remind you that after finding a flight, maybe using some free miles obtained with your credit card, you can reserve a hotel and buy the tickets to enter the museum. Planning in advance will be useful especially if you want to see some temporary exposition because you will check the place and the dates.

Paintings

                                          One of the famous “kiss” of the painter Hayez

 

In the painting, you can see the famous writer Alessandro Manzoni, one of the Italian literature icons

 

                                     This young girl represents Italy, that was born in 1861

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you want to read more about my art incursions, check out the dedicated section of my blog. Share this post and subscribe to my newsletter, you will get updates and extra contents.

Kruševo: a Macedonian surprise

I had the chance to visit the Republic of North Macedonia and especially Kruševo. Despite the business meeting, I could go a bit around. I want to post more articles because there are different places that I want to tell you about.

One of the villages that left me positively surprised. It is in a perfect location, from where to join a special panorama, but at a first look is just a little ensemble of old houses.

The village of Kruševo

Going around Kruševo it is easy to discover some pearls. Actually, it is well known for different reasons. The first one is because the village, less than 10.000 inhabitants, is the highest in Macedonia: 1250 meters above the sea level, then because it was a political entity proclaimed in 1903 when it became Republic as a consequence of a fight against Ottomans. Its life was short: from 3rd to 13th August 1903. Also, the contemporary national history made it famous: there is a museum dedicated to Todor “Toše” Proeski, a Macedonian singer died in 2007 (26 years old) in a car accident. He was very popular and for him, it was organized a state funeral.

Despite these aspects, I found many interesting attractions to see around Kruševo. First of all the village itself. Walking in the small streets is the first step to get inside the local atmosphere, where the time seems to be stopped. It is a quiet place, where old cars move around together with horses and donkeys. Life is going calm, but there is a space with some computers provided by the government where people can go to use the internet for free. So modernity is approaching the village.

                                                                                         Kruševo surroundings

The artist

There are a few attractions that I want to mention: the museum dedicated to Nikola Martinoski, the sanctuary and the lake. They made me fall in love with Kruševo. The art and nature show somehow the soul of the village and I was happy to go back there to spend a bit more time to explore the area and know better the place.

Nikola Martinoski was a painter lived between 1903 and 1973 and it is considered the founder of contemporary Macedonian art. He also spent two years in Paris where he studied at Académie de la Grande Chaumière. His paintings are wonderful artworks in an expressionistic style. With few lines and a good combination of colors, he was able to show the people and their life.

In each person painted it is possible to see how they feel, their condition. I did not know anything about this artist before but discovering that gallery I had the chance marvelous artworks. I have been twice and the first time I met a lady who speaks French, so it was easy to understand, meanwhile the second time there was a lady who speaks only Macedonian but anyway she wanted to take me in the different rooms and explain me all the paintings.

                                                                                          The gallery in Kruševo

The staff is very kind and in the museum, there are also some rooms to show how was the house in the past when the painter was alive. Some of the artworks are present also in the National Art Gallery in Skopje. But you can check out my other posts about the local attractions. I want to explain a lot about my last visit to the country.

The sanctuary

The sanctuary is between the village and the top of the hill where is a big cross made with iron, as in Skopje. It is a small monastery with a lovely church and spaces where groups can stay to eat and spend some time for their meetings. To manage all the structure there is a man who is the uncle of Todor “Toše” Proeski, or at least is what he says. For sure he is proud to show the room where his nephew was used to spend time when he was a child.

As I mentioned a few lines before in Kruševo there also the museum of the singer, with some of his objects. Then there is also a strange construction where it is located the Museum of National Liberation War with pictures and some objects to remind the victory against the Ottoman Empire. Also if it has lasted for a few days. In the village, there is also the museum of local history where it was rebuilt a bit the setting of the typical houses.

The lake

Now it is time to write about the third reason why I love this Macedonian village: the lake, called Gumenje. In general, it is never too crowded, but it is used for recreation and for fishing. From there it starts the Kruševo-Norovska river, but the main feature is the peace that each person can feel walking there. There is also a pathway with benches built to easily move around all the lake.

The water appears calm, the trees around are well cleaned and gives different colors reflected on the water. Autumn is surely the best season to see it. At the moment spent there I was totally surrounded by nature, almost in communication with it, the sky was closer, blue with some white clouds. A wonderful experience to reconcile with what matters in life.

Where to sleep, drink and eat

Who wants to sleep in Kruševo can book to Hotel Montana, a lovely four stars accommodation on the top of the hill, with wood from one side and the village from the other side. The panorama on the houses is really amazing. They have rooms with a balcony with the view. The structure is quite new, spacious and well equipped. The standards, according to Macedonian average ones, are high.

If you want to stop for a drink I suggest you visit one of the two bars in the main square. One is old and characteristic, with a nice balcony, but be careful because also the balcony is quite old too. The other one is more modern and with tables directly in the square. There are also some restaurants since it is a village for tourism, but I tried one: Kruševska odaja. It offers genuine local food prepared according to traditional recipes. The setting is really lovely with some traditional clothes on the walls.

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Check out Infobus website to plan the journey. The platform allows you to compare different solutions to reach the destination with a plane, a train or a bus. The company reserves some discounts for new clients.

The castle in Milan: 1 amazing way to improve your tour in the city

In many posts, I wrote about luxury experiences in the capital of Lombardy. It is surely a city I love. Now I want to write about the castle in Milan. It is one of the main attractions of the city, also if it is not well known by most of the travelers. Art, architecture, and history are mixed in the building, that tells a lot about the capital of Lombardy. The place is located not far from Duomo square.

Starting from the cathedral you walk along Via Cordusio and Via Dante. It is 15-20 minutes away by foot. Otherwise, the underground takes you directly in front of the castle (two stops from Duomo). Well, now you have the directions, but why you should go there? Let me give you some information and impressions.

The castle in Milan: history

First of all the name: Castello Sforzesco. In English, we can translate it as Sforza Castle. Sforza was the name of the family who built it and owned it. Francesco Sforza, the Duke of Milan, commissioned the construction in the 15th century. The architect started to project on the remnants of a 14th-century fortification. During the next two centuries, the family enlarged the castle in Milan in order to obtain one of the largest citadels in Europe. The battles happened in the different periods made some damages and for this reason, the entire complex was extensively rebuilt between 1891 and 1905.

The first construction was made in the second part of the 14th century by Galeazzo II Visconti. It was a huge castle enlarged step by step, but it was almost all destroyed by the Golden Ambrosian Republic. Sforza wanted to recreate the structure as a symbol of its power. For this reason, the hired Filarete, an important sculptor and architect of his time. With a team of painters, after the construction of the walls, they decorated all the castle in Milan. Inside and outside.

The importance of the castle

Sforza Castle became a citadel during the Spanish domination. The governor established in the building his seat for a while before to move to the Ducal Palace. Thanks to its position, the castle in Milan was always the landmark for who ruled the city. Another reason to be the favorite place was also its size and the structure, well fortified. Inside it was possible to host a garrison made by 3,000 men. The fortification offered a lot of space, but also bastions to defend the building from the attacks.

Some battles made damages, but between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, they realized the biggest restoration. Not only of the castle but also of the medieval streets around. In particular at that time was realized Via Dante, to create a direct connection between the Sforza Castle and the Duomo. Also after the Second World War, they rebuilt some parts, but all the times they respected the original Sforza architecture.

The architecture of the castle in Milan

The shape of the castle in Milan is really interesting. It is a hexagon, in the beginning, was a pentagon, with 12 bastions added. The length is about 3 km, meanwhile, the whole area is about 26 hectares. Entering the castle you can see a big courtyard called Piazza d’Armi. In some of the small open spaces, they realized some pools as decoration. Also, the facade shows a lot of different decors to remind the main steps of its history. Let’s see a bit more in details.

The plan of the castle, now visible, is quadrangular. It has square towers and an ogival gate. Each tower has a name coming mainly from Sforza period. A huge park appears behind the complex. It is connected to the castle by a drawbridge. There are two entries: the main one is located in Piazza Castello with a fountain and the other one on the back to go to the park. The walls inside the courtyard have different paintings dedicated to the important people who stayed in the castle in Milan and about the most famous facts of the various periods.

The towers

On the main entrance external side, you can see two round towers, as requested by Francesco Sforza to the architect who built the castle in Milan. In the 14th century, they built square towers, but the Duke decided to replace them. Because those type of towers is more efficient against fire weapons. The visitors generally stops in front of the main tower, because it is part of the entrance. They called it Torre del Filarete, in honor of the architect who made it. What you see today it is a modern reconstruction.

The main gate conducts to a large court surrounded by Tower of Bona of Savoy and Rocchetta, that is an internal defensive ridotto. The Rocchetta includes the coat of arms of the Sforza family. The internal court has a portico on three sides. It has arcades constructed in the 15th century. Another court has two loggias, the smallest on the left and the bigger on the right. This one has a fresco with an elephant and for this reason, they called it Loggiato dell’Elefante. The castle in Milan is really a great example of architecture because it is a combination of different styles. Of course, very well united.

The fountain

I am not going to write a lot about it, because it is a modern construction. Just in front of the main gate, there is a fountain, with some water games. It is no so big, but nice, especially to take some pictures before to enter the castle in Milan. I let you see my picture.

Museum and exhibitions

I guess you found some answers to your curiosity about the castle in Milan, but Sforza Castle is much more. You can just have a walk in the courtyards and in the park, admiring the architecture, or enter in the rooms. Inside it is visitable the Pinacoteca, a great collection of art that includes masterpieces signed by Mantegna, Canaletto, Tiepolo, Tintoretto and other famous artists of the past. The Museum of Ancient Art counts a huge collection of weapons of different periods, a tapestry room and some funerary monuments.

The castle in Milan counts also a Museum of Musical Instruments, a small Egyptian Museum and collections of archeological finds, prehistoric items, applied ars and sculptures. The most famous is the Rondanini Pietà realized by the master Michelangelo. Experts are still working in Sforza Castle to discover frescoes, paintings, and archeological finds. The last masterpiece found in the building was in 2012: a painting of Michelangelo.

During the year the Municipality and some private bodies organize events like fashion shows, concerts and art exhibition in the different rooms and courts of the castle in Milan. So there are a lot of reasons to visit. I recommend you to explore the place when you plan a trip to the fashion capital.

Booking.com offers you new experiences

In last year Booking.com improve its activity offering new experiences to its customers. I am exploring the various services provided by the platform and I discovered that Booking Experiences are not only in the U.S., but also in other countries, as mine: Italy. In Milan, Venice and Florence using the app of the hotel search engine I can buy tickets, use fast track in the museums and get some other discounts in the city. This is reserved to all clients of the company who reserve a room.

Tours and activities can be personalized. The functionalities are developed by the Booking Holdings-owned brand and they were firstly developed in certain destinations as Amsterda, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore. Now it is possible to enjoy the experiences in USA and in Italy also. To use the opportunity you need to book an hotel in one of the cities where the “experiences” are active and download the app. It is not finished. Continue to read and I will explain all the details to use it.

 

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Book your experience

 

How it works

When you complete the reservation of your accomodation on Booking.com, you get an e-mail with a link post-booking that directs to a personalized landing page. You find the different option concerning the tours, the activities and the local attractions. There is a QR code that you can use to obtain discounts for museums and tours tickets.  You don’t need to do anything special, just use the code when you buy the experience. Of course the conditiones and the type of activity are different in each city. In USA you can try the service in many places, included New York, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Make unique your stay

Meanwhile I write this post to share with you this special think that I discovered on Booking.com, they are working to create new experiences and also to increase the number of the cities participating. So try it and check what are the best offers of the moment. Christmas is coming, maybe it can be the proper way to give a unique trip with a special experience to the people you love.