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Art in Italy i s a very serious matter. Add a dash of culture to your trip by exploring Italy’s rich artistic heritage. From the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to the Vatican Museums in Rome, Italy is the ideal country for those looking for a destination that offers world-class works of art, spectacular paintings and unreal exhibitions

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Anagni

Anagni

On a rocky spur, built by the Hernici, conquered by the Romans in 306 BC and surrounded by mighty walls in the 2nd century, Anagni was a papal residencein the Middle Ages, and Boniface VIII, the best known of the popes, thanks in part to the verses of Dante's Inferno, was born there. Here, once he ascended the papal throne in 1294, he suffered the humiliation of being captured in his palace by the men of Philip IV the Fair, King of France: hence the medieval iconography depicting him in the famous episode of the “slap of Anagni” as a testimony to the outrages and insults inflicted. But Anagni's fame is not only due to this historical event. It is the Cathedral and its frescoed vaults that amaze people, so much so that the frescoed crypt of San Magno is known as a “medieval Sistine chapel”. However, the medieval testimonies to Anagni do not end here; walking along the main street, Strada Vittorio Emanuele, you can see the mullioned windows and large two-arched loggia of Pope Boniface VIII's palace, dating back to the early 13th century. Its rooms, with large frescoed halls, and the Boniface Museum of Southern Lazio are open to visitors. Further on, the Town Hall is an austere 12th-century building with a 15th-century loggia. As you proceed, one of various medieval buildings is the Barekow House at no. 89, with a Viterbo loggia external staircase and a façade decorated by the 19th-century Swedish painter Albert von Barekow. From Piazza Cavour there is a beautiful view of the mountainous landscape.
Villages
Alatri

Alatri

Alatri virtually clings to the slopes of the Ernici mountains. It is an ancient town, founded by the Hernici people, who provided it with a mighty city wall between the 4th and 2nd centuries BC. This did not, however, prevent it from coming under the rule of Rome. The polygonal surrounding walls, about 2 km in extension, are composed of large stone blocks that have survived over time, tampered with in the Middle Ages but still retaining their original layout, with five gates. Porta San Francesco leads from the north to the historical centre, and the main street leads to the acropolis, itself surrounded by cyclopean walls, built in the 2nd century BC upon an older fortification. They are truly immense blocks that fit together perfectly and have remained standing for over two thousand years. It is accessed from Porta Maggiore, or Porta Civita, which is supported by a colossal monolithic lintel of more than five metres. From here you ascend to the green tree-lined square on which stands the cathedral, erected before the year 1000 with later 16th-century alterations and an 18th-century façade. During the Middle Ages, the acropolis was often used by the inhabitants of the town as a refuge, and it was later turned into a fortress. It was not until the 19th century that its restoration began, when the road around its perimeter was also opened. You can enjoy a beautiful panorama from the Civita Gardens over the historic centre below, the plains of Ciociaria and the Ernici mountains. The part of the centre within the city walls is medieval: thus, through narrow streets, alleys and stairways, you can reach Piazza Regina Margherita, on which three churches stand: the 14th-century church of San Francesco; the 13th-century church of Santa Maria Maggiore, of early Christian origin, which houses works of artistic value; and the church of Santa Maria degli Scolopi, in late Baroque style. Also of interest is Palazzo Gottifredo, a 13th-century tower house and site of the Civic Museum.
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