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Explore the huge artistic and cultural heritage of Italy discovering its treasures. visit extraordinary churches, museums, and art galleries. From Renaissance masters to contemporary artists, some of the most beautiful art in the world can be seen in museums in Italy. Enjoy a getaway or holiday in the Made in Italy culture.  

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Art & Culture
Galleria Peggy Guggenheim

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice is located in a house on the Grand Canal where the American art dealer and collector lived after World War II, displaying one of the most important collections of 20th century European and American artists in Italy. A lover of avant-garde, Guggenheim acquired works by Cubists, Futurists, Surrealist Dadaists, American Modernists and Italian Abstract artists throughout her life. And today the Guggenheim Foundation carries on Peggy's dream in her extraordinary house-museum. What to see at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum The Peggy Guggenheim Collection (1898-1979) is located on the Grand Canal in Venice between the Accademia Bridge and the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, in the only single-storey white Istrian stone building, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. Left unfinished, Guggenheim bought the building after the war when she fell madly in love with Venice. The art dealer and collector lived in this mansion overflowing with works of art until her death in 1979: when she was still alive, she liked to open her house to the public to show her works once a week for free. Donated to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which also runs the eponymous museums in New York, Bilbao, and Abu Dhabi, today Peggy Guggenheim's collection enriched over time can be visited in the house-museum. It includes works by Constantin Brancusi, George Braques, Salvador Dali, Max Ernst (one of Guggenheim's husbands), Vassily Kandinsky, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock, among others. The creators of abstract art include the Italians Afro, Carla Accardi, Agostino Bonalumi, Pietro Consagra, Lucio Fontana, Giuseppe Santomaso, Toti Scialoja and Emilio Vedova. In addition to the permanent collection in the house-museum, various exhibitions of contemporary artists can also be visited. The Schulhof and Nasher Collections In 2012, the museum was enriched with 83 works from the collection donated by the American couple Hannelore and Rudolph Schulhof, including various 20th-century artists like Alberto Burri, Alexander Calder, Jasper Johns, Mark Rothko and Claes Oldenburg, in addition to Andy Warhol, Sol LeWitt and Anish Kapoor. A new building was purchased to accommodate the acquired works in 2016, now also home to introductory art activities for schools and families, as well as an international internship programme dedicated to young art enthusiasts. The garden instead displays sculptures from the Nasher Foundation permanent collection with pieces by Hans Arp, Alberto Giacometti, Piero Gilardi, Marino Marini, Luciano Minguzzi, Mirko, Henry Moore, Mimmo Paladino, Germaine Richier and Takis. The woman who bought a painting a day "My motto was Buy a painting a day and I followed it to the letter”. This was Peggy Guggenheim, the American heiress whose love of art was commensurate with her immense fortune inherited from her father Benjamin, a mining magnate who died in the sinking of the Titanic. Growing up in New York, she and her first husband frequented the Parisian art scene in the 1920s, befriending artists such as Brancusi and Duchamp. In 1938 she opened an art gallery in London (Guggenheim Jeune) where she showed Kandinsky's first solo exhibition in Great Britain and presented artists such as Tanguy, Cocteau and Kernn-Larsen. In those years she bought her first work, a sculpture by Hans Arp, and developed the idea of creating a museum of modern art in London, which the outbreak of war prohibited: in those difficult years, however, she managed to acquire a large number of important works. Back in New York, in 1942 Peggy opened the gallery-museum Art of this Century with the first core of her collection and exhibitions of emerging artists, such as the first solo show of Pollock, of whom she was a patron. She moved to Venice in 1947. The following year she exhibited her collection at the Biennale and in 1950 she brought Pollock to Europe for the first time, in an exhibition held in the Napoleon Wing of the Correr Museum in St Mark’s Square. As early as 1951 she began to open her house to the public, albeit occasionally, so that everyone could, like her, enjoy art. Guggenheim is buried in the garden of the Venetian house-museum, together with her dogs.
Art & Culture
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Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi: two temples for contemporary art

The building of the Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi of Venice form the exhibition centre for one of the five largest collections of contemporary art in the world, the Pinault Collection. Those who love art and architecture should not miss a visit to both spaces, restored by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. These museums do not display a real permanent collection but set up exhibitions with ever-changing works, while artists are invited to create on commission. Punta della Dogana The Punta della Dogana complex is a triangular-shaped building completed in 1682. It stands at the mouth of the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, in the centre of St Mark's Basin, in the place where the view of Venice is most spectacular: from the Punta there is a 360° panorama of Giudecca, the island of San Giorgio and its Palladian basilica, the Riva degli Schiavoni, the Doge's Palace, St Mark's Square, the Royal Gardens and Ca' Giustinian. The building served as the Venice Customs House until the 1980s. After twenty years of neglect, the Venice City Council decided to turn it into a centre for contemporary art: the Pinault Collection won the tender and in 2009 inaugurated the space returned to the city. The exhibition route starts at the Campo di Santa Maria della Salute and ends at the cusp of the building on which the Torre della Fortuna, with its golden sphere, rises. Along the way, you look out over both the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, as if from the sides of a ship. On the occasion of exhibitions, the Pinault Collection organises guided tours, but it is also possible to be guided through the building alone, with a final aperitif on the terrace. Palazzo Grassi Palazzo Grassi was the last palace built on the Grand Canal before the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797. Since 1951, it has been a space dedicated to art, first as an International Centre for the Arts and Costume, then as a venue for major exhibitions when it was purchased by Fiat in 1983 and renovated by architect Gae Aulenti. Finally, in 2005, the palace was bought by the French collector François Pinault. In this way he created the first of his museums to display, through the use of temporary exhibitions, his immense collection of works by contemporary authors from 1960 to the present day. In 2013, the Teatrino del Palazzo, which had been created in the 1960s in the palace garden, was also restored. Today, the Teatrino offers a rich programme of concerts, screenings, lectures and cultural events. Find out more www. palazzograssi.it
Art & Culture

Tomato Museum

From the Americas to Parma: a long journey at the Tomato Museum Close to Parma, in the agricultural heart of Emilia Romagna, is the Tomato Museum, the red gold of these lands. We are in Collecchio, where the story of a tomato now exported worldwide is told, from its cultivation to conservation. Conservation pioneers The secret of the Parma tomato's success lies in having quickly found a way to preserve a fresh, highly perishable product. This was thanks to innovative 19th-century agronomists who dared to experiment with new conservation techniques. The pioneers of the new industry were born in this time, and it was they who started real entrepreneurial dynasties. The real breakthrough came in 1922 with Stazione Sperimentale delle Conserve. Thanks to those innovations that have been continuously improved over time, more than a million tonnes of tomatoes are processed in the area and exported halfway around the world today. The tomato revolution Before tomatoes arrived from the New World, European tables had a different colour. In the Renaissance, food was still seasoned with brown sauces. Then something yellow appeared on ships returning from the Americas: this was the colour of the first tomatoes to reach the Old Continent. In Italy, tomatoes began to be used around 1600. A Tuscan recipe dates back to 1705, which cooked vegetables in peeled red tomatoes, cut into pieces and sauteed in oil. This was how it all started. As tomatoes grew more and more popular, people began to think about the best way to store them throughout the year and transport them even over great distances. Thus preserved tomato purée was created. The journey of the tomato: from field to table There are seven stages in the processing of tomatoes for state-of-the-art tomato purées, all of which are illustrated along the itinerary of the museum located in Corte di Giarola, in an ancient agro-processing centre of the Middle Ages. The stages are sorting and cleaning, washing, blanching, sieving or pressing, pasteurisation, packaging. Whether prepared at home or industrially, the process does not change, thus the tomato remains delicious. Make sure to stop in the last part of the museum tour that illustrates the culture around tomatoes with advertisements, sculptures, paintings and... recipes! La Corte di Giarola and surroundings Thanks to its location on one of the fords of the Taro River and along the Via Francigena, Corte di Giarola was already an important place in medieval times. A women's monastery dedicated to St Paul stood here, around which a church, stables, cowsheds, a mill, a dairy and homes were built over time. All protected by strong walls. Don't miss the parish church of San Prospero, which dates back to the 11th century. It preserves zoomorphic capitals and terracotta decorations. The 19th-century Villa Nevicati, surrounded by a park with centuries-old trees, is also worth a visit. In the mood for nature? Then enjoy a walk among the trees and ponds of Boschi di Carrega Park, the former hunting reserve first of the Farnese family and then the Bourbons.
Art & Culture

Parmigiano Reggiano Museum

The Parmigiano Reggiano Museum in Soragna: a break full of history and taste In one of the four Food Museums in the Parma area, you’ll learn everything there is to know about one of the most beloved and imitated typical Italian products: the Parmigiano Reggiano Museum is in Soragna, in an old cheese factory, where a journey into the taste and tradition of Parmesan cheese awaits you. A cheese factory in a castle The location is already special, because it’s located in the shadows of Meli-Lupi di Soragna Castle, a lineage of Lombard origin that still inhabits it. A stone’s throw away is the village square, surrounded by a green area dotted with other castles. A fairy-tale scenario. The 18th-century complex that houses the museum is called Castellazzi. It includes a farmhouse with a cross-vaulted barn, an old barn and, of course, the cheese factory with its distinctive round shape. It’s surrounded by other small, rustic buildings and feels like entering another time. The oldest part of the dairy dates back to 1848. The museum tells the story of Parmesan cheese production through 120 objects from the 1800s to the first half of the 1900s, as well as period photographs and drawings showing how the processing and maturing techniques evolved. The ancient copper boiler, the heart of the dairy, lies in the centre. don't forget to taste the cheese in the tasting area at the end of the tour! The Parmesan cheese appreciated by Boccaccio As early as 1344, Giovanni Boccaccio mentions Parmesan cheese for seasoning ravioli and macaroni in his Decameron. But the history of Parmesan dates back to more than a century earlier, when the Cistercian and Benedictine monasteries were mainly responsible for cheese production in the area. It has never stopped being produced since. The technologies available have changed, but not the tradition. It is still made by cheesemaker's hands, only with milk from cows with a very careful diet, to which whey and rennet are added: nothing else! However, the resulting cheese is not ready just yet, as the last ingredient is time: it will rest for 24 months before arriving on the table. A stroll in Soragna Soragna has many stories to tell. Its roots go back to the Neolithic period, pass through the Longobards and throughout the Middle Ages. In 1700 it even became a Principality of the Holy Roman Empire. Start your visit at the Rocca di Soragna surrounded by an English-style garden. Splendid frescoed rooms with original Baroque furnishings can be found inside. Then lose yourself among the narrow streets of the village. Sights: the Church of the Blessed Virgin of Carmine with its Carmelite convent from the 1600s, the Oratory of St Anthony of Padua, the Shrine of the Holy Family and the elegant neoclassical synagogue. Soragna has had a rich Jewish community since the 16th century. The Taro Bridge The hamlet of Taro Bridge lies in the verdant setting of the Taro River Park. The main attraction is the large monumental bridge. The first crossing had already been built here by the Romans. Destroyed several times, it was rebuilt in 1170 and again in 1235 when an exceptional flood took it away. The current one dates back to 1816 and was commissioned by Duchess Maria Luisa of Habsburg-Lorraine.
Art & Culture

Parma Ham Museum

Taste tradition at the Parma Ham Museum Welcome to Langhirano, the cured ham district: in fact, it’s not only home to the Parma Ham Museum, but also a festival dedicated to this delicacy produced between the Po River and the Apennines. The museum is located in the former Foro Boario and is well worth a visit, also to discover the other cured meats produced in the area, including culatello di Zibello and spalla di San Secondo. With tasting included, of course! The art of the “lardaroli” Cured meats have been made in Parma since the Middle Ages, when lardaroli, or lard-makers, began to specialise here, handing down a much older tradition from generation to generation: the Romans already produced exquisite salted hams in the 2nd century BC. That tradition, spoken of by Latin authors such as Horace and Plautus, was consolidated over time. Parma ham is already referred to in a cookbook from the 1300s. Then it is found in a 16th-century wedding menu, among Tassoni's poems and even among the dietary advice of a 16th-century Bolognese doctor. Today, the artisan processing has been complemented by more modern technologies that have improved hygienic conditions without affecting taste. Or tradition: salter maestros prepare the legs for curing, which lasts at least 12 months. At the end of which only the hams that pass strict controls are branded with the five-pointed ducal crown. Learning about ham at Foro Boario The museum is located between the historic centre of Langhirano and the Parma stream, on an area taken from the river in the early 1900s to protect the town from flooding. The Slaughterhouse and the Foro Boario, rural architecture originally intended for the sale of livestock, date back to that period. The itinerary includes eight stops, in as many sections in the museum. First learn about the territory and pig breeds, then salt, which is indispensable for preserving cured meats. Step by step, you’ll discover all the secrets of Parma ham, from its production to its use in the kitchen. Finish with the inevitable tasting in the museum's prosciutteria. In Langhirano and surroundings Langhirano is located on the green slopes of the Parma Apennines and the festival dedicated to Parma ham is held here the first two weekends of September. The historical salumifici were located along the stream to better utilise the area’s fresh air for curing hams. They are still here, although no longer in use. The Town Hall is also worth a visit, built in the 13th century and remodelled in the 1600s. A few kilometres from the village on the opposite bank of the stream, you’ll find the Badia Cavana founded on a hill in 1111, a very important abbey. Its jewel is the small Romanesque church dedicated to St Michael. A little further away you’ll come across the Torrechiara Castle, dating back to the 15th century. If you feel like taking a stroll, enjoy the Torrechiara Art Trail connecting the castle to Langhirano, running along the San Michele canal through woods, fields and vineyards of the ancient Torcularia, the medieval name for Torrechiara.