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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
Chiostro del Bramante, Rome.

Chiostro del Bramante

Commissioned by Cardinal Oliviero Carafa around 1500, the Chiostro del Bramante is a linear and elegant construction by Donato Bramante. The artist moved from Milan to Rome, where he became the first architect of Pope Julius II and Michelangelo's great rival. The building is part of the complex which also includes the adjacent Church of Santa Maria della Pace. The stylistically different elements are harmoniously integrated into the Renaissance architecture, that takes inspiration from Greek and Roman aesthetics. Built on a square plan, the Chiostro comprises two superimposed orders: the first is a spacious portico with four arches on each side, featuring Ionic columns with capitals and bases and a vaulted ceiling; the second, an upper open gallery in a composite style, with alternating Corinthian pilasters and columns supporting an architrave and a flat ceiling. The Chiostro del Bramante has now become a multifaceted reality, through the organization of numerous cultural activities such as conferences, seminars, book presentations, concerts, theatrical performances. Since 2010, the Chiostro has created a series of initiatives that want to recreate what was its original function: a place for the spirit, therefore yoga and meditation courses. The "Children's Academy", born in 2011, is the dedicated space where kids experiment their skills, between books, colours and improvisations, by playing, learning to know each other and to relate to others and to space. Each time, there are different activities based on surprise, curiosity and discovery to bring out emotions in freedom and look at reality with new eyes. Since 1996, all the activities of the museum and multipurpose space of the Chiostro del Bramante have been managed by DART Chiostro del Bramante.
Art & Culture

Pirelli HangarBicocca

Pirelli Hangar Bicocca: a cathedral of contemporary art If you want to enjoy a day of art and culture, a visit to Pirelli Hangar Bicocca is for you. Just a stone's throw from the centre of Milan and located in an industrial building that was once the site of a factory for the manufacture of locomotives, the non-profit foundation was established in 2004 and was created by Pirelli. With its 15,000 square metres of space, it includes an area dedicated to public services and educational activities, and three first-class contemporary art exhibition spaces characterised by the visible presence of the original architectural elements from the last century: the Hangar, the Naves, and the Cube. In this decidedly fascinating place, there is a strong link between the past and the present. The industrial and original character of the building has been maintained both outside and inside, where the original rough concrete floors and high industrial ceilings of the period have been preserved. Among the artists that Pirelli Hangar Bicocca has hosted, and is hosting, are the likes of Marina Abramović, Carsten Höller, Alfredo Jaar, Joan Jonas, Mike Kelley, Matt Mullican, Philippe Parreno, Laure Prouvost, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Maurizio Cattelan and Lucio Fontana. In the area where the Naves are located, in addition to the temporary exhibitions, is the spectacular permanent work by the renowned German artist Anselm Kiefer, The Seven Heavenly Palaces. These are seven large reinforced concrete towers and, although the installation lends itself to different readings, these may symbolically refer to the spiritual initiation path of those who wish to approach God according to Jewish culture. They each weigh 90 tonnes and their heights vary between 13 and 19 metres. Another permanent installation worth mentioning is Fausto Melotti's La Sequenza. Located in the gardens of Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, it is a monumental work, 22 metres long and 7 metres high, consisting of a series of vertical iron plates positioned at three different depth levels, with alternating solids and voids. La Sequenza represents a theme very dear to Melotti: that of theatre and its modular dimensions, the idea of the theme and musical variations. Around the large entrance that gives access to the exhibition spaces there are several areas: the Kids' Room, designed for events and workshops for children and families, a Reading Room, a Bookshop and a Bistrot.
Art & Culture

Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale, where world art has its home Among the most prestigious art institutions in the world, the Venice Biennale has been bringing an International Exhibition of Contemporary Art to the Lagoon for more than a century, the first dating back to the late 19th century. Over the years, exhibitions and festivals of music, cinema, theatre and architecture have been alternated. The level and quality of its events make Venice one of the world capital of creativity. The Bienniale in Art and Architecture The Biennale in Art and the Biennale in Architecture take place in alternate years from April/May until November. Both exhibitions are divided into three areas: the International Exhibition, curated by the Director, appointed for each edition, the Exhibitions at the National Pavilions, set up by the curator appointed by the Pavilion Commissioner, and the side events, approved by the curator. There is no sestiere [Venetian district] in Venice that is not in some way involved in the numerous encounters at the Biennale. The first International Art Exhibition of 1895 was held in the Art Nouveau-style Palazzo delle Esposizioni in the Gardens of Venice. Given the success of the initiative, it was necessary to create additional exhibition spaces. The National Pavilions were created in 1907, now numbering 29 in total. Not to be missed at the Giardini is the optical café designed by German artist Tobias Rehberger, which won him the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 2009 Art Biennale. The heart of the exhibitions has for some decades been in the spaces of the Arsenale, first used in 1981 for the Biennale of Architecture directed by Paolo Portoghesi. The Arsenal was the Venetian shipyard where the ships with which the Venetians dominated the Mediterranean trade for centuries were built and launched. An extraordinary space of industrial archaeology open for visits (the northern part) even when there are no Biennale exhibitions. Cinema, theatre, music and dance The Venice International Film Festival takes place on the Venice Lido. The first edition dates back to 1932 and within a few years it became the social event par excellence in Venice, attended by international film stars. With screenings, presentations and meetings with actors and directors, the Festival is a paradise for film buffs, guests of the great hall of the Palazzo del Cinemathe new Sala Giardino or the other halls, not far from the mythical beach of the Lido in front of theHotel Excelsior. There are also festivals dedicated to music, dance and theatre, all of which have an international appeal. The Biennale venue The institutional headquarters of the Biennale is located in Ca' Giustinian, a late-Gothic palace from 1471 overlooking St Mark's Basin, which can be visited on request. The Portego on the ground floor is a space for exhibitions of a historical-retrospective nature, set up with materials from the Biennale's Historical Archives of Contemporary Arts. There is also a Children's Space on the ground floor, where younger visitors can play, leaf through picture books or engage in creative activities. For coffee or lunch with a view of the Punta della Dogana and the island of San Giorgio, know that Ca' Giustinian has a café-restaurant with a terrace on the Grand Canal. Read more:
Art & Culture

Aragonese Castle of Ortona

The Aragonese Castle of Ortona: a manor house overlooking the sea Its spectacular location overlooking the sea gives it much of its charm. The Aragonese Castle of Ortona, in the province of Chieti, softly overlooks the shores of the Adriatic Sea, facing the long Costa dei Trabocchi, with its imposing architecture. An unmissable journey through 15th-century history linked to the Aragonese domination of the Abruzzo region. Restored after a period of decay The marvellous fortress, as we know it today, dates back to the period between 1450 and 1470, when it was transformed from earlier mediaeval buildings. It was supposed to protect Ortona from the Aragonese assault, but failed. The quadrangular shape in full Renaissance style was chosen by Alfonso of Aragon, who wanted to rebuild the fortress overhanging the sea and make it more strategic in order to protect the town's harbour. Ortona passed into the hands of Margaret of Austria in 1582, who bought it for 54,000 ducats to convert it into a modern, economically flourishing town. Building innovation concentrated on the built-up area, leaving the Aragonese stronghold almost intact. The village was run by local administrations that took little interest in the castle's fate, condemning it to a long period of decay. Further damage to its structure occurred in the 20th century: it was hit by bombing in 1943 and by a landslide in 1946. Today it has regained its splendour thanks to careful restoration work undertaken in the 2000s. A history enlivened by a dark legend It is impossible to tell the story of Ortona's Aragonese Castle without mentioning the so-called “Legend of the Return”. The story goes that a rich merchant was received at the king's court, met his beautiful daughter, and fell madly in love with her. The king did not wish to give his daughter's hand in marriage to a sea dog. He therefore promised the merchant to grant him permission to marry his daughter only if he brought him something unique and remarkable as a gift. Several months passed and there was no sign of the merchant. The princess could not rest until the stormy sea, moved by compassion, led her back to her beloved at the bottom of the sea. In the morning, fruits that had never been seen before appeared on the beach in Ortona. Green and round, they were called monkey brains or Osage oranges. They were an extraordinary gift for the king. Still today, near the castle, fishermen swear they can hear the wails of the princess on stormy nights. During the Second World War, Ortona was renamed by Winston Churchill as the Stalingrad of Italy: crossed by the Gustav Line, the fortification that divided the peninsula in two, with the Nazi-Fascists to the north and the Anglo-Americans to the south, it was attacked and bombed for about six months. Antique furnishings, museums and evocative routes A visit to the Aragonese manor of Ortona holds its own charm: in one of its towers you can visit a small but delightful museum with period pictures and furnishings that belonged to the noble families who lived there over the centuries. Cyclists and hiking enthusiasts can enjoy a convenient route that leads from the castle to the cycle path along the Ortona coastline.