giovedì 24 luglio 2014

Arenzano, diving in the blue Ligurian Sea

Hello, my friends! Welcome to My Own Italy to discover Italy  with my personal touch!

Our travel today is to Liguria: let's go to the Bay of Arenzano, as its blue sea is the first welcome to everyone who overlooks the coast from Turchino pass, offering an ideal destination for leisure, sports and relaxation.


 
So today we are so in the land of beaches, of hidden corners in the countryside, of mountains and nature overlooking the sea, we are in a village rich in history and culture, typical shops and elegant boutiques, gourmet food and specialties of italian tradition in a blaze of flowers and colors!



The origins of Arenzano are linked to a Roman settlement in the early centuries after Christ.

After the high Middle Ages, Arenzano constituted a small autonomous community early attracted to the orbit of Genoa. The oldest economic activities that we know about are the navy and shipbuilding since the twelfth century with the construction of the Galee.




Around the middle ages Arenzano was divided into two parts: Arenzano "sottana" and Arenzano "soprana".
  Arenzano "Sottana" was the the lower part, between the sea and the hills.


On the "Sottana" they went up to the "soprana" represented by the area of Terralba.
The town took its name from Terra-Alba (white land) for the presence of deposits of tufa outcrops at a low depth.





Presently Arenzano is a residential center increasingly attracted into the town of Genoa, although the tourist activity continues to be very important, thanks to the abundance of accommodation facilities and also the presence, further other services, of a really pretty harbor!
  





Leisure with me, this is my tourism!

 
  

mercoledì 25 giugno 2014

Turin: the Park of La Mandria, residence for hunting and love

Welcome in My Own Italy, to discover Italy with my Personal Touch!
Today our travel is to Turin, and we'll  have a pleasant walk in the Park of La Mandria.
I'm sure that Piedmont will be able to surprise you with the elegance of the ancient royal aristocracy!

The Castle, situated in the Park of La mandria, was built during the creation of the Venaria Reale  for breeding thoroughbred horses.
  It was subsequently converted by king Vittorio Emanuele II for habitation, soon becoming his favourite place of residence.
 

Strongly connected to the various hunting activities of the sovereign, this estate was where the king could escape the rigours of court duties and pursue his multiple hobbies and express his great love towards his wife Rosa Vercellana, to whom the castle was destined.



The Royal Apartments, perfectly furnished and preserved, consist of 18 rooms with a cosy and family-like nature, which revealed the choices and tastes of the client.


To this historical building is now added the importance and value of the wildlife heritage of the park, that is the largest one in Italy surrounded by walls (the second in Europe) with hiking trails among ancient trees and delightful small architectural gems.


Since 1997 the Castle of Mandria, along with all the other residences of Savoy in Piedmont, a World Heritage Site (UNESCO). Park of La Mandria is a must-see destination in your holiday to visit the cities of art in Italy.

  




I personally wanted to take a ride in the carriage .... a truly unique experience!
 
Leisure with me, this is my tourism!

martedì 10 giugno 2014

Rimini: the imposing fortress of St. Leo and Valmarecchia

Hello, my friends! Welcome in My Own Italy to discover Italy with my personal touch!

Today our travel is to Emilia Romagna in province of Rimini: I'll let you to discover the impregnable fortress of San Leo, also linked to the legend of the famous and discussed alchemist Count Alessandro Cagliostro, who was kept prisoner here!




The Fortress of San Leo is situated on top of the rocky spire that overlooks the city and dominates the Valmarecchia.




The Fortress is the symbol of this ancient town and medieval village.


 This impregnable Fortress was considered of great importance since the Middle Ages because of its formidable strategic position: in fact, it stands on the highest point of the rock overlooking the Valmarecchia, surrounded by a series of steep vertical walls impassable by any side.




The Fortress is impressive and beautiful: you can breathe a magical and mysterious atmosphere, issued by the legend of the dark character of the Count Cagliostro, cunning and devious alchemist, who ended his day in its cells in 1795 after long years of imprisonment.




For this characteristic and also for the attractive location on the border of Monte Feltro, this Fortress was the subject of clashes and bloody fights between tribes and of the most important families in the history of Italy.


Even after the unification of Italy, the Fortress continued to fulfill its function as a prison until 1906.

From the square of the Fortress, as well as from the Towers, you can enjoy a unique landscape which offers, once again, a wonderful view of the hills of Emilia Romagna: this village is a must-see destination in your holiday in Italy.
 



Leisure me, this is my tourism!




 
 

mercoledì 28 maggio 2014

Turin: the Park of La Mandria, residence for hunting and love

 Welcome in My Own Italy, to discover Italy with my Personal Touch!
Today our travel is to Turin, and we'll  have a pleasant walk in the Park of La Mandria.
I'm sure that Piedmont will be able to surprise you with the elegance of the ancient royal aristocracy!

 The Castle, situated in the Park of La mandria, was built during the creation of the Venaria Reale for breeding thoroughbred horses.
   
It was subsequently converted by king Vittorio Emanuele II for habitation, soon becoming his favourite place of residence.

  

Strongly connected to the various hunting activities of the sovereign, this estate was where the king could escape the rigours of court duties and pursue his multiple hobbies and express his great love towards his wife Rosa Vercellana, to whom the castle was destined.


The Royal Apartments, perfectly furnished and preserved, consist of 18 rooms with a cosy and family-like nature, which revealed the choices and tastes of the client.



To this historical building is now added the importance and value of the wildlife heritage of the park, that is the largest one in Italy surrounded by walls (the second in Europe) with hiking trails among ancient trees and delightful small architectural gems.

Since 1997 the Castle of Mandria, along with all the other residences of Savoy in Piedmont, a World Heritage Site (UNESCO). Park of La Mandria is a must-see destination in your holiday to visit the cities of art in Italy
  I personally wanted to take a ride in the carriage .... a truly unique experience!
  
 



Leisure with me, this is my tourism!

lunedì 19 maggio 2014

Ravenna: the city of the stunning mosaics

My friends, welcome to My Own Italy to discover Italy with my personal touch!

Our travel today is to Emilia Romagna and we are going to visit the capital of the Western Roman EmpireRavenna, the imperial city, the Byzantium of the West, located a few kilometers from the Adriatic Sea!


Ravenna extends from the sea to the rolling hills of the Apennines and preserves the most beautiful and richest evidence of early Christian art

The gorgeous mosaics  are a must: they are the characteristic feature of this amazing city!





Ravenna, as mentioned, is the ancient city elected for three times as the capital: the Western Roman Empire before, the United goto then under Theodoric, and the last of the Byzantine Empire in Europe.
 




 

 
 The magnificence of that period has left a great heritage of monuments: the buildings that have been declared Unesco World Heritage are eight!

 In Ravenna there are the mortal remains of the poet Dante Alighieri,  whose tomb can be visited, and keeps alive the memory with important events.




The cultural offer of Ravenna is really rich and varied. I personally was blowled over by the Basilica of San Vitale and the adjacent Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, but I did not miss even the Basilica of St. Apollinare Nuovo!



Also I couldn't miss a visit to the historic city center in Ravenna, from Piazza San Francesco to Piazza del Popolo, passing through the ancient Chiostri of the Franciscans.

 In the end, in my holiday after visiting Ravenna, one of the Cities of Art nominated in 2019 as European Capital of Culture, I could not pass up the opportunity to taste the specialties of Romagna par excellence: the Piadina.

That's why, if you are looking for a place where to eat, my suggestion is this typical restaurant: Ca' de Vén!

Leisure with me, this is my tourism!

lunedì 5 maggio 2014

Lake Como: the surprising harmony of a unique landscape

Hello, my friends! Welcome to My Own Italy to discover Italy with my personal touch!

Today travel is to Lombardy and I suggest a hike truly suggestive and beautiful: let's go to Lake Como and relax in the enchanting garden of Villa d'Este!





The Lake Como is the third largest basin in northern Italy; it has three branches with a curious shape of inverted epsilon.

Ideally located in the center of the Alps, it is really appreciated by visitors from the North who see in it a glimpse of the Mediterranean among the mountains.

 
 A really surprising and fascinating landscape of innumerable shades: hues of blue and green waters, rocky peaks covered with snow or with forests, villages built of stone castled between lake and mountains, cities rich in history and culture.


If you like to enjoy an exciting and very charming walk, I suggest you visit the gardens of Villa d'Este: think that in the park surrounding the Villa there is one of the longest-running plane trees of Lombardy, 500+ years old!






The countless varieties of plants make it a real botanical garden: chestnut, magnolia, wisteria, laurels, agaves, palms, cypresses, pines, oaks and many other trees which are flanked by jasmine, azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, oleanders, rhododendrons and also daffodils, pansies, geraniums. In short, a riot of colors and scents for a really surprising landscape and harmonious!




If you wish to enjoy a drink in total relax, I suggest you sit in the gazebo and contemplate the calm waters of the lake: a truly unique experience!




My personal experience was a day of poetry: the one of a place a bit magic in which sometimes you have to dip, a must-see destination during your holiday in the italian lakes.






Leisure with me, this my tourism!


giovedì 3 aprile 2014

Emilia, along the River Panaro: the Vignola Fortress

Hello, my friends! Welcome in My Own Italy to discover Italy with my personal touch!

Today our travel is to Emilia Romagna and we're going to walk along the valley of the River Panaro, in the province of Modena: I suggest you to visit to the Vignola Fortress.





The Vignola Fortress is a military fortress that dominates the valley of the River Panaro.







The imposing structure of the Fortress is visible in the distance. It looks like a mighty quadrangle, the final product of many phases of construction, which have transformed it from Roccaforte to imposing noble mansion. 




  The name "Vignola" comes from the Latin "vineola", which means "little vine" and today the the grapevine appears in the banner of the city. Until the early years of the fifteenth century the building was used for military functions; in 1401 the noble of Ferrara Uguccione Contrari received the feud Vignola as a gift from the lord of Ferrara Nicolò III d'Este. 





During the two following decades the Fortress profoundly changed its function, becoming the sumptuous home richly frescoed of the Family Contrari, accustomed to the comforts and magnificence of the court of Ferrara. 


This dynasty died out in 1577, the Fortress passed to the Boncompagni, who entrusted the administration of the fief to a governor, visiting Vignola sporadically. The Fortress, built of limestone, commonly called "tuff" overlooking the river, is today on five floors, from the basement, where there are the rooms of Grassoni and Contrari, to the walkways.
Regarding the halls and their function, the ground floor is open to the those engaged public events and official moments of the court life: banquets, parties, music, theater, administration of justice.
 
 

The first floor was dedicated to the private apartments of the ladies and lords and to their guests. At the top level there are the rooms probably used as the servants' quarters and  troops stationed at the fortress, but also there were the service areas, so essential in a building of this size. 


During the nineteenth century the political and social institutions in Vignola have found their headquarters inside the building: The Town Hall, the Library, and the Cassa di Risparmio di Vignola, which acquired the property in 1965.



 
 
In the end, Vignola is a must-see destination for your holiday in Italy to discover the italian villages.


Leisure with me, this is my tourism!