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Italy

Craco, an Italian Ghost Town

 Posted by Christophe Le Corre
Christophe Le Corre
, October 27, 2013 at 09:20:08 :: Italy

Craco, landscapeCraco (Cracum / Graculum in Latin) is an abandoned medieval village, perched 400 metres above the Cavone Valley in the Region of Basilicata in southern Italy. The village is sitting on a hilltop overlooking a river valley with wonderful scenery. Throughout the area are many unique vegetation-less mounds formed by intensive erosion that are called “calanchi”.

The town of Craco can trace its origin back over a millennium and a half when its magnificent Norman tower was erected.

Craco has been abandoned since 1963. The last of its 1,800 inhabitants left hurriedly after a series of earthquakes, and between 1959 and 1972, portions of the village were severely damaged and rendered uninhabitable by a series of landslides. The slope instability continues to threaten the preservation of its history and architectural wonder.

It’s possible to walk up to the Castle’s tower on the summit of the village. Other places of interest include Palazzo Grossi near the big church, Palazzo Simonetti, Palazzo Carbone situated on the Rigirones property, Palazzo Madonna near the tower, Parochial of San Nicola, San Pietro Church and Convent.

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Christ of the Abyss at San Fruttuoso, Italy

 Posted by Germain Laroche
Germain Laroche
, September 02, 2013 at 11:13:10 :: Italy

Christ of the Abyss (Italian: "Il Cristo degli Abissi") is a submerged bronze statue of Jesus placed on August 22, 1954 at approximately 17 metres depth on the bottom of the bay of San Fruttuoso, between Camogli and Portofino inside Portofino's Protected Natural Marine Area.

The 2.5 metres tall Christ’s statue was created by Guido Galletti after an idea of Italian diver Duilio Marcante.

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Lake Como, Italy

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 03, 2011 at 16:23:52 :: Italy

Lake Como (Lago di Como in Italian, also known as Lario; Lach de Comm in Insubric; Latin: Larius Lacus) is a lake of glacial origin in Lombardy, Italy. It has an area of 146 km², making it the third largest lake in Italy, after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. At over 400 m (1320 ft) deep it is one of the deepest lakes in Europe and the bottom of the lake is more than 200 metres (656 ft) below sea-level.

Como lake - Point of view from the top of Corni di Canzo (en: Canzo's Horns). Down the blue of Lario lake. Prealpi range, Italy.


Lake Como has been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times, and a very popular tourist attraction with many artistic and cultural gems. It has many villas and palaces (such as Villa Olmo, Villa Serbelloni and Villa Carlotta). Currently, many celebrities have or had homes on the shores of Lake Como, such as Matthew Bellamy, Madonna, George Clooney, Gianni Versace, Ronaldinho, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Branson, and Ben Spies. Lake Como is widely regarded as being one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy.

Stories and Legends about Lake Como

- The fascist dictator Mussolini and his mistress Claretta Petacci were captured in Dongo and later shot in nearby Mezzegra in 1945 while attempting to flee to Switzerland.

- Franz Liszt wrote his famous Dante Symphony while sitting under a canopy with monuments to Dante and Beatrice in Villa Melzi's lush garden.

- Mandello del Lario hosted Lake Como's very first town hall during the unification of Italy in the 19th century.

- One of the first owners of a villa in Lake Como was Pliny the Elder from Roman times. He was able to fish in the lake directly from his window.

- Malaria was once rampant all over Lake Como and residents sought refuge up in the mountains.

- Lezzeno was once a haven for witches. Legend says that old and ugly women from Lezzeno had cast a spell on the handsome young men from Lenno across the lake causing them to endlessly burn with desire.

- The people of Sala Comacina are called "mules" after a fisherman who had raised up a drowned mule into the town's bell-tower. This was apparently due to a deal the fisherman had made earlier with Saint Albino, who promised to save his drowning child if he would load the contents of his net from the tower.

- A poetic legend claims that Hail Mary had washed the clothes of the baby Jesus in the Fiumelatte river near Varenna.

Houses/villas along the cliffs bordering Lake Como in Italy, Lombardy region


Famous Quotes about Lake Como

"When you write the story of two happy lovers, let the story be set on the banks of Lake Como."

Franz Liszt

"I should be happy to see you in my little nutshell, which is pretty and comfortable and my gardens are charmant."

Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales

"For those lucky enough to have indulged in Luciano Parolari's repasts, these edible souvenirs evoke the fondest and tastiest memories of their stays."

Alexandra Mayes Birnbaum

"The Italians are so delightfully shameless when it comes to putting on a show."

Tim Parks

"...And then there are all those wonderful theme evenings where special meals are served to complement the event."

Jean Govoni Salvadore

"The precise location of heaven on earth has never been established but it may very well be right here."

Herb Caen

"This lake exceeds anything I ever beheld in beauty."

Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Fountains and Gardens descend at its edge."

Olivier Barrot

(Sources: Wikipedia and comoguide.com)

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Sassolungo, Dolomites

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 05, 2011 at 12:56:40 :: Italy

Sassolungo, also known as Langkofel in German or Saslonch in Latin, is a mountain range of the Dolomites located between Val Gardena, Val di Fassa, Sella group and Catinaccio and allocated in a circular arc, opened towards north west. Due to this allocation, the Sassolungo group forms kind of “inner yard”. However, this mountain group originated about 230 million years ago.

The Odle massif, one of the finest hiking trail in Europe, Dolomites, Italy


The Sassolungo Group consists of - in clockwise direction - Sassolungo (3,181 m), Cinquedita (2,996 m), Punta Grohmann (or Sasso di Levante, 3,126 m), Innerkoflerturm, Dente, and the characteristic Sasso Piatto (2,969 m). Particularly the Sassolungo and Sasso Piatto are perfect for climbing and moutain tours and can also be surrounded on foot. The highest peak of this mountain group is the Sassolungo.

Famous is not only the mountain range itself, but also the “Città dei Sassi” (city of stones) at the foot of the Sassolungo Group, which is characterised by a rich flora and fauna.

The main peak, Sassolungo, was reached for the first time on August 13, 1869 by Paul Grohmann (From Vienna, Australia) and his 2 guides Franz Innerkofler and Peter Salcher. All previous attemps to reach the summit had failed.

Rosengarten (it. Catinaccio) massif in the Dolomites of northern Italy


Sassolungo is a famous hiking destination.

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In The News

Christmas goes global - Rome, Italy

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, December 18, 2010 at 04:51:12

Maderno's façade of St. Peter's Basilica, Papal Basilica of Saint Peter located within the Vatican City, in Rome ItalyAs the soul of Christianity, Rome is crucial to the Christmas tradition, for this is where the celebration originated. The first Christmas mass was said at the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and the oldest known nativity scene was created there for the Rome Jubilee in 1300 AD. Below the altar is a reliquary believed to hold pieces of the baby Jesus's actual crib. When the church bells are rung at midnight on Christmas Eve, it signifies the start of the messiah's birthday.

Rome's Vatican City is the focal point of the Roman Catholic Church. Each year, a huge Christmas tree is erected in St Peter's Square and a life-size nativity scene is unveiled there on Christmas Eve. Thousands flock to the square for the Pope's midnight mass inside St Peter's Basilica, shown in the square on mammoth TV screens, and for his message at noon on Christmas Day, given from the window of his apartment above the square.

Lake Como, Italy

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 05, 2009 at 17:58:58

View of Lake Como (Lago di Como), lake of glacial origin in Lombardy, ItalyLake Como (Italian: Lago di Como) is a lake of glacial origin in Lombardy, Italy. It has been one of Italy's most famous natural landmarks since the days of the Roman Empire. Situated among the majestic mountains near Milan and the border of Switzerland, it's popular with local weekenders and international tourists alike.

As well as fresh air and peaceful scenery, people come to Lake Como to follow cycle paths along its idyllic banks, hike on its nearby peaks, swim and sail in its vast clear waters, and relax in historic and lake-side resorts such as Varenna and Bellagio, as well as the main town of Como itself with its magnificent duomo (cathedral).

Some 50km long and extremely deep (over 400 m, it is one of the deepest lakes in Europe), Lake Como, feed in large part by the Adda River, is shaped like a slender inverted character "Y" with its southern end forking into two long "legs", with picturesque Bellagio nestled in between.

Ferry services link lake-side towns and villages, and are a great way to explore land and water at the same time. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit with bright sunshine, fine weather and fantastic views.

Lake Como (Italian: Lago di Como), Lombardy, ItalyLake Como is well-known for the attractive villas which have been built here since Pliny the Younger constructed the Comedia and the Tragedia:
- The Villa Carlotta was built for the Milanese marchese Giorgio Clerici in 1690 and occupies a site of over 70,000 m2 at Tremezzo, facing the Bellagio peninsula.
- The Villa d'Este, at Cernobbio, was built in 1568 by Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio.
- The Villa del Balbianello, built in 1787, famous for its elaborate terraced gardens, lies on a promontory of the western shore of the lake near Isola Comacina.
- The Villa Melzi, at Bellagio was built in the neo-classical style by the architect Giocondo Albertolli in 1808–10 as the summer residence of Francesco Melzi who had been vice-president of the Napoleonic Italian Republic.
- The Villa Serbelloni, also at Bellagio, houses the Bellagio Study and Conference Center, a residential center set up and managed by the Rockefeller Foundation since 1959, which operates a 'scholar-in-residence' program for scholars from around the world.

Italy trip

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 01, 2006 at 09:56:37

Grand Canal Mouth, VenicePhoto of the week:
Mouth of the Grand Canal and view of Venice (Italian: Venezia Venetian: Venexia), capital of the region of Veneto and the province of Veneto, Italy

Piazza San Marco, St Mark SquareEurope - Italy - Venice - Grand Canal


We've just uploaded photos of Italy. Many Italian cities have been covered. Please, visit Rome and its Colosseum, Venice and the Plaza de San Marco, Milan and its cathedral, Florence and many other places.

UNESCO World Heritage

Italy, City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 22, 2014 at 16:15:51

Location Provinces of Padua, Rovigo, Treviso, Venice, Verona and Vicenza, Veneto Region, Italy
Coordinates N45 32 57 E11 32 58
Property 334 ha
Date of Inscription 1994

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/712 )

Founded in the 2nd century B.C. in northern Italy, Vicenza prospered under Venetian rule from the early 15th to the end of the 18th century. The work of Andrea Palladio (1508–80), based on a detailed study of classical Roman architecture, gives the city its unique appearance. Palladio's urban buildings, as well as his villas, scattered throughout the Veneto region, had a decisive influence on the development of architecture. His work inspired a distinct architectural style known as Palladian, which spread to England and other European countries, and also to North America.

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Vicenza Cathedral Villa Gazzotti Grimani, Bertesina

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Italy, The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 19, 2014 at 15:06:11

Location City and Province of Matera, Region of Basilicata, Italy
Coordinates N40 39 59 E16 36 37
Property 1,016 ha
Date of Inscription 1993

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/670 )

This is the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region, perfectly adapted to its terrain and ecosystem. The first inhabited zone dates from the Palaeolithic, while later settlements illustrate a number of significant stages in human history. Matera is in the southern region of Basilicata.

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Sassi di Matera Church of St. Pietro Caveoso, Matera

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Italy, Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 18, 2014 at 14:56:25

Location Province of Milano, Lombardy, Italy
Coordinates N45 27 57.2 E9 10 13.8
Property 1.50 ha
Date of Inscription 1980

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/93 )

The refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie forms an integral part of this architectural complex, begun in Milan in 1463 and reworked at the end of the 15th century by Bramante. On the north wall is The Last Supper, the unrivalled masterpiece painted between 1495 and 1497 by Leonardo da Vinci, whose work was to herald a new era in the history of art.

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Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

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Italy, Rock Drawings in Valcamonica

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 18, 2014 at 10:54:50

Location Province of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy
Coordinates N45 57 25.4 E10 17 50.4
Property 432 ha
Date of Inscription 1979

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/94 )

Valcamonica, situated in the Lombardy plain, has one of the world's greatest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs – more than 140,000 symbols and figures carved in the rock over a period of 8,000 years and depicting themes connected with agriculture, navigation, war and magic.

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Camunian rose, Rock Drawings in Valcamonica Parco archeologico di Asinino-Anvòia

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Italy, Switzerland, Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 24, 2014 at 05:25:59

Location Switzerland, Italy
Coordinates N46 29 54 E9 50 47
Property 152 ha
Date of Inscription 2008

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1276 )

Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes, brings together two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps through two passes. Opened in 1904, the Albula line in the north western part of the property is 67 km long. It features an impressive set of structures including 42 tunnels and covered galleries and 144 viaducts and bridges. The 61 km Bernina pass line features 13 tunnels and galleries and 52 viaducts and bridges. The property is exemplary of the use of the railway to overcome the isolation of settlements in the Central Alps early in the 20th century, with a major and lasting socio-economic impact on life in the mountains. It constitutes an outstanding technical, architectural and environmental ensemble and embodies architectural and civil engineering achievements, in harmony with the landscapes through which they pass.

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Bernina Pass Brusio spiral viaduct Albula Railway

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Italy, Switzerland, Monte San Giorgio

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 24, 2014 at 03:54:00

Location between the south of canton Ticino in Switzerland and the region of Lombardy in Italy
Coordinates N45 53 20 E8 54 50
Property 1,089 ha
Date of Inscription 2003

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1090 )

The pyramid-shaped, wooded mountain of Monte San Giorgio beside Lake Lugano is regarded as the best fossil record of marine life from the Triassic Period (245–230 million years ago). The sequence records life in a tropical lagoon environment, sheltered and partially separated from the open sea by an offshore reef. Diverse marine life flourished within this lagoon, including reptiles, fish, bivalves, ammonites, echinoderms and crustaceans. Because the lagoon was near land, the remains also include land-based fossils of reptiles, insects and plants, resulting in an extremely rich source of fossils.

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Monte San Giorgio

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Italy, Residences of the Royal House of Savoy

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, August 27, 2012 at 05:05:18

Location Province of Torino, Piedmont Region, Italy
Coordinates N45 4 21.108 E7 41 8.592
Property 371 ha
Date of Inscription 1997

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/823 )

When Emmanuel-Philibert, Duke of Savoy, moved his capital to Turin in 1562, he began a vast series of building projects (continued by his successors) to demonstrate the power of the ruling house. This outstanding complex of buildings, designed and embellished by the leading architects and artists of the time, radiates out into the surrounding countryside from the Royal Palace in the 'Command Area' of Turin to include many country residences and hunting lodges.

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Royal Palace of Turin

Italy, Val d'Orcia

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 03, 2012 at 17:13:55

Location Province of Siena, Tuscany, Italy
Coordinates N43 4 0 E11 33 0
Property 61,188 ha
Date of Inscription 2004

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1026 )

The landscape of Val d’Orcia is part of the agricultural hinterland of Siena, redrawn and developed when it was integrated in the territory of the city-state in the 14th and 15th centuries to reflect an idealized model of good governance and to create an aesthetically pleasing picture. The landscape’s distinctive aesthetics, flat chalk plains out of which rise almost conical hills with fortified settlements on top, inspired many artists. Their images have come to exemplify the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes. The inscription covers: an agrarian and pastoral landscape reflecting innovative land-management systems; towns and villages; farmhouses; and the Roman Via Francigena and its associated abbeys, inns, shrines, bridges, etc.

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Val d'Orcia

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Italy, Su Nuraxi di Barumini

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 03, 2012 at 16:09:06

Location Province of Medio Campidano, Sardinia, Italy
Coordinates N39 42 21 E8 59 29
Property 2.33 ha
Date of Inscription 1997

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/833 )

During the late 2nd millennium B.C. in the Bronze Age, a special type of defensive structure known as nuraghi (for which no parallel exists anywhere else in the world) developed on the island of Sardinia. The complex consists of circular defensive towers in the form of truncated cones built of dressed stone, with corbel-vaulted internal chambers. The complex at Barumini, which was extended and reinforced in the first half of the 1st millennium under Carthaginian pressure, is the finest and most complete example of this remarkable form of prehistoric architecture.

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Su Nuraxi di Barumini

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Italy, Historic Centre of San Gimignano

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 03, 2012 at 15:33:03

Location Province of Siena, Tuscany, Italy
Coordinates N43 28 5.016 E11 2 30.012
Property 14 ha
Date of Inscription 1990

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/550 )

'San Gimignano delle belle Torri' is in Tuscany, 56 km south of Florence. It served as an important relay point for pilgrims travelling to or from Rome on the Via Francigena. The patrician families who controlled the town built around 72 tower-houses (some as high as 50 m) as symbols of their wealth and power. Although only 14 have survived, San Gimignano has retained its feudal atmosphere and appearance. The town also has several masterpieces of 14th- and 15th-century Italian art.

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San Gimignano Walking street, San Gimignano

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Italy, Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 03, 2012 at 15:17:32

Location Regions of Lombardy and Piedmont, Italy
Coordinates N45 58 28.4 E9 10 10.4
Property 91 ha
Date of Inscription 2003

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1068 )

The nine Sacri Monti (Sacred Mountains) of northern Italy are groups of chapels and other architectural features created in the late 16th and 17th centuries and dedicated to different aspects of the Christian faith. In addition to their symbolic spiritual meaning, they are of great beauty by virtue of the skill with which they have been integrated into the surrounding natural landscape of hills, forests and lakes. They also house much important artistic material in the form of wall paintings and statuary.

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Sacro Monte di Domodossola

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Italy, Historic Centre of the City of Pienza

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 03, 2012 at 14:44:32

Location Province of Siena, Tuscany, Italy
Coordinates N43 4 37 E11 40 43
Property 4.41 ha
Date of Inscription 1996

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/789 )

It was in this Tuscan town that Renaissance town-planning concepts were first put into practice after Pope Pius II decided, in 1459, to transform the look of his birthplace. He chose the architect Bernardo Rossellino, who applied the principles of his mentor, Leon Battista Alberti. This new vision of urban space was realized in the superb square known as Piazza Pio II and the buildings around it: the Piccolomini Palace, the Borgia Palace and the cathedral with its pure Renaissance exterior and an interior in the late Gothic style of south German churches.

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Pieve di Corsignano, Pienza

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Italy, Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 03, 2012 at 08:24:38

Location City and Province of Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
Coordinates N37 3 33.984 E15 17 35.016
Property 898 ha
Date of Inscription 2005

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1200 )

The site consists of two separate elements, containing outstanding vestiges dating back to Greek and Roman times: The Necropolis of Pantalica contains over 5,000 tombs cut into the rock near open stone quarries, most of them dating from the 13th to 7th centuries BC. Vestiges of the Byzantine era also remain in the area, notably the foundations of the Anaktoron (Prince’s Palace). The other part of the property, Ancient Syracuse, includes the nucleus of the city’s foundation as Ortygia by Greeks from Corinth in the 8th century BC. The site of the city, which Cicero described as ‘the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of all’, retains vestiges such as the Temple of Athena (5th century BC, later transformed to serve as a cathedral), a Greek theatre, a Roman amphitheatre, a fort and more. Many remains bear witness to the troubled history of Sicily, from the Byzantines to the Bourbons, interspersed with the Arabo-Muslims, the Normans, Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen dynasty (1197–1250), the Aragons and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Historic Syracuse offers a unique testimony to the development of Mediterranean civilization over three millennia.

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Necropolis of Pantalica

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Italy, Mantua and Sabbioneta

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 03, 2012 at 07:03:41

Location Mantua and Sabbioneta, Italy
Coordinates N45 9 34 E10 47 40
Property 235 ha
Date of Inscription 2008

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1287 )

Mantua and Sabbioneta, in the Po valley, in the north of Italy, represent two aspects of Renaissance town planning: Mantua shows the renewal and extension of an existing city, while 30 km away, Sabbioneta represents the implementation of the period’s theories about planning the ideal city. Typically, Mantua’s layout is irregular with regular parts showing different stages of its growth since the Roman period and includes many medieval edifices among them an 11th century rotunda and a Baroque theatre. Sabbioneta, created in the second half of the 16th century under the rule of one person, Vespasiano Gonzaga Colonna, can be described as a single-period city and has a right angle grid layout. Both cities offer exceptional testimonies to the urban, architectural and artistic realizations of the Renaissance, linked through the visions and actions of the ruling Gonzaga family. The two towns are important for the value of their architecture and for their prominent role in the dissemination of Renaissance culture. The ideals of the Renaissance, fostered by the Gonzaga family, are present in the towns’ morphology and architecture.

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Mantua Cathedral

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Italy, Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 02, 2012 at 16:12:17

Location Provinces of Rome and Viterbo, Region of Latium, Italy
Coordinates N42 0 24.6 E12 6 6.8
Property 21 ha
Date of Inscription 2004

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1158 )

These two large Etruscan cemeteries reflect different types of burial practices from the 9th to the 1st century BC, and bear witness to the achievements of Etruscan culture. Wich over nine centuries developed the earliest urban civilization in the nothern Mediterranean. Some of the tombs are monumental, cut in rock and topped by impressive tumuli (burial mounds). Many feature carvings on their walls, others have wall paintings of outstanding quality. The necropolis near Cerveteri, known as Banditaccia, contains thousands of tombs organized in a city-like plan, with streets, small squares and neighbourhoods. The site contains very different types of tombs: trenches cut in rock; tumuli; and some, also carved in rock, in the shape of huts or houses with a wealth of structural details. These provide the only surviving evidence of Etruscan residential architecture. The necropolis of Tarquinia, also known as Monterozzi, contains 6,000 graves cut in the rock. It is famous for its 200 painted tombs, the earliest of which date from the 7th century BC.

Photos from Landolia

Banditaccia Necropolis, Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri

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Italy, The Trulli of Alberobello

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 02, 2012 at 15:07:35

Location Province of Bari, Puglia Region, Italy
Coordinates N40 46 57 E17 14 12.984
Property 11 ha
Date of Inscription 1996

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/787 )

The trulli, limestone dwellings found in the southern region of Puglia, are remarkable examples of drywall (mortarless) construction, a prehistoric building technique still in use in this region. The trulli are made of roughly worked limestone boulders collected from neighbouring fields. Characteristically, they feature pyramidal, domed or conical roofs built up of corbelled limestone slabs.

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Trulli of Alberobello

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Italy, Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 11, 2011 at 05:27:49

Location Province of Naples, Campania, Italy
Coordinates N40 45 0 E14 28 60
Property 98 ha
Date of Inscription 1997

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/829 )

When Vesuvius erupted on 24 August AD 79, it engulfed the two flourishing Roman towns of Pompei and Herculaneum, as well as the many wealthy villas in the area. These have been progressively excavated and made accessible to the public since the mid-18th century. The vast expanse of the commercial town of Pompei contrasts with the smaller but better-preserved remains of the holiday resort of Herculaneum, while the superb wall paintings of the Villa Oplontis at Torre Annunziata give a vivid impression of the opulent lifestyle enjoyed by the wealthier citizens of the Early Roman Empire.

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Pompeii, Vesuvius Pompeii Atrium, Pompeii

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Italy, Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 18, 2010 at 05:06:46

Location Province of La Spezia, Liguria Region, Italy
Coordinates N44 6 24.984 E9 43 45.012
Property 4,689 ha
Date of Inscription 1997

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/826 )

The Ligurian coast between Cinque Terre and Portovenere is a cultural landscape of great scenic and cultural value. The layout and disposition of the small towns and the shaping of the surrounding landscape, overcoming the disadvantages of a steep, uneven terrain, encapsulate the continuous history of human settlement in this region over the past millennium.

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Manarola Riomaggiore

Italy, Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily)

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, December 11, 2009 at 12:11:31

Location Provinces of Catania, Ragusa, and Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
Coordinates N36 53 35.5 E15 04 08.1
Type Cultural
Property 112.7900 ha
Date of Inscription 2002

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1024 )

The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily: Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building.

Photos from Landolia

Cathedral of San Giorgio, Modica San Pietro church, Modica Modica
Chiesa di San Francesco, Noto Ragusa  

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


Italy, Vatican, The Holy See, Historic Centre of Rome

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, December 07, 2009 at 05:35:35

Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura

Location Province of Roma, Lazio region (IT) / Vatican City State (VA)
Coordinates N41 53 24.8 E12 29 32.3
Type Cultural
Property 1,485 ha
Date of Inscription 1980

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/91 )

Founded, according to legend, by Romulus and Remus in 753 BC, Rome was first the centre of the Roman Republic, then of the Roman Empire, and it became the capital of the Christian world in the 4th century. The World Heritage site, extended in 1990 to the walls of Urban VIII, includes some of the major monuments of antiquity such as the Forums, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Mausoleum of Hadrian, the Pantheon, Trajan’s Column and the Column of Marcus Aurelius, as well as the religious and public buildings of papal Rome.

Photos from Landolia

Arch of Constantine Arch of Titus Trajan's Forum
Saint Peter Square Temple of Antoninus and Faustina Colosseum

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


Italy, Historic Centre of Florence

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 14, 2009 at 18:14:18

Location City and Province of Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Coordinates N43 46 23.016 E11 15 21.996
Type Cultural
Property 505 ha
Date of Inscription 1982

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/174 )

Built on the site of an Etruscan settlement, Florence, the symbol of the Renaissance, rose to economic and cultural pre-eminence under the Medici in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its 600 years of extraordinary artistic activity can be seen above all in the 13th-century cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore), the Church of Santa Croce, the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace, the work of great masters such as Giotto, Brunelleschi, Botticelli and Michelangelo.

Photos from Landolia

Cathedral Santa Maria Basilica of Santa Croce Palazzo degli Uffizi
Palazzo Vecchio    

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


Italy, Venice and its Lagoon

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 07, 2009 at 17:18:02

Location Province of Venezia, Veneto Region, Italy
Coordinates N45 26 03.5 E12 20 20.2
Type Cultural
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/394 )

Founded in the 5th century and spread over 118 small islands, Venice became a major maritime power in the 10th century. The whole city is an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building contains works by some of the world's greatest artists such as Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and others.

Photos from Landolia

Doge's Palace Grand Canal, Santa Maria della Salute Piazza San Marco, Basilica di San Marco
Piazza San Marco, St Mark Campanile Rialto Bridge View of Venice

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


Italy, Piazza del Duomo, Pisa

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 04, 2009 at 05:14:46

Location Pisa, Italy
Coordinates N43 43 23 E10 23 47
Property 8.87 ha
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/395 )

Standing in a large green expanse, Piazza del Duomo houses a group of monuments known the world over. These four masterpieces of medieval architecture – the cathedral, the baptistry, the campanile (the 'Leaning Tower') and the cemetery – had a great influence on monumental art in Italy from the 11th to the 14th century.

Photos from Landolia

Baptistry, Piazza dei Miracoli Tower of Pisa Duomo, Piazza dei Miracoli

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map



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