Countries, Culture, Europe

Italy’s history written on the walls

It’s often called a living museum and as we shake down the new UNESCO sites and celebrate Il Bel Paese’s pre-eminence.. Italy’s history written on the walls.

The addition of Bologna’s porticoes and Padova’s frescoes makes Italy numero uno with 58 recognised sites.

Arches of triumph

Walk this way: Bologna

Donata McGlynn (she married an Italian) would tear her luscious brown hair out teaching me Italian of a morning.

We would do whistle-stop visits around her homeland in the exercises she set to test nostra lingua.

And we, of course, passed through Bologna’s porticoes which gave us plenty of practise our directions.

The porticoes date back to the 12th century and span over 39 miles with most found in the city.

Made of wood, stone, brick, or reinforced concrete they serve as entrances to arcades and workshops.

And naturally have become hubs for Italians to chatter, or chiacchiera, a beautiful onomatopoeic word.

Of course all with the hands, or parlare con le mani.

Padova’s frescoes

To the greater glory: Padova

Of course, Renaissance Italy all started out with… Giotto in Padova.

Long before Michelangelo got to work on his Sistine Chapel Giotto was setting the template in Padova.

His showpiece the Scrovegni Chapel.

All of which you can learn about by googling. But much more fun coming with me on my Padova journey

UNESCO didn’t just stop there although you could easily while away an afternoon… and I did.

And an advance party to Venice

There are eight religious and secular building complexes which make up Padova’s 14th century fresco cycle.

So why not start your UNESCO Historic Sites of Italy in Padova.

Where its Botanical Gardens are already rightfully on the list.

And take a gentle boat ride to Venice.

Sites for sore eyes

Caesar the day: In Rome

Italy is, of course, an ancient land of regions and cities.

And it is only right that UNESCO should celebrate le citte as a whole.

And La Citta Eterna stands foremost of them, although, of course it’s a high bar.

See Naples and Die

So you should dwell a while in Florence, Sienna, Naples and Verona.

And Ferrara which bills itself as the City of Renaissance although Giotto and Padova might have something to say about that!

So check it all out… Italy’s history written on the walls.

 

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