Saturday, May 11, 2013

Top 10 most popular articles in April 2013.

1.- Levanto: searching for a new identity.

In order to understand the present day Levanto, we must behave like we do with the people we love: learn its story, give a historical depth to the landscape of today and learn about the vocations and the identities that have followed one another in time.
We can distinguish at least three of them:
- the feudal and agricultural-pastoral identity of the Bardellone mountain, which is linked to the contrai of the passes and the Communications by land, as well as to the centres of Ceula and Zolasco that have now vanished;
- the communal and mercantile-maritime identity, which is centred around the village of Levante and experienced through a complete devotion to the Republic of Genoa but not without feeling the great importance of the agricultural economy: from the charm of the agriculture of the villa to the constellation of the rural centres in the valley.

2.- The Sassi di Matera situated in the old town, they are composed of the Sasso Caveoso and the later Sasso Barisano.

The Sassi di Matera (meaning "stones of Matera") are prehistoric cave dwellings in the Italian city of Matera, Basilicata. Situated in the old town, they are composed of the Sasso Caveoso and the later Sasso Barisano.
Matera has gained international fame for its "Sassi". The Sassi originate from a prehistoric (troglodyte) settlement, and are suspected to be some of the first human settlements in Italy.
Matera was developed by its inhabitants over the centuries in a manner that is now called "Spontaneous Architecture" due to the way the city conforms to the natural environment while revealing many very sophisticated and elegant styles. This form of architecture strikes the attention of visitors arriving in the city, as it creates a surreal landscape reminiscent of the emotions stirred before certain modern abstract paintings.

3.- Tourism in the Lazio leads us to discover an ancient land rich in tradition, a true cradle of the roots of Italy.

lazio mapa meteoLazio is one of the 20 administrative regions of Italy, situated in the central/southern peninsular section of the country. With about 5.7 million residents and a GDP of more than 170 billion euros, Lazio is the third most populated and the second richest region of Italy. It includes Rome, capital and largest city of Italy.
The coast of Lazio is mainly composed of sandy beaches, punctuated by the headlands of Circeo (541 m) and Gaeta (171 m). The Pontine Islands, which are part of Lazio, lie opposite the southern coast. Behind the coastal strip, to the north, lies the Maremma Laziale (the continuation of Tuscan Maremma), a costal plain interrupted at Civitavecchia by the Tolfa Mountains (616 m). The central section of the region is occupied by the Roman Campagna, a vast alluvial plain surrounding the city of Rome, with an area of approximately 2,100 km2 (811 sq mi). The southern districts are characterized by the flatlands of Agro Pontino, a once swampy and malarial area, that was reclaimed over the centuries.

4.- A beautiful mountain lake in the Dolomite Mountain Range.

The Dolomites are a mountain range located in north-eastern Italy. It is a part of Southern Limestone Alps and extends from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley (Val Sugana).
The Dolomites are nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino.
There are also mountain groups of similar geological structure that spread over the River Piave to the east - Dolomiti d'Oltrepiave; and far away over the Adige River to the west - Dolomiti di Brenta (Western Dolomites). There is also another smaller group called Piccole Dolomiti (Little Dolomites) located between the provinces of Trentino, Verona and Vicenza (see the map).

5.- The regions of Italy are the first-level administrative divisions of the state, constituting its first NUTS administrative level.


The regions of Italy are the first-level administrative divisions of the state, constituting its first NUTS administrative level. There are twenty regions, of which five are constitutionally given a broader amount of autonomy granted by special statutes.
Mere administrative districts of the central state during the Kingdom of Italy, Regions were granted political autonomy by the 1948 Constitution of the Italian Republic.
Nevertheless, the actual implementation of regional autonomy was postponed till the first Regional Elections of 1970, as the ruling Christian Democracy party didn't want the opposition Italian Communist Party to gain government in many of them where it was historically rooted (the red belt of Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria and Marche).

 

6.- Gran Paradiso is the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park, the homeland of friendly capricorns.

The Gran Paradiso is a mountain group between the Aosta Valley and Piedmont regions of north-west Italy.
The peak, the 7th highest mountain in the Graian Alps with an elevation of 4,061 m, is close to Mont Blanc on the nearby border with France. On the French side of the border, the park is continued by the Vanoise National Park. The Gran Paradiso is the only mountain whose summit reaches over 4,000 metres that is entirely within Italian territory.
The highest summit was first reached on September 4, 1860 by J. J. Cowell, W. Dundas, J. Payot and J. Tairraz. Today it is generally considered an easy climb, except for the last 60 meters to the top. Climbs normally start from either the Rifugio Chabod or the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele Secondo. The latter is named after Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy who created the Gran Paradiso royal reserve in 1856, presently Gran Paradiso National Park.

7.- Portofino is a small Italian fishing village, comune and tourist resort located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera

Portofino (Ligurian: Portofin) is a small Italian fishing village, comune and tourist resort located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town is crowded round its small harbour, is closely associated with Paraggi Beach, which is a few minutes up the coast. Other nearby beaches include Camogli, Chiavari, Lavagna, and Sestri Levante.
According to Pliny the Elder, Portofino was founded by the Romans and named Portus Delphini, or Port of the Dolphin, because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf.
The village is mentioned in a diploma from 986 by Adelaide of Italy, which assigned it to the nearby Abbey of San Fruttoso di Capodimonte. In 1171, together with the neighbouring Santa Margherita Ligure, it was included in Rapallo's commune jurisdiction. After 1229 it was part of the Republic of Genoa. The town's natural harbour supported a fleet of fishing boats, but was somewhat too cramped to provide more than a temporary safe haven for the growing merchant marine of the Republic of Genoa.

8.- Royal Palace of Caserta, the best example of Italian Baroque.

There are some walks that are unforgettable, which remain a lasting memory.
It happens when we are completely surrounded by beauty.
This year, the park oft he Reggia di Caserta has been awarded the prize as the most beautifulpark in Italy, it has already beenproclai-med a World Heritage Site by Unesco, and is one ofthe most char-ming places in Italy.
The driveway which runs from thè main entrarne leads to the Royal Palace and is three kilometres in length, and along the driveway there are water displays, cascades andpools alternate with splendid fountains.
The best example of Italian Baroque, such as the Fountain of Dolphins which is nearly 500m in length, or the Eolo fountain, the project was done by Vanvitelli, or the Fountain of Diana and Actaeon, behind which is a large artificial waterfalls.
9.- Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy.

Lake Garda  is the largest lake in Italy. It is located in Northern Italy, about half-way between Brescia and Verona, and between Venice and Milan.
Glaciers formed this alpine region at the end of the last Ice Age. The lake and its shoreline are divided between the provinces of Verona (to the southeast), Brescia (southwest), and Trentino (north). Being easily accessible from the north via the Brenner Pass, the lake is a major tourist destination, including a number of exclusive hotels and resorts along its shore.
The ancient fortified town of Sirmione, located on the south of the lake, is one particularly popular destination, home to the Virgilio & Catullo Spa Complexes, as well as numerous restaurants, bars, hotels, fashion stores and a market. The picturesque Scaliger castle dates from the 13th century.

10.- Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, chronologically it is the first great basilica in Florence.

Santa Maria Novella is a church in Florence, Italy, situated just across from the main railway station which shares its name. Chronologically, it is the first great basilica in Florence, and is the city's principal Dominican church.
The church, the adjoining cloister, and chapterhouse contain a store of art treasures and funerary monuments. Especially famous are frescoes by masters of Gothic and early Renaissance. They were financed through the generosity of the most important Florentine families, who ensured themselves of funerary chapels on consecrated ground.
This church was called Novella (New) because it was built on the site of the 9th-century oratory of Santa Maria delle Vigne. When the site was assigned to Dominican Order in 1221, they decided to build a new church and an adjoining cloister. The church was designed by two Dominican friars, Fra Sisto Fiorentino and Fra Ristoro da Campi.

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