Raphael and Giovanni Santi in England

No, I’m not suggesting that Raphael and his babbo ever visited my country. But their paintings and drawings have taken up permanent residence here.

Recently and coincidentally I saw  a drawing by Santi and a small painting by Raphael in unusual contexts. I was fortunate enough to see the drawing in Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s residences. I never hoped to see it, because the Queen has a vast collection of Old Master drawings. Little did I think  that this relatively insignificant (though not to me) artist would ever be on show. But there his drawing was.

The Muse Clio or Woman Standing before Rocks. Thanks to the Royal Collection.

The Muse Clio or Woman Standing before Rocks. Thanks to the Royal Collection.

 

It is deeply moving to see these drawings and feel so close to the artist; this work was by his hand and no other. If you believe the creative process to be divinely inspired, it is like seeing the hand of God at work. And very often artists who produce rather bland all-purpose paintings (my good fellow-Corinaldese, Claudio Ridolfi, for example) create lively and sophisticated drawings.

I’ve also been to the exhibition “Painters’ Paintings” at the National Gallery. It was quite a revelation to me. The National Gallery often bought up paintings at auctions of famous painters’ collections; hence many of their pictures are actually from such collections.

Raphael, 1483 - 1520 An Allegory ('Vision of a Knight') about 1504 Bought, 1847 NG213 http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/

Raphael, 1483 – 1520 An Allegory (‘Vision of a Knight’) about 1504 Bought, 1847 NG213 http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/

You can see his father’s influence in this early Raphael. I first saw it the NG’s excellent exhibition “Raphael from Urbino to Rome” in 2004, which was seminal for me and, together with a similar exhibition “Raphael and Urbino”in Urbino in 2009, first got me on to “dear old Mr Santi”, as Kenneth Clark called him in his (KC’s) book, Civilisation. (BTW, some friends told us that the National Gallery used to say that Raphael was born in Umbria, until they got an official complaint from the president of the Marche region.)

The painting belonged to Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), who mainly collected Old Master drawings rather than paintings, partly because they were cheaper. However, Raphael was an exception. The exhibition catalogue quotes a letter to his art agent: “In drawings I still ask for the preference – in pictures I do not expect it, nor can I afford to buy them, unless you meet with another Raphael, a case which would justify exertion.” (Anne Robbins et al: Painters’ Paintings.London, National Gallery Company, 2016.)

The exhibition is on till 4 September 2016.  It includes paintings from the collections of artists from Lucian Freud to van Dyck, and wasn’t very crowded. Do go if you can.

Posted in Giovanni Santi, History of Art, Raphael, Renaissance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Englishwoman discovers Fiorenzuola di Focara

We were inspired to visit this area by an article in the Daily Torygraph (alias Telegraph), which I saw on Facebook,  extolling the delights of Gabicce Mare and  the San Bartolo nature reserve (parco naturale). About time too! Le Marche doesn’t get nearly enough coverage in the English press. San Bartolo is one of our few rugged coastlines. Mostly the land shelves down to the sea, which means good beaches, but rows of concrete box hotels lining the road, and access to the beach via a dank tunnel under the railway.   But San Bartolo and the Conero, both nature reserves, are characterised by lush woodland, steep cliffs and panoramic sea views complete with rocks and headlands.

Wooded cliff and sea view

Fiorenzuola offers sun,  food, woodland walks and sea … very different from our trip to Macerata, which was distinguished by rain, culture, food and urban architecture. As soon as you arrive in front of this delightful little resort’s gateway, you know what its chief claim to fame is.

Fiorenzuola town gateway

Dante referred to Focara in the Inferno, the first part of his epic poem, the Commedia Divina.

Inscription with Dante quote above gateway to Fiorenzuola di Focara

Here is a basic translation of Dante’s words, courtesy of Longfellow.

“And make it known to the best two of Fano, to Messer Guido and Angiolello likewise,that if foreseeing here be not in vain, cast over from their vessel shall they be, and drowned near the Cattolica, … That traitor who sees only with one eye … will make them come to a parley with him,  then will bring it about that to Focara’s wind they will not stand in need of vow nor prayer.” That is, they will be drowned before they reach Focara.

Dante seems to have thought of Le Marche (not that it existed as a demarcated region then) as a place of wind and thunder. This is what he says about Fonte Avellana:

Fonte Avellana

“Tra’ due liti d’Italia surgon sassi/ e non molto distanti a la tua patria,/ tanto che’ troni assai suonan più bassi/e fanno un gibbo che si chiama Catria,/di sotto al quale e’ consecrato un ermo [Fonte Avellana], …” (Paradiso Canto XX, 106-110. The speaker is St Peter Damian.) “Between two shores of Italy rise cliffs, and not far distant from your native place, so high, the thunders far below them sound, and form a ridge that is called Catria, beneath which is consecrated a hermitage …”. (Longfellow again.)

Also just outside the walls is the war memorialFiorenzuola di Focara war memorial

Who are the Missing (Dispersi)? Are their bones lying somewhere in Russia? And what is the story of the Caduti Civili? Surely not victims of Allied bombing in this quiet little borgo of apparently no strategic value. Were they hostages or members of the Resistance? Or were they working in Germany? And these numbers must have been a great loss to a small place.

Consequently I wasn’t sure how appropriate the sculpture below was.

Fiorenzuola di Focara sculpture above war memorial

This soldier seemed to emanate the very hatred and pride which the blood of the fallen was to cry out against, according to the inscription.

Within the gateway was this gentle wall-painting.

Madonna della Grazia in the gateway of Fiorenzuola di Focara

presumably a thank-offering.

Just outside the walls we had also noticed this well-placed restaurant. I bet it is impossible to find a table there in the summer season.

"La Rupe" restaurant, Fiorenzuola di Focara

“La Rupe” restaurant

I said it didn’t look very exciting, but the England Fan (not a very happy bunny at the moment) said he had had a quick look inside and it stretched a long way back with a sea view. So we decided to come back there later.

We also noticed this bar, which is a popular rendez-vous for bikers, many of whom roared through the town while we were there.

Bikers' bar in Fiorenzuola di Focara

On the other side of the gateway we spotted a sweet little museum. Somewhat to our surprise it was open, as the time was after 12.30. I thought the authorities deserved a reward for keeping it open , so in we went. There were no other visitors nor staff, and I couldn’t see a CCTV anywhere.

Fiorenzuola obviously prides itself on its presepi, or crib scenes, as you can tell from this somewhat battered photocopy in the museum’s vestibule.

"Fiorenzuola becomes "Crib Town"; the magic of the Nativity in 50 forms."

“Fiorenzuola becomes “Crib Town”; the magic of the Nativity in 50 forms.”

The photocopy was next to this presepio, with the Holy Family, the shepherds and the three wise men to the left of the gateway. A pleasant reminder of the presepi of my childhood in Rome.

Fiorenzuola di Focara presepio

This is my favourite exhibit.

Teapots in Fiorenzuola di Focara museum

The Englishwoman is always hungry after visiting museums, and the restaurant turned out to be everyone’s idea of an Italian restaurant with a sea view.La Rupe balcony with sea view

The locals make a feature of their interesting plant-pots. This boat-shaped one was very appropriate to its surroundings.

Boat shaped plant pot on La Rupe restaurant balcony

The food was standard seaside restaurant fare- nothing wrong with it, and the waitress warmed up from professionally polite to quite friendly, once she realised I spoke Italian. Definitely worth a try, but probably not at the weekend in the summer season.

After lunch we went for a stroll. We didn’t go all the way down to the beach, because it would have taken all afternoon to come back up. There was a shuttle bus in August 2015, so maybe there’ll be another one this year.

Sea view from beach path in Fiorenzuola di Focara

You can see how far down the beach was. I love la ginestra (gorse); it reminds me of my Gap Year (well, three months) in Perugia. “Kissing’s out of season when gorse is out of bloom”, as the old saying, which I learned from my mother, has it.

Pinecones stuck in the grating on the beach path Fiorenzuola di Focara

These pine cones stuck in the grating amused me.

We went back uphill to have a look round town. On the way up we enjoyed the scallop patterns on the cobblestones and the magnificent flowers.

Patterned cobbles and magnificent flower pots in Fiorenzuola di @Focara

We also saw a few more interesting plant pots.

Flower pot behind grating in Fiorenzuola

The grating is attractive too.

Two attractive flower troughs in Fiorenzuola

Love the abundant effect of the terracotta leaves and fruit.

At the top of town there is a pleasant little garden below a tower. I couldn’t get a decent photo of the tower – it was too tall, but the England Fan took a few of the garden.

Bench with sea view in garden at top of town

No bicycles

No bicycles

I liked this driftwood sculpture at the side of the tower, arranged deliberately I’m sure.

Driftwood sculpture at base of tower

On the other side of the tower there was a little path which looked fit for an adventure in a children’s storybook.

Have smugglers hidden their treasure in a secret entrance to the tower?

Have smugglers hidden their treasure in a secret entrance to the tower?

And finally …

Several bloggers whom I admire have written about Italian loos, so I’ll take a leaf out of their book, or a page out of their site.

Public lavatory at Fiorenzuola di Focara

Please do not “steal” the lavatory paper.

Public loos in Le Marche have improved a lot since 1993. This one was scrupulously clean and actually had a seat and loo roll, though no soap – thus going two better than the one under the Comune in Corinaldo.

You reach it by going through a gate and down a steep slope – a bit difficult for the elderly or those “su di giri” (a bit tight/drunk).

Fiorenzuola di Focara WC notice

Note the opening hours.

This loo is just outside the gate, so very convenient (to coin a phrase) to use just before you go home.

 

Posted in Food and drink, Hill towns, Museums, Nature reserve, Vacation, Where to eat | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Englishwoman sees the sights in Macerata

I usually like to sight-see conscientiously, guide-book in hand, but this time we just wandered round as our fancy took us.

As you would expect from the former seat of papal government, Macerata has a number of fine monumental buildings and, as with all Italian borghi, some delightful byways and corners.

Loggia dei Mercanti c1503-1504

Loggia dei Mercanti c1503-1504

We saw this fine C17 church of San Giovanni Battista

C17 Church of St John the Baptist

and the C16 Palazzo dei Diamanti, so called after the diamond-pointed rustication. It is now the property of the Banca d’Italia.

Palazzo dei Diamanti

 

But there were lots of charming glimpses and little quirks as well.

Ancient alleyway with modern chairs

Ancient alleyway with modern chairs

 

Macerata street scene

In contrast, here is a busy street scene. You can tell that Macerata is a university city. Note the fine doorway with the broken pediment on the left.

Hmm, wonder if you can buy a deep-fried Mars bar in this wee caffè?

As some of my cari lettori already know, I’m fascinated by, and have posted about, the tensions in Italian history between diversity and unity, Catholicism and the secular state, and in addition the desire to play a leading role on the world stage and the desire for a quiet life. The two inscriptions below reflect these tensions.

Inscription in memory of the battle of Castelfidardo

Inscription in memory of the battle of Castelfidardo

 

Here is a basic translation: “Dante’s thought, having become across the centuries Renaissance, Reform, Science, Revolution, patriotic feeling, having become through persecution Italic Law, had in Le Marche fulfilment and triumph on 18th September 1860 [the battle of Castelfidardo] with the victory of Italian arms over the ruins of theocratic despotism, The provincial council of Macerata on the fiftieth anniversary of the memorable date, reaffirms the votes [vows] of a people who wished to replace double tyranny, spiritual and political, with the rule of reason and civilisation [civiltà could =civic spirit]. 18th September 1910.”

Not too sure what Dante would have thought of that. He may have criticised individual popes, but as a deeply religious man, steeped in mediaeval thought,he would have welcomed a Pope who could be Italy’s leader and saviour.

And below is an inscription in memory of Macerata’s contadini who died in the First World War. It wasn’t put up by the civil authorities, but by a mutual insurance society.

Sad to think that so many died to satisfy the lust for blood and glory of Gabriele d’Annunzio and his like.

On a more cheerful note, this caffè was in an elegant arcade. We spotted it at 3 pm and came back later for a drink (the Englishwoman only drinks between certain times, and looks at her watch before accepting, when she’s offered a drink), when it was much busier.

Here are some details:

Macerata province's coat-of-arms

Macerata province’s coat-of-arms

You can see this upside-down in the photo above this one. It is set into the floor of the arcade.

Art Nouveau (Stile Liberty) caffe' doorway

Art Nouveau style caffe’ doorway

 

Since I wrote this the caffè has been reborn as a sushi bar, but the decor does not seem to have been drastically altered. Its new owner, meanwhile, appears to be under investigation.

Smart shop with inlaid floor outside in Macerata

It’s the inlaid floor outside which makes this shop so special.

We also had a look at the gallery of 20th century art in the Palazzo Buonaccorsi. I’ve selected a couple of pictures which capture, or attempt to capture, something of the character of Le Marche. Actually you find the tiled roofscapes all over Italy. I first really noticed them in Perugia when I was about 18 or 19.

Painting of Tiled roofscape in Macerata modern art gallery

And what roof would be complete without a cat?

Landscape in Macerata gallery of modern art

Corrado Pellini: Marchigiano Landscape near Montelupo.

 

And finally …

Arrow or headless man?

Arrow or headless man?

 

I leave you to ponder.

Posted in 20th century art, Architecture, Borghi dell'entroterra, Churches, Hill towns, Papacy, Unification of Italy | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Macerata’s historic Mozzi-Borgetti library

This post comes from my other blog, “Libraries and rare books in Le Marche.” The region’s public libraries are astonishingly rich in rare and valuable early printed books. Macerata’s library is housed in a beautiful setting and boasts over 300 incunabula, (books printed before 1500). So as a librarian I occasionally blog about them and I thought I’d share this post with you.

Libraries and rare books in Le Marche

We were strolling round Macerata with no intention of visiting its library. I assumed it would be chiuso per restauro (closed for restoration), the three most important words for any bibliophile in Italy. However, we spotted it and I said to the Chelsea Fan, “Let’s go in!”.

Entrance to the Mozzi-Borgetti Library, Macerata Entrance to the Mozzi-Borgetti Library, Macerata. Thanks to Cronache Maceratesi.

Doorway to the library Doorway to the library. Thanks to Uma Boa Porta.

Although he doesn’t speak Italian and is only generally interested in libraries and early printed books, he was up for it. We asked the staff at Reception if we could see round, they found another member of staff who was delighted that anyone was interested in his beloved library, and off we went.

As we had given no warning, he didn’t get out any books for us, but he showed us the fine rooms in which the historic collections are housed, and indeed the rooms…

View original post 442 more words

Posted in incunabula, Libraries | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Strolling towards lunch in Macerata

We arrived in Macerata and started to look for a restaurant. The Chelsea Fan has said he hates wandering about in strange towns in Italy looking for somewhere to eat; however, in a town like Macerata we were pretty confident that we  would find somewhere nice. Also  you see lots of interesting things on the way.

Going up the hill from our parking place (little did we know what we’d find when we got back! – see my last blog) we saw this wrought iron gateway.

Macerata wrought-iron gateway

I like the little high-up window next to the gate. Imagine being in that room and looking out.

Once we’d got within the walls we were initially impressed by the information boards we saw – but they were a bit out-of-date.

Macerata events in summer 2015

Macerata events in summer 2015

I’ve often wondered about this. Italians, or Marchigiani anyway, don’t feel the need to remove out-of-date material. In England we may not get around to it immediately but it does happen eventually. I think it reflects the conservative nature of society here. They like you to know what has happened, on the assumption that nothing will change,the event will happen again and you’ll visit Macerata again. Similarly, as we drive from Senigallia to Corinaldo along the Nevolese road, there are lots of placards for shops in Senigallia, which we have just left. The assumption is that you drive this route back and forth regularly and the shop will still be there when you come back. Would that were still true!

Hmm, not sure about the cardboard boxes

Hmm, not sure about the cardboard boxes

Having said all that, perhaps old Italy hands will tell me that people just can’t be bothered. You saw the cardboard boxes peeping out behind the information board in the previous photo. Is this a sign of the low morale brought about by the crisi, or recession, or am I just taking a bit of litter too seriously? I still think it’s odd, in a country which cares so much about figura.

Not long after this we caught sight of an apparently modest little eatery in the vicolo Ferrari, “Il Pesce e Il Vino”, and indeed it was unpretentious, but the cooking and the décor were imaginative and pleasing. According to some of our friends, Italians only eat fish at the seaside or very near the coast. Macerata is well inland, in the entroterra as the Italians say, but this place, although empty at one o’clock, soon began to fill up with Italians. Perhaps it’s only the Corinaldesi who won’t eat fish away from the sea.

Restaurant interior viewed from the entrance

Restaurant interior viewed from the entrance

We penetrated right into the back room and were delighted by the shelving.

Il Pesce e Il Vino Macerata back room

Wine bottles and objets trouves.

The menu and prices looked good too.

All you need to know is on the blackboards

The set menu price has now gone up to 14 Euros.

I went for the mezze maniche (half sleeves) with canocchie (apparently that’s mantis shrimp) and Varnelli, a local aniseed liqueur. They were delicious.

My primo piatto

My primo piatto

The boss says that all the fish is bought fresh every day at the Civitanova auction.

To be honest, we were enjoying the rest of our food so much that the Chelsea Fan forgot to photograph it ! But it was good. Eat there when you go to Macerata.

Posted in Food and drink, Where to eat | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Surviving a parking fine in Italy

Last October we incurred a parking fine in Macerata, a dignified city and former regional capital.

Macerata Piazza

We left our car in a road just below the walls and bought a parking ticket from a machine.

Parking permit Macerata

I’m afraid it’s a bit worn after months in my archive. What would my former employers, Hampshire Archives and Local Studies, say?

You had to guess how long we’d stay and we underestimated it. Time passed and we realised that we’d overstayed. Then we made a big mistake. The Chelsea Fan didn’t want to go back, move the car and buy another ticket. He said they’d never check. He was wrong, and so was I for going along with him. First lesson: Never assume the Marchigiani, and probably the Italians, are casual and happy-go-lucky. They may often appear so, but at least in our part of Italy, when the parking warden is paid to issue parking fines, that’s what s/he does.

So when we got back to the car, this is what we found on our windscreen.

Parking fine Macerata

Deep gloom. We assumed we’d have to pay about 40 euros. We didn’t want just to let the car hire company pick up the fine; that would probably turn out very expensive. The parking office turned out to be closed and we thought we’d have to drive back to Macerata the next day to pay the fine.

Anyway, I rang the parking office on the number on the avviso and they were very helpful and explained I could pay at my local post office and told me exactly how to fill in the form. Lesson two: Don’t assume the worst when confronted with Italian bureaucracy.

Here are my notes of what they told me.

Parking fine reverse Macerata

The fine turned out to be a teeny amount, as you can see above: the parking fee plus a few euros. Hardly worth the bureaucracy of collecting it. But if we had omitted to pay and left it to the car hire company, it would have been a lot more, 25 euros.

So we went along to the post office in Corinaldo.

Corinaldo Post Office

I was feeling quite smug about my navigation of Italian bureaucracy, but somehow when we arrived at the window I just waved the fine document at the clerk and told her we wanted to pay it. Lesson three: Don’t assume you know it all, even if you’ve been coming back to the same place for over 20 years.

The clerk put on a “One born every minute, stupid foreigner” expression and kindly, if bossily, filled the form in for us. That’s her handwriting on the receipt.

Receipt for payment of parking fine Macerata

So we’d learned four useful lessons: Don’t make assumptions about Italian attitudes; don’t make assumptions about Italian bureaucracy; don’t assume you know it all; and, fourth, how to pay a parking fine.

Posted in Bureaucracy, Driving, Survival | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Polverigi and the Villa Nappi- a hidden treasure

It’s good to be back! It’s been  a long time since my last post. Somehow Le Marche seems a long way away in the winter. Then in April I had to present two papers on my other passion, the Victorian best-seller Charlotte Yonge, at two separate meetings within a week of each other. But in May the Englishwoman’s fancy turns to thoughts of Italy, so I’ll try to catch up before we return to Corinaldo, when I’ll have a lot more to post.

We were pleased and surprised when our friend Angela offered to take us to Polverigi. It had never occurred to us to go there, not because we thought it was not worth visiting, but because it doesn’t feature in any of the standard guidebooks. Polverigi turned out to be the home of the Villa Nappi,

Villa Nappi general view

Villa Nappi general view, with the church tower on your left

a little gem. Obviously it’s a popular destination with locals but it doesn’t attract many foreigners.

The drive there went through landscapes typical of the best Le Marche has to offer.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

On the road to Polverigi

I love that clear evening light and the swooping fields.

When we arrived we had a little stroll in the pleasant gardens before going into the Villa complex. One website describes them as “stile Liberty”, which puzzled me. How can a garden be Art Nouveau? Probably I haven’t understood the full meaning of the term “stile Liberty”.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

This quintessentially Italian pine reminds me of Rome. They were a great feature of the parks of my childhood, though of course I took them for granted then. That’s partly why I love them so much; they bring back happy memories.

At the entrance of the villa was the notice below, which gives you the history of the place. Sorry about the reflected light; I think you will get the general idea anyway.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

This is the courtyard of the Villa.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

One wall of the Abbey’s Romanesque cloister has been retained.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Inside the cloister

Inside the cloister

I love the simplicity, harmony and sun-warmed colours of these ancient brick buildings.

With us was Angela’s cousin Carlo, founder of Arkès, a  non-profit-making organisation, dedicated to the “valorizzazione” (somewhere between enhancement and appreciation) of Le Marche’s heritage. Carlo had kindly agreed to act as our guide, and added greatly to our enjoyment, particularly as I agreed with him about the sad neglect of Le Marche’s heritage. Arkès is doing its bit to remedy this.

Like so many churches in Le Marche, the church of the SS Sacramento was originally a simple and deeply spiritual Romanesque building which has been forced into the usual one-size fits-all sub-Baroque straitjacket, as you can see from the photographs below. I’m afraid the art critic Waldemar Januszczak has failed to convince me about the Baroque, even though he is a fellow Hampshire hog.

SS Sacramento exterior view of north wall with tower

SS Sacramento exterior view of north wall with tower

Compare the simple architecture above with the elaborate interior below.  Having said that, I like the columns, some of which look like recycled Roman work.

Nave of SS Sacramento looking eastwards

Nave of SS Sacramento looking eastwards

 

SS Sacramento nave looking westwards

SS Sacramento nave looking westwards

The Chelsea Fan went up into the gallery, which you can see in the photograph, and took a photograph from there.

SS Sacramento nave viewed from the west gallery

SS Sacramento nave viewed from the west gallery

Note the decorative floor tiles.

I particularly liked the sculptures and wall paintings.

Two angels above the Mother of Good Counsel

Two angels above the Mother of Good Counsel

The figures in the photograph below fascinate me. Are they heavenly beings in armour? The one on your right looks curiously baby-faced. I don’t think it’s a cherub. Perhaps it’s meant to be a female saint, or perhaps the sculptor had, to put it politely, adopted an …er … somewhat primitive style. Or if this is a well-known trope of sacred sculpture, please tell me.

Who are these figures on the south wall?

Who are these figures on the south wall?

 

Here are several photos of the delightful, but fragmentary, wall-paintings.

Wall painting with fantastic creatures

Wall painting with fantastic creatures

I think these are sea-creatures and in their cheerful vigour they remind me of the illustrations to the children’s story “Tiddler” written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, the Gruffalo team. Part of what I love about sacred art, and I’m not alone, is the happy paganism and irreverence that often creeps through, whether it’s wood-carving, gargoyles, sculpture or illuminations.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Wall-painting detail of plant

 

Wall-painting detail

Wall-painting detail

The circle and stripes above seem to be part of a trompe-l’œil decorative effect to look like marble.

Detail of trompe-l’œil wall painting

Another trompe-l’œil detail

I couldn’t tell what this actually represents – it’s too faded.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Wall painting detail of leaves

 

Wall-painting - two jugs

Wall-painting – two jugs

These may be the jugs used for the wine and water for Holy Communion,  which have been painted into the niche to create another trompe-l’oeil effect.

There is a sweet little formal, or Italian-style, garden attached to the church.

Italian garden beside the church

Italian garden beside the church

The long shadows are typical of an Italian autumn evening. Somehow they seem to be much longer than in England . They remind me of Norman Lewis’s “The March of the Long Shadows”, a novel about post-war Sicily and its independence movement. It’s a good read.

Below is a close-up of the drinking fountain you can see at the far end of the path.

Close-up of drinking fountain

Close-up of drinking fountain

Detail of drinking fountain

Detail of drinking fountain

The lion on your right looks a bit battered.

If, after reading this, you feel inspired to visit the Villa Nappi, this is the best web page I could find with a map.http://www.rivieradelconero.tv/attrazioni/53/villa-nappi.aspx . The actual Villa Nappi website appears not to exist any more. And if you can’t visit it, I hope I’ve added another to your Italian dreams!

 

 

 

Posted in Architecture, Churches, Frescoes, Romanesque Churches | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments