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1.18th century royal palace at Caserta with the park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex
The monumental complex at Caserta, created by the Bourbon king Charles III in the mid-18th century to rival Versailles and the Royal Palace in Madrid, is exceptional for the way in which it brings together a magnificent palace with its park and gardens, as well as natural woodland, hunting lodges and a silk factory. It is an eloquent expression of the Enlightenment in material form, integrated into, rather than imposed on, its natural setting.
The Committee decided to inscribe this property on the basis of criteria (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv), considering that the monumental complex at Caserta, whilst cast in the same mould as other 18th century royal establishments, is exceptional for the broad sweep of its design, incorporating not only an imposing palace and park, but also much of the surrounding natural landscape and an ambitious new town laid out according to the urban planning precepts of its time. The industrial complex of the Belvedere, designed to produce silk, is also of outstanding interest because of the idealistic principles that underlay its original conception and management.
The monumental complex at Caserta, while cast in the same mould as other 18th-century royal establishments, is exceptional for the broad sweep of its design, incorporating an imposing palace and park, and also much of the surrounding natural landscape and an ambitious new town laid out according to urban planning precepts of its time. The industrial complex of the Belvedere, designed to produce silk, is also of outstanding interest because of the idealistic principles underlying its original conception and management.
In 1734 Charles III, son of Philip V, became King of Naples, a self-governing kingdom that was no longer part of the Spanish realm. He decided in 1750 to build a new royal palace, to rival the Palace of Versailles. It was designed to be the centre of a new town that would compete with leading European cities. He employed architect Luigi Vanvitelli, then engaged in the restoration o St Peter's in Rome. The Bosco di San Silvestro, on the two hills of Montemaiuolo and Montebriano, was covered with vineyards and orchards when in 1773 Ferdinand IV decided to enclose it and create a hunting park.
The hill of San Leucio takes its name from the Lombard church at its top. A hunting lodge, the Belvedere, had been built at its foot in the 16th century by the Princes of Caserta. The fief had been purchased by Charles Ill, and in 1773 Ferdinand IV initiated work on the Old Hunting Lodge, to be abandoned after the death of his son. In 1778 the king decided to begin the production of silk. His architect, Collecini, converted the building for this purpose, as the centre of a large industrial complex, including a school, accommodation for teachers, silkworm rooms, and facilities for spinning and dyeing the silk. He issued a series of laws in 1789 to regulate the San Leucio Royal Colony: this laid down piecework rates of pay, abolished dowries, and prescribed similar clothing for all the workers, in a form of proto-socialism. During the next decade plans were made for enlargement of the village, and Collecini produced designs for a town, to be known as 'Ferdinandopolis', but this dream was not realized because of the French occupation.
The fishponds in the gardens of the Royal Palace, the Royal Silk Factory and the planned new town all required large amounts of water, and so the Carolino Aqueduct was built (completed in 1769) to bring water from the Fizo spring over a distance of 38 km to the top of Montebriano. In 1744 Charles III acquired the rich Carditello estate. The hunting lodge there was built in 1784, as part of a complex of rural houses and roads radiating fanwise from the main building. This had the royal apartments in the centre and rooms for agricultural and stock-rearing activities on either side.
The Royal Palace is rectangular in plan, with four large interior courtyards intersecting at right angles. It covers 45,000 m2 and its five storeys rise to a height of 36 m. An indication of its scale can be judged from the fact that there are 143 windows on the main facade and the building contains 1,200 rooms and 34 staircases. The building is constructed in brick, the two lower storeys being faced with travertine ashlars. The whole structure is crowned by a central cupola. In front of the main facade is the elliptical parade ground. Inside, there are three octagonal vestibules, aligned on the main axis of the building and acting as fulcrums for the entire complex. The monumental main staircase gives access to the royal apartments, which are decorated and furnished in 18th-century style. The chapel, inspired by that at Versailles, opens out of the lower vestibule. Another noteworthy feature is the Royal Theatre, a superb example of 18th-century design.
The park, which lies behind the palace, was planned by Luigi Vanvitelli but completed by his son Carlo. The main axis is punctuated by a series of Baroque fountains and stretches of water. This magnificent perspective terminates in the Great Fountain, where water cascades down from a height of 150 m into an ornate basin that depicts Diana bathing, observed by the unfortunate Actaeon.Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
In 1734 Charles III (Carlo Borbone), son of Philip V, became King of Naples, a self-governing kingdom that was no longer part of the Spanish realm. He decided in 1750 to build a new royal palace, to rival, and perhaps outdo, the palace of Versailles, as the symbol of the new kingdom. It was designed to be the centre of a new town that would also compete with the leading European cities. He employed the famous architect Luigi Vanvitelli, at that time engaged in the restoration of the Basilica of St Peter's in Rome. The tist stone was laid in 1752 and continued throughout the reign of Ferdinand IV, Charles's successor, until Vanvitelli's death in 1773.
The Bosco di San Silvestro (Wood of St Sylvester), on the two neighbouring hills of Montemaiuolo and Montebriano, was covered with vineyards and orchards when in 1773 Ferdinand IV decided to enclose it, together with some adjacent land, and create a hunting park. The building there served as a hunting lodge on the upper floor, the lower being used for agricultural purposes.
The hill of San Leucio takes its name from the Lombard church at its top. A hunting lodge, known as the Belvedere, had been built at its foot in the 16th century by the Acquaviva family, Princes of Caserta. The fief had been purchased by Charles Ill, and in 1773 Ferdinand IV initiated work on the socalled Old Hunting Lodge, to be abandoned after the death of his son. Between 1776 and 1778 the Belvedere was restored, the main hall being converted to a church.
In 1778 the King decided to begin the production of silk. His architect, Collecini, converted the building for this purpose, as the centre of a large industrial complex, including a school, accommodation for teachers, silkworm rooms, and facilities for spinning and dyeing the silk. He issued a series of laws in 1789 to regulate the San Leucio Royal Colony: this laid down piecework rates of pay, abolished dowries, and prescribed similar clothing for all the workers, in what has been described as a form of protosocialism. During the decade that followed, plans were made for enlargement of the village, and Collecini produced designs for a town, to be known as "Ferdinandopolis," but this dream was not realized because of the French occupation.
The fishponds in the gardens of the Royal Palace, the Royal silk factory, and the planned new town all required large amounts of water, and so the Carolino Aqueduct was built (completed in 1769) to bring water from the Fizo spring over a distance of 38km to the top of Montebriano. The final stretch runs through the Tifatini hills, where the medieval village of Casertavecchia, with its Romanesque cathedral, forms part of the panorama visible from the Royal estate.
In 1744 Charles III acquired the rich Carditello estate. The hunting lodge there was built in 1784, as part of a complex of rural houses and roads radiating fmwise from the main building. This had the Royal apartments in the centre and rooms for agricultural and stock-rearing activities on either side. The courtyard in front, which has the shape of a Roman circus, was used for racing horses and decorated with fontaim and obelisks. In the 19th century Ferdinand II expanded the agricultural activities.
One of Vanvitelli's original engravings
of the Caserta Palace (center)
Aqueduct of Vanvitelli and St Leucio complex - Caserta
2.Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy
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.
Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy
3.Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata
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.
The impressive remains of the towns of Pompei and Herculaneum and their associated villas, buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, provide a complete and vivid picture of society and daily life at a specific moment in the past that is without parallel anywhere in the world.
Pompei was an Opician foundation of the 6th century BC, and Dionysus of Halicarnassus maintained that Herculaneum (Ercolano) was founded by Hercules. Both underwent changes of overlord in the centuries that followed: Oscans, Samnites, Greeks, Etruscans, and finally Romans in 89 BC, following the Social War. Pompei was elevated to the status of Colonia Cornelia Venera Pompeiana in 89 BC, whereas Herculaneum was accorded the lower rank of municipium. The lives of both towns came to an abrupt and catastrophic end on 24 August, AD 79. The area had been shaken by an earthquake shortly before and reconstruction work was still in progress when Vesuvius erupted with tremendous violence. Pompei was buried under a thick layer of volcanic ash and stone and Herculaneum disappeared under a pyroclastic flow of volcanic mud.
Since the discovery of the two buried towns in the 18th century, much more of Pompei has been revealed by excavation than of Herculaneum. The main forum is flanked by the foundations of a number of imposing public buildings, such as the Capitolium (temple dedicated to the divine triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva), the Basilica (courthouse), and one of the sets of public baths. Close by is the older triangular forum, where the two theatres are located. The larger of these is of Greek origin, remodelled to suit Roman taste. Among other notable public buildings are the well-preserved Stabian Baths, begun in the 2nd century BC. However, Pompei is renowned for its series of domestic buildings, ranged along well paved streets. The earliest is the atrium house, entirely inward-looking with a courtyard at its centre: the House of the Surgeon is a good example of this type. Under Hellenistic influences this type of house was enlarged and decorated with columns and arcades and equipped with large rooms for social functions. In its most extreme form, this type of Roman house, known from towns all over the Empire, developed into a veritable palace, richly decorated and with many rooms, of which the Houses of the Faun and of the Chaste Lovers are outstanding examples. Perhaps the most exceptional of all the houses in Pompei is the Villa dei Misteri (the House of the Mysteries). This enormous establishment just outside the walls, which developed from a modest town house built in the 3rd century BC, takes its name from the remarkable wall paintings in the triclinium, which depict the initiation rites ('mysteries') of the cult of Dionysus. A special characteristic of Pompei is the wealth of graffiti on its walls. An election was imminent at the time of the eruption, and there are many slogans to be found scrawled on walls, as well as others of a more personal, often scurrilous, nature.
Much less of Herculaneum, built on a promontory overlooking the Bay of Naples, has been uncovered, not least because of the depth to which it was buried. However, the nature of its volcanic covering is such that the ancient buildings are much better preserved than those of Pompei. Organic materials such as wood survive in situ and the upper floors of many buildings are intact. Several impressive public buildings are well preserved, including a spacious palaestra entered through a monumental gateway, two sets of public baths, one of which (Urban Baths) is monumental in scale and vividly decorated, the College of the Priests of Augustus, and a theatre of standard form. The houses are also remarkable for their extent and decoration, especially the House of the Bicentenary. Those fronting on the sea, such as the House of the Deer, have large courtyards and rich decoration. The town is also noteworthy for the completeness of its shops, still containing fittings such as enormous wine jars. Recent excavations in the harbour area have revealed vaulted warehouses which contained the remains of unfortunate citizens who had sought refuge there, only to suffer death by asphyxiation. Of great importance in both towns are the artistic styles represented by their sculptures, their mosaics and, above all, their wall paintings.Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Pompei - Italy
Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata
Eros en pompeya
4.Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with
The city of Milan was founded by Celts and has seen four particularly splendid periods. Between the 4th and 5th centuries, it was the capital of the Western Roman Empire and became established as one of the hubs of the new Christian world. The period between the 11th and 13th centuries saw the constitution and consolidation of 'Free Communes' that were soon stronger than neighbouring territories and led to the fight for freedom against German rulers that came to a head with the battle of Legnano (1176). Between the 14th and 16th centuries, the city was governed by the Viscontis, then the Sforza family and was home to the dukedom of Milan. It was subjugated first by the French and then the Spanish: this was the time of the Renaissance that motivated Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Francesco Sforza and Ludovico il Moro to produce their greatest works like the Duomo, the Castello Sforzesco, Santa Maria delle Grazie and San Satiro. The two great artists Bramante and Leonardo were actively working at this time. Milan gradually became a modern city and during the 1800s magnificent neoclassical palaces began to be built. It became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy under Napoleon and was home to the patriotic movement during the political revival.
In 1463, the captain of the Francesco Sforza troops donated a piece of land to the Dominicans. On this land there was a cloister with frescoes depicting the Madonna delle Grazie. The monks commissioned Guiniforte Solari to build a church and convent and the work began in 1463. The new Lord of Milan, Ludovico il Moro, decreed that the apse and presbytery should be knocked down to enlarge the church and he commissioned Donato Bramante to supervise the work. Bramante, who came from Urbino, structurally enlarged the church and added large semi-circular apses, a wonderful drum-shaped dome surrounded by columns and a spectacular cloister and refectory.
The fresco was commissioned in 1495 and completed in 1487. The representation by Leonardo da Vinci depicted the moment immediately after Christ said, 'One of you will betray me'. The 12 Apostles reacted in differing ways; their movements and expressions are magnificently captured in Leonardo's work. He focused on the impact of Christ's words on the Apostles and on their reactions. This broke with the traditional representation of the past, upsetting some ideas.
The genius of the artist is seen especially in the use of light and strong perspective. The three windows behind the table companions and the landscape beyond create a luminosity that set against the backlight illuminates the characters from the side as well. The result is a combination of a particular classically Florentine and chiaroscuro perspectives.
If this work is compared with others by artists such as Castagno, the differences are obvious. In the classical interpretation, Judas is depicted alone whereas the other Apostles and Jesus are on the other side of the table sitting beside each other. Leonardo rejected this and had Jesus in the midst of the Apostles; he also created four groups of three figures on either side of Christ. From the left: Bartholomew, James the Younger and Andrew who are stunned by Jesus's declaration. The second group is made up of Peter, Judas and John. Peter is leaning towards John who is seated beside Jesus and is pushing Judas forward. The figure of Judas is highlighted without isolating the others. The group on the right is made up of Matthew, Thaddeus and Simon who are involved in an animated discussion and are not looking at Jesus. In the centre and perplexedly leaning towards Jesus are Thomas, James the Elder and Phillip who are engaged assuring Jesus of their allegiance. In the centre we find the figure of Jesus in the fresco vanishing point.
Unfortunately, Leonardo did not work in oil but in tempera on a two-layered surface of plaster that was not damp-proof. It was as early as 1568 when Vasari first pointed out problems with this painting technique. Repeated conservation programmes have been carried out, the most recent over the past 20 years.
Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with
5.Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli
The Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli in Genoa’s historic centre date from the late 16th and early 17th centuries when the Republic of Genoa was at the height of its financial and seafaring power. The site represents the first example in Europe of an urban development project parcelled out by a public authority within a unitary framework and associated to a particular system of ‘public lodging’ in private residences, as decreed by the Senate in 1576. The site includes an ensemble of Renaissance and Baroque palaces along the so-called ‘new streets’ (Strade Nuove). The Palazzi dei Rolli offer an extraordinary variety of different solutions, achieving universal value in adapting to the particular characteristics of the site and to the requirements of a specific social and economic organization. They also offer an original example of a public network of private residences designated to host state visits
Ancient Ligurian port, Genoa was conquered by the Lombards in the seventh century and sacked several times by the Saracens in the tenth century. From the eleventh century, often by forming alliances with other city states, the Genoese strengthened trade relations, passed masters and precursors of shipbuilding, navigation and mapping, industrial technology and banking and drafting contracts that allowed partnerships and investments in commercial business profitable. The twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Genoa became one of the largest cities in Europe, with a population of some 100,000 inhabitants by the year 1300. In the fifteenth century, it experienced a decline and was often governed by either the French or not Milan.
From the Middle Ages, Genoa became a Libero Comune, densely populated between the sea and hills. Politically, Genoa was characterized by a system of Contrade CONSORTILE corresponding to urban neighborhoods, the Alberghi, that is to say divided into zones of influence by a noble family. Criticism of this system led to the adoption of a rival perpetui Dogi, which remained in force until 1528. Andrea Doria (1468-1560), a famous Genoese admiral who had served several popes and kings in Europe, built a fleet whose power surpassed the corsairs of the Mediterranean. In 1528, he established a new social division and an aristocratic constitution in Genoa, which lasted until 1798. Edited by Doria, an alliance with Spain allowed the Genoese to financial control trade Neapolitan and Spanish and to receive the money in the New World. In 1570, they were the principal bankers of Genoa and Catholic Europe was ruled by an oligarchy stable and prosperous.
It is in this context that came to light the need to build new homes for those few extremely rich families, residences capable of hosting distinguished guests such as cardinals, ambassadors and governors visiting the city. The need for representation led to the breakthrough of the Strada Nuova from 1551, and the official list (Rollo) palaces chosen for official representation was proclaimed in 1576. The typology of these aristocratic palaces is clearly different from that of the previous period of the early Middle Ages, adopting grandiose spatial units (hallways, staircases, atriums, gardens) and a rich interior decoration style of the late Renaissance and Mannerist .This model was also applied to other parts of the city.
Thanks to the enthusiasm of some artists, particularly Pierre Paul Rubens, who studied and published the plans of palaces, and Giorgio Vasari, Vincenzo Scamozzi Furttenbach and Joseph, the model of the Genoese palace was broadcast to other cities in Europe in particular the Netherlands and Great Britain. At the end of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, the economic and political influence in Genoa experienced a decline. The town was first occupied by Austria and by Napoleon. In the new unified Italy, Genoa, however, emerged as a major port city and has preserved its historic fabric.
Genoa: Le Strada Nuove
Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli
6.Historic Center of Florence
Starting in the 15th century, Florence exerted a powerful influence on the development of architecture and the monumental arts, first in Italy, and then throughout Europe. The historic centre attests in an exceptional manner, and by its unique coherence, to its power as a merchant-city of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Between the 14th and 17th centuries it was covered with prestigious buildings which illustrated the munificence of the bankers and princes.
Founded in 59 BC as a Roman colony known as Florentia, only in the 11th century did the free commune of Florence begin to succeed - both politically and economically - where other cities of Tuscany had failed, with the slow but unrestrainable process culminating in the annexation of Siena in 1557. In the 15th century, the city reached the apex of its splendour, thanks partly to the presence in Florence of such geniuses as the architects Filippo Brunelleschi and Leon Battista Alberti, the painters Masaccio, Paolo Uccello and Sandro Botticelli, and the sculptors Donatello, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Luca della Robbia, as well as the unforgettable Michelangelo Buonarotti and Leonardo da Vinci.
As early as the 15th century, the republican government was abolished and the Medici dynasty took over. Despite repeated attempts (all unsuccessful) to restore the republic, the Medicis ruled the Grand Duchy of Tuscany until it died out in 1737. Rule then passed to the Lorraine family, which remained in power until 1859 when Florence was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy. It was the political capital of Italy between 1865 and 1870, in addition to being the cultural capital.
Built over the Roman city, the historic centre of Florence may best be described as a treasure chest of works of art and architecture. Defined by the 14th-century walls, and built up thanks to the enormous business and economic power which Florence achieved, the two succeeding centuries were Florence's golden age. The spiritual focus of the city is the Cathedral Piazza of Santa Maria del Fiore, with Giotto's campanile on one side and the Baptistry of St John in front, with the Gates of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti. Going north from here, one comes across the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi by Michelozzo and St Lawrence's Basilica by Brunelleschi with the sacristies inside designed by Donatello and Michelangelo. Further on are the Museum of St Mark's, with Fra Angelico's masterpieces, the Galleria dell'Accademia with Michelangelo's David (1501-4) and the Santissima Annunziata Piazza with the Lodge of the Holy Innocents by Brunelleschi. On the south side of the cathedral is the political/cultural centre of Florence, with the Palazzo Vecchio and the Galleria degli Uffizi nearby. Close to these are the Museo del Bargello and the Basilica of the Holy Cross. Across the Ponte Vecchio is the Oltrarno quarter, with the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. Still in the Oltrarno, mention must be made of the Holy Ghost Basilica by Filippo Brunelleschi and the Carmelite Church, with its frescoes by Masolino, Masaccio and Filippino Lippi. To the west of the cathedral are the imposing Strozzi Palace and the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, its facade designed by Leon Battista Alberti.
The historic centre may be admirably viewed in its entirety from the surrounding hills, especially Piazzale Michelangelo (just under the Romanesque Basilica of San Miniato), or Fiesole, both of which offer some of the most spectacular views in the Arno valley.Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
San Giovani Baptisry
Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence
7.Historic Center of Naples
Naples is one of the most ancient cities in Europe, whose contemporary urban fabric preserves the elements of its long and eventful history. Its street pattern, its wealth of historic buildings from many periods, and its setting on the Bay of Naples give it an outstanding universal value without parallel, and one that has had a profound influence in many parts of Europe and beyond.
Much of the significance of Naples is due to its urban fabric, which represents twenty-five centuries of growth. Little survives above ground of the Greek town, but important archaeological discoveries have been made in excavations since the end of the Second World War. Three sections of the original town walls of this period are visible in the north-west. The surviving Roman remains are more substantial, notably the large theatre, cemeteries and catacombs. The street layout in the earliest parts of the city owes much to its classical origins.
The period that followed the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West saw the beginning of church-building on a substantial scale, and churches such as those of San Gennaro extra moenia, San Giorgio Maggiore, and San Giovanni Maggiore have surviving elements of 4th- and 5th-century architecture. The chapel of Santa Restituta in the 14th-century cathedral is reputed to be the first Christian basilica in Naples. The Castel dell'Ovo is one of the most substantial survivals from the Norman period. Built as a fortress-monastery on the site of the villa of Lucullus, it was subsequently remodelled on several occasions, and given its present form at the end of the 17th century.
During the Norman-Swabian period the city remained largely within its classical walls, but the arrival of the Angevin kings saw it begin to expand and to absorb the suburbs and neighbouring villages. The influence of western art and architecture began to assert itself at this time. French Gothic pervaded both religious and domestic architecture. From the Angevin period date religious structures - the new cathedral, the churches of San Lorenzo Maggiore, San Domenico Maggiore, Santa Chiara and others, and the secular buildings Castel Nuovo, Castel Capuano and Palace of the Prince of Taranto. The strongest influence came from southern France, and there is much fine Provençal Gothic architecture in Naples.
The accession of the Aragonese dynasty saw much building and rebuilding. The town walls were refurbished and rationalized. The Renaissance heritage of Naples is mainly the work of Italian architects, with some from Catalonia. The San Severino Palace, now demolished, was one of the most lavish buildings of its period. A number of major churches date from this period (Santa Caterina a Formiello and the Monteoliveto complex). The early 16th century saw the beginning of two centuries of Spanish rule, and the strengthening once again of the defences, particularly during the twenty years of the viceroyalty of Pedro de Toledo, who initiated a planning policy for the city as part of his efforts to carry out a social reorganization. The Royal Palace was built in 1600 and fills one side of the imposing Piazza del Plebiscito. Church building included such foundations as the Monte dei Poveri Vergognosi charitable institution, the convent of Sant'Agostino degli Scalzi, and the Jesuit College on Capodimonte.
Suburbs continued to grow outside the and these, too, saw the erection of large religious and secular structures. Quarters both inside and outside the walls became specialized according to nationality, social grade, and trade. The port also grew to meet the City's increasing requirements in the 17th and 18th centuries. The 19th century saw more radical changes in the street plan, notably the creation of the Piazza Mercato during the reign of Ferdinand IV after an area of wooden barrack buildings was destroyed by fire.
Following unification in 1860, a great deal of planning and rehabilitation took place. What had become slum quarters were cleared, as a result of which many earlier buildings were swept away and new roads were built, cutting through earlier street patterns.
Historic center of Naples
Historic Center of Naples
Napoli is beautiful
8.Historic center of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in theat City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mur.
The extraterritorial properties of the Holy See that make up this World Heritage site comprise a series of unique artistic achievements - Santa Maria Maggiore, St John Lateran and St Paul Outside the Walls. These properties exerted considerable influence on the development of architecture and monumental arts throughout the centuries in a large part of the Christian world.
The Lateran Treaty concluded in 1929 between Italy and the Holy See established that a number of properties termed 'extraterritorial' and situated on Italian soil remained the exclusive property of the Holy See. In addition to the three great churches, there are several remarkable palaces: the Cancelleria (1483-1517), the Palazzo Maffei, the Palazzo di San Callisto and lastly, the Palazzo di Propaganda Fide, renovated by Bernini and Borromini.
The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the four greater basilicas of Rome, of greatest artistic importance, religious and urban planning. In papal Rome it became one of the fulcrums of the urban plan of Sixtus V. The basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, with its typical bell tower and the cupolas, is a characteristic element of the Roman scene. Characteristic of the basilica is the quality and the abundance of the mosaics: those of the nave (36 panels) and those of the arch dated back to the 5th century, while those of the apse have been finished in 1295. The beautiful rear facade, the work of Carl Rainaldi (1673), is one of the most solemn realizations of the Baroque architecture.
San Giovanni in Laterano was the first cathedral of Rome, where Emperor Constantine allowed the pope to set up the episcopal chair after 312. Popes lived in the Lateran Palace until Clement V (1305-14) transferred the papal seat to Avignon. The present name is a result of the importance of the baptistry in the church, and of the presence of a Benedictine monastery dedicated to saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist. It had five naves; the exterior was simple, but the interior was lavishly decorated. The first major restoration was ordered by Pope Saint Sergius (687-701). Pope Sergius III (904-11) had the basilica completely rebuilt because of the earthquake damage. The old foundations were used, and it was built within the old perimeter. It was after this rebuilding that it was formally dedicated to St John the Baptist. The additional dedication to St John the Evangelist was made by Pope Lucius II (1144-45). In 1646, the basilica was in danger of collapsing. Pope Innocent X gave the task of restoring it to Borromini, in preparation for the Holy Year of 1650. It was during Borromini's restoration that the church was given its Baroque appearance.
San Paolo fuori le Mura is one of the four patriarchal basilicas of Rome built at the request of Constantine in 314 and later enlarged. In 1823, after being almost completely destroyed by fire, it was rebuilt by the architect Poletti and finished in 1854. The interior of the current basilica has 80 monolithic columns of Montorfano granite divided into five naves. On the upper part of the walls closed by slabs of Egyptian alabaster between big windows there are 36 frescoes with the scenes from the life of St Paul. Underneath the wall the frieze extends to the entire medium aisle. Against the internal wall of the facade there are six large alabaster columns presented by the Viceroy of Egypt to Gregory XVI.
Tourists walk in the Colosseum near the hypogeum (underground) on October 14, 2010, in Rome. The underground, never before available to the public, is now open for visitors.
Gladiators, wild beasts and ... tourists? Yep. People visiting the Colosseum can now walk around the underground chambers where lions and tigers were caged and gladiators waited to hear their fate.
The Papal Basilica of St. Peter is illuminated in Vatican City, an enclave of Rome. The basilica, until recently, was the largest church ever built. The holy place stands where St. Peter was crucified and buried.
The Roman Forum is located between the Palatine Hill and Capitoline Hill. The ancient city's most important and oldest structures were situated in or near the Forum, including many shrines and temples.
The Piazza del Campidoglio was designed during the 16th century by Michelangelo Buonarroti. The piazza is located atop Capitol Hill in Rome. The structure seen today dates back to 1560.
Castel Sant'Angelo, sitting above the Tiber River, was built by the Emperor Hadrian as a tomb for himself and his successors. The Mausoleum was later completed by Antoninus Pius in 139 A.D.
Legend has it that if a visitor throws a coin into the Trevi Fountain in Rome, he or she is ensured a return. About 3,000 euros are tossed into the fountain each day, according to the BBC.
Antique statue fragments sit inside the Capitole Museum yard, located at the Square of Campidoglio, in Rome. The Capitole Museum contains an antique collection began in 1471 by pope Sixte IV.
Shafts of light fill the interior of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Tourists who plan to visit the basilica should take note of a strictly enforced dress code, which includes no shorts, bare shoulders or miniskirts.
The Pantheon, according to the Web site italyguides.it, is the Roman monument that holds the most and best preserved records, and is "the most copied and imitated of all ancient works."
The Museo D'arte Contemporanea Di Roma (MACRO) houses a permanent art collection that includes "some of the most significant expressions characterizing the Italian art scene since the 1960s," its Web site claims.
Villa Medicis is a 16th Century garden located on the Pincian Hill at the top of the Spanish Steps. The gardens are complemented by statues and fountains.
This aerial shot of Rome shows the Vittoriano Monument, dedicaded to the Italian king Vittorio Emmanuelle II, in the background.
The Ara Pacis Augustae, or Altar of Peace, dates back to 9 B.C. The altar was built to celebrate the advent of peace under the reign of Augustus, Rome's first emperor.
The Vittorio Emmanuele II monument is seen at sunset. With nearly 3,000 years of history, Rome continues to live up to its motto of "The Eternal City," being one of the founding cities of Western civilization.
Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura, Rome: San Paolo Fuori le Mura, or Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, is one of the four churches that are the great ancient major basilicas of Rome. It was founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine I over what is believed to be the burial place of Saint Paul following the Apostle's execution. His followers were said to have erected a memorial for him there. It was expanded upon by the Roman Emperor Flavius Valentinianus in the AD 370's.
Part of the Aurelian Wall between the San Sebastiano gate and Ardeatina gate
The Basilica of Saint Paul got its name for being located outside the Aurelian Walls which lined the ancient city of Rome built between AD 271 and 275, enclosing all the seven hills of Rome. Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City enjoying extraterritorial rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 4th session of the World Heritage Committee at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, on 1 - 5 September, 1980.
Colysee photos by Patrick. Raymond
Place du Pueple
Musees du Vatican
place d'Espagne, Trinite des Monts
place d'Espagne, Trinite des Monts
Vatican, basilique Saint-Pierre
place d'Espagne, Trinite des Monts
eglise Saint-Louis des francais
Trastevere, eglise Sainte-Marie du Trastevere
eglise Saint-Marie du Trastevere
eglise Saint-Louis des francais
Trastevere, eglise Sainte-Marie du Trastevere
eglise Saint-Marie du Trastevere
Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the..
Roma Italia Rome Historic Capital Italy Vatican Christian Catholic Religious City
Inside: the Vatican - National Geographic