101 Places in Italy: A Private Grand Tour: 1001 Unforgettable Works of Art
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"The author has achieved the near impossible…a must-squeeze-into-hand-baggage or the back pack."—House and Garden
"A minor classic."—The Times Literary Supplement
This personal, and wonderfully well-informed, selection of the most rewarding towns, cities, villages, and individual monuments in Italy is the definitive guidebook for the discerning traveler. The author has been visiting Italy, for study, for work, and for pleasure, for over fifty years, and is the perfect companion for those who want to know about more than the obvious attractions.
As well as comprehensively covering the finest sights in the major tourist centers of Rome, Florence, Venice, and elsewhere, Francis Russell discusses and describes the neglected, or little-known, masterpieces that are still to be found the length and breadth of the Italian peninsula. In a book that will educate and astonish the expert as surely as it will guide and inform the first-time visitor, the author chooses and explores palaces and gardens, city squares and lonely churches, frescoes and altarpieces, great museums and tiny ruins that together provide a richly textured portrait of a country where the history and patterns of civilization lie more thickly than anywhere else on earth.
This book will immeasurably enhance and enrich the visitor's experience of the most visited country in the world, by virtue of its sensitivity, its wisdom, and its deep knowledge, and by means of its vivid, eloquent, and entertaining exposition.
Francis Russell was educated at Oxford. He is deputy chairman of Christies and specializes in Old Master and Italian paintings.
artist. There are two other notable churches, the late twelfth-century San Fedele of particularly ingenious plan, and, in a now rather run-down area outside the walls, the Benedictine Sant’Abbondio, which was consecrated by Pope Urban II in 1095. Thoroughly but not unsympathetically restored in successive campaigns, this is an austere masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. The deep polygonal apse is decorated with a major fresco cycle of about 1350. Como is understandably famous for the villas
Palazzo della Ragione into the Piazza del Duomo. On the left is the not very appealing cathedral, ahead the flank of the magnificent Santa Maria Maggiore, with the façade of the adjoining Cappella Colleoni. Designed by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo and built in 1472–6, this domed monument to the great condottiero Bartolomeo Colleoni is perhaps the purest achievement of the Lombard Renaissance. In the eighteenth century the interior was enriched with a series of canvasses by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo,
1797. The letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu give an idea of the civilities of patrician life in the area in the mideighteenth century. Loggia, begun in 1492, door to the staircase. 49 The city is rectangular in plan, with the Castello at the north-east angle. More or less in the centre is the small piazza fronting the richly decorated Palazzo del Comune (or Palazzo della Loggia) of 1492–1574. This was begun by Filippo de’Grassi, who was also responsible for the west section of the Monte di
supplied in 1494 by the youthful Michelangelo. The later decoration of the chapel is also remarkable, with Guido Reni’s powerful Apotheosis of Saint Dominic in the cove of the apse. From the Piazza Porta Ravegnana, the Via Zamboni runs at a diagonal to the grid of the early town. On the right is one of Bologna’s major churches, San Giacomo Maggiore, another thirteenthcentury foundation. At the east end is the Bentivoglio Chapel, consecrated in 1486. The altarpiece is by the most influential
pentaptych of 1319 and the Saint Paul from Masaccio’s altarpece of 1426 from Santa Maria del Carmine. Like other great Italian cities, Pisa did not exist in isolation. The finest church in the vicinity, some five kilometres south-west, is the Romanesque San Piero di Grado, which marks the spot where Saint Peter disembarked. The isolated setting means that there is nothing to disturb our appreciation of the intelligent use of contrasting tufo and black and white stone from nearby San Giuliano, and