Milan: Sant’Eustorgio

The church of Sant’Eustorgio can be found some 400 metres south of the San Lorenzo Maggiore. The church dates back to Late Antiquity and is named after the man who was bishop of Milan between 344 and 349, Saint Eustorgius. Also part of the complex is an interesting museum, which…

Continue reading

Florence: Santa Croce

The Santa Croce is the principal church of the Franciscans in Florence. It is one of the largest Franciscan churches in the world, perhaps even the largest. The basilica can be found on the Piazza Santa Croce, which is the location of the annual Calcio storico or historical football in…

Continue reading

Ravenna: Dante’s tomb

Dante Alighieri (ca. 1265-1321) is perhaps the most famous Italian poet ever. He is best known for his Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy), which consists of three parts: Hell (or Inferno), Purgatory and Paradise. Although Dante was born and raised in Florence and can be considered one of the most important…

Continue reading

Florence: The Duomo

No matter how many times I have seen it, Florence’s cathedral continues to impress me, and for many reasons. The Duomo is simply huge, with a length of some 153 metres and a nave width of 38 metres (90 metres at the crossing). It can accommodate at least 20.000 people.…

Continue reading

Milan: Pinacoteca di Brera

The name “Brera” apparently derives from a Germanic word, braida, which means “field of grass”. In this part of the city of Milan, traditionally home to many artists, we find the world-famous Pinacoteca di Brera. It can be found in a palazzo that was built for the Jesuit Order in…

Continue reading

Milan: Castello Sforzesco

The Castello Sforzesco is a huge castle in the centre of Milan, measuring some 190 by 190 metres. Behind it is the Parco Sempione, one of the largest public parks of the city. The Castello houses a handful of a museums that together are called the Musei Civici. You can…

Continue reading

Milan: Biblioteca and Pinacoteca Ambrosiana

The driving force behind establishing the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana was Federico Borromeo, archbishop of Milan from 1595 until his death in 1631. Borromeo, cousin of Saint Carlo Borromeo, was an important figure in the counter-Reformation movement. In 1609 he founded the Bibliotheca Ambrosiana, one of the first public libraries in Europe.…

Continue reading

Milan: Museo Poldi Pezzoli

What a wonderful museum! We had not planned to visit the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, but ended up there by chance. Originally we wanted to go and see the famous Chiaravalle Abbey on the outskirts of Milan. However, the abbey was quite far away and since it was our last day…

Continue reading

Florence: Palazzo Medici Riccardi

In April of this year, I saw the “art movie” Florence and the Uffizi Gallery at the cinema. It featured the actor Simon Merrells as Lorenzo “Il Magnifico” de’ Medici and discussed the highlights of Florentine Renaissance art. The movie dedicated quite a few minutes to the Palazzo Medici Riccardi,…

Continue reading

Florence: Santa Trinita

The Vallumbrosan Order is a branch of the Benedictines that was founded in the eleventh century by Saint John Gualbert (died 1073). The first church of the Vallumbrosans in Florence was built in either 1077 or 1092 (different dates are mentioned in different sources). At that time it was outside…

Continue reading