Prato: San Francesco

It is clear that the church of San Francesco, which adjoins the eponymous square in Prato, wants to welcome foreign tourists: most of the information panels in the building are in both Italian and English. The church furthermore has an excellent and well-structured website, which contains a lot of information…

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Prato: The Duomo

Unlike many other Italian cities, Prato does not really have any roots in Antiquity. It was preceded by the medieval village of Borgo al Cornio, which had a small church (pieve) dedicated to Saint Stephan the Protomartyr (Santo Stefano) since at least the tenth century. The church was probably a…

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Bologna: Le due Torri

De twee torens van Bologna zijn de Torre degli Asinelli en de Torre Garisenda. Samen zijn ze hét symbool van de universiteitsstad. Vroeger stond Bologna vol met dit soort torens. Het waren niet alleen verdedigingswerken en uitkijkposten, maar zeker ook statussymbolen waarmee welgestelde families in de stad hun rijkdom konden…

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Bologna: San Domenico

Dominicus Guzmán behoorde samen met Franciscus van Assisi tot de belangrijkste kerkhervormers van de dertiende eeuw. Hij werd omstreeks het jaar 1170 geboren in het toenmalige Castilië, tegenwoordig onderdeel van Spanje. Eind 1216 keurde Paus Honorius III (1216-1227) zijn nieuwe Orde van de Dominicanen of Predikheren goed. De nieuwe orde…

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The Roman Age of Kings: the Etruscans and their influence on Rome (ca. 900-509 BCE)

Discussions about the origins of the Etruscans go all the way back to Antiquity. The Romans called their neighbours Tusci or Etrusci, while the Greeks called them Tyrrhenoi.[1] Most classical authors believed that the Etruscans were originally Lydians who, at some point in history, had migrated from Asia Minor to…

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Pistoia: Museo Civico

The elegant Palazzo Comunale, also known as the Palazzo degli Anziani, is situated directly next to the Duomo of Pistoia. Construction of the palazzo started in 1295. As its alternative name indicates, it served as accommodation for the Anziani, the Elders. The magistrate with the prestigious title of Gonfaloniere (literally:…

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Pistoia: Cappella del Tau

It was not easy to get inside the Cappella del Tau, also known as the church of Sant’Antonio Abate. The limited accessibility we encountered was probably related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The chapel is just small and as a consequence there was a considerable risk of infection. This could easily…

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