Villa Comunale/Public Gardens, Taormina, Messina, Italy


Taormina – Giardino Pubblico
(Public Garden)
c.1920
Publisher: Francesco Galifi (F. Galifi Crupi)

Google Street View (approximate).

Of all the colorful characters who have spent time in Taormina, the one leaving the biggest mark may have been Lady Florence Trevelyan, who in the late 19th century created these beautiful gardens, now the park also known as Parco Duca di Cesarò. Lady Trevelyan allegedly was asked to leave Britain after an entanglement with Edward, Prince of Wales, son of Queen Victoria. She settled in Taormina, married, and lived quite happily in the lovely, adjacent villa that is now the hotel Villa Paradiso.
Frommer’s

Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, Italy


NAPOLI – Teatro S. Carlo
1900s
Publisher: Adinolfi Domenico, Naples

Google Street View.

Website.

The Real Teatro di San Carlo (Royal Theatre of Saint Charles), its original name under the Bourbon monarchy but known today as simply the Teatro di San Carlo, is an opera house in Naples, Italy It is located adjacent to the central Piazza del Plebiscito, and connected to the Royal Palace. The San Carlo Theater, formerly Real Theater of San Carlo, often referred to as the San Carlo Theater, is a lyric opera in Naples, as well as one of the most famous and prestigious in the world. Overlooking the street and side streets of Trieste and Trento, the theater, in line with the other great architectural works of the period, such as the great Bourbon Bourges, was the symbol of a Naples that remarked its status as a major European capital. It is the oldest opera house in Europe and the world still active, being founded in 1737, as well as one of the most extensive Italian theaters of the peninsula. It can accommodate 1386 spectators and has a large square (22 × 28 × 23 m), five rows of horses, plus a large royal stage, a log cabin and a stage (34 × 33 m). Given its size, structure and antiquity, it has been a model for subsequent European theaters.
HiSoUR

On 13 February 1816 a fire broke out during a dress-rehearsal for a ballet performance and quickly spread to destroy a part of building. On the orders of King Ferdinand IV, another Bourbon monarch and son of Charles III, who used the services of Antonio Niccolini, Barbaia was able to rebuild the opera house within ten months. It was rebuilt as a traditional horseshoe-shaped auditorium with 1,444 seats, and a proscenium, 33.5m wide and 30m high. The stage was 34.5m deep. Niccolini embellished in the inner of the bas-relief depicting “Time and the Hour”.

On 12 January 1817, the rebuilt theatre was inaugurated with Johann Simon Mayr’s Il sogno di Partenope. Stendhal attended the second night of the inauguration and wrote: “There is nothing in all Europe, I won’t say comparable to this theatre, but which gives the slightest idea of what it is like…, it dazzles the eyes, it enraptures the soul…”. In 1844 the opera house was re-decorated under Niccolini, his son Fausto, and Francesco Maria dei Giudice. The main result was the change in appearance of the interior to the now-traditional red and gold.
Wikipedia.

San Carlo Opera House is one of the most original, logical and powerful of all theatre fronts, and a monument of Neodassicism. Its massive rustication is relieved on the lower level by garlands and heads, on the upper by a series of reliefs alluding to music and poetry. Above the balcony, in complete contrast, a graceful Ionic colonnade shields the large windows of the salon. Largeness of scale is emphasized by such details as the six-foot-high bollards.
Theatre Architecture Database

Roman Forum, Rome


ROMA – Foro Romano.
Postmarked 1898

Google Street View.

Roma Antiqua: 3D Virtual Tour

The Roman Forum, also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum (Italian: Foro Romano), is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. For centuries the Forum was the center of day-to-day life in Rome: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million or more sightseers yearly.
Wikipedia.

Three columns on the left:
The original Temple of Castor and Pollux was built in 484 BC by the roman dictator Postumius who vowed to build the temple if obtained a victory over the Tarquin Kings who had previously ruled Rome. According to the legend, Castor and Pollux, mythological twin brothers, helped the Roman army to victory. In republican times the temple served as a meeting place for the Roman Senate, and from the middle of the 2nd century BC the front of the podium served as a speaker’s platform. and announced the victory at the forum. Only three pillars remain of the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the current ruins dating from its last reconstruction in 6 A.D
Tribunes and Triumphs

In the centre:
The Basilica Julia (Italian: Basilica Giulia) was a structure that once stood in the Roman Forum. It was a large, ornate, public building used for meetings and other official business during the Roman Empire. Its ruins have been excavated. What is left from its classical period are mostly foundations, floors, a small back corner wall with a few arches that are part of both the original building and later Imperial reconstructions and a single column from its first building phase. The Basilica Julia was built on the site of the earlier Basilica Sempronia (170 BC) along the south side of the Forum, opposite the Basilica Aemilia. It was initially dedicated in 46 BC by Julius Caesar, with building costs paid from the spoils of the Gallic War, and was completed by Augustus, who named the building after his adoptive father. The ruins which have been excavated date to a reconstruction of the Basilica by the Emperor Diocletian, after a fire in 283 AD destroyed the earlier structure.
Wikipedia.

Media Centre for Art History: panoramas

Colosseum & Meta Sudans, Rome


ROMA – Anfiteatro Flavio e Colosseo con la meta sudante
Flavian Amphitheater and Colosseum with the Meta Sudans
Publisher: F. Fichter, Rome

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The Flavian Amphitheatre, more commonly known as the Colosseum, stands in the archaeological heart of Rome and welcomes large numbers of visitors daily, attracted by the fascination of its history and its complex architecture. The building became known as the Colosseum because of a colossal statue that stood nearby. It was built in the 1st century CE at the behest of the emperors of the Flavian dynasty. Until the end of the ancient period, it was used to present spectacles of great popular appeal, such as animal hunts and gladiatorial games. The building was, and still remains today, a spectacle in itself. It is the largest amphitheatre in the world, capable of presenting surprisingly complex stage machinery, as well as services for spectators.
Parco archeologico del Colosseo

Parco archeologico del Colosseo online resources

The Meta Sudans was a large monumental conical fountain in ancient Rome. The Meta Sudans was built some time between 89 and 96 under the Flavian emperors, a few years after the completion of the nearby Colosseum. It was built between the Colosseum and the Temple of Venus and Roma, close to the later Arch of Constantine, at the juncture of four regions of ancient Rome: regions I, III, IV, X (and perhaps II). A meta was a tall conical object in a Roman circus that stood at either end of the central spina, around which racing chariots would turn. The Meta Sudans had the same shape, and also functioned as a similar kind of turning point, in that it marked the spot where a Roman triumphal procession would turn left from the via Triumphalis along the east side of the Palatine onto the via Sacra and into the Forum Romanum itself.

Photos from the end of the 19th century show a conical structure of solid bricks next to the Arch of Constantine, surrounded by its own original, reflecting stone pool. The ruins of Meta Sudans survived until the 20th century. In 1936 Benito Mussolini had its remains wantonly demolished and paved over to make room for the new traffic circle around the Colosseum.

Wikipedia.

Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence, Italy


Firenze. – Loggia dell’ Orcagna
Publisher:Attilo Scrocchi (1906-1945)

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The Loggia dei Lanzi, also called the Loggia della Signoria, is a building on a corner of the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy, adjoining the Uffizi Gallery. It consists of wide arches open to the street. The arches rest on clustered pilasters with Corinthian capitals. . . . Sometimes erroneously referred to as Loggia dell’ Orcagna because it was once thought to be designed by that artist, it was built between 1376 and 1382 by Benci di Cione and Simone di Francesco Talenti, possibly following a design by Jacopo di Sione, to house the assemblies of the people and hold public ceremonies, such as the swearing into office of the Gonfaloniers and the Priors. Simone Talenti is also well-known from his contributions to the churches Orsanmichele and San Carlo. . . . The name Loggia dei Lanzi dates back to the reign of Grand Duke Cosimo I, when it was used to house his formidable landsknechts (In Italian: “Lanzichenecchi”, corrupted to Lanzi), or German mercenary pikemen. After the construction of the Uffizi at the rear of the Loggia, the Loggia’s roof was modified by Bernardo Buontalenti and became a terrace from which the Medici princes could watch ceremonies in the piazza.
Wikipedia

The Loggia dei Lanzi is a beautiful arched gallery that was built in the 14th century at the Piazza della Signoria right in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. This famous loggia served as a model for many loggias that were later built across Europe. The original purpose of the loggia was to shield dignitaries from the elements during ceremonies, public meetings and events. Today it houses a number of statues, the most notable being a statue showing Perseus after he killed Medusa.
A View on Cities

Construction occurred between 1376 and 1382. The beautifully proportioned open gallery was designed in a late Gothic style, a clear precursor to the soon to be popular Renaissance style. Michelangelo, one of the most prominent Renaissance artists, even proposed to extend the gallery along all sides of the Piazza della Signoria, but Cosimo I de’ Medici, Duke of Florence, eventually decided it would be too expensive. The loggia originally served to house the assemblies of the people, and hold public ceremonies and the official ceremonies of the Florentine Republic.
Florence Inferno

Temple of Hercules Victor, Rome


ROMA Tempio di Vesta
1920a

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Media Center for Art History (images & panoramas but not a lot of variation)

The Temple of Vesta is the popular name given to the round temple near the Tiber River in Rome (now Piazza Bocca della Veritá). The association with Vesta is due to the shape of the building but in fact it is not known to which god the temple was dedicated. It may have been dedicated to Hercules Olivarius, patron of the Portus Tiberinus oil merchants, as three or four temples to the Greek hero are known to have stood in the area of the Forum Boarium where there was also a Great Altar to Hercules. The temple is Greek in style and was probably the work of an eastern Greek architect. The building also uses that quintessential Greek building material, Pentelic marble, from near Athens. At the time of construction Pentelic marble was one of the more expensive building materials and so was rarely used for large projects. The columns, entablature and cella walls were constructed with this marble whilst the inner cella wall was lined with tufa and stucco.
Ancient History Encyclopedia

The Temple of Hercules Victor (‘Hercules the Winner’) or Hercules Olivarius is a Roman temple in Piazza Bocca della Verità, in the area of the Forum Boarium close to the Tiber in Rome, Italy. It is a tholos – a round temple of Greek ‘peripteral’ design completely encircled by a colonnade. This layout caused it to be mistaken for a temple of Vesta until it was correctly identified by Napoleon’s Prefect of Rome, Camille de Tournon. Despite (or perhaps due to) the Forum Boarium’s role as the cattle-market for ancient Rome, the Temple of Hercules is the subject of a folk belief claiming that neither flies nor dogs will enter the holy place. The temple is the earliest surviving marble building in Rome. The Hercules Temple of Victor is also the only surviving sacred temple in ancient Rome that is made of greek marble.Today it remains unsolved who this temple was dedicated for and for what purpose.
Wikipedia

With a history of continuous occupation stretching back over 2,000 years, the Temple of Hercules represents a palimpsest of architectural layers and uses. The temple is the only surviving ancient sacred structure in Rome that is made of Greek marble. It is composed of Pentelic marble that is originating in the quarries of Mount Pentelikon in the plain of Attica. The temple’s famed columns are slender that exhibit no swelling or entasis, instead extending directly upwards giving the structure a lofty appearance.
Chronology of Architecture

Medici Chapels, Florence, Italy


Firenze – Cappelle Medicee – Sagrestia Nuova – Michelangiolo

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Official Website

The Medici Chapels are two structures at the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, and built as extensions to Brunelleschi’s 15th-century church, with the purpose of celebrating the Medici family, patrons of the church and Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The Sagrestia Nuova (“New Sacristy”) was designed by Michelangelo. . , ,The Sagrestia Nuova[1] was intended by Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici and his cousin Pope Leo X as a mausoleum or mortuary chapel for members of the Medici family. It balances Brunelleschi’s Sagrestia Vecchia, the “Old Sacristy” nestled between the left transept of San Lorenzo, with which it consciously competes, and shares its format of a cubical space surmounted by a dome, of gray pietra serena and whitewashed walls. . . .The Sagrestia Nuova was entered by a discreet entrance in a corner of San Lorenzo’s right transept, now closed. Though it was vaulted over by 1524, the ambitious projects of its sculpture and the intervention of events, such as the temporary exile of the Medici (1527), the death of Giulio, now Pope Clement VII and the permanent departure of Michelangelo for Rome in 1534, meant that Michelangelo never finished it. Though most of the statues had been carved by the time of Michelangelo’s departure, they had not been put in place, being left in disarray across the chapel, and later installed by Niccolò Tribolo in 1545.
Wikipedia.

A corridor leads down to the Sagrestia Nuova (New Sacristy), a cramped inner chamber that is the real draw of the Medici Chapels, a smorgasbord of Michelangelo: sculpture, architecture, and drawings. Sangallo probably started the chapel, but Michelangelo took over in 1520 to turn it into a final resting place for the Medici, the architecture drawn along cold, hard lines of dark gray pietra serena stone and white plaster and using tricks of perspective in the upper reaches to make the chapel seem airier.

There are basically three groupings of Michelangelo statues here. To the left is the tomb of Lorenzo II, Duke or Urbino (grandson to Lorenzo the Magnificent), looking pensive under his helmet, with his finger to his lips. To the right is the tomb of Giuliano, Duke of Nemours (third son of Lorenzo the Magnificent), with a serpentine neck and a nude-style breastplate modeled on ancient Roman statues. Much more famous (and compelling) than the figures of these undistinguished Medici are the allegorical figures just below them, reclining along the slow curves of the tomb architecture: Day (the male) and Night (female) beneath Giuliano, twisting their nude bodies across from Dawn and Dusk under Lorenzo.
ReidsItaly.com