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Travel Tips

Italy

ITALY

From North to South

Aosta:
- Museo del Tresore della Cattedrale,Piazza Papa Giovanni XXIII, Aosta. www.cattedraleaosta.it/it/Cattedrale+di+Aosta2/museo-del-tesoro-1
 
Udine:
- Museo d'Arte Sacra, Viale Ungherese 2, Udine.
 
Pordenone:
- Chiesa Beata Odorico by Mario Botta.
 
Brescia:
- Museo d'Arte Moderna-Associazione Arte e Spiritualità – Brescia.
 
Bergamo
- Church by Mario Botta for the John XXIII Pastoral Centre. The contrast between the solidity of the structure and the play of light inside is an attempt to convey something of the notion of the infinite.
 
Seriate:
-  Church by Mario Botta.
 
Merate:
- Chiesa di San Pietro Apostolo by Mario Botta, San Tirana, Merate. 
 
San Giorgio su Legnano:
- In the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta the dome has been painted by Valentino Vago in 1999.
 
Milano:                                                                                                                                           
- In the castle a Pieta by Michelangelo.
- Diocesan Museum; Chiostri di Sant'Eustorgio, c.so di Porta Ticinese. www.museodiocesano.it 
- In the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice church in San Donato, Milaan, murals and a painted pulpit from the year 1996 by the Italian painter Valentino Vago. www.valentinovago.com 
- Galleria Ponte Rosso, Via Brera 2, Milano. Founded in 1973, the Ponte Rosso has long given space to Lombardy painters and the movements they started, from the early 1900s to the present day. Many Catholic artists. www.ponterosso.com 
- Galleria d’Arte Sacra dei Contemporanei, Villa Clerici, Milano Niguarda. Museum with modern and contemporary sacred art (Giacomo Manzù, Aldo Carpi, Floriano Bodini, Felice Carena, Francesco Messina, Enrico Manfrini, Libero Andreotti, Attilio Selva, Giuseppe Zigaina). www.villaclerici.it 
Museo del Duomo di Milano. Museum at the Catherdral.
 
Susa:
Museo Diocesano di Arte Sacra, Via Mazzini 1, Susa (To). www.centroculturalediocesano.it
 
Turino:
- La Chiesa del Santo Volto by the Swiss architect Mario Botta (1943).
Museo della Sindone di Torino, Via San Domenico 28, Torinowww.sindone.org    
 
Torre Pellice:
- Museo Valdese. Museum about the Waldensians who lived in this part of Italy. It has a historical section about the history of the Waldensians from the Middle Ages till now, an ethnographical section about Waldensian life, a section about the mission in Africa, and one with liturgical objects. Exhibitions about Italian and European Protestantism and about contemporary art. Paintings by Paolo Paschetto and Filippo Scroppo are part of the collection of the museum. http://www.fondazionevaldese.org/en/museo/museo00.php 
 
Vicenza:
- Gallerie di Palazzo Leoni Montanari, Contra’ S.Corona, 25, Vicenza: Russian icons. 

www.gallerieditalia.com/it/collezioni/3/13
 
Torcello:
- In the S. Maria Assunto basilica are mosaics, e.g. of the Last Judgment.
 
Venice:                                                                                                                                            
- The Scuola of San Rocco with a cycle of paintings by Tintoretto.                                                
The San Marco.
- Venice Diocesan Museum is a cultural institution for the Diocese, a home for both permanent and temporary exhibits and other cultural events.
- Museo delle icone, Istituto Ellenico Venezia, Castello 3412. www.istitutoellenico.org/museo/index.html (It, E)
 
Padua:                                                                                                                                           
- The Scrovegni Chapel (Arena Chapel) with a fresco cycle by Giotto depicting the life of the Virgin and the life of Christ.
 
Mantua:
- Diocesan museum.
 
Ferrara:
- Cathedral museum.
 
Bologna:
- Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita with a very expressive 15th-century Mourning of Christ by Niccolo dell'Arca.
 
Ravenna:                                                                                                                                              
- St. Apollinare Nuove: beautiful mosiacs from the sixth century. Among other things famous image of the Three Kings.
 
Lucca:
- Lucca is one of the most well kept old cities of Toscane. The Duomo has the famous ‘santo volto’, the S. Michele in Foro and S. Frediano are special monuments.
 
Pisa:                                                                                                                                                
- The Dom/Duomo. For a short description of all attractions: www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/pisa-cathedral-duomo.htm 
 
San Casciano:
- Cathedral Museum.
 
Florence:                                                                                                                                      
- Uffizi, the main art museum of  Florence.    
- Bancacci chapel. In the church Santa Maria del Carmine frescoes by Masaccio and Masolini on the Life of St. Peter.                                                                                                                 
- Monastery San Marco with Fra Angelico’s cell frescoes.                                                                  
- Cathedral (Duomo): Pieta of Michelangelo. Dome of Brunellischi.   
- Cathedral Foundation Museum (Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore), Via della Canonica, Firenze.
- Santa Croce.       
- The Academy: sculptures of Michelangelo, also the David. 
- Santa Maria Novella: a Crucifixion by Giotto. One of the most important gothic churches of Toscane.  
- Capellone degli Spagnoli at Santa Maria Novella. Every square millimeter of the Capellone is covered in frescoes, the subjects of which are enormously rich with meaningful detail. With Andrea da Firenze’s Dominican Allegory of Salvation.
- The Orsanmichele church. This church is richly decorated by the great artists of the 14th century.            
- Santa Maria del Carmine: fresco of Masaccio.
- The. S. Miniato al Monte is a jewel of Romanesque architecture. 
- Museo di Arte Sacra, Piazza Consituzione, San Donnino – Campi Bisenzio (FI). www.centroartecultura.it 
- The Bargello Museum in Florence is a leading sculpture museum with the world's best collection of Donatellos and works by Cellini & Michelangelo.
 
Recommended book: Timothy Verdon: Michelangelo the Theologian and Art, Faith, History: A Guide to Christian Florence. Monsignor Timothy Verdon is a Yale-trained art historian and a priest in residence at the Duomo in Florence and a renowned expert on Renaissance art.
 
Montespertoli:
- Museo di Arte Sacra, Via S. Piero in Mercato, 233, Montespertoli. www.tuscanypass.com/tuscany_attractions/25060_museo-di-arte-sacra-montespertoli.html
 
Reggello:
- Museo Masaccio d Arte Sacra, Via Casaromolo, 2/a - Cascia, Reggello.
    
Loreto:
- Museo-Pinacoteca del Santuario di Loreto, Diocesan museum, with artworks from the Middle Ages till now.
 
Terranuova Bracciolini:
- Chiesa di Santo Maria Nuova by Mario Botta. 
 
Arezzo:                                                                                                                                        
- Church of San Francesco with Piero delle Francesca’s Legend of the Holy Cross.
 
Serra Sant’ Abbondio:
- The monastery di Fonte Avellana has 60 contemporary windows made by the Flemish glass artist Joost Caen. www.joostcaen.be, www.fonteavellana.it
 
Siena:                                                                                                                                            
- Lorenzetti’s Allegory of Good and Bad Government in the Siena town hall.                             
- The cathedral or duomo, where the famous Maestà of Duccio is situated, an altarpiece (main altar) from 1311.
 
Cortona:
- Diocesan Museum.
 
Montalcino:
- Diocesan Museum.
 
Assisi:                                                                                                                                            
- Church of Santa Maria delle Rose: MARIA is an exhibition of the sculptural sacred artwork of Italian artist Guido Dettoni della Grazia. After visiting several cathedrals and churches in Europe, since January 2002 it has been permanently installed in the 16th Century Church of Santa Maria delle Rose in Assisi, Italy.
- Upper Basilica of Assisi: Giotto’s (or his school’s) Life of St. Francis fresco cycle.  
- Pro Civitate Museum, Osservatorio Cristiana alla Cittadella di Assisi. With ca 2500 works by 20th-century and contamporary artists in the Galleria d'Arte Contemporanea della Pro Civitate Christiana, via degli Ancajani 3, Assisi, the Miserere series by Georges Rouault and ca 1500 works of old art. http://procivitate.assisi.museum
- Museo Capitolare e Cripta di San Rufino. 
 
Ascoli Piceno:
- Diocesan museum. 
 
Orvieto:                                                                                                                                         
- Orvieto cathedral with the San Brizio chapel with frescoes by Signorelli of ca. 1500.
 
Teramo:
- Museo Stauros d’Arte Sacra Contemporanea, 64048 San Gabriele – Isola del Gran Sasso (Teramo). www.stauros.it 
 
Rome:
- Vatican Museums (Pinacoteca Vaticana). Among others:
* Sistine Chapel decorated by Michelangelo.
* Stanza della Segnatura decorated by Raphael.
* The Vatican Museum of Contemporary Religious Art. Artworks of 250 modern artists, not all Christian, but religious. Artists (among others): Ottone Rosai, Carlo Carrà, Mario Sironi, Aligi Sassu, Renato Guttuso, Maurice Utrillo, Giorgio Morandi, Filippo de Pisis, Umberto Boccioni, Giazomo Balla, Rodin, Chagall, Henry Morre, paul Klee, Kandinsky, Braque, De Chirico, Jacques Villon, Bernard Buffet, Kokoschka, Picasso, Bacon.
* Also the Ethnological Vatican Museum. Objects of above all a religious nature from four geographical areas (Asia, Oceania, Africa, America). This is flanked by a section called Missionary Synthesis which is a collection of works produced following mission.
- Museo Tipologico Internazionale del Presepio, “Angelo Stefanucci”, Via Tor de’ Conti, 31/a. Museum with 3000 nativity scenes through the centuries.
- Jubilee Church, Rome, Richard Meier & Partners Architects, LLP. This church was conceived as a new center for an isolated housing quarter outside central Rome. Christian symbolism is revealed throughout the complex. The three concrete shells that, with the spine-wall, make the body of the nave imply the Holy Trinity. The pool reflects the role of water in Baptism. The materials in the portico allude to the body of Christ’s church while referencing the fabric of the adjacent residential area. “A building with beauty from every side,” noted the jury, and “a true focus for the neighborhood. The church reveals spectacular daylight—dappled, dynamic, kinetic, openness in spirit, yet a containment of the eye. The quality of the light is breathtaking.”
- Catacombs of Priscilla on the Via Salaria have a fresco of the Adoration of the Kings from the 2nd century. This scène of the Adoration of the Kings was the first and most generally used Christian symbol of Christ’s birth, and herewith of the whole theme of the human redemption by Christ. Some of the walls and ceilings display fine decorations illustrating Old and New Testament scenes, including the Fractio Panis. There are a number of wall paintings of saints and early Christian symbols. Above the apse is a Last Judgment. Near this are figures of the Madonna and Child and the Prophet Isaiah, also dating from the second century.
- Santa Costanza is an imperial mausoleum in Rome that was later dedicated as a church (in Italian it is known both as Mausoleo di Santa Costanza and Chiesa di Santa Costanza). This fascinating and beautiful building dates from the 4th century AD and features some of the earliest surviving Christian art and mosaics.
- Santa Sabina all’Aventino: early basilica (5th century), The centre of the Dominican order. Sober church. Wooden door from the 5th century with 18 panels of biblical subjects, also one of the earliest depictions of the Crucifixion.  
- Santa Maria Maggiore, in which you find mosaics from the 4th century.
- Gesù, baroque church, Jesuit church which was finished in 1584.
- San Clemente church, Rome, 12th-century church with 4th-century lower church.
- St. Maria Antiqua: 7th-century fresco of Jesus’ Descent into Hell.
- St. Paolo entro le Mura, mosaics of choirs of angels by Edward Burne-Jones, 1872-1876.
- Galleria La Pigna, Via della pigna 13/a Rome, gallery of U.C.A.I (Unione Cattolica Artisti Italiani).
 
Avellino:
- In the Santa Maria del Carmine (2006) murals by Bert van Zelm.
 
Naples:
- Museo di San Martino, Largo San Martino 8, Naples. The Carthusian monastery Certosa di San Martino with cloisters, chiostro grande and gardens is now a musem with a large collection of artworks from the 15th-19th centuries. Open: 8.30-19.30.
- The duomo or cathedral of Naples sets up an elaborate presepe or nativity scene each year. The presepe includes the traditional manger and village scenes.
- Museo Diocesano Napoli, Largo Donnaregina, Naples. www.museodiocesanonapoli.com
- ARCA, Museo d’Arte Relogiosa Contemporanea, Piazza Santa Maria La Nova, 44 – Napels. 
 
Frascineto:
Museum for Byzantyne Icons and Tradition, Piazza Albania 1, Frascineto. A large display of works, showcasing the important iconographic heritage, theological and high cultural value of Byzantine culture in Calabria.
 
 
SICILY
 
Monreale:
- The 12th-century monastery of Monreale on Sicily, a monastery with ‘the most beautiful church in the world’. The architecture has unmistakable Byzantine, Islamic and French influences. With 228 reliefs. The abbey is the most intact monastery of Sicily and belongs to the highpoints of Normandian architecture and sculpture.
 
Trapani:
- Diart, Museum of Religious Contemporary Art, Via Cosenza 90 Trapani. Permanent collection of works by many contemporary Catholic Italian artists. www.seminariotrapani.it/OPEREINESPOSIZIONE.html
 
Also see: Irving Hexham, ed, Marke Konnert, Peter and Carine Barrs, Christian Travelers Guide to Italy. http://www.christian-travelers-guides.com/