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Italian Art

The Art Enthusiast’s Guide to Touring Italy

Uffizi Gallery

It’s pretty common knowledge that Italy is the world’s top travel destination from an art perspective. The entire country is virtually an open air art museum: ancient ruins, natural beauty, stunning architecture and icons of Christianity pop up everywhere you look. If you’re looking to soak up history, culture and art all in one place, look no further than this amazing Southern European nation. Italy is never lacking in artistic attractions. In fact, the Vatican museums alone have enough treasures to literally keep you occupied for months if you take the time to look at the pieces for just a minute each. If you add in all the historical sites, churches, galleries and buildings in other Italian cities, you can stay in the country for years and still not see everything its artists have to offer. Considering the country’s vast artistic attractions, the biggest challenge when visiting Italy is prioritization. Knowing […]

Must See Attractions at the Vatican Museums

Apollo and the Muses on the ceiling of the Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums are a necessary stop for any trip to the Vatican. These art and Christian museums are visited by millions of people annually and is collectively considered the 6th most visited art museum in the world. With 54 galleries and about 20,000 works on display, merely exploring can take hours if you do so without a plan. It’s even possible that you may not be able to view everything due to time constraints. Below is a list of the highlights – not including the Sistine Chapel – you shouldn’t miss out on. The Vatican Pinacoteca This is an art-lover’s dream: the Vatican Pinacoteca contains several masterpieces that previously belonged to different popes, all collected under one roof. There are 460 paintings here, as well as tapestries, icons, and sculptures, all spread out over eighteen rooms and displayed in chronological order. In addition to Caravaggio’s Deposition and da Vinci’s […]

5 Popular Works of Literature Set in Italy

Piazza Navona, Rome

As a global center of culture and the arts, it is no surprise that many works of literature have been set in Italy. Since we’ve previously talked about Roman landmarks captured on film, it’s now time to look at Italy as featured in famous works of literature. Rome from Angels and Demons Dan Brown’s popular mystery-thriller, Angels and Demons, is extensively set in the eternal city of Rome. And there’s no reason that it wouldn’t be set there. As one of the oldest cities in the world, Rome’s iconic structures have stood for more than two thousand years.Despite being constantly inhabited, most of the ruins from Ancient Rome have stayed in pristine condition. On top of that, the city is home to around 900 churches, making it an ideal place for a pilgrimage.The most famous of these churches are the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Basilica of Saint Paul […]

5 Interesting Museums in Italy

When going on a trip to Italy, one of the first things that’s on your itinerary are its most popular museums. So enjoy these 5 interesting museums in Italy! These include the Galleria Borghese in Rome, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice. But with over 3,000 museums and galleries spread out across the country, it’s easy to miss some interesting sites. Hence, here are 5 unique museums that you may want to visit during your trip: Centrale Montemartini, Rome The phrase deus ex machina, or god in the machine, may be a cliché. But it is a fitting description for this museum. Once the first public electricity plant in the area, it is now a museum housing various ancient Greek and Roman sculptures. Yet despite being a museum, many of its machinery remain installed inside. This creates an interesting contrast between old and new, mythology […]

7 Masterpieces of Italian Art You Have to See Before You Die

With so many works of art found across Italy, even an art aficionado can get overwhelmed. But even if you’re just an average Joe with a general interest in art, you’ll get to appreciate the wealth of beauty Italian art has to offer. Here are 7 masterpieces that you should not miss when you start your journey across the country: Arch of Constantine (AD 315) The Forum, Rome Erected to commemorate the victory of Constantine I at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, the Arch of Constantine is the last existing triumphal arch in Rome. It is considered the most impressive surviving civic monument from Rome, as the design of many monuments and buildings worldwide are influenced by its style. These include everything from the façade of the Union Station in Washington DC to the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang. The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1486) Uffizi Gallery, […]

How to Buy a Great Venetian Mask in Italy!

venetian mask collection

I’m Josh, founder of VIVO Masks. We specialize in beautiful, handcrafted masquerade masks made in Italy, and want to discuss how to buy a venetian mask in Italy. I’m here because many people may wonder what the difference is between an authentic venetian mask versus an imitation mask that you can find at most local party stores in the months leading up to Halloween and Mardi Gras. Here’s what to look for to help you distinguish between imitation and authentic masks, whether you’re shopping at home or are lucky enough to get to go to Italy! Uniqueness – Imitation masks are made in factories hundreds at a time. One mask will look exactly the same as the next. The workers who create these masks often times have little to no knowledge of the history of venetian masks and therefore is very unlikely to look like a real venetian mask. Authentic […]

Bandierai degli Uffizi of Florence: Raising the Flags High

If you have ever been to Italy and managed to attend a major event such as the Palio horse races in Siena, or perhaps the colorful Historic Football (or Calcio Storico) in Florence, then you may have had the pleasure of also witnessing the costumed processions that precede the main events. The procession is normally composed of locals in period costumes, marching down the main road while beating drums, waving heraldic flags, and performing colorful stunts. These men are known as the Bandierai, or “flag-wavers”, and what they do is considered an art form that requires years of training to perfect. While there are many such groups throughout the country of Italy, the biggest and one of the oldest of these groups is the Bandierai degli Uffizi of Florence who officially represent their home city, and hold performances during important celebrations, giving people the chance to enjoy their showcase of […]

House of Mystery in Pompeii

This important site in Pompeii is named for a series of fresco paintings that are found inside. The House of Mystery in Pompeii –  known as Villa dei Misteri in Italian – was buried under meters of ash after the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in August 79 AD, bust escaped destruction. This once luxurious Roman villa that overlooked the sea and Mount Vesuvius is filled with an eclectic mix of architectural style and paintings. The villa originally dates from the 2nd century BC, but its current layout was set between 70 and 60BC. After the earthquake of AD62 the villa was extensively remodeled, changing what had been a patrician villa into a working farm house. This villa had a vineyard and farms. The building also housed a large wine-press and wine-cellar. The fresco covered walls measure 15 x 22 feet and the room has two windows, indicating this was a […]

Vintage Italian Travel Posters, Still All The Rage

Vintage travel posters are all the rage. This one is particularly fetching. Don’t you just want to be the girl in the poster. (If you’re a guy, you can imagine being the boy riding on the Vespa behind the girl in the poster). I mean, those sunglasses! That shirt! It is Italian style personified. That is the great thing about vintage Italian travel posters. They inspire, they transport. Of course, we at Tour Italy Now are partial to vintage Italian travel posters. I love this one. This past weekend we couldn’t resist clicking around and trying to decide which one was our favorite. And guess what. It is impossible to pick just one! There are too many charmingly whimsical and brilliantly inspiring examples out there, so we created a Pinterest board with all of our favorites. After collecting all of these images, now we are shopping for a few posters […]