Pisa more than Leaning Tower for Norway Family

Pisa more than Leaning Tower #7Born as an Etruscan port on the banks of the Arno River around the middle of the 6th century B.C., Pisa is much more than the famous Leaning Tower. Known as Pisae, a Roman colony, the settlement displayed some Ligurian and Etruscan influence. After the end of the Roman Empire, this was a port town of great importance for the Goths’, the Longobards and the Carolingians too. In the 11th century, a further development transformed Pisa into one of the most powerful Italian Maritime Republics, together with Genoa, Venice and Amalfi. In this period the buildings that made Pisa famous were begun: the Duomo, the cathedral’s bell tower and the well-known Leaning Tower.
Because of their peripatetic nature, Pisans brought long-forgotten ideas of science, architecture and philosophy back to Europe from their trade travels. Pisa’s great variety of architectural styles in its monuments is testament to their exposure to different people, cultures and artistic concepts and to their willingness to blend and harmonize external influences into new and original forms of expression.
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It was here that the refined Pisan-Romanesque style was born – Pisa’s permanent legacy to the world’s art, and where Galileo, one of the world’s greatest physicists and astronomers, and Leonardo Fibonacci, the great mathematician, were born, studied and taught. It can also add its renowned University established in 1343 to its hall of fame, as it remains today one of Italy’s top schools.

Piazza Garibaldi:
This square is very popular. It is in the exact centre of the city, and in fact the bridge opposite the square is called Ponte di Mezzo, the “middle bridge”. The statue in the square is of Garibaldi. The square is always very crowded and it is one of the gathering points in Pisa:
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From April to July the square is packed with students going to the bars that open onto the square and sitting on the Lungarno walls. Moreover, in this square you can find the best ice-cream shop, La Bottega del Gelato: don’t miss it!

The Square of Miracles:
The Piazza dei Miracoli was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO 25 years ago. The square is not located in the center of the city as you might imagine but to the north-west of the fortified wall, almost out of the town; there probably wasn’t enough space to use at the time the project got underway so this is the site decided upon. Since the times of the Etruscans, the three structures found in the piazza have been considered central to religious life, symbolizing the main stages of a human’s life: the Baptistery represents birth, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore life and the graveyard of course alludes to death.
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The square is surrounded by a beautiful green lawn where tourists and university students can lie down and relax in this amazing setting.

The Leaning Tower:
What about the Tower of Pisa? Well, we haven’t forgotten it but the famous and so called Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually considered a part of the cathedral since it is really its bell tower.
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The construction of this imposing mass was started in the year 1174 by Bonanno Pisano. When the tower had reached its third stores, the works ceased because it had started sinking into the ground. The tower remained thus for 90 years and was completed by Giovanni di Simone, Tommano Simone (son of Andreo Pisano), crowned the tower with the belfry in the mid-14th century. The top of the Leaning Tower can be reached by mounting the 294 steps which rise in the form of a spiral on the inner side of the tower walls.
The Tower is the monument that, among the others of the “Piazza dei Miracoli”, stirs the imagination of everybody. Typically tourists take some kind of photo of them holding up the tower for fun! And our extended family is no exception as you can see – after all it is quite heavy!
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This is the fourth post from our big family trip; my wife (DianeCA) and I, our children + SO and even my grandchild met up with Diane’s brothers and spouse from the USA. 14 people in all gathering in Pisa at the Park Hotel California, and having the time of our lives enjoying each other’s company, getting better acquainted and exploring this wonderful part of Italy. From my first post: Family from Norway touring Tuscany in Italy, you’ll get an introduction and then you will know that I’ll do more posts from this trip, so stay tuned – Cinque Terre is next – I’ve saved the best post for last!

Edvard Munch Modern Eye in Paris Frankfurt and London

The travelling Edvard Munch exhibition “The Modern Eye” started in Paris Centre Pompidou and focuses on The Norwegian painter’s later works and his relationship to his contemporary era. His personal experiences and the introverted workings of his mind have always attracted attention, but here the spotlight is on his inquisitive participation in his social affairs and a modern visual culture.
The exhibition is stringently organized in distinct sections. In the first section some of his major works from the 1890’s are presented. In the next one will find later versions of the same motifs in Munch’s radical artistic idiom.
OsloBG participants At The Munch Museum
Claudie and Renny at Munch’s masterpiece “The Scream”.

The Oslo Blog Gathering to Munch Museum:
OsloBG 2010 was a chance to Visit Oslo, the capital of Norway, to explore the city and Norway’s history, culture and traditions! Among a lot of options, I was pleased to take our special blog friend Claudie from France to the Munch Museum. The artists masterpiece and most known work was of course a must see : -)

Her Majesty Queen Sonja travels to France:
Her Majesty Queen Sonja was honourable guest at the premiere of the Munch exhibition L’oeil moderne” at the Pompidou Center in Paris. “The Modern Eye” presents a variety of formats through which Munch expressed himself.

Munch arrived in Paris in 1885 and developed his graphic expression here as a student of the French painter Leon Bonnat. In this exhibit, drawings, graphics, sculptures and film contribute to a very special presentation of Munch’s art and his modern look.

Munch’s ‘The Scream’ is the defining image of modernity, and one of the most important works of art in private hands. One of four versions of “The Scream” was sold by Sotheby’s auction house in New York this spring for about $80 million.

The exhibition was displayed in Pompidou Centre from September 2011 to January 2012. Now it’s at Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt and will also be at Tate Modern in London from 28 June to 14 October 2012. If you have the chance to see this exhibit while it is on tour I would say, Carpe Diem : -). Don’t let the chance pass you by!