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Royal Botanic Gardens Kew is a place where you can discover the world of science behind our botanical collections, with over 50,000 living plants to be found across our UNESCO World Heritage site. Our mission at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew is to understand and protect plants and fungi, for the wellbeing of people and the future of all life on Earth. Earth is the only planet in the universe that we know for certain supports life. Yet that life is in crisis. The unprecedented rate of degradation means we are living through an age of extinction. We know the next decade is critical to reverse this trend. Our aspiration at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew is to end the extinction crisis and help create a world where nature is protected, valued and managed sustainably. Our scientists will identify and strive to protect species of plants and fungi globally, as well as revealing those that could be new sources of food, medicine, fuel or materials. We will promote and provide access to knowledge, ideas and beautiful gardens that motivate individuals to be advocates for nature. The world needs brilliant scientists and horticulturists. We commit to training students from the UK and around the world. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a public body and charity with global collections and influence. We must be for everyone, disseminating our knowledge and collections both physically and digitally for global benefit. We will speak with confidence and prominence to advocate policies aligned with our mission. We will be an exemplar of environmental responsibility in all that we do, including by exceeding net-zero carbon emissions to become Climate Positive by 2030.

 Listings /  United Kingdom / NEW

Traditional or innovative, everyone has their own taste. La Sirenetta Ice Cream Parlour has been producing ice cream since 1969 with the same unchanged dedication and care. A passion that has been handed down for generations and that chooses only quality raw materials. For a tasty break overlooking the enchanting beach of San Vito Lo Capo, choose The Little Mermaid. Founded by Adele Pizzimenti and continued by his son, the master of ice cream Natalino Pizzimenti, the artisan laboratory of the La Sirenetta ice cream parlour has been producing ice cream since 1969, today as then, with the same unchanged dedication and care. A passion that has been handed down for generations and that chooses only quality raw materials. The choice of ingredients of the highest quality and the knowledge of a sophisticated technique makes our production of ice cream and desserts unique. All our products are free of preservatives and additives and are made with artisanal processing methods and a great deal of care. Our ice cream meets everyone's tastes, consistency and balanced proportion of ingredients enhance the flavour. There is a lot of choice to satisfy your sweet wishes. Indulge the craving for chocolate or enjoy the velvety softness of mulberry trees, the tasteful creations of La Sirenetta are a dip in authentic Sicilian flavours. For a sweet lunch, an energetic breakfast or a delicious after dinner, stop at our terrace overlooking the sea. Sweeten your holiday with unique moments, enriched by the view of the beautiful sea of San Vito Lo Capo. At La Sirenetta you can enjoy, in addition to ice cream, also the typical Sicilian sweets such as cannolo and cassata.

 Listings /  Greater Europe

52-year-old Gianluigi Colucci from Bari, Assemble new volumes and save ancient texts using only vintage needle, thread and tools. A craftsman who in his small workshop carries on a historical and "poetic" profession: that of the restorer and bookbinder. To differentiate Gianluigi from the others is precisely the manual skills. In fact, if his colleagues have long since adapted to new technologies and modern equipment, he continues to be faithful to the tools of his father Giuseppe, the one who opened the shop in 1971. The binding and the restoration are carried out by Gianluigi using his own hands. For example, he continues to join the pages using only the needle and thread, as well as to cut cardboard and paper he uses tools that can only work with the strength of the arms. Most of his colleagues now use devices where you just need to push a button to make sure the game is done. The restoration of ancient books: a passion passed on to him by his father. "It is a niche profession - he underlines -: it is reserved for collectors, people who want their volumes to return to their original appearance". Gianluigi say that the binding is what makes him live, above all thanks to the degree theses, while the restoration satisfies the unconditional love he feels for the beautiful and immortal ancient books. Gianluigi Colucci, 52 anni di Bari, Assembla nuovi volumi e salva testi antichi usando solo ago, filo e strumenti vintage. Un artigiano che nel suo piccolo laboratorio svolge un mestiere storico e “poetico”: quello del restauratore e del legatore. A differenziare Gianluigi dagli altri è proprio la manualità. Infatti, se i suoi colleghi si sono adattati da tempo alle nuove tecnologie e alle moderne attrezzature, continua ad essere fedele agli strumenti del padre Giuseppe, colui che nel 1971 aprì il negozio. La legatura e il restauro sono eseguiti da Gianluigi con le proprie mani. Ad esempio continua a unire le pagine usando solo ago e filo, oltre a tagliare cartone e carta usa strumenti che possono lavorare solo con la forza delle braccia. La maggior parte dei suoi colleghi ora utilizza dispositivi in ​​cui è sufficiente premere un pulsante per assicurarsi che il gioco sia terminato. Il restauro dei libri antichi: una passione tramandatagli dal padre. "E' un mestiere di nicchia - sottolinea -: è riservato ai collezionisti, persone che vogliono che i loro volumi tornino al loro aspetto originale". Gianluigi dice che la rilegatura è ciò che lo fa vivere, soprattutto grazie alle tesi di laurea, mentre il restauro soddisfa l'amore incondizionato che prova per i bei e immortali libri antichi.

 Listings /  Greater Europe

The Goodwood Estate is in the heart of West Sussex and is home to the world-famous Festival of Speed, Goodwood Revival and Glorious Goodwood. Goodwood House and Estate have been a family's home for over 300 years, and there can be few places as beautiful. The history began with the first Duke of Richmond, illegitimate son of Charles II by his French mistress, Louise de Kérouaille, when originally rented Goodwood to enjoy the fox hunting with the nearby Charlton Hunt, then the most fashionable hunt in the country. In 1697, he bought the house, built in 1616-17 by the 9th Earl of Northumberland - known as the ‘Wizard Earl’ - whose main home was at Petworth. There is evidence that a house had existed at Goodwood as early as 1570. Colen Campbell’s floorplan of 1724 shows the small Jacobean house with gabled ends and, later, sash windows, which must have been added by the first or second Duke. The second Duke of Richmond employed Matthew Brettingham to enlarge the house to the south, with a pedimented front based on William Kent’s Devonshire House in Piccadilly. This was unfinished when the Duke died in 1750, so it was left to Sir William Chambers to complete the interiors. His son, the third Duke of Richmond, employed a young James Wyatt to remodel and extend the north wing (now mainly demolished) in 1771. This included the Tapestry Drawing Room, which was decorated in 1776-7. In 1791, the family’s main seat, Richmond House in Whitehall, London, burnt down. Much of the great art collection was saved, and James Wyatt added two great wings to showcase it, taking advantage of the sweeping views across the park. To give unity to the two new wings and Brettingham’s south wing, Wyatt added copper-domed turrets framing each façade. When the third Duke died in 1806 he left massive debts, so the wing containing the Ballroom was only completed in 1836, when the fifth Duke of Richmond inherited the Scottish properties of his maternal uncle, the last Duke of Gordon. When the tenth Duke and Duchess of Richmond moved into the house in the late 1960s, the north wing was riddled with dry rot. The decision was taken to demolish the wing but preserve the Tapestry Drawing Room. During this period, the external colonnade and modern kitchens were added to the rear of the house. In 1994 the Duke’s son and daughter-in-law, the eleventh Duke and Duchess of Richmond, moved into the house and completed an extensive refurbishment programme, restoring the rooms to their original Georgian glory. Nowadays, Goodwood is England’s greatest sporting estate. Seat of the Dukes of Richmond for over three centuries, the family has always welcomed their friends and guests to share in their love of sport. Horseracing, motor racing, golf, flying, shooting and cricket have all been introduced by enthusiastic family members since the first Duke came to Goodwood in 1697. Within its 12,000 acres, Goodwood is home to one of the largest lowland organic farms in England, a famous Battle of Britain airfield, a celebrated racecourse, a historic motor circuit, two golf courses and one of the oldest cricket grounds in the country, all centred around Goodwood House with its magnificent Regency interiors.

 Listings /  United Kingdom

The historic city of Bukhara has been a hub for traders and travellers since its foundation over 2,000 years ago. Situated on an oasis in the Zerafshan river delta in central Uzbekistan, Bukhara lies on a crossroads of ancient trade routes that stretched across Central Asia, and was a vital stopping point for merchants on the edge of the Kyzyl Kum (Red Sand) and Kara Kum (Black Sand) deserts. It was one of the most prosperous cities in Central Asia throughout the Middle Ages, and became a centre not only for exchange between merchants but also for culture, scholarship and religious studies. Bukhara also contributed many locally produced goods that enriched Silk Road trade, and was particularly renowned for its textile industry. Karakul lambs' fleeces, silk, cotton, leather, carpets and clothing were all traded from Bukhara, as well as gold embroidery and metal work, and many of these crafts are still practised in the city today. Bukhara's ancient history was closely intertwined with the growth of the Silk Roads through Central Asia. Indeed, a settlement on the site of Bukhara has been discovered dating from as early as the 2nd millennium BC, and the city grew up nourished by the merchants that arrived from Persia, India, China, and Russia as well as those travelling east from the Caspian Sea and beyond. Its geographical situation, on the edge of the deserts but also close to Uzbekistan’s most prosperous agricultural region, meant that Bukhara was a popular and important resting point in the development of these routes. Following the Arab conquest of the city in 709 AD, Bukhara also became a major cultural and religious centre, and was chosen by the Emir Ismail ibn Amad to be the capital city for the independent Samanid kingdom in 892. The Emir’s tomb, built in Bukhara in the early 10th century, is one of the most striking and well-preserved examples of the architecture of the Muslim world from this period. The city increasingly attracted intellectuals and religious scholars, gaining a reputation as a centre of Islamic learning, and so earned the title of Bukhoro-i-Sharif, or "Noble Bukhara". The scholars and students from across the Muslim world who gathered in the city to learn and teach were themselves partaking in travel along the Silk Roads, and brought their own cultures and ideas with them. The city continued to expand, both economically and socially, under the rule of the Karakhanids in the 11th century, up until the invasion by Ghengis Khan in 1220, and became part of the Timurid Empire in 1370. However, it was in the 16th century that Bukhara reached the peak of its prosperity and renown as a cultural, trading and religious centre on the Silk Roads. Conquered in the late 15th century by Khan Sheibani, a nomadic Uzbek tribal leader, the city went on to become the capital of the Khanate of Bukhara under the Sheibanid dynasty. As Sheibanid rule expanded and was consolidated over large areas of Central Asia, Bukhara was the first to benefit from this prosperity, and the majority of the most celebrated and striking monuments that distinguish the city today date from this period. Many of these reflect Bukhara's status as a spiritual and cultural as well as economic centre, such as the remarkable Poi-Kalyan complex, which consists of the Kalyan mosque, minaret and the Mir-i Arab madrassah. The Lyabi-Khauz ensemble similarly dates from this period, as well as the Kosh madrassah and the Gaukushon madrassah. The Taki Sarafon (Dome of the Moneychangers) and the Taki-Tilpak-Furushan (Dome of the Headguard Sellers) both hint at the vibrant commercial activity that was taking place in Bukhara in this period. The Magoki Kurns and Abdullaziz-Khan madrassah were added in the mid-17th century. This historic old town is in fact the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia today, and its well-preserved urban structure and striking medieval architecture, as well as the remains of many covered bazaars, all reflect the influence of the Silk Roads throughout the long history of Bukhara.

 Listings /  Asia

i-Italy is a group of journalists, academics and “public intellectuals” determined to create an authoritative point of encounter, information, and debate on the Internet concerning Italy and Italian America. i-Italy is a TV, a print magazine and a multimedia, bilingual web project which focuses on three major fields: Information and discussion on current, social and cultural events. In-depth examination and cultural debate, hosting opinions, comments, columns, analyses, and reviews; Community building/social networking Our project addresses three major segments: American "Italophiles" who love Italy and everything Italian. Americans of Italian descent. Italians living and working in the U.S. It also addresses three main topics: Italian America: social, political and cultural events related to the Italian/American community. Italy in the U.S.: Italian events in America, including among others artistic, cultural, and business events; Italy in Italy: Italian current events and lifestyle. Finally, our project is bilingual, with English as its main language as it is spoken by the most part of our target audiences.

 Listings /  North America

The Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais is a cultural operator whose mission is to promote access to culture throughout the national territory, and beyond. It brings together expertise of excellence in the artistic and cultural field: production of exhibitions, reception of the public, mediation, art history courses, publishing, management of museum shops and publishing of cultural products, art, photographic agency, acquisitions of works of art for national collections, cultural engineering, digital innovation... These allow it to play a unique role in the cultural world, with one ambition: to encourage the greatest number of people to meet art, the art of all cultures, of all eras and in all its forms. The Grand Palais, which entered an important phase of work in 2021, is the emblem of the institution: it exercises many of its skills there, including the production of major exhibitions and cultural events. Temporarily installed on the Champ-de-Mars, the Grand Palais Éphémère will host the event program presented in the Nave of the Grand Palais until the reopening of the monument. In Paris, at the Luxembourg Museum, and everywhere in France, the Rmn - Grand Palais deploys its skills around ambitious and innovative projects. Built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900 and consecrated "by the Republic to the glory of French art", the Grand Palais was classified as a historic monument in 2000. Its architecture combining classicism and modernity, its exceptional dimensions (70,000 m²) and its remarkable volumes (the largest Nave in Europe with a surface area of ​​13,500 m², crowned by a glass roof of 17,500 m²) make it a unique cultural and heritage site. La Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais est un opérateur culturel dont la mission est de favoriser l’accès à la culture sur l’ensemble du territoire national, et au-delà. Elle regroupe des expertises d’excellence dans le domaine artistique et culturel : production d’expositions, accueil des publics, médiation, cours d’histoire de l’art, édition, gestion de boutiques de musées et édition de produits culturels, Ateliers d’art, agence photographique, acquisitions d’oeuvres d’art pour les collections nationales, ingénierie culturelle, innovation numérique… Celles-ci lui permettent de jouer un rôle singulier dans le monde culturel, avec une ambition : favoriser la rencontre du plus grand nombre avec l‘art, l’art de toutes les cultures, de toutes les époques et sous toutes ses formes. Le Grand Palais, entré dans une phase importante de travaux en 2021, est l’emblème de l’institution: elle y exerce nombre de ses savoir-faire, dont la production de grandes expositions et d’événements culturels. Installé provisoirement sur le Champ-de-Mars, le Grand Palais Éphémère accueillera jusqu’à la réouverture du monument la programmation événementielle présentée dans la Nef du Grand Palais. À Paris, au Musée du Luxembourg, et partout en France, la Rmn - Grand Palais déploie ses compétences autour de projets ambitieux et innovants. Construit pour l’Exposition Universelle de 1900 et consacré «par la République à la gloire de l’art français», le Grand Palais a été classé monument historique en 2000. Son architecture mêlant classicisme et modernité, ses dimensions exceptionnelles (70 000 m²) et ses volumes remarquables (la plus grande Nef d’Europe avec 13 500 m² de surface, couronnée d’une verrière de 17 500 m²) en font un site culturel et patrimonial à part.

 Listings /  Greater Europe

La fondazione Accorsi Ometto nasce da un sodalizio di passione, conoscenza e intuito lungo una vita intera. Nato a Torino il 25 ottobre 1891, Accorsi rivela subito quelle straordinarie doti d'intuito artistico che lo resero in seguito famoso e stimato in Italia e all’estero. La sua storia inizia infatti all’età di diciotto anni quando, grazie a un prestito, comincia la sua febbrile ricerca ovunque lo portasse il suo straordinario fiuto per gli oggetti di prestigio. A vent’anni, già famoso e apprezzato, comincia a comprare pezzo dopo pezzo il palazzo della sua gioventù per farne il fulcro della sua attività. In settant’anni di lavoro, Accorsi ha recuperato opere d’arte smembrate e disperse ed è stato fidato consulente di collezionisti, mercanti, istituzioni d’ogni nazionalità. Da giovane appassionato d’arte Giulio Ometto conoscerà Pietro Accorsi a Torino negli anni Settanta, collaborando con lui fino alla scomparsa del grande antiquario. Durante gli ultimi anni, il suo contributo è fondamentale per lo sviluppo e la crescita della galleria di antichità di Pietro Accorsi, di cui diverrà il proprietario nel 1978. Dal 1986 è presidente a vita del consiglio artistico della Fondazione, costituita nel 1975 per volontà di Accorsi, che scriveva nel suo testamento: “Grazie al tuo sapere e al tuo gusto, quanto farai per Torino sarà una cosa stupenda”. Da questo momento Giulio Ometto dirige sapientemente il restauro di Palazzo Accorsi ed è l’artefice della messa a punto dei locali destinati al Museo e degli immobili della Fondazione, di cui diverrà presidente nel 1993. Dopo la sua morte, avvenuta il 18 giugno 2019, per sua volontà la sua collezione d’arte personale è confluita in quella del Museo. L’ipotesi di una Fondazione viene concepita da Pietro Accorsi sul finire degli anni Sessanta del Novecento quando, dopo lunghe discussioni e molti incontri con Giovanni Agnelli e Werner Abegg nell’antica Vigna della Regina che l’antiquario ha in gran parte arredato e di proprietà del banchiere e industriale tessile zurighese, prende corpo l’idea di unire le forze e fare nascere una Fondazione culturale, chiamata amichevolmente “Le tre A”, dalle iniziali dei tre fondatori. Il progetto si arenerà sul finire del 1969, quando Agnelli si svincolerà per dedicarsi alle sue fabbriche, durantei quello che venne definito l’Autunno caldo, con scontri e proteste di piazza; a seguire, anche Abegg rinuncerà al progetto, abbandonando definitivamente Torino per tornare in Svizzera. Accorsi però continua ad inseguire un sogno: catturare il Bello per lasciare alla città che ha visceralmente amato un’impronta, una traccia forte di sé e della sua storia con una Fondazione di caratura internazionale. A tal fine, incaricherà l’avv. Paolo Emilio Ferreri di occuparsi di tutte le pratiche per fare nascere una Fondazione. Il suo sogno si concretizzerà il 14 maggio del 1975, quando sarà presentato lo Statuto della Fondazione: del consiglio d’amministrazione, oltre al fondatore Pietro Accorsi, farà parte, a vita, il suo segretario Giulio Ometto. La motivazione della scelta della Fondazione è riportata nel suo testamento: “Desidero che il mio nome resti legato agli oggetti d’arte e d’antiquariato da me in un’intera vita di lavoro raccolti e conservati […] perché la villa stessa da me con passione arredata costituisca una raccolta museologica dove la gente possa visitare e apprezzare quei mobili e quegli oggetti d’arte e d’antiquariato. Questo vuole essere un dono fatto alla gente intesa come insieme di persone da coltivare”. Dopo la scomparsa di Accorsi, avvenuta nel 1982, la Fondazione, presieduta da Giulio Ometto fino alla sua morte, si occuperà di realizzare nel Palazzo Accorsi il Museo di Arti Decorative, nonchè di preservare le opere del celebre antiquario e di incrementarne la raccolta attraverso il recupero di capolavori senza tempo. L’origine del palazzo Accorsi, see del Museo, è dovuta all’intraprendenza dei Padri Antoniani, che nel 1616 aprirono ai religiosi e ai malati un grande complesso, comprensivo di palazzo e chiesa dedicata a Sant’Antonio abate, al fondo dell’odierna Via Po; per circa 150 anni il complesso fu una delle sedi più prestigiose degli Antoniani in Piemonte ed Italia. Pochi sono oggi i resti riconoscibili delle costruzioni antiche. Nel Novecento la storia del palazzo ha trovato una prosecuzione ideale ed un nuovo grande impulso. Nel 1956 l’intero palazzo fu acquistato da Pietro Accorsi che adibì il piano nobile a sua abitazione e galleria d’arte. Alla sua scomparsa Giulio Ometto, suo allievo, attraverso un meticoloso lavoro, rispettoso della storia secolare del palazzo, ha completamente rinnovato lo storico edificio, rendendolo degna e splendida sede del Museo di Arti Decorative. Il Museo contiene lo straordinario doppio corpo, firmato e datato, come recita la scritta al centro della ribalta “Petrus Piffetti Inve./ fecit et sculpsit/ Taurini 1738”, ritenuto dalla critica internazionale “il mobile più bello del mondo“. Esso è un esplodere fastoso di forme mistilinee, lastronate e arricchite da intarsi in avorio e tartaruga, riportanti scene tradotte in gran parte da celebri incisioni del Cinque e Seicento. Un’opera imponente, caratterizzata da fonti iconografiche molteplici e complesse, commissionata per un matrimonio, evento cui alludono non solo la frase “PERPETVVM NODIS“, ma anche numerosi simboli, quali per esempio lo svettante Cupido armato di arco e frecce o scene significative, tra cui spicca un matrimonio, probabilmente quello di Alessandro e Rossana, che si svolge davanti alla statua di Apollo citaredo. Il museo ospita nelle sue sale oltre 2500 oggetti, di cui solo una minoranza collocati dentro vetrine museali. Il resto delle collezioni è allestito nei vari ambienti, secondo quello che con il tempo viene ormai definito il “gusto Accorsi“. All’interno del percorso museale sono custoditi preziosi capolavori, veri e propri gioielli d’arte.

 Listings /  Greater Europe

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 21 museums and the National Zoo—shaping the future by preserving heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing their resources with the world. The Smithsonian Institution was established with funds from James Smithson, a British scientist who left his estate to the United States to found “at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Smithson died in 1829, and six years later, President Andrew Jackson announced the bequest to Congress. On July 1, 1836, Congress authorized acceptance of the Smithson bequest, but it took another ten years of debate before the Smithsonian was founded. The Institution was founded in 1846 according to Smithson wishes. Once established, the Smithsonian Institution became part of the process of developing an American national identity—an identity rooted in exploration, innovation, and a unique American style. That process continues today as the Smithsonian looks toward the future. They continue to honor this mission and invite you to join them in their quest. When you visit the Smithsonian, you’re entering the world’s largest museum complex, with approximately 155 million artifacts and specimens in its trust for the American people. As a center for research, they are also dedicated to public education; national service; and scholarship in art, design, science, technology, history, and culture.

 Listings /  North America

The Sassi di Matera are two districts, Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano, of the Italian city of Matera, well-known for their ancient cave dwellings inhabited since the Paleolithic period. The Sassi di Matera quarters were listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993. They are a unique place with extraordinary charm that shows how man has lived in a fairytale-like environment for thousands of years: both the Sassi districts and the surrounding area - comprised by the Parco Archeologico Storico Naturale for the most part - are characteristically rocky. The sassi quarters are connected to the current town centre all throughout, admittedly there are many streets and alleys that lead down to the old town. Initially, the Sassi di Matera were just a rocky area, very similar to the opposite side of the canyon created by the Gravina river. The western side of the canyon is made up of a steep side overlooking the stream, along with several hills and terraces more suitable for human habitation. As time went on, these places transformed into villages and ultimately into a fully-fledged town. The first human settlements date back to the Palaeolithic age, and they developed in the many caves that characterize the local rocky landscape. Over time, the landscape has been increasingly modified by man, as the local sandstone is soft enough to be carved, meaning that it can be manipulated to create shelter. The caves that were dug in this period constitute the basis of urbanization, still visible in the buildings constructed during the last millennium. Hence, Matera has gone through the prehistoric phase, comprised of the Palaeolithic age, the neolithic age and the Iron Age, and later its history was strongly affected by the advent of Christianity, which quickly became culturally prevalent. During the Middle Ages, the landscape was transformed as a result of the systematic construction of a series of places of worship. Today, the Sassi di Matera represent a fascinating cultural landscape, which is the reason why they are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. Architecturally, they encompass a mixture of different elements that were stratified over time, such as rock dwellings, cave churches and burial grounds that repeatedly alternate with buildings belonging to disparate time periods such as the Middle Ages, the renaissance, the baroque and the modern age. As a matter of fact, caves, hypogea, palaces, churches, neighbourhoods, staircases, galleries and gardens all intertwine together, creating a magical and unique atmosphere in this place.

 Listings /  Greater Europe

With a legacy of more than 60 years, which brought hundreds of hours of live television and over 1,500 songs from some 50 countries, the Eurovision Song Contest is a great source of historic facts and mind-blowing figures. On this page, we are sharing the most significant ones with you. The history of the Eurovision Song Contest began as the brainchild of Marcel Bezençon of the EBU. The Contest was based on Italy's Sanremo Music Festival and was designed to test the limits of live television broadcast technology. The Eurovision Song Contest started with just 7 participating countries in 1956. It was the only contest with 2 songs per country. Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, more countries wanted to join in the 1990s. In 1993 and 1994, a then-record 25 countries took part. In 1996, a pre-qualification heat was organized to reduce 29 participants to 23, while host country Norway automatically qualified for the contest as 24th country. The challenge was solved in 2004, when a Semi-Final was introduced. Growing interest lead to the introduction of a second Semi-Final in 2008. As a result, a record number of 43 countries took part in 2008 for the first time. Over 1,500 songs have taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest (not including the 7 songs that didn’t make it to the 1996 pre-qualification round). In 2006, Ireland’s Brian Kennedy delivered the 1,000th entry to the contest, appropriately titled Every Song is a Cry for Love. If you listened to all the songs without a break, you would be sitting up for nearly 72 hours. In 2001, the largest audience ever attended the Eurovision Song Contest. Almost 38,000 people gathered at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium to witness the first-ever Estonian victory. Ratings of the Eurovision Song Contest have varied greatly over the past decades. In 2016, some 204 million people saw at least one of the 3 shows in whole or in part. With 7 victories, Ireland is the most successful country at the contest. Sweden won the contest 6 times, while Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom won 5 times. Poland made the most impressive debut in 1994, when Edyta Gorniak came second with To Nie Ja, closely followed by Serbia’s victory in 2007. Although Serbia & Montenegro was represented twice before, it was the first time that Serbia took part as an independent country. Norway could be found at the bottom of the scoreboard as many as eleven times. The unfortunates came last in 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2001, 2004 and in the Grand Final of 2012. Nevertheless, they also won 3 times, in 1985, 1995 and 2009. In 2015, the Eurovision Song Contest celebrated its 60th anniversary. The BBC hosted a grand anniversary show in London, featuring over a dozen former participants. And to honour the country's Eurovision Song Contest commitment for over 30 years, the organizers admitted Australia to participate for the first time ever. Despite the 'grand old lady' being of respectable age, her pension is nowhere in sight, as the Eurovision Song Contest is still the most modern live TV entertainment spectacle in the world.

 Listings /  Greater Europe

The Oropa Sanctuary is the most important and largest Sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary to be found in the Alps. It is located in a unique, natural and unspoilt setting at only 15 minutes drive from the centre of Biella. Historical lore states that the Sanctuary was founded in the 4th century AD by St. Eusebio, the first bishop of Vercelli. The first written documents that mention Oropa date back to the beginning of the 13th century and mention the first simple churches of St. Mary and St. Bartholomew. These served as important reference points for ‘viatores’ (travellers) who travelled back and forth to the nearby Aosta Valley. The Sanctuary grew and has been developed through the years into a spectacular architectural ensemble of important monumental buildings. This led to a change in the use of Oropa from one of transit to a destination used by pilgrims brought here by their strong sense of devotion. The complex is made up of three large courtyards built on three levels and was designed by the great Savoyard architects Arduzzi, Gallo, Beltramo, Juvarra, Guarini, Galletti and Bonora between the mid 17th and 18th centuries finishing with the “Upper Basilica” which was consecrated in 1960. The first courtyard, faced by restaurants, bars, and several shops for the visitors, is followed by the wide square containing the Ancient Basilica. It can be reached by the monumental staircase and the Royal Door. The majestic buildings of Oropa have been edified in the course of the centuries starting from a core unit: the small sacellum of the Black Virgin. The rooms of the Sanctuary offer hotel-quality accommodation suitable to meet all needs, for tourism accessible to all. Il Santuario di Oropa sorge a 1200 m di altitudine ed è il più importante Santuario mariano delle Alpi: inserito in una cornice naturale di assoluta bellezza, si trova a 15 Km dal centro di Biella Secondo la tradizione l’origine del Santuario è da collocarsi nel IV secolo, ad opera di S. Eusebio, primo vescovo di Vercelli. I primi documenti scritti che parlano di Oropa, risalenti all’inizio del XIII secolo, riportano l’esistenza delle primitive Chiese di Santa Maria e di San Bartolomeo, di carattere eremitico, che costituivano un punto di riferimento fondamentale per i viatores (viaggiatori) che transitavano da est verso la Valle d’Aosta. Lo sviluppo del Santuario subì diverse trasformazioni nel tempo, fino a raggiungere le monumentali dimensioni odierne tramutandosi da luogo di passaggio a luogo di destinazione per i pellegrini animati da un forte spirito devozionale. Il maestoso complesso è frutto dei disegni dei più grandi architetti sabaudi: Arduzzi, Gallo, Beltramo, Juvarra, Guarini, Galletti, Bonora hanno contribuito a progettare e a realizzare l’insieme degli edifici che si svilupparono tra la metà del XVII e del XVIII secolo. Dal primitivo sacello all'imponente Basilica Superiore, consacrata nel 1960, lo sviluppo edilizio ed architettonico è stato grandioso. Articolato su tre piazzali a terrazza, il complesso è imperniato su due grandi luoghi di culto: la Basilica Antica, realizzata all'inizio del XVII secolo e in cui si venera la Madonna Nera, per tradizione portata e nascosta da S. Eusebio ad Oropa, e la Chiesa Nuova. Completano la struttura monumentali edifici, chiostri e la solenne scalinata che conduce alla Porta Regia.

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Saving Castles, where a castle is only as good as the ground it stands on! They are saving castles one project at a time, in the hope that by building a global community, many people can help them do their job! The castles of Europe are unlike any other. They range from fancy, to small and simple; but they all have one thing in common: every castle has a story behind it that makes it so special! Some people have dreamt since they were kids, about owning their own personal castle or château with cobblestone streets leading up to the gates. For others, inheriting property is just an expectation-a family tradition passed down through generations for centuries. And then there’s those who contribute to projects for these majestic structures because of the beauty or history within them, no matter how old or new…all kinds come together under the banner of “Saving Castles.” We all will be saving history as Guardians of the Saving Castle Foundation. When you become involved in the preservation and protection of these historic buildings, it’s more than just your support that saves them – their transformation will impact all who visit! Savings Castles Foundation hopes to bring life back into history by giving contributors, partners and visitors first-hand experiences with historic castles, châteaus, manors, events, artifacts, and more! Their projects are reviewed by experts, then chosen because they deserve and need more public attention. If you want to get involved, there are lots of different ways to join in! Project Guardians, Defenders and Saviours are key supporters that often have the opportunity to become intimately involved with restoring their chosen castle. This is a hugely important role, which enables these monuments of history to stay standing for future generations and visitors alike! Guardians play an integral part in saving Castles from destruction or deterioration by funding necessary repairs that can’t be done on their own as volunteers. They have several contribution levels and all include some wonderful gifts from their online shop in appreciation. The Volunteer Program offers challenging alternative opportunities. The Saving Castles staff place individuals who wish to contribute their time and expertise as part of a project. Volunteers in this program work with their staff members on both short-term or long-term projects, bringing the necessary knowledge base that is desperately needed for specific areas such as restoration, construction, remodelling, archaeology, engineering, fund-raising, event planning, website work, etc. The volunteer positions change from helping out at one event to becoming an important member of the team working alongside them in different parts of the world They want to create inspiring member experiences that bring the story of Europe’s history alive by selecting historic buildings and sites that need expert care, so that in turn they can be enjoyed by future generations. Building on their work with heritage experts, they’ve partnered up with local organizations around the world who share this passion and interest in preserving history – it’s a way to give back what was once taken away from them without forgetting where you came from!

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Gone are the days when people learned about history simply from reading books. People are increasingly looking for experiences that bring history to life in an engaging way and nothing beats standing on the spot where history happened. English Heritage wants to create inspiring visitor experiences that bring the story of England to life. They ensure that their historic sites and artefacts are expertly cared for, so that they can be enjoyed by future generations From small beginnings towards the end of the 19th century, the collection of historic places now managed by English Heritage has grown to over 400, inspired by a determination to put England's heritage ahead of private interest. The extraordinary collection of buildings and monuments now in the care of English Heritage began to be amassed in 1882. At that stage heritage was the responsibility of the Office of Works, the government department responsible for architecture and building. In 1913 an Act of Parliament was passed that gave the Office new powers. These were essentially to make a collection of all the greatest sites and buildings that told the story of Britain. At that stage these were regarded as being prehistoric and medieval remains - country houses and industrial sites were then not really seen as heritage. After the Second World War the Ministry of Works (as it had become) started to be interested in buildings other than castles, abbeys and manor houses. Its first industrial sites were acquired and in 1949 it acquired its first country house, Audley End in Essex. The Ministry had its sights set on a number of other big houses, but the Treasury was very nervous. The government felt it was one thing to take on old castles and abbeys, but quite another to look after, and maintain, huge roofed buildings full of works of art. After some debate it was decided that it would be financially more sustainable if the National Trust took on the country houses and that the Ministry of Works confined itself to the older monuments. This ruling, though disappointing to the men at the Ministry, did not stop them collecting and huge numbers of historic sites, as windmills, iron works and Georgian villas were added to the collection. By 1970 the English part of the collection alone stood at 300 sites visited by more than 5.5m people: it was by far the largest visitor attraction business in the country. Many of the sites now had museums and shops selling souvenirs and it was possible to buy a season ticket and visit the Ministry's sites across the country for free. In 1983 what had effectively become the English national heritage collection was transferred to a new body set up by Mrs Thatcher's government. It was called the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Its name was not thought to be very snappy by its first Chairman, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, and so it was re-christened English Heritage. Under Lord Montagu's inspired leadership English Heritage did two jobs: it cared for the National Heritage Collection and it ran the national system of heritage protection, including listing buildings, dealing with planning issues and giving grants. By 1933 there were 273 sites in the collection including Stonehenge, Rievaulx Abbey, Carisbrooke Castle and Richborough Roman Fort. Preservation of these important places was, of course, the primary objective, but telling their stories was almost as important. All these places were open to the public and had guidebooks and explanatory signs. Some also sold postcards and even had tea shops. Over a period of a decade or more, the collection became better run, better displayed and the old season ticket was transformed into a membership scheme. Lord Montagu and his successor as chairman, Sir Jocelyn Stevens, began to collect more buildings, now including country houses, such as Brodsworth Hall. Membership grew, visitor numbers increased, and people enjoyed the collections more than ever before. In fact, by the mid-2000s, income from the collection was beginning to make a contribution to their maintenance and conservation. In 2011, for the first time, the national heritage collection made an operational surplus. In other words, instead of costing money to open it to the public, a small surplus was made. Thanks to these successes, the government agreed that it would provide £80m to English Heritage if it transferred the national heritage collection to a charitable trust. This happened on 1 April 2015 when the old English Heritage separated into two parts: a charity that looks after the collections, and Historic England that champions the nation's wider heritage, running the listing system, dealing with planning matters and giving grants. English Heritage offers a hands-on experience that will inspire and entertain people of all ages. Their work is informed by enduring values of authenticity, quality, imagination, responsibility and fun. Their vision is that people will experience the story of England where it really happened. They seek to be true to the story of the places and artefacts that they look after and present. They do not exaggerate or make things up for entertainment's sake. Instead, through careful research, they separate fact from fiction and bring fascinating truth to light. They pursue the highest standards in all their work, from the service they provide to their visitors to the quality of their communications, from the way their events are run to the standard of their conservation work. They seek to be imaginative in the way that history is brought to life, thinking creatively, using the most effective means, surprising and delighting people. They want each experience to be vivid, alive and unforgettable. English Heritage wants people to enjoy their time with them. That doesn't mean they are frivolous or superficial. They want to provide experiences that elicit emotion as well as stimulate the mind. They aim to entertain, as well as inspire!

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“Il poeta prima di creare l’uomo creò l’albero per rendergli la vita possibile e gradevole. L’uomo, con il legno dell’albero, si costruì tutto ciò che gli serviva: la casa, il ponte, gli utensili, l’aratro, la ruota, le armi, dal carro all’aereo.” Noi che siamo Tesio Legno, crediamo che ancora oggi il legno sia un materiale insostituibile, perciò continuiamo a produrre manufatti in legno di qualunque genere come la vera falegnameria completa, impiegando naturalmente anche i metodi più avanzati di produzione. Nascono così dalla nostra azienda serramenti esterni ed interni, persiane (gelosie), mobili, boiseries ed arredi di ogni tipo, ma sempre di altissima qualità e con caratteristiche squisitamente artigianali. Ricostruiamo nei centri storici ogni cosa come l’originale che viene sostituito. Abbiamo lavorato nei più importanti immobili del Polo Reale di Torino ed eseguito infiniti lavori che la privacy ci vieta di nominare. Abbiamo collaborato con i grandi studi di architettura del passato e continuiamo a collaborare con gli studi di architettura più prestigiosi del momento. Noi siamo produttori. Non commercializziamo prodotti se non di nostra produzione. Non costruiamo, tanto meno commercializziamo serramenti in plastica o prodotti di bassa qualità. Utilizziamo prodotti naturali, non sintetici, non nocivi e le vernici impiegate sono all’acqua, di ultima generazione. La falegnameria Tesio ha iniziato la sua attività nel 1909 dai fratelli Giuseppe e Severino, producendo quello che veniva richiesto dai nostri clienti, comprese le forniture per la Sanità Militare. Continua oggi, sempre in famiglia con competenza e passione per il nostro lavoro. "The poet before creating the man created the tree to make his life possible and pleasant. The man, with the wood of the tree, was built everything that served him: the house, the bridge, the utensils, the plow, the wheel, the weapons, from the wagon to the plane. " We at Tesio Legno, believe that still today wood is an irreplaceable material, so we continue to produce wood artefacts of any kind as the true complete carpentry, naturally also using the most advanced methods of production. Thus are born from our company External and interior windows, shutters (jealousies), furniture, boiseries and furnishings of all kinds, but always of the highest quality and with exquisitely artisan characteristics. We reconstruct in historical centers everything like the original that is replaced. We have worked in the most important real estate of the Royal Polo of Turin and performed infinite works that privacy prohibits us to appoint. We have collaborated with the great architecture studios of the past and we continue to collaborate with the most prestigious architecture studies of the moment. We are manufacturers, and do not sell products if not of our production. We do not build, let alone market plastic frames or low quality products and use natural, non-synthetic, non-harmful products and the paints used are at the latest generation. The Tesio carpentry started his business in 1909 by the Brothers Giuseppe and Severino, producing what was requested by our customers, including supplies for military health. Still today, the firm is run always in the family, with competence and passion for our work.

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Things to do in Pistoia are many and varoius, the area of Pistoia is specially very well known for the cultivation of plants and flowers exported all over the world, with a long tradition of local nurseries being passed down generation after generation. Thermal baths are another important resource for the province of Pistoia. The thermal baths of Montecatini and Monsummano can boast of waters with beneficial health effects and thus are much sought after by anyone wishing to take care of themselves, as well as treat themselves to spa treatments. These are the thermal baths which hosted nobility and royalty, as well as more recent movie stars, through the centuries. The dome of the Baptistery was frescoed in the third decade of the 13th century by workers from the Po Valley, influenced by Byzantine iconographic models. An educating city with a very ancient foundation, Pistoia is a place that will amaze lovers of art and traditions. Poets and writers have exalted the charm of what they have renamed "city of enchanted stone" and "city of wide streets and beautiful churches", and indeed the centre offers the opportunity to enter a path full of churches, cloisters, palaces, museums and monuments that revolve around one of the most fascinating Piazza del Duomo in Italy. Not to mention that, on the outskirts of the city, there are villages, churches and fortified castles of striking beauty. Pistoia, proclaimed Italian Capital of Culture in 2017, is a city of Roman origin, whose urban fabric traces the limits of the three ancient walls. Those lucky enough to be able to visit the territory of Pistoia for at least two days, can discover the treasures that the mountain holds. The famous ski resorts, including Abetone and Doganaccia, are visited every year by ski and snowboard enthusiasts; but also in summer, the Pistoia Apennines offer many opportunities. These peaks are ideal for trekking: among the most interesting routes there are certainly those of Monte Gomito, Monte Cimone and the Open Book, as well as the paths that lead to admire the suggestive Nero and Scaffaiolo lakes. If we move towards Lucca, however, we are enchanted by the remains of the fortresses of Serravalle Pistoiese: Torre del Barbarossa and Rocca Nuova characterize the entire village and the valley. Finally, the territory of Marliana is recognized for being covered almost exclusively by chestnut groves, it is no coincidence that the great riches of this land are the products of the forest, such as chestnuts and mushrooms, rows and olive groves.

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Many things to do in Como in Italy, a wonderful and exclusive place is waiting for you. Lake Como is a destination with a pure beauty, a marvellous nature and breathtaking views, from where you can walk, relax, discover the peace and enjoy the calm of a holiday. Not far from Milan, near the Switzerland, there's Como, a town where everything is special. Famous for its lake, for its villas with florid parks and secular trees, for its famous "VIP" guests, Como can offer you every kind of solution for your spare time. The lake provides a very special and unique microclimate that produces also a very fine and rich of nutritions and that give longevity extra virgin oil. Cultural routes are ready. From old Romanesque churches to Rationalist architecture, Como is rich in proposals, and the nearly valleys are full of opportunities for mountain lovers, who through wild environments and unspoilt valleys can try out every kind of experience that this natural setting can offer. Things to do in Como may start with enjoining your daily trips boat, ferries, hydrofoils and sea plain too. In Como, you can find the only European school where it's possible to obtain a pilot licence for this kind of vehicle. Famous also for the Spa treatments and luxury staying. Tastings the typical Larian speciality a fantastic mix of lake fish, cheese from our mountains, meats and traditional Italian cooking. For your shopping you can find every kind of silk products, visit silk factory and buy at concept stores. As you can see, here all is waiting for you.

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Parma is a city in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its architecture, music, art, prosciutto, cheese and surrounding countryside. With a population of 198,292 inhabitants, Parma is the second most populous city in Emilia-Romagna after Bologna, the region's capital. The city is home to the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world. Parma is divided into two parts by the stream of the same name. The district on the far side of the river is Oltretorrente. Parma's Etruscan name was adapted by Romans to describe the round shield called Parma. Things to do in Parma should start from the Cathedral, and it's amazing Baptistery. The dome of the Baptistery was frescoed in the third decade of the 13th century by workers from the Po Valley, influenced by Byzantine iconographic models. Also, you should see the originally called the New Ducal Theatre, the Teatro Regio in Parma was built at the behest of the Duchess Maria Luigia of Habsburg-Lorraine, wife of Napoleon, who was sent to govern the Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla following the Congress of Vienna. Work began in 1821 on a project by the court architect Nicola Bettoli and the Theatre opened on 16thMay 1829 with Zaira by Vincenzo Bellini with a libretto by Felice Romani. Built in the neoclassical style, the façade is characterized by a colonnade with ionic capitals with a large thermal window above. Visiting Parma is worthwhile just for its amazing food, with parmesan cheese and Parma ham topping the list of must-eat produce. But art and culture lovers will also fall in love with the romanesque cathedral, Roman ruins, Renaissance art and famous opera house. The iconic Palazzo della Pilotta, home to the Galleria Nazionale, houses the main art collection in the city and is a must-visit spot for fans of Old Masters paintings. Over 700 pieces are on show here – from Leonardo da Vinci’s famous unfinished painting Head of a Woman to the fascinating oil painting Turkish Slave by renowned local artist Parmigianino. Various exhibitions centred around everything from the art of 14th-century Parma to Correggio’s High Renaissance paintings make this gallery worth the trip.

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Magically suspended between the blue sky and the iridescent coloured sea, the Amalfi coast seems to be born from the palette of a painter who wanted to use the warmer colour gradients for creating a landscape that enchants the visitor at the first shot. The most of the things to do in Amalfi is enjoying thrilling experience and such evocative view to doubt, for a moment, it is real. It is the land where the sweet scent of lemon blossoms harmonizes itself with the most aromatic one of the Mediterranean vegetation and the acrid aroma of saltiness; where the brilliant colours of the majolica domes, bougainvillea and carnations pergolas give an evident coloured touch to the typical whitewashed houses, clinging to the last offshoots of the Lattari Mounts that plunge dramatically into the sea. A vertical landscape, in short, characterized by a picturesque labyrinth of stairways and narrow alleys, connecting the two main elements of this landscape: the mountains and the sea. A continuous succession of headlands and inlets, bays and fjords, interspersed with pebbled beaches and rocks on which you can still see the ancient viceregal towers, the first bulwark of the local population against the Saracen attacks. The shift from the sea to mountain is seamless: the mountain sides were terraced over the centuries, shaped by human labour to create flaps of arable land and already compared, during the Renaissance period, to the legendary Hesperides by the Italian writer and naturalist Giambattista Della Porta. All the towns of the Amalfi Coast are connected by the scenic SS. 163 road, built in the first half of the XIX century during the Bourbon period and always considered one of the most beautiful road in Italy. Following the natural course of the coastline, the route is full of curves, nestled between the rock and the sea cliffs, giving new and spectacular shots at the exit of every tunnel or hairpin bend. Before the construction of the coastal road, locals reached all the towns via mule tracks and footpaths, still existing and particularly appreciated by trekking lovers for the stunning views that can be enjoyed. There are 13 towns spreading across a strip of land kissed by the sun and declared by UNESCO "World Heritage Site".

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San Rossore is one of the most precious and lovely pine forest by the sea of Italy in Tuscany. Its Historical evidence has allowed the reconstruction of the evolution of this area, which has always been characterized by large lagoons interspersed with woods and Mediterranean scrub, typical of the delta areas. In the maps of the past it is evident that, in the past, the coastline was significantly shifted to the east: the action of the sea currents and the instability of the rivers determined the formation of long sandy strips, blocking the outlet to the waters and thus creating a wonderful environment of woods and swamps that has survived to the present day without excessive intervention. Here in the 15th century the great Grand Ducal estates of the Medici family and the share cropping farms settled. The reclamation interventions carried out over the centuries, begun by the Medici family and completed around 1940, then defined the current geography of the area. The park and the estate of the same name are named after a little-known saint: a certain San Lussorio. Who was he? Luxurius was a Roman official from Cagliari who, having converted to Christianity at the time of Diocletian, was arrested and sentenced to death in Fordungianus, the ancient Forum Traiani. Before the execution, he allegedly led two young men to conversion, Camerino and Cisello, who were also later executed. The name "Rossore" derives from the corruption of the name Luxurius or Luxorius in Ruxurius or Ruxorius made on some Pisan manuscripts Thanks to the fact that the relics of the saint were kept for many years in the territories of the estate, the area, the estate and then the park took the name of the martyr, renamed in popular language "San Rossore". Things to do in this amazing forest of San Rossore is mainly walking, riding a bicycle and enjoying nature the sea and the animals. The route is about 30 km long on dirt and asphalted roads (as little traffic as possible). The agricultural estate of Coltano, inside the estate, is a fascinating area of ​​the Park, an area with a particular history and nature that deserve to be discovered on a bicycle trip departing from the center of Pisa. Ancient villas, radio centres, wet canals, agricultural fields and woods with tall and ancient laurels are some of the peculiarities that can be observed and told during the cycle-walk of about 6 hours characterized by crossing the most iconic natural environments of the Estate.

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