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Visit Italy with kids! Sights to see

By |2018-04-25T10:19:37+00:00September 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval, Romans|

Leaning Tower of Pisa Visiting Italy with kids is a blast, because many Italians are very friendly to other people's children and everyone will always be talking to your kids, helping you out, making them laugh, and generally helping you have a good time. Don't be too suspicious - relax and enjoy the [...]

Michelangelo – Renaissance art

By |2018-04-21T13:20:49+00:00August 4th, 2017|Art, Modern Europe|

The artist Michelangelo's David Not long after Leonardo da Vinci started working, in 1475 AD, a new artist was born in northern Italy. His name was Michelangelo. Michelangelo's family said they were descended from the powerful Matilda of Canossa, but Michelangelo's father was a banker in Florence. He also owned a small marble quarry, where the small [...]

Late medieval Florence – the Medici

By |2018-04-10T22:50:25+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Lorenzo de' Medici In the early 1400s AD, a few rich families ruled the city-state of Florence in northern Italy. With the Holy Roman Empire very weak, these families ran Florence as an independent country. But most people in Florence had lost the political power they used to have, and they were angry about it. The Medici family, who owned a successful bank, [...]

Republic of Florence – Medieval Italy

By |2018-04-24T09:23:14+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Romanesque baptistery in Florence, Italy When the last of the Carolingian Holy Roman Emperors died in 924 AD, northern Italy - including Florence and nearby Genoa - fell under the power of the Counts of Canossa: first Boniface III, then his daughter Matilda. Florence did very well under their rule: in 1059, Florence was able to rebuild its Christian baptistery in a beautiful Romanesque style. [...]

Giotto in Florence and Assisi

By |2018-04-15T16:34:28+00:00August 1st, 2017|History|

St. Francis giving away his cloak, from Assisi, Italy, probably by Giotto Giotto was an Italian painter around 1300 AD. Giotto was originally from Florence. He was born about 1265 AD. As a teenager, he may have been a student of the great painter Cimabue. It's possible that he suffered from dwarfism. When Giotto (jee-OTT-oh) grew up, he [...]

Toulouse – St. Sernin – Romanesque

By |2018-04-15T16:50:51+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Church of St. Sernin, Toulouse, France In 1080 AD, the church of St. Sernin in Toulouse was a busy place. Charlemagne had given the church some saints' relics, and many people stopped to pray there when they were on pilgrimage to St. Jacques de Compostela in Spain. But the little old church, built in the 300s AD under Roman rule, was too [...]

Pisa – the Duomo – medieval Italy

By |2017-07-31T09:36:31+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Cathedral of Pisa (the Duomo) This is the cathedral of medieval Pisa, in Italy. The architects built the cathedral in the Romanesque style around 1064 AD. The rounded arches are typical of the Romanesque style. So is the floor plan of the building, with many little bits sticking out all over. Façade of Pisa's Duomo The outside of the [...]

The Duomo in Florence, Italy

By |2018-04-24T09:23:13+00:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Florence Duomo (cathedral) The Republic of Florence started to plan this cathedral in the late 1200s AD, when Dante was growing up, to replace the old cathedral from about 500 AD that was too small and old. They had already replaced their old baptistery, and now they wanted to do the cathedral. (Duomo means "cathedral" in Italian.) The government of Florence raised money to [...]