Category Archives: Italy

Back in Ancona

Travelling south last month, I found Ancona, with its potholes and fragmentary pavements, noticeably less well-ordered than Switzerland and Germany. Today, however, after three weeks in Greece, it appears serene and cultivated – even if I did have to squash … Continue reading

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En route to Basel

Just past Domodossola now and then comes the Thuner See

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Santo Stefano complex and San Domenico

Santo Stefano was an appealing little area with four churches, some dating to the eighth century. There was a slightly makeshift air to the older building – rather like Greek village churches where any bit for dressed or carved stone … Continue reading

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Palazzo Poggi and Bologna University

Palazzo Poggi is a 16th-century palazzo which has been used for centuries by the University of Bologna. The outcome is that you have elegant frescoes in rooms that once housed filing cabinets and now contain a very diverse museum. The … Continue reading

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Sant’Apollinare in Classe (consecrated 549)

St Apollinaris was a first-century evangelist, sent from Antioch to convert the Romans to Christianity, who became the first Bishop of Ravenna. His remains were originally in this church when Classis was a thriving port. Today the sea is some … Continue reading

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Sant’Apollinare Nuovo

This is a more familiar church plan: central nave, side aisles and an apse. It was built by Theodoric as his Arian church in the late fifth/early sixth century, but the succeeding orthodox Catholics rededicated it – firstly to St … Continue reading

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Arian baptistery

Probably built in the later fifth century, this is a bit of a poor man’s Orthodox baptistery. The apostles aren’t dancing and they have no thrones to go to. Since Arians denied Christ’s innate divinity, he appears to require the … Continue reading

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