tag archives: unesco

 

when you think of puglia (apulia), you may envision the distinctive whitewashed stone huts with conical roofs in alberobello.

trulli | alberobello | BA | italy

foreground | view of the rione monti district from the rione aia piccola district

background | chiesa sant’antonio da padova (church of saint anthony of padua)

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

there are over 1600 trulli of alberobello (trulli di alberobello) in the unesco world heritage site.

maps via unesco and geoplan.it

 

1030 trulli are concentrated in the rione monti district.

and, another 590 trulli are located in the rione aia piccola district.

trulli | alberobello | BA | italy

view of the rione monti district from piazza giangirolamo

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

trulli | alberobello | BA | italy

view of the rione aia piccola district from via cristoforo colombo

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

the trulli are built using a prehistoric method of dry stone construction that is unique to the region of the itria valley (valle d’itria).

more complex than the stone age construction process of the cave dwellings of matera (sassi di matera), which are simply enclosed by building an exterior wall of excavated stones.

section via italiansindc

 

even though they have conical roofs, trulli are rectangular buildings.

their double faced stone walls, which have rubble cores, are constructed from collected or excavated boulders or stones without using masonry mortar.

the eaves at the corners of the building channel water into an underground cistern.

the internal layer of the double faced roof is structurally supported by squinches (corner arches).  and, the external layer of the conical roof is constructed from corbelled stone shingles.

isometric drawing via the mind of architecture

 

the pinnacles on the roofs of the trulli, as well as the symbols that are painted on the shingles of the roofs with white ash,

are believed to have apotropaic power that wards off evil and misfortune.

trulli | alberobello | BA | italy

apotropaic pinnacles and symbols on the roofs

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

piazza d’annunzio | rione monti | alberobello | BA | italy

tenuta girolamo | piazza d’annunzio | rione monti | alberobello | BA | italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

casa lippolis | piazza pagano | rione aia piccola | alberobello | BA | italy

18th century | two story | built using masonry mortar

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

casa museo trullo sovrano | piazza sacramento | alberobello | BA | italy

18th century | two story with a staircase | built without using masonry mortar

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

many of the citta bianche (white cities), including alberobello, locorotondo, martina franca, cisternino, ceglie messapica, and ostuni, are located in the valle d’itria, which runs between putignano and martina franca.

map via zeemaps

 

my husband, bob, and i stopped in putignano for lunch at angelo sabatelli ristorante.

angelo sabatelli ristorante | via santa chiara | putignano | BA | italy

melanzane arrosto, pomodorini, basilico e burrata di angelo sabatelli (roasted eggplant, tomatoes, basil and burrata by angelo sabatelli)

click here for the ricette (recipe)

photos via great italian chefs and  great italian chefs

 

pranzo (lunch) was molto buono (very good). actually, delicious.

and, the valle d’itria is molta bella (very beautiful).

vineyards.  olive orchards.  and, trulli, trulli, and more trulli…

trulli | valle d’itria (itria valley) | near ceglie messapica | BR | italy

trulli | valle d’itria (itria valley) | near locorotondo | BA | italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

did you know that apulia produces about 33% of italian olive oil?

trulli | valle d’itria (itria valley) | near locorotondo | BA | italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

sadly, the olive orchards in southern apulia are now infested by xylella fastidosa, a bacterium spread by the spittlebug (sputacchina), an insect related to the sharpshooter, which last infested california wine country during the 1990’s.

as a result, about 10% of italy’s olive oil production has been lost during the past year.

click here to read a financial times (ft) article about the infestation.

from this:  healthy olive orchard | carovigno (near ostuni) | BR | italy

to that:  diseased olive orchard | surbo (near lecce) | LE | italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

fortunately, the centenary olive trees in the sculpture garden at la fiermontina, our hotel in lecce, remain healthy.

the sculptures are by rené letourneur (1898-1990) and jacques zwobada (1900-1967), two french artists who both loved the owners’ grandmother, antonia fiermonte (1914-1956), and were both loved by her.

 

the sculpture garden | la fiermontina | lecce | LE | italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

la fiermontina is a restored masseria (fortified farmhouse) in the centro storico (historic city center) of lecce.  the baroque architecture in lecce is comparable to the baroque architecture in sicily.

our room featured a drawing of antonia fiermonte by jacques zwobada.

jacques zwobada | antonia de dos | 1943

photo credit la fiermontina

 

and, a honey colored lecce limestone vaulted ceiling.

 

junior suite number 1 | la fiermontina | lecce | LE | italy

photo via  tripadvisor

 

bella (beautiful)!

 

my husband, bob, and i could now consider ourselves cave dwellers.*

for two nights, at il palazzotto, our hotel in matera, italy.

 suite number 3 | il palazzotto residence & winery | matera | MT | italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

matera is located in the basilicata region of italy (the ‘arch’ of the italian ‘boot’).

west of puglia (the ‘heel’ of the italian ‘boot’).

maps via unesco and isassidimatera.com

 

il palazzotto is located in the historic city center (centro storico) of matera, in the sasso barisano district.

the cave dwellings in the sasso barisano and sasso caveoso districts of matera, which have been continuously occupied since the stone age, are part of the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the mediterranean region.

in addition to the sassi di matera (stones of matera), the unesco world heritage site includes the parco delle chiese rupestri di materano (park of the rock churches of matera), which also dates to the palaeolithic period.  the rock churches are located across the gravina di matera (ravine of matera) that separates the sasso caveoso from the murgia plateau.  so, the national park is also known as the parco della murgia materana (the park of the murgia of matera).

the entire troglodyte settlement covers an area of 1016 hectares (approximately 2500 acres), and includes about 1000 cave dwellings and around 150 rock churches.

the civita district in the centro storico of matera, which dates to the 13th century, is also part of the unesco world heritage site.

view of matera

foreground | il palazzoto in the sasso barisano district
background | the piazza duomo, the duomo (cathedral), and the campanile (bell tower) in the civita district
photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

views of the sasso barisano district

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

views of the sasso caveoso district

left | the (unfinished) castello tramontano
center | the campanile in the piazza duomo
right | the rock churches of san giovanni in monterrone and santa maria de idris
photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

in the sasso caveoso district, there are more cave dwellings.

while, in the sasso barisano district, there are more palaces and houses.

 

before and after.

cave dwellings in the sasso caveoso district

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

matera is also a popular movie location.

while we were visiting, they were filming the new james bond movie, no time to die starring daniel craig.

piazza san pietro caveoso

the film crew was just finishing their 11:00 am gelato break
photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

a rope bridge crosses the ravine that separates the sasso caveoso district from the parco della murgia materana.

chiuso (closed).

views of the parco della murgia materana

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

most of the rock churches in the national park are also closed.

nine of them can be visited via guided tour.  three of them are visible through protective grills.

map via ceamatera.it

 

so, we decided that the rock churches and the grottoes in the national park were best appreciated from the sasso caveoso side of the ravine.

views of the grottoes and the belvedere in the parco della murgia materana from sasso caveoso

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

from the belvedere in the national park, the views of the sassi di matera are supposedly spectacular.

but, we decided that we preferred to explore the centro storico on foot.

 

from the piazza duomo in the civita district, the views of the sassi di matera are also spectacular.

views of the sassi di matera from the piazza duomo in the civita district

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

 

*fortunately, bob and i didn’t dine like cave dwellers.

we paid chef nicola popolizio at ristorante ego our highest compliment.

 ego reminded us of joia, our long time favorite restaurant in milano, when chef pietro leemann was still cooking full time.

talented, passionate, creative, playful, and friendly…

gli autumn della mia giovinezza (the autumns of my youth)

photo credit egogourmet

 

ristorante ego-enoteca gourmet origini | via stigliani | matera | MT | italy

photo credit egogourmet

 

you may know that genova (genoa), italy was a maritime republic whose economic power peaked during the late 16th and early 17th centuries.  at that time, the genovese aristocracy developed a public network of private palaces to host state visitors.  42 of the palazzi dei rolli (palaces of the lists) are now unesco world heritage sites.

the renaissance and baroque palazzi share similar architectural and design elements.  many of the buildings are three or four stories tall.  the entrance halls have grand staircases.  stuccos and frescos decorate the interiors.  courtyards and loggias overlook the gardens.

during the first half of the 18th century, a dazzling hall of mirrors (galleria degli specchi) was added during a renovation of the palazzo stefano balbi (1643-1650), now the museo palazzo reale (royal palace museum).  models included the galleria colonna (mid 16th century) at palazzo colonna in rome, the galerie des glaces (1679-1686) at chateau de versailles in france, and the galleria degli specchi (1730) at palazzo doria pamphilj in rome.

domenico parodi (1672-1742) | galleria degli specchi  | palazzo stefano balbi (palazzo reale) (1643-1650) | via balbi, 10 | genoa, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

rear facade | loggias | palazzo stefano balbi (palazzo reale) (1643-1650) | via balbi, 10 | genoa, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

rear facade | garden | palazzo stefano balbi (palazzo reale) (1643-1650) | via balbi, 10 | genoa, italy

photo credit visitgenoa.it

front facade | palazzo stefano balbi (palazzo reale) (1643-1650) | via balbi, 10 | genoa, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

some of the rolli, like palazzo stefano balbi, are now occupied by public institutions.  others are used as municipal or business offices.  some have been converted into apartments.  or, are still private residences.

some of the palazzi are only open to the public during rolli days, a bi-annual event in may and october.  so, we planned a walking architectural tour of the rolli.

12 of the unesco accredited rolli are located on via garibaldi, le strade nuove (the new streets).

le strade nuove | via garibaldi | genoa, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

palazzo agostino pallavicini (palazzo cambaiso pallavicini) (1558) | via garibaldi, 1 | genoa, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

palazzo gio battista spinola (palazzo doria) (1563) | via garibaldi, 6 | genoa italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

palazzo nicolosio lomellini (1559-1565) | via garibaldi, 7 | genoa, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

palazza lazzaro and giacomo spinola (palazzo cattarneo-adorno) (1583 and 1588) | via garibaldi 8-10 | genoa, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

palazzo nicolo grimaldi (palazzo grimaldi-doria-tursi) (1565) | via garibaldi, 9 | genoa, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

palazzo luca grimaldi (palazzo bianco) (1530-1540) | via garibaldi, 11 | genoa, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

    palazzo rodolfo and gio francesco brignole sale (palazzo rosso) (1671-1677) | via garibaldi, 18 | genoa, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

did you know that via garibaldi 12, one of the most innovative modern design concept stores in europe, is located on le strade nuove?

via garibaldi 12 | palazzo baldassare lomellini (palazzo campanella) (1562) | via garibaldi, 12 | genoa, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace and via garibaldi 12

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links to travel information:

unesco | le strade nuove (the new street) and the system of the palazzi dei rolli (palaces of the lists)

palazzi dei rolli | unesco and palazzi storici di genova (historical palaces of genoa)

rolli days

museo palazzo reale (royal palace museum) | via balbi, 10

via garibaldi 12 design store | via garibaldi, 12

 you may be familiar with the famous mosaic tile floor of ten female athletes, nicknamed the ‘bikini girls’, from the villa romana del casale, a 4th century roman villa located near piazza armerina in central sicily.*

mosaic tile floor | room of girls in bikinis (sala ragazze in bikini) | room 30
villa romana del casale | 4th century | piazza armerina, sicily

photo credit wtfarthistory.com

the villa romana del casale is the most impressive archaeological site that my husband, bob, and i have ever visited.

unesco describes the mosaics from the villa romana del casale as:

‘the finest mosaics in situ anywhere in the roman world.’

the mosaics are exceptional not only for their quality, but also for their quantity.  a spectacular mosaic tile floor, called the ambulatory of the great hunt, covers the 200 foot (60 meter) long passageway that connects the reception, private, and utility areas of the villa romana del casale.  the mosaics depict the capture and transport of ferocious and exotic animals to rome for the hunts that preceded gladiator events.

mosaic tile floor | hall of the great hunt (corridoio della grande caccia) | room 28
villa romana del casale | 4th century | piazza armerina, sicily

photo credits unesco and lisa walsh | innerspace

the mosaics are so exceptional, and the villa romana del casale is so large, that some scholars speculate that it could have been an imperial commission.**  so far, 46 rooms, totaling 43000 square feet (4000 square meters), have been excavated.

the prevalent opinion among scholars and art historians is that the villa romana del casale was built during the 4th century, between 327 and 357.***  and, that both the building and the decoration, which also includes interior and exterior frescos, are from the late roman period.

yet, some art historians have noted stylistic differences between the mosaic tile floors.

mythological or allegorical scenes, like the poet arion surrounded by sea creatures in the chamber of arion (room 37), are more naturalistic than domestic or genre scenes, like the fishermen in the hall of cupids fishing (room 24).  could they have been designed by the same people?

 mosaic tile floor | chamber of arion (diaeta di arione) | room 37

villa romana del casale | 4th century | piazza armerina, sicily

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

mosaic tile floor | atrium of cupids fishing (atrio delgi amorini pescatori) | room 24

villa romana del casale | 4th century | piazza armerina, sicily

 photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

in addition, the mosaic tile floors in the triclinium (room 36) look different than the floors in the rest of the residence.  could they have been installed later?  maybe.

some scholars argue that the villa could have been constructed in phases:  1.  the rectangular peristyle (rooms 11-31, 35, 37-46)  2.  the bath complex (rooms 3-10)  3.  the entrance (rooms 1-2) and the oval peristyle (rooms 32-34, 36)****

floor plan | villa romana del casale | 4th century | piazza armerina, sicily

photo credit lasiciliainrete.it

could that explain why the ‘bikini girls’ were installed over a geometric patterned mosaic tile floor?  the room of girls in bikinis (room 30) is located adjacent to the oval peristyle.  could the ‘bikini girls’ have been part of the final expansion?

geometric mosaic tile floor | under the room of girls in bikinis (sala ragazze in bikini) | room 30
villa romana del casale | 4th century | piazza armerina, sicily

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

as an interior designer, i am less interested in the ‘bikini girls’ and more interested in the geometric patterns.  the geometric patterns are a textile designer’s dream!

cubicle of fruit (cubicolo della frutta) | room 45


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duralee|highland court | lalique rayon/silk fabric | 800249H-720


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martyn lawrence bullard | mamounia linen fabric | MLB2314

medallions

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photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace, duralee|highland court and martyn lawrence bullard
cubicle of cupid and psyche (cubicolo della scena erotica) | room 46

 

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did you notice the fresco remnants on the wall?

holland & sherry | ringlet linen/wool fabric | DE11843

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kelly wearstler|groundworks | ombre maze viscose/linen fabric | GWF-2806.416

medallions

 

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 photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace,holland & sherry and kelly wearstler|groundworks

the field patterns and borders in the utility rooms are as interesting as the mosaic tile floors in the master’s apartments.

utility room (sala mosaico a ottagoni) | room 26

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field


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photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

utility room (sala mosaico a quadrati) | room 27

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photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

what textiles (or trim) could you design from the mosaic patterns?

footnotes

*sicily became the first roman province in 227 BCE, and remained part of the roman empire until 395 CE.

**some scholars think that the villa romana del casale was commissioned by emperor maximanus (r. 286-305) or his son, maxentius (r. 306-312), between 290 and 312.  villaromanadelcasale.it

***the gymnasium mosaics (room 15), which feature the circus maximus in rome, could indicate that the villa romana del casale was built between 327 and 357.  emperor augustus (r. 31 BCE-14 CE) installed an obelisk in the center of the circus maximus in 10 CE.  in 327, the obelisk was moved to the perimeter of the circus maximus to make room for a larger obelisk, which was installed by emperor constantius II (r. 337-361) in 357.  the villa romana del casale gymnasium mosaics only have one obelisk, which is located on the perimeter of the circus maximus.  so, some scholars believe that the villa romana del casale was built between 327 and 357 CE.  villaromanadelcasale.it

****the floor plan of the villa romana del casale is unusual because the orientation of the the rectangular peristyle (rooms 11-31, 35, 37-46) and the oval peristyle (rooms 32-34, 36) are not axial.  a coin, dating to 355-361, was found in the west wall of the foundation of the oval peristyle.  so, some scholars believe that that the oval peristyle was built later than the rectangular peristyle or the bath complex.  villaromanadelcasale.it

click here or here for more information about the villa romana del casale.