Posted by: passagetoitaly | March 18, 2010

Love Thursday: Lloyd

Thankfully, my computer is now up and running! The past week has been a nightmare, with calls to India trying to sort out the problems with my computer. At first, it was just a problem with Windows Explorer. I did some updates, as per the suggestions my computer found. Well, that did not help the situation, and further worsened when I decided to upload Windows’ service packages for Vista. My computer then no longer worked… not even in safe mode.

But, I’m happy that it’s now working, and I can now get back to my posting for anyone out there caring to stop by and read!!!

The original post I had scheduled for Monday will be featured next Monday.

*****

Lloyd

Today, sadly, was the day we put our dear cat, Lloyd, to sleep. For at least a year to a year and a half, he had been suffering from feline diabetes and problems with his thyroid. A cat we had had when I was little (she died when she was 19 years old), had also suffered from diabetes, and spent most of her last days close to a water bowl. With diabetes in cats, there is an unquenchable thirst, and constant need of water. She was brought to the vet, and they offered to take care of her, giving her her insulin medications and all other treatments. But, we had decided that it would only be more stressful for her to live the rest of her days without us.

Lloyd with feet in bowl

With Lloyd, however, he changed greatly. He drank a lot of water, but with his thyroid problems, he managed to continue to eat. His tastes oddly changed. He went from a cat who would only eat his dry food, and nothing much else. Since he became ill, he ate literally everything – spaghetti, cream cheese, margarine, whipped cream. He even tried fighting the dog for his food! What seemed like overnight, he lost weight, becoming quite simply a bag of bones.


2006, before Lloyd was ill

In spite of this sad day though, I will continue to remember all of the funny things he would do. In the kitchen, you could find him with his two front paws in his bowl, dragging it to the sink. Or the day when we played with my brother’s old Batman toy, and he began panting like a dog. Lloyd also sometimes pretended to be a kangaroo, standing and balancing on his back hind legs (as shown above). Even the first day when I met him is memorable. He had been rescued by my sister from a shelter, and unfortunately came home with a bad cold. We immediately became friends. As I laid down on the floor, he walked over and curled up on my stomach, cutely blowing bubbles out of his runny nose. Ok, well maybe that doesn’t seem cute, but it was. He was not always the friendliest cat with everyone, but there certainly was a strong bond between us, and that’s what I’ll remember about him.

I had decided to stay with him as they put him to sleep. I felt it would be horrible to leave him with strangers and die alone. So I bravely stood by his side, telling him it’d be ok, until he passed away. Having him put to sleep, made me feel guilty, as though I may be taking his life away before he was truly ready. He didn’t fight, and didn’t flinch, telling me perhaps he was maybe ready to move onto his next life. When he was healthy, he would have fought, and he would have bitten. In the end, it was probably best, as it would have been worse had he died naturally.

After they pronounced that he had passed, I continued to pet him, and gave him one last kiss on his head. Unfortunately, we were not able to bring him home to bury him, as it’s supposedly illegal to do that. He will later be cremated and put in a pet cemetery they told us.

Rest in peace, little stinky man

Lloyd

1996 – March 18, 2010

Posted by: passagetoitaly | March 17, 2010

Italy v. America: Do you air your dirty laundry?

Italy v. America: The Differences Observed

Last week, we left off with animal cruelty in Italy, with the abandonment of an estimated 280,000 animals per year, and other maltreatment of dogs. Today’s post is more… positive, and inspired over at ReallyRome’s post on the 5 Things I miss about Gli Stati Uniti. However, mine differs as it’s not a list of things I miss (while in Italy) or will miss (once I’ve moved there). It fits snuggly with our Italy v. America category.

So, what exactly would be missed once I’ve moved to Italy? It may seem silly, but two things I would miss are il detergente, detergent, and il morbidente, fabric softener. We never let them cross our minds to clean and soften our clothes in America. Pretty much they are taken for granted. The clothes come out fresh, as well as soft. This definitely differs from one of Shelley’s most missed things about America – the dryer. The dryer, I can live without, at least during the warmer weather. In fact, when I hung my clothes, they dried quicker on the line than could ever be possible with a dryer. BUT you must also know how to correctly hang your laundry on the line, which is yet another story unto itself. What do I know though? I’m American, and have never had to think about such things with my “luxury” items.

What about in Italy? I first encountered this dilemma when visiting Angelo during the summer two years ago. It was obviously pertinent for me to learn how to do the laundry, as I stayed for three months. Laundry detergent and fabric softeners are expensive in Italy, like many other things – cars, food, postage for your mail to America – you name it, it’s definitely more expensive. Angelo was tending to buy the more inexpensive brands, resulting in the clothes not fully being washed, therefore the clothes were washed twice, and drying on the line as if someone had gone overboard with starching them. The color of the clothing quickly began to fade. In his washing machine, which is actually fairly new, it contains two compartments – one for the detergent, and one for the fabric softener. Not something you find with washing machines here in the States.

With the color increasingly fading from our clothes, and with his constant worry of having to replace the clothes, my suggestion was to buy the more expensive products. It made more sense to do such a thing since he’d save more money by not only salvaging his clothes, but in the end, he’d save money on water as well. In Italy, the stores in fact sell Tide, which is what I use back here at home. Not only that, but I knew it was a product that would better preserve the color of the clothes.

Have any of you had these problems with Italian laundry
detergents and fabric softeners?
Any suggestions for current and future expats?

Or am I the only one who dwells upon such things??

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Posted by: passagetoitaly | March 13, 2010

Deadline Set!

Unfortunately I will not be able to post the post I had planned for today. As you’ve read before in my previous posts, I’ve been having some technical difficulties with my computer. It just doesn’t want to cooperate. Right now, I’m using my brother’s computer to keep you all up-to-date.

I’ve decided to set a deadline for myself in hopes of ending all procrastination, and to just finish collecting all my documents for my dual citizenship. I only have a couple left, and I need to start having everything apostilled, translated and amended. If you’re looking for a translator for your American documents, and are applying through Newark Consulate in Newark, New Jersey, please refer to the below list. I also have it posted here.

TRADUTTORI – TRANSLATORS

Mr. Maurizio Guercini
1271 Alicia Avenue
Teaneck, NJ 07666
Tel. 201 837 4468

Mr. Raffaele Cimina
1111 Dogwood Circle
Blue Bell, PA 19422
Tel. 267 304 6226

Ms.Olga Negrini
437 Lincoln St.
Carlstadt, NJ 07072
Tel. 201 460 8034

Ms. Rosanna Giammanco Frangia
22 Windermere Rd
Staten Island, NY
Tel. 718 727 7728

This information cannot be found on the consulate website, unfortunately. In the e-mail they sent me in response to my translation question, they stated that all applicants must use the translators known to the consulate. If you do your own translations or have them done by another translator they do not know, they may not accept them. Once I’ve found out pricing from one of the translators, I’ll be sure to let you all be aware of the cost.

Posted by: passagetoitaly | March 12, 2010

Weekly Feature: The Milanese Bureaucracy

Weekly Feature: Under the Milanese Bureaucracy

Here in the United States, health care reform is a hot topic. Currently, President Obama is trying to pass a bill to reform the present system, thereby presenting a more socialistic form of health care. It would also reinvent the way an individual would receive health insurance. However, is a socialistic health care system really the way out of our predicament? In Italy, Italians think so, and many claim the system works better than our own. I will, however, allow you to draw your own conclusions from what you are about to read.

The other day I came across a post on the blog The Shock of Old, authored by KC, an art historian. The post is entitled La Dolce Attesa, meaning “sweet wait”. The sweet wait refers to the 9 month carriage of a child. The post is helping to promote a manuscript written by an American journalist, Michellanea (as she’s known as on her blog) living in Milan. By following the link to Guernica, a magazine about art and politics, you can read an excerpt of her manuscript that she is trying to have published as a novel. In the excerpt, Michellanea describes the obstacles she encountered with the health care system in Italy. I found myself laughing, not because her ordeal was funny, but because of the ridiculousness of the people she came in contact with, and the hoops she consistently had to jump through.

After reading her story, I decided it was my duty to also help promote her manuscript, as I too hope it will be published. It is important to read as it is essential that expat women, and even men, research what their options are in their adopted country, and will not be as surprised at the difficulty of it all. This does not only pertain to Italy’s health care system, but much of the state functions. For example, look at how difficult they make just obtaining dual citizenship. Everything has to fall exactly so into place, otherwise you’re screwed on ever receiving it.

By clicking on the link above, Guernica, you too can read her excerpt. Feel free to leave a comment too at the bottom of the article, and please, as always leave a comment on my page so I can read about your thoughts on this subject.

Buon weekend!

*Note* In case you were wondering, my pc has been fixed…. sort of. At least Windows is coming up…. sort of. Well, sometimes it works, and other times I must rely on safe-mode. So, it’s sort of fixed. If I happen to suddenly disappear off the face of the blogging world, you’ll know why.

Posted by: passagetoitaly | March 11, 2010

Love Thursday: Soph-E

The blog reached its 50th posting yesterday with a post on my Not-so-Guilty Pleasures. With this comes a new addition to the blog. Love Thursday! I was inspired, once again, to do Love Thursday posts by Bleeding Espresso. For months, the idea was quite appealing, but I was not quite sure whether I wanted to add it to my blog. I’ve also read it on several other blogs which I read, like The Shock of Old and My Bella Vita.  Evidently the ever contagious Love Thursday post has made its way to PassagetoItaly.

Love Thursday is being kicked off with a new addition to the family. Hold up! No, it’s not what you’re thinking, and it indirectly affects me. My sister’s husband got a new puppy. Introducing Soph-E! (pronounced SO-fee)

Not only is she absolutely adorable and oh-so-cute, but it just so happens that she has a heart-shaped mark on her nose. Can you see it? How appropriate for Love Thursday!

By the way, don’t ask why her name is spelled that way. Their other three dogs, (yes, 3!) are Smok-E; Rox-E; and Coop-R, a.k.a. Mini Cooper. And it just so happens that Mini Cooper is a miniature schnauzer!

Happy Love Thursday everyone

and welcome to the family, Soph-E!

Posted by: passagetoitaly | March 10, 2010

Italy v. America: Animal Cruelty

Filename: j0444594.jpgItaly v. America: The Differences ObservedFilename: j0444600.jpg

Before reading the next edition to Italy v. America, I would like all readers to be aware of the technical difficulties I am having with my computer. For some reason my Windows Explorer is not functioning properly, and it’s actually a miracle that I am able to even get onto the Internet. Tomorrow’s post is already scheduled to be posted, and I hope everything will be running normally by Friday. I am excited to announce that Friday will also have a new feature added, unless the computer cannot be fixed.

Enjoy your read!

Observation #4: Animal Cruelty

Our fourth edition of Italy v. America, following the posts of Supermarkets v. Shops, Social Views, and the Myths of Italian Foods, is not as American bashing. That’s not the image I wish to portrat as I love my country, and all that it stands for. Today I would like to address the topic of animal cruelty in Italy. This, unfortunately, is quite prominent in Italy from what I’ve read, heard about on TV, and have even seen with my own eyes. Please examine exhibit A:

Otto

This is Otto, which mean ‘eight’ in Italian. (It’s a cute name in Italian, but would not sound so in English.)

Lila e Otto

His mamma, the black and white dog is named Lila. These two little fellas are owned by Angelo’s neighbors. You know, the ones I spoke about in I Tacchi. These poor dogs live outside; day and night, hot and cold weather, rain or snow. Usually one can find only a tray of water with an old chunk of bread in it. Honestly, I don’t think they ever eat it. The inside of the cage they are kept in is just dirt with randomly growing weeds. (They are let out of the cage into the “gated driveway” during the day.) Whenever there is food left over from our dinner, like a steak bone or fatty meat, I made sure it was given to these poor dogs. (Including one of my boyfriend’s prized snacks from Puglia, which I’ve forgotten the name of.) They’ve certainly come to loving me because they know they’ll be fed a decent meal.

You also can’t see in this picture, but the dogs are filthy dirty. They have never been bathed, and it would not be a good idea to pet them. So what, you say. That’s just one case of poor ownership. But it’s not. In the summer of ’08, the Italian news discussed an even more pressing concern – dogs abandoned on the autostrade, highways. When someone no longer wanted their dog, once the cuteness of having a puppy wore off, the dogs were left on the highways, many times  being hit by cars. The news further continued to say that by law, owners had to have a microchip implanted under the skin of the dog. (Whether this is actually done? I doubt it.) This was to be done in the event that the animal was left and killed on the highway. The chip contains information about the dog’s owner, enabling them to be sought out and prosecuted. Obviously there are an overwhelming amount of cases like this.

In a book I am currently reading, titled Italian Neighbors, by British author Tim Parks, he too narrates other cruelties towards dogs. His chapter, ‘L’animale domestico, the domestic animal, talks about his neighbor’s hunting dog named Vega. The dog is, during most days, chained up in the yard just behind the apartment building in which he lives in, in Verona. The yard is littered with the dog’s excrements, and lets off a horrendous odor. He contemplates putting the dog out of its misery, but first consults his students (He’s an English teacher) on how he should do it. The following is a quote from his book.

In short, Italians think differently about their pets/ animali domestici. In 99 percent of cases they keep them outside; they do not like them coming into their houses and would not dream of having them sleep, say, at the foot of their beds. The idea of one’s child being licked all over by a dog, as I was as a boy, would be unthinkably horrible to the modern Veronese mother (perhaps very reasonably so). But there is also something obsessive and exaggerated in this aversion, something which may have to do with the fact that it wasn’t so very long ago that many families in the country around Montecchio had goats in the kitchen and the cow stalls opening onto the sitting room for warmth. Proximity to any but the most expensive “luxury” animals has become a social backwardness. And hunting dogs like Vega are a mere utility. You don’t want them prancing into the house with their wet paws and dirty backsides. You use them when you go off shooting so they can bring back the uccellini, the tiny birds, which you eat in your taverna in nostalgic revelry at the joys of the country life you have wisely left behind. Otherwise you keep them chained in the yard.

Outside our window, Vega barked, howled, moaned deep into the night. With that extraordinary insistence dogs sometimes have. Bark, bark, bark, bark, for hours on end. What were we to do about it?

“Poison the thing,” a student suggested at once.
Poison. For weeks, months, it was to become an obsession. We noticed stories in the paper reporting dog poisonings. Somebody in a place called Bussolengo had killed more than twenty in a single evening. Well, we needn’t go that far. And I read Sciascia’s novel A ciascuno il suo, in which he mentions a whole Sicilian tradition of dog poisonings, a sort of low-order vendetta between rival huntsmen.

We considered rat poison. And bought some. We studied the dosages. Twenty or thirty pellets in a meatball should be enough. But what if a child were to pick it up? Occasionally the Negretti had guests with small children who were left to ramble about the defecated garden area. A student whose father was a vet cheerfully suggested the easier solution of a sponge soaked in meat juice. Apparently the sponge expands enormously in the animal’s gut, blocking the intestines and eventually leading to death. He knew people who found this method very effective… “The only problem with the sponge,” my knowledgeable student explained at another lesson, “is that the creature will die in unspeakable agony, and you’ll have to hear her howling like mad. Probably for a couple of days. Thoughh of course it will be worth it in the end.”

I couldn’t believe the words on the page. Such a cruel thing to do. Fortunately Mr. Parks didn’t go through with the act, as he stated he would have had to then endure its suffering howls.

This is not to say that animal abuse doesn’t exist in the US. On the contrary! It just really surprised me to learn that such cruelties, especially with abandonment on the highways, existed in the Bel Paese. Not in the least to say I am naive of such things. This problem of abandonment doesn’t just pertain to dogs, but cats as well. Shelley at ReallyRome discusses cats being abandoned in the Citta’ Eterna, the Eternal City when their owners left town for vacation. Why not just have a cat/dog sitter? This is also not to say that all animals in Italy are mistreated by Italians. My boyfriend’s family has three dogs, and his brother has two. All the dogs live in there houses and are treated very well.

In an article published by IPS News, an estimated 280,000 cats and dogs are killed each year by vehicles. Click the link to read the article.


Have you ever heard of such cases in Italy,
and what are your thoughts on the subject?

Posted by: passagetoitaly | March 9, 2010

Not So Guilty Pleasures

Taking a break from our tour of Cortona, which I’m now considering is quite boring, I’ve decided to discuss my not-so-guilty pleasures. The next posting on our tour, however, if you’re interested in reading it, will be next Monday.

Over at BleedingEspresso, Michelle asked, “What are your not-so-guilty pleasures?”, after explaining her post with a quote. (Right now I can’t seem to find the post, but will link you to it once I’ve tracked it down!)  However, in summary, the quote explained that whatever makes you happy, should not make you feel guilty. To answer Michelle’s question, I decided to limit myself to writing 10 of my own not-so-guilty pleasures.

1. Enjoying the sunshine – there’s nothing like a good dose of Vitamin D!

2. Trips to Italy – sometimes I must admit that I feel guilty about this one, as I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging.

3. Planting veggies and taking care of the flowers in the garden.

4. Spending time with my significant other, who is sadly, many times, 6,000 miles away.

5. Reading a good book that sucks me in.

6. Drinking cappuccino

7. Spending time with my family.

8. Sleeping in, especially when you know there’s no work that day due to the inclement weather, like a snow day.

9. Going to the beach must also be one of my favorite pasttimes.

10. Being home with my family. Although I’m ready to adopt Italy as my new country, there is also nothing like being home. The US will always hold a place in my heart, inspite of what readers may think after reading my ‘Italy v. America, Differences Observed’ posts.

And so I pass this unto you. Yes, you!

What are your not-so-guilty pleasures in life?

PS. Michelle, if you’re reading this, would you be so kind as to direct me to your post I am referring to? Thank you!

Posted by: passagetoitaly | March 8, 2010

Off the Beaten Trail: Cortona, Italy: Sagra della Bistecca

picture from CortonaWeb.net

Get your knives and forks ready for the Sagra della Bistecca!! Perhaps even a bib if you’re a sloppy eater! As mentioned in the first post on my Cortona’s Off the Beaten Trail edition, the Cortonesi celebrate what is known as the Sagra della Bistecca.

What is a sagra you ask?

For those of you who don’t know, and aren’t familiar with traditional festivals in Italy, a sagra is a local festival, usually involving food, and many times includes historical sporting events, like jousting. During the Sagra della Bistecca, the Cortonesi celebrate their bistecca, or steak, which it is regionally famous for. The Di Sagra in Festa website describes it as such:

La sagra della bistecca di Cortona è l’appuntamento più importante della gastronomia cortonese e si tiene ogni anno presso i giardini del Parterre (giardini pubblici) il 14 15 e 16 Agosto 2009. In una gratella gigante di 14 metri vengono cucinate le bistecche alla fiorentina, rigorosamente di carne di razza chianina, cotte al sangue, come vuole l’antica tradizione toscana. Oltre ai contorni, pane e frutta il menu comprende dell’ottimo vino Chianti o del Cortona Doc, ottimi per accompagnare la nostra carne. Costo 25.00€

Alla “sagra della bistecca” non troverete solo bistecche ma anche stand gastronomici, con prodotti tipici toscani e cortonesi.

The Sagra della Bistecca of Cortona is the most important date of Cortonesi gastronomy and is held every year in the Gardens of Perterre (public gardens) from 14- 16 of August. On a 14 meter (that’s nearly 46 feet) giant grill the steaks alla fiorentine are cooked, strictly of meat of the Chiana race, cooked from medium rare, in the old traditional Tuscan manner. In addition to the main course is a menu of bread and fruit along with optimal Chianti wine or of Cortona DOC, or Denominazione di Origine Controllata (which is a law pertaining to bottled wines in Italy. This meaning wine deriving from Cortona.), to accompany our meat.

Cost: 25 euros

At the Sagra della Bistecca, you won’t only find just steak, but other gastronomical stands with typical Tuscan and Cortonesi products.

In my opinion, not a bad price for the pleasure of enjoying a nice steak, accompanied by a good wine, fruit, and bread!


For more information about the Sagra della Bistecca for this year, stay tuned to the Di Sagra in Festa website. This site is much more up-to-date, as the Cortona comune’s website has information about the festival dating from 2005.

In your town in Italy, or if you’ve visited Italy, have you been to a sagra?
Please share with us what you experienced by either leaving a comment below or writing to PassagetoItaly (AT) gmail (DOT) com.

Posted by: passagetoitaly | March 6, 2010

Off the Beaten Trail: Cortona, Italy: Churches Part 2

Our tour of Cortona first began here, highlighting the characteristics of this town made known to many by the book and film, Under the Tuscan Sun. The tour then continued here, with the first special on the towns churches. This post concludes the tour of the churches, featuring the Duomo, the Sanctuary of Santa Margherita, and the Convento delle Celle.

The Duomo

The Duomo

The Duomo, featured left, can be found in the Piazza del Duomo. However, unlike many Italian towns which feature the church in the heart of town, the Duomo can be found near the edge of town. If you look closely, the facade reveals changes to the original structure, perhaps with the original entrance being larger. According to Wikipedia, the beginning to its construction began in the 11th century, and was name a cathedral in 1325 by the Cortonese diocese. (By clicking on the link to Wikipedia, you can read the article about the cathedral, however, it is in Italian.) Its bell tower, featured below to the right, was built in the by Francesco Laparelli. If you face the Duomo, to the left is an incredible panoramic view of the valley below.

The Duomo's bell tower

Sanctuary of Santa Margherita

The sanctuary was built on the site of the former church of San Basilio, dedicated to Santa Magherita after her death in 1297. Its construction was finished during the 19th century, but has undergone extensive renovations since 1857. The facade has a beautiful marble rossette made in the 14th century.

The first altar has a painting done by Barrocci called the Estasi di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria. The altar to the right of the high altar displays the infamous Crucifix to which Santa Magherita prayed to. Legend has it that the Crucifix spoke to her. The high altar was done in the baroque styles and fashioned with marble. It also encases the cinerary urn of Santa Margherita, which the public can view. Originally her body was buried in a marble mausoleum, was later exhumed in 1330 to be placed in the urn.

Convento delle Celle

panoramic view near the Duomo

As far back as 1199, documents show that hermits had inhabited its cells. A hermitage was later founded in 1211 by St. Francis of Assisi. Many well-known saints stayed at the hermitage, including Fra Elia, mentioned in the Churches Part 1 section of the Off the Beaten Trail; St. Anthony of Padova; Guido Vagnottelli; Beato Vito; and Saint Bonaventure. There are a totaly of twenty cells that can be views, including those of Fra Elia and St. Francis.

mausoleum?

Please stay tuned for more on Cortona! The next part will be able the festivites of the town, and the MAEC, or Il Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca e della città di Cortona, mentioned in the very first post of the Cortona edition of Off the Beaten Trail.

Buon weekend a tutti!

(Have a good weekend everyone!)

Posted by: passagetoitaly | March 5, 2010

Off the Beaten Trail: Cortona, Italy: Churches

If you have been following my blog, you have already read my post about Cortona, Italy, here. We continue our tour through Cortona with a special on its churches.

Church of S. Domenico

located near Piazzale Garibaldi

Church of San Domenico

Like any town in Italy, Cortona has numerous churches spread throughout it. One of its churches, the Church of S. Domenico was built in the gothic style, between the years of 1391 and 1438. It has been restored quite a few times, and was at one point part of an ancient Dominican convent, which had been destroyed. Some of the frescoes adorning the interior have unfortunately been lost over time, while others were moved to the Museo Diocesano for more protection.

The altar shows work done by Lorenzo di Niccolò in 1402, which has scenes of the Coronation of Mary, (click the link to view photo of work, by Ray) thus the title of his work. There are also other famous works within the church, such as: Virgin with Saints by Luca Signorelli; the Assumption of the Virgin by Jacopo Negretti (also known as Palma il Giovane); Deposition by Baccio Bonetti; a fresco of S. Rocco by Bartolomeo della Gatta; and other prominent works.

For more examples of Lorenzo di Niccolò’s work, please visit ScholarResource


Church of S. Francesco

located on Via Santucci

It is a gothic styled church built over the Roman ruins of Bagno della Regina, or the Queen’s Baths. It was built in c.1254, dedicated to Friar Elia Coppi, who is buried in the choir. The interior contains a high altar with the Holy Cross, which is enclosed by a large marble baroque tabernacle, which was donated to Fra Elia by the emperor in Constantinople. A third altar bears Pietro Berrettini’s Annunciation. It also contains the works of Andrea Commodi, Orazio Fidani, Ludovico Cardi (Cigoli), and Raffaello Vanni. It contains two tombs, that of the aforementioned Fra Elia Coppi, and Ranieri Umbertini, who was the first bishop of Cortona.

Please click here to view the church.

Santa Maria della Grazie al Calcinaio


The most astounding of the churches in Cortona is Santa Maria della Grazie al Calcinaio. The church was built in c.1484 for the purpose of worshipping the image of the Virgin which was placed above the high altar. It was built by Francesco di Giorgio Martini and completed in 1513, and was constructed in the shape of a cross. Although I was not able to venture inside, its beauty from the outside was evident.

Other churches in Cortona include: (all pictures of these churches can be found on Le Chiese da Cortona. Sorry I was not able to take pictures of all of them, and many of them I was not able to visit. My boyfriend and I spent half the day there, and then went on to Foiana della Chiana.)

– the Church of S. Antonia on Via Bagni di Bacco, featured on towards the middle of the page of Le Chiese da Cortona

Church of S. Cristoforo – one of the most ancient in the city, said to have been built c. 1129;

– the Church of S. Niccolò

– the Chiesa di S. Agostino – a church whose construction began in 1256, but was not completed until the 15th century. However, it underwent several enlargements. It bell tower dates from the 17th century, and its cloisters has been dated as being built in the 16th century.

Chiesa di S. Benedetto – an 18th century church, built upon the foundation of an Etruscan tower;

– the church of S. Filippo, said to be Cortona’s most recent church, dedicated in c.1728

– the Monstery and Church of S. Chiara;

– the Monastery and Church of S. Trinità – the oratory was already built in 1349, and the monastery was later built and unified with the monaster of the Contesse in 1545. The latter had been priorly merged with the monastery of St. Catherine in 1494. The church, previously known as the oratory, and the monastery were later dedicated to Saint Trinity in 1790.

– the Church of S. Marco

– the church of Spirito Santo

– the church of Santa Maria Nuova

Next time we will be exploring the Duomo of Cortona, the Sanctuary of S. Margharita, and the Convento delle Celle. Please stay tuned!

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