THE TRIUMPH OF RENAISSANCE: THE IMPRESSIVE REGAL ROOM AND DUCAL ROOM / INSIDE THE VATICAN PALACES #3

© Roberto Alborghetti - Sala Regia and Sala Ducale (12)

Sala Regia (Regal Room) and Sala Ducale (Ducal Room) are two beautiful rooms in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. They aren’t generally open to visitors: they usually host consistories, conferences, papal hearings or special events. I recently had the opportunity to visit them (I was in Rome to meet Pope Francis for the presentation of “Francis”, the illustrated and historical biography I wrote about him). Here some news (from New Advent website) about Sala Regia and Sala Ducale. They well represent the triumph of Renaissance.  

The Sala Regia (Regal Room)

 Although not intended as such, this broad room is really an antechamber to the Sistine Chapel, reached by the Scala Regia (Royal Staircase). To the left of the entrance formerly stood the papal throne, which is now at the opposite side before the door leading to the Cappella Paolina. The hall was begun under Paul III by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and was completed in 1573. The elegant barrel-vault is provided with the highly graceful and very impressive plaster decorations of Pierin del Vaga. The stucco ornaments over the doors are by Daniele da Volterra. The longitudinal walls are broken on the one side by two, and on the other by three, large doors, between which Giorgio Vasari and Taddeo Zuccaro have introduced very powerful frescoes, whose effect is more than ornamental. They depict momentous turning-points in the life of the Church, among others the return of Gregory XI from Avignon to Rome, the battle of Lepanto, the raising of the ban from Henry IV, and the reconciliation of Alexander III with Frederick Barbarossa. This hall served originally for the reception of princes and royal ambassadors. Today the consistories are held in it, and an occasional musical recital in the presence of the Pope; during a conclave it is a favourite promenade for the cardinals.

The Sala Ducale (Ducal Room)

The Sala Ducale lies between the Sala Regia and the Loggia of Giovanni da Udine. Formerly there were here two separate halls, which were converted into one by Bernini by the removal of the separating wall (the position of which is still clearly perceptible). The decorative paintings, which are of a purely ornamental nature, are by Raffaellino da Reggio, Sabbatini, and Matthæus Brill. In this impressive hall were formerly held the public consistories for the reception of ruling princes. It now serves occasionally for the reception of pilgrims, the consecration of bishops, when (as rarely happens) this is undertaken by the Pope, or is used for the accommodation of specified divisions of the papal household, when the pope holds a consistory in the Sala Regia, proceeds to the Sistine Chapel, or sets out with great solemnity for St. Peter’s.

(3 – To be continued)

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RELATED ARTICLES:

https://robertoalborghetti.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/inside-the-vatican-palaces-2-exclusive-the-frescoes-by-michelangelo-in-cappella-paolina-limited-accessibility-area/

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https://robertoalborghetti.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/i-lead-you-inside-the-vatican-palaces-1-the-beautiful-berninis-royal-staircase/

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https://robertoalborghetti.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/extraordinary-day-i-met-pope-francis-for-the-presentation-of-the-historical-biography-i-wrote-about-him-images-talk-better-than-words/

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https://robertoalborghetti.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/pope-francis-person-of-the-year-my-new-book-tells-his-extraordinary-life-2-volumes-unpublished-stories-340-photos/

I LEAD YOU INSIDE THE VATICAN PALACES #1 / THE BEAUTIFUL BERNINI’S ROYAL STAIRCASE…

© Roberto Alborghetti

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Before my recent private encounter with Pope Francis  for the presention of the biography I wrote about him, I had the way to visit some of the beautiful rooms in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City; as we know, Pope Francis doesn’t live there, but  in the unpretencious house, Casa Santa Marta, where I met him.

I been firstly on the incredible Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Scala Regia ( Royal Staircase) which is a flight of steps and part of the formal entrance to the Vatican. It was built by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger in the early 16th century, to connect the Apostolic Palace to St. Peter’s Basilica, and restored by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1663 to 1666.

The site for the stairs, a comparatively narrow sliver of land between church and palace, is awkwardly shaped with irregular converging walls. Bernini used a number of typically theatrical, baroque effects in order to exalt this entry point into Vatican. The staircase proper takes the form of a barrel-vaulted colonnade that necessarily becomes narrower at the end of the vista, exaggerating the distance. Above the arch at the beginning of this vista is the coat of arms of Alexander VII, flanked by two sculpted angels.

(1 – TO BE CONTINUED)

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RELATED ARTICLES:

https://robertoalborghetti.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/extraordinary-day-i-met-pope-francis-for-the-presentation-of-the-historical-biography-i-wrote-about-him-images-talk-better-than-words/

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https://robertoalborghetti.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/pope-francis-person-of-the-year-my-new-book-tells-his-extraordinary-life-2-volumes-unpublished-stories-340-photos/

MIDNIGHT LIGHTS AT THE MEDIEVAL CASTLE TO SAY THAT LIFE AND WORLD (AND MY SHOW) WILL GO ON…

ALDOBRANDESCA FORTRESS, TUSCANY, ITALYALDOBRANDESCA FORTRESS, TUSCANY, ITALY198 (2)

This enchanting castle – which is hosting Roberto Alborghetti’s “Colors of an Apocalypse” Exhibition – tonight will be enlighted to say to the world that the life goes on… And the art show too (it will be opened to visitors until January 15, 20013). Rocca Aldobrandesca (in Piancastagnaio, Siena, Tuscany, Italy) becomes tonight an outstanding symbol of the times (and of the life). It was built in XIII Century, but it still well and alive… And it is stronger than Maya prophecies…

But let’s know something more about this fascinating fortress, one of the most impressive Medieval Italian castle, a perfect location for Roberto Alborghetti ‘s show. Since the 11th century the area of southern Tuscany around the castle of Piancastagnaio was the object of the expansionist politics of the powerful feudal family of the Aldobrandeschi. The whole territory is rich in historical remains tied to these potentates. Between the possessions of the Aldobrandeschi, Piancastagnaio was almost always the site of allotted to the noble family from the monks of the Abbey of S.Salvatore since the beginning of the year 1000. Subsequently it was claimed from the Viscounts of Campiglia and during the 13th century it became object of ulterior disputes between the cities of Siena and Orvieto.

The Orvietani gained control of the powerful fortress in the 1303 and maintained it for around fifty years. At this point they entered in the quarrel with the heirs of the Aldobrandeschi, the Orsini of Pitigliano, to       oppose the new aims of the Senese Republic. Only between the years 1415 and 1430 Siena finally succeeded to taking possession of Piancastagnaio,       that was attached to the Capitanato of Radicofani. In 17th century the settlement became a Granducal fief and finally, with the Leopoldine reforms, the chief town of the the same community.

The country town has a circular form, once had surrounding wall enclosure with alternating square towers and four gates. The walls and the gates       have been almost entirely demolished, with the exception of few lines, three towers, two with semicircular shape and the other squared, the main       city Gate beside the Rocca and other three minor Gates in the southern front of the walls: Porta Romana, Porticciola e Porta di Voltaia.

In the highest point of the inhabited area rises still today the mighty Rocca Aldobrandesca. The construction has a square form and is endowed with tall and strongly inclined walls. From the enclosure rises two towers , the greatest, either as thickest, had functions of keep, the other, in the opposite angle, defended the underlying gate of access to the city.

The whole complex was endowed with machicoulis and battlement, still today almost intact. The Rocca is under good condition thanks to careful work of restoration.

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5.000 PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY VISITED ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI EXHIBITION AT THE TUSCANY CASTLE. AND THE SHOW GOES ON…

By Marco Rossi

Over 5.000 people have already visited “Colors of An Apocalypse”, the Roberto Alborghetti exhibition hosted in the ancient and picturesque Aldobrandesca Fortress (XIII Century) on Mount Amiata, in Tuscany (PiancastagnaioSiena, Italy). Also in consideration of the growing interest and attention and the huge media coverage, the show has been exceptionally extended until January 15, 2013.

http://youtu.be/AwewbCkwMYc

What someone has already called the “Italian artistic event” of the latter part of the year, it was developed with the web support (Roberto Alborghetti blog passed 70.000 visitors; his YouTube channel counted over 13,000 downloads) and the young people involvement. Over one thousand students have taken turns in the rooms of the charming manor, discovering the provocative artistic language of Roberto Alborghetti, professional journalist and writer, who for years has been collecting realistic images about the “decomposition of publicity posters” as the subtitle of the exhibition tells.

Proposed and promoted by Piancastagnaio Municipality, Osa Onlus and Pro Loco, with the support of the Province of Siena , “Colors of An Apocalypse ” has sparked an unexpected interest outside of the usual art circle and free from the current logics which manage the traditional promotion  of artistic expression. “Colors of an Apocalypse” exhibition displays forty artworks (paintings, lithographs, collages and three special limited-edition silk scarves) created by Roberto Alborghetti with the intriguing and fascinating language of his “Lacer/actions Project”.  Along the seven rooms, people have the way to know the meaning of an artistic research based on observation and reproduction of the decomposition of publicity posters and urban “signs” on the city walls.

Roberto Alborghetti enters with his eyes in the great Babel of ripped and lacerated colors and words in order to grasp the chromatic energy, revitalizing what we usually consider as a rejection or a disturbing element (for the eyes and the urban landscape).

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“Colors of an Apocalypse

The Decomposed Publicity Posters”

Roberto Alborghetti Show

Aldobrandesca Fortress

Piancastagnaio, Siena, Tuscany – Italy  

Opening Time (till January 15, 2013):

10 to 12.30 am/ 17 to 19.30 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and all public holidays.

For informations and visits by appointment:

Tel +39 0577/784134

e-mail: info@prolocopiancastagnaio.it

FIRST PHOTO-GALLERY FROM “COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE” : ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI SHOW AT ALDOBRANDESCA FORTRESS (XIII CENTURY) IN TUSCANY

Roberto Alborghetti Show – “Colors of an Apocalypse: An Intrigue for the Eyes and Mind from the Decomposed Publicity Posters”opened at the enchanting Aldobrandesca Fortress (XIII Century) in Tuscany (Italy)last October 6, 2012; the show continues through to November 4th , 2012. The exhibition – displaced in seven rooms in an ascensional way – features 36 artworks (canvases, lithographs, a special collages series and a limited-edition of a three silk scarves) from Roberto Alborghetti Lacer/actions Projects (images of torn and decomposed publicity posters).

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Location: Aldobrandesca Fortress, Piancastagnaio, Siena, Tuscany (Italy); Opening Time: 10-12,30/17-19,30 (Saturday, Sunday and all public holidays; from October 23 to October 27 during “Penne e Video Sconosciuti” national events). For informations and visits by appointment: 039 0577 784134 ; e-mail: info@prolocopiancastagnaio.it.

ALDOBRANDESCA FORTRESS, PIANCASTAGNAIO, SIENA, TUSCANY (ITALY) : THE ENCHANTING AND WONDERFUL LOCATION OF ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI 2012 SHOW

 

IN THIS IMPRESSIVE TUSCANY FORTRESS THE NEXT ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI SHOW: “COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE /AN INTRIGUE FOR THE EYES AND MIND FROM DECOMPOSED PUBLICITY POSTERS”

VIDEOCLIP : ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI SHOW 2012 : “COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE”

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The next Roberto Alborghetti Lacer/actions Show (“Colors of an Apocalypse – An Intrigue for the  Eyes and Mind from Decomposed Publicity Posters“) will take place in a wonderful and impressive location: the Rocca Aldobrandesca – a XIII Century fortress in Tuscany (Siena, Italy) – from October 6 to November 5, 2012. The exhibition is one of the most awaited Italian events of Fall 2012 and has been organized by Piancastagnaio Municipality and Siena Territory Communities and Osa Onlus. 

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There is a great expectation for this event: simply browse the site – www.robertoalborghetti.wordpress.com/ –  where there’s a page about the exhibition. The title couldn’t be more hit for this exceptional exhibition sponsored by the Municipality and Osa. Roberto Alborghetti will show forty artworks that symbolically represent the meaning of his artistic research, based on observation and reproduction of  one of the several “apocalypses” of our times, namely the decomposed and torn publicity posters we see on walls and along the streets. 

Roberto Alborghetti looks inside this great Babel of decomposed colors and words degraded by time, environment and humans. He draws chromatic energy from trash images, giving new life and reason to what is considered (for the eyes and the urban landscape) a rejection or a disturbing element. The historic  Piancastagnaio fortress, evoking the passage of times, offers an ideal space to enhance the contrasting language of colors and shapes of Roberto Alborghetti compositions.

The “Lacer /actions” Show will be accompanied by forums, workshops and videoshows created by Alborghetti. The exhibition will also feature a limited-edition of a three silk scarves series which Roberto Alborghetti produced in collaboration with renowned textile designer Bruno Boggia who worked with the most famous international fashion designers.              

But let’s know something more about this fascinating fortress, one of the most impressive Medieval Italian castles, a perfect location for Roberto Alborghetti artpieces. Since the 11th century the area of southern Tuscany around the castle of Piancastagnaio was the object of the expansionist politics of the powerful feudal family of the Aldobrandeschi. The whole territory is rich in historical remains tied to these potentates. Between the possessions of the Aldobrandeschi, Piancastagnaio was almost always the site of allotted to the noble family from the monks of the Abbey of S.Salvatore since the beginning of the year 1000. Subsequently it was claimed from the Viscounts of Campiglia and during the 13th century it became object of ulterior disputes between the cities of Siena and Orvieto.

The Orvietani gained control of the powerful fortress in the 1303 and maintained it for around fifty years. At this point they entered in the quarrel with the heirs of the Aldobrandeschi, the Orsini of Pitigliano, to       oppose the new aims of the Senese Republic. Only between the years 1415 and 1430 Siena finally succeeded to taking possession of Piancastagnaio,       that was attached to the Capitanato of Radicofani. In 17th century the settlement became a Granducal fief and finally, with the Leopoldine reforms, the chief town of the the same community.

The country town has a circular form, once had surrounding wall enclosure with alternating square towers and four gates. The walls and the gates       have been almost entirely demolished, with the exception of few lines, three towers, two with semicircular shape and the other squared, the main       city Gate beside the Rocca and other three minor Gates in the southern front of the walls: ‘Porta Romana’, ‘Porticciola’ e ‘Porta di Voltaia’.

In the highest point of the inhabited area rises still today the mighty Rocca Aldobrandesca. The construction has a square form and is endowed with tall and strongly inclined walls. From the enclosure rises two towers , the greatest, either as thickest, had functions of keep, the other, in the opposite angle,       defended the underlying gate of access to the city.

The whole complex was endowed with machicoulis and battlement, still today almost intact. The Rocca is under good condition thanks to careful work of  restoration.

ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI LACER/ACTIONS SHOW AT ROCCA ALDOBRANDESCA 7 THE OFFICIAL POSTER

SPECIAL PREVIEW: MY NEXT “LACER/ACTIONS” SHOW IN A XIII CENTURY CASTLE IN TUSCANY

 YOUTUBE LINK:

http://youtu.be/n7Ds0Hc_iFY

ANIMOTO LINK:

http://animoto.com/play/ZzjjbpBwRWcguCt9gi3fVg

A special preview about next Roberto Alborghetti Lacer/actions Show. It will take place in an enchanting and wonderful location:  a XIII Century fortress in the heart of Tuscany (Italy). It’s already announced as one of the most awaited events of 2012. From September 27 to November 4, 2012. Rocca Aldobrandesca, Piancastagnaio, Siena, Tuscany. Organized by local Municipality and Siena Territory Communities and Associations.   

Una speciale “preview” sulla prossima mostra delle “Lacer/azioni” di Roberto Alborghetti, in programma nella suggestiva Rocca Aldobrandesca (sec. XIII) di Piancastagnaio (Siena). Dal 27 settembre al 4 novembre 2012. Promuove il Comune di Piancastagnaio con enti e associazioni.

THAT MAGICAL CRYPT IN THE TUSCANY MEDIEVAL VILLAGE WHERE THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE WAS BORN

Abbadia San Salvatore, on Amiata Mount (Siena area, Tuscany, Italy) is a place rich of art and history… 

 

In Abbadia San Salvatore, on Amiata MountSiena area, Tuscany, Italy – there is a magical and capturing place. You find it on the ancient abbey church. It is a crypt, where you may breath the history and the beauty of one of the most fascinating Tuscany village.

According the documents, the crypt was built in VIII Century. It was restored in XX Century and now we may admire it in all its beauty. Everytime I have the way to visit it, I always feel astonished by its magic. It happened again a few days ago, when I was in Abbadia SS. for the XIII edition of “Penne and Video Sconosciuti”, the national festival for school journals and videos produced by italian schools.

The Longobard crypt shows 32 columns that form 13 small aisles. They are made in various shapes; some of them are round, with different sculpured ornaments. Also the beautiful capitals are sculptured in various shapes, as palm leaves, loto flowers or animal heads.

 

The abbey and all the Medieval centreare telling us how Abbadia San Salvatore was important in the past. All its area is rich in history and traditions, that to a great extent can be found in documents in the old archive belonging to the monastery dedicated to the Saviour at Amiata Mount. The archive contains many references to the importance and power of the abbey, but little or no reference is made to the early Medieval history of the surrounding land and area, or about the people who used to live there.

The castle of Abbadia is first mentioned in a document dating to 1203, which shows that the community was came under the aegis of a communal hierarchy headed by a Podestà, under the political control of Orvieto. A few years later, the strenght and power of this communal organization are described in the “bill of freedom” (“carta delle libertà”) granted in 1212 to communal chancellors by the Abbot of the San Salvatore monastery.

The pattern of settlements in the area of Abbadia was defined around the mid-XII Century, when under the pressure of external threats, the local population, up until then scattered over the surrounding countryside, came together within one large fortified settlement.

 

This Benedectine monastery was founded by Erfo, a Longobard nobleman, in the VIII Century, under King Astolfo, and it was dedicated to the Saviour, which was typical of that people and in the tradition of christian religion. It rose on the east side of Amiata Mount in order to reclaim the surrounding woods and forests. It also overlooked the Via Francigena, running through the Paglia Valley.

The imperial abbey greatly developed in the Carolingian period thanks to Charlemagne‘s and Ludovick‘s confirmation of its landed propertues and privileges, Around the year 1000, under Abbot Winizo, it increased its power by acquiring new territories. The church and the crypt were rebuilt in 1036. In 1228 the monastery passed to the Cistercians. It was suppressed by grand-duke Pietro Leopoldo in 1782 and re-opened later.

 

In the year 1087, a certain Miciarello and his wife Gualdrada made a donation in favour of the monastery of St Saviour. Below the donation document, the notary Ranieri signed three verses, commonly known as “Cartula Amiatina” (“The Amiata Footnote”). This extemporary poem represents to linguists the first voice of vernacular coming from Tuscany. That is, the first expressions recording the evolution of the Italian language.

But this is not the only important document about Amiata History. Till XIX Century, the monastery hosted the famous “Bibbia Amiatina”“The Amiata Bible” – which is considered the oldest latin version ever known. The Amiata Bible – a real art masterpiece, written by amanuensis monks – is now kept in Florence, but we may see a photo-reproduction in the Monastery Museum.

The historical centre is a well kept fortress-village, where you may walk through incredible narrow streets and squares, all built with the local grey stone. You may admire the Servadio Theatre (1873), a tiny but fascinating place. It was built thanks to the initiative of the Carli and Gragnoli families; it is dedicated to Giacomo Servadio (XIX Century) a Florentine member of Italian Parliament, banker, musician and theatre producer. Between the end of XIX Century and the beginning of the XX, the building was the seat of a friendly Society of the workers of Abbadia, where in XIX Century quicksilver mines began their activities, now closed and presented in a museum.

By ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

A RARE MEDIEVAL MONUMENT ON THE LAKE COMO SHORES

I been in Gravedona, nice village on the Lake Como  (Italy). There, I had the way to continue my journey through Italian medieval monuments. An incredible sign of medieval times is found along the banks, a few meters from lake waters. It’s a rare church, Santa Maria del Tiglio, Saint Mary of the Lime-tree. In fact, behind the monument, close to the lake ‘s shore, you may see some of this beautiful trees.

Its architectural design was made by the famous “Maestri Comacini”. It is an example of the roman period around Como dated around the second half of XII century. It is built over a former baptistry (V century) dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

Unique in its kind, it was built with black and white stones on which raised symbols can be read. Pilasters, vaulted arches, arrow slits, embrasures, profiles and string courses on the windows, columns, arcades, apses and oculi express “Maestri Comacini” inspiration and creativity.

Inside the church – where you breath an enchanting  atmosfere – some of the grey stones bring frescos (made between XIV and XV century) as “St. John the Baptist”, “The Wise Men”, an “Holy Trinity”, “The Adoption of the Wise Men”, an episode of the “Life of St. Julian”. Also of great iconographic interest is the fresco of “The Day of Judgement”, with Giottesque traces to be seen.

Beside the church, you have to visit the beautiful crypt, with an extraordinary serie of columns, dated from XII century and built on a pre-existing Palaeo-Christian basilica.

COLORED STRIPES IN THE MEDIEVAL VILLAGE WHERE THE POSTAL SERVICE WAS BORN

 

I recently had the way to visit one of the most beautiful Italian medieval villages, Cornello dei Tasso (Bergamo). In the ancient church (XII Century) I saw incredible frescos. I was attracted and fascinated by colored fresco stripes on the walls (XV-XVI Century). They are really cool and they have an incredible modern touch. They are signs and signals comin’ from the past; they tell us the universal language of colors. Here, in this page, I show some pictures.

The church (dedicated to Saints Cornelio and Cipriano) where I saw the frescoed stripes, dominates the village from on high, with its bell tower with mullioned windows, beautiful example of Romanesque architecture. It has undergone considerable changes from its original 12th-century structure over the centuries, and it is one of the elements of greatest interest in the village.

The most interesting aspect brought to light by restoration work is the magnificent fresco cycle covering the interior walls of the Tasso noble chapel, painted in the 15th-16th century. It shows a variety of themes, and an excellent execution. Considerable variation in style – as the colored stripes – can be seen in the different panels of the fresco.

The figures of St. George, St. Vincent, St. Stephen and St. Agatha are well-painted; the Adoration of the Magi is admirable; but the finest of all is the panel of the Miracle of St. Giles, protector of farriers, a scene of considerable historical interest for its depiction of settings, clothing and tools from the period.

 Little, but important village. We may say that here was “invented” the postal service. According to documents, Cornello is the home of Omodeo Tasso and other members of this “postmaster” family. Mail was first carried on foot, and later the service was improved with use of horses, dispatch riders, and mail coaches. The Tasso family organized itself into a private company, the Compagnia dei Corrieri, and through its various branches, it succeeded in obtaining contracts for handling mail first in the Republic of Venice and, later, in the 1400-1500s, in the Papal States, in the State of Milan, and in all the lands of Europe dominated by the Hapsburg empire. The family Tasso – this surname gave origin to the same word of “taxi” – still survives at nowadays in the german Thurm und Taxis family.

Cornello dei Tasso is one of the villages in the province of Bergamo that has best preserved its medieval structure. At one time the village was the center of trade with the Valtellina along the Via Mercatorum, and it had an important market. At the end of the 1500s its commercial fortune began to decline. Its centuries of isolation helped preserve the original layout of the village, which is characterized by the superimposing of four levels of buildings. In the lower part, a number of buildings are aligned horizontally, overhanging the Brembo river , which show the original fortified character of the village. On the upper level there is the street with porticos, topped by stone arcades, covered by a wooden beam ceiling and paved with cobblestones.

 In the pics: the fresco stripes and a street with porticos in Cornello dei Tasso (Italy).