In giro per Catania


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Catania is well known for its baroque architecture which was declared a world Heritage site by the UNESCO. Many of the architectural attractions make Catania famous.
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  • the source of the elephant in Catania, which since 1239 is the official symbol of the city, is related to an ancient legend. This legend says that when Catania was for the first time inhabited, all fierce and dangerous animals were placed to flight by an elephant, to which the people of Catania call him "liotru", that is a dialectal correction of the name Elidor. He was a magician of the eighth century, which was burned alive in 778 by the bishop of Catania St. Leone II the Healer because Elidoro, having failed to become bishop of the city, disturbed sacred functions with various spells, including that one of animate the elephant of stone. Several hypotheses have been made by researchers to explain the origin of the statue of stone, which today dominates Duomo Square, in the arrangement given to her by Vaccarini in 1736. Two of these assumptions deserve a mention: first, by the historian Pietro Carrera from Militello (1571-1647), who explained it as a symbol of military victory given by the people of Catania on the Libyan. The most reliable hypothesis is, however, expressed by the Arab geographer Idrisi in the twelfth century: according to Idrisi, the elephant of Catania is a magical statue, built in Byzantine times, just to keep away the injuries of volcano Etna from Catania. This seems to be the best explanation that we can give to the friendly elephant, which the people of Catania are very close, so as to threaten a popular revolt, in 1862, when was done the proposal to transfer "u liotru" from Duomo Square to Palestro Square. .
  • Catania ( Greek : Κατάνη – Katáni ; Latin : Catăna and Catĭna ) is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea , between Messina and Syracuse . It is the capital of the homonymous province , and with 298,957 inhabitants. (752,895 in the Metropolitan Area) it is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy. Catania is known to have a seismic history and past, having been destroyed by a catastrophic earthquake in 1169, another in 1693 , and several volcanic eruptions from the neighboring Mount Etna volcano, the most violent of which was in 1669. Catania has had a long and eventful history, having been founded in the 8th century BC. In the 14th century and the Renaissance, Catania was one of Italy's most important and flourishing cultural, artistic and political centres, including having witnessed the opening in 1434 of the first university in Sicily. Today, Catania is one of the main economic, touristic and educational centres in the island, being an important hub of the technological industry, thus gaining the nickname of the "European Silicon Valley ".
  •   Catania is well known for its baroque architecture which was declared a world Heritage site by the UNESCO. Many of the architectural attractions make Catania and its province famous. The island of the Sun, Sicily, is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is in the center of the Mediterranean Sea and was in the history always be named desired because of its strategic position and the comfortable climate. Sicily possesses a base of 26,500 km² and harbors ca. 5 million inhabitants. Catania, on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, is the capital of the homonymous province, and with 298,957 inhabitants (752895 in the Metropolitan Area) it is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy. Tragically, the Mafia is the single socio-economic factor that distinguishes Sicily's economic base from those of other European Mediterranean regions Insula Soarelui, Sicilia , se află chiar în mijlocul bazinului Mării Mediterane, împărţind zona mediteraneană vestică de cea estică, factor important în determinarea istoriei sale. Sicilia este cea mai mare şi cea mai importantă insulă mediteraneană. Numele modern Sicilia derivă de la vechii locuitori „Siculi”. Suprafaţa este de 25.709 km². Sicilia numără aproximativ 5,1 milioane de locuitori. Capitala este la Palermo. Catania, capitala provinciei cu acelaşi nume (circa 300.000 de locuitori), este al doilea oraş ca mărime şi al zecelea în Italia. Din păcate Mafia este singurul factor socio-economic care deosebeşte Sicilia faţă de alte regiuni europene mediteraneene.
  • In the bright and beautiful piazza Giovanni Verga is the grandiose building of the Law Courts, established between 1936 and 1953. The leading idea can immediately be read in the façade with its light forefront of tall thin pillars; balance and formal rigour dominate the building. Writes Antonio Rocca (L’Arte del Ventennio a Catania, 1988): “At the entrance, just behind the pillars, in front of the large volume of the ‘cell’ the simulacrum of the Goddess (a sculpture by the artist M.M. Lazzaro) has left its usual dwelling and come out into the open, at the entrance a vigilant custodian of the sacred place. Above its crown runs the frieze sculptured by Alfredo Russo narrating the milestone in the history of Justice, up until that of the fascist era”.  
  • The great statue was erected in 1955: “Following a long season of controversies – can be read in the Municipal Magazine – the bronze statue of Justice has been removed from the courtyard of the Civil Engineering Building and transported to piazza Giovanni Verga. The statue represents a woman figure, seven and a half meters tall, supporting two men on the palms of her hands in order to assess their guilt or their innocence.The whole is fused in bronze, weighing around five tons. The artist drew his inspiration from a painting by Giotto in the Cappella degli Scrovegni, and portrayed the figure standing with a rich pleated robe in order to harmonize with the project by the architect Fichera, who definitely envisaged her in a vertical position and in a rhythmical composition with the pillars of the façade”. Here are the relevant data of the Law Courts: front 100 meters long, height 18 meters, 350 rooms the most noteworthy being the huge lobby which every year hosts the solemn opening ceremony of the judiciary year.
  • Palazzo di Giustizia Palazzo di Giustizia is the palace of justice. It was initiated in 1937 and inaugurated in 1953 by architect Francesco Fichera and is located in the central Piazza Verga. It represents the 20th century architecture of Catania. There is a large bronze statue of Justice at the facade of the palace, by Catanian sculptor Mimi Mary Lazarus. The actual piazza Verga, was originally destined to military training and was called piazza d’Armi. It kept this name until 1907 when it was the site of an important agricultural exhibition, and from that time on it bore the name of piazza Esposizione, in memory of that fortunate event. The square was then gradually surrounded by edifices, one of the first being the Carabinieri Barracks on a plan by the engineer Clarenza.
  • Statua di Garibaldi Intorno al 1890 l’Uruguay, Paese nel quale era stato esule e per la cui indipendenza aveva combattuto dal 1837 al 1847, decise di onorare Garibaldi innalzandogli un monumento. Lo commissiono’ a un artista italiano un certo Ettore Ferrari. Quando la statua, trasportata via mare, giunse a destinazione, non piacque agli uruguayani i quali la rispedirono al mittente ( in Italia). Nell’imminenza delle celebrazioni del cinquantenario dell’unita’ d’Italia (1911), la fonderia Bastianelli di Roma,che l’aveva realizzata, e nei cui depositi era rimasta per tanto tempo,diramo’ una circolare a tutti i comuni d’Italia : <<Statua di Garibaldi offresi>>. Sindaco di Catania era allora Giuseppe Pizzarelli, il quale per compiere un atto di omaggio alla memoria del Ferrari (morto nel 1897), caldeggio’ l’acquisto della statua, che venne comprata dal comitato organizzatore dell’esposizione agricola siciliana, presieduto dall’on. Pasquale Libertini, e offerta al municipio di Catania. Quanto sia costata non si sa ma e’ noto che venne pagata a basso prezzo perche’ roba in svendita. Quando la statua giunse a Catania divamparono le polemiche, non soltanto per il pessimo acquisto ma anche per la scelta del luogo dove sistemarla. Il sindaco indico’ piazza Universita’ ma la proposta venne respinta. Si ripiego allora su via Etnea al bivio con via Caronda, a tutto danno dell’antica edicola di giornali che sorgeva in quel posto. Approntato un massiccio basamento di pietra lavica la statua vi fu collocata sopra e <<impacchettata>> con stracci e carta in attesa della cerimonia inaugurale, ma le polemiche e i guai gia’ avuti ,a causa della statua, indussero il comune a temporeggiare per la cerimonia. Fu cosi’ che durante un violentissimo temporale la pioggia spazzo’ via carta e stracci sbloccando una situazione che il sindaco non aveva avuto il coraggio di affrontare. Enc. di Ct Tringale Editore ed.1987
  • Peppa a cannunera Nativa di Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto (Me) 1841-1900; ignota col suo vero nome-Giuseppa Calcagno- fu famosissima col nomignolo popolare di Peppa a cannunera. A Catania, sua patria d’elezione faceva la postina ai tempi dei Borboni; si guadagno’ il soprannome e la medaglia di bronzo al valor militare con un atto di impavido coraggio; ed ecco come. Nell’estate del 1860 durante un’insurrezione antiborbonica, Peppa riusci’ a sottrarre un cannone al nemico e issatolo sopra un carro attese la carica avversaria. Al momento opportuno, quando l’avversario era a pochi passi, diede fuoco alle polveri decimando le file dei soldati borbonici che impauriti si diedero ad una fuga disordinata. Il cannone e’ conservato nel museo civico di Catania.
  • In 1434 the king, of Spain and Sicily, Alfonso of Aragon and Pope Eugene IV authorised the foundation of a university in Catania. Prior to this, the main education centres had been Palermo, Messina and Trapani but none of them could grant degrees; a right which could only be given by the Pope. It was not until 1444, however, that the first four faculties were established in Medicine. Philosophy, Law and Theology & Arts. In 1445 the first students attended classes but it was not until almost two centuries later that the university gained its own establishment in Piazza Università where it stands today, in the former grounds of the hospital of St. Mark's.
  • L'elefante Menelik Nel 1890, dopo il trattato di Uccialli, il negus Menelik II, in segno di amicizia, inviò in dono al re d'Italia Umberto I un piccolo elefante. Il sovrano, a sua volta, regalò il pachiderma alla città di Catania, perchè nel suo stemma ha appunto un elefante. La notizia della decisione reale venne accolta con entusiasmo dai catanesi, pochissimi dei quali avevano mai visto un elefante, ma con minor giubilo dalle autorità comunali, alle quali il dono del re pose subito dei gravi problemi : dove sistemare il bestione? Fu allestito alla meglio un recinto in uno spiazzo del giardino Bellini in attesa di costruire un gabbione. L'elefante, subito battezzato dalla popolazione con il nome di Menelik, giunse in treno a Catania nella prima metà di giugno. Sfilò, seguito dalla folla, per le vie della città fino al giardino Bellini dove fu per pochi mesi motivo di curiosità. Morì prima dello scadere dell'anno perchè- si scoprì poi- la sua cella era umida e buia, e perchè lo cibavano di erbe malsane. Fu imbalsamato e sistemato nel salone dell'istituto di Zoologia dell'università, in via Androne, dove ancora oggi si trova. Enc. di Catania Tringale Editore 1987
  • Adelaide Capitale dello stato dell’Australia meridionale, fondata nella prima meta’ dell’800, fu costruita sul modello dell’assetto urbanistico di Catania,del cui centro storico riproduce fedelmente la composizione. Nel 1836 il colonnello inglese William Light ebbe l’incarico dal suo governo di costruire una cittadina nella fertile pianura tra la catena dei monti Lofty e il mare. L’ufficiale aveva viaggiato molto e per realizzare il compito affidatogli fece ricorso alle esperienze acquisite nelle citta’ visitate in tante parti del mondo. Tra il 1820 e il 1821 era capitato a Catania : <<La citta’>> -che era stata rasa al suolo dal tremendo terremoto del 1693- contava allora 43.000 abitanti ma aveva ripreso a poco a poco il suo respiro. Come tutti i viaggiatori che per la prima volta visitavano Catania nell’800, William Light, arrivando in piazza del Duomo e volgendo lo sguardo intorno, dovette rimanere meravigliato dalla magnificenza delle strade – dritte, larghe, lunghissime (per quei tempi)- fiancheggiate da nobili ed eleganti edifici, splendidamente illuminati di notte, degni di rivaleggiare con le piu’ belle citta’ d’Europa. Enc.di Ct Tringale Editore ed.1987
  • Where via Etneea crosses Via Caronda one can see the bronze statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi.  GG fought for the independence of Uruguay, and, in the 80's, the South American state ordered his statue to the Italian artist Ettore Ferrari.  At the end they did not like the statue, so the manufacture sold it to the Organizing Committee of the Agricultural Exhibition of Sicilia, and finally it was donated to the municipality of Catania. Statuia de bronz a lui Garibaldi i-a fost comandată sculptorului Ettore Ferrari de către statul Uruguay, (pentru a cărui independenţă luptase) dar a fost returnată de oarece nu le-a plăcut. Achiziţionată apoi de Comitetul Expoziţiei agricole a fost donată oraşului Catania.
  • Activitate : Compozitor, unul dintre creatorii operei de belcanto. In scurta sa existenta, Vincenzo Bellini s-a remarcat ca un important compozitor de opera. Fiul organistului Rosario Bellini incepe studiul teoriei muzicale la varsta de 2 ani, iar al pianului la 3 ani. A realizat prima sa creatie muzicala la varsta de 6 ani. Si-a dedicat toata viata muzicii, lasand in urma sa o importanta opera care a depasit barierele timpului. A fost, alaturi de Gioacchino Rossini si Gaetano Donizetti, unul dintre creatorii operei de belcanto. Datorita faptului ca acest gen de opera este destinat divertismentului, creatorul sau trebuie sa puna accent pe cantaret si arta interpretativa. Iar muzica lui Bellini a reusit sa atraga, de-a lungul timpului, interpreti care aveau, deja, importante cariere artistice. Unul din acestia a fost Giovanni Battista Rubini, tenorul a carui cariera se identifica cu unele dintre operele lui Bellini. In anul 1831, a compus opera semiseria, "Somnambula" (lucrare ce figureaza si azi in repertorii), insa piesele sale cele mai reprezentative sunt "Norma" (1831) si "Puritanii" (1835). Acestea doua piese prezinta toate caracteristicile ariilor lui Bellini. Chiar si Wagner, care, in general, detesta muzica italiana a apreciat "Norma". Aceasta opera este considerata cea mai reusita opera a lui Bellini. Cea mai reprezentiva bucata a ei, aria "Casta Diva", atunci cand este cantata bine, creeaza un impact de neuitat asupra auditoriului. Autorul a compus dezvoltand tehnica coloraturii flexibile, de aceea cu timpul operele sale nu mai au acelasi efect pe care il produceau in secolul al XIX-lea. Genul de cantareti pentru care a fost scris s-a stins. Toata lumea vibra la romantismul din ariile sale. Bellini a petrecut catva timp la Paris, unde a fost considerat una dintre figurile melancolice ale orasului. A scris lucrari pentru teatrul italian si parizian, iar operele lui se remarca prin evidentierea personajelor feminine neindreptatite de destin. Alte creatii: "Piratul" (1827), "Straina" (1829), "I Capuleti i e Montecchi" (1830).
  • Civic mottoes The two most recurrent Latin mottoes of Catania are readable on the marble tags set on the baroque prospect of the monumental Triumphal Arch of Piazza Palestro whose name is " Porta Garibaldi " ( Garibaldi Gate ) but also " Porta Ferdinandea " ( Ferdinandean Gate ). They still recite:" Melior De Cinere Surgo " ( I Arise Better From My Ashes ) and " Armis Decoratur, Litteris Armatur " ( Adorned with Weapons, Armed with Letters ). The first underlines the interchange down the ages between its unforeseen destructions and the gradual and successive reconstructions, comparing such cyclicities of sudden ruinations and consequent rebirths to the legend of the mythical Phoenix, the fiery creature perennially fated to upspring anew from its own embers. This firebird is, in fact, sculpted atop the archway of the forenamed structure. The second simply wants to emphasize the role of cultural and University hub for the whole Sicily from Middle Ages till modern times. Several " stylized armaments " were largely reproduced and utilized as ornaments or architectural elements to bedight the fronts of the main noblemen's mansions.
  • In giro per Catania

    1. 1.
    2. 3. Island of the Sun Catania was one of the main centers of the Sicilian Vespers revolt (1282) against the House of Anjou, and was the seat of the incoronation of the new Aragonese king of Sicily, Peter I. In the early 15th century, Sicily was turned into a province of the larger Kingdom of Aragon and with the unification of Castile and Aragon (early 16th century) Sicily became part of the Spanish Empire. Catania was one of the vanguards of the movement for the Sicilian autonomy in the early 19th century. In 1434 King Alfonso V founded here the Siciliae Studium Generale, the oldest university in the island. Catania a fost unul dintre focarele principale ale revoltei „Vecerniile Siciliene” ( cu urmări notabile asupra ansamblului situaţiei politice a întregii creştinătăţi medievale ) împotriva Casei de Anjou şi a fost locul încoronării noului rege aragonez al Siciliei, Petru I. La începutul secolului XV Sicilia a devenit provincie a Regatului de Aragon iar la începutul secolului XVI, după unificarea Castiliei cu Aragonul, a făcut parte din Imperiul Spaniol. Catania a fost de asemenea în avangarda mişcării pentru autonomia Siciliei la începutul secolului XIX. În anul 1434 regele spaniol Alfonso V Magnanimul a fondat la Catania prima universitate din Sicilia. There is a little Italian proverb that said: " Palermo grandeza, Catania belleza." This proverb purported that Palermo have the larger City, but Catania the beauty of Sicily.
    3. 4. UNESCO World Heritage Site, representing "the final flowering of baroque art in Europe.” Catania
    4. 6. In the bright and beautiful piazza Giovanni Verga is the grandiose building of the Law Courts ( front 100 meters long, height 18 meters, 350 rooms) , established between 1936 and 1953 Î n pia ţ a Giovanni Verga grandioasa clădire a Tribunalului (lungimea faţadei 100 metri, înălţime 18 metri, 350 de încăperi) construită între anii 1936 - 1953, arhitect Francesco Fichera .
    5. 7. At the entrance, just behind the pillars the simulacrum of the Goddess (a sculpture seven and a half meters tall by the artist Mimi Mary Lazzaro. The artist drew his inspiration from a painting by Giotto in the Cappella degli Scrovegni) La intrarea în Palatul de Justiţie în spatele stâlpilor reprezentarea unei zeiţe, o sculptură înaltă de şapte metri şi jumătate, realizată de Mimi Mary Lazzaro, sculptoriţă din Catania. Artista s-a inspirat dintr-o pictură a lui Giotto din Capela Scrovegni din Padova.
    6. 9. Viale XX Settembre
    7. 10. Viale XX Settembre
    8. 11. Viale XX Settembre
    9. 15. T he bronze statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi by Ettore Ferrari
    10. 16. T he bronze statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi by Ettore Ferrari. In 1887, he created a statue of Ovid for the city of Constanţa, Romania (the ancient Tomis, where the Latin poet was exiled) and this statue has been duplicated in 1925 for Sulmona, Ovid's birthplace. Statuia de bronz a lui Garibaldi realizată de sculptorul Ettore Ferrari. Ettore Ferrari este autorul bustului lui Ovidiu realizat în 1887 şi amplasat în Piaţa Ovidius din Constanţa dar ş i a mo numentul ui dedicat lui Ion Heliade Rădu l escu care este amplasat î n faţa Universităţii din Bucureşti precum ş i a busturilor lui Decebal ş i Traian de la Cluj ca ş i a b asorelieful împăratului Traian de pe statuia Lupa Capitolina din Cluj (1928).
    11. 17. San Benedetto is a church dedicated to St. Benedict of Norcia, built between 1704 and 1713 San Benedetto este o biserică dedicată Sfântului Benedict din Norcia, construită în perioada 1704 - 1713
    12. 29. ZO Centro per le arti e le culture contemporanee Zo is a new center for art and culture which has been recently opened in Catania. The center, financed by Sviluppo Italia, is located in a former refinery. It is the first multimedia center in Southern Italy and its scope is to promote all contemporary art forms. The center is organizing ballets, theater shows, concerts, exhibitions, seminars, workshops. The center, restored by an English architect, is 1,800 square meters wide.
    13. 30. Villa Bellini
    14. 31. Bellini Gardens This is the Catania inhabitants’ famous place for relaxing, going for a walk and admiring the wonderful view that spreads from the city to Mount Etna. The Villa Bellini Gardens spread over about 70,000 square meters Villa Bellini
    15. 32. Villa Bellini
    16. 41. The opera composer Vincenzo Bellini was born in Catania, and a museum exists at his birthplace. The Teatro Massimo "Vincenzo Bellini", which opened in 1890, is named after the composer. The opera house presents a variety of operas through a season, which run from December to May, many of which are the work of Bellini.
    17. 46. La 20 februarie 1838 a avut loc premiera româneascã a operei „Norma” de Vincenzo Bellini, primul spectacol de opera cântat în limba româna. Spectacolul a fost realizat de Conservatorul Filarmonic-Dramatic din Iasi.
    18. 58. "To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    19. 59. Sound : Cecilia Bartoli - Tarantelle, song for voice & piano Cecilia Bartoli - Bellini - Fillide mia dov‘è L.Pavarotti- Bellini-Dolente immagine di Fille mia Text: Internet Pictures : Sanda Foişoreanu Internet Gabriela Cristescu Otilia Contraş Copyright: All the images belong to their authors. Arangement : Sanda Foişoreanu