Thursday, 1 June 2017

The 2nd of June is the Festa della Repubblica

Here in Italy Republic Day is celebrated on the 2nd of June each year. It commemorates the institutional referendum in 1946 when the Italian people were called to the polls in order to decide on the type of government they wanted following the second world war and the fall of fascism. With 12,717,923 votes for a republic and 10,719,284 for the monarchy, the male descendants of the House of Savoy were sent into exile.

To commemorate this event a grand military parade is held in central Rome and presided over by the President of the Italian Republic in his role as supreme commander of the armed forces. The prime minister, formally known as the President of the council of ministers, attends along with other high officers of state. There are important celebrations in all the Italian embassies and foreign heads of states are invited. Even though the main parade is in Rome, many Italian cities celebrate the day as well.

Prior to the foundation of the Republic, the Italian national day was celebrated on the first Sunday in June, the anniversary of the granting of the 'Statuto Albertino'. From 1977 to 1999, for economic reasons, this was the day when the foundation of the republic was celebrated and it was only in 2000 that the 2nd June was officially instated.

Viva L'Italia !


Thursday, 25 May 2017

Italy is in the spotlight this week!

The Obamas have been enjoying the wonders of Tuscany this week staying in a property located very close to this villa which we are selling:

The presidential couple were guests of former US ambassador to Italy John Phillips at his luxury resort Borgo Finocchieto. They have been delighting in the historical treasures of Siena and Montalcino. In Siena they visited the magnificent Cathedral and were accompanied by the Mayor. The Cathedral is one of Italy's most illustrious Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals. Entering the Cathedral means not only experiencing spiritual elevation but also opening up to beauty and exploring one of the city's most valuable art treasures according to its website According to tradition, the present Cathedral replaces an earlier church dedicated to the Virgin Mary erected in the 9th century or thereabouts on the site of a temple serving the cult of Minerva. Equally unconfirmed rumour suggests that the building was consecrated in 1179 in the presence of Sienese Pope Alexander III Bandinelli after the papacy had made peace with the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The Cathedral contains numerous masterpieces from every age but its marble mosaic inlay and graffito floor is in many ways its most prized possession. Giorgio Vasari certainly considered it the "most beautiful..., largest and most magnificent floor ever made".

 The current President and his entourage have been at the Vatican meeting Pope Francis and will be heading back to Italy to attend the G7 summit in Sicily on Friday.

 Colin Firth has applied for Italian Citizenship as according to his spokesperson “Colin was horrified by Brexit and is worried about the consequences”. He already owns a home in Umbria.

Read more:

Friday, 19 May 2017

Free historic monument anyone!

Italy is giving away more than 100 historic castles, farmhouses and monasteries for free in an effort to breathe new life into its disused public buildings. Under a new scheme unveiled by the country's government run State Property Agency, 103 ancient buildings will be up for grabs to entrepreneurs who promise to transform the locations into tourist destinations.
The disused properties are situated along eight historic routes running the breadth of the country and the nearby islands of Sicily and Sardinia. It is hoped that the initiative will create a series of new facilities for the hundreds of hikers, cyclists and pilgrims who use the routes each year.
The project aims to promote and support the development of the tourism sector and the goal is for private and public buildings which are no longer used to be transformed into facilities for pilgrims, hikers, tourists, and cyclists.
The scheme, which is backed by Italy's Ministry of Tourism, calls on applicants to submit a proposal outlining how they intend to transform their preferred building into a tourist attraction  and the eventual transformation will have to be paid for by the applicant. Specific preference will be given to those aged under 40. 

Successful applications will then be awarded rights to the property for nine years, with the option to extend for an additional nine years.
The deadline for applications is June 26 and work will be expected to commence next summer and a further 200 buildings are scheduled for inclusion in the project over the next two years.
This is the latest initiative to emerge from Italy as part of on-going work to regenerate the country's rural areas.