Stay 33 : A cultural trip in Italy for its castle

Stay 33 : A cultural trip in Italy for its castle.

Occidental Route

Stage 33/35 - 431 kms

0 km Brescia

123 kms Rivarolo

133 kms Milan

175 kms Aoste

carte Brescia a Aoste

A cultural trip in Brescia : A city that preserves all its authenticity

Brescia - Italy

Brescia - Italy - © marcobir -

Go for a cultural trip in Brescia, a tourist destination as the neighbouring towns of Verona and Vicence. It is easily accessible by air from the airports of Brescia, Verona, Milan and Bergamo. You can visit it for a weekend to enjoy its historic centre and its authenticity. The sloping roofs and balconies of many buildings are reminiscent of an alpine town in Switzerland. However, Brescia offers all the style that you would expect from a country known for its rich history. The historic centre’s narrow streets give way to wide squares lined with porches filled with restaurants, cafes, bars and boutiques. Making it a pleasant place to walk around, looking through large complex wrought iron gates which open on inner courtyards.

Rivarolo : a cultural trip in medieval castles

It is an Italian town  in the province of Turin. Rivarolo lies in the plain on the Orco River’s right bank.  Many medieval castles were built between 1333 and 1336 by Count Martin of San Martino, the feudal lord who ruled over the territories of Algiè and Rivarolo. In 1884-1885, the castle was restored by Alfredo d’Andrade, a famous architect inspired by the Middle Ages. Since 1892, it belongs to the Rivarolo municipality.

Fontanellato – Parma : Beata Vergine del Rosario : A surprising sanctuary

Right outside the town is the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, a huge edifice built by the Dominicans between 1641 and 1660 on the site of their previous institution, according to the arrangements of the Dominican Pope St. Pius V, who propagated the Marian devotion. The Pope had in fact attributed to the intercession of the Lady of the Rosary the victory over the Turks at Lepanto. The Baroque style present facade dates back to 1913 according to Ettore Ximenes’ plans. Inside, there are the main altar and the miraculous wooden image of Our Lady of Rosary which a local artist, who remained unknown, had ordered. The first miracle occurred in October 1628 when someone called Ugolotti Gian Pietro Borgo San Donnino. And now Fidenza, suffering from continuous malignant fever, was instantly cured by the Fontanellato Blessed Virgin.

Milan : An European tourist destination

Milan - Italy

Milan - Italy - © luciano mortula -

Milan is one of the European Union’s most important tourist destinations. The world’s most visited city. According to a particular source, 56% of international visitors to Milan are from Europe, while 44% of the city’s tourists are Italian and 56% come from abroad. According to a study, most of the visitors coming from the United-States to the city of Milan visit it for business purposes, while Chinese and Japanese tourists come for recreation. The city boasts several tourist attractions, such as the city’s Duomo and Piazza, the Teatro alla Scale, the San Siro Stadium, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Castello Sforzesco, the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Via Montenapoleone. Most tourists visit sights such as the Milan Cathedral, the Castello Sforzesco and the Teatro alla Scala, however, other main sights such as the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, the Navigli and the Brera district are less visited.

Dominican Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Crespi d’Adda (about 35 km from Milan)

Santa Maria delle Grazie - Milan - Italy

Santa Maria delle Grazie - Milan - Italy - © mlehmann78 -

The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, located in Milan, is a very famous church and a convent. The Dominican convent and the church were built on the orders of the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza. The Duke had wanted a church to replace a small chapel which had been dedicated to Saint Mary of the Graces. The construction of the convent building was completed in 1469. However, the church took more time. The construction of the church was completed in 1497 and the Duke’s wife, Beatrice, was buried there. The apse of the church is believed to have been made by Donato Bramante, but there is no evidence which supports this theory. The church has various gothic as well as Romanesque influences.

Saronno : Sanctuary our Lady of the Miracles (about 30 km from Milan)

The history of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Miracles began over five centuries ago, around 1460. A young boy of Saronno, called Pedretto, had been bedridden for a number of years. He was cured miraculously by Our Lady of Strada Varesina who requested him to build a church in her honour. The foundation stone was laid and the construction of the Sanctuary began. The large number of pilgrims indicated that the church was too small, therefore works on the expansion project of Vincenzo Seregni started in 1556. The construction continued after the pastoral visit of San Carlo Borromeo in 1570. San Carlo was very devoted to the Virgin Mary and in 1581 he moved the sacred image from the first small chapel to the interior of the church.

Aosta : A Roman fortified city still standing!

Aoste City Place - Italy

Aoste City Place - Italy - © krasnevsky -

The city of Aosta lies at the foot of the French Alps, not far from the Italian entrance of the Mont Blanc Tunnel. In Italy, Aosta is classified as “the most Roman city after Rome”. In fact, it is one of the world’s most authentically Roman towns as well as an example of some of the Roman Empire’s best architectural features. The city was built surrounded by walls measuring 728 x 574 meters with fortified towers at each corner and every 20 meters along the wall. One of the city’s four entrances, Porta Praetoria, is well preserved and is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of Roman architecture.

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