Posts Tagged ‘siena’

PICI (OR SPAGHETTI) WITH CHEESE AND PEPPER

pici PICI (OR SPAGHETTI) WITH CHEESE AND PEPPER

Hello everybody!  Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie  wants to share with you a simple but very tasty recipe directly from the Tuscan tradition i.e. “pici or spaghetti with cheese and pepper” (from the book “I Quaderni di Cucina Senese” by Andrea Maestri).

 

First, we explain what is pici: it’s nothing more than a kind of pasta like fat spaghetti made with flour and water. Mix the flour with warm water and a pinch of salt to make a paste quite firm. Remove from mixing small pieces of paste and extend them quickly with your hands until they take form of spaghetti. The diameter should be about 3 mm. However, for those who do not want to engage in the production of home-made pasta, we recommend using the spaghetti of a measure rather large.

For the sauce: after cooking pici or spaghetti in salted water, drain the pasta “al dente”( neither overdone nor uncooked) and add extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, oregano, parmesan or pecorino and a spoon of cooking water. Mix well and … Enjoy your pasta !!!

 
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THE TORRE DEL MANGIA ( THE TOWER OF MANGIA) – SIENA.

palazzo THE TORRE DEL MANGIA ( THE TOWER OF MANGIA) – SIENA.

Hello everybody from Hotel Borgo Grondaie !! Our virtual journey into the history of the beautiful Siena continues with the Torre of Mangia.
The Torre of Mangia is and was a symbol, a sign that the travelers could see from afar, as a kind of flag for a city proud to show off its power. As mentioned in the previous post about the Public Palace, the construction of the tower began in 1325 and ended in 1348. It was built as a reference of power residing in the Palace and a symbol of the city. The tower of the Palace of government soared well above the other towers built to guard homes of the noble families of Siena. Unfortunately, after the fall of the Republic of Siena in 1555, the Spanish-Florentine pulled all those smaller towers down around the Public Palace leaving the Torre del Mangia as the unique protagonist.

The top of the tower, 87 meters high until the last merlons and 102 to the tip of the lightning rod, offers a magnificent view over the whole city and the surrounding hills.

The Tower is all made of fired brick up the battlement made of white travertine.
The Torre del Mangia owes its name to a certain Giovanni di Duccio, who, in charge of tolling the hours on the Tower since 1347, was nicknamed Mangiaguadagni or Mangia because of its willingness to spend money (“mangia” from the Italian verb “mangiare “= to eat and the substantive “guadagni”= earnings). When in 1360, a watch was placed in the tower, hours were tolled by a woody robot later replaced by a new one made of stone which was nicknamed “The Mangia” in memory of Giovanni Di Duccio. In 1780 the hours were marked by a simple hammer while the remains of the automaton are still preserved in the Cortile del Podestà (Public Building).

The first bell of the tower, built on 1348, was replaced by another in 1634, but it was imperfect and in 1666 a third bell was built called “Sunto” dedicated to Our Lady Maria Assunta (Assumed into heaven).

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PALAZZO PUBBLICO (CITY HALL) OF SIENA

facciata palazzo pubblico imgzoom PALAZZO PUBBLICO (CITY HALL) OF SIENA

Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie continues the study of the history of Sienatalking about Palazzo Pubblico, whose development is closely linked to that of the Campo Square(Piazza del Campo).
The space of the square was used for fairs and markets until 1270 with the “Government of Twenty-Four Delegates”, but dropped this; the next “Government of the Nine” (1287-1355) began to think of a neutral location for the city government because until then the Council met inside churches or palaces of noble families. With the construction of the new building, the palace became the heart of any business and the big space that the building removed from the valley became the most important public place for all most significant events.
The original core of the building, consisting of a simple stone façade on one floor and with four breaches, was completed in 1284 and already included the Customs (oil and salt) and the Mint.
In 1297 it began the construction of the real central part of the building not so much different from what it is today and that is the ground floor in stone with four lancet openings, the first, the second and the last floor made of bricks with mullioned windows. The Guelph battlement is composed by nine merlons in memory of the glorious “Government of the Nine”. In this period the City issued a lot of laws (that are considered the earliest city plan of our time) in order to respect and standardize esthetic rules for anyone who intended to build a new building.
The main building dates back to 1305 and the extension of the same with the addition of two wings was completed in 1310 (during which the Government of Nine settled there), although the second floor of both wings was built in 1680 in the middle of the baroque era.
It ‘duty to mention an extension of the building carried on the right wing in 1325; thanks to this extension it was possible to use basements as prisons and provide a larger room for the Grand Council, later, in 1560, this room was transformed into a theater which still exists (Rinnovati Theater) after repeated repairs because of damage caused by numerous fires and earthquakes. The restructuring in 1325 allowed to give space to the storehouse for the salt (a very important substance at that time because the only one for food preservation and whose trade was of vital importance to the economy ofSiena). Today, these rooms are used for temporary art exhibitions.
Also in 1325 Siena began the construction of the Torre Del Mangia…. but that’s another story.

See you next time!

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PIAZZA DEL CAMPO (CAMPO SQUARE) IN SIENA

piazza del campo siena PIAZZA DEL CAMPO (CAMPO SQUARE) IN SIENA

HotelSienaBorgo Grondaie is glad to share with you a little history of our beautifulSiena. Through a series of posts we will discover the origins of the most important places of the city. Let’s start with the heart ofSiena, Piazza del Campo (Campo Square).

Conceived as a center of civic and collective life of the medieval city, Piazza del Campo still has a configuration like that one of the fourteenth century. It ‘a closed urban structure that communicates with the outside through a series of cleverly masked gates and arches and ends with the magnificent background of the Palazzo Pubblico  and Torre del Mangia.
The skyline and the structure of the Piazza del Campo are not born by chance, but during the years of its construction, the government of Siena has gradually enacted laws in order to standardize the architectural style and align the profile of the perimeter and space, an example is the demolition of  the church dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul (located between the existing  St. Peter and St. Paul alleys) because too protruding from the perimeter that the surrounding buildings were defining. The area that would become the square of today, was originally a reclaimed land to allow rain water running off and while the central part of the city was higher in the Castelvecchio area, the future”Campo” was an area for the markets close to the main roads.
The first document which mentions the placement of the Campo Square dates back to 1169; the Square is cited as “Campus Sancti Pauli” and refers to the entire valley, which also includes the current Piazza del Mercato. The news of the subdivision there was in 1193, when the Square is called “Campus Fori” (acting as livestock, poultry and wheat market) and there was the construction of a dividing wall perhaps placed as a barrier because of the soil erosion. In this way the “Campo” acquires the appearance of a half shell while around the wall and on it the government starts the construction of a nucleus of buildings containing the Customs offices ( for oil and salt) and the so-called Bolgano i.e. the place for the minting of coins.

The floor was much later, in fact, the construction started in 1327 and ended in 1349. Even today the centre of the square is paved with handmade bricks laid edge on.The floor is divided into nine strips of travertine in memory of the “Government of the Nine” (1285-1355). The current travertine balusters date back to 1800.

The development of Piazza del Campo is closely linked to the construction of the City Hall (Palazzo Pubblico) ……. but we’ll talk about next time!

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“PUER NATUS”: JESUS CHILDHOOD RAPRESENTADED ON THE PRECIOUS ILLUMINATED ANTHEM BOOKS. CATHEDRAL OF SIENA

 PUER NATUS: JESUS CHILDHOOD RAPRESENTADED ON THE PRECIOUS ILLUMINATED ANTHEM BOOKS. CATHEDRAL OF SIENA

(from December, 1st  2012 to January, 27th 2013).

Siena Crypt and  Piccolomini Library will host “Puer Natus”, an unusual exhibition dedicated to the magnificent illuminated parchments inspired by the history of Jesus childhood as the “Annunciation”, the “Nativity”, the” Adoration of the Magi” (Three Wise Men) and the” Introduction of Jesus at the Temple”.

For the first time the anthems of the Piccolomini Library will be open on a paper (page) that differs from that on display at the permanent exhibition, while in the Crypt  Jesus’childhood will be represented through precious anthem books belonging to the end of the thirteenth century and coming from the Archive of  the Museum of the Duomo (the Cathedral).
The visit to the Crypt will be accompanied by listening to Gregorian chants linked to the Liturgy of Christmas.
The anthems will also be virtually browsed (to better admire the valuable features) thanks to touch-screen reproductions.

All inclusive ticket € 8.00 (Puer Natus, Crypt, Piccolomini Library, Cathedral, Baptistery  and Opera Museum). Free entry for residents and children under 11 years.

For information, reservations and guided tours: +39 0577 286300

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ALLEGORY AND EFFECTS OF THE GOOD AND THE BAD GOVERNMENT. PALAZZO PUBBLICO. SIENA.

400px Lorenzetti ambrogio bad govern. det ALLEGORY AND EFFECTS OF THE GOOD AND THE BAD GOVERNMENT. PALAZZO PUBBLICO. SIENA.buongoverno ALLEGORY AND EFFECTS OF THE GOOD AND THE BAD GOVERNMENT. PALAZZO PUBBLICO. SIENA.

Who knows what would the great Ambrogio Lorenzetti have thought if he had miraculously come back to visit us nowadays, even if just for  one day? Surely he would have seen  that we had tried hard not to realize the idea of just and peaceful  society represented  in his fresco cycle “ Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government”.

To see this wonderful  Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s work, dated  1337/1340, you have to come to Siena and visit Palazzo Pubblico in the beautiful  Piazza del Campo (Campo Square). The cycle of frescoes, that had to inspire the city rulers, is located in a rectangular hall known as the” Peace” or the” Council of Nine “ Room; in fact, the work was ordered by the Government of Siena that was , at that time, ruled by 9 residents who remained in office just for a short period to leave the place with nine other people.Observing the Allegory Of Good Government and the benefits that this brings to the city life and the  surrounding countryside, it’s inferred that the common good should inspire all the governors’ actions and that where order and justice are there are peace, employment, welfare, too. The Allegory of Good Government  is on the bottom of the room. On the left of the painting , there is “Justice”,  holding in balance the scales supported by “ Divine Wisdom” which is holding a book. On the scales there are two angels: one, on the left, represents “ Distributive Justice” who gives goods and penalties and the second one, on the right, represents “ Commutative Justice” that governs trade. From balance two strings hang down ,they ‘re-collected by ”Harmony” (Concordia) who has in her lap a plane (symbol of  equality of all citizens). The same strings are taken up by the 24 governors (the old government before the Nine) that deliver the rope to the “City of Siena” represented by an old man dressed in black and white (colors the represent the town of  Siena). The City is protected and inspired by three  winged theological ” Virtues”: Faith”, “Hope” and “Charity” . On the sides of the Old Man the ”Four Cardinal Virtues”: “Justice” (with the sword, the crown and a severed head), “Temperance” (with the hourglass, a symbol of wise use of time), “Prudence” ( represented with a mirror to interpret the past, read the present and tell the future),and “Force”( with the mace and shield). In addition there are two unconventional Virtues : “Peace” (comfortably lying on a pile of weapons and with an olive branch in her hand) and  “Magnanimity” (dispensing crowns and diamonds). The effects of good government can be seen in the city populated by hard-working people, builders, students, artisans, dancers and even a young girl (on horseback ) getting ready for her marriage. In a just society the countryside is essential to the  city and here you can see the beneficial effects , in fact the country , over which the personification of “ Security” flies free, is rich and full of life: farmers who sow and hoe, young hunters among vineyards and olive trees ( and……if you are keen observers……you will see a nice Cinta Senese Pig).

On the left side wall of the room is the Allegory of Bad Government  where sitting on the throne you see the personification of  “Tyranny” , a demonic monster above which three winged “Vices” fly, namely “Greed” (with a long hook to spear riches), “Pride” (with a sword and a yoke) and “Vainglory”(with a mirror to admire her beauty and a dry branch,  symbol  of volubility). At the sides of “Tyranny “there are “Cruelty” ( intent to show a snake to a baby),” Betrayal ” (with a little lamb having a scorpion’s tale), “Fraud” (with wings and clawed feet) ,“Fury”(with boar’s head, human trunk and horse’s body, symbol of beastly wrath), “Division” (with a sow) and the ”War” ( with sword, shield and black robe). Under “Tyranny” , “Justice” lies chained and despised. Obviously the effect of Bad Government are devastating the city and the country where citizens destroy rather than build, places where murders and  injustice reign and all activities are miserable. The countryside is on fire and the armies are marching towards the walls. Grimm “ Terror ” flies in the sky.

This paintings , so far away from us in time but so contemporary in contents, have an incomparable charm…not to be missed!

 

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Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (National Art Gallery of Siena)

 Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (National Art Gallery of Siena)sodoma(1) Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (National Art Gallery of Siena) Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (National Art Gallery of Siena)

The Museum was inaugurated inside Buonsignori Brigidi Palace  in 1932 with the  scientific sort of  Cesare Brandi, who published the catalog in 1933.  The original nucleus of the gallery came to the passionate work of two sienese abbots,  Giuseppe Ciaccheri and Luigi de Angelis.They were able to collect  the most significant paintings of the Sienese painters between 1750 and 1810. The National Art Gallery of Siena is one of the most important Italian museums especially for its collection of paintings of  senese fourteenth and fifteenth centuries  The great art of Siena from Duccio to Lorenzetti, Simone Martini to Sassetta, from Francesco di Giorgio to Matteo di Giovanni toward Sodoma and Beccafumi,  find among this museums walls a  chronological development nearly complete, from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century.

The museum begins on the second floor where the paintings are exhibited by the beginnings of Sienese painting until the second half of the fifteenth century: Duccio, Simone Martini, Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti (fourteenth century), Sano di Pietro, Giovanni di Paolo, Sassetta, Matteo Giovanni and Francesco di Giorgio (fifteenth century),  only to name the most famous. The first floor houses the works of the sixteenth century, Sodoma and Beccafumi, the most important exponents of Sienese Mannerism . A recent development shows the collection of works by Sienese artists active between the end of the 500 and the following century (Francesco Vanni, Alessandro Casolari, Rutilio Manetti, Bernardino Mei).

Where: via San Pietro,29 SIENA

Opening times: Monday, Sunday and holidays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m./ from Tuesday to Saturday from 8.15 a.m. to 7.15 p.m.

For information and reservation contact: +39 0577 286143

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Halloween at Meleto Castle

meleto3 Halloween at Meleto Castle225px Jack o Lantern 2003 10 31 Halloween at Meleto Castle

Come and experience the unsetting atmosphere in a real castle to attend a dinner on the main floor of the Castle of Meleto only by candlelight and to follow … a SURPRISE for all ages visitors.

For more information http://www.castellomeleto.it

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Golf in Tuscany

crop red ugolino2 Golf in Tuscany

For golf lovers, here the list of places where you can practice during your holiday in Tuscany

Castelfalfi G. & C. Club – tel. 0571.698466 www.castelfalfi.it 18 holes par73, mt. 5680 closed January. Closing day:tuesday

Cosmopolitan G. & C. Club – tel. 050.33633 www.cosmopolitangolf.it 18 holes par 72 mt.6045. Closing day: monday

Le Pavoniere G. & C. Club – tel. 0574.620855 www.gulfclublepavoniere.com 18 holes par72, mt. 6137  Closing day:monday

Montecatini Golf Club – tel. 0572.62218 www.montecatinigolf 18 holes par72, mt. 5857  Closing day: tuesday

Golf Club Poggio dei Medici - tel. 055.84350 www.poggiodeimedici.com18 holes par73, mt. 6338

Golf Club Punta Ala – tel. 0564.922121  www.puntaala.net/golf 18 holes par72, mt. 6168 Closing day: tuesday from Nov. to March

Golf Club Toscana- tel. 0566.820471 www.toscanagolf.com 18 holes par73, mt. 5680  Closing day: tuesday

Golf Club dell’Ugolino - tel. 055.2301009 www.golfugolino.it 18 holes par72, mt. 5676 Closing day: monday from October to March

Versilia Golf Club- tel. 0584881574 www.versiliagolf.com 18 holes par71, mt. 6115 Closing day: tuesday from Dec. to March

Argentario Golf Club - tel. 335.5461928 www.argentariogolfclub.it 18 holes

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Bravio delle Botti (Barrels Competition) – August 26th , 2012 – Montepulciano (SIENA)

 Bravio delle Botti (Barrels Competition)   August 26th , 2012   Montepulciano (SIENA)

In Montepulciano, a nice village near Siena, every year a tiring uphill race takes place: a race of barrels called Bravìo.
Eight districts compete for a painted cloth by rolling barrels (of approximately 80 kg each) along an uphill path for more than 1 km.
The path of the heavy barrels winds through the picturesque streets of the old town until the finish line located in the Piazza Grande square in front of the Cathedral.
The word Bravìo derives from the vulgar “Bravium” and indicates the painted cloth bearing the image of the patron saint St. John the Beheaded, in whose honor the citizens celebrate the feast.
The tradition of the past to play this race riding horses was interrupted in the seventeenth century and the inclusion in the modern era of the barrels wants to be a strong call to one of the most typical product of the town: the wine of Montepulciano.

 

At 3 o’clock p.m. : historical parade

At 7 o’ clock p.m.  race with the barrels

 

For more information contact Hotel Borgo Grondaie

 

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