Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. It has an area of 105 square kilometres and a population of 2,229,621 in 2013 within its administrative limits, the agglomeration has grown well beyond the citys administrative limits. By the 17th century, Paris was one of Europes major centres of finance, fashion and the arts, and it retains that position still today. The aire urbaine de Paris, a measure of area, spans most of the Île-de-France region and has a population of 12,405,426. It is therefore the second largest metropolitan area in the European Union after London, the Metropole of Grand Paris was created in 2016, combining the commune and its nearest suburbs into a single area for economic and environmental co-operation. Grand Paris covers 814 square kilometres and has a population of 7 million persons, the Paris Region had a GDP of €624 billion in 2012, accounting for 30.0 percent of the GDP of France and ranking it as one of the wealthiest regions in Europe. The city is a rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the subway system, the Paris Métro. It is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro, Paris Gare du Nord is the busiest railway station in the world outside of Japan, with 262 millions passengers in 2015. In 2015, Paris received 22.2 million visitors, making it one of the top tourist destinations. The association football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris, the 80, 000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros, Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics and is bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The name Paris is derived from its inhabitants, the Celtic Parisii tribe. Thus, though written the same, the name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. In the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps, since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang.
Inhabitants are known in English as Parisians and in French as Parisiens and they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the areas major north-south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité, this place of land and water trade routes gradually became a town
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France and Austria.
Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned by Aristotle and Thucydides.
The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern world
Bergamo is a city in Lombardy, about 40 km northeast of Milan and 30 km from the lakes Como and Iseo. The foothills of the Bergamo Alps begin immediately north of the town, Bergamo is the seat of the Province of Bergamo. With a population of around 120,000, Bergamo is the fourth-largest city in Lombardy, the metropolitan area of Bergamo extends beyond the administrative city limits, spanning over a densely urbanized area with slightly less than 500,000 inhabitants. The Bergamo metropolitan area is part of the broader Milan metropolitan area. As of 2015, Bergamo is the second most visited city in Lombardy after Milan, Bergamo occupies the site of the ancient town of Bergomum, founded as a settlement of the Celtic tribe of Cenomani. In 49 BC it became a Roman municipality, containing c.10,000 inhabitants at its peak, an important hub on the military road between Friuli and Raetia, it was destroyed by Attila in the 5th century. From the 6th century Bergamo was the seat of one of the most important Lombard duchies of northern Italy, together with Brescia, after the conquest of the Lombard Kingdom by Charlemagne, it became the seat of a county under one Auteramus.
An important Lombardic hoard dating from the 6th to 7th centuries was found in the vicinity of the city in the 19th century and is now in the British Museum. From the 11th century onwards, Bergamo was an independent commune, the local Guelph and Ghibelline factions were the Colleoni and Suardi, respectively. Feuding between the two initially caused the family of Omodeo Tasso to flee north c, from 1264, Bergamo was intermittently under the rule of Milan. In 1331, it gave itself to John of Bohemia, after a short conquest by the Malatesta in 1407, in 1428 it fell under the control of the Venetian Republic, remaining part of it until 1797. Between 1797 and 1815, Bergamo and its territory were included in the political entities born in North Italy during the French, the Venetians fortified the higher portion of the town. In 1815, it was assigned to the Austrian Empire, giuseppe Garibaldi freed it in 1859 during the Second Italian War of Independence, when Bergamo became part of the Kingdom of Italy.
During the 20th century Bergamo became one of Italys most industrialized cities and it is one of the few Italian cities that did not suffer major destruction during World War II. Bergamo experiences a subtropical climate characteristic of Northern Italy. While most of Italy is characterized by dry summers with little to no precipitation, Bergamo has the reverse trend, the two parts of the town are connected by funicular/cable car and foot-paths. Parking spaces are limited in the upper city. The upper city, surrounded by Venetian walls built in the 16th century, Città Alta is an extremely expensive place to live in, with properties being sold for five to twelve thousand euro per square meter
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the Metropolitan City of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,083 inhabitants, Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time. It is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has called the Athens of the Middle Ages. A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, from 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy. The Historic Centre of Florence attracts 13 million tourists each year and it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture, the city contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art and politics. Due to Florences artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, in 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy.
Florence originated as a Roman city, and later, after a period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was politically and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe, the language spoken in the city during the 14th century was, and still is, accepted as the Italian language. Starting from the late Middle Ages, Florentine money—in the form of the gold florin—financed the development of all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War and they similarly financed the papacy, including the construction of their provisional capital of Avignon and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of Rome. Florence was home to the Medici, one of European historys most important noble families, Lorenzo de Medici was considered a political and cultural mastermind of Italy in the late 15th century. Two members of the family were popes in the early 16th century, Leo X, catherine de Medici married king Henry II of France and, after his death in 1559, reigned as regent in France.
Marie de Medici married Henry IV of France and gave birth to the future king Louis XIII, the Medici reigned as Grand Dukes of Tuscany, starting with Cosimo I de Medici in 1569 and ending with the death of Gian Gastone de Medici in 1737. The Etruscans initially formed in 200 BC the small settlement of Fiesole and it was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets, the cardo and the decumanus, intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. Situated along the Via Cassia, the route between Rome and the north, and within the fertile valley of the Arno, the settlement quickly became an important commercial centre. Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century, Florence was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany, with Lucca as capital. The population began to again and commerce prospered
The Louvre or the Louvre Museum is the worlds largest museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the citys 1st arrondissement, approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres. The Louvre is the second most visited museum after the Palace Museum in China. The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century under Philip II, remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to the expansion of the city, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function and. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace, in 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years, during the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nations masterpieces.
The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum renamed Musée Napoléon, the collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and bequests since the Third Republic, whether this was the first building on that spot is not known, it is possible that Philip modified an existing tower. According to the authoritative Grand Larousse encyclopédique, the name derives from an association with wolf hunting den, in the 7th century, St. Fare, an abbess in Meaux, left part of her Villa called Luvra situated in the region of Paris to a monastery. This territory probably did not correspond exactly to the modern site, the Louvre Palace was altered frequently throughout the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building into a residence and in 1546, Francis acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvres holdings, his acquisitions including Leonardo da Vincis Mona Lisa.
After Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682, constructions slowed, however, on 14 October 1750, Louis XV agreed and sanctioned a display of 96 pieces from the royal collection, mounted in the Galerie royale de peinture of the Luxembourg Palace. Under Louis XVI, the museum idea became policy. The comte dAngiviller broadened the collection and in 1776 proposed conversion of the Grande Galerie of the Louvre – which contained maps – into the French Museum, many proposals were offered for the Louvres renovation into a museum, none was agreed on. Hence the museum remained incomplete until the French Revolution, during the French Revolution the Louvre was transformed into a public museum. In May 1791, the Assembly declared that the Louvre would be a place for bringing together monuments of all the sciences, on 10 August 1792, Louis XVI was imprisoned and the royal collection in the Louvre became national property
The Galleria dellAccademia di Firenze, or Gallery of the Academy of Florence, is an art museum in Florence, Italy. It is the home of Michelangelos sculpture David and it has other sculptures by Michelangelo and a collection of Renaissance paintings. It adjoins the Accademia di Belle Arti or academy of arts of Florence. The Galleria dellAccademia was founded in 1784 by Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany, the Galleria dellAccademia has housed the original David by Michelangelo since 1873. The sculpture was brought to the Accademia for reasons of conservation. The original intention was to create a Michelangelo museum, with sculptures and drawings. Today, the small collection of Michelangelos work includes his four unfinished Prisoners, intended for the tomb of Pope Julius II. In 1939, these were joined by a Pietà discovered in the Barberini chapel in Palestrina, the David in the Accademia is the original. There is a replica in the Piazza della Signoria, as well as a number of Florentine Gothic paintings, the gallery houses the idiosyncratic collection of Russian icons assembled by the Grand Dukes of the House of Lorraine, of which Leopoldo was one.
Media related to Galleria dellAccademia at Wikimedia Commons
Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. Tuscany is known for its landscapes, history, artistic legacy, Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is considered a nation within a nation. Tuscany is traditionally a popular destination in Italy, and the main tourist destinations by number of tourist arrivals are Florence, Montecatini Terme, Castiglione della Pescaia and Grosseto. The village of Castiglione della Pescaia is the most visited destination in the region. Additionally, Lucca, the Chianti region and Val dOrcia are internationally renowned, Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence was the worlds 89th most visited city, roughly triangular in shape, Tuscany borders the regions of Liguria to the northwest, Emilia-Romagna to the north and east, Umbria to the east and Lazio to the southeast.
The comune of Badia Tedalda, in the Tuscan Province of Arezzo, has an exclave named Ca Raffaello within Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany has a western coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea, containing the Tuscan Archipelago, of which the largest island is Elba. Tuscany has an area of approximately 22,993 square kilometres and crossed by major mountain chains, and with few plains, the region has a relief that is dominated by hilly country used for agriculture. Hills make up nearly two-thirds of the total area, covering 15,292 square kilometres, and mountains. Plains occupy 8. 4% of the total area—1,930 square kilometres —mostly around the valley of the River Arno, many of Tuscanys largest cities lie on the banks of the Arno, including the capital Florence and Pisa. The pre-Etruscan history of the area in the late Bronze and Iron Ages parallels that of the early Greeks, following this, the Villanovan culture saw Tuscany, and the rest of Etruria, taken over by chiefdoms. City-states developed in the late Villanovan before Orientalization occurred and the Etruscan civilization rose, the Etruscans created the first major civilization in this region, large enough to establish a transport infrastructure, to implement agriculture and mining and to produce vibrant art.
The Etruscans lived in Etruria well into prehistory, throughout their existence, they lost territory to Magna Graecia and Celts. Despite being seen as distinct in its manners and customs by contemporary Greeks, the cultures of Greece, one reason for its eventual demise was this increasing absorption by surrounding cultures, including the adoption of the Etruscan upper class by the Romans. Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of Lucca, Pisa and Florence, endowed the area with new technologies and development, and ensured peace. These developments included extensions of existing roads, introduction of aqueducts and sewers, many of these structures have been destroyed by erosion due to weather. The Roman civilization in the West collapsed in the 5th century AD, in the years following 572, the Longobards arrived and designated Lucca the capital of their Duchy of Tuscia
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814, Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleons political and cultural legacy has ensured his status as one of the most celebrated and he was born Napoleone di Buonaparte in Corsica to a relatively modest family from the minor nobility. When the Revolution broke out in 1789, Napoleon was serving as an officer in the French army. Seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution, he rose through the ranks of the military. The Directory eventually gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents, in 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt that served as a springboard to political power.
He engineered a coup in November 1799 and became First Consul of the Republic and his ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, and in 1804 he became the first Emperor of the French. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805, in 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon quickly defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt, marched the Grand Army deep into Eastern Europe, France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia and declared his brother Joseph the King of Spain in 1808. The Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support, the Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, and ended in victory for the Allies.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia, unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System and enticed Napoleon into another war. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse of the Grand Army, the destruction of Russian cities, in 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, the Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June, the British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51
The State Hermitage Museum is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, it was founded in 1754 by Catherine the Great and has open to the public since 1852. Its collections, of only a small part is on permanent display. The collections occupy a complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace. Apart from them, the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya, the museum has several exhibition centers abroad. The Hermitage is a state property. Since July 1992, the director of the museum has been Mikhail Piotrovsky, of the six buildings in the main museum complex, namely the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage and Hermitage Theatre, are open to the public. The entrance ticket for foreign tourists more than the fee paid by citizens of Russia. However, entrance is free of charge the first Thursday of every month for all visitors, the museum is closed on Mondays.
The entrance for visitors is located in the Winter Palace. A hermitage is the dwelling of a hermit or recluse, the word derives from Old French hermit, ermit hermit, from Late Latin eremita, from Greek eremites, literally people who live alone, which is in turn derived from ἐρημός, desert. Originally, the building housing the collection was the Small Hermitage. Today, the Hermitage Museum encompasses many buildings on the Palace Embankment, apart from the Small Hermitage, the museum now includes the Old Hermitage, the New Hermitage, the Hermitage Theatre, and the Winter Palace, the former main residence of the Russian tsars. In recent years, the Hermitage has expanded to the General Staff Building on the Palace Square facing the Winter Palace, the Western European Art collection includes European paintings and applied art from the 13th to the 20th centuries. It is displayed, in about 120 rooms, on the first and prints are displayed in temporary exhibitions. Since 1940, the Egyptian collection, dating back to 1852 and it serves as a passage to the exhibition of Classical Antiquities.
A modest collection of the culture of Ancient Mesopotamia, including a number of Assyrian reliefs from Babylon, Dur-Sharrukin, the collection of Classical Antiquities occupies most of the ground floor of the Old and New Hermitage buildings. Its floor is made of a marble mosaic imitating ancient tradition, while the stucco walls
Leon Battista Alberti
Leon Battista Alberti was an Italian humanist author, architect, priest, linguist and cryptographer, he epitomised the Renaissance Man. Although Alberti is known mostly for being an artist, he was a mathematician of many sorts, Albertis life was described in Giorgio Vasaris Lives of the Most Excellent Painters and Architects. Leon Battista Alberti was born in 1404 in Genoa and his mother is unknown, and his father was a wealthy Florentine who had been exiled from his own city, allowed to return in 1428. Alberti was sent to boarding school in Padua, studied Law at Bologna and he lived for a time in Florence, travelled to Rome in 1431 where he took holy orders and entered the service of the papal court. During this time he studied the ancient ruins, which excited his interest in architecture, Alberti was gifted in many ways. He was tall, strong and an athlete who could ride the wildest horse. He distinguished himself as a writer while he was still a child at school, in 1435, he began his first major written work, Della pittura, which was inspired by the burgeoning pictorial art in Florence in the early 15th century.
In this work he analyses the nature of painting and explores the elements of perspective, composition, in 1447 he became the architectural advisor to Pope Nicholas V and was involved with several projects at the Vatican. His first major commission was in 1446 for the facade of the Rucellai Palace in Florence. This was followed in 1450 by a commission from Sigismondo Malatesta to transform the Gothic church of San Francesco in Rimini into a memorial chapel, the Tempio Malatestiano. In 1452, he completed De re aedificatoria, a treatise on architecture, using as its basis the work of Vitruvius, the work was not published until 1485. It was followed in 1464 by his less influential work, De statua, Albertis only known sculpture is a self-portrait medallion, sometimes attributed to Pisanello. Alberti was employed to design two churches in Mantua, San Sebastiano, which was never completed, and for which Albertis intention can only be speculated, and the Basilica of SantAndrea. The design for the church was completed in 1471, a year before Albertis death.
As an artist, Alberti distinguished himself from the ordinary craftsman and he was a humanist, and part of the rapidly expanding entourage of intellectuals and artisans supported by the courts of the princes and lords of the time. Alberti, as a member of family and as part of the Roman curia, had special status. He was a welcomed guest at the Este court in Ferrara, the Duke of Urbino was a shrewd military commander, who generously spent money on the patronage of art. Alberti planned to dedicate his treatise on architecture to his friend, among Albertis smaller studies, pioneering in their field, were a treatise in cryptography, De componendis cifris, and the first Italian grammar