Midnight in Sicily
Midnight in Sicily is an English-language book on Italy written by Peter Robb. The book was first published in 1996. Spending fourteen years in southern Italy, Peter Robb recounts his journey into the Italian mezzogiorno - chiefly Sicily, but Naples, reveals its culture, art and politics; the book explores the dysfunction and impunity that intertwined with the organised crime world or Mafia world of the area from the post World War II era up to the 1990s, the role of seven-time prime minister Giulio Andreotti. New York Times wrote in their review— "Midnight in Sicily" is packed densely with events and characters that remain distinct as Robb skips through time and place
Biblioteca Nacional de España
The Biblioteca Nacional de España is a major public library, the largest in Spain, one of the largest in the world. It is located on the Paseo de Recoletos; the library was founded by King Philip V in 1712 as the Palace Public Library. The Royal Letters Patent that he granted, the predecessor of the current legal deposit requirement, made it mandatory for printers to submit a copy of every book printed in Spain to the library. In 1836, the library's status as Crown property was revoked and ownership was transferred to the Ministry of Governance. At the same time, it was renamed the Biblioteca Nacional. During the 19th century, confiscations and donations enabled the Biblioteca Nacional to acquire the majority of the antique and valuable books that it holds. In 1892 the building was used to host the Historical American Exposition. On March 16, 1896, the Biblioteca Nacional opened to the public in the same building in which it is housed and included a vast Reading Room on the main floor designed to hold 320 readers.
In 1931 the Reading Room was reorganised, providing it with a major collection of reference works, the General Reading Room was created to cater for students and general readers. During the Spanish Civil War close to 500,000 volumes were collected by the Confiscation Committee and stored in the Biblioteca Nacional to safeguard works of art and books held until in religious establishments and private houses. During the 20th century numerous modifications were made to the building to adapt its rooms and repositories to its expanding collections, to the growing volume of material received following the modification to the Legal Deposit requirement in 1958, to the numerous works purchased by the library. Among this building work, some of the most noteworthy changes were the alterations made in 1955 to triple the capacity of the library's repositories, those started in 1986 and completed in 2000, which led to the creation of the new building in Alcalá de Henares and complete remodelling of the building on Paseo de Recoletos, Madrid.
In 1986, when Spain's main bibliographic institutions - the National Newspaper Library, the Spanish Bibliographic Institute and the Centre for Documentary and Bibliographic Treasures - were incorporated into the Biblioteca Nacional, the library was established as the State Repository of Spain's Cultural Memory, making all of Spain's bibliographic output on any media available to the Spanish Library System and national and international researchers and cultural and educational institutions. In 1990 it was made an Autonomous Entity attached to the Ministry of Culture; the Madrid premises are shared with the National Archaeological Museum. The Biblioteca Nacional is Spain's highest library institution and is head of the Spanish Library System; as the country's national library, it is the centre responsible for identifying, preserving and disseminating information about Spain's documentary heritage, it aspires to be an essential point of reference for research into Spanish culture. In accordance with its Articles of Association, passed by Royal Decree 1581/1991 of October 31, 1991, its principal functions are to: Compile and conserve bibliographic archives produced in any language of the Spanish state, or any other language, for the purposes of research and information.
Promote research through the study and reproduction of its bibliographic archive. Disseminate information on Spain's bibliographic output based on the entries received through the legal deposit requirement; the library's collection consists of more than 26,000,000 items, including 15,000,000 books and other printed materials, 4,500,000 graphic materials, 600,000 sound recordings, 510,000 music scores, more than 500,000 microforms, 500,000 maps, 143,000 newspapers and serials, 90,000 audiovisuals, 90,000 electronic documents, 30,000 manuscripts. The current director of the Biblioteca Nacional is Ana Santos Aramburo, appointed in 2013. Former directors include her predecessors Glòria Pérez-Salmerón and Milagros del Corral as well as historian Juan Pablo Fusi and author Rosa Regàs. Given its role as the legal deposit for the whole of Spain, since 1991 it has kept most of the overflowing collection at a secondary site in Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid; the Biblioteca Nacional provides access to its collections through the following library services: Guidance and general information on the institution and other libraries.
Bibliographic information about its collection and those held by other libraries or library systems. Access to its automated catalogue, which contains close to 3,000,000 bibliographic records encompassing all of its collections. Archive consultation in the library's reading rooms. Interlibrary loans. Archive reproduction. Biblioteca Digital Hispánica, digital library launched in 2008 by the Biblioteca Nacional de España List of libraries in Spain Media related to Biblioteca Nacional de España at Wikimedia Commons Official site Official web catalog
State Library Victoria
State Library Victoria is the central library of the state of Victoria, located in Melbourne. It was established in 1854 as the Melbourne Public Library, making it Australia's oldest public library and one of the first free libraries in the world; the Library's vast collection includes over two million books and 350,000 photographs, manuscripts and newspapers, with a special focus on material from Victoria, including the diaries of the city's founders, John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, the folios of Captain James Cook. It houses some of the original armour of Ned Kelly; the Library is located in the northern centre of the central business district, on the block bounded by Swanston, La Trobe and Little Lonsdale streets. In 1853, the decision to build a combined library and gallery was made at the instigation of Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe and Mr Justice Redmond Barry, Q. C.. A competition was held, won by the arrived architect Joseph Reed, whose firm and its successors went on to design most of the extensions, as well as numerous 19th-century landmarks such as the Melbourne Town Hall, the Royal Exhibition Building.
On 3 July 1854, the inaugurated Governor Sir Charles Hotham laid the foundation stone of both the new library complex and the University of Melbourne. The library was the first stage opened in 1856, with a collection of 3,800 books chosen by Mr Justice Barry, the President of Trustees. Augustus H. Tulk, the first librarian, was appointed three months after the opening; the Melbourne Public Library as it was known was one of the first free public libraries in the world, open to anyone over 14 years of age, so long as they had clean hands. The complex of buildings that now house the Library were built in numerous stages, housing various library spaces, art galleries and museum displays filling the entire block in 1992; the first stage was the centre of the front block, opened in 1856, with most of the front wing, along with the floor Queen's Reading Room complete in 1864 by Abraham Linacre. Other wings were built are various time, such as Barry Hall, along Little Lonsdale Street, in 1886, McCoy Hall, built for the Museum in 1892, Baldwin Spencer Hall facing Russell Street in 1909, the McAllan Gallery on the LaTrobe Street side, built in 1932.
Temporary buildings were built in 1866 for the Intercolonial Exhibition of Australasia just behind the front wing, which remained in use until 1909, when work began on the library's famed Domed Reading Room, opened in 1913, designed by Bates and Smart, the successor to Reed's firm, now known as Bates Smart. In 1959, the dome's skylights were covered in copper sheets due to water leakage, creating the dim atmosphere that characterised the Library for decades; the National Gallery of Victoria moved to new buildings in St Kilda Road in 1968, the Melbourne Museum moved to the Carlton Gardens in 2000. The library underwent major refurbishments between 1990 and 2004, designed by architects Ancher Mortlock & Woolley; the project cost A$200 million. The reading room closed in 1999 to allow for renovation; the renamed La Trobe Reading Room reopened in 2003. The redevelopment included the creation of a number of exhibition spaces, some of which are used to house permanent exhibitions The Mirror of the World: Books and Ideas and The Changing Face of Victoria as well as a display from the Pictures Collection in the Cowen Gallery.
As a result of the redevelopment, State Library Victoria can now be considered one of the largest exhibiting libraries in the world. In February 2010, the southern wing of the library on Little Lonsdale Street was reopened as the Wheeler Centre, part of Melbourne's city of literature initiative. In 2015 the Library embarked on a five-year, $88.1 million redevelopment project, Vision 2020, to transform its public spaces and facilities to better meet the changing needs of the community. On 29 April 2015 the Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley announced that the 2015–16 State Budget would provide $55.4 million towards the redevelopment of State Library Victoria, including the restoration of the Queen’s Hall, the creation of a rooftop garden terrace, a dedicated children’s and youth space, the opening up 40 percent more of the building to the public. In late 2017, the library's contribution of $27 million from donations was raised. In September 2018, the main Swanston Street entrance is temporarily closed and replaced by the newly refurbished Russell Street and La Trobe Street entrances.
The grassy lawn in front of the library's grand entrance on Swanston Street is a popular lunch-spot for the city's workers and students at the adjacent RMIT University. Enclosed by a picket fence by a wrought iron fence and gates in the 1870s, the space was opened up with the removal of the fence and the creation of diagonal paths in 1939; the forecourt includes a number of statues. A pair of bronze lions flanked the entry from the 1860s until they were removed in 1937 due to deterioration. A memorial statue of Mr Justice Sir Redmond Barry, Q. C. by James Gilbert and built by Percival Ball was installed on the central landing of the main stairs in 1887. Flanking the entrance plaza are Saint George and the Dragon, by the English sculptor Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, installed in 1889 and Jeanne d'Arc, a replica of the statue by French sculptor Emmanuel Frémiet, installed in 1907. WW1 commemorative statues ‘Wipers’ and ‘The Driver’ were at the centre points of the 1939 diagonal paths were relocated to the ground of the Shrine of Remembrance in 1998.
A statue of Charles La Trobe, by Australian sculptor Peter Corlett, was installed in 2006 in the
Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents, its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe. First settled by Greeks in the second millennium BC, Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited urban areas in the world. In the ninth century BC, a colony known as Parthenope or Παρθενόπη was established on the Island of Megaride refounded as Neápolis in the sixth century BC; the city was an important part of Magna Graecia, played a major role in the merging of Greek and Roman society and a significant cultural centre under the Romans. It served as the capital of the Duchy of Naples of the Kingdom of Naples and of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
Between 1925 and 1936, Naples was expanded and upgraded by Benito Mussolini's government but subsequently sustained severe damage from Allied bombing during World War II, which led to extensive post-1945 reconstruction work. Naples has experienced significant economic growth in recent decades, helped by the construction of the Centro Direzionale business district and an advanced transportation network, which includes the Alta Velocità high-speed rail link to Rome and Salerno and an expanded subway network. Naples is the third-largest urban economy in Italy, after Rome; the Port of Naples is one of the most important in Europe and home of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, the NATO body that oversees North Africa, the Sahel and Middle East. Naples' historic city centre is the largest in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a wide range of culturally and significant sites nearby, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Naples is known for its natural beauties such as Posillipo, Phlegraean Fields and Vesuvius.
Neapolitan cuisine is synonymous with pizza – which originated in the city – but it includes many lesser-known dishes. The best-known sports team in Naples is the Serie A club S. S. C. Napoli, two-time Italian champions who play at the San Paolo Stadium in the southwest of the city, in the Fuorigrotta quarter. Naples has been inhabited since the Neolithic period; the earliest Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC. Sailors from the Greek island of Rhodes established a small commercial port called Parthenope on the island of Megaride in the ninth century BC. By the eighth century BC, the settlement had expanded to include Monte Echia. In the sixth century BC the new urban zone of Neápolis was founded on the plain becoming one of the foremost cities of Magna Graecia; the city grew due to the influence of the powerful Greek city-state of Syracuse, became an ally of the Roman Republic against Carthage. During the Samnite Wars, the city, now a bustling centre of trade, was captured by the Samnites.
During the Punic Wars, the strong walls surrounding Neápolis repelled the invading forces of the Carthaginian general Hannibal. Naples was respected by the Romans as a paragon of Hellenistic culture. During the Roman era, the people of Naples maintained their Greek language and customs, while the city was expanded with elegant Roman villas and public baths. Landmarks such as the Temple of Dioscures were built, many emperors chose to holiday in the city, including Claudius and Tiberius. Virgil, the author of Rome's national epic, the Aeneid, received part of his education in the city, resided in its environs, it was during this period. Januarius, who would become Naples' patron saint, was martyred there in the fourth century AD; the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustulus, was exiled to Naples by the Germanic king Odoacer in the fifth century AD. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Naples was captured by the Ostrogoths, a Germanic people, incorporated into the Ostrogothic Kingdom.
However, Belisarius of the Byzantine Empire recaptured Naples in 536, after entering the city via an aqueduct. In 543, during the Gothic Wars, Totila took the city for the Ostrogoths, but the Byzantines seized control of the area following the Battle of Mons Lactarius on the slopes of Vesuvius. Naples was expected to keep in contact with the Exarchate of Ravenna, the centre of Byzantine power on the Italian Peninsula. After the exarchate fell, a Duchy of Naples was created. Although Naples' Greco-Roman culture endured, it switched allegiance from Constantinople to Rome under Duke Stephen II, putting it under papal suzerainty by 763; the years between 818 and 832 were tumultuous in regard to Naples' relations with the Byzantine Emperor, with numerous local pretenders feuding for possession of the ducal throne. Theoctistus was appointed without imperial approval. However, the disgruntled general populace chased him from the city, instead elected Stephen III, a man who minted coins with his own initials, r
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples and Sicily from the early 1590s to 1610. His paintings combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, which had a formative influence on Baroque painting. Caravaggio employed close physical observation with a dramatic use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism, he made the technique a dominant stylistic element, darkening shadows and transfixing subjects in bright shafts of light. Caravaggio vividly expressed crucial moments and scenes featuring violent struggles and death, he worked with live models, preferring to forgo drawings and work directly onto the canvas. His influence on the new Baroque style that emerged from Mannerism was profound, it can be seen directly or indirectly in the work of Peter Paul Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Rembrandt, artists in the following generation under his influence were called the "Caravaggisti" or "Caravagesques", as well as tenebrists or tenebrosi.
Caravaggio trained as a painter in Milan before moving in his twenties to Rome. He developed a considerable name as an artist, as a violent and provocative man. A brawl forced him to flee to Naples. There he again established himself as one of the most prominent Italian painters of his generation, he traveled in 1607 to Malta and on to Sicily, pursued a papal pardon for his sentence. In 1609 he returned to Naples. Questions about his mental state arose from his bizarre behavior, he died in 1610 under uncertain circumstances while on his way from Naples to Rome. Reports stated that he died of a fever, but suggestions have been made that he was murdered or that he died of lead poisoning. Caravaggio's innovations inspired Baroque painting, but the Baroque incorporated the drama of his chiaroscuro without the psychological realism; the style evolved and fashions changed, Caravaggio fell out of favor. In the 20th century interest in his work revived, his importance to the development of Western art was reevaluated.
The 20th-century art historian André Berne-Joffroy stated, "What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite modern painting." Caravaggio was born in Milan, where his father, was a household administrator and architect-decorator to the Marchese of Caravaggio, a town not far from the city of Bergamo. In 1576 the family moved to Caravaggio to escape a plague that ravaged Milan, Caravaggio's father and grandfather both died there on the same day in 1577, it is assumed that the artist grew up in Caravaggio, but his family kept up connections with the Sforzas and with the powerful Colonna family, who were allied by marriage with the Sforzas and destined to play a major role in Caravaggio's life. Caravaggio's mother died in 1584, the same year he began his four-year apprenticeship to the Milanese painter Simone Peterzano, described in the contract of apprenticeship as a pupil of Titian. Caravaggio appears to have stayed in the Milan-Caravaggio area after his apprenticeship ended, but it is possible that he visited Venice and saw the works of Giorgione, whom Federico Zuccari accused him of imitating, Titian.
He would have become familiar with the art treasures of Milan, including Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, with the regional Lombard art, a style that valued simplicity and attention to naturalistic detail and was closer to the naturalism of Germany than to the stylised formality and grandeur of Roman Mannerism. Following his initial training under Simone Peterzano, in 1592 Caravaggio left Milan for Rome, in flight after "certain quarrels" and the wounding of a police officer; the young artist arrived in Rome "naked and needy... without fixed address and without provision... short of money." During this period he stayed with the miserly Pandolfo Pucci, known as "monnsignor Insalata". A few months he was performing hack-work for the successful Giuseppe Cesari, Pope Clement VIII's favourite artist, "painting flowers and fruit" in his factory-like workshop. In Rome there was demand for paintings to fill the many huge new churches and palazzos being built at the time, it was a period when the Church was searching for a stylistic alternative to Mannerism in religious art, tasked to counter the threat of Protestantism.
Caravaggio's innovation was a radical naturalism that combined close physical observation with a dramatic theatrical, use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism. Known works from this period include a small Boy Peeling a Fruit, a Boy with a Basket of Fruit, the Young Sick Bacchus a self-portrait done during convalescence from a serious illness that ended his employment with Cesari. All three demonstrate the physical particularity for which Caravaggio was to become renowned: the fruit-basket-boy's produce has been analysed by a professor of horticulture, able to identify individual cultivars right down to "... a large fig leaf with a prominent fungal scorch lesion resembling anthracnose."Caravaggio left Cesari, determined to make his own way after a heated argument. At this point he forged some important friendships, with the painter Prospero Orsi, the architect Onorio Longhi, the sixteen-year-old Sicilian artist Mario Minniti. Orsi
Toorak is an affluent inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 5 km south-east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Stonnington local government area. Toorak recorded a population of 12,909 at the 2016 Census; the name Toorak has become synonymous with wealth and privilege, the suburb long having the reputation of being Melbourne's most elite, ranking among the most prestigious in Australia. It has the highest average property values in Melbourne, is one of the most expensive suburbs in Australia, it is the nation's second highest earning postcode after Point Piper in Sydney. Located on a rise on the south side of a bend in the Yarra River, Toorak is bordered by South Yarra, at Williams Road on the west, Malvern, at Glenferrie Road on the east and Armadale, at Malvern Road to the south and the suburbs of Richmond and Hawthorn on the north side of the river; the suburb's main street is considered to be Toorak Road, in which the commercial area of Toorak Village is located.
Toorak is named after the 1849-built residence of James Jackson, a merchant. The suburb has been a preferred location for many Consulate offices, Residences, including China, USA, Monaco, Sweden and Switzerland. Toorak was named after Toorak House, an Italianate residence built by James Jackson, a merchant, in 1849; the name of the house may have originated from Woiwurrung language, with words of similar pronunciation meaning black crow or reedy swamp. From 1854 Toorak House served as the residence of the first Governor of Victoria, Captain Sir Charles Hotham KCB RN and his successors, until the completion of the present Government House in the Kings Domain. Toorak Post Office opened around June 1858. During the land boom of the 1880s, many large and elaborate mansions were erected in Toorak in the Italianate style. Following East Melbourne and St Kilda, along with Brighton, became the new favored location for the wealthy; the suburb was hit hard by the 1890s economic depression and many wealthy landowners declared bankruptcy and were forced to sell.
Nonetheless, the suburb remained and is still Melbourne's home of "old money". During the Interwar period, many houses were built in the Tudor revival style. In the period of post-World War II prosperity, rising standards of living and land values caused Toorak to become sought after by a new generation of the wealthy, thought by some to be social climbers and Nouveau riche. For some of these people, the focus was to have the postcode of Toorak, SE 2 and now 3142; as a result, many of the larger mansions were demolished and large holdings were subdivided to make way for flats and apartments. In the 1980s, larger houses in Neo-Georgian and Neo-Classical styles began to appear. While large mansions have survived in neighbouring Hawthorn and Armadale, only a few of the original 19th-century mansions in Toorak remain, due in part to the high land value. Two of the most notable are Illawarra House, acquired by the National Trust. In Toorak, some of the old property names live on as street names or the names of blocks of flats, carved out of or built on their sites.
A study by the Department of Primary Industries revealed the following facts about Toorak: In Toorak, 29.6 per cent of persons were employed in the industries of finance and business services. The Melbourne metropolitan average is 14.6 per cent. The proportion of Toorak residents aged 15 and over with a Bachelor's degree or higher is 31.0 per cent. The Melbourne metropolitan average is 13.4 per cent. Toorak has the highest percentage of children attending non-government schools in Melbourne. There are few infants and toddlers in Toorak; the proportion of the Toorak population who are infants or toddlers is 3.8 per cent. The Melbourne metropolitan average is 6.9%. Toorak has an unusual mix of high and medium-density housing, due to intense subdivision of larger lots in the 1880s, 1920s and 1960s; the predominant housing in Toorak is apartments walk-up flats. Single-family detached homes are prevalent; some of these homes are in the form of traditional mansions or newer large residences on significant-sized estates, owned by Melbourne's wealthy and social elite.
The architectural style of the mansions is predominantly colonial. The premier residential streets of Toorak are considered by local real estate agents to be St. George's Road, Lansell Road, Hopetoun Road, Albany Road and Clendon Road, it is not unusual for Toorak houses to have extensive facilities, such as swimming pools and tennis courts behind solid gates and high walls to preserve the privacy of the residents. There are extant stands of attached housing, including terraces, which were traditionally fashionable with the middle class and gentrified. Toorak falls within the federal electorate of Higgins; the seat of Higgins was created in 1949 and held by Harold Holt CH 1949–1967, Sir John Gorton PC GCMG AC CH 1968–1975, Roger Shipton OAM 1975–1990, Peter Costello AC 1990–2009 and Kelly O'Dwyer since 2009. At state level, it falls within the electorate of Malvern, with the western part of the suburb falling within the electorate of Prahran. At local council level, Toorak falls within the City of Stonnington.
For a wealthy inner-eastern suburb of Melbourne, Toorak is solidly Liber