The Venice Biennale refers to an arts organization based in Venice and the name of the original and principal biennial exhibition the organization presents. The organization changed its name to the Biennale Foundation in 2009, while the exhibition is now called the Art Biennale to distinguish it from the organisation and other exhibitions the Foundation organizes; the Art Biennale, a contemporary visual art exhibition and so called because it is held biennially, is the original biennale on which others in the world have been modeled. The Biennale Foundation has a continuous existence supporting the arts as well as organizing the following separate events: On April 19, 1893 the Venetian City Council passed a resolution to set up an biennial exhibition of Italian Art to celebrate the silver anniversary of King Umberto I and Margherita of Savoy. A year the council decreed "to adopt a'by invitation' system; the first exhibition was seen by 224,000 visitors. The event became international in the first decades of the 20th century: from 1907 on, several countries installed national pavilions at the exhibition, with the first being from Belgium.
In 1910 the first internationally well-known artists were displayed- a room dedicated to Gustav Klimt, a one-man show for Renoir, a retrospective of Courbet. A work by Picasso was removed from the Spanish salon in the central Palazzo because it was feared that its novelty might shock the public. By 1914 seven pavilions had been established: Belgium, Germany, Great Britain and Russia. During World War I, the 1916 and 1918 events were cancelled. In 1920 the post of mayor of Venice and president of the Biennale was split; the new secretary general, Vittorio Pica brought about the first presence of avant-garde art, notably Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. 1922 saw an exhibition of sculpture by African artists. Between the two World Wars, many important modern artists had their work exhibited there. In 1928 the Istituto Storico d'Arte Contemporanea opened, the first nucleus of archival collections of the Biennale. In 1930 its name was changed into Historical Archive of Contemporary Art. In 1930, the Biennale was transformed into an Ente Autonomo by Royal Decree with law no. 33 of 13-1-1930.
Subsequently, the control of the Biennale passed from the Venice city council to the national Fascist government under Benito Mussolini. This brought on a restructuring, an associated financial boost, as well as a new president, Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata. Three new events were established, including the Biennale Musica in 1930 referred to as International Festival of Contemporary Music. In 1933 the Biennale organised an exhibition of Italian art abroad. From 1938, Grand Prizes were awarded in the art exhibition section. During World War II, the activities of the Biennale were interrupted: 1942 saw the last edition of the events; the Film Festival restarted in 1946, the Music and Theatre festivals were resumed in 1947, the Art Exhibition in 1948. The Art Biennale was resumed in 1948 with a major exhibition of a recapitulatory nature; the Secretary General, art historian Rodolfo Pallucchini, started with the Impressionists and many protagonists of contemporary art including Chagall, Braque, Delvaux and Magritte, as well as a retrospective of Picasso's work.
Peggy Guggenheim was invited to exhibit her collection to be permanently housed at Ca' Venier dei Leoni. 1949 saw the beginning of renewed attention to avant-garde movements in European—and worldwide—movements in contemporary art. Abstract expressionism was introduced in the 1950s, the Biennale is credited with importing Pop Art into the canon of art history by awarding the top prize to Robert Rauschenberg in 1964. From 1948 to 1972, Italian architect Carlo Scarpa did a series of remarkable interventions in the Biennales exhibition spaces. In 1954 the island San Giorgio Maggiore provided the venue for the first Japanese Noh theatre shows in Europe. 1956 saw the selection of films following an artistic selection and no longer based upon the designation of the participating country. The 1957 Golden Lion went to Satyajit Ray's Aparajito. 1962 included Arte Informale at the Art Exhibition with Jean Fautrier, Hans Hartung, Emilio Vedova, Pietro Consagra. The 1964 Art Exhibition introduced continental Europe to Pop Art.
The American Robert Rauschenberg was the first American artist to win the Gran Premio, the youngest to date. The student protests of 1968 marked a crisis for the Biennale. Student protests hindered the opening of the Biennale. A resulting period of institutional changes opened and ending with a new Statute in 1973. In 1969, following the protests, the Grand Prizes were abandoned; these resumed in 1980 in 1986 for the Art Exhibition. In 1972
University of Padua
The University of Padua is a premier Italian university located in the city of Padua, Italy. The University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. Padua is the second-oldest university in the world's fifth-oldest surviving university. In 2010 the university had 65,000 students, in 2016 was ranked "best university" among Italian institutions of higher education with more than 40,000 students, in 2018 best Italian university according to ARWU ranking; the university is conventionally said to have been founded in 1222 when a large group of students and professors left the University of Bologna in search of more academic freedom. The first subjects to be taught were theology; the curriculum expanded and by 1399 the institution had divided in two: a Universitas Iuristarum for civil law and Canon law, a Universitas Artistarum which taught astronomy, philosophy, grammar and rhetoric. There was a Universitas Theologorum, established in 1373 by Urban V.
The student body was divided into groups known as "nations". The nations themselves fell into two groups: the cismontanes for the Italian students the ultramontanes for those who came from beyond the AlpsFrom the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, the university was renowned for its research in the areas of medicine, astronomy and law. During this time, the university adopted the Latin motto: Universa universis patavina libertas; the university had a turbulent history, there was no teaching in 1237–61, 1509–17, 1848–50. The Botanical Garden of Padova, established by the university in 1545, was one of the oldest gardens of its kind in the world, its title for oldest academic garden is in controversy because the Medici created one in Pisa in 1544. In addition to the garden, best visited in the spring and summer, the university manages nine museums, including a History of physics museum; the University began teaching medicine in 1222. It played a leading role in the identification and treatment of diseases and ailments, specializing in autopsies and the inner workings of the body.
Since 1595, Padua's famous anatomical theatre drew artists and scientists studying the human body during public dissections. It is the oldest surviving permanent anatomical theatre in Europe. Anatomist Andreas Vesalius held the chair of Surgery and Anatomy and in 1543 published his anatomical discoveries in De Humani Corporis Fabrica; the book triggered great public interest in dissections and caused many other European cities to establish anatomical theatres. On 25 June 1678, Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, a Venetian noblewoman and mathematician, became the first woman to be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree; the university became one the universities of the Kingdom of Italy in 1873, since has been one of the most prestigious in the country for its contributions to scientific and scholarly research: in the field of mathematics alone, its professors have included such figures as Gregorio Ricci Curbastro, Giuseppe Veronese, Francesco Severi and Tullio Levi Civita. The last years of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century saw a reversal of the centralisation process that had taken place in the sixteenth: scientific institutes were set up in what became veritable campuses.
The vicissitudes of the Fascist period—political interference, the Race Laws, etc.—had a detrimental effect upon the development of the university, as did the devastation caused by the Second World War and—just a few decades later—the effect of the student protests of 1968-69. However, the Gymnasium Omnium Disciplinarum continued its work uninterrupted, overall the second half of the twentieth century saw a sharp upturn in development—primarily due an interchange of ideas with international institutions of the highest standing. In recent years, the University has been able to meet the problems posed by overcrowded facilities by re-deploying over the Veneto as a whole. In 1990, the Institute of Management Engineering was set up in Vicenza, after which the summer courses at Brixen began once more, in 1995 the Agripolis centre at Legnaro opened. Other sites of re-deployment are at Rovigo, Feltre, Castelfranco Veneto, Conegliano and Asiago. Recent changes in state legislation have opened the way to greater autonomy for Italian universities, in 1995 Padua adopted a new Statute that gave it greater independence.
As the publications of innumerable conferences and congresses show, the modern-day University of Padua plays an important role in scholarly and scientific research at both a European and world level. True to its origins, this is the direction in which the university intends to move in the future, establishing closer links of cooperation and exchange with all the world's major research universities. Notable people who have attended the University of Padua include: In natural sciencesNi
Šibenik is a historic city in Croatia, located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea. Šibenik is a political, transport and tourist center of Šibenik–Knin County and the third-largest city in the historic region of Dalmatia. It is the oldest native Croatian town on the shores of the sea. There are multiple interpretations of. In his fifteenth century book De situ Illiriae et civitate Sibenici, Juraj Šižgorić describes the name and location of Šibenik, he attributes the name of the city to it being surrounded by a palisade made of šibe. Another interpretation is associated with the forest through the latin toponym "Sibinicum," which covered a narrower microregion within Šibenik on and around the area of St. Michael's Fortress. Unlike other cities along the Adriatic coast, which were established by Greeks and Romans, Šibenik was founded by Croats. Excavations of the castle of St. Michael, have since proven that the place was inhabited long before the actual arrival of the Croats.
It was mentioned for the first time under its present name in 1066 in a Charter of the Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV and, for a period of time, it was a seat of this Croatian King. For that reason, Šibenik is called "Krešimirov grad". Between the 11th and 12th centuries, Šibenik was tossed back and forth among Venice and Hungary, it was conquered by the Republic of Venice in 1116, who held it until 1124, when they lost it to the Byzantine Empire, held it again until 1133 when it was retaken by the Kingdom of Hungary. It would change hands among the aforementioned states several more times until 1180; the city was given the status of a town in 1167 from Stephen III of Hungary. It received its own diocese in 1298. In the 14th century, "Vlachs" were present in the hinterland of Šibenik; the city, like the rest of Dalmatia resisted the Venetian Republic, but it was taken over after a three-year war in 1412. Under Venetian rule, Šibenik became in 1412 the seat of the main customs office and the seat of the salt consumers office with a monopoly on the salt trade in Chioggia and on the whole Adriatic Sea.
In August 1417, Venetian authorities were concerned with the "Morlachs and other Slavs" from the hinterland, that were a threat to security in Šibenik. The Ottoman Empire started to threaten Šibenik, as part of their struggle against Venice, at the end of the 15th century, but they never succeeded in conquering it. In the 16th century, St. Nicholas Fortress was built and, by the 17th century, its fortifications were improved again by the fortresses of St. John and Šubićevac; the Morlachs started settling Šibenik during the Cretan War. The fall of the Republic of Venice in 1797 brought Sebenico under the authority of the Habsburg Monarchy. After the Congress of Vienna until 1918, the town was part of the Austrian monarchy, head of the district of the same name, one of the 13 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Kingdom of Dalmatia; the Italian name only was used until around 1871. In 1872, at the time in the Kingdom of Dalmatia, Ante Šupuk became the town's first Croat mayor elected under universal suffrage.
He was instrumental in the process of the modernization of the city, is remembered for the 1895 project to provide street lights powered by the early AC Jaruga Hydroelectric Power Plant. On 28 August 1895, Šibenik became the world's first city with alternating current-powered street lights. During World War I, the Austro-Hungarian navy used the port facilities here, the light cruisers and destroyers which escaped the Allied force after the battle of Cape Rodoni returned to safety here, where some battleships were based. After the war Šibenik was occupied by the Kingdom of Italy until 12 June 1921; as a result of the Treaty of Rapallo, the Italians gave up their claim to the city and it became a part of the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. During World War II it was occupied by Germany. Communist partisans liberated Šibenik on 3 November 1944. After World War II it became a part of the SFR Yugoslavia until Croatia declared independence in 1991. During the Croatian War of Independence, Šibenik was attacked by the Yugoslav National Army and Serbian paramilitary troops.
Although under-armed, the nascent Croatian army and the people of Šibenik managed to defend the city. The battle lasted for six days referred to as the "September battle"; the bombings damaged numerous buildings and monuments, including the dome of the Cathedral of St. James and the 1870-built theatre building. In an August 1995 military operation, the Croatian Army defeated the Serb forces and reconquered the occupied areas, which allowed the region to recover from the war and continue to develop as the centre of Šibenik-Knin county. Since the damaged areas of the city have been restored. Šibenik has a mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers. January and February are the coldest months and August are the hottest months. In July the average maximum temperature is around 30 °C; the Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Csa". The central church in Šibenik, the Cathedral of St. James, is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Several successive architects built it in stone between 1431 and 1536, both in Gothic and in Renaissance style.
The interlocking stone slabs of the Cathedral's roof were damaged when the city was shelled by Yugoslav forces in 1991. The damage has since been repaired. In the city of Šibenik there a
Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges; the islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice. Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million. The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC; the city was the capital of the Republic of Venice. The 697–1797 Republic of Venice was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as an important center of commerce and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century.
The city-state of Venice is considered to have been the first real international financial center, emerging in the 9th century and reaching its greatest prominence in the 14th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. After the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, the Republic was annexed by the Austrian Empire, until it became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, following a referendum held as a result of the Third Italian War of Independence. Venice has been known as "La Dominante", "La Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", "City of Canals"; the lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Parts of Venice are renowned for the beauty of their settings, their architecture, artwork. Venice is known for several important artistic movements—especially during the Renaissance period—has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.
Although the city is facing some major challenges, Venice remains a popular tourist destination, an iconic Italian city, has been ranked the most beautiful city in the world. The name of the city, deriving from Latin forms Venetia and Venetiae, is most taken from "Venetia et Histria", the Roman name of Regio X of Roman Italy, but applied to the coastal part of the region that remained under Roman Empire outside of Gothic and Frankish control; the name Venetia, derives from the Roman name for the people known as the Veneti, called by the Greeks Enetoi. The meaning of the word is uncertain, although there are other Indo-European tribes with similar-sounding names, such as the Celtic Veneti and the Slavic Vistula Veneti. Linguists suggest that the name is based on an Indo-European root *wen, so that *wenetoi would mean "beloved", "lovable", or "friendly". A connection with the Latin word venetus, meaning the color'sea-blue', is possible. Supposed connections of Venetia with the Latin verb venire, such as Marin Sanudo's veni etiam, the supposed cry of the first refugees to the Venetian lagoon from the mainland, or with venia are fanciful.
The alternative obsolete form is Vinegia. Although no surviving historical records deal directly with the founding of Venice and the available evidence have led several historians to agree that the original population of Venice consisted of refugees—from nearby Roman cities such as Padua, Treviso and Concordia, as well as from the undefended countryside—who were fleeing successive waves of Germanic and Hun invasions; this is further supported by the documentation on the so-called "apostolic families", the twelve founding families of Venice who elected the first doge, who in most cases trace their lineage back to Roman families. Some late Roman sources reveal the existence of fishermen, on the islands in the original marshy lagoons, who were referred to as incolae lacunae; the traditional founding is identified with the dedication of the first church, that of San Giacomo on the islet of Rialto —said to have taken place at the stroke of noon on 25 March 421. Beginning as early as AD 166–168, the Quadi and Marcomanni destroyed the main Roman town in the area, present-day Oderzo.
This part of Roman Italy was again overrun in the early 5th century by the Visigoths and, some 50 years by the Huns led by Attila. The last and most enduring immigration into the north of the Italian peninsula, that of the Lombards in 568, left the Eastern Roman Empire only a small strip of coastline in the current Veneto, including Venice; the Roman/Byzantine territory was organized as the Exarchate of Ravenna, administered from that ancient port and overseen by a viceroy appointed by the Emperor in Constantinople. Ravenna and Venice were connected only by sea routes, with the Venetians' isolated position came increasing autonomy. New ports were built, including those at Torcello in the Venetian lagoon; the tribuni maiores formed the earliest central standing governing committee of the islands in the lagoon, dating from c. 568. The traditional first doge of Venice, Paolo Lucio A
Genre painting called petit genre, depicts aspects of everyday life by portraying ordinary people engaged in common activities. One common definition of a genre scene is that it shows figures to whom no identity can be attached either individually or collectively—thus distinguishing petit genre from history paintings and portraits. A work would be considered as a genre work if it could be shown that the artist had used a known person—a member of his family, say—as a model. In this case it would depend on whether the work was to have been intended by the artist to be perceived as a portrait—sometimes a subjective question; the depictions imagined, or romanticized by the artist. Because of their familiar and sentimental subject matter, genre paintings have proven popular with the bourgeoisie, or middle class. Genre subjects appear in many traditions of art. Painted decorations in ancient Egyptian tombs depict banquets and agrarian scenes, Peiraikos is mentioned by Pliny the Elder as a Hellenistic panel painter of "low" subjects, such as survive in mosaic versions and provincial wall-paintings at Pompeii: "barbers' shops, cobblers' stalls, asses and similar subjects".
Medieval illuminated manuscripts illustrated scenes of everyday peasant life in the Labours of the Months in the calendar section of books of hours, most famously the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. The Low Countries dominated the field until the 18th century, in the 17th century both Flemish Baroque painting and Dutch Golden Age painting produced numerous specialists who painted genre scenes. In the previous century, the Flemish Renaissance painter Jan Sanders van Hemessen painted innovative large-scale genre scenes, sometimes including a moral theme or a religious scene in the background in the first half of the 16th century; these were part of a pattern of "Mannerist inversion" in Antwerp painting, giving "low" elements in the decorative background of images prominent emphasis. Joachim Patinir expanded his landscapes, making the figures a small element, Pieter Aertsen painted works dominated by spreads of still life food and genre figures of cooks or market-sellers, with small religious scenes in spaces in the background.
Pieter Brueghel the Elder made peasants and their activities naturalistically treated, the subject of many of his paintings, genre painting was to flourish in Northern Europe in Brueghel's wake. Adriaen and Isaac van Ostade, Jan Steen, Adriaan Brouwer, David Teniers, Aelbert Cuyp, Johannes Vermeer and Pieter de Hooch were among the many painters specializing in genre subjects in the Low Countries during the 17th century; the small scale of these artists' paintings was appropriate for their display in the homes of middle class purchasers. The subject of a genre painting was based on a popular emblem from an Emblem book; this can give the painting a double meaning, such as in Gabriel Metsu's The Poultry seller, 1662, showing an old man offering a rooster in a symbolic pose, based on a lewd engraving by Gillis van Breen, with the same scene. The merry company showed a group of figures at a party, whether making music at home or just drinking in a tavern. Other common types of scenes showed village festivities, or soldiers in camp.
In Italy, a "school" of genre painting was stimulated by the arrival in Rome of the Dutch painter Pieter van Laer in 1625. He acquired the nickname "Il Bamboccio" and his followers were called the Bamboccianti, whose works would inspire Giacomo Ceruti, Antonio Cifrondi, Giuseppe Maria Crespi among many others. Louis le Nain was an important exponent of genre painting in 17th-century France, painting groups of peasants at home, where the 18th century would bring a heightened interest in the depiction of everyday life, whether through the romanticized paintings of Watteau and Fragonard, or the careful realism of Chardin. Jean-Baptiste Greuze and others painted detailed and rather sentimental groups or individual portraits of peasants that were to be influential on 19th-century painting. In England, William Hogarth conveyed comedy, social criticism and moral lessons through canvases that told stories of ordinary people ful of narrative detail in serial form, as in his A Rake's Progress, first painted in 1732–33 engraved and published in print form in 1735.
Spain had a tradition predating The Book of Good Love of social observation and commentary based on the Old Roman Latin tradition, practiced by many of its painters and illuminators. At the height of the Spanish Empire and the beginning of its slow decline, many picaresque genre scenes of street life—as well as the kitchen scenes known as bodegones—were painted by the artists of The Spanish Golden Age, notably Velázquez and Murillo. More than a century the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya used genre scenes in painting and printmaking as a medium for dark commentary on the human condition, his The Disasters of War, a series of 82 genre incidents from the Peninsular War, took genre art to unprecedented heights of expressiveness. With the decline of religious and historical painting in the 19th century, artists found their subject matter in the life around them. Realists such as Gustave Courbet upset expectations by depicting everyday scenes in huge paintings—at the scale traditionally reserved for "important" subjects—thus blurring the boundary which had set genre painting apart as a "minor" category.
Realist paintings on such a scale, the new type showing people at work, emphasizing the effort involved, would not be called "genre paintings". Bot
Netherlands Institute for Art History
The Netherlands Institute for Art History or RKD is located in The Hague and is home to the largest art history center in the world. The center specializes in documentation and books on Western art from the late Middle Ages until modern times. All of this is open to the public, much of it has been digitized and is available on their website; the main goal of the bureau is to collect and make art research available, most notably in the field of Dutch Masters. Via the available databases, the visitor can gain insight into archival evidence on the lives of many artists of past centuries; the library owns 450,000 titles, of which ca. 150,000 are auction catalogs. There are ca. 3,000 magazines, of which 600 are running subscriptions. Though most of the text is in Dutch, the standard record format includes a link to library entries and images of known works, which include English as well as Dutch titles; the RKD manages the Dutch version of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus, a thesaurus of terms for management of information on art and architecture.
The original version is an initiative of the Getty Research Institute in California. The collection was started through bequests by Frits Lugt, art historian and owner of a massive collection of drawings and prints, Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, a collector, art historian and museum curator, their bequest formed the basis for both the art collection and the library, now housed in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Though not all of the library's holdings have been digitised, much of its metadata is accessible online; the website itself is available in both an English user interface. In the artist database RKDartists, each artist is assigned a record number. To reference an artist page directly, use the code listed at the bottom of the record of the form: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/ followed by the artist's record number. For example, the artist record number for Salvador Dalí is 19752, so his RKD artist page can be referenced. In the images database RKDimages, each artwork is assigned a record number.
To reference an artwork page directly, use the code listed at the bottom of the record of the form: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/ followed by the artwork's record number. For example, the artwork record number for The Night Watch is 3063, so its RKD artwork page can be referenced; the Art and Architecture Thesaurus assigns a record for each term, but these can not be referenced online by record number. Rather, they are used in the databases and the databases can be searched for terms. For example, the painting called "The Night Watch" is a militia painting, all records fitting this keyword can be seen by selecting this from the image screen; the thesaurus is a set of general terms, but the RKD contains a database for an alternate form of describing artworks, that today is filled with biblical references. This is the iconclass database. To see all images that depict Miriam's dance, the associated iconclass code 71E1232 can be used as a special search term. Official website Direct link to the databases The Dutch version of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus
Palermo is a city of Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Metropolitan City of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence. Palermo is located in the northwest of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Palermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea; the city was founded in 734 BC by the Phoenicians as Ziz. Palermo became a possession of Carthage. Two Greek colonies were established, known collectively as Panormos or "All-Port"; as Panormus, the town became part of Empire for over a thousand years. From 831 to 1072 the city was under Arab rule during the Emirate of Sicily when the city first became a capital; the Arabs shifted the Greek name into Bal ` the root for Palermo's present-day name. Following the Norman reconquest, Palermo became the capital of a new kingdom, the Kingdom of Sicily and the capital of the Holy Roman Empire under Emperor Frederick II and King Conrad IV; the population of Palermo urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 855,285, while its metropolitan area is the fifth most populated in Italy with around 1.2 million people.
In the central area, the city has a population of around 676,000 people. The inhabitants are known as Palermitani or, panormiti; the languages spoken by its inhabitants are the Italian language and the Palermitano dialect of the Sicilian language. Palermo is Sicily's cultural and tourism capital, it is a city rich in history, art and food. Numerous tourists are attracted to the city for its good Mediterranean weather, its renowned gastronomy and restaurants, its Romanesque and Baroque churches and buildings, its nightlife and music. Palermo is the main Sicilian industrial and commercial center: the main industrial sectors include tourism, services and agriculture. Palermo has an international airport, a significant underground economy. In fact, for cultural and economic reasons, Palermo was one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean and is now among the top tourist destinations in both Italy and Europe, it is the main seat of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale.
The city is going through careful redevelopment, preparing to become one of the major cities of the Euro-Mediterranean area. Roman Catholicism is important in Palermitano culture; the Patron Saint of Palermo is Santa Rosalia. The area attracts significant numbers of tourists each year and is known for its colourful fruit and fish markets at the heart of Palermo, known as Vucciria, Ballarò and Capo. Palermo lies in a basin, formed by the Papireto and Oreto rivers; the basin was named the Conca d'Oro by the Arabs in the 9th century. The city is surrounded by a mountain range, named after the city itself; these mountains face the Tyrrhenian Sea. Palermo is home to a natural port and offers excellent views to the sea from Monte Pellegrino. Palermo experiences a hot-summer subtropical Mediterranean climate, mild with moderate seasonality. Summers are long and dry due to the domination of subtropical high pressure system, while winters experience moderate temperatures and changeable, rainy weather due to the polar front.
Temperatures in autumn and spring are mild. Palermo is one of the warmest cities in Europe, with an average annual air temperature of 18.3 °C, it's one of the warmest cities in Italy. It receives 2,530 hours of sunshine per year. Snow is a rare occurrence having snowed about a dozen times since 1945. Since the 1940s to nowadays there have been at least five times when considerable snowfall has occurred. In 1949 and in 1956, when the minimum temperature went down to 0 °C, the city was blanketed by some centimetres of snow. Snowfalls occurred in 1981, 1986, 1999 and 2014; the average annual temperature of the sea is above 19 °C. In the period from November to May, the average sea temperature exceeds 18 °C and in the period from June to October, the average sea temperature exceeds 21 °C. Palermo is surrounded by mountains; some districts of the city are divided by the mountains themselves. It was difficult to reach the inner part of Sicily from the city because of the mounts; the tallest peak of the range is La Pizzuta, about 1,333 metres high.
However the most important mount is Monte Pellegrino, geographically separated from the rest of the range by a plain. The mount lies right in front of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Monte Pellegrino's cliff was described in the 19th century by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, as "the most beautiful promontory in the world", in his essay "Italian Journey". Today both the Kemonia are covered up by buildings. However, the shape of the former watercourses can still be recognised today, because the streets that were built on them follow their shapes. Today the only waterway not drained yet is the Oreto river that divides the downtown of the city from the western uptown and the industrial districts. In the basins there were, many seasonal torrents that helped formed swampy plains, reclaimed during history.