Tag Archives: Angiolo Mazzoni del Grande

On This Day, Palermo in Sicily

While the current travel restrictions are in place I have no new stories to post so what I thought that I would do is to go through my picture archives and see where I was on this day at any time in the last few travelling years.

On 20th July 2007 I was in the classical Italian City of Palermo in Sicily…

Palerm 10

A couple of years ago I suggested to some regular travelling pals that we should go to Naples in Italy for a few days.  They were horrified by the suggestion because of the city’s reputation as being rather dangerous.  They said that they would prefer to go to Barcelona in Spain even though I pointed out that the Spanish city is the pickpocket capital of Europe and had recently suffered a terrorist attack.

I couldn’t persuade them to reconsider so we travelled to Naples by ourselves.  We thought of ourselves as intrepid adventurers stepping out boldly into a dangerous Italian city.  For us this completed a trio of visits to so-called risky Italian cities because previously we had stayed in Bari in Puglia which enjoys a similar reputation and Palermo in Sicily, the home of the Mafia.

Michael Corleone

I have often wondered where all of these crime stories come from and are they true?  It seems that they are linked to a web of crime syndicates that operate across all of southern Italy.  Sicily has the Cosa Nostra, Naples the Camorra, Calabria has the ‘Ndrangheta and Puglia  the Sacre Corona.

In preparing this post I did a little research and was surprised to find that not one of these cities is in the top ten hazardous places in Italy with the top three spots being taken by Milan, Bologna and Rome all of which are all further north.

I think it is fair to say that a tourist is at more risk from a street pickpocket attack than an organised crime syndicate.

A year later we went to Madrid and my friend, who thought Naples was dangerous, had his wallet stolen in the street.

Click on an image to scroll through the Palermo Gallery…

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Angiolo Mazzoni del Grande Staircase Pula

Spiral Staircase – City Post Office, Pula, Croatia

In a more modern part of the city we chanced across a pleasant little square with a water fountain and lined with nineteenth century buildings that had once been the bourgeois commercial centre at the height of the Austrian Empire.

In this square was the City Post Office which was a much later twentieth century addition built in 1933 and although unremarkable from the outside had hidden inside a magnificent Gaudi like spiral staircase which rose majestically from the ground floor to the top of the building in an extravagant scarlet sweep that oozed style and grandeur.

The building was designed by Angiolo Mazzoni del Grande who was the chief architect for the Ministry of Communications and for the State Railways under the Mussolini regime in Italy.  He was one of the most outstanding Italian architects of the modern period and was responsible for the design of many public buildings and railway stations across Italy that were characteristic of the Fascist building boom.

It was an unusual discovery and it would be much better housed in a more important building but this was a hidden gem of Pula and I am glad that we found it.

Read the full story…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Angiolo Mazzoni del Grande Staircase Pula

Spiral Staircase – City Post Office, Pula, Croatia

In a more modern part of the city we chanced across a pleasant little square with a water fountain and lined with nineteenth century buildings that had once been the bourgeois commercial centre at the height of the Austrian Empire.  In this square was the City Post Office which was a much later twentieth century addition built in 1933 and although unremarkable from the outside had hidden inside a magnificent Gaudi like spiral staircase which rose majestically from the ground floor to the top of the building in an extravagant scarlet sweep that oozed style and grandeur.

The building was designed by Angiolo Mazzoni del Grande who was the chief architect for the Ministry of Communications and for the State Railways under the Mussolini regime in Italy.  He was one of the most outstanding Italian architects of the modern period and was responsible for the design of many public buildings and railway stations across Italy that were characteristic of the Fascist building boom.  It was an unusual discovery and it would be much better housed in a more important building but this was a hidden gem of Pula and I am glad that we found it.

Read the full story…

Istria 2011, Romans and Fascists

Pula Istria Croatia Main Square

Having visited the primary tourist attraction of the city on the first day we walked back to the town centre to see what else we could discover.  The town had a slightly uncared for feel with many buildings having a lack of attention to detail in the finishings with drab concrete facades, exposed pipe work and cables that had not been quite tidied up and the first impression was that, compared to Rovinj, this place was a bit shabby and definitely still quite short of money and investment.

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Sicily, Palermo – Markets and Monuments

Palermo Sicily

The breakfast room at the Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes was large and spacious and to get there it was necessary to walk through the expansive public areas and here it was possible to appreciate fully the grand scale of the place.  It was the sort of hotel with a lot of staff with their own special jobs to do including one man in a smart waiter’s suit whose only real task seemed to be to be available to operate the hot water and coffee machine.  Actually he wasn’t especially good at that because he kept disappearing for long periods that always seem to coincide with refill time.

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Pula, The Shipyard and the City

Pula Croatia Door

Kim had determined the itinerary for today and had plotted a pleasant stroll to the coast with navigational assistance that was optimistically restricted to an aerial photograph on a tourist information pamphlet.  From the outset this looked rather challenging and an ordinance survey map would have been far more helpful but we decided to trust to a natural sense of direction and we set off on our chosen route.

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