A Visit to Italy

With World Mission Sunday celebrated throughout the catholic church buildings across the globe, and fall season simply on the horizons, I took day out to go to Italy this yr as a part of my trip. My buddy from Brescia invited me to stick with his household through the course of my sojourn in Italy. I used to be so comfortable to be welcomed to their residence and be handled like a member of their very own household. Their heat hospitality was certainly molded with a coronary heart to like, a narrative to inform, and a house to share that highlights clusters of greatness centering round friendship and good interpersonal relationship.

I got here to Brescia on the cusp of pleasure to the touch base with the household and buddies, together with my plan to go to Venice, Piacenza, Milan, and Bassano del Grappa. This yr’s try to discover Veneto got here out as a window to profoundly excessive relative time of reconnecting with buddies and confreres. It jogged my memory of an historic maxim, quoted by Pope John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council, to information a brand new pontiff: “Unity in necessities, liberty in uncertain issues, and in all issues charity.” I noticed some shades of connections in dialogue with my on a regular basis schedule with them.

It was each satisfying and actually suffused with good recollections to carry near my coronary heart. I felt how the world was linked in my circle of gratitude like a strong bridge between household and friendship. Like studying methods to look after others and hold private ties with religion and sincerity, my expertise with them was certainly shared with Christ’s presence in our hearts. That was certainly one of my favourite moments dwelling with them at this cut-off date. Because the Bk of Proverb says, “the eyes of the Lord are in each place, beholding the evil and the nice” (15:3).


My buddy Dave and I drove to town of Brescia and visited some main sights like Piazza della Loggia, the Outdated (Duomo Vecchio) and New Cathedral (Duomo Nuovo). We additionally visited the stays of the Roman Capitolium which is the Romaneque-Gothic church of St. Francis, with a Gothic façade and cloisters, the archbishop’s residence, the Biblioteca Queriniana (containing uncommon early manuscripts, together with a 14th-century manuscript of Dante, and a few uncommon incunabula), the Broletto (previously the Province Corridor which is an enormous constructing of the 12th and 13th centuries with a lofty tower), and the Piazza del Foro which is a very powerful array of Roman stays in Lombardy. These embrace the Capitoline Temple, constructed by Vespasianus in 73 AD.

In line with historical past, there have been totally different mythological variations of the muse of Brescia. It says that one was attributed to Hercules and the opposite was to Altilia (“the opposite Ilium”) by a fugitive from the siege of Troy. One other model was the king of the Ligures Cidnus who invaded the Padan Plain the late Bronze Age. Nevertheless, many students attributed its basis to the Etruscans.

The town of Brescia turned Roman in 225 BC when the Cenomani gave in to Virginia. It was through the Carthaginian Wars when ‘Brixia’ was normally allied with the Romans. In 202 BC it was partly beneath the Celtic confederation that was modified later and was thus conquered. In 89 BC Brixia obtained its official title as civitas (“metropolis”) and in 41 BC its inhabitants bought their Roman citizenship. Augustus and Tiberius have been devices in founding the civil colony and developing an aqueduct to provide it.

In 312 Constantine superior in opposition to Maxentius they usually have been compelled to maneuver out so far as Verona. Then in 402 the Visigoths of Alaric I destroyed town and once more was besieged in 452 by the Gothic common Theoderic the Nice in opposition to Odoacer.

Brescia was made capital by the Lombards in 568 (569) as certainly one of their semi-independent duchies. Dukes have been Alachis, the long run king Rotharis and Rodoald, Alachis II, a fervent anti-Catholic who was killed within the battle of Cornate d’Adda (688). Desiderius turned the final king of the Lombard. Then in 774 Charlemagne captured town and conquered the Lombard kingdom in northern Italy.

Beneath Louis II the Youthful, Brescia turned de facto as capital of the Roman Empire. Bishop’s energy in these instances was described imperial however steadily lessened by the native residents and nobles. It turned a free comune across the arly 12th century. Via the years Brescia expanded within the close by countryside like Bergamo and Cremona. Then one other battle broke off at Pontoglio and Grumore in direction of the mid-12th century.

Sporadic battles continued to come up between the Lombard cities and the emperors. One in all them was the Battle of Legnano. Then adopted by the Battle of Cortenova (27 November 1237). A few of the leagues from Cremona, Bergamo, and Mantua fought in opposition to Brescia by the emperor Frederick II in 1238. In 1311 Emperor Henry VII attacked Brescia for six months. Then the Scaliger of Verona with the assistance of the exiled Ghibellines, the battle of Maclodio (1427), Francesco Sforza, captain of the Venetians, and feuds with highly effective households such because the Maggi and the Brussati, Brescia was once more assaulted. Brescia this time acknowledged the authority of Venice and between 1512 and 1520, the French armies occupied Brescia. Subsequently, it shared the fortunes of the Venetian republic till 1796 when the Austrian military took over. It was adopted by devastation when the Church of San nazaro was struck by lightning in 1769. It created an enormous fireplace that precipitated an enormous explosion and destroyed one sixth of town.

Brescia revolted in opposition to the Austrian puppet state known as Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia. It was right now that the poet Giosuè known as it “Leonessa d’Italia” (“Italian Lioness”), being the one Lombard city to stage a rally in opposition to the King of Pierdmont. In 1859 Brescia bought its inclusion to the newly-founded Kingdom of Italy.

It was fascinating to know the historical past and folks’s background as I attempted to find extra some necessary historic landmarks of Brescia. It got here to my thoughts, too, the historic automobile race Mille Miglia that takes place within the area. I even went with my buddy and his father to see the automobile race in Castrezzato.

I remembered right here some native Brescians who chalked up of their chosen profession akin to Giovanni Paoli who introduced the printing press to the brand new world in Mexico Metropolis beneath the viceroyalty of Antonio de Mendoza from Spain in 1935; St Angela Merici, who based the Order of Ursulines in Brescia in 1535; Bartolomeo Beretta, gunsmith and founding father of the Beretta arms agency; Giulio Alenio (1582-1649) a missionary known as “Confucius from the West”; Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, a pianist of the 20th century, Pope Paul VI, and Giacomo Agostini, world well-known Grand Prix motorbike racers between 1964-1977.


It was a should for me to go to Venice. My buddy and I took the early practice from Rovato, Brescia heading for Venice. Passengers in drove largely younger folks have been outfitted with devices and backpacks. They have been all coming from totally different areas. It took us roughly two hours and a half to get there. Then a cup of cappuccino satisfied us to cease by the espresso store with matching croissant bread as a part of our morning breakfast.

Venice is a ravishing capital metropolis of Veneto in northern Italy. As of 2007, there have been 268,993 folks residing in Venice, of whom 47.5% have been male and 52.5% have been feminine. The most important immigrant group thus far comes from different European nations (Romanians, the biggest group: 3.26%, South Asia: 1.26%, and East Asia: 0.9%). It’s predominantly Roman Catholic however with a heavy accent on Orthodox presence resulting from long-held relationship with Constantinople. Traditionally, it has been often known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “Metropolis of Water”. There was a author within the New York Occasions who described Venice as “undoubtedly probably the most stunning metropolis constructed by man.” It stretched throughout 118 small islands within the Venetian Lagoon alongside the Adriatic Sea within the northeast Italy, shaped by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon. Its inhabitants estimate of 272,000 inhabitants consists of the inhabitants of the entire Comune of Venezia.

The Republic of Venice was a significant maritime energy through the Center Ages and Renaissance. It was the place the place the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto came about. As a middle of commerce, Venice was primarily identified for silk, grain and spice commerce. It was additionally identified for classical music, historical past, and its famend prodigy on this subject was Antonio Vivaldi.

In line with historical past, the unique inhabitants of Venice comprised refugees from Roman cities akin to Padua, Aquileia, Altino and Concordia (now the trendy Portugruaro) who have been fleeing successive waves of Germanic invasions and Huns. Early settlers right here have been often known as lagoon dwellers they usually elevated in quantity particularly when the Lombards conquered the Byzantine territories which had their native governor based mostly in Malamocco.

In 775-776, the ecclesiastical seat of Olivolo (Helipolis) was established. Duke Agnello Particiaco (811-827) took his ducal seat in Rialto (Rivoalto, “Excessive Shore”) island, the present location of Venice. This time the monastery of St. Zachary, the primary ducal palace, and the basilica of St. Mark have been constructed.

Venice had all the time had connections with the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim world in some ways. The governmental system was in some methods just like what the traditional Rome had with an elected chief government (the Doge or Duke), a senate-like meeting of nobles, and a mass of residents with restricted political energy.

Relics of St. Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria have been positioned within the new basilica round 828. The patriarchal seat continued to develop and this led to attain their autonomy and freedom.

We took scores of pictures in Piazza San Marco, the Basilica di San Marco, St Lucia Church, Santa Maria della Salute, La Torre dell’Orologio (St Mark’s Clock), La Fenice Opera Home, and the Rialto Bridge. I liked watching these pigeons crowding via the middle whereas vacationers loved feeding them.

Historical past says that from the ninth to the twelfth century Venice developed right into a metropolis state (an Italian thalassocracy or Repubblica Marinara, the opposite three being Genoa, Pisa, and Amalfi). It turned a flourishing commerce heart between Europe and the remainder of the world (particularly the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world).

Venice got here to grips with numerous invaders like Turks (1453) and Normans in these days however remained intently related to Constantinople. Generally known as orthodox Roman Catholic, folks of Venice wrestled for non secular heresy through the Counter-Reformation. Plagues introduced devastation in Venice round 1348 and1630, respectively. Its decline began within the 15th century through the time of unsuccessful try to carry Thessalonica in opposition to the Ottomans (1423-1430). It started to lose its place as a middle of worldwide commerce through the later a part of the Renaissance as Portugal turned Europe’s principal middleman within the commerce with the East. Whereas France and Spain fought for hegemony over Italy, Venice remained a significant exporter of agricultural merchandise till the mid-18th century and by the tip of the 15th century, it had change into the European capital of printing being one of many first cities in Italy (after Subiaco and Rome) to have a printing press after these established in Germany.

Throughout the Fourth Campaign in 1204, Venice turned an imperial energy. The Byzantine Empire was drastically weakened and nice multitudes of stuffs have been introduced again to Venice which included the gilt bronze horse which we now see above the doorway to St Mark Cathedral.

Located on the Adriatic Sea, we took the view of San Giorgio Maggiore and ultimately rode the motorised waterbus (vaporetto) which introduced us to this place. We noticed many gondolas with crushed velvet seats and Persian rugs. I heard that gondoliers normally cost 80 and 100 euros for half an hour tour round some canals. I didn’t hassle myself to journey in certainly one of them however simply took an image. That gave me a distinction.

I took some snapshots of different church buildings and acquired some submit playing cards. Whereas sightseeing the entire panorama from St Giorgio’s belfry, I considered the excessive water following sure tides in Venice. I considered flood tides which have been evidently a risk to residents right here. Some specialists stated that one of the best ways to guard Venice is to bodily raise town of Venice to a better top above sea degree, by pumping water into the soil beneath town. The lifting system as they claimed could be everlasting. No less than it might shield Venice for a few years.

I actually loved seeing these historic landmarks with majestic architectural designs; their antiquated historical past and origin. These palaces such because the Palazzo di Doge, Foscari, Grassi, Labia, and Maliperio jogged my memory of the emperial reigns of the wealthy and well-known on this metropolis. I noticed in lots of retailers various kinds of masks which jogged my memory of that musical play ‘The Phantom of the Opera.’ These are worn through the Carnival of Venice identified for Venetian masks. It’s held yearly two weeks earlier than Ash Wednesday after which it ends on Shrove Tuesday. It was one thing cultural and it may very well be traced again to centuries, within the 14th century when Venetian males would put on tight-fitting multicolored hose often known as Compagnie della Calza (“Trouser Membership”).

We took a protracted stroll again to the practice station following the labyrinthine highway which made us marvel if we have been in the proper route. We requested some these we met and inquired about the way in which again to the station. We bought there quarter earlier than 5 p.m. and the practice departed at precisely 5. We arrived again to Rovato, Brescia at 7 pm and by the point we reached residence it was half previous seven within the night.


Two days after we visted Venice, we drove to Piacenza. It’s a metropolis within the Emilia-Romagna area and the capital of the province of Piacenza. Geographically, it’s at a significant crossroads on the intersection of Route E35/A1 between Bologna (often known as the gateway to jap Italy) and Milan (gateway to the Alps), and Route E70/A21 between Brescia on the foot of the Alps and Tortona, the place branches result in Torino within the north, a significant industrial metropolis, and Genova, a significant coastal port.

Lengthy earlier than the Roman basis formed the world of Piacenza, the Etruscans, Gauls took the complete Po valley. The Etruscans have been well-known for the follow of divining by the entrails of sheep. A bronze sculpture of a liver known as the “Liver of Piacenza” was present in 1877 at Gossolengo simply to the south of Piacenza full with the identify of areas. It has been related to the follow of haruspicy, which was adopted by the Romans. To date, the liver may be attributed to the center Roman settlement.

In line with historical past, Piacenza and Cremona have been based as a Roman army colonies in Might of 218 BC. There was a battle with the Gauls and Ligurians and cities have been besieged with cruelty and violence. Devastations occurred a number of instances however the metropolis was all the time recovered and by the sixth century Procopius was calling it “the principal metropolis within the nation of Aemilia.”

Diocletian had a protracted reign through the period of Late Antiquity in Piacenza (4th/ninth centuries AD) and remained anti-Christian. Christians being killed and massacred have been rampant in these days and certainly one of them was Antoninus in 303 AD who was beheaded (as had been St. Moritz) at Travo in Val Trebbia. The primary Bishop of Piacenza (322-357), San Vittorio, declared Antoninus the patron saint of Piacenza and had the primary Basilica di S. Antonio constructed in his honor in 324 in downtown Piacenza. It was restored and rebuilt in 1101. Truly, the stays of the bishop and soldier-saint are in urns beneath the altar.

Throughout the Center Ages Piacenza underwent a lot of conquests by the Byzantines, Lombards, and Franks (ninth century). It was adopted by a gradual transition of powers from the feudal lords to a brand new enterprising class of the countryside.

In 1126 Piacenza was a free commune and have become a member of the Lombard League. It took half in a struggle in opposition to the emperor Frederick Barbarossa and within the subsequent battle of Legnano in 1176. Within the 13th century, Piacenza was capable of achieve its strongholds on the Lombardy shore of the Po River. Struggles for management have been a standard follow within the second half of the 13th century. Wealthy and highly effective households akin to Scotti, Pallavicino and Scoto (1290-1313) held energy and management throughout this regime and Piacenza turned a Sforza possession till 1499.

Piacenza was dominated by France till 1521 and beneath Pope Leo X, it turned a part of the Papal States. In 1545, it turned a part of the newly established Duchy of Parma and Piacenza, which was beneath the duress of the Farnese household.

The town underwent a collection of transitions particularly when it turned a capital metropolis of the duchy till Ottavio Farnese (1547-1586) moved it to Parma. Between 1732 and 1859, Piacenza and Parma have been dominated by the Home of Bourbon. Within the 18th century, a lot of edifices have been constructed which belonged to noble households akin to Scotti, Landi and Fogliani.

In 1882 Napoleon’s military annexed Piacenza to the French Empire. The town was plundered of an enormous variety of artworks and have been additionally ravaged by bandits and French troopers.

In 1848 Austrian and Croatian troops occupied Piacenza till a plebiscite marked the start of town within the Kingdom of Sardinia. Then bombardment of town occurred throughout World Struggle II by the Allies. Roads and bridges throughout Trebbia and the Po Rivers, together with the railways yards have been devastated. Piacenza was severely broken by the bombing.

Despite all of the World Struggle II bombings and devastations by the allied medium bombers from Corsica, Piacenza remained as one of many well-known cities in Italy for the humanities. Their historic palaces and edifices are sometimes surrounded by beautiful gardens.

As a consequence of our restricted time to go to some main sights of town, however, I had the chance to see Piazza Cavalli and the façade of Il Gotico the place my buddy and I took some footage. We handed by the Church of Sant’Antonino, patron of Piacenza and the Palazzo Comunale, often known as il Gotico. Then we additionally noticed the Duomo di Piacenza. We needed to go inside to wish nevertheless it was closed. So we determined to only a take an image of its façade.

We additionally handed by different church buildings like Santa Maria in Campagna, a Renaissance church, faces Piazzale delle Crociate (“Crusades Sq.”), so known as as a result of Pope City II summoned the First Campaign right here in 1095. It was inbuilt 1522-1528 to deal with a miraculous wood sculpture of the Madonna. The inside aspect of the church was initially on the Greek cross plan, however was later become a Latin cross one.

We weren’t capable of go to the church buildings of St Sixtus, a Renaissance church with a valuable choir, designed by Alessio Tramello within the 15th century. One other church designed by Tramello is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It has probably the most well-known relic of the area’s pre-Roman civilization often known as the Bronze Liver of Piacenza. It is rather important as a result of it’s an Etruscan bronze mannequin of a sheep’s liver that dates again from the tip of the second century to the beginning of the primary century BC.

I keep in mind after I lived right here for a yr, the frequent specialties which have been typical Piacentini are panceta (rolled seasoned pork stomach, salted and spiced), coppa (seasoned pork neck) and salame (chopped pork meat flavored with spices and wine, and made into sausages). Others eat them with Gorgonzola cheese and Robiola.

Because it was already getting darkish, we determined to drive again residence in Brescia and be on meal time with my buddy’s uncle. It was a stunning time we spent within the metropolis sightseeing and window purchasing. Each satisfied us to mix our go to with spending for garments or different souvenirs. That basically wrapped up our day amid the stillness and welcome distinction from different bustling cities like Milan, Venice, Vicenza, Brescia or Padova. Piacenza remained like a serene picture of physique and soul steeped in traditional talking presents. Oh, Piacenza! You are still replete with serenity and valuable antiquity.


This was my final leg as regards my itinerary right here in northern Italy. I actually made an effort to maximise my time visiting these locations. Although at instances exhaustion would knock me down and lead me to remain residence, nonetheless the inside engine would draw me out and emerge on the highway. I felt the twinge of being privileged to be right here. The fantastic thing about the place, its richness in historical past and tradition; and the folks themselves jogged my memory of what Elizabeth Kübler-Ross as soon as wrote: “Individuals are like stained-glass home windows. They sparkle and shine when the solar is out, however when the darkness units in, their true magnificence is revealed provided that there’s a gentle from inside.” And I discovered its verisimilitude in coping with folks throughout cultures.

In line with historical past, Vicenza is the capital of the eponymous province within the Veneto area, on the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione. It’s roughly 60 kn west of Venice and 200 km east of Milan.

It’s a cosmopolitan metropolis with many museums, artwork galleries, piazzas, villas, church buildings and delightful Renaissance palaces. The well-known Palladian Villas of the Veneto and the Teatro Olimpico may be discovered right here. Different historic landmarks are: the Basilica Palladiana, Palazzo Thiene by Palladio, Villa Almerico Capra, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunciata, Palazzo Chiericati, Palazzo Porto, Palazzo del Barbaran da Porto, and so on. The inventor of silicon, Federico Faggin, was born right here. It’s the third-largest Italian industrial heart when it comes to exports, engineering/laptop parts trade.

The Romans conquered this area when the Gauls have been inhabitants right here in 157 BC. They gave the identify Vicentia or Vincentia, that means “victorious.” When the Western Roman Empire fell, the Heruls, Vandals, Huns, Alaric and his Visigoths laid waste to the world. Firstly of the sixth century a lot of Benedictine monasteries have been constructed right here.

In 899, Vicenza was destroyed by Magyar raiders. A League was shaped with Verona and Lombard to go in opposition to Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa compelling Padua and Treviso to hitch. There have been some inside rivalries with Padua, Bassano del Grappa and different cities. In 1230 the Second Lombard League went in opposition to Emperor Frederick II that delivered to the fore the restoration of the previous oligarchic republic political construction.

Vicenza got here beneath rule of Venice in 1404. However it was besieged by the Emperor Sigismund, and Maximilian I in 1509 and 1516. The interval of Reformation noticed the rising inclination in artwork particularly on the time of Andrea Palladio who left many excellent examples of artwork with palaces and villas within the metropolis’s territory.

On the time of Napoleon Bonaparte within the 18th century, Vicenza was made a duché grand-fief (not a grand duchy, however a hereditary, nominal duchy, a uncommon honor reserved for French officers). Then after 1814, Vicenza was beneath the Austrian Empire. Italy was nonetheless divided at the moment however as a part of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, it was tied up with Italy after the third struggle of Italian independence.

Vicenza was closely broken by World Struggle I and World Struggle II. However after World Struggle II, financial system started to bloom slowly. And now Vicenza is residence to the U.S. Military submit Caserma Ederle, often known as the U.S. Military Garrison Vicenza.

Some well-known folks from this space are: Flavio Albanese, architect; Roberto Baggio, soccer participant; Giuseppina M. Bakhita, saint, Valerio Belli, sculptor and engraver; Maria Bertilla Boscardin, saint; and lots of others.

a. Bassano del Grappa

Following this, I actually made an effort to go to Bassano del Grappa. It’s a place the place we have now a seminary. And now it’s housed by our aged and sick.confreres within the congregation. For me it was like one other episode of reconnecting so significant that I virtually shed in tears after I noticed them.

It’s a metropolis and comune within the province of Vicenza, area Veneto. Its neighboring communes are Cassola, Marostica, Solagna, Pove del Grappa, Romano d’Ezzelino, Campolongo sul Brenta, Conco, Rosà, Cartigliano and Nove.

The town was based within the second century by a Roman known as Bassianus. It was beneath the household of the Ezzelinos within the 13th century. However it was acquired by the Visconti of Milan in 1368. It turned well-known in all components of Europe due to the Remondini printers.

Throughout the French Revolutionary Wars Bassano was the seat of the battle. It was a part of the unified Kingdom of Italy in 1866. Napoleon Bonaparte stayed right here in Bassano del Grappa for a lot of months.

The unique identify of this place was Bassano Veneto. Due to so many casualties throughout World Struggle I, the identify was modified to Bassano del Grappa, that means Bassano of Mount Grappa. This was made to honor these troopers who have been killed through the struggle.

My buddy and I went to the Bridge of the Alpini which was designed by the architect Andrea Palladio in 1569. This bridge was destroyed many instances. The Alpine troopers, or Alpini have all the time revered the wood bridge and Bassano del Grappa. It was a memorial marker for them, so important that they might keep in mind songs from their days as alpine troopers.

We took a lot of footage round this space. It was so significant that I couldn’t assist however affiliate it additionally with our seminary. It was like a connecting bridge to sacred forces – bringing life and hope to the native church.

There have been additionally different sights to see akin to: the Cathedral (Duomo) constructed across the yr 1000 however renovated in 1417, The Castello Superiore (Higher Fort), the Church of St John the Baptist which was constructed within the 14th century and restored within the 18th century.

The various sides of those locations made me replicate the totally different set of values for outlining magnificence and fact, achievements judged in response to well-liked requirements like wealth of the nation, energy, status and on the opposite aspect of the coin, achievements judged in response to divine requirements like service or compassion. The immense magnificence and historicity of Italy have huge wealth to share with folks of all ages. As a pilgrim on the highway, I’ll maintain ever pricey in my coronary heart these artworks, folks’s inside magnificence, religion, and solidarity as life and reminiscence go on via time and house.

Like many guests to Italy, I’d all the time say, ‘Ciao e ci vediamo.’

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