We spent three days during Christmas time doing nothing but eating and chilling……….it was about time we had some exercise, before the New Year’s Eve dinner ………….
The day after Christmas is St. Stephen’s Day (or Boxing Day in some countries) and it’s a public holiday in Italy. Perfect day for me and my daughter to have a long walk, even if the weather wasn’t so good….We started exploring an old exclusive building courtyard……
Then we crossed the St. Francis Gate, one of the five ancient gates that gave access to the city (and remembered today with the others in september, when the local Palio is held) and that is today home of a dialect theatre company, Famija Pramzana (Parmesan Family)………
We crossed one of the many bridges over the river….(daughter M on the left)….
towards the Oratory of St. Mary of the Graces, but unfortunately it was closed……..
In 1617, in the presence of Ranuccio I Farnese , the first stone of the Oratory was put in place. The court architects had an important part in the project, especially Gian Battista Magnani . In 1644 the architect Girolamo Rainaldi built the octagonal lantern, which gave a new light source at the height of the presbytery. In the same year the south entrance to the church was opened. On the interior of the central plan construction there are remarkable works of art from the 1600s and 1700s. In 1715 Sebastiano Galeotti created refined figures inside.
Our path led us to the place where once stood the local Registry Office (I got my wedding licence there too….) now destined to a residential complex. The construction works are now held up because of the discovery of the ruins of the convent of Discalced Carmelites (for the time needed to save some important pieces) and because of some issues about the height of the new building in a part of town subject to urbanistic restrictions due to its historical importance……
Through a narrow street we walked to our final destination…..
the biggest park in town, the Ducal Park, the “giardino” (garden) for all my fellow citizens….
The piece of art below is called “Gruppo del Sileno” (Silenus Group) and it’s a faithful copy (in order to protect the original from decay, now housed in the Boudard’s Musemum) of the work of Jean-Baptiste Boudard (1766 ) situated in the original spot near the Arcadia Temple
The Arcadia Temple was designed by Petitot on the occasion of the wedding of Ferdinando, the son of Don Filippo of Borbone, and Maria Amalia of Austria (1769) and it was meant to be an exclusive place for the amusement of dukes inside the Park. It was used several times as a stage for Arcadian plays and poetry contests. The temple and its decorations have been recently restored. Even the surrounding area has
been rearranged according to Petitot’s original project. Excavations have brought light traces of a wooden canalisation which used to bring water to an artificial spring. The latter was meant to create an Arcadian pastoral scenery on the occasion of the Duke’s wedding in 1769.
It always surprises me how beautiful my home is, especially when trrying to catch a moment in a photo…….