HOTEL SAN FRANCESCO ASSISI - FRANCESCO ASSISI
HOTEL SAN FRANCESCO ASSISI - HOTEL BORA BORA PEARL BEACH RESORT
Hotel San Francesco Assisi
San Miniato from the Barbarossa Tower
© Angela M. Lobefaro
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© RIPRODUZIONE RISERVATA
In medieval times, San Miniato was on the via Francigena, which was the main connecting route between northern Europe and Rome. It also sits at the intersection of the Florence-Pisa and the Lucca-Siena roads. Over the centuries San Miniato was therefore exposed to a constant flow of friendly and hostile armies, traders in all manner of goods and services, and other travelers from near and far.
Archaeological evidence indicates that the site of the city and surrounding area has been settled since at least the paleolithic era. It would have been well-known to the Etruscans, and certainly to the Romans, for whom it was a military post called "Quarto".
The first mention in historical documents is of a small village organized around a chapel dedicated to San Miniato built by the Lombards in 783. By the end of the 10th century San Miniato boasted a sizeable population enclosed behind a moat and protected by a castle built by Otto I, from which an Imperial Vicar ruled all of Tuscany.
The first walls, with defensive towers, were thrown up in the 12th century during the time that Italy was dominated by Frederick Barbarossa. Under his grandson, Frederick II, the town was further fortified with expanded walls and other defensive works, including the Rocca and its tower.
During the latter years of the 13th century and the entire 14th century, San Miniato was drawn into the ongoing conflict between the Ghibelline and Guelph forces. Initially Ghibelline, it had become a Guelph city by 1291, allied with Florence and, in 1307, fought with other members of the Guelph league against the Ghibelline Arezzo.
By 1347 San Miniato was under Florentine control, where it remained, but for a brief period from 1367-1370 when, instigated by Pisa, it rebelled against Florence, and for another brief period between 1777 and 1779 during the Napoleonic conquest. It was still part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany when the Duchy was absorbed into the newly-formed Kingdom of Italy in 1860.
 Main sights
The city is enclosed within a well-preserved medieval precinct. Main landmarks include:
* The Tower of Frederick, built by Frederick II in the 13th century on the summit of the hill at an altitude of 192 meters, overlooking the entire Valdarno. Here was imprisoned Frederick's chanchellor Pier delle Vigne until his death. During World War II it was destroyed by the German Army to prevent the Allies from using it as a gun sighting tower, but was reconstructed in 1958.
* The Duomo (Cathedral), dedicated to both Sant'Assunta and Santo Genesio or Saint Genesius of Rome. It was originally a Romanesque building, but it has been remodelled several times and exhibits Gothic and some Renaissance arcchitectural elements. The facade incorporates a number of colorful majolica bowls. The interior has Latin cross plan with a central nave with two side aisles. The cathedral's campanile, a fortification annexed in is called the Matilde Tower and features an asymmetrical clock.
* The Diocesan Museum, next to the cathedral. This museum-gallery contains works by Filippo Lippi, Empoli, Neri di Bicci, Fra Bartolomeo, Frederico Cardi (known as Cigoli) and Verrocchio.
* Palazzo dei Vicari, built by Emperor Otto IV during the 12th century, the palazzo incorporates one of the oldest known crenellated turrets. The interior has a number of interesting frescoes. It is now an hotel.
* Palazzo Comunale. This 14th century building is still San Miniato's Town Hall. Its great hall was decorated by Cenno di Francesco Cenni. It also features a small oratory, containing a 16th century altarpiece.
* The church of San Francesco. Originally built in the early 13th century with a Romanesque facade, its interior features Gothic style chapels and frescoes from the 14th and 15th centuries.
* The church of San Domenico was originally constructed in the 14th century, but has an incomplete facade. Its interior contains terracotta works by Luca della Robbia, a fresco attributed to Masolino da Panicale and a burial monument sculpted by Donatello. Next to the facade begins the Via Angelica, a tunnel that connected the countryside to the city.
* Convent of San Francesco. Purportedly founded by Saint Francis of Assisi himself in 1211 when he visited the city, the Convent stands behind the city higher up on the hill.
Other buildings and monuments worth seeing include the Bishop's Sanctuary, with a Baroque facade in the design of an amphitheater, designed by Cigoli and the Sanctuary of the Crucifix, recently restored, the desanctified Chiesa di San Martino, which has done duty as a convent, and then a prison, but which will now be used for conventions.
There are also a number of Renaissance palazzi, built by such aristocratic families as the Roffia, Grifoni, Formichini and the Bonapartes, ancestors of Napoleon.
 White truffles
During the last three weeks of Novem
SUITE HOROVITZ” IN SCENA VENERDI', SABATO E DOMENICA presso il San Luca Hotel
Ci siamo. Da venerdi 4 febbraio a domenica 6 febbraio lo spettacolo "Suite Horovitz", diretto dal registra Andrea Paciotto e dedicato a Ellen Stewart, andra in scena negli spazi del prestigioso Hotel San Luca. Una doppia replica giornaliera (alle 18 e alle 21) permettera al pubblico di scopire lo spettacolo scritto sulla base del testo firmato dal celebre drammaturgo e sceneggiatore statunitense Israel Horovitz.
Nel testo di Horovitz, il regista Andrea Paciotto coglie con sapiente ironia e grande senso dell'umorismo le tante fragilita dell'animo umano che l’autore racconta. La scelta della location diventa uno strumento per narrare senza artifici e calare lo spettatore nel luogo della rappresentazione: un hotel. Scena dopo scena, in questo viaggio itinerante dalla hall alla sala da pranzo, alle camere da letto, il pubblico diventa il testimone indiscreto di sei storie brevi, commedie ironiche, divertenti, provocatorie e a tratti commoventi. Allo spettatore sembrera di osservare due uomini conversare al bar, di spiare una scenata tra due amanti, di intercettare un volto o di incrociare una persona di passaggio. E’ cosi che “Suite Horovitz”, con un pizzico di sano voyeurismo, realizza una delle perversioni piu innocenti e distratte dell'animo umano: comprendere le storie che si celano dietro a situazioni quotidiane, sguardi rubati, conversazioni origliate fortuitamente, persone incontrate per caso. Una rappresentazione ritmata, resa ancor piu frizzante dalle scelte stilistiche del regista Paciotto, acuto e lungimirante sperimentatore del teatro contemporaneo.
Lo spettacolo nasce dal lavoro congiunto di Andrea Paciotto e il gruppo di attori Anna Ferzetti, Giorgio Marchesi, Michele Nani, Francesco Rossini, Nicole Sartirani, Simonetta Solder, Andrea Jeva Quacquarelli e Francesco Domenico D’Auria gia insieme nel 2009 con “Trilogia Horovitz”. “Suite Horovitz”, prodotto da Offucina Eclectic Arts, Compagnia Horovitz Paciotto, con la collaborazione de La MaMa Umbria International e Settembre al Borgo, andra in scena dal 4 al 6 febbraio al San Luca Hotel di Spoleto e dal 6 all'8 maggio all' Hotel Valle di Assisi. Fissate anche le date milanesi della tournee che approdera a Milano, nel cartellone del Teatro Elfo Puccini, dall’11 al 13 marzo presso il Doria Grand Hotel.
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