Orvieto and the Feast of Corpus Christi

Orvieto atop a butte

The town of Orvieto is an Etruscan city located in the scenic region of Umbria, between Firenze (Florence) and Roma (Rome).I first visited the medieval town of Orvieto in 2002, and again in 2006.  It’s the eucharistic miracle which is preserved there that I want to tell you about today—but first, let me tell you a little about this picturesque little town. *     *     *     *     * Getting Up There - Orvieto sits atop a volcanic rock, on a high butte overlooking the plain; and our group rod … [Read more...]

FOR THE GUY WHO HAS EVERYTHING: How About a GARGOYLE for Christmas?

Gargoyle - Duomo

Get them while you can:  Milan’s Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente, is putting its 135 gargoyles up for adoption.Italy’s “culture budget” is smaller this year; but the Duomo requires essential maintenance, even in a lean economy.  The gargoyle adoption program is an effort to protect the world’s fourth-largest cathedral and, as Cathedral management has stated, “to encourage the Milanese and citizens of the world to be protagonists in the history of the cathedral."I should note … [Read more...]

Two Mary’s! Giotto’s “Birth of the Virgin” Raises an Interesting Question

Birth of the Virgin by Giotto

September 8 is the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary-- and I've got a question for you:  WHY are there two babies in this picture?This painting, titled “Birth of the Virgin,” is by the Renaissance artist Giotto di Bondone (better known simply as “Giotto.”)  It’s one of a fresco cycle on the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary.Giotto’s work can be seen in the basilica at Assisi and in the campanile (bell tower) of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Basilica of St. Mary of the Flower … [Read more...]


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