Written by Barb B on 17 Jan, 2001
We live in California’s beautiful Napa Valley, and wonderful wines are an important part of our lives and the entertaining activities of our home. Opening wine bottles was a routine task until we discovered a small but unique and unconventional collection of antique corkscrews…Read More
We live in California’s beautiful Napa Valley, and wonderful wines are an important part of our lives and the entertaining activities of our home. Opening wine bottles was a routine task until we discovered a small but unique and unconventional collection of antique corkscrews at a Museum housed within the California Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone facility in nearby St Helena, California.
We quickly developed an interest in antique and fine quality corkscrews (cavatappi in Italian). After doing some research and checking several corkscrew design and collection websites, we discovered that THE most elegant and famous corkscrew in the world is made by the world-famous bicycle manufacturing company, Campagnolo Corporation, of Vicenza, Italy.
Campagnolo is, first and foremost, a world class manufacturer of one of the most prestigious and finest quality bicycles in the world. They began their operations in 1933 in a small workshop in Vicenza when Tullio Campagnolo, was a rising star on the Italian cycling scene. Over the years they have grown and become a major economic force in the manufacturing economy of Vicenza.
Besides the fabulous cycling equipment, they also manufacture one other precision instrument -- a beautiful and quality corkscrew. Campagnolo corkscrews are no ordinary corkscrews -- they are precision instruments, patented for their own particular features. Their stainless steel wormscrew has been developed so that it never pierces out the cork's lower surface; thus avoiding cork fragments in the wine. Its self - centering telescopic bell prevents the glass from breaking and also makes it easy and safe to pull even the most stubborn cork, without shaking the bottle. This is important since, the most expensive and aged wines can be ruined by shaking the sediment within the bottle.
If you develop an interest in corkscrews, you will want to be aware that corkscrew enthusiasts value printed, stamped, raised, etched, etc items on the corkscrew indicating the following:
· patent date,
· manufacturer's name,
· name of the design,
· advertiser's logo,
· or (on the stratospheric European side) a coat of arms
We bought our lovely Campagnolo corkscrew while we were in Vicenza, but you can visit the Campagnolo website at -- http://www.campagnolo.com -- and purchase online. The corkscrew is available in two versions: copper finish and satined finish and THE corkscrew is described as "the first and sole Campagnolo" -- it costs about $85 - $90 (US) plus delivery, tax and import customs.
Some excellent websites for viewing antique corkscrews, getting a "feel" for what is available and checking out a virtual corkscrew museum are -- http://www.bullworks.com AND http://www.corkscrewcenter.com
Written by iandsmith on 15 Oct, 2004
I came to the northern Italian town of Vicenza seeking Palladio and Tiepolo. What I got was a wonderful amount of the former and nothing of the latter.
As usual, I got lost trying to find my accommodation. The night, the rainy weather and the…Read More
I came to the northern Italian town of Vicenza seeking Palladio and Tiepolo. What I got was a wonderful amount of the former and nothing of the latter.
As usual, I got lost trying to find my accommodation. The night, the rainy weather and the traffic served to confuse me. The fact I'd passed within 50m of it at least four times was irrelevant!
Eventually I found it; a B&B hosted by Bob the American expat and his Asian lady. In and out of numerous doors, for which I eventually had enough keys, one of them proved to be the portal to my room.
Vicenza wasn't quite the layout I expected. Then again, visions formed in one's mind of people and places before seeing them are apt to be considerably flawed.
The central heating soon thawed me out of the almost numbing cold that was apparent outside, and I settled in amongst the numerous books that Bob had accumulated. Being an avid reader, this was a plus.
Bob pointed me in the direction of a local trattoria, which turned out to be a wonderful choice with good food and plenty of atmosphere, and I slept well that night before I awoke the next morning to see the snow still falling.
Trudging on my way with an exhilarating expectancy up the hill, I came upon the Villa Valmarana ai Nani. I had hoped to visit it later in the day but, like most of Italy, it was closed ‘till the end of the week so my hoped-for viewing of the famous Tiepolo frescoes would have to wait.
I then turned back on the Via San Bastiano and headed towards the Basilica di Monte Berico. As I approached, the town of Vicenza lay below me, shrouded in smog and haze, atop of which sat the cloud bank.
I made fresh footprints in the soft white snow wherever I walked. To be up around 7.30am on this type of day is a treat. Little traffic disturbs the peace and your mind can wander in extraordinary directions, as can your feet, as I soon went back for breakfast before I headed off for my day in this proud town.
My accommodation was at the base of Monte Berico, atop of which sits the Basilica and its amazing arcade that links the city to its soul if you chose to believe the Christian hype. The covered walkway at times has a fresco, at other times, a nave with a lit candle inside. I'd never seen anything like it before in my life. At the bottom, you go over to the city proper, through an ancient portal if you're lucky enough. It is there that Palladio abounds, and it doesn't matter where you walk in this wonderful town, the architecture will enchant you. Thus, it was that I trod my way down from Monte Berico and braved (I use the word advisedly) the traffic to get to the old city on the other side of the railway line.
The first dramatic indications I had arrived came when I got to Porton de Luzo. The ancient Roman defenses that probably only existed in parts of the urban area were no longer sufficient to give protection to the city after the Hungarian attacks in 899 AD. So, in the next century, the new town walls were commenced though it took till the 13th century to complete them while under Padovani domination. They stretched for 2.62km.
All around there ran a wide moat fed by the waters of the Bacchiglione to the north, and the Seriola to the west, the latter still to be seen in the Giardini Salvi.
There were five main city gates, with drawbridges and protecting towers, which, over the centuries, were all demolished: Porta Feliciana (more south than the present Porta Castello), Porta Berica or Berga (built after the closure of Porton del Luzo, later re-opened), Porta San Pietro (on the present Ponte degli Angeli), Porta Pusterla and Porta Nuova. Then there were two secondary gates to the south: Porta della Racchetta, at the bottom of Contrà della Racchetta, and Porta Carpagnon, at the Barriera Eretenia.
I had my map with key directions to the place where it was best to see Palladio. I was wide-eyed in anticipation, expecting to see colonnades any minute, and then I came across this building shown in my pics (architecture).
One of the most extraordinary pieces of architecture I've ever seen. The coral-like doorway surmounted by worked-brick columns was amazing. Then there was the old-style stonework and, above it, classical statues set in lovely fawn coloured stone.
I thought it one of the most outstanding things I'd ever seen, yet all I can tell you is that it's at 5 Contra Porton Luzzo. No one else seemed to know anything about it. Later enquiries also came up blank.
I pushed on, and two blocks later, I found my man. Yes, there he was, in the surprisingly-named Piazza Palladio, adjacent to one of his larger works, the two-storey Basilica, built over the old Palazzo della Ragione.
Its main frontage is on the Piazza dei Signori, but it's nice to see he was remembered somewhere. The building was Palladio's first public commission and dates from 1549. In the foreground is the main facade of the Basilica, but the columns and their statues are really only a support for the old town hall, which was actually sinking. The roof is a large copper effort, similar in shape to an upturned boat (see photo of the snow-covered town).
With Palladian buildings vying for one's attention, it was almost a relief to see something else get in the way. The 82m high Torre di Piazza at the rear of the main piazza dates from the 12th century, also known as "dei Bissari", after the name of the first owners. You can climb it, but, having already seen Vicenza from Monte Berico lying beneath the heavy cloud, I declined. The piazza is almost certainly the forum of the old Roman town, and the place where two important roads met.
A few blocks to the east I came to the UNESCO Heritage-listed building. It is the Palladian Loggia of the Conti Valmarana. Located in a corner of the Giardini Salvi, it is invariably photographed reflected in the waters of the Seriola. The hexastyle Dorian loggia is crowned by a triangular pediment. It is an interesting example of a building by an artist who always followed the teaching of Andrea Palladio and, it appears, also of Leonardo Valmarana himself.
Then, I got to THE contra. Contra is actually a corruption of contrada which means, literally, district, and thus a contra has become an alternate name for a street in the Vicenza dialect.
The Contra Porti is renowned for having many elegant palazzi and 19 Contra Porti is a typical example. "Riunione Adriatica Di Sicurta," it said on the front, and I was thinking it is now the home of an insurance company and I even wandered into the courtyard beyond the doorway, but to no avail, until, of course, I contacted Anna from the tourist centre and, presto!
Palazzo Colleoni – Porto
It’s one of the most interesting gothic examples in Vicenza, but should have had a second floor; just so that it could give a better vertical image of the perspective, together with the buildings along the street. In the past, it was covered with frescoes of the 1400s in geometrical shapes. Nowadays, the bricks that came out after a restoration are a warm frame to the beautiful moldings.
Usually people in front of this building pass by because it stands between the major palazzi Barbaran Da Porto, Porto-Breganze, and Porto-Festa, but, as in almost every corner of Vicenza, it has had something special to offer: Sebastiano Serlio, in 1539, erected inside its garden a wooden "temporary" theatre, committed by the Gentiluomini della Compagnia della Calza. This represents one of the most interesting experiments for the period, as this kind of theatre was rarely requested.
The Contra can keep you interested for an hour or so if you admire the styles and know something of the history. Otherwise, you'll probably be drinking coffee by now.
Written by Zhebiton on 08 Dec, 2010
Vicenza. A town in northeast Italy, in Veneto. Its population is only 100,000 people, by the standards of citizen metropolis is not very much. But the unusual nature of this city is more than covers all the advantages of large and internationally renowned cultural centers.Getting…Read More
Vicenza. A town in northeast Italy, in Veneto. Its population is only 100,000 people, by the standards of citizen metropolis is not very much. But the unusual nature of this city is more than covers all the advantages of large and internationally renowned cultural centers.Getting through the ancient gate right on the main street of Corso Palladio, hold your breath. As if in a second you are transported from the present to another reality: the narrow streets, monumental facades of large buildings, wide stairs, antique columns, tall windows. Every building - a palace. The whole town is lined with palaces. They are hard to treat - numb neck when trying to capture the magnificence of view on a narrow street.Turn right again, narrow street, another palace, and you're on the main square in Vicenza - Piazza dei Siniora. During its entire length, limiting the area from the east, stretched laced Basilica. Two floors of air arches and columns, topped by a huge dome in shades of turquoise. It is coming here to study and sketch the architectural masterpieces painters, sculptors and architects from around the world.Wrapped around the corner Basilica, balk look at the hem of a frozen white marble figure of a man standing on a low pedestal and looking into the distance. The bearded man, wrapped in a cloak, with a bundle of albums in one hand and lifted to the chest the other, thoughtfully contemplating something as yet invisible to others. That's it - the author of the architectural riot of Vicenza - Andrea Palladio!His real name - Andrea della Gondola. Alias Palladio, after the goddess Pallas Athena, he was with the light hand of his patron - Count Gian Trissino, humanist and writer, 16 th century, fond of elegant sciences and the arts.In 1524, an unknown mason Andrea di Pietro della Gondola in Padua, arrived in Vicenza for a kamenotesnoy workshop. Here, in Vicenza, he became acquainted with Count Trissino who instilled in young artisans interested in art, science and classical literature. That Trissino invited Andrea to begin to study architecture. Guess whether the influential patron, that his players will create a huge number of masterpieces, will go down in history and his name shall be called one of the architectural styles - palladianstvo?Yes, yes, Andrea Palladio - the world's only architect whose name is an architectural style! And our theaters, modern palaces of culture and historic mansions look exactly the way they look, thanks to Andrea Palladio.Corso Palladio brings us to the Piazza Matteotti, to yet another creation of our architect - Theatre Teatro Olimpico, the oldest in the world of theater that has survived intact since the building. Stadio Olimpico - the last work of Palladio. Conquered and enthusiastic Romanesque architecture, Palladio's dream to create the perfect beauty of form of theater. However, building Olimpico inscribed in a medieval fortress, and apparently it does not take over the temple of Melpomene! But inside ... discover the classic Roman amphitheater in a semicircle, complete colonnade ... And the scene, framed by a front facade with the decorations in the form of antique statues and bas-reliefs .... And far away leaving behind a scene from the viewer, narrow streets, similar to the streets of Vicenza itself ... And the blue cloudy sky over your head - plafond, which mimics the southern sky of Italy ... Perhaps the most unusual theater of the world!Palladio built not only the urban palaces, which in this city a huge amount. He built and summer residences, creating, and there are many masterpieces. In the suburb of Vicenza, just 20 miles from the center, is Villa Rotunda - another famous creature of Palladio. In St. Petersburg man here can happen a little deja-vu. In the Rotunda of Pavlovsky Palace is easily recognized Maria Feodorovna, wife of Emperor Paul I, designed and built two centuries later, Charles Cameron, near St. Petersburg. However, in terms of square building, classic shape, white antique columns, tall windows and a round dome crowning the structure. Pavlovsky Palace was the only building so similar to the Villa Rotonda. In Europe there are about 10 buildings, seemingly echoing its shape. And it is - palladianstvo!Surprises and captivates at first sight, this small town on the north-east of the country. It is here that so vividly talents of a man who became a world trendsetter on the architecture.In Vicenza necessarily want to return. Again to walk on the Corso Palladio and watch the magnificent palaces, his head thrown back. Wrapped in those small and narrow streets, which have not had time to pass the first time. Once again sit on the steps of the amphitheater in the Stadio Olimpico. Drink coffee in a cafe overlooking another masterpiece of Palladio. Think and dream. Perhaps this is a real journey. Travel to the city of palaces and many talents of one man. Close