Friday, November 12, 2010

Welcome to Italy!

Italy is located partly on the European Continent and partly on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe and on the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily and Sardinia. Italy shares its northern, Alpine boundary with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The independent states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within the Italian Peninsula, and Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland. The territory of Italy covers 301,338 km² and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. With 60.2 million inhabitants, it is the sixth most populous country in Europe, and the twenty-third most populous in the world.
The land known as Italy today has been the cradle of European cultures and peoples, such as the Etruscans and the Romans. Italy's capital, Rome, was for centuries the political centre of Western civilisation, as the capital of the Roman Empire. After its decline, Italy would endure numerous invasions by foreign peoples, from Germanic tribes such as the Lombards and Ostrogoths, to the Normans and later, the Byzantines, among others. Centuries later, Italy would become the birthplace of the Renaissance, an immensely fruitful intellectual movement that would prove to be integral in shaping the subsequent course of European thought.
Through much of its post-Roman history, Italy was fragmented into numerous kingdoms and city-states (such as the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Duchy of Milan), but was unified in 1861, a tumultuous period in history known as the "Risorgimento". In the late 19th century, through World War I, and to World War II, Italy possessed a colonial empire, which extended its rule to Libya, Eritrea, Italian Somaliland, Ethiopia, Albania, Rhodes, the Dodecanese and a concession in Tianjin, China.
Modern Italy is a democratic republic and the world's eighteenth most developed country, with the eighth or tenth highest quality of life index rating in the world. It is a founding member of what is now the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Italy is also a member of the G8 and G20. It is a member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Council of Europe, and the Western European Union as well. The country's European political, social and economic influence make it a major regional power, alongside the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Russia, and Italy has been classified in a study, measuring hard power, as being the eleventh greatest worldwide national power. The country has a high public education level, high labor force, is a globalised nation, and also has 2009's sixth best international reputation. Italy also has the world's nineteenth highest life expectancy, and the world's second best healthcare system. It is the world's fifth most visited country, with over 43.7 million international arrivals, and boasts a long tradition and several achievements in the arts, science and technology, including the world's highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites to date.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Home away from home: Villa Vecchia, Rome

The St. Bonaventure's College Performance Tour will spend the night of April 16 at the Villa Vecchia Hotel, Rome. The hotel is surrounded by a park which features a swimming pool and a terrace with views of the city and the Roman Castles. All 92 rooms in this four star hotel offer air conditioning, satellite television, direct line telephone, wireless internet connection, electronic safe for valuables, and hair dryers.

Home away from home: Hotel Capannelle, Rome

The Saint Bonaventure's College Performance Tour will stay at the Hotel Capanelle, Rome, from April 10 through 12, 2011.
The Hotel Capannelle Roma sits approximately 5.5 miles from the center of Rome and a 25 minute drive from Vatican City. From the hotel, guests can view the ancient “Villa dei Quintili” and the Roman Aqueducts. The hotel offers continental breakfast each morning, and the on-site Marco Polo Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, serving a range of regional and international dinners in an informal atmosphere. The Hotel Capannelle’s 252 guest rooms come equipped with air conditioning, direct-dial telephone, blackout curtains, desk, safe, satellite television, wireless internet connection, and an en suite bathroom with shower/tub combination and hairdryer. Recent reviews compliment the hotel’s cleanliness and comfort as well as their helpful staff. 

Home away from home for the Performance Tour: Amici di San Francesco, Maiori

The Saint Bonaventure's College Performance Tour will stay at the Amici di San Francesco, April 13 through 16, 2011. 
The Religious House of Hospitality, "Amici di San Francesco," is located in Maiori along the Amalfi coast, known for its historical, artistic and cultural heritage. The house is annexed to both the 15th century convent and famous church of Saint Francis. The Amici di San Francesco’s prime location places it near the Sorrento Peninsula, the archeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the island of Capri.
The standard multi-bedded guest rooms come equipped with television, telephone, and mini-refrigerator. The grounds also offer a public library, a small theater, lemon garden, and private beach. The on-site kitchen also offers guests traditional Neapolitan cuisine prepared with local ingredients.  

Home away from home for the Shadow Tour: Reginna Palace Hotel, Maiori

The Saint Bonaventure's College Shadow Tour will stay at Maiori's Reginna Palace Hotel from Wednesday, April 13 through Saturday, April 16, 2011. The four star Reginna Palace Hotel is located in the heart of Maiori, along a private beach, with a beautiful view of the bay. The hotel offers comfortable guest rooms, two convenient lifts, and a restaurant. A large Mediterranean garden with tropical vegetation awaits the guests outside. Amenities featured in guestrooms include air conditioning, televisions, telephones, and wireless internet connection. Bathrooms feature shower and tub combinations, bidets and hair dryers. The hotel recently underwent extensive renovations, completed in 2008. Recent reviews of the Reginna Palace Hotel praise the cleanliness, comfort and location, and especially the kind and helpful staff.

Your performance tour travel route through Italy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SBC Newfoundland performance venue for Tuesday, April 12 at 9:00 PM: Church of the Gesù in Rome

On Tuesday, April 12 at 9:00 PM, St. Bonaventure’s College Wind Ensemble and Chamber Choir will perform at Church of the Gesù in Rome. The Church of the Gesù is the mother church of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order also known as the Jesuits. Officially named Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù all'Argentina, its facade is "the first truly baroque façade", introducing the baroque style into architecture. The church served as model for innumerable Jesuit churches all over the world, especially in the Americas. The Church of the Gesù is located in the Piazza del Gesù in Rome. First conceived in 1551 by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits Society of Jesus, and active during the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent Catholic Reformation, the Gesù was also the home of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus until the suppression of the order in 1773.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Incantato Destination: Monte Porzio Catone, Italy

Monte Porzio Catone is a municipality of the Province of Rome in the Italian Region of Latium and lies approximately twenty kilometers southeast of Rome in the Alban Hills. In addition to the Church of Saint Gregory the Great, erected in 1666 by Carlo Rainaldi for the Borghese family, ome of the town’s main attractions include the Astronomical Rome Observatory, the Museum of Wine, the City Museum, and the Iseo Alari Community School of Music.
The Astronomical Rome Observatory was built in 1939 and is located two kilometers from the city center. The structure rises from the remains of “Matilda’s Villa,” a first century Roman Villa. Originally built for the purpose of preserving the equipment of the National Observatory in Rome, the rationalist-style Astronomical Rome Observatory now promotes astronomic and scientific studies through educational initiatives and exchanges with schools and universities.
Opened in 2000, the Museum of Wine not only provides visitors with the highest quality wine tastings, but also takes guests through the process of creating wine. A tour of the museum teaches visitors, through the use of photos and demonstrations, the intricate steps of the wine production process. The museum even houses its own exclusive wine cellar.
The Monte Porzio City Museum is housed within a recently restored seventeenth century cathedral within the heart of the city. The museum illustrates the multi-thousand-year history of the city through such exhibitions as archeological findings, medieval papal pottery, and seventeenth century art.
The Iseo Ilari Community School of Music was founded by the Monte Porzio Catone City Administration in 1999. Through not only classes, but also performances and workshops, the school succeeds in encouraging social interaction and acceptance through the dissemination of music and cultural arts. The school, a recognized institution of the Italian Association of Schools of Music, currently offers studies in Classical Tradition and Music Performance.

For more information on Monte Porzio Catone, Italy, please visit:

Incantato Impressions: Rome

Meet the Catholic School Pontificio Istituto delle Maestre Pie Filippini in Naples

When in Naples, the travelers of St. Bonaventure’s College Wind Ensemble and Chamber Choir of St. John’s, Newfoundland in Canada will get in touch with students of the Pontificio Istituto delle Maestre Pie Filippini.

Who they are (from the website): We are an Institute of consecrated life with an apostolic purpose. We continue the work of Jesus the Teacher in our times (Const. Art. 1). We consider our principal ministry to be that of Christian education of youth and of adults, especially women (Const. Art. 3). "Religious" is the substantial nucleus of our oblation to God and of our mission as "Teachers", consecrated through being invited to fulfill, with the heart of Christ, a service of love, above all among the young. For this, we are named Religious Teachers. The name "Filippini" leads us back to the person of Lucy, on her journey of becoming Christ-like, which arose from careful contemplation of the Mystery of the Incarnation, of the Cross, and of the Eucharist.

Friday, October 1, 2010

About the private tour of Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

The Vatican Museums are indisputably one of the finest collections of art in the world. Over the centuries, Papal patrons have commissioned renowned works such as the magnificent frescoes of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, and those by Raphael in his stanze. The museums also host some of the most important sculptures from the ancient world, such as the Laocoon and the Apollo Belvedere. Incantato Tours is thrilled to offer the St. Bonaventure's College Wind Ensemble, Chamber Choir, and friends the opportunity to see these works as they were originally viewed and contemplated by the Popes who created the Museums. A private after-hours visit during your 2011 Incantato Performance Tour to Italy is truly a once in a lifetime experience, a chance to have this astounding collection to yourself and fellow tour members for two hours.
Incantato's private visit to the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel will be led by a specialized docent/expert
guide and is just open to members of your tour. We also provide headsets to everyone for a truly individual experience. This is an exceptional opportunity for an intimate visit and lecture on the Vatican and its impressive art collection without the press and chaos of the crowds. Last but not least, the choir has been granted permission to give a recital in the Sistine Chapel which is a an unforgettable experience - both for the performers and the audience.
Please note that not all galleries will be accessible to us during this after hours visit. The Pinacoteca and Egyptian collections are not available for viewing after closing hours. The opportunity to view the Belvedere Courtyard is also dependent on the route the Vatican guards allow us to take. We normally spend a significant amount of time (35-40 minutes) inside the Sistine Chapel and divide the rest of our time between the Gallery of Maps, Tapestry Gallery, and Raphael Rooms, including other collections as time and security permits.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Incantato Impressions: Amalfi Coast

Visit ancient Pompeii

Pompeii is a ruined and partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the commune of Pompeii. Along with Herculaneum, its sister city, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in 79 AD. The volcano collapsed higher roof-lines and buried Pompeii under 20 m (66 ft) of ash and pumice, and it was lost for nearly 1,600 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1592. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year.

About Capri

Capri is an Italian island in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrentine Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples, in the Campania region of southern Italy. It has been a resort since the time of the Roman Republic. In the latter half of the 19th century, Capri became a popular resort for European artists, writers and other celebrities. John Singer Sargent and Frank Hyde are among the prominent artists who stayed on the island around the late 1870s. Sargent is best known for his series of portraits featuring the beautiful local model, Rosina Ferrara. Also in the 19th century, the natural scientist Ignazio Cerio catalogued the flora and fauna of the island. This work was continued by his son, the author and engineer Edwin Cerio, who wrote several books on life in Capri in the 20th century.

The picture is from the official homepage of the Capri tourism office.

Visit Maiori

Maiori is a town and community on the Amalfi coast in the province of Salerno (Campania, Italy). It has been a popular tourist resort since Roman times, with the longest unbroken stretch of beach on the Amalfi coastline. The origins of the town are unclear but the original name of the town was Reghinna Maior, in contrast to the neighbouring town, Minori, Reghinna Minor. All places along the coast were formed by alternating conquerors - such as the Etruscans or the Romans. Between 830 and 840, the places of the coast united to form a confederation of Amalfi States. In this Amalfi Sea Republic, the places between Lettere and Tramonti and between Cetara and Positano, along with the island of Capri, were united; and their inhabitants were all called Amalfitaner. At that time, each city retained its own name and administrative autonomy, but had a specific role in this federation. Later it became part of the Principality of Salerno, and then of the Kingdom of Naples, of which it followed the history until the 19th century.

Incantato Impressions: Charming Frascati and Castelli Romani