Pescarenico: the fishing village which has kept intact its charm over time

«È Pescarenico una terricciola, sulla riva sinistra dell’Adda, o vogliam dire del lago, poco discosto dal ponte: un gruppetto di case, abitate la più parte da pescatori, e addobbate qua e là di tramagli e di reti tese ad asciugare.» Alessandro Manzoni, I promessi sposi. Alessandro Manzoni mentioned Pescarenico in his most famous work, “The Betrothed” and, thanks to the story of Renzo and Lucia and the ingenious pen of their creator this Lecco’s district, in Northern Italy, has become famous. Manzoni wrote that the monastery of the Capuchins, in…

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The stunning statue on the tomb of the legendary Maid Marian

Little Dunmow Church, St Mary, is one of the oldest buildings in Essex, England. The building was originally the chapel of the lady of an Augustinian convent of the 12th century, and inside there is an alabaster tomb depicting one of the most famous women in British history, Maid Marian. Legendary companion of Robin Hood, the literary character was actually inspired by the life and legends surrounding the daughter of a 13th-century Essex baron, Matilda Fitzwalter. Born in the late 12th century, Matilda was the daughter of Robert, Baron Fitzwalter,…

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Yangzhou Zhongshuge: this Chinese library’s interior is designed to look like an infinite tunnel of books

We are in Yangzhou. The Chinese city is known for its graceful arched bridges, proximity to the Yangtze River and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Architects kept these local features in mind while designing Zhongshuge Yangzhou, a new bookstore that features something unique, and a real dream for every reader: black mirrored floors shimmer beneath arched shelves that stretch to the ceiling, creating an optical illusion that turns an ordinary, rectangular room into a cylindrical never-ending tunnel of books. A zig-zagging gap prevents the top of the shelves from touching. When…

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La Mola Lighthouse – Illes Balears, Spain

We are at the eastern edge of Formentera, the most southern of the Balearic Islands. The “Far de la Mola”, also known as Far de Formentera) was drafted by the architect and engineer Emili Pou y Bonet. It was inaugurated in November 1861, at the time of Isabel II, and until 1973 it was not electrified and it used to work with wicks and oil vapor. The lighthouse is 21 meters tall and stands fiercely upon a 258-meter high cliff, the highest point of the island. According to some locals,…

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Love and Death in the Castle of Gradara, Italy

We are in Italy, on the border between Marche and Romagna regions. Here a medieval fortress towers over Gradara: it is a castle where love and death entangled for centuries. Built around 1150 on a hill 142 meters above sea level, with the Republic of San Marino, Rimini and Carpegna in the background, the Castle and village of Gradara, enclosed by two rows of city walls, are one of the best-preserved examples of Medieval architecture in Italy and represents an extraordinary urban and architectural combination. The atmosphere of its superb…

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