Post beautiful architecture and landscapes from Europe

ratchet_fan

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English Countryside
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Sao Miguel Island, Azores
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Ukranian Forest Steppe
R0vbp4ScJKBU__cXSTNEMXQZWXtTw1ugWWw_1rD6J6gLtcQloCrU-bVaezOeYXt9luhZpnE56U8b6rnkL9hGj-CM36l-Pbaxcy7D604eDtDs0_Qyxhjh9Yry-QWiffhuOgkVW02OyZt6wOBJ_hLRRxA1T-I

HpyU97B7bWGDU1hcSpxLKRmbfWZk8uotVd0IP5yyKB28HrafaYJeWGCaEn-s8CIjOYvMxSaiS15Fw6uHDcNt-YHp3GQx_3a4AKrxKgUia5Hc1cbkP0vCnWpI2oP3kFVRWSJ6f-qq0pkSAg

Grand Place
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Trevi fountain
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the villas of Lake Como
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El Retiro Park, Madrid
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Lake Ladoga
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Musee des Confluences, France
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In my opinion, no more beautiful piece of architecture has ever been created than Marcus Agrippa's Pantheon, and especially the feeling you get when you're in the interior. Whenever I go to Rome I try to stay in walking distance so I can slip inside early morning or late afternoon when it's mostly empty. It's as if I'm in the navel or the womb of the universe. It probably has to do with it being a perfect sphere.

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I'm also particularly fond of Santa Maria della Consolazione outside Todi:
1200px-Santa_Maria_della_Consolazione_%28Todi%2C_Umbria%2  C_Italia%29.jpg


Venezia is, of course, just one breathtaking view after another:
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St. Mark's Square used to be called the living room of Europe.

Saint-Marks-Square-Venice-Italy.jpg


Here it is in a movie. :)

I've also always been fond of the square and church in Amalfi, with its Moorish influence.

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Assisi is impressive too, and much more "religious" than the Vatican.
basilica-of-st-francis-of-assisi-assisi-italy.jpg


As for landscapes, we're spoilt for choice: Alps, lakes, rivers, coastlines on the Med, you name it.

That's why they call Italy Il Bel Paese.

For my money, the Amalfi coast is the most beautiful coastline in Europe, although the Italian Riviera is nothing to sneeze at either.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6EijGiJt5Q

No one should miss the gardens of the Villa Cimbrone or the other beautiful gardens of Ravello either.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjkOwwGarDc
 
Piazza Navona

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I find the English countryside wonderfully bucolic and kind and welcoming to the eyes, it has the view of some place that "feels" like a home. But I can't help but wonder: is there anywhere in England where can still see what the natural landscape was like originally? I doubt it was originally so deforested, mostly fields and sparse trees amidst meadows with some islands of dense vegetation in between. That looks really lovely, but also something tells me it is... unnatural. Is there any totally protected area in the rolling landscapes of the inlands of England?
 
1-duomo.jpg


As for landscapes, we're spoilt for choice: Alps, lakes, rivers, coastlines on the Med, you name it.

That's why they call Italy Il Bel Paese.

Angela, now I'm in love with that piazza e chiesa! Wow, that's my kind of thing: stunningly beautiful and sophisticated, but not overwhelmingly luxuriant and majestic, tasteful art that invites you and embraces you, not "oppresses" you with its glory. The place seems so cozy! Thank you for showing it to us, now I really want to include it in my plans when (God willing that will happen) I make my first trip to Italy. ;)
 
Angela, now I'm in love with that piazza e chiesa! Wow, that's my kind of thing: stunningly beautiful and sophisticated, but not overwhelmingly luxuriant and majestic, tasteful art that invites you and embraces you, not "oppresses" you with its glory. The place seems so cozy! Thank you for showing it to us, now I really want to include it in my plans when (God willing that will happen) I make my first trip to Italy. ;)

As I've often said, the Amalfi Coast and Capri are, imo, among the top most beautiful places in the world. However, all the towns, including Amalfi, are handkerchief sized. It's hard to believe that such a tiny place was such a mighty seafaring and trading center, which is why they adopted all that Moorish stonework, of course. It makes more sense that San Marco in Venice is so Byzantine looking given the size of its dealings with the Byzantines over the centuries.

Anyway, it's definitely worth a visit, but I would suggest spring and fall because with the small spaces, the heat and the tourists, I find it oppressive.

If we do go in the summer we stay in the much more spread out and modern Sorrento, and then just take a bus or boat to the town of our choice for the day, and we tend to go either very early morning or late afternoon and take lunch and some time at the pool during the middle of the day.

I have a thing for cloisters, and there are beautiful ones in the cathedral of Amalfi.

There are certain smaller towns in Italy which I love: Amalfi and Ravello, the latter with its magnificent English and Italian gardens, are two, Santa Margherita on the Riviera, Cortona, Perugia, Todi, Spello, Assisi in early morning or late afternoon, some towns on the lakes, Forte dei Marmi for summer beach bumming etc.

Even in the larger cities there are some gems which hardly get visited however. I told you I have a thing about cloisters.

13th century cloisters: San Giovanni in Laterano

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Cloisters of San Paolo fuori le muri
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Every time I'm in Rome, I go to San Clemente al Laterano. It teaches me to take the long view. :)

"The Basilica of Saint Clement (Italian: Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano) is a Roman Catholic minor basilica dedicated to Pope Clement I located in Rome, Italy. Archaeologically speaking, the structure is a three-tiered complex of buildings: (1) the present basilica built just before the year 1100 during the height of the Middle Ages; (2) beneath the present basilica is a 4th-century basilica that had been converted out of the home of a Roman nobleman, part of which had in the 1st century briefly served as an early church, and the basement of which had in the 2nd century briefly served as a mithraeum; (3) the home of the Roman nobleman had been built on the foundations of republican era villa and warehouse that had been destroyed in the Great Fire of 64 AD."

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Roads are architecture too. I always like to take a stroll along the Appian Way when I'm in Rome, sometimes a couple of times:
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No, I've never heard anyone ask me "Quo Vadis". :)
 
I find the English countryside wonderfully bucolic and kind and welcoming to the eyes, it has the view of some place that "feels" like a home. But I can't help but wonder: is there anywhere in England where can still see what the natural landscape was like originally? I doubt it was originally so deforested, mostly fields and sparse trees amidst meadows with some islands of dense vegetation in between. That looks really lovely, but also something tells me it is... unnatural. Is there any totally protected area in the rolling landscapes of the inlands of England?

Some more images
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Regarding the Italian and English gardens:

It seems the former are very symmetrical and the latter are asymmetrical (which wikipedia says is a Chinese influence?). Are all European gardens symmetrical besides English gardens?
 
@ratchet_fan

If you're really interested in landscape gardening, this is a nice video which takes you through the Villa Cimbrone gardens.


The spectacular La Foce Gardens in the Val D'Orcia are famous around the world. The daughter of Iris Origo and the Marchese and an English landscape architect explain the theory behind the marriage of Italian Renaissance Gardens and English Gardens which created so many spectacular gardens in Italy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qnDu-cZwWQ
 
@ratchet_fan

If you're really interested in landscape gardening, this is a nice video which takes you through the Villa Cimbrone gardens.


The spectacular La Foce Gardens in the Val D'Orcia are famous around the world. The daughter of Iris Origo and the Marchese and an English landscape architect explain the theory behind the marriage of Italian Renaissance Gardens and English Gardens which created so many spectacular gardens in Italy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qnDu-cZwWQ

That was a good watch.

I also watched this video on English gardens. Some really beautiful landscapes here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6dEmJOnJvI&t=1986s

There was no mention of any Chinese influence. These beautiful gardens were the work of William Kent and Capability Brown. People are trying really hard to find crypto East Asian influence and claim European achievements.
 
As I've often said, the Amalfi Coast and Capri are, imo, among the top most beautiful places in the world. However, all the towns, including Amalfi, are handkerchief sized. It's hard to believe that such a tiny place was such a mighty seafaring and trading center, which is why they adopted all that Moorish stonework, of course. It makes more sense that San Marco in Venice is so Byzantine looking given the size of its dealings with the Byzantines over the centuries.

Anyway, it's definitely worth a visit, but I would suggest spring and fall because with the small spaces, the heat and the tourists, I find it oppressive.

If we do go in the summer we stay in the much more spread out and modern Sorrento, and then just take a bus or boat to the town of our choice for the day, and we tend to go either very early morning or late afternoon and take lunch and some time at the pool during the middle of the day.

I have a thing for cloisters, and there are beautiful ones in the cathedral of Amalfi.

There are certain smaller towns in Italy which I love: Amalfi and Ravello, the latter with its magnificent English and Italian gardens, are two, Santa Margherita on the Riviera, Cortona, Perugia, Todi, Spello, Assisi in early morning or late afternoon, some towns on the lakes, Forte dei Marmi for summer beach bumming etc.

Thanks very much for all these tips, Angela. You're so cruel to write this and show these great pictures of such (no pun intended) pictureques places right during social isolation times amidst the pandemic, when I can't travel even to the neighboring state, let alone Italy (as if I had the money right now to make that trip, but whatever, I can at least dream...). ;) But for what it's worth I can only say this thread has made me even more confident that Italy is the sine qua non destination of my first trip to Europe!



Cloisters of San Paolo fuori le muri
cloister-of-san-paolo-fuori-le-mure-rome_orig.jpg
What a beautiful cloister! It conveys so much peace and spirituality, but in a lively, colorful way that is not afraid of beauty! Amazing.
 
Apparently English Gardens were influenced by paintings Capability Brown saw of Chinese gardens and that inspired the natural gardens. Are English Gardens the only natural gardens in Europe? Still kind of silly to me that the English couldn't come up with that by themselves.
 
Apparently English Gardens were influenced by paintings Capability Brown saw of Chinese gardens and that inspired the natural gardens. Are English Gardens the only natural gardens in Europe? Still kind of silly to me that the English couldn't come up with that by themselves.

English medieval gardens owed something to the memory of Roman gardens. After all, wandering tribesmen aren't planting decorative gardens.

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They also owed something to practicality; they needed to grow herbs close to the buildings as well.
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Then, with the Renaissance, ancient Roman landscape design was all the rage.
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With time the style became more naturalistic.

It's just a question of changing fashions

My favorite type of garden: the English cottage garden. It's one of their great contributions to culture, imo.

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Even a small one is very time consuming, but it's a labor of love.
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Those are beautiful. I also talked to a friend who is a landscape expert and he says the so called Chinese influence is overrated. According to him english gardens developed the way they did due to the internal changes in societies (such as an increase in civil liberties/rights and just relaxation of rigid customs in general) not because some English guy once saw some paintings of Chinese gardens.

Did Italian gardens become more naturalistic with the times too?

I also saw some videos of some gardens on Lake Como and those were gorgeous especially when combined with views of the lake.
 
I think your friend is correct.

As to Italian gardens, they've incorporated more flowers as time has gone on, but in my experience they're still nothing like an English cottage garden.

Isola Bella:

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It's a different esthetic.
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