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Monthly Archives: April 2015

All the colours of the rainbow

Frescoes in the Chapel of Saint Nicolas of Tolentino in Marche Italy

In the medieval town Tolentino, Marche, Italy, is located in the historic center, the convent of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, with impressive frescoes from the school of Giotto, painted in all colours of the rainbow. This place where pilgrims travel to since many centuries is only a fifteen minutes’ drive from the yoga school.

The inventiveness, creativity and visual expressions of the artists were employed to communicate with humans, relaying insights, stories and events.Marche, Italy Yoga holiday - Art in the convent of San Nicolas Tolentino As, for example, in this magnificent chapel of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, with frescoes painted around 1325, probably by Pietro da Rimini, a pupil of the great Giotto.

The walls are divided into compartments in which stories and miracles are displayed of the life of the local Saint Nicholas, of Christ and Mary. Tolentino Italy convent saint NicolasThe ceiling opens up to an ultramarine blue sky with golden stars from where the four evangelists (Matthew, Luke, Mark and John) and the church fathers (Jerome, Gregory, Ambrose and Augustine), gaze from above to the viewer.

Marche Italy artAlong with the spectacle of allegories, symbols and mythical creatures it is just breathtaking.

And every spectator can see his or her own story, that’s why it is so wonderful to just be in the room. The longer you remain seated on one of the wooden benches, the more windows open before your eyes; scenes with people, saints, animals, plants, all put down in a naturalistic way. A-4-Tolentino-s-nicolaEven the supernatural is depicted on a human scale. An angel appears surrounded by beautiful warm colour tones; the soul that rises from a corpse, the artist shows it. And the eye that wants to see is a witness.

The Chapel of St. Nicholas of Tolentino was painted shortly after the famous Basilica of Assisi.
The peaceful and evocative city of Saint Francis is a two days’ walk from the yoga school, or one day by horse (or 1 hour by car). It is a journey through the Apennine Mountains and then suddenly the town of Assisi appears as in a vision set against hills and mountains.

That’s where the story continues, more extensive, with artists such as Cimabue, Giotto, Lorenzetti and Simone di Martini.

Frescoes in Italy

 

Phaedra de Zeeuw has travelled as “a pilgrim, a pilgrim of art” (Bernard Berendson, Pellegrinaggi d’arte) to monasteries, churches, medieval occupations and glorious Renaissance cities in Marche, Italy, and happily gives ideas or tips for visiting inspiring places during the yoga holidays in Italy.

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Places that make you feel good

 

Places that make you feel good, spaces that are designed by architects to elevate the soul. The region Marche in Italy is rich in places like this. Within just a few minutes’ drive from the yoga school Yoga Marche ASD lies the abbey of Fiastra, one of the best conserved and most important early medieval monuments of Central Italy.  

the abbey of Fiastra in the middle of woods, Marche Italy

Here you can admire the play of light and the beautiful colors. And enjoy the silence and spaciousness.

These evocative surroundings create a new space-time concept that is fertile ground for new thoughts, for new inspiration, for a new way of seeing or interpreting, of one’s own life but also of life in a broader sense.

This environment surely enriches the yoga holiday in Italy, it gives peace and inspiration.

Abbey of Fiastra, order of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

These places are a tangible trace of a past and a way of life that is no longer there, but so palpable during your stay here, such as the rhythm of life in harmony with nature, and the ideals.

It is a relief for every city dweller, or any person with a full and busy life. On entering the various spaces one feels the divine inspiration directly. The rhythm of the capitals, the infinitely high walls, the wooden beams, suggestive arches and frescoed niches provide a unique atmosphere.

 

A group of monks started with the construction of the church in the year 1142, the complex then grew with several rooms, including the dining room for the brothers and the olive hall, and the underground storage in the form of a labyrinth.Marche, Italie, abdij van Fiastra

Here lived and worked a group of friars together under the rule of Saint Benedict: Orat et Laborat. A part of the day dedicated to study and prayer, and a part devoted to working.

holiday-italy In the Sala del Capitolo was read daily from the writings of Saint Benedict. This room with stone arches and colored masonry is very popular with filmmakers.

The lay brothers were innovative farmers and worked the many acres of land that were donated by landowners to the abbey over the centuries. They were self-sufficient and contributed to the flourishing of this part of Italy.

abdij van Fiastra Italie

The beautiful cloister gives access to the kitchens, the kitchengarden and the adjoining palace Palazzo Giustiniani Bandini with its lovely English gardens.

 

Here we are reminded of the possibility to live according to the pursuit of higher ideals. But especially of love and humility, of living in serenity, knowing that we are always accompanied by a greater whole.

 

Abbey-Fiastra-Marche-Italy

Phaedra de Zeeuw has travelled as “a pilgrim, a pilgrim of art” (Bernard Berendson, Pellegrinaggi d’arte) to monasteries, churches, medieval occupations and glorious Renaissance cities in Marche, Italy, and happily gives ideas or tips for visiting inspiring places during the yoga holidays in Italy.