Art 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. 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. The 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.
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. Even 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.
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.
If you love Italian culture and art, then the yoga holiday in Italy is a good occasion to make wonderful tours. This area is rich in places where the life and traditions of medieval monastic communities are still being felt. A lovely setting for the yoga holiday in Italy!
Beautiful frescoes, impressive architecture and sculpture, all conceived with the aim to express harmony. This inspiring art together with the suggestive Mediterranean scenery (and temperature!) is a delightful experience. And wherever you stop to have a snack or meal, the food is genuine.
The medieval monasteries were important patrons of art throughout the centuries, and their wishes and religious ideas influenced the local arts in a striking way. On many idyllic locations early Medieval monasteries, abbeys, churches and chapels have survived – located in green natural parks, in the mountains, on top of the hills far away from civilization, and also in the historical centre’s of villages and cities.
Lovely to visit during the yoga holiday in Italy: the Abbey of Chiaravalle di Fiastra surrounded by woods and Roman remains, the Augustinian monastery of S.Nicola in the heart of the Medieval city Tolentino and the monastery of Macereto in the National Park of the Sibilini Mountains.