Ciao Buzztrippers! Here I am with another post about Fai Spring Days (to know something more about the event and its development in Pordenone, click here). Last Sunday I opted for Udine, discovering several sites that usually are closed to visits. A famous way of saying declares that “Home is where you heart is”: well, I definitely consider Udine as home, since I spent 5 amazing and unforgettable years there.
Fai Spring Days in Udine have been organized with local high-schools, whose students transformed into young tour guides: several sites (palaces, churches, gardens) have opened their doors, achieving resounding success and attracting many visitors. I chose 3 sites in particular: wondering which ones? Keep on reading and Be Buzztripped!
Fai Spring Days in Udine: Casa Tinghi
Casa Tinghi, once a famous inn called Croce di Malta for travellers coming from Vienna, is a building located in Udine old town (Via Vittorio Veneto): I never noticed it in spite of living in the same neighbourhood, but during Fai Spring Days in Udine I had the chance of discovering a real jewel! Casa Tinghi is renowned for its 16th century frescoes – gigantomachies, Greek gods, classical allegories- by Giovanni Antonio de Sacchis, better known as “Pordenone”, that aimed at celebrating Tinghi Family (rich merchants): unfortunately they are not clearly visible anymore, but if you carefully look at the façade you will identify some subjects, such as Neptune with a mermaid and several putti carrying torches.
The house is now divided into two properties, whose decorations date back to different years: the most impressive one presents a small living room decorated by Pomponio Amalteo in 1535, who curiously mingled sacred scenes (an Annunciation) with secular images (a man hunting in the woods with his dog, putti with floral decorations) in the same room. This area belongs to Pasticceria Carli, a pastry shop that proposes, along with its sweet specialties, works of art, handcrafted objects, antiques.
The other part of Casa Tinghi shows a bas-relief by Antonio Marsure, dating back to 1828-1829: it depicts the death of Epaminonda during the war of Tebe against Sparta and witnesses the rise of a new movement, Pre-Romanticism, opposed to Neoclassicism. As a matter of fact, despite the hieratic neoclassical composition, some of the characters (like Epaminonda) seem dynamic, moved by real feelings: a huge change in artistic canons. Furthermore, this area still presents a small living room with 19th century decorations (elegant floral themes) by Giuseppe Borsato, and displays several scale models, buildings’ projects, architecture books, (since it belongs to an architect office). Besides, I could admire many design objects (such as a typewriter, an example of a Macintosh from the 80s, a design alarm clock), clearly described and illustrated by high-school students during the guided visit: a brief excursus about contemporary design history.
Fai Spring Days in Udine: Palazzo Orgnani and its Secret Garden
The second site I visited during Fai Spring Days in Udine is Palazzo Orgnani (privately owned), whose surprising garden is a little hidden oasis. The garden dates back to 19th century and presents a typical Italian arrangement – with a water fountain, 4 classical statues representing the seasons, an elegant hedges alley, exotic plants, lemon trees. The garden is “introduced” by a wooden beams walkway that forms an internal court (once crossed by carts), where a stone grotesque mask seems to monitor the garden. This sullen mask connected the storages in the upper floors to the ground, through a duct used to transport and collect wheat.
Fai Spring Days in Udine: Second World War traces
Last but not least, I discovered an impressive air-raid shelter, dating back to Second World War, located in the very heart of Udine, in Torso Garden: it has been restored and opened to visits in 2012, as a sign of perpetual memory. Passing through the air-raid shelter deeply upset me, since I did not expect to see a concrete, material evidence of war first-hand. People entered the tube-shaped shelter through two staircases that led to underground galleries. Within the shelter, used during 1944-1945 bombings, people could find just a couple of benches and some essential emergency tools: oil lamps, portable lamps, first-aid kits and gas masks. We were about 20 people in the shelter, and I almost felt claustrophobic… just think that it usually accomodated up to 100 people, with just one squat toilet!This entry was posted in Friuli-Venezia Giulia