A High-rise Forest in the Center of Milan

Busy cities are often referred to as “urban jungles”, but one of Milan’s modern high-rises gives a whole new meaning to this popular idiom thanks to some uncommon landscaping. In 2014, Italian architect Stefano Boeri unveiled his latest design in Milan’s rising Porta Nuova district; a skyscraper called Bosco Verticale. In English, Bosco Verticale means Vertical Forest, which is an appropriate name considering the construction is composed of two towers that between them incorporate more than 1,000 varieties of plants, shrubs, and trees. The buildings were born out of an ambitious and environmentally noble idea: creating sustainable living spaces that not only foster the natural environment of the city, but regenerate it.

Bosco Verticale’s two towers are of differing heights with the tallest measuring 360 feet and the shortest measuring 260 feet. Staggered balconies extend from every side of the towers to suspend 780 trees and 14,000 plants over the city. Each of the 113 living spaces in the complex includes a private garden with vegetation that not only serves to absorb carbon dioxide, but also to protect the space from dust particles, direct sunlight, harsh winds, and acoustic pollution. In addition, the views from the apartments are spectacular, providing panoramas of Milan, the outskirts of the city, and even the momentous Alps in the distance.

The location of the towers in the Porta Nuova district, near the center of Milan, is not a coincidence. The project aims not only to regenerate the Porta Nuova district, but to shift the planning of Milan’s city center towards a greener future. To aid in this vision, the parking areas for Bosco Verticale have been constructed underground in favor of a pedestrian and cycling area above them that spans 40 acres and features additional vegetation and public spaces. The location of the towers near normal skyscrapers also helps to aesthetically revolutionize the city’s skyline. Not only do the trees and plants of Bosco Verticale stand out amongst the city’s sea of grey, but their visual impact is dynamic; as the seasons change, so too will the buildings since the vegetation will adopt the distinct colors of each season.

Bosco Verticale won the International High-rise Award in 2014, an honor that recognizes the world’s most innovative and sustainable high-rises, which is granted every two years by the city of Frankfurt in conjunction with the German Architecture Museum. The Bosco Verticale design aims to be a new standard for sustainable buildings not only in Italy but throughout the world. Recently, Stefano Boeri announced that another tower in the style of Bosco Verticale, but with cedar trees, will be constructed in Lausanne, Switzerland. Currently, there are no plans to implement the design in other parts of Italy, but Parma, Siena, and Bolzano (considered to be three of Italy’s greenest cities) could be perfect candidates for the expansion of this architectural and environmental innovation.

The Gulf of Poets In Liguria Is The Perfect Italian Vacation Destination

Visit The Gulf Of Poets in Liguria, Italy With Trips2ItalyLiguria is a region filled with charming seaside towns and while Cinque Terre may be at the top of everyone’s vacation list, there is much more to be discovered in the Italian Riviera. Take the Gulf of La Spezia for instance, located just south of the famous five villages. Nicknamed the Gulf of Poets, it’s easy to understand how this stretch of coast has been adored by literary icons for centuries. Though it is also filled with colorful fishing villages poised on cliffs like its famous neighbors, this area’s tranquil atmosphere sets it apart. Continue reading “The Gulf of Poets In Liguria Is The Perfect Italian Vacation Destination”

Palio di Siena: The History Of The Contrade Flags & Colors

Tuscany_Siena_palio_horses_blgWe already wrote an article about the Palio di Siena (check the link to have a brief overview of it) but this event is such a big cultural moment not only in Tuscany, but in the whole country of Italy. Intertwined with the horse race, which is the peak of the celebrations, there are so many stories, events, legends, and curiosities which are worth narrating. In this article, I am going to write about the different districts (the so called Contrade) of the city which are involved in the Palio, describing in particular their history, colors, and flags. Continue reading “Palio di Siena: The History Of The Contrade Flags & Colors”

What Is The History Of The Anatomical Theater of Padova, Italy?

Padua_Anathomical_theather_blgPadova’s anatomical theater was the world’s first permanent structure built to promote the study of anatomy through dissections. It is located in the center of Padova inside of Palazzo del Bo, which houses the headquarters of the University of Padova. Conceived by famed surgeon Girolamo Fabrizi d’Acquapendente in 1594, the purpose of this anatomical theater was to allow medical students to witness human and animal dissections in real-time. Continue reading “What Is The History Of The Anatomical Theater of Padova, Italy?”

The Spectacular Boats of Venice’s Regatta

Venice_Historical_Regatta_blgWe previously published an article giving a brief overview of the historic regatta that occurs in Venice every first Sunday in September, but the colorful boats that participate in the regatta each year are certainly worthy of their own article. From the very beginning, boats are the true stars of this event thanks to the opening procession of antique 16th century ships. Participating in the procession are the long Bissone boats, which are shaped like ancient warships and nicknamed “snakes”, and a recreation of the massive Bucentaur, which was the official barge of the Doge. Continue reading “The Spectacular Boats of Venice’s Regatta”

The Origin of Trentino-Alto Adige and The Mix Of Cultures

Trentino_Alto_Adige_Vipiteno_BlgTrentino-Alto Adige, Italy’s northernmost region, has a particular cultural background thanks to its proximity to Austria. In fact, the region has been at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and the Germanic cultures for centuries. With strong influences from both Italy and Austria, Trentino-Alto Adige has formed its own culture and traditions that completely set it apart from both countries.

Continue reading “The Origin of Trentino-Alto Adige and The Mix Of Cultures”

Things To Do In Milan: Visit The New Restored Darsena

Milan_Lombardy_Navigli_view_blgAs many may be aware of, last year the city of Milan hosted the important exhibition EXPO 2015 from the beginning of May through the end of October. To prepare for the increased international attention the city would receive during the several months it hosted this world’s fair, many projects were completed throughout Milan. These projects included not only the construction of the area in which the EXPO itself was to be held, but also the completion of the third stage of Milan’s newest metro line (which now runs from Porta Garibaldi train station to San Siro Stadium) and the restructuring of Milan’s ancient port known as the Darsena. Continue reading “Things To Do In Milan: Visit The New Restored Darsena”

“Frozen” in Time: Six Renovated Homes in Pompeii Open to Public

Ruins of Pompeii, near Naples, ItalyOne of the most famous sites throughout Italy is Pompeii. Located in the Campania region under the majesty of Mount Vesuvius, it is one of those places that you must visit at least once in your lifetime to experience its magical atmosphere that will transport you backwards in time as you walk through its alleys and ruins. Continue reading ““Frozen” in Time: Six Renovated Homes in Pompeii Open to Public”

Italian Towns: Slow Down and Relax in Todi, Italy

Umbria_Todi_Cathedral_blgIn Umbria, nestled in between Orvieto and Perugia, Todi is a town where a slow paced life and wonderful landscapes will bring you back in time and allow you to reconnect with an authentic old fashioned life. Todi, for these reasons, has became one of the favourite locations for Americans to plan their getaways, in this area lots of American artists, photographers and former businessmen have found their new home or retreat. Continue reading “Italian Towns: Slow Down and Relax in Todi, Italy”

Italy Cities: Dive into Polignano a Mare In Bari, Apulia

Polignano al mare, ItalyPolignano a Mare is a charming seaside town located near Bari in the Apulia region of southern Italy. Its name, meaning “Polignano at Sea”, could not be more appropriate since the town rests atop a limestone cliff that suspends it 65 feet directly above the Adriatic Sea. This ancient town was founded by the Greeks in the 4th century BC and it is considered one of the most important historical settlements in Apulia. Today, Polignano a Mare is filled with countless structures that reflect the town’s long and varied history. When walking through the city center, visitors will find streets made of stone, lovely white buildings, inviting piazzas, and panoramic terraces that provide absolutely breathtaking views of the sea below. Continue reading “Italy Cities: Dive into Polignano a Mare In Bari, Apulia”