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Italian Culture

Italy is not just a vacation getaway from the daily bustle of life’s routine. It is an experience that will embrace you, reaching into your core, a total body and mind experience. Stemming directly out of the pages of history, The Italian culture is truly derived from the past. There is not just one single element, which adds to the mystique and characteristic of Italian culture, but rather a multitude of intricate parts melding together and contributing to the culture of Italy.

Italian culture and customs, Italian culture tradition and culture of Italian people

When most think of Italy, they think of the food, the wine, and the beauty of the land, however, Italy, as a cultural experience, encompasses much more than its gourmet cuisine, robust and flavorful wines, and picturesque canvases of beautiful landscapes, that is only a small portion of what goes into the Italian cultural experience. Italian culture is built upon the historical and political seesawing of the past, religious spirituality, Italian art, architecture, theater, music, Italian culture and religion, Italian culture and customs, Italian culture tradition and the culture of Italian people

Historically, Italy changed hands numerous times; experienced wars, and political ravaging, yet, despite the pitfalls, Italy’s cultural foundation emerged. People knew then that this piece of land was special, was important, and each new group who became the controlling force, left behind bits and pieces, which lends to the cultural character Italy holds today.

One cannot walk the narrow creviced streets of an Italian village without feeling the ooze of culture secreting at every corner turned. The aged facades of buildings and houses, tarnished by weather and history, yet stand strong because of what they hold, the virtues of a family. Each town built around a center, the heart of the village, where you can hear the tolls of the hour passing, as the bell tower belts out the chime.

Italian renaissance art history and history of Italian art

Take a moment, whether religious or not, and step into an Italian church. The adorning frescoes are visible traces of pure spirituality, a spirituality, which has been passed on through history. Roman Catholicism is still the majority religion of today’s Italy, with a smaller percentage of the population being Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim. With the papacy holding house in Rome, Romanesque, Baroque, and other artistically designed churches dot the surrounding country. However, it is interesting to note that within many of these churches and other architectural structures there are clues of a time long gone, a time before Christianity, a time when Italy was mostly a pagan society, worshipping Roman Gods.

Italian art, Italian renaissance and the history of Italian art

Italian art, both ancient and modern, is extraordinary. Italian art has origins that began with the Etruscans, who worked in bronze and terracotta, leaving behind statues and funerary relieves in the northern region of Italy. The Roman period of Italian art brought with it the use of mosaic artwork, sculptures, and more dramatic works of art, which can be seen in the ancient ruins that have been left as a reminder of Italy’s past. During the Byzantine period in Italy, artists were used more and commissioned to work on bigger projects throughout Italy, with the Byzantine style of painting found in works dated up till the 14th century. As Italian art evolved, it transitioned from medieval to the renaissance, but not before it experienced the Gothic period. Gothic architecture emerged during this time, and can be seen all through out Italy. It spawned artists like Giotto, and Cimabue, who were often commissioned by the church to work on frescoes. Then came the Renaissance, and with it brought artist change. Artists used better proportions and perspectives. Not only was the papacy commissioning works of art, but also the very wealthy, such as the Medici family. This period gave birth to artists like Michelangelo, who painted the Sistine Chapel and sculpted the famous David and the Pietà, Leonardo Da Vinci and his Mona Lisa and Last Supper, and Donatello with his paintings of the Madonna. Italian art style continued to grow and change as the times and people changed. It moved from mannerism to Baroque to more modern works in expressionism, futurism, surrealism, and a move back to the past with classical modernism. All this can be found throughout Italy, and the artistic expressions are very much part of the Italian culture.

Italian renaissance

Artistic expression has been seen and felt in the forms of theater and music throughout the history of Italy. Early theater productions were based on classical literary works, while others were adapted to fit the political atmosphere of the times and often used for propaganda purposes, or in a comedic way. Theater is alive and well in today’s Italy, while it still embraces elements of classical theater, there has been a progressive modernization that has brought theater into present times. Music in Italy may have had its origins in the ancient chants of monks in monasteries. The renaissance period produced composers, operas, and orchestral performances. Italians invented the piano and musical notation. Early musicians included Vivaldi, Verdi, Puccini, Bellini, and Rossini. There is even Celtic influence found and heard in music in some northern regions of Italy. Of course, today, music in Italy still retreats to the classic and ancient sounds of the past, but has moved forward, even adapting to its own style of hip hop.

Culture of Italian people and Italian culture tradition

Italian culture is dependent upon its people. Their ability to appreciate days long gone and incorporating it into the days still to come, is an intricate part of why tourists become so enveloped by the Italian culture. It is the lure, which does captivate the whole being. The warmth and friendliness, and festive customs set against the panoramic scenery known as Italy, what more can you ask for.

Italian culture and the culture of Italian people

The cultural experience of Italy stimulates all senses. Italy, sometimes called a ‘living art gallery’, truly lives up to that characteristic. This boot shaped peninsula, jutting out into blue green seas, holds within its shores a museum of diversity, and a blend of old and new, all nestled upon a breathtaking landscape.

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