THE LOCANDA MARTORELLI IN ARICCIA (The fantastic story of a small inn)

When you arrive in Ariccia, you’re immediatly enraptured by the scenography of the square and, probably, you don’t notice the two very normal windows that open into a small terrace just above the chemist. But if you look up, you can see the banner on the railing of the balcony, with the image of Goethe. That is the Locanda Martorelli.

The Locanda Martorelli is a historic building closely linked to the Grand Tour d’Italie. It is located in Piazza di Coorte in Ariccia.

The story begin in 1917 when Antonio Martorelli buy the building and turns it into an inn in 1920. Ever since the Inn osted many famous artists who passed for Ariccia in the context of the Grand Tour.

Started as a simple inn, slowly became a meeting poit for musicians, writers, painters who shared the experience of the Grand Tour, changing in  a real academy of painting.

Among the celebrity who have stayed at the famous Inn we can remember G.M. Guglielmo Turner, Antonio Richter, G. Fedrico Overbeck, Nino Costa, Antonio Ligeti, G. Cristiano Andersen, H. Jorgen Hammer, Massimo D’Azeglio, Goethe, Orazio Vernet, Enrico Ibsen, Longfellow, Byron, and Gogol who during his stay wrote a chapter of the novel “Dead Souls”.

This great artists, who spent periods of study and resort in the Locanda, spread through their poetry and painting, the image of the Castelli Romani in the whole Europe.

The special friendship that was created between Mr Martorelli and the Polish painter Taddeo Kuntze, ispired the artist who wanted to honor his friend by decorating the inn. So, he literally covered with paintings throughout the central all of the locanda with a series of tempera wall created between 1770 and  1771 telling the whole history and mythology of the ancient Latin city of Aricia that once included also the modern towns of Genzano and  Nemi.

 

In 1988 the Locanda Martorelli was purchased by the town of Ariccia, very carefully restored and is now used to host art exibitions.

 

 

A FEW OF HISTORY: THE GRAND TOUR

 

Goethes Italian Journe

The Grand Tour was a long trip in Continental Europe made by the rich young European Aristocrats in the Seventeenth Century and intended to perfect their knowledge. This trip could last from a few months to several years. The main destinations were France, Italy and Greece.

During the Tour, the youngs learned to know the politics, culture, arts and ancient history of the European countries. They spent their time doing sightseeings, studying and purchasing local goods.

Italy, with its heritage from ancient Rome, with its monuments, became one of the most popular destination.

Many politicians and diplomats, poets and writers, but also merchants and businessmen, mainly interested in collecting, and sometimes whole families were protagonists of the Tour.

The idea of a trip as a training tool which, by comparison, develop critical awareness, originated in England and from there spread to Continental  Europe and later to America. The disposition of English culture towards the empiricism, determines the preference for direct experience instead of the dogmatism of the medieval scholastic tradition.

The term “Grand Tour” appeared for the first time in 1670 in the “Voyage of Italy, or a complete journey through Italy” of Richard Lassels.

The eighteenth century saw a boom of the Grand Tour. At the end of 1700 every respectable European man of culture must have completed at least one journey in Italy.

The countryside around Rome, and especially “Castelli Romani” were much appreciated by this host of travelers. Many of great artists who hosted in Castelli Romani stayed in the “Locanda Martorelli” in Ariccia. Among them there were G.M.Guglielmo Turner, A.Richter, G.F.Overbeck, G.C.Andersen, E.Longfellow, Ibsen, Ivanov, Corot, Stendhal, M.D’Azeglio, Taddeo Kuntze………..Until March 25th museums of Alban and Prenestini hills host the exhibition of the Grand Tour………………to be continued

THE FRUITS OF THE GOLDEN LAND

During the months of September and October, is celebrated a bit all over Italy, the grape and  wine. The Castelli Romani  are famous for the wine, they honor this great gift of land with festivals and events in almost every town. Next weekend let us go in Velletri for the Festival of Grapes and Wines. Rich program that start  with the decoration of  the streets, squares and fountains. Opening of  “Living Wine” tasting points. At the city park “Checkers and Chess while drinking,” Giant Chess Game, Tastings, Music and Games until 20:30 when the historical parade will take place at night. The festival continues Sunday with a parade of flag-wavers, and at 16:00 with the historical procession along the city center. 17:00 hours Joust of the Quintana, 18:00,  Race of running barrels and  “Crushing Grapes”. Music, dances, wine and local specialties until late at night. In these two days the museums will be open to visitors entrance at reduced rates. The Tourist Information Point in Piazza Garibaldi will remain open to provide guidance and information about the event. Sunday 25th,  local shops will remain open 10/00 – 13/00 and 16/00 – 21/00. In the 2-day event, all over the streets you can find places with stand tasting of agricultural products, fancy goods and curiosities, music and entertainment of various kinds. Some restaurants offer special menus at special prices. Special event this year becouse the group of historical re-enactment of Marino  will honor’ the celebration bringing in the event the triumph of Marcantonio Colonna, who has been successfull in the famous battle of Lepanto. A great gesture of peace and mutual recognition between the two cities.