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30 January 2012

ArtOdysseys: Raphael’s ‘School of Athens’ in the Vatican Museum

Completed in 1511, Raphael's "School of Athens" decorates one of four walls in the Stanza della Segnatura, one of four rooms in a suite of apartments intended for Pope Julius II.  Now part of the Vatican Musuem, this academic gathering of history's most brilliant is accessible to everyone and it's wonderful!  Photo: WikiMedia Commons.  
Welcome to the ArtSmart Roundtable! Each month, the Roundtable—a group of travel bloggers / art aficionados who are passionate about discovering art while exploring destinations around the world, publish this monthly series that highlights a particular art-related subject. January’s topic is wall paintings and when I think of wall paintings, I can’t help but think of the magnificent frescoes that decorate many a chapel, museum, city hall—among others, throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Topping my list of favorite frescoes are Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel of course, but I’ve already written about the agony and ecstasy of the Sistine so I thought I would shift my focus to my second favorite Renaissance artist Raphaello Sanzio da Urbino or more commonly known as Raphael! I hope you enjoy this closer look at Raphael’s “School of Athens” and the next time you’re in Rome, make sure you set aside time in your itinerary to visit the Vatican Museums to see this master stroke of genius up close and personal.

29 January 2012

Szentendre, Hungary: Colorful Past, Color-full Present

A double rainbow above the Danube at Szentendre. All content and photography in this article are property of Penny Ewles-Bergeron. Please do not use without permission.

I am thrilled to welcome Guest Blogger Penny Ewles-Bergeron to EuroTravelogue. Also known as @abroadbrush on Twitter, Penny can't live without art, music, politics, food and travel. After years in London and Dublin, she now resides in Naples—which luckily provides plenty to paint, photograph and write about—truly, her "brush with italy." When she's not creating her masterpieces, Penny contributes regularly to ItalianNotebook.com where she imparts her knowledge and shares her experiences while she calls Napolitown home.  At the end of this article, she gives her personal recommendations when visiting Szentendre so be sure to check them out.  I hope you enjoy Penny's "impressions" of Szentendre, Hungary.  

22 January 2012

In Pursuit of Provence, France—Hilltop Towns and Fields of Lavender

The allure of Provence, France, beckons with the sweet fragrance of lavender and historic sites of medieval towns.  All photography in this article is the copyrighted works of Brian Jannsen unless noted.  Unauthorized use is prohibited.   
Perhaps the most sublime in all of France, Provence evokes images of medieval towns, hills of lavender fields swaying in the breeze and the sweet romance of the sea. Stretching from the Alpine mountains through the meandering Rhône River valley before surrendering to the Mediterranean, the lands of Provence promise the most delightful and dramatic landscapes around every bend in the winding roadways throughout the region. Stop by one of the hilltop towns alive with bustling marketplaces and festivals throughout the year celebrating both the spiritual and secular. In the countryside, you’ll find rolling hills of lavender bursting with life and filling the air with the most intoxicating perfume imaginable. Later in the summer, fields of sunflowers bathed in golden light seem to disappear into the horizon. Perhaps it’s the romance of the sea that beckons? Head to the south of this region to Saint Tropez and Nice and let’s not forget the glitz and glamour of Cannes! It’s all here in Provence, France.