Giro d'Italia 2017

The heraldry of Italy
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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2017

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 09 May 2017, 04:50

Joe - thanks!

Chris - you left out my "if" clause ;)
- "If" we're not as open to modern styles as we would like younger folk to be open to the older styles we may prefer... (paraphrasing because I'm not computer literate enough to cut & paste an exact quote...)

I'm not advocating that we abandon older styles, even Baroque which isn't my favorite; the greater variety the better. But that variety also, to my mind, includes modern styles, even if they aren't our personal favorites.

Doesn't mean we can't criticize individual renditions, however old or new the style, that are bad heraldry because they are too busy or poorly drawn or not faithful to the design they purport to represent. But that's criticism of individual renditions, not rejection of the whole artistic style. (As Joe notes, this one isn't heraldically deficient.)

And to promote an appreciation of heraldry by newer generations, seems to me we must be at least open to artistic styles they will be familiar and comfortable with in their own pre-heraldic experience. That is likely to be a more useful teaching tool than older styles that are essentially a foreign visual language - which even if they see it as beautiful, will to them be abstract art - like a foreign film without voiceover or subtitles. Better a simpler presentation in a visual language they can more easily understand. Once they absorb enough basic heraldic knowledge, they can then see, understand, and thus hopefully appreciate the older styles.
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Chris Green
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2017

Postby Chris Green » 09 May 2017, 06:15

Today (Tuesday) the Giro resumes in Sicily, specifically at the town of Cefalu on the northern coast.

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The finish is at Mount Etna, which I assume is quiescent at the moment. On the way, the cyclists pass through Bronte, a name which may be familiar to those familiar with British naval history and/or the Napoleonic Wars. It was the Dukedom given to Lord Nelson in 1799 by King Ferdinand III of Sicily in gratitude for the assistance he received in suppressing revolt in Naples, enabling him to recover his throne.
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Chris Green
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2017

Postby Chris Green » 10 May 2017, 08:06

Wednesday's stage starts at Pedara on Sicily's east coast:

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The route takes the Giro through Taormina with its unusual female centaur (no reason why all centaurs should be male!):

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The destination is Messina, which is at the north-eastern tip of Sicily (opposite the tip of the "boot" of the Italian mainland):

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The tinctures may reflect Messina's former ownership by Spain.
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2017

Postby Chris Green » 11 May 2017, 08:58

Today (Thursday) the Giro, having crossed the Straits of Messina, starts from Reggio Calabria:

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Blazon: D'azzurro al S. Giorgio in atto di ferire con la lancia il drago, sinistrato da una donzella genuflessa in manto e corona reale, sormontata da raggi di luce uscente dal capo, il tutto d'oro, con la scritta intorno allo scudo: Urbs Rhegina Nobilis Insignis Fidelissima Provincae Prima Mater et Caput.


The route later passes through Vibo Valentia whose arms feature a lion rampant balancing precariously on a mound:

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JMcMillan
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2017

Postby JMcMillan » 11 May 2017, 13:24

Chris Green wrote:The route later passes through Vibo Valentia whose arms feature a lion rampant balancing precariously on a mound:


Practicing his "crane" technique.

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Joseph McMillan
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Chris Green
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2017

Postby Chris Green » 12 May 2017, 08:05

Today (Friday) the Giro sets off from Castrovillari in northern Calabria, an area once settled by the Normans under Robert Guiscard

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Guiscard

Its arms consist (predictably) of a castle:

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The finishing line is at Alberobello in Apulia, so the cyclists will have crossed to Italy's heel.

I have not (yet) been able to discover any story behind the fight between the man-at-arms and the lion depicted in the coat of arms. Fully armoured or not, keeping the tree between oneself and the lion seems sensible!

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Re: Giro d'Italia 2017

Postby Chris Green » 13 May 2017, 08:13

Saturday's stage of the Giro starts from Molfetta whose arms are I suppose heraldic - just:

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SPQM stands for "Senatus Populusque Melphictensis " (Melpha was the ancient name).

The finishing line is at Peschici whose arms may be more heraldic but scarcely more interesting:

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En route the cyclists pass Manfredonia, whose arms are rather more interesting. Whether the mounted bishop should be wearing gold or red robes seems to be a matter of opinion, as is whether the bridge should be red (brick) or white (stone). Either way, the dragon is green:

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Manfredonia is one of those places which, like Alexandria and Karlstad, are named after ("named for" if you are American) their founder, in this case King Manfred of Sicily.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manfred,_King_of_Sicily
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2017

Postby Chris Green » 14 May 2017, 07:31

Neither the stage 9 (Sunday) starting point, Montenero di Bisaccia, nor the finish, enigmatically called "Blockhaus" (a WW2 structure?) boasts a coat of arms. But the Giro does pass through Chieti, supposedly one of the most ancient cities in Italy, founded by Achilles and named Theate in honour of his mother Thetis. To this day the inhabitants are called Teatini and not Chietini. Chieti's arms, officially granted as late as 1943 but in use earlier, feature Achilles on horseback:

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Blazon: Il pelide Achille su un destriero rampante in campo azzurro armato di corazza, elmo e schinieri, con scudo ellittico nella sinistra e spada nuda nella destra. Una croce bianca divide in quattro parti la faccia esterna dello scudo. In ognuna di esse giace una chiave d’oro. Lo stemma e’ sormontato da una corona regia dalla quale pende ai due lati un nastro recante la scritta “TEATE REGIA METROPOLIS UTRIUSQUE APRUTINAE PROVINCIAE PRINCEPS”.


The arms of the province of Chieti are completely different:

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I have yet to fathom out what the charge in chief might be. The arms are probably derived from those of the earlier province of Abruzzo Citra, part of the Kingdom of Naples:

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The latter arms have a similar charge in chief, but without the nails. Could it be a yoke? (no not a joke!)
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Arthur Radburn
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2017

Postby Arthur Radburn » 14 May 2017, 14:05

Chris Green wrote:The latter arms have a similar charge in chief, but without the nails. Could it be a yoke? (no not a joke!)
Si. According to the blazon given in the provincial government's corporate identity manual, it is "un giogo rosso bovino" which Google translates as "a red cattle yoke".
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2017

Postby JMcMillan » 14 May 2017, 22:58

Possibly an allusion to King Ferdinand II of Aragon, who was also king of Naples, and whose badge was an ox-yoke.
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