Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Please scroll down as more pictures have been added from previous days.

Visiting Florence

The Group Enjoys Dinner at Castello di Leonina in Tuscany

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Choir Sings at Mass in St. Peter's

The choir had the privileged of singing at mass held by the Cardinal at St. Peter's Basilica.

Providence College performs at St. Peter's Basilica (Rome) on Sunday, May 22, at 5:30 PM

The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter is located within the Vatican City. St. Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding 60,000 people. It is the symbolic "Mother church" of the Catholic Church and is regarded as one of the holiest Christian sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".
In Catholic tradition, it is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. Tradition and some historical evidence hold that Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St Peter's since the Early Christian period. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century. Construction of the present basilica, over the old Constantinian basilica, began on April 18, 1506 and was completed on November 18, 1626.
St. Peter's is famous as a place of pilgrimage, for its liturgical functions and for its historical associations. It is associated with the papacy, with the Counter-reformation and with numerous artists, most significantly Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564), an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer. Michelangelo took over a building site at which four piers, enormous beyond any constructed since the days of Ancient Rome, were rising behind the remaining nave of the old basilica. He also inherited the numerous schemes designed and redesigned by some of the greatest architectural and engineering brains of the 16th century.
Incidentally there are over 100 tombs within St. Peter's Basilica, many located in the Vatican grotto, beneath the Basilica. These include 91 popes, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, and the composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Exiled Catholic British royalty James Francis Edward Stuart and his two sons, Charles Edward Stuart and Henry Benedict Stuart, are buried here, having been granted asylum by Pope Clement XI. The most recent interment was Pope John Paul II, on April 8, 2005.

City Facts about Vatican City

Vatican City, officially the State of the Vatican City, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, the capital city of Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares, and a population of just over 800.
Vatican City is a city-state that came into existence in 1929. It is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the main Episcopal see of 1.147 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe. Ordinances of Vatican City are published in Italian; official documents of the Holy See are issued mainly in Latin. The two entities even have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, only issues diplomatic and service passports; the state of Vatican City issues normal passports. In both cases the passports issued are very few.
Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state, ruled by the bishop of Rome - the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergymen of various nationalities. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See (Sancta Sedes) and the location of the Pope's residence, referred to as the Apostolic Palace. The Popes have resided in the area that in 1929 became Vatican City since the return from Avignon in 1377.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Singing in Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

The choir received a last minute invitation to sing in the most important basilica in Rome at one of the most important events in Catholicism: Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore for the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Signor Cardinale Bernard Francis Law of the United States.

PC College Choir the "special musical guest" for Cardinal Law at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome

We are very excited at Incantato Tours to having managed that the Providence College Choir is the "special musical guest" today at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome for a High Mass honoring Cardinal Law - a fellow American in Italy. 
The Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, or Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major, is an ancient Catholic Marian Basilica of Rome. The church is believed to have been constructed under the reign of Pope Sixtus III between the years of 432 and 440. It is considered one of the four major papal basilicas, and together with Saint Lawrence outside the Walls, was formerly referred to as part of the five “patriarchal basilicas” of Rome associated with the five ancient sees of Christendom. Also known as the Liberian Basilica, the church was formerly presided over by Pope Liberius who housed many congregations of early Christians in Rome. Santa Maria Maggiore stands as the only Roman basilica that retained the core of its original structure, left intact since its original construction even following the earthquake of 1348.
The name Santa Maria Maggiore reflects two very important ideas of greatness, that of a major papal basilica and that of the largest Roman church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Following the formal ending of the Avignon papacy when the papacy officially returned to Rome, Santa Maria Maggiore served as the temporary Palace of the Popes due to the deteriorated state of the Lateran Palace. The papal residence was later moved to the Palace of the Vatican, now Vatican City. 
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Quick Stop at the Ceramic Factory Store leaving the Amalfi Coast

Providence College in Maiori

The Providence group was treated to a welcome reception by the mayor of Maiori in the historical town hall, followed by the Symphonic Winds giving a performance at the gardens of Palazzo Comunale.  Later in the evening, the College Choir gave a concert in Chiesa di San Francesco.

Band Concert in the gardens of Palazzo Comunale, Maiori

After the mayor's reception, the band gave a concert in the gardens of Palazzo Comunale.  Locals were continuously drawn in off of the streets to enjoy the music.

Choir in Chiesa di San Francesco, Maiori

The choir gave an intimate concert for the locals of Maiori in Chiesa di San Francesco.  After requesting the choir to sing the whole concert again, Padre Domenico and the audience were treated to one extra song.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Providence College Choir perform at Chiesa di San Francesco, Maiori - Friday, May 20, at 8:00 PM

Incantato Tours proudly presents the Providence College Choir  in concert at Chiesa di San Francesco in Maiori at 8:00 PM on Friday, May 20, 2011.

The beautiful Chiesa di San Francesco was constructed in 1405. It is located between the convent and the Cove of the Announced one (Grotta dell'Annunziata) in Maiori. The church has a rough history: In 1435 it was destroyed by the army of Muhammad II (Turkey) and rebuilt one year later by Saint Bernardino from Siena. A sea storm hit the Chiesa di San Francesco hard in 1440. It was destroyed and in 1517 reconstructed on the oriental side of the convent. But the work was interrupted again by a Turkish invasion. In 1590 the construction was finally completed. Last but not least there were several constructive modifications after two seas storm in 1631 and 1674. The church is famed world-wide for the miracle of the springing water in the convent. Please click here to go the picture's origin.

Concert in Chiesa di Sant' Agostino degli Scalzi

The Providence College Choir and Symphonic Winds gave a joint concert in front of an audience of over 200 people in the beautiful Chiesa di Sant' Agostino degli Scalzi in Naples.  They were first treated to a few songs by a local women's choir.  After the concert, the audience applauded the choir to sing not one but two more songs.

Choir - Chiesa di Sant' Agostino degli Scalzi

Symphonic Winds - Chiesa di Sant' Agostino degli Scalzi

Local Women's Choir - Chiesa di Sant' Agostino degli Scalzi

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Providence College tour gets international coverage

Dear members and friends of Providence College Choir and Symphonic Winds

Your performances are getting announced through internet as well as by other mass media. Click on the links to see the full story.

Concerto "Providence College Choir and Symphonic Winds" a Napoli Maggio 18 alle 19:30

Incantato Tour & Concert in collaborazione con Associazione "Via Nova" presenta Providence College Choir and Synphonic Wind - Coro e Orchestradi Fiati da Rhode Island USA con la Partecipazione di:"Coro delle Mamme di Sisina" (Progetto Oasi Onlus) Un progetto di Gianni Lamagna

Mercoledi 18 Maggio 2011, ore 19,30
Chiesa di S.Agostino degli Scalzi via S.Agostino degli Scalzi,6

"La passione e la fede: sacra e musica profana per toccare il cuore e nutrire l'anima", presentato dal Providence College Choir and Symphonic Winds, of Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Il Coro è sotto la direzione del Dr. T.J. Harper e Accompagnato dal M° Sherry Humes Dane. La Symphonic Winds Orchestra è guidata dal Dr Bill Jennifer.

L’ensemble corale del Providence College Choir include il Providence College Chapel Choir e tutti e tre gli ensembles del Dipartimento di Musica Corale tra cui I Cantori, il coro più prestigioso del college. Il Providence College Choir si è esibito per il pubblico di tutto il New England e nel mondo. Performances recenti includono Russia, Austria, Ungheria, Repubblica Ceca e Francia. Il coro ha condiviso le sue doti musicali in molte occasioni, con numerosi artisti celebri, rendendoli ambasciatori culturali per Providence College, la città di Providence, nello Stato di Rhode Island e gli Stati Uniti. Ogni primavera, il coro conclude la sua stagione con la sua annuale Spring Choral Masterworks Concert. La Providence College Choir rappresenta con orgoglio una istituzione artistica cattolico liberale che diretto sotto l'egida dei frati domenicani accolgie circa cinque mila iscritti. Dalla sua istituzione nel 1917, il Collegio ha assunto una posizione di rilievo nazionale tra le istituzioni educative.
La Providence College Symphonic Wind esegue concerti musica importante per fiati e percussioni comprese le opere dei grandi compositori inglesi e americani del periodo moderno, nonché trascrizioni orchestrali di brani del passato. Sotto la direzione del Dr. Jennifer Bill, il Providence College Symphonic Wind ha avuto una enorme crescita artistica e continua a fornire il College, la città di Providence, Rhode Island e tutto il New England con spettacoli musicali di altissima qualità.

Incantato Tours presents the Providence College Choir at Montecassino Abbey on Wednesday, May 18 at 10:00 AM

The Providence College Choir, their family and friends of Providence, Rhode Island will tour the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino on Wednesday, May 18, 2011, where the choir will also perform a brief recital.

Monte Cassino is a rocky mountain approximately 80 miles southeast of Rome. Saint Benedict of Nursia established his first monastery here, the source and foundation of the Benedictine Order, in 529. The monastery stands as one of the few territorial abbeys remaining within the Catholic Church. According the Gregory the Great’s biography of Saint Benedict, the monastery was constructed on an older pagan sight, a temple of Apollo that originally crowned the hill. The biography claims that Benedict’s first act was to smash the sculpture of Apollo and destroy the pagan altar. He then reused the temple, dedicating it to Saint Martin, and built a new chapel which he dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. Once established at Monte Cassino, Benedict never left. There he penned the Benedictine Rule which ultimately became the founding principle of western monasticism. Monte Cassino became the model for future Benedictine developments throughout the world. Unfortunately the Abbey has fallen target to numerous military insurgencies throughout the years, including the infamous 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino. On February 15, 1944, the Abbey was almost completely destroyed by Allied air-raids after being mistakenly identified as a German stronghold. In fact, the Abbey was being used as a refuge for women and children attempting to shield themselves from the war. The Abbey was rebuilt after the war, financed by the Italian State, and was reconsecrated by Pope Paul VI in 1964.

Sightseeing-Highlight: Pompeii

Pompeii is a ruined and partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the commune of Pompeii. Along with Herculaneum, its sister city, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in 79 AD. The volcano collapsed higher roof-lines and buried Pompeii under 20 m (66 ft) of ash and pumice, and it was lost for nearly 1,600 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1592. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year.

Providence College 2011 Italy Tour Performance Overview

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

PC students, family and friends arrived safely in Italy

Just a quick note that the PC travelers have arrived safely in Italy.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Providence College Choir and Symphonic Winds performance venue for Monday, May 23 at 11:00 A.M.: Saint Fra.ncis Basilica, Assisi

Providence College Choir and Symphonic Winds, of Providence, Rhode Island, will participate in High Mass in the Chapel of Saint Catherine within Saint Francis Basilica on Monday, May 23, 2011 at 11:00 AM. The Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, better known as the St. Francis Basilica, is the mother church of the Roman Order of Friars Minor, or the Franciscan Order. Assisi is the birthplace of St. Francis, a Catholic deacon, preacher, and founder of the Franciscan Order. The Catholic Church also recognizes St. Francis as the patron saint of animals, the environment, and one of the two patron saints of Italy along with St. Catherine of Siena. Serving as the final resting place of St. Francis, the Basilica remains one of Italy’s most important destinations of Christian pilgrimage. Founded in 1228, St. Francis Basilica is built into a hillside and comprises two separate churches known as the upper and lower basilicas and the crypt of the interred saint. The interior of the upper church exemplifies early Gothic architecture, and both churches flaunt intricate frescoes by late medieval painters from the Roman and Tuscan schools. Along with the accompanying friary, the basilica is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and valuable landmark in the Assisi community.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Providence College group flight schedule

Those of you who chose the air-land package will be flying the friendly skies on the long-hauls with one of the world's premier airlines, British Airways, on the 2011 Providence College Performance Tour to Italy.

Departure to Europe:
Monday, May 16, 2011
BRITISH AIRWAYS flight BA214, leave BOSTON BOS at 10:00PM
Arrive at LONDON-HEATHROW LHR at 9:15AM on Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Arrive in ROME FCO at 4:15PM

Return to USA:
Thursday, May 26, 2011
BRITISH AIRWAYS flight BA549, leave ROME FCO at 1:35PM
Arrive in BOSTON BOS at 7:15PM

Providence College 2011 Performance Tour itinerary

Dear travelers of the Providence College Choir and Symphonic Winds, This is the updated itinerary. Details are subject to change as this journey becomes more and more your tour and to enhance the overall experience. Enjoy!

DAY 1 Monday, May 16, 2011
Overnight flight to Rome
The travelers leave Boston on British Airways flight BA214 at 10:00 PM.

DAY 2 Tuesday, May 17
Benvenuti to Italy
After a stopover in London, the travelers arrive in Rome at 4:15 PM. Your Incantato tour manager welcomes you at the airport. Board the coach and head towards Castrocielo for a welcome dinner at your Hotel Liolà and first overnight.

DAY 3 Wednesday, May 18
Via Montecassino to Naples
Visit the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino and perform a recital. Continue on to explore the ancient sites of Pompeii and Ercolano before heading to Naples. Overnight stay at the Ramada Naples.

DAY 4 Thursday, May 19
Naples in-depth
See Naples with a local guide, then continue to Maiori and explore the area on your free afternoon. Overnight stay at the Hotel Sole Splendid or Reginna Palace.

DAY 5 Friday, May 20
Amalfi & Maiori Concerts
Visit Amalfi then return to Maiori for a special dinner and a concert at Chiesa di San Francesco. Maiori and its citizens have been frequently featured in feature films by Rosselini and they have a deep appreciation for choral music.

DAY 6 Saturday, May 21
To Rome
The capital of Italy is just a few hours drive away. Start your time in the Eternal city with a guided tour of the Coliseum and Roman Forum and end the day with free time for shopping and relaxing. Overnight stay at Casa Domitilla.

DAY 7 Sunday, May 22
Vatican Visit & High Mass at St. Peter's Basilica
Explore the Vatican Museums and St. Peter‘s Basilica, then prepare to be the featured guest performers for a special High Mass at the magnificent cathedral and for a recital at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.

DAY 8 Monday, May 23
Umbria, Tuscany excursion & Mass
Head to nearby Umbria to visit Assisi, then continue to Siena. You will sing in the Basilica of St. Francis, followed by a rustic farmhouse dinner. Overnight stay at Hotel Montaperti.

DAY 9 Tuesday, May 24
Florence Visit & Mass in Rome
Explore the capital city of Tuscany with a local guide and see its many highlights, including the Accademia Museum, followed by free time in Florence. In the late afternoon return to Rome to prepare for your high mass performance at Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore. Overnight stay at Villa Vecchia.

DAY 10 Wednesday, May 25
Papal Audience & Concert
Participate in the Papal Audience, then enjoy some free time before you prepare for your finale performance at Basilica Sant' Agnese in Agone, followed by a fantastic farewell feast with Roman specialties and music to conclude the day.

DAY 11 Thursday, May 26
Flight to USA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport. British Airways flight BA549 leaves Rome at 1:35 PM. After a stopover in London the travelers arrive in Boston at 7:15 PM. Return home with memories for a lifetime.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tuscan wine - dolce vita with Incantato Tours

Tuscany's winemaking industry counts on one of the most noble and ancient traditions that predates the universally known Chianti wine that often springs to mind when this region is discussed.

Long before the first Etruscans made their appearance, wild vines grew in abundance all over the sunny rolling hills of Tuscany. The Etruscans are believed to have domesticated and bred the forbearers of such grapes as the Sangiovese and the Lambrusco from those early feral grapes. No matter where or how the first vines originated, grapes and the much sought after wines they were made into have been celebrated in local literature throughout all historic times of the region, and even farther back to the paintings and pottery decorations of those original ancient Etruscans.
The hilly soil and the weather conditions of Tuscany are ideal for grape growing and, with the passing centuries, the numerous types of grapes grown gave rise to some rare and much loved varieties. Nowadays, the most grown variety is the noble Sangiovese, which is often combined with small amounts of locally grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo and other grapes into wonderful blends such as the Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano, Carmignano and, of course, the signature Tuscan wines, the Chianti and Chianti Classico, which probably are the best known Italian wines in the world. Other grapes grown here are the Mammolo, Malvasia, Colorino, Raspirosso, Gamay, Grand Noir, Barbera, Moscatello, Aleatico and Vernaccia, among others.
Tuscany accounts for over thirty DOC and half a dozen of DOCG wines. In addition to the great, well-known and appreciated reds, the local production includes a few distinguishable whites, the most notable among them being, without doubt, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Other delicious whites include the Bianco d'Elba, from the Elba Island, Bianco di Bolgheri, Vermentino, Bianco di Pitigliano and Bianco di Val di Nievole. (Bianco in Italian means, "white").
Last but not least, we can't forget the famous Vin Santo, or “Holy Wine”, a dessert delicacy usually made from Trebbiano grapes that have been left to dry in an airy place until the start of Holy Week before being made into wine.