UMBRIA'S NATIONAL GALLERY NEW LOOK

The National Gallery of Umbria has reopened its doors after a complete reorganization of its rooms and contents. The entire project lasted a year and involved an investment of 5 million euros.

The gallery, which is situated inside the historic Town Hall of Perugia, has the biggest collection of the Umbrian School of Art, which had its maximum period of splendour in the 15th century, producing masters like Perugino (two rooms are dedicated to this iconic artist whose fifth centenary will be celebrated next year with a major exhibition), Piero della Francesca, Pinturicchio, Luca Signorelli, Beato Angelico, Gentile da Fabriano, Duccio di Boninsegna and others of similar standing.

Links to the present age are provided by the section dedicated to modern masters, like Alberto Burri, Pietro Donazio and Gerardo Dottori.

An arrangement with the UMBRIA JAZZ FESTIVAL (9-17 July 2022) to hold concerts in the Museum's Sala Podiani is proving popular. The programme aims at high quality niche music by Festival performers. During the Festival two concerts will be held every day, plus two evening concerts on the 16th and 17th . Those who attend can visit the Gallery either before or after the event at a discounted price.

Gallery Curator Marco Pierini also aims to attract young people (notoriously absent from museums) through a campaign on social media channels.

Info: Tel. +39.075.5721009 https://gallerianazionaledellumbria.it

Posted on 09 Jul 2022 by Editor

IN THE UNICORN'S SHADOW

L'Ombra dell'Unicorno (the Shadow of the Unicorn) is the eye-catching title of an unusual exhibition at the Museum of the Sciences (MUSE), Trento (Trentino-Alto Adige), running until the 9 Oct 2022.

Until last year, Toby, a 2-ton white rhinoceros, was the favourite attraction of the Zoological Garden of Bussolengo (Parco Natura Viva), near Turin, where he had lived for a record 47 years and where he peacefully passed away at the venerable age of 54. Among those who sent messages of regret was the Veneto Regional Governor Luca Zaia, who said “Grandpa Toby “ would be sadly missed.

Toby will live on in taxidermist form in the MUSE, where his gigantic carcass will be at the disposal of scientists and naturalists for study purposes. The present exhibition is dedicated to the plight of the different rhino species today, many of which are at risk of extinction. The creatures are still hunted ruthlessly for their horns, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. In fact, during the last ten years almost 10,000 rhinos have been slaughtered simply to obtain the horns.

The exhibition also traces the origin of the unicorn myth, beginning with the report by a Greek explorer in 400 BC of an animal with a single horn that he had seen in India. The creature subsequently became the legendary horned horse and a Christian symbol of purity.

Info: Tel. +39.0461270311 www.muse.it info@muse.it

Posted on 06 Jul 2022 by Editor

THE PARADISE OF CASERTA

Fragments of Paradise”, a mega themed exhibition opening in the UNESCO listed Royal Palace of Caserta, near Naples, on the 1st July 2022, includes the “Green Museum” section encompassing the vast royal park that extends for 123 hectares of woodland, aqueducts and monumental fountains.

The concept of preserving historic gardens as national treasures, distinct from the magnificent palaces and manor houses they are normally connected to, is relatively new, affirm exhibition organizers.

In this exhibition, the Royal Park of Caserta assumes equal status to the celebrated palace, which rivals and in many aspects surpasses Versailles, as was the intention of Carlo Borbone, King of Naples, and his wife Maria Amalia, who commissioned architect Luigi Vanvitelli to build the aqueduct Carolino to feed the magnificent sequence of pools and fountains. Later, Maria Carolina, wife of Ferdinand IV and sister of Marie Antoinette, ordered the English Garden area, laid out with new botanical discoveries and ancient Roman sculptures from the Pompeii excavations, creating a veritable paradise.

Another section of the exhibition is set out in the Queen's Apartments overlooking the park with some 200 works of art, paintings, sculptures and rare books on botany and herbs recounting the history and development of gardens throughout the centuries.

The exhibition runs until the 16th October 2022.

M. STENHOUSE

Info: Tel. +39.0823.1491213 https://reggiadicaserta.cultura.gov.it

 

Posted on 02 Jul 2022 by Editor

FAIRYTALES COME TRUE

Italy's Ministry of Culture has embarked on an ambitious scheme to inject new life into some of the country's many Borghi (historic old towns) suffering from depopulation and neglect. 21 pilot projects, with funding of 20 million euro each, have been chosen for this far-reaching experiment, which, along with recent social changes such as increases in home-working due to Covid, is expected to revitalize a number of the 300 borghi officially recognized out of an estimated total of 6,000.

Meanwhile, however, a few borghi have gone ahead and are re-inventing themselves. An impressive case is Sant'Angelo di Roccalvecce, a charming hamlet of some 130 souls near the town of Viterbo (Lazio) which launched its own project to transform it into “the Village of Fairytales”. A group of gifted street artists have decorated the walls of streets and houses with gigantic scenes of the world's most popular children's stories.

The project began with a mural of “Alice in Wonderland” in which the artist Tina Loiodice marked the date of the start of the project (November 2017) by setting the White Rabbit's watch at 11/17. Since then, other artists have added their contributions to create a total 21 scenes that enliven the winding old alleys and are attracting an increasing number of visitors.

Info: Tel. +39. 331.8184771 www.comune.viterbo.it

facebook: sant'angelo di roccalvecce

Posted on 28 Jun 2022 by Editor

 

SPOLETO IN VIRTUAL REALITY

The 65th edition of the celebrated Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto (Umbria), running between the 24th June - 10th July 2022, features the show-stopping virtual reality dance event “Le Bal de Paris”, by Spanish director/choreographer Blancs Li.

The Festival, created by the late Gian Carlo Menotti in the small medieval town of Spoleto, is known for its highly original programmes of international performances and is a “must” for culture lovers of unconventional and avant-guard music and theatre.

This year's rich programme, directed by Monique Veaute, also features the European debut of Philip Glass' “The Passion of Ramakrisna” with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Pina Bausch's new version of “The Rites of Spring”, Thomas Ostermeier's stage adaptation of “History of Violence” and orchestral concerts conducted by Antonio Pappano and conductor-singer Barbara Hannigan.

Info: Tel. +39.0743.776444 info@festivaldispoleto.com

Posted on 24 Jun 2022 by Editor

MUSEUM OF RECOVERED TREASURES

The new Museo Dell'Arte Salvata (Museum of Recovered Art) opened this month in a disused hall of the Baths of Diocletian archaeological complex near Rome's Termini Station. The Museum is a tribute to Italy's unique police corps dedicated to tracking down and recovering the thousands of antiquities and works of art smuggled out of Italy and sold illegally abroad. Known as Caschi Blu (due to their blue helmets), the Commando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale (Carabiniere for the Protection of Cultural Heritage), the squads of experts work not only in home territory, but also in war zones abroad where ancient monuments and treasures are threatened.

The policy of the Italian Ministry of Culture is to return items, whenever possible, to minor museums in the territory where they were discovered. However, this is not always possible, explained Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, since tomb robbers tend to cancel all traces of their illegal activities. The museum display will be rotated every four months in order to exhibit different items in the vast collection of recovered treasures.

M. STENHOUSE

Info: Tel. +39.06.684861 www.museonazionaleromano.beniculturali.it

Posted on 20 Jun 2022 by Editor

SPELLO FLOWER CARPETS UNROLL

One of Italy's most impressive Corpus Domini Flower Festivals unfolds its 2 km-long floral carpet between the 18th - 19th June 2022 at Spello (Umbria), after a two year enforced suspension due to the Covid epidemic.

The streets and piazzas of the medieval centre are covered with abstract designs and reproductions of Old Masters all created with flower petals that the inhabitants have collected in huge quantities in the preceding days and laid out by expert “infioratori” during the vigil of the important Catholic Feast, commemorating the Eucharist.

Over 2000 people of all ages, including 500 children, are involved in the creation of the floral designs. Visitors are also encouraged to participate in the popular Infiorata dei Turisti where they can create their petal pictures with the help of local experts.

Since the town is small and the event attracts huge numbers of visitors, the organizers have launched an online booking system for parking to ensure safety and to maximize enjoyment of all the events connected with the two-day Festival.

Info: www.infiorataspello.it www.facebook.com/InfiorateSpello

Posted on 16 Jun 2022 by Editor

 

 

VARESE HOMAGES TWO WORLDS FESTIVAL FOUNDER

The city of Varese is dedicating a music festival to Gian Carlo Menotti, the charismatic and eclectic founder of the celebrated Festival of Two Worlds, held every year in the historic Umbria town of Spoleto.

Menotti, who died in 2007, was born in Varese province in 1911. Well-known composer and author of 25 operas and winner of a 1955 Pulitzer Prize for his work “The Saint of Bleeker Street” (in order to receive this he became an American citizen for one day only), the Maestro established frequent contacts with the cultural world of the USA. The Spoleto Festival, which attracted the world's leading established and avant-guarde theatrical and dance companies, was twinned with the Spoleto Festival USA held annually in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Varese event runs from the 14th June – 23rd July, starting with a musical biography of Menotti entitled “Una Vita per Due Mondi” (“A Life for Two Worlds”) at the Blu theatre, followed by “Gian Carlo Menotti, un musicista varesine nel mondo” and special productions of his operas: “The Telephone”, “L'Amour à Trois” and “The Medium”.

Another highlight of the Festival programme includes a new production of Mozart's “Così fan tutte” performed by the youth Orchestra Canova.

Full programme & info: Tel. +39.0332.281944 www.vareseturismo.it/eventi

Posted on 12 Jun 2022 by Editor

AMALFI WINS HISTORIC 4 REPUBLICS REGATTA

The winged horse of Amalfi was the first to pass the finishing line in this year's historic regatta featuring the four traditional maritime republics of Italy.

One of the most spectacular boat races in the world, the event involves four teams of rowers in their sleek and slender galleys, competing for the honour of first place, as well as a three-day bonanza with medieval costumed parades and a series of events.

Traditionally, the Amalfi boat is painted blue, while Genoa is white, Venice green and Pisa red. The galleys are designed and built in the shipbuilding yard of the Venetian gondoliers. The race is held in each of the four cities alternatively and followed passionately by the respective populations.

Info: www.repubblicemarinare.org

 

Posted on 08 Jun 2022 by Editor

FESTIVAL OF UMBRIA ANTICA

Umbria's most ambitious festival, involving some of the region's most iconic towns and archaeological sites kicks off on the 4th June and will continue for much of the month.

The Festival dell'Umbria Antica (Festival of Ancient Umbria) encompasses three thousand years of history, with a sweeping vision of the early inhabitants of the region, from the Italic peoples, the Etruscans and the Romans, involving the historic towns of Amelia, Spello, Spoleto, Tuoro sul Trasimeno, Gubbio and the archaeological sites of Orticoli and Carsulae.

A team of historians, archaeologists and experts in various fields will be on hand at each stage to reveal the treasures and lesser known aspects of Italy's most varied and complex region.

In programme:

4th June 17.00 - Amelia with its massive city walls and monumental sculpture of Germanicus,

5th June 17.00 - Spello with its splendid Roman mosaics (and the self portrait of Pintoricchio on the wall of the Baglioni chapel in the Church of St. Mary Major),

10th June 16.30 - Spoleto, site of the celebrated yearly Festival and the Albornoz Fortress, seat of the National Museum of the Duchy of Spoleto,

18th June 17.00 - Tuoro sul Trasimeno, celebrated for Hannibal's victory over the Roman army in 217 BC and the recently opened Study Centre and the evocation of the battle,

19th June 10.00 - Gubbio the town of St. Francis' wolf and the treasure of the eight unique bronze Eugubian Tablets written in the Osco-Umbrian group pf languages.

25th June 17.00 – Archaeological site of Orticoli

26th June 17.00 – Archaeological site of Carsulae.

The Festival events are open free of charge and can also be followed on Facebook, as well as the other principal social media sites

Contact: festivalumbriantica.it https://facebook.com/festivalumbriantica

Posted on 04 Jun 2022 by Editor

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