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

DANTE'S TRAIN TAKES OFF AGAIN

The Dante's Train ride, introduced by the Italian State Railways Foundation last year as part of the 700th anniversary commemorations for the death of Italy's great poet proved so popular that the trip is being launched again this year.

On set weekends between the 4th June and the 1st November 2022 the vintage train “Centoporte” will carry passengers over the Apennines on the 136 km historic Faentina line from Florence to Ravenna and back.

The service includes a courier-guide on board who can give passengers sightseeing advice for the stopover in Ravenna where Dante was exiled and where his tomb can be visited.

Trains leaves Florence at 8.50 am with expected arrival at Ravenna at 11.57 am. Return journey at 17.54., with intermediate stops both ways at Borgo San Lorenzo, Marradi, Brisighella and Faenza.

Prior booking essential.

Info: Tel. +39.337.1560535 www.iltrenodidante.it info@trenodidante,it

Posted on 01 Jun 2022 by Editor

 

EARTHQUAKE - CREATED TILES

The town of Finale Emilia (Modena, Reggio Emilia) is holding an exhibition of the tiles created by local children during therapy sessions to help them cope with the psychological traumas of the earthquake that shattered their homes and schools on the 12th May of 2012.

The small medieval town of Finale Emilia was at the epicentre of the earthquake and suffered extensive damage to its historic buildings and monuments. The image of its shattered Clock Tower became a symbol of the disaster for the entire area.

Immediately after the catastrophy, a course of “ceramics therapy” was set up in by local welfare associations in Finale and the Lene Thun Foundation, which runs permanent laboratories of clay modelling for sick children in 32 hospitals in Italy and abroad. The resulting 320 decorative tiles produced by the schoolchildren of the devastated town are now available for “adoption” to decorate private businesses or the walls of buildings.

Info: Tel. +39.0535.788111 (Finale Municipality) www.comunefinale.net

Tel:+39.0471.245430 (Thun Foundation) fondazione@lenethun.org

Posted on 27 May 2022 by Editor

ITALY'S “YOUNG” WINES MAKE THEIR MARK

Italian wine production is booming as never before as a new generation of enthusiastic young vintners are choosing to invest their talents and expertise in the vineyards planted and cultivated by their fathers and grandfathers. Many of them, fresh with degrees in modern agricultural methods and international marketing, are contributing to the increasingly high standard and popularity of Italian wine on the international scene.

In recent years, the dwindling success of many of the historic cooperatives, which collected the grapes of local producers and processed them under one label, has spurred young growers to branch out independently to make and market their own distinctive labels.

In Genzano, a town in the classic wine producing area of the Castelli Romani, near Rome, Alessandro Carafa Jacobini and his American wife Nina Farrell, have upgraded the family vineyards and are now launching their own label with the Jacobini family name, using exclusively grape varieties native to the area. Although the estate had been making its own wine since the 1600s, production was halted in the 1940s due to the tragic consequences of WWII.

The couple are part of a wider trend affecting many areas, especially in southern Italy. “Storie di Giovani Vignaioli” (Tales of Young Wine Growers) is a meet-up programmed for the 29-30 May 2022 at the Castello Imperiali in Francavilla Fontana (Brindisi, Apulia) in which 41 wine growers under 40 years of age, representing over 200 labels and coming from the regions of Abruzzo, Calabria, Basilicata, Campania, Apulia and Sicily will pool ideas and offer their wines (and food products) to each other and the public.

To book for wine tastings in the historic 17th century Palazzo Jacobini:

Tel. +39.393.1474262/349.8046018

Info: www.jacobini.it info@jacobini.it

www.giovanivignaioli.it storiedigiovanivignaioli@gmail.com

Posted on 23 May 2022 by Editor

PESARO WINS ITALIAN CULTURE CAPITAL 2024

Pesaro (Marche), the city that gave birth to composer Giacchino Rossini (1792-1868) has won the coveted Italian Capital of Culture 2024 nomination. The prize gives the winning town or city a government grant of one million euro to be spent on innovative cultural initiatives or facilities.

Competition every year is fierce and there is no lack of candidates. Pesaro triumphed over nine other cities that were were shortlisted, presenting the winning dossier of 45 projects centred round the theme “Nature of Culture” in collaboration with the 52 municipalities under its administration.

Pesaro is already celebrated for its annual “Rossini Festival” which will run between the 9-21 August this year 2022.

Pesaro dedicated its award to the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, one of the other “Music Cities” recognized by UNESCO and will invest some of the prize money in hosting Ukrainian musicians who wish to study music in Pesaro.

Info: Tel. (Festival): 0039.0721.3800220 www.rossinioperafestival.it

www.comune.pesaro.pu.it

Posted on 19 May 2022 by Editor

SARDINIAN NEW GIANTS TO JOIN THE REGIMENT

A new archaeological coup for Sardinia! Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of another two Iron Age warriors to join the 30 monumental statues found over the years in the unique necropolis at Mont' e Prama, Cabras, on the western coast of the island in the province of Oristano.

The necropolis was first discovered in 1974 and has since yielded some 30 giant boxers and archers, each well over 2m in height, which are now on display in the Giovanni Marongiu Civic Museum of Cabras and in the Cagliari Archaeology Museum.

Recent excavations have revealed that the site is an enormous cemetery, with an ceremonial funeral road flanking the tombs, which contained the remains of young men. No elderly people, no children and few women have been found in the 170 graves so far investigated.

Archaeologists believe that the “Giants” were guardians placed on the site. The statues subsequently fell over through the course of time and were gradually concealed under the earth.

Sardinia is rich in Iron Age archeological sites, with remains of villages, fortifications and burial grounds scattered over the island. On the opposite coast from Cabras, for instance, is the S'Ena e Thomes at Dorgali (Nuoro) with the “Giant's Tomb” dating to the Bronze Age – an impressive structure with a dolmen and a towering central stele.

Info: Tel. +39.0783 290636 www.museocabras.it

Posted on 15 May 2022 by Editor

GENOA'S SUPERBAROCCO SPLENDOUR

The SCUDERIE DEL QUIRINALE (the Quirinale Stables), Rome's major exhibition venue, has finally put on the major exhibition: “Superbaroque, Art in Genoa from Rubens to Magnasco”, delayed due to the pandemic crisis. The exhibition was first conceived in Genoa as a tribute to the opening of the new San Giorgio Bridge in 2020, which replaced the old Morandi Bridge that collapsed, with tragic consequences, in August 2018.

This exhibition, organized with the collaboration of the Washington National Gallery of Art, was originally programmed to debut in Washington but had to be cancelled, again due to Covid. The US museum, however, continues to maintain the role of co-organizer. The Superbaroque presentation therefore has its first showing in Rome. It features 120 works of art, many on loan from international museums and private collections and focusses on the Genoese Baroque of the 17th and 18th centuries – a period of incredible splendour and prosperity for the “Superba” (the Proud City) as Genoa was called, thanks to the wealth and prosperity it enjoyed.

The status of its leading citizens (Genoa was a republic) is reflected in the magnificent portraits and religious paintings they commissioned from leading Flemish masters like Van Dyck and Rubens. The exhibition opens, in fact, with Rubens' triumphant equestrian portrait of the young Giovan Carlo Doria, elevated to the rank of Knight of St. James of Santiago by the King of Spain. An entire room is dedicated to Van Dyck's striking portraits of aristocratic personages, clad in their magnificent and costly garments.

Another section is dedicated to the development of the still life genre and country scenes, often under the guise of religious subjects or mythological themes, imbued with the individual touch of artists like the impulsive and violent Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, known as Il Grechetto, Valerio Castello and Alessandro Magnasco.

The wealth enjoyed by the upper classes in the period is also represented by a silver statue of the “Immaculate Madonna” from the Museum of the Treasure of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, marble sculptures by Francesco Bigi and stunning pieces of furniture like the spectacular amethyst-topped table by Genovese master woodcarver Ludovico Francesco Perini.

Superbarocco: Arte in Genoa da Rubens a Magnasco” runs till the 3rd July 2022.

M. STENHOUSE

Info: Tel. Call centre +39.02.92897722 www.scuderiequirinale.it

Posted on 11 May 2022 by Editor

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