The Bulgari Hotel, Rome's newest luxury hotel, has just opened after extensive restoration and conversion work. Occupying a prime position beside the majestic Tomb of the Roman emperor Augustus and the Ara Pacis (Augustus' celebrated Peace Altar), and a stone's throw from the Tiber, Via del Corso and the glamorous district of Piazza di Spagna, the hotel is the latest ambitious project of the historic Bulgari fashion and jewellery company, founded in 1884.

The hotel occupies the largest of three palaces that constituted the former seat of the Italian Pensions and Social Security offices (INPS), built in 1938 in the typical Rationalism style favoured in the period. The original facade, projected by architect Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo, has been preserved, along with the 70m mosaic panel “Origins of Rome” by the artist Ferruccio Ferrazzi, as well as a Latin inscription: “This is the place where the soul of the Emperor Augustus flies through the air.”

Other gems of the period, such as frescoes by artist Antonio Barrera, can be seen on the premises, while the interior décor pays homage to Italian craftsmanship and culture and even includes a reading room stocked with historic books on the history of jewellery, open also to the public.

Info: Tel. +39.06.36080400

www.bulgarihotels.com>rome rome@bulgarihotels.com

Posted on 11 Jun 2023 by Editor


Taking the limelight at the fascinating exhibition of antiquities at the Baths of Diocletian, Rome is the ancient Roman ceremonial carriage discovered during excavations in a Roman suburban villa in the vicinity of Pompeii.

Although the four-wheeled vehicle was largely destroyed during the eruption, its imprint remained in the ashes, allowing it to be accurately reconstructed in its former form, complete with its silver and bronze decorative elements.

Identified as a pilentum (an ornamental carriage used to convey a bride in wedding processions), this is a unique find for Italy. The only other known example was discovered some years ago in a tomb in Greece.

The bridal carriage, however, has to compete for attention with over 300 precious antiquities and objet d'art in the exhibition “L'Istante e l'eternita. Tra noi e gli antichi” (“The Present Moment and Eternity. Between Us and the Ancients”) at present running in the Roman Baths of Diocletian, Rome. Many of the items are on show to the general public for the first time, including the Tabula Chigi, a terracotta panel covered with reliefs depicting episodes from the Illiad, the monumental 840 BC Neolithic female statue from Santorini Island (Greece) and the statue of Hercules, discovered during recent excavations on the Appia Antica Roman road, Rome.

Other striking exhibits include the plaster casts of two of the earthquake victims of Pompeii, two 4th century BC Greek sculptures of athletes, a large representation of the “Navel of the World” from the famous Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, one of the prehistoric Giant warriors from Sardinia and an inscription on an ossuary altar that brings the exhibition theme of “Us and the Ancients” vividly to life: it tells us that C. Terentius Pistus was an oculist and he lived to the exceptional age of: “87 years, 5 months, 24 days and 10 hours.”

The exhibition runs until the 30th July 2023


Info: Tel. +39,06.684851 http://museonazionaleromano.beniculturali.it

Posted on 07 Jun 2023 by Editor


Brescia and Bergamo, the two provincial capitals united under the banner of the 2023 Italian Year of Culture are to stage an original friendship link on the 4th June 2023. The 50 Miglia (50 Miles) event is a charity initiative involving a chain of 40,000 knitted and crocheted woollen strips stretching between the two cities, prepared by two knitting circles; the Club dei Punti (Stitches Club) of Bergamo and the Viva Vittoria Association of Brescia.

The event, in memory of the suffering the two cities shared at the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, will see the participation of 40,000 people along the 80 km route (roughly the equivalent of 50 miles) and involves the 200-year old bridge linking the town of Sarnico(Bergamo province) with Paratico, on the Brescia side.

Info: Tel. +39.3517201254 (Club dei Punti) vivavittoria.bergamo@gmail.com

Posted on 03 Jun 2023 by Editor



Italian Tightrope Walker Andrea Lorena successfully completed his heart-stopping 205m walk across a cable suspended 140m high between Milan's two tallest buildings at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Festival of Marvels in the BAM (Biblioteca degli Alberi – Library of Trees) Park in the heart of Milan's business quarter.

Lorena's daring feat involved the iconic Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) residential tower covered with over 900 trees planted on 8,900 sqm of terracing, designed by architect Stefano Boeri, and Italy's highest tower – the Uni Credit bank building by Cesar Pelli. Composer and pianist Cesare Picco provided a musical accompaniment at ground level.

The three-day Festival (26-28 May 2023) was dedicated to the performing arts and to street artists in particular and attracted crowds of thousands. This year's edition included scores of events featuring international artistes and dance troupes, as well as workshops for children and a mass picnic in the park – all free of charge.

The “Library of Trees” is a 9 acre public botanical park. Inaugurated in 2018, it contains some 500 trees and 100 different plant species..


Info: www.bam.milano.it info@bam.milano.it

Posted on 31 May 2023 by Editor


This year, the annual Bandiera Blu (Blue Flag) can be hoisted at 226 Italian seaside resorts (with a total of 458 beaches) and 84 tourist ports - an increase of 17 new entries over the previous year.

The prestigious Blue Flag is awarded by the international FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) organization, founded in 1981 and recognized at international level by the UN environmental programme and the World Tourism Organization.

The coveted Blue Flag is only awarded to localities after four consecutive years in which they have been able to demonstrate that not only their sea water is uncontaminated, but that local water depuration plants and waste recycling programmes are efficient.

At the moment, the Liguria region leads with 34 certified Blue Flags (including two new entries), followed by Apulia with 22 Flags and a very short lead over both Tuscany and Campania. All the other Italian regions, however, are fast catching up, with new entries every year.

Info: Tel. +39.06.8417752 info@feeitalia.org https://www.annuario.isprambiente.it

Posted on 28 May 2023 by Editor


After Scots-born artist Philip Colbert's inflatable Lobsters made their rather startling appearance in Rome's Via Veneto (of “Dolce Vita” fame) last year, the Lobster theme has reappeared in Venice in the newly opened Patricia Low Contemporary art gallery in the historic Contarini Michiel Palace on the Grand Canal beside the 18th century Ca' Rezzonica museum.

The solo exhibition, entitled “House of the Lobster” is inspired by the mosaics featuring lobsters found at the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum and the ancient myths in which the lobster, representing the figure of immortality, is in conflict with the sacred octopus.

The theme also took inspiration from the ancient Attic amphorae known as “the Class of the Seven Lobster Claws” dating to the 4th century BC. A classical terracotta lobster vase is part of the exhibition to provide a link with Colbert's surrealistic sea creatures.

The House of the Lobster exhibition runs until the 26th August 2023.

Info: http://www.patricialow.com

Posted on 24 May 2023 by Editor


As a sign of respect towards the victims of the tragic flooding in several Italian regions, Italyupdate will be suspending cultural news items for the following week.

Posted on 20 May 2023 by Editor



NasonMoretti's iconic thin-necked Bolla glasses, the Basculante glass with its curved base, displayed in the MoMa Museum of Modern Art, New York, the award-winning Lidia bowls, the multi-coloured Burlesque series, the goblets that grace the official banquet tables at the Italian Presidential Quirinale palace, the swirling jewel-like colours in infinite shades and varieties – are all products of this dynamic glassblowers workshop on the island of Murano, in the Venetian lagoon.

The NasonMoretti company was founded a hundred years ago by four brothers and continues to flourish as a family business, run today by cousins Marco, Piero and Giorgio Nason. Meanwhile it has expanded to include a Glass Museum on the same premises as its workshop, where master glassblowers continue to create exclusive craft objects, using time-honoured traditional techniques.

NasonMoretti claims to be the only glass craft workshop in the world that is able to produce 22 different tones of green, including the exclusive Soraya green, that was inspired by the colour of the eyes of the former Queen of Iran who spent many of her years in exile in Italy. The formula for mixing many of their colours is, in fact, secret. The company also introduced the revolutionary technique of “vetro incamiciato invertito” in which the interior of glasses and bowls is coloured but the exterior is a cloudy white.

The company is celebrating its centenary year with a special exhibition of its most famous creations, running from May 19th 2023 to January 8th 2024.

Info: Tel. +39.041.739020 www.nasonmoretti.com

Posted on 17 May 2023 by Editor


The mountainous region of Alto Adige/South Tyrol is the most northern of the Italian regions, bordering on Austria. The area is bi-lingual so localities and towns are known by both their Italian and German names. The celebrated tourist resort of Bressanone-Brixen (Brixen is its German name) has just opened its spectacular annual Water Light Festival, creating a magical atmosphere in its historic centre. Forty-eight installations, specially created by the French light artists Spectaculaires-Allumeurs d'Images, are centred round the town's 20 fountains, three of which are decorated with works of art by local artists and are linked together by beams of blue light stretching over three kms.

The Festival lights up every evening between 9 pm and midnight until the 21st May 2023.

Info: Tel.+39.0472.275252 www.brixen.org

Posted on 13 May 2023 by Editor


Centre piece of the current “I Love Lego” exhibition in the Belvedere of the Royal Palace of Monza (Lombardia) is a 2m-long scale reproduction of the neoclassical palace itself built with 60,000 Lego blocks by local collector Marco Montrasio. Construction took over 45 months and is perfect in every detail, including the miniature figures of the one-time proprietors, King Umberto 1 of Italy and his wife, Queen Margherita.

The exhibition, which is not directly sponsored by the Lego company but is the work of collectors from all over the world, contains a number of dioramas in Lego, featuring a wide variety of historical themes, as well as Lego reproductions of famous paintings such as the Mona Lisa and the portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth, and it has attracted a record number of visitors for this type of exhibition. Running until the 16th September 2023.

Info: Tel. 039.394641 www.reggiadimonza.it

Posted on 10 May 2023 by Editor

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