RENAISSANCE ARTIST AND LOCAL FOOTBALL CLUB SHARE HONOURS

2023 marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Luca Signorelli, court painter to Lorenzo il Magnifico and considered to be one of the foremost artists of the Renaissance. Various commemorative initiatives are expected at his birthplace, Cortona (Tuscany) and other places in central Italy where he lived and worked.

Meanwhile, the nearby “Gold City” of Arezzo, known for its goldsmith industry as well as the celebrated annual Joust of the Saracen, a dazzling historic re-enactment of a medieval contest, has decided to pay its own rather quirky tribute to the great artist by pairing his fifth centenary commemoration with that of the first centenary of the local football team, Arezzo Calcio (also referred to as the “Amaranth Purples” after the colour of their football jerseys).

The Joust of the Saracen is traditionally divided into two contests, one in early summer and the other at the beginning of autumn, during which riders compete for the traditional prize of the Golden Lance. The San Donato trophy, programmed this year on 17th June, dedicates the Golden Lance to Luca Signorelli, while the second leg, known as the Joust of the Madonna of Consolation, on the 3rd September, assigns the Golden Lance to Arezzo Calcio.

A more traditional commemoration has been set up at Cortona, where the Museum of the Diocese of Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro, in the 16th century church of the Confraternity of Jesus, has the most important collection of Signorelli's works, including masterpieces like “the Lamentation over the Dead Christ” and “the Communion of the Apostles.” The museum was first opened in 1923 as part of the Signorelli 4th centenary celebrations and has now been renovated and re-fitted specially in honour of this new important landmark.

M.STENHOUSE

Info: Diocese Museum of Cortona. Tel. +39.0577.286300 booking@operalaboratori.com

www.giostradelsaracinaarezzo.it

Posted on 20 Apr 2023 by Editor

BERGAMO'S MODEL VILLAGE CRESPI d'ADDA

Bergamo, which shares the title of Italian Capital of Culture 2023 with Brescia, is highlighting tours this spring to one of its most prestigious museum complexes, the former industrial village of Crespi d'Adda, a listed UNESCO Heritage Site.

Crespi d'Adda was built by cotton manufacturer Cristoforo Benigno Crespi in 1876 to house his workers. A model village of 500 houses, all with individual gardens, and complete with communal facilities, such as a school, sports fields, a church, a theatre, recreational clubs for the workers and other conveniences, it has remained intact for 146 years, even after the final closure of the factory in 2003. Among its vaunts, Crespi d'Adda was the first Italian community to have electric lighting and a telephone service.

The village is still inhabited by some 300 descendants of the original workforce.

The Crespi village is now a living museum offering regular guided tours that include the nearby 1909 hydro-electric plant on the River Adda, considered one of the most outstanding examples of its era, the imposing Dalmine bunker from WWII, a short walking distance from the village, and the MUVA Nature Museum of the Adda Valley, situated in the aristocratic residence of Villa Gina, and inaugurated in 2020.

Info: Tel. +39.02.90939988 www.crespidadda.it

Posted on 16 Apr 2023 by Editor

VENICE SHOWS ITS MODERN FACE

The Fondaco dei Tedeschi displays the modern face of Venice with exhibitions by two controversial contemporary artists in its 16th century premises on the Grand Canal.

Roberto Ghezzi's “Aquae Naturografic” on the top floor of the building presents a new and personalized angle on the presence of water and the lagoon, while the ground floor and entrance to the T Galleria duty-free mall is enlivened by the colourful creations of street artist Gioele Corradengo, signature Sexsdreams.

The Fondaco dei Tedeschi (the German Warehouse) is one of Venice's most exciting modern conversions. The building dates from 1228 and was used by German traders as their base in the city to trade and store their goods. It was rebuilt in its present form after a fire at the beginning of the 16th century. In modern times it was taken over by the Italian Post Office and more or less languished until it was purchased by the Benetton Group, who converted it into a retail centre in grand style designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, who preserved many of its Renaissance features, such as the facade, the upper floor galleries and the mullioned windows. Unfortunately, the original frescos by Giorgione and Titian that once decorated the walls no longer exist, except as a few fragments preserved in the Ca'D'Oro.

The two exhibitions are running until the 1st May 2023, while the shopping mall is open every day between 10.30 – 19.30.

M.STENHOUSE

Info: Tel.+39.041.3142000      www.visitvenezia.eu     www.dfs.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 12 Apr 2023 by Editor

BRONZE OLIVES FOR ASSISI EASTER

The artist Giuseppe Carta from Banari, Sardinia, has created a special message of peace for Easter2023, with 140 bronze olive sprigs set on the lawn in front of the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The olive branchlets, with their bronze leaves, vary in size between 55 and 150 cms and make an arresting sight for the crowds of visitors who flood to Assisi for the Easter celebrations.

Info: www.sanfrancescoassisi.org

Posted on 07 Apr 2023 by Editor

AGRIGENTO ITALIAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE

The ancient Sicilian city of Agrigento has won the coveted nomination of Italian Capital of Culture for 2025, after a rigorous selection among ten candidate finalists. The prize amounts to one million euros, to be spent on projects that improve social and cultural facilities in the city and surrounding areas, that include the Island of Lampedusa, one of the most beleaguered landing spots for boatloads of immigrants from the North African coast.

Agrigento's bid was also motivated by the 5th century BC Ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles, a native of the city, who elaborated the theory of the four governing elements, as well as the hypothesis of friendship and love (as opposed to discord and hatred) that brings harmony to the universe and mankind.

Agrigento takes over from Pesaro, the 2024 winner, and concurs with Gorizia which along with Nova Gorica.will be the 2025 European Capital of Culture,

This year's current Capital of Culture is the duel nominee Brescia and Bergamo, the two Lombardy cities worst hit by the Covid pandemic.

Info: www.beniculturali.it

Posted on 04 Apr 2023 by Editor

FOLLOWING THE TRAIL OF THE GODS

A perfect Easter holiday excursion for lovers of trekking: “Il Sentiero degli Dei” (the Path of the Gods) that runs along the mountainous coastline of the Amalfi Coast.

The 9-km trek runs from Agerola to Positano and takes an estimated 4-5 hours (one way), over the crest of the Lattari Mountains with breathtaking views at every turn.

Visitors can choose between two alternative routes - the “Sentiero Alto” (High Path) that leads steeply up the mountain side or the more gentle “Sentiero Basso” (Low Path) passing through Nocelle. Both paths offer panoramic points with views over the bay, the colourful towns of the Amalfi coast, the Island of Capri and the Li Galli archipelagos where the sirens tried to trap Ulysses, as well as drinking fountains of pure spring water. On route, walkers pass traces of ancient cave dwellings, abandoned peasant houses and the celebrated “Grotta Biscotto.

Info: https://ilsentierodeglidei.net

Posted on 01 Apr 2023 by Editor

PERUGINO: CELEBRATED ART WORK REUNITED

The section of a celebrated polyptych by Perugino has finally been re-united to its other panels for the major exhibition in the National Gallery of Umbria celebrating the 5th centenary of the death of the Renaissance maestro. The greater part of the Polyptych of the Certosa di Pavia featuring the Madonna and Child flanked by the Archangels Michael and Raphael are part of the permanent collection of the National Gallery, London, which has lent the panels for the occasion. Only the upper part of the work, featuring God the Father Blessing, has remained in its original site, while the central panels were so clumsily removed some time in the past that the foot of the Christ Child has been amputated.

The Perugino Exhibition, “Il Meglio Mastro d'Italia” (Italy's Best Maestro) which runs till the 11th June 2023, features over 70 works, many from some of the world's major galleries and collections, including the National Gallery of Washington, the Louvre, the Uffizi, the Gemaldegalerie of Berlin and others and gives a unique opportunity to study the development and career of an artist who, in his heyday was hailed as “the best maestro in Italy”.

Lauded for much of his life, especially for his unequalled use of colour, Pietro di Cristofono Vannucci (better known as Perugino) 's career unfortunately took a dip when he was in his late 50s, probably due to over-production and too much reliance on his apprentices to help him carry out the flood of requests and assignments that kept pouring in. A commission of an altar piece for the Church of the Holy Annunciation in Florence was refused because he had used figures copied from other of his works. Giorgio Vasari, the historic chronicler of “The Lives of the Artists”, described him as having “a rock-hard brain” and recounted that he took Michelangelo to court because he had accused him of being “clumsy in his trade”. Perugino retired after these episodes and his fame was overtaken by that of one of his ex-pupils: Raphael Sanzio.

The exhibition intends to give a more balanced view of an artist now universally acknowledged as “a leading maestro of the Renaissance.”

M. STENHOUSE

Info: Tel. +39.075.58668436 www.perugino2023.org gan-umb@cultura.gov.it

 

Posted on 28 Mar 2023 by Editor

VAL DI NON: APPLE BLOSSOM & PHANTOM BRIDGES

April is Apple Blossom time in the mountain Valley Non (Val di Non, Trentino, Alto Adige) a district of Trentino bordering on the Dolomites. The Val di Non is celebrated for its apple production and organizes special itineraries to the orchards, the farms and the best viewing spots for blossom photography. There is also an “Adopt an Apple Tree” initiative, aimed at families, who, for a modest fee, have exclusive rights to all the fruit it produces the following autumn.

Another special attraction of the valley is its “phantom bridges” that rise out of the waters of the 8 km-long Santa Giustina lake. The lake, formed by the damming of the Noce River in 1951, covers the valley floor, submerging the old farms, hamlets and mule tracks that once traversed the area.

Every spring, however, the water level is lowered and three ancient bridges, including one dating back to Ancient Rome and another medieval, emerge from the water like phantoms from another age, constituting another major tourist draw..

When it was built, the Santa Giustina dam was the highest dam in Europe, rising to a height of 152,50 m..

Info: www.visitvaldinon.it www.adottaunmelo.com

Posted on 23 Mar 2023 by Editor

FORLI IN GRAND STYLE

The town of Forlì (Emilia-Romagna) has launched a major exhibition centred on changing dress fashions from the period between 1789 and 1968 entitled L'Arte della Moda. L'eta dei Sogni e delle Rivoluzioni” (“The Art of Fashion. Times of Dreams and Revolutions”).

The exhibiton, running until the 2nd July 2023 in the prestigious seat of the ex-monastery San Domenico, now the Civic Museum, offers a rare full immersion in the changing customs and costumes that evolved from the period of the French Revolution through Romanticism, then Impressionism, Symbolism and the early 20th century with over 300 exhibits that include original historic items of clothing, accessories, works of art and sculptures, as well as celebrated paintings on the theme of dress trends by Mondrian, Boldini, Matisse, Marinetti, Depero and others, alongside iconic fashion articles designed by top couturiers like Ferré, Elsa Schiaparelli and Germana Marucelli.

Leading international Museums and Foundations from all over Europe have contributed items from their collections to the Forlì exhibition, resulting in a unique overview of changing dress styles, tastes and customs over the last four centuries.

Info: Tel.+39.0543.36217 www.mostremuseisandomenico.it

Posted on 19 Mar 2023 by Editor

 

NAPLES TREASURES A HIT IN SHANGHAI

The citizens of Shanghai, China, can admire the stunning images of Greek and Roman classical art masterpieces on view for the first time in China's biggest city and a major world financial centre, as they float across the facade of the Museum of Art Pudong, in a huge LED projection created by the Italian Flatmind Video Productions company. The images accompany the major exhibition: “A World of Beauty. Masterpieces from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples” in honour of the Year of Culture and Tourism Italia - China 2023.

The exhibition contains 70 masterpieces of classical art from the Farnese Collection of the National Museum of Naples, and includes celebrated pieces such as the Venus Callipyge, Asclepius and Apollo with Kythara.

The event runs until the 21st April 2023 and will be followed by two other equally prestigious exhibitions of Italian art and culture in 2024 and 2025, also organized in collaboration with the Italian Institute of Culture - “Leonardo da Vince, la Macchina dell'Immaginazione” (the Imagination Machine) and “Michelangelo, the Genius of Form.”

Info: https://iicshanghai.esteri.it https://mann-napoli.it

Posted on 14 Mar 2023 by Editor

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