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ISSN 2283-835X Florence is You!

The newspaper in English and Italian language

February – March 2014

10.000 copies free press every issue

Exclusive Niccolò Rinaldi European Parliamentary Secret Florence

Interview Franco Lucchesi Chairman of the Opera del Duomo

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Exclusive Francesco Gurrieri

Exclusive Cosimo Ceccuti The Spadolini Library

The Crucifix

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Firenze 2014 Un anno ad arte

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Editorial

By Cristina Acidini

Superintendent of the State Museums of Florence Soprintendente per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze

In this issue Florence is... O By Anna Balzani Editor in chief

ne of the most rewarding aspects of working as a journalist is the privilege of daily meeting people original and creative, unusual, sometimes downright over the top... I confess that I find irresistible these people and I express my sympathy for them. Today I will introduce you the artist Donatella Isola (www.donatellaisolafirenze.it), the eccentric author of the portrait that accompanies my editorial in this issue (see on page 2) and that surprised me too! Donatella knows how to tell unusual aspects of people that she portrays and this issue seemed to me the best opportunity to show the picture which she has made

for me, for the reason that the Carnival in coming (we speak about this on page 26). On page 4 my interview with the lawyer Franco Lucchesi, Chairman of the Opera del Duomo in Florence, who speaks of the great commitment of the Institution which he represents in the protection and preservation of the artistic heritage of Florence. Special attention to the article written by Cristina Acidini who introduces us into the heart of the initiatives planned by Florence 2014 A Year in Art which will embellish the coming months. Much space is devoted to music and theater program in Florence

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he vitality of studies and the quality of results the State Museums of Florence achieve with their uninterrupted activity that concurs in developing several exhibitions contemporaneously are fully appreciable in Firenze 2014 Un anno ad arte. Now in its eighth edition, this exhibition series is a recurring and popular appointment with visitors. Moreover, considering the overall positive trend of museum visits, we like to think that visitors appreciate these exhibitions that expand on and renew the permanent museum offer. Though faced with the general contraction of resources destined to culture, the traditional partners – Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze and Firenze Musei – join the State Museums of Florence with enthusiasm and courage in a challenging undertaking: organising nine exhibitions in the course of the year. We find the same trust among the publishers of the ATI concessionaria Giunti and Sillabe, which maintain the same high level in the catalogues they publish. Today, and even more so than in the past,

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february – march 2014

www.florenceisyou.com

The newspaper in English and Italian language

The new free magazine of Florence www.florenceisyou.com N. 2, Vol. II, February – March 2014 Two- monthly Issn 2283-835X Editor in chief Anna Balzani anna@florenceisyou.com Editor Ellen Miller Editing Alberto Bartolomeo Graphic designer Manuela Ranfagni Social media strategist Cristiano Imperiali Translations Sophia Dzwig, Ellen Miller Concept &Logo Anna Balzani Cristiano Imperiali Contributors Cristina Acidini, Amnon Barzel, Sandra Carotti Gesualdi, Ornella Casazza, Andrea Ceccherini, Cosimo Ceccuti, Ilaria Gelichi, Stefano Giraldi, Claudio Giudici, Francesco Gurrieri, Zdenka Marchi, Ellen Miller, Rachael Perez, Niccolò Rinaldi, Valdo Spini

© 2013 Acontemporaryart Publisher Acontemporaryart C.F. 94200800483 P.IVA 06337320482 Printed in Grafiche Cappelli S.r.l Via Arno 49, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino FI Registered at the Tribunale di Firenze N. 5932 del 2013 Iscritta al registro degli operatori di comunicazione (ROC) al N. 23617 del 12/06/2013

By Anna Balzani during this period, cultural events and artistic initiatives which you can take part discovering people and personalities of the city whose talent and passion fascinate the public, enriching the culture, even civic, of each. A novelty that with pleasure I introduce to you is the column written by Niccolò Rinaldi, Florentine, Member of the European Parliament who will accompany us to the discovery of a “Florence unusual and secret,” hidden, uneasy, “a city of stratified layers”. An important anniversary affecting the entire community of Florence, and not only, regards the Venerabile Arciconfraternita della Misericordia di Firenze, founded in Florence in 1244, in the heart of the Piazza del Duomo, which since almost eight centuries is, to use the words of its Provveditore, Andrea Ceccherini, “example, in the world, of a love that is incarnated in the actions in favor of the poor and the weak”. I conclude with a special greeting to all the students who read us and who support us through their participation and a very warm welcome to foreign students who have chosen Florence to complete their course of study. Welcome students! From our editorial staff the hope is to be able to help you in knowing and living better the beautiful Florence.

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Information

Florence is You! is distributed throughout Florence in all key reference points for the English speaking community including hotels and hostels, universities and language schools, libraries, museums, tourist information points, restaurants and cafes. Free magazine in official point of distribution and also published online at www.florenceisyou.com. The Publisher is pleased to acknowledge the autorship and author’s rights of any photos whose source it has not been possible to trace. While every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors or changes in the information provided. Nessuna parte di questo periodico può essere riprodotta senza l’autorizzazione scritta dei proprietari. La direzione non si assume alcuna responsabilità per marchi, foto e slogan usati dagli inserzionisti, né per cambiamenti di date, luoghi, orari degli eventi segnalati. Per sapere dove trovare Florence is You! puoi cercare la lista completa dei punti di distribuzione su www.florenceisyou.com.

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The activities of our Association Acontemporaryart is made possible by the many volunteers engaged in first person in the valorisation of the beauty of Florence. You can support our association Acontemporaryart and become part of our initiatives even with a small contribution. Thank you for supporting us and welcome your feedback on how you would like to see us evolve.

L’attività della nostra Associazione Acontemporaryart è resa possibile dall’impegno di molti volontari impegnati in prima persona nella valorizzazione della bellezza di Firenze. Puoi sostenere la nostra associazione Acontemporaryart e divenire parte delle nostre iniziative anche con un piccolo contributo. Grazie di cuore per il tuo sostegno da tutti noi e sarà benvenuto ogni tuo consiglio per migliorare insieme. Bank Transfer: Acontemporaryart IBAN: IT12 N061 6002 8141 0000 0000 297

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no degli aspetti più gratificanti del lavoro di giornalista è il privilegio di incontrare quotidianamente persone originali e creative, inconsuete, a volte decisamente sopra le righe… confesso che trovo queste persone irresistibili e non posso non manifestare la mia simpatia per loro. Oggi vi presento la pittrice Donatella Isola (www.donatellaisolafirenze.it), la stravagante autrice del ritratto che introduce il mio articolo di fondo in questo numero e che ha sorpreso anche me! Donatella sa raccontare aspetti insoliti delle persone che ritrae e questo numero mi sembrava l’occasione più propizia per mostrare il ritratto che ha realizzato per me, visto l’approssimarsi del Carnevale (di cui vi parliamo a pag. 26). A pag. 4 la mia intervista all’Avvocato Franco Lucchesi, Presidente dell’Opera del Duomo di Firenze, che ci racconta il grande impegno dell’istituzione che rappresenta nella tutela e salvaguardia del patrimonio artistico fiorentino. Un’attenzione tutta speciale è per l’articolo scritto da Cristina Acidini che conduce noi lettori nel vivo delle iniziative previste da “Firenze 2014 Un anno ad arte” e che impreziosiranno i prossimi mesi. Molto spazio è dedicato alla musica e alla programmazione teatrale di Firenze di questo periodo, appuntamenti culturali ed iniziative artistiche cui potrete prendere parte scoprendo persone e personaggi della città il cui talento e la cui passione affascinano il pubblico e arricchiscono la cultura, anche civica, di ognuno. Una novità che con piacere vi introduco è la rubrica curata dall’On. Niccolò Rinaldi, fiorentino, Deputato al Parlamento Europeo, che ci accompagnerà alla scoperta di una “Firenze insolita e segreta”, nascosta, inquieta, “una città stratificata nelle prime pietre”. Un anniversario importante che interessa tutta la collettività fiorentina, e non solo, riguarda la Venerabile Arciconfraternita della Misericordia di Firenze che, nata a Firenze, nel cuore di Piazza del Duomo, da quasi otto secoli (nasce nel 1244) è, usando le parole del suo Provveditore, Andrea Ceccherini, “esempio, nel mondo, di una carità che si incarna nelle azioni a favore degli umili e dei deboli”. Concludo rivolgendo un particolare saluto a tutti gli studenti che ci leggono e che ci sostengono con la loro partecipazione e un caloroso benvenuto agli studenti stranieri che hanno scelto Firenze per completare il proprio percorso di studi. Welcome Students! L’augurio della nostra redazione è di potervi essere di aiuto nel conoscere e vivere al meglio la Firenze più bella.

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Celebrating the great Master

Renato Sansaini, Michelangelo: La Pietà (detail), Basilica di S. Pietro, Rome, 1940 c. Gelatin silver print, Ferruccio Malandrini Collection, Florence

By Ellen Miller

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sk anyone to name one artist from Italy, and the majority will name Michelangelo. February 18, 2014 marks the 450th anniversary of the death of the great artist. The great master will be celebrated all over Italy in both new publications as well as special exhibits and conferences arranged to mark the occasion. If you are currently visiting Italy, be sure to stop by one of these special events to pay your respect to the great painter and sculptor. Perhaps one of the most unique events is the new lighting that is being installed in the Sistine Chapel. A pilot project with LED lights, the goal is to improve the quality of light being shone on Michelangelo’s signature frescos. The new lights will illuminate the paintings between five and ten times more than they are currently. Visitors will be able to experience the frescoes in a new diversity of colors, seeing them the way Michelangelo intended. As Michelangelo was from Florence, there will be a number of events closer to home for those whose future does not include a trip to Rome. From February 18 to May 18 an exhibition entitled Ri-conoscere Michelangelo, or Getting to Know Michelangelo Again, will be featured at the Accademia, where Michelangelo’s most famous sculpture, the David, already resides. From February 18 to April 18, the Florence State Archive will display documents from the last 450 years concerning Michelangelo including some works by Galileo. The Medici Chapels will host a group of pho-

tographs of Michelangelo’s works until March 15. For something to look forward to, in April there will be a large costumed procession through the city and readings will be held, appropriately, in Piazza Michelangelo. If you are not able to make it to Italy to celebrate Michelangelo, there is another way you can mark the occasion: by reading love poems written by the artist himself. Michelangelo wrote quite a few poems dedicated to his muse Vittoria Colonna, which he originally intended to have published in a collection together. Perhaps due to his many other commitments, this never happened before her death. Michelangelo had admired her for her beauty and the depth of her mourning for her husband. 450 years later, though, the poems are being published together for the first time, in the original order indicated by Michelangelo. Wherever you are in the world, be sure to get a copy and see the master’s musings on love and beauty. Another way to participate from afar is to view the Icarch Gallery’s online exhibition of submissions from all over the world, designs for a house for Michelangelo. Challenged to design a house for the quintessential artist who wanted peace, a tormented soul, the submissions are all different kinds of mediums. Or perhaps the best way to celebrate of all is to indulge in a creation of your own. Michelangelo was not limited to one medium, so take the time to create your own sculpture or painting, remembering the works and life of the great master as we mark the 450th anniversary of his death.

Vasari in Palazzo Pitti

26 November 2013 – 9 February 2014

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he Galleria Palatina is organising an exhibition on one of the most significant paintings in the Medici collections, the Allegory of Patience, which belonged to cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici and is today held in the Sala di Prometeo in Palazzo Pitti. Initially attributed to Parmigianino in the inventories of Palazzo Pitti, catalogued in the museum’s first guides under the name of Francesco Salviati, and later attributed to Girolamo Siciolante by Federico Zeri, the painting is today recognised as fruit of the collaboration between Giorgio Vasari and Spanish artist Gaspar Becerra. Shortly after 1550, Cosimo I requested Vasari to execute a painting that in a new and emblematic manner would represent the principal virtue of his character, that is to say the art of Patience. Vasari accepted and proposed to his patron an invention inspired by ancient sculpture, enriched by a refined symbolic repertory alluding to time and to the life of man. Why did Vasari’s invention enjoy such a great success though? Why was the virtue of Patience considered so important in the art and literature of the peak of the Renaissance? Anna Bisceglia curates the exhibition and the catalogue published by Sillabe to investigate these elements along the underlying themes of patronage, literary sources, and artists’ explorations against the complex and fascinating backdrop of the Italy of royal courts.

Giorgio Vasari and Gaspar Becerra, Allegory of Patience, detail, Galleria Palatina, Florence


Art www.florenceisyou.com

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By Cristina Acidini the exhibition series calls upon the most important museums to sustain a major commitment.The Uffizi, the Accademia and the Palatina will each accept the honour and the burden of two exhibitions. Generally speaking, these exhibitions will develop and expand on the themes and identity of the collections, enhancing the permanent museum holdings with important integrations and juxtapositions in the sign of a variety that in every edition follows the coordinates of history and geography. The series opens with a rarity. An exhibition of works on paper – both books and documents – on generous loan from our colleagues in archives and libraries of Florence, will illustrate the highest reaches of history and culture, known to experts and few others and, at the same time, evoke the noble phantom of the Biblioteca Palatina in Palazzo Pitti. The Sala Bianca will host the first complete monographic show dedicated to Jacopo Ligozzi, while the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi will present a selection of illuminations focused on botany in which this artist from Verona attained heights of unparalleled beauty. From another region and another cultural ambit comes a selection of works from the collection of Maestro Molinari Pradelli, through the generosity of his widow Bianca Maria and family, which echoes the motifs of seventeenth-century Florentine painting in the newly opened rooms of the Uffizi. Then comes the first great exhibition dedicated to the painting trend of Florentine “naturalism” between the late 16th and 17th centuries, which was a mental, spiritual and artistic disposition in search of confines and a name. Meanwhile, the Galleria dell’Accademia forms a partnership with the Museo Nazionale della Fotografia Alinari to render homage to Michelangelo Buonarroti in the 450th anniversary of his death, with an exhibition dedicated to the powerful and universally renowned works of art, especially of sculpture, by the supreme artist, from historical painting to contemporary photography. An exhibition on collecting works by the “Primitives” will then focus on another great art epoch in the Gallery, presenting painting from the 14th and 15th centuries. Three other museums will be the protagonists of the remaining shows. The Museo degli Argenti will showcase the magnificent Medici reliquaries, devoting particular attention to identifying relics of Saints who, though little known or forgotten today, were important in seventeenth-eighteenth century worship. The Museo Nazionale del Bargello proposes the first-ever exhibition dedicated to Baccio Bandinelli and not only as a sculptor (and eternal rival of Michelangelo), but also as a draughtsman and teacher of young artists at his “accademia”. Finally, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Palazzo Pitti will commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of its foundation, proposing a trial installation for its 20th century collections (presently not on show) and reformulating its itinerary to showcase the strong nucleus of Macchiaioli artworks in its collections. The exhibitions will be hosted in prestigious venues on both sides of the River Arno, and follow a chronology ranging from the “Primitives” to the 20th century. The typologies of exhibited works will also be in the sign of variety, presenting creations of the “major” arts, children of Drawing – to put it in academic terms – as well as manuscripts, books, photography,

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dedicata alle immagini potenti e universalmente diffuse dell’arte e specialmente della statuaria del sommo artista, dalla pittura di storia alla fotografia contemporanea. Una mostra sul collezionismo dei “Primitivi” toccherà poi un’altra grande area artistica presente nella Galleria, con la pittura del Tre e del Quattrocento. Altri tre musei sono protagonisti delle mostre restanti. Nel Museo degli Argenti saranno valorizzati i magnifici reliquiari medicei, con una speciale attenzione per l’identificazione di reliquie di Santi oggi poco noti o dimenticati, e tuttavia importanti nella devozione sei-settecentesca. Il Museo Nazionale del Bargello proporrà la prima mostra mai dedicata a Baccio Bandinelli, non solo dotato scultore (ed eterno rivale di Michelangelo), ma anche disegnatore e formatore di giovani attraverso una sua precoce “accademia”. La Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Palazzo Pitti, infine, ricorderà il centenario della sua Andrea del Sarto, Annunciazione, Galleria Palatina, Florence fondazione proponendo una prova di allestimento per le collezioni del Novecento (attualmente non esposte) e rielaborando Bianca Maria e alla famiglia una selesacred art and much more. A confirmation of the unity of knowledge and of the tran- zione della collezione del Maestro Moli- il percorso per valorizzare entro le prosversal nature of artistic expression, in se- nari Pradelli, che riecheggia i motivi del prie raccolte il nucleo fortemente identiSeicento fiorentino nelle nuove sale or tario dei Macchiaioli. Mentre un criterio arch of beauty. ora aperte negli Uffizi; quella che seguirà, di equa distribuzione situa le mostre in sarà la prima grande mostra dedicata alla luoghi d’eccellenza di qua e di là d’Arno, Italiano pittura del “naturalismo” fiorentino tra altrettanto equilibrata varietà si ritrova a vivacità delle ricerche e la qualità dei l’estremo XVI e il XVII secolo, attitudine nella cronologia, che va dai “Primitivi” al risultati che si conseguono nei musei mentale e spirituale prima ancora che Novecento, e nella tipologia, che annovera del Polo Museale Fiorentino, in un’attività artistica, in cerca di un perimetro e di un le creazioni delle arti “maggiori” figlie diche non conosce soste e che consente lo nome. Nel frattempo la Galleria dell’Acca- rette del padre Disegno – per dirla in tersviluppo di più progetti espositivi in con- demia (in partenariato con il Museo Na- mini accademici – ma anche manoscritti, temporanea, si manifestano pienamente zionale della Fotografia Alinari) avrà reso libri, fotografie, suppellettili sacre e molti nel programma espositivo Firenze 2014 omaggio a Michelangelo Buonarroti nel altri generi di testimonianze, in un comUn anno ad arte, giunto all’ottava edizio- 450° anno della morte, con una mostra posto che è riprova dell’unità del sapere e della trasversalità dell’espressione artistine come un gradito e ricorrente appuntamento con i visitatori. E piace credere che Aurelio Amendola, Giuliano de’ Medici, 1992 ca, in cerca della bellezza. i visitatori apprezzino le mostre che ampliano e rinnovano l’offerta museale permanente, visto il trend complessivamente positivo dell’affluenza. Con entusiasmo e con coraggio i partner tradizionali, Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze e Firenze Musei, pur a fronte della generale contrazione delle risorse destinate alla cultura, affiancano il Polo museale in un’impresa impegnativa, qual è quella che si preannuncia: organizzare nove mostre nell’arco dell’anno. La stessa fiducia mostrano gli editori dell’ATI concessionaria, Giunti e Sillabe, che mantengono il medesimo alto livello nel pubblicare i cataloghi. Come e più che in passato, la serie delle mostre vede chiamati a sostenere impegni ingenti i massimi musei, le Gallerie degli Uffizi, dell’Accademia e Palatina, ognuno dei quali assumerà gli onori e gli oneri di due mostre. In linea generale, si tratta di mostre che sviluppano e ampliano temi e vocazioni delle raccolte, valorizzando il patrimonio permanente con opportune integrazioni e accostamenti, all’insegna di una varietà che ad ogni edizione spazia lungo le coordinate della storia e della geografia. L’esordio sarà singolare: una rassegna di opere cartacee - documenti e libri – che, in virtù dei prestiti generosamente concessi dai colleghi di archivi e biblioteche di Firenze, renderanno visibili picchi altissimi della storia e della cultura, noti agli addetti ai lavori e a pochi altri, evocando nel contempo il nobile fantasma della Biblioteca Palatina in Palazzo Pitti. La Sala Bianca ospiterà poi la prima mostra monografica completa di Jacopo Ligozzi, cui il Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi affiancherà una selezione di tavole miniate dall’artista veronese, dove attraverso l’illustrazione botanica sono raggiunti vertici di ineguagliata bellezza. Da un’altra regione e da un altro ambito culturale proviene – grazie alla signora

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A few words with Franco Lucchesi Chairman of the Opera del Duomo in Florence

By Anna Balzani Editor in chief

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e met the lawyer Franco Lucchesi, Chairman of the Opera del Duomo since 2010 for which he is working on the redevelopment project of Piazza Duomo for the inauguration of The Great Museo del Duomo at the end of 2015. During an informal conversation we had an opportunity to ask him a few questions and know him better. The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo doubled its exhibition space and is now a museum unlike any other. Our plan is to complete the work by 2015. The plan not only doubles the exhibition space of the museum itself but also changes its setting. We will try to place the works of the Baptistery, the Cathedral and Belfry in the environment from which they come, in relation to their religious function, rediscovering their profound meanings. The

Rendering Sala dell’antica facciata e della Porta del Paradiso of the new Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore correct reading of a work of art is representative of religious sentiment and cannot be separated from theme, which has inspired the artist. We have great expectations for the North Gate of the Baptistery by Lorenzo Ghiberti (1403-1424). Before dealing with the topic of the Doors, with regret I anticipate that the Baptistery will not be visible for almost two years because for the first time the entire exterior of the Baptistery will be cleaned and therefore will be enveloped by scaffolding. On this occasion, also, there will be an international conference on the Baptistery. It is one of the oldest monuments of Florence, but also one of the least known, so it will be a time of international comparison to be clear about its history and its architectural features. We intend to restore all three

doors of the Baptistery. The twenty-seven years it took for the restoration of the Gate of Heaven were a fundamental experience to develop techniques for restoration of gilded bronze that were previously unknown. It is estimated that the restoration of the North Gate will be completed in less than three years, in time for spring-summer 2015. 2015 is a very important year for Florence: the Catholic Church will meet in Florence for the National Congress of the Italian Bishops’ Conference and the Pope is also expected. The conference, which takes place every ten years, has accelerated the schedule of work. The Pope will be in Florence for the first time, and we felt compelled to accelerate the work already in anticipation for the opening of the new museum and the cleaning of the monuments of the square. The work on the extension of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo is very expensive. In an environment where we always talk about cuts to culture, the Opera seems to go against the grain. The Opera was created in 1296, on the day of laying of the foundation stone of the Cathedral and lives in symbiosis with the monuments. The work that we carry out is permanent, constant and continuous. All our resources are aimed exclusively at environmental protection and the preservation of this heritage. Florentines have been focused on giving, over the years, economic self-sufficiency for the work that has allowed the preservation of these masterpieces. About urban decay in the Piazza del Duomo. You denounced the need to take action in defense of the square and its decor. In September 2013, there was a meeting with the Mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi.

Franco Lucchesi chelangelo’s David as a symbol of Italy? If there is a masterpiece that speaks universally of the Italian Renaissance and the ability to represent the Fair, this is certainly the David. In addition, the block of marble that Michelangelo sculpted the David was owned by the Opera and the warehouses in which Michelangelo carved it were located in the Opera. We guard also the minutes of the meeting which was attended by Leonardo da Vinci and Sansovino to decide the placement of David had just been finished. Italiano

The need to protect the dignity of the square comes from the fact that the square is the Museum for us. We cannot consider the Cathedral, Museum, Baptistery and Campanile as separate buildings; they are inevitably connected to each other. The square must have its own decor and it seemed to us that this pattern is not guaranteed. The Mayor is convinced of the need for action to ensure the safety of the works and he is working to restore dignity to the square. We did not find any opposition far from it. Matteo Renzi, Secretary of the Democratic Party. An opinion on the matter? I do not play politics, but I am extremely pleased with this result. I know the Mayor and his ability of carrying out his office for which there are high hopes; he looks ahead and move decisively in problem solving, which the country needs to turn the page. As Opera, we regard it as very positive, trusting that can change a lot. 2015 is also the year of Expo Milan. What do you think of the choice of Mi-

Abbiamo incontrato l’avvocato Franco Lucchesi, Chairman of the Opera del Duomo dal 2010 per la quale sta lavorando al progetto di riqualificazione di Piazza Duomo in vista dell’inaugurazione de Il Grande Museo del Duomo a fine 2015. Una conversazione informale è stata l’occasione per rivolgergli alcune domande e conoscerlo meglio. Il Museo dell’Opera del Duomo raddoppia la sua superficie espositiva ed è un museo diverso dagli altri. Ce ne vuole parlare? Il nostro programma è di portare a compimento i lavori entro il 2015. Non solo raddoppia la superficie espositiva del museo ma cambia la sua stessa impostazione. Cercheremo di ricollocare le opere del Battistero, della Cattedrale e del Campanile nell’ambiente da cui provengono, in relazione alla loro funzione religiosa, riscoprendone il senso profondo. La lettura corretta di un’opera d’arte rappresentativa di un fatto religioso o di un sentimento religioso non può prescindere dal motivo da cui ha tratto ispirazione l’artista. Grande attesa per la Porta Nord del Battistero di Lorenzo Ghiberti (14031424). Come procede il restauro da parte dell’Opificio delle Pietre Dure? Prima di affrontare il tema delle Porte, con dispiacere devo anticipare che il Battistero non sarà visibile per quasi due anni in quanto per la prima volta saranno intrapresi importanti lavori di ripulitura globale dell’esterno dell’edificio e quindi sarà avvolto dalle impalcature. In questa occasione, inoltre, si terrà un convegno internazionale sul Battistero: infatti è uno dei monumenti più antichi di Firenze ma anche uno dei meno conosciuti, quindi sarà un momento di confronto internazionale per fare chiarezza sulla sua storia e le sue caratteristiche architettoniche. Intendiamo restaurare tutte e tre le Porte del Battistero e i ventisette anni impiegati per il restauro della Porta del Paradiso sono stati un’esperienza fondamentale per mettere a punto tecniche di restauro del bronzo dorato prima sconosciute. Si stima che il restauro della Porta Nord sarà ultimato in meno di 3 anni, quindi per la primavera-estate 2015. Il 2015 è un anno molto importante per Firenze: la Chiesa Cattolica si riunirà qui per il Convegno Ecclesiale Nazionale della Conferenza Episcopale Italiana ed è atteso anche il Papa. Il convegno ecclesiale, che si svolge ogni 10

anni, è stato per noi un acceleratore, infatti il progetto dei lavori c’era già ma certamente non era previsto di ultimarli in tempi così brevi. Il Papa verrà a Firenze per la prima volta, e per quella data ci siamo sentiti obbligati ad accelerare i lavori già in previsione per l’apertura del nuovo Museo e la ripulitura dei monumenti della piazza. I lavori di ampliamento del Museo dell’Opera del Duomo costituiscono un intervento molto costoso e mentre si parla di tagli alla cultura, l’Opera sembra andare controcorrente. L’Opera ha alle spalle un’esperienza nata nel 1296, quindi il giorno stesso della posa della prima pietra della cattedrale, e vive in simbiosi con i monumenti che ha contribuito a realizzare. Il lavoro che svolgiamo è permanente, costate e continuo. Tutte le nostre risorse sono volte esclusivamente alla tutela e al mantenimento di questo patrimonio. Merito dei fiorentini è aver posto, nell’arco degli anni, le condizioni di autosufficienza economica per l’Opera che le ha permesso, nel corso dei secoli, di preservare questi capolavori. Degrado urbano relativo a Piazza del Duomo. Lei ha denunciato la necessità di assumere provvedimenti a difesa della piazza e del suo decoro. A settembre 2013 l’incontro con il Sindaco di Firenze, Matteo Renzi. L’esigenza di tutela del decoro della piazza deriva dal fatto che la piazza per noi è il Museo, non si può considerare Cattedrale, Museo, Battistero e Campanile come edifici separati, sono inevitabilmente connessi l’uno all’altro. La piazza deve avere un suo decoro e a noi è sembrato che questo decoro non fosse garantito. Il sindaco è convinto della necessità di intervenire per garantire sicurezza alle opere e stiamo lavorando per restituire dignità alla piazza. Non abbiamo trovato alcuna resistenza, tutt’altro. Matteo Renzi, segretario del PD. Un suo parere al riguardo? Io non mi occupo di politica ma sono estremamente soddisfatto di questo risultato. Conosco il sindaco e so che è in grado di svolgere un incarico foriero di grande speranza; la sua capacità di vedere lontano e muoversi con decisione nella soluzione dei problemi lascia sperare bene anche per il paese che ha bisogno di voltare pagina e di avere una marcia in più, c’è bisogno di aria nuova. Come Opera, lo viviamo come fatto molto positivo, nella fiducia che possa cambiare molto. Il 2015 è anche l’anno dell’Expo di Milano. Cosa pensa della scelta del David di Michelangelo come simbolo dell’Italia? Se c’è un capolavoro che universalmente parla del Rinascimento e della capacità italiana di rappresentare il Bello, questo è certamente il David. Inoltre il blocco di marmo in cui Michelangelo ha scolpito il David era di proprietà dell’Opera e si trovava nei suoi magazzini nei quali Michelangelo lo ha scolpito. Noi custodiamo anche il verbale della riunione a cui parteciparono Leonardo da Vinci e Sansovino per decidere la collocazione del David allora appena terminato.


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february – march 2014

www.florenceisyou.com

Student Life

Ciao, Welcome Students!

info@florenceisyou.com

By Ellen Miller

Writer and student at Santa Reparata International School of Art (SRISA) of Florence

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elcome students, to a new semester and a new year in Florence. As you learn your way through the city streets of Florence, let Florence is You! take you on a cultural adventure through the city. Are you feeling a little overwhelmed? First things first, catch up on sleep to beat the jet lag, and then come back here to hit the ground running. It can seem overwhelming at first with so much to do, having just arrived in Florence with only a couple of suitcases. But one of the first things that you probably want to do is buy food. There are numerous grocery stores around the city center, so it is only a matter of finding which one is closest to you. For fresh fruits and vegetables, however, hit the Mercato Centrale near San Lorenzo.

It offers a wide selection of produce as well as fresh pasta, breads and cheeses. And the prices are extremely reasonable. If you are not set up with internet yet, there are various internet cafes around the city where you can pay a few euros for a set amount of time. You can also consider taking your passport to get a library card at a public library here, in particular at the Oblate, where there is a great outdoor seating area, cafe and free wifi for library card holders for an hour or two a day. In a city that often charges more to stay seated for longer, it is also a great place to go hang out with friends. Don’t forget as you are walking around that red street numbers denote businesses and blue and black numbers are typically for residences. Don’t be surprised if the numbers switch directions along with the street. Getting lost in such a small city is part of the experience! There are many different options of

where to spend your time in Florence for the time that you are in Florence, that is! Museums abound and there is a handy student-priced discount card that you can purchase at the Uffizi and the Accademia that is worth the money if you plan to visit many museums. It includes most of the major state-run museums as well as some other museums such as the San Marco Museum. Get off the beaten path! Don’t miss the Uffizi, but explore smaller museums as well. As for the major attractions, try to go early in the semester before summer tourism season starts, as you will save yourself much waiting in line. At the museums included on the card, you are allowed to cut the line, another benefit. Outside the Florence city center lie Piazza Michelangelo and the Tuscan hill town of Fiesole, both a short bus trip or a hike from Florence. They each offer sweeping views of the city of Florence and are worth a trip.

From Piazza Michelangelo you can also hike up to San Miniato, a beautiful hilltop church. In Fiesole, don’t miss the ancient Etruscan ruins. When you are ready to go further afield, there are tons of options for exploring beyond Florence. Student tour companies abound in the city, and offer trips leaving direct from the city’s main train station, including many weekend trip options that cut down on your planning time. For the independent traveler, there are many budget airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet that allow you to cheaply hit multiple countries over the course of the semester or on spring break. But be sure not to miss out on Florence because you are traveling so much! The city has so much to offer. While you are here, be sure to grab a new copy of Florence is You! for the latest art exhibitions and events in the city! We hope that you have a wonderful semester and come to love Florence as we do!


Art

February – March 2014

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Once in a lifetime treasures from the archives and libraries of Florence Galleria Palatina, 28 January – 27 April 2014

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hree archive documents concerning Michelangelo, a drawing by Raphael, the baptism certificate of Leonardo da Vinci and another text bearing his annotations, a lecture on Dante’s Inferno written by Galileo, works by Andrea Mantegna, Alessandro Allori and Giovanni Stradano, autographs of Girolamo Savonarola, Poliziano, Cosimo I de’ Medici, Joachim Winckelmann, Ugo Foscolo, Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni, Giovanni Fabbroni, Pietro Vieusseux, Eugenio Barsanti, Vasco Pratolini, Eduardo De Filippo and Dino Campana, Nobel Prize-winner Eugenio Montale, and two of the poet’s inedited watercolours. The Firenze 2014 Un anno ad arte exhibition series opens with all this and much more with the show entitled, Once in a Lifetime. Treasures from the Archives and Libraries of Florence, on the calendar from 28 January to 27 April 2014 and hosted in the Sala Bianca in Palazzo Pitti. It is promoted by the Polo Museale Fiorentino in collaboration with the Soprintendenza Archivistica della Toscana, the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, the Libraries, Archives and Cultural Institutions Department of the Regional Administration of Tuscany, Firenze Musei and the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze. The exhibition originates from a project sponsored by the Fondazione Florens and is directed by Alessandro Cecchi (Director of the Galleria Palatina) with the curatorship of scholar and historian Marco Ferri. The exhibition will bring some 133 items to visitors’ attention, including manuscripts, books and drawings, which come from 33 city institutions. Its purpose is to offer a “unique” opportunity to admire treasures on paper, held in some of the most important cultural “treasure chests” of the city. The showpieces will include a selection of inedited works, a sequence on paper that comes from various archives and libraries and have never been seen by the public. The first among them concerns Michelangelo Buonarroti and is a sheet with Sketch-

es of blocks of marble and a shape for a Crucifix: in practise, the instructions for “quarrying” stone blocks from the mountain, including one in the shape of a cross and ready to be sculpted. Exhibited in Vienna in 1997, this document from the Archive of the Fondazione Casa Buonarroti has never been on public display in Italy. On the occasion of the Palazzo Pitti show, for the first time, visitors will be able to admire ancient manuscripts – including an anthem book from the 13th century – that come from the archives of the Misericordia di Firenze, the Convent of Santissima Annunziata and the Convent of Buonuomini di San Martino, institutions that had never made loans before. The books and documents on show will feature the first dictionary published by the Accademia della Crusca in 1612, an edition of Vasari’s Lives of the Artists dated 1568, the first Italian edition of Topolino (Mickey Mouse) dated 1932, a letter book that belonged to Bianca Cappello, half a dozen copies of the Divine Comedy (including one with illustrations by Alessandro Botticelli), the document with which Louis XI of France granted Piero de’ Medici permission to use the French lily in the coat of arms of the Tuscan dynasty, the law enacted by Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine that in 1786 abolished capital punishment in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Libro di Montaperti, the Testamento of Folco Portinari, and a papyrus from the I century B.C. This display of wonders will also include documents and books from an archive and a library momentarily not accessible to the public: the Archive of the Accademia degli Immobili, which represents the documentary “memory” of the Teatro della Pergola, and the Library of the Banca CR Firenze on Via Bufalini, which is scheduled to open to the public in 2014. As part of the show, the Accademia dei Georgofili will propose various archive pieces, including an inedited drawing

(from a 1940s publication for children) by Sergio Tofano, known as Sto. The Biblioteca degli Uffizi will contribute numerous letters from the so-called “Carte Fedi” collection, including many letters – all of them unpublished – that Anna Franchi collected and that contain drawings and sketches by the most famous Macchiaioli painters, from Lega to Fattori to Signorini. The exhibition opens with a panel bearing the letter Giovanni Fabbroni, in his capacity as representative of the provisional Government appointed by the Regency of Tuscany, wrote in 1800 to the then-first consul of France, Napoleon Bonaparte. In this letter, he requested “protection for the arts and science, entreating immunity and salvation for all the public establishments destined to education”. Then follow the showcases – one for each institution – presenting the “jewels” selected for the exhibition, each one with an explanatory key. In addition to the main visiting itinerary, a small section will be dedicated to the consequences that the archive and book heritage of Florence suffered in two dramatic moments of its history: the flood of 1966 and the bombing of Via dei Georgofili in 1993. The showcase that closes the exhibition presents visitors with a close-up view of three articles from the archive and book patrimony damaged by

Battagliuzzo and miniaturist from Pisa, Antiphonarium a vigilia Nativitatis Domini usque ad vigiliam octave Ephifanie, 13th century (doc. 1287-1290), Archive of the convent of SS. Annunziata, Florence

the flood and not restored, in addition to a book that was practically destroyed in the bombing of 21 years ago. It will serve as a warning and reminder to everyone that our cultural patrimony, especially the less exhibited parts, worthy of admiration and of all our attention.

A few words with Vincenzo, owner of Bistrot Damiano

Vincenzo Damiano and Chef Filippo

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here are already many cafes in this area. What makes this cafe different from all the others? First of all, clients are treated as individuals, as if they were in their own home, eating their own dishes. The food we offer is all made here, as it is at home. We have made the decision to offer dishes that are rooted in traditional flavors of Italy. Also, we only have 22 seats so we can give individual attention to each customer. What is your favorite dish that you make here? My best dishes are those that come from Lucania, where I am from. There, we make a lot of homemade pasta like Ferraioli/Frizule ca a’ mellica and orecchiette with turnip greens. How important is local food for you? Do you try and use local products and ingredients? We pick all our ingredients with attention. It is important that the produce and products are regional and if possible, directly from the farms and producers because it secures freshness and the best quality possible. We specifically look to cook with seasonal vege-

tables. In fact, right now, there is pasta with broccoli on the menu. In the summer, you will find pasta with tomato and mozzarella, but you won’t find what you are eating now because we do not use frozen foods or out of season produce. I see here that you have many different types of wine. Are these wines different from what you would find in another restaurant? Yes, by creating our own menu and with collaborations, we are able to offer a selection of wines from various regions. When we prepare a traditional dinner with dishes from a specific region such as Lucca, Puglia or Calabria, we also try to choose wines that will pair well with that type of food. In Italy, the wine possibilities are endless but the characteristics of a Sicilian wine are different from that of the Veneto region. If you take a wine from Calabria and pair it with a plate of pasta and tomato sauce, it will not pair well and thus, not taste right.

Via del Parione, 46/r, Firenze from 7.30 am to 10.00 pm Tel. 055 5320342 - 349 589 5389


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Life

february – march 2014

www.florenceisyou.com

The Valentine’s Day in Florence

By Ellen Miller

Writer and student at Santa Reparata International School of Art (SRISA) of Florence

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nyone who has been to Florence has likely walked over the Ponte Vecchio, the historic old bridge that is lined with tiny shops of gold and silver-smiths. Both sides have cutout windows and offer excellent views of the Arno and the hills surrounding the city of Florence. On one side, a statue is surrounded by iron fencing, and this is where young lovers come to make a symbolic act of their commitment to one another. Despite the fact that signs printed in Italian and English and hung on the railings forbid tourists and locals alike from attaching a lock to them, on most days locks adorn the iron bars. The city of Florence periodically comes by and cuts off all the locks, and the tradition of flouting authority begins anew. Tradition says that a couple should bring

a lock together and affix it to the bridge. Together, they throw the keys into the water together, symbolizing their commitment to one another. A romantic ideal, the concept is far from unique to Florence, and is practiced widely across Italy and in other countries around the world. There are many different versions of how the tradition began; it is believed that the Italian book I Want You, by Federico Moccia, published in 2006, inspired the tradition’s current popularity in Italy. Thanks to the novel, the trend of locking a lock onto an ancient bridge began in Venice, and rapidly spread to other cities. Venice’s wooden Ponte dell’Accademia was where it all supposedly started, and authorities immediately became concerned as the locks spread to the famous Rialto bridge, a symbol of the city. Authorities are concerned equally about appearances as well as damage that bridges could potentially sustain from the locks. There are other stories of how the locks came to be as well, and in fact lovers have been affixing locks to the bridge since before the bestselling book was printed. Some theorize that a lockmaker sold his wares at the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and created the story to sell more locks, a good marketing tool. Whatever the reason, it has become symbolism for lovers everywhere of eternal love. Valentine’s Day is coming up, and likely many couples are considering partaking in the tradition as a romantic activity to celebrate. Just remember that it is technically illegal, and you can face fines if you are caught. Some lovers these days prefer to just touch the locks that have not been removed, hoping that the luck that has kept those locks attached to the bridge will rub off on their relationship. Buon San Valentino!

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Capa comes to Florence

A chocolate Festival in Florence

By E. M.

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chocolate festival is a dream for the connoisseur of the rich, dark substance. In the fall, the best place to head is Perugia, for the annual Eurochocolate festival. In the winter, though, Florence has its own winter spectacular, with chocolate creations tempting from every corner. Held in the piazza in front of Santa Maria Novella, the Fiera del Cioccolato Artigianale this year will be held from February 7 to February 16. This is the tenth annual festival and this year its goal is to become an event where visitors can get involved, instead of just being spectators. A series of events will focus on the different aspects and unique attributes of chocolate. Special events are designed to give students a taste of what chocolate making is really like. Last year the festival organized a large group of people to form a heart in the middle of the square for Valentine’s Day, allowing everyone interested to get involved in the festival’s spirit. This year a new corner will be dedicated specifically to local chocolate created here in Tuscany. Ten selected Tuscan chocolatiers will display their creations in this area. Traditional chocolate making demonstrations will also capture the attention of visitors. There will be a special area for demonstrations and chocolate

makers will also speak with and answer questions from visitors. Italian food bloggers have also been specifically invited to the event to meet with the public. Visitors will be able to dive into kitchens to explore the uses of cocoa and chocolate while the bloggers share their photos and experiences live on the web. Another special section will be dedicated to clothing and luxury items, where young designers have married food with fashion to create unique items for sale. Other exciting events in the past have included blind tastings where the participant tries different chocolates with similar exteriors but different fillings; pairings of chocolate and grappa; pastry demonstrations and a demonstration of the use of liquid nitrogen in shaping chocolate. There is truly something for everyone. In the past, free samples have been offered at many of the different booths and the festival has been held in several major Florentine piazzas. Chocolate offerings have included everything from flavored liquers to chocolate covered espresso beans and nuts to truffles and chocolate kebabs. And of course since it is the winter many booths will be offering the thick traditional Italian hot chocolate. The event is perfectly timed to overlap with Carnevale and Valentine’s Day and will offer a variety of chocolate products for purchase, so be sure to stop by for some tasty treats!

Robert Capa©International Center of Photography/Magnum Collection of the Hungarian National Museum

By E. M.

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urrently showing at the Alinari National Museum of Photography in Florence, the only national museum of photography in Italy, are works by Robert Capa, a notable war photographer who captured unforgettable images during give major world wars. Capa covered the Spanish Civil War, the Sino-Japanese War, the Second World War, the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 and the first Indochina War over twenty years of reporting from the front lines. A cultural exchange between Hungary and Italy during 2013 and 2014 brings the photographs to the museum. Seventy-eight of Capa’s images of Italy during the second world war are included in the exhibition. The exhibition comes to Florence after a stint in Rome. Robert Capa was a pseudonym. Hungarian Endre Friedman adopted the

name before he became a famous war photographer. He is often regarded as one of the founders of the art of photojournalism. While he never served as a soldier in the war, Capa often lived on the front lines of the battlefield in order to truly understand and convey the life of the soldier in his art. The photographs displayed in this particular exhibit represent Capa’s point of view of the Allies landing in Italy. Through Capa’s photographs one can see both the joy of liberation as well as the pain of war. Much of Italy was destroyed because of the second world war; in fact, the Ponte Vecchio is the only surviving bridge in Florence as Hitler ordered the rest destroyed in hopes of stopping the advancing Allies. Capa’s photographs are an excellent way to look back on a time that is still very recent for many Italians and appreciate how far the country has come in such a short time.


Il luogo ideale per un viaggio tra i sapori del mediterraneo

Mediterranean restaurant, Neapolitan pizzeria, Florentine caf茅, Sicilian pasticceria and ice cream Ristorante mediterraneo, pizzeria napoletana, caffetteria fiorentina e pasticceria e gelateria siciliana

Ristorante Finisterrae P.za Santa Croce, 12 Firenze 路 Tel: 055 2638675 路 Cel: 328 7830064 info@finisterraefirenze.com 路 www.finisterraefirenze.com finisterraefirenze

finisterrae

@finisterrae_fi


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Contemporary Art

february – march 2014

www.florenceisyou.com

Paola Staccioli: Living pottery

By Ornella Casazza

ta ancora una volta del Bianconiglio che aspetta di celebrare la festa di non-compleanno?
All’aria di festa contribuisce la vivacità di un percorso inventivo dove la qualità dell’invetriatura policroma variamente si illumina alla luce e la materia resa ancora più fragile e delicata quasi ad annullare la consueta plasticità, per l’utilizzo di un particolare impasto composto da terraglia bianca unita a carta, si lascia plasmare in pareti sottili, con un effetto pari alla porcellana.
Sogno e realtà si incontrano e danno vita a una bambina che si allunga con il braccio per raggiungere un bicchiere su di un tavolo troppo alto, fino a quel momento per lei inaccessibile e costruiscono persino tavole con gambe elaborate e ridondanti, che sorreggono la più naturale e spontanea delle apparecchiature.

Professor, Art Historian and former Director of the Museo degli Argenti at Palazzo Pitti

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hen you cross the threshold of the workshop you are awash in a feeling of closeness, almost as if you were entering a private, secret place. The objects arranged in the rooms combine small sizes with a powerful, and magnetic presence and a throbbing physicality that come from who knows which recesses of the mind. It’s a fascinating world, filled with poetry and Paola reveals it through pure, enchanting eyes. Unlikely coffee cups some with, others without saucers, delicate coloured bowls, curving teapots that seem to sway on short little feet, and the bold colours on bizarre round shapes saturate our eyes: creativity and function do not always harmonize. Nonsensical humour is the keynote of this arrangement and suddenly we remember Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and like the guests at the “unbirthday party” we see hot, puffing, curvy teapots dancing on the tables, as they pour steaming tea into trembling cups, to the accompaniment of lively, cheerful sugar bowls. Even the most mundane household items that continue to fulfil their primary purpose seem to acquire a new soul, be they vases on small pedestals, or standing flat on the table, bowls, trays and cups, decorated with symbols inspired by – and brilliantly adapted from – Chinese art or the impeccably clean lines of the Japanese tradition. The artist’s paintbrush moves with nonchalance as it gives meaning to the “symbols” and invents watery landscapes, and shimmering red sunsets, as it suggests the most beautiful hydrangeas and tiny wildflowers, often with a little rabbit that suddenly shows its head. Could it be the White Rabbit waiting to celebrate the “unbirthday”? The festive air is enriched by the artist’s inventive skills so that the quality of the polychrome glazing gleams in the light and the material becomes so delicate as to practically eliminate the usual plasticity of pottery. She uses a special mixture of white clay and paper that lets itself be modelled into forms so thin that they seem like porcelain. Dreams and reality fiow together to become a little girl reaching for a glass on a high table – too high for her – and these two elements even join forces to make tables with elaborate, curved legs that hold the most natural and spontaneous settings.

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Le Ceramiche di Paolo e Paola Staccioli all’Officina Profumo - Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella da Martedì 11 febbraio ore 17 Via della Scala 16 Firenze

Italiano

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arcata la soglia del laboratorio, ci coglie una sensazione di prossimità, quasi stessimo entrando in uno spazio intimo e segreto. Le opere dislocate nelle sale coniugano le dimensioni ridotte con una presenza potente, magnetica e una pulsante fisicità, emergente da chissà quali recessi psichici. Ci troviamo in un mondo pieno di fascino e di poesia che ci viene raccontato da Paola attraverso occhi incantati e puri. Improbabili tazzine da caffè senza piattino, alcune con piattino, fragili coppe colorate, ondeggianti teiere si animano su corte e incerte gambe, bizzarre forme sferiche accese da intensi colori saturano i nostri occhi: non sempre c’è accordo tra creatività e funzionalità. Siamo colpiti da questa particolare disposizione per l’umorismo del nonsense e a un tratto ci ricordiamo dei libri di Lewis Carroll, di Alice nel paese delle meraviglie e, come gli invitati alla festa

di “non-compleanno”, vediamo danzare sui tavoli, sinuose, calde e soffianti teiere, che versano un tè fumante in traballanti tazzine, affiancate da semoventi e allegre zuccheriere. Ma acquistano un’anima nuova anche le suppellettili più domestiche che non perdono mai il loro ruolo primario, che siano vasi montati su piccoli piedistalli o poggianti sul tavolo, coppe, vassoi e tazzine seppur decorate con indicazioni tratte, con naturale appropriazione, dall’arte cinese o dal rigore impeccabile del gusto giapponese. Il pennello con estrema disinvoltura dà significato al “segno” e inventa paesaggi lacustri, cangianti e rossi tramonti, suggerisce i fiori più belli delle ortensie e i piccoli fiori di campo, spesso in compagnia di un coniglio che ci appare di sorpresa. Si trat-

La mostra sarà aperta tutti i giorni dalle 9 alle 20 da mercoledì 12 a domenica 23 febbraio 2014


Culture

February – March 2014

11

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www.florenceisyou.com

To discover an unusual Florence, starting with street numbers

By Niccolò Rinaldi

Member of the European Parliament (Gruppo ALDE), Florentine and author of Firenze Insolita e Segreta Edizioni Jonglez

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ut of my position as Member of the European Parliament, for almost two years I have been working on a small project which has become every day more and more ambitious. In line with the most important international cities, this project consisted on drafting an excellent touristic guide about Florence, which could collect and tell about the Florence’s secret and unknown places. Finally the Secret Florence was released in 2011 by Edizioni Jonglez and published in four languages. With more than two hundred classified places, all accessible to the general public, this guide represents a small manual for the dweller and the curious travellers eager to discover the hidden Florence. While the “visible” city may strike visitors and tourists alike as a labyrinth that no longer holds any secrets, there is beyond it another, more intimate, city of stratified layers. The earliest stones of the urban fabric, the neglected museums and deserted theatres – these, together with a thousand other enigmatic sites, make

up this place. Not all the curiosities and signs that identify this other city date back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; some might well be much more recent. And yet, however often we have passed by them, we have failed – and continue to fail – to notice them. This guidebook urges you to wander around the city, to look around you, because for those who are ready to read “between the stones” Florence becomes an open – or, at least, half-open – book. And how easy it is to fall into the habit of searching out the more surprising aspect of a city where the rhythm of life is the product of the activities of its residents and the very form of its urban fabric. Like Venice, Prague or Paris, Florence is full of hidden corners that preserve nuances of its history, its literature and the legends it has nurtured. Like them, Florence is a theatre of the unusual and the overlooked. After this long introduction to introduce the handbook, I am going to start with the ABC of the pilgrimage around Florence, where the first curiosity is represented by the two systems of street numbers: private residences have dark blue numbers, while public buildings and business premises have red numbers. As each system follows its own numerical order, it is possible for example to see a blue No. 25 alongside a red No. 3. Elsewhere, as in Genoa or Savona, the red numbers distinguish the secondary exits on the back of some buildings. However, the distinction between business premises and private residences is a unique system, entirely Florentine, which is already an outstanding aspect of the city. Not only. In Piazza Pitti, above the door of the building standing just opposite Palazzo Pitti are two numbers: 7 and 1702. In Via dei Serragli No. 99 there is the No. 2538 as well. Which is the right one? The 1702 and 2538 are perhaps the last remaining trace of the old system for numbering Florence’s houses, in which number 1 was Palazzo Vecchio itself. This single system extended in a capillary fashion throughout the city. In Oltrarno, the first building was numbered 1289, with the numbers also continuing on the other side of the river, reaching

La Misericordia ricorda i 770 anni dalla sua nascita

By Andrea Ceccherini

Provveditore dell’Arciconfraternita della Misericordia di Firenze

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a quasi otto secoli la nostra Misericordia è esempio, nel mondo, di una carità che si incarna nelle azioni a favore degli umili e dei deboli. E se ha fatto questo percorso, moltiplicando se stessa fino a raggiungere ogni continente, è perché ha saputo di volta in volta aggiornarsi, impegnata ad affrontare i problemi che, nuovi, la storia ci ha proposto nel corso dei secoli. E dunque, mossa da una “sconfinata carità”, la Misericordia vive oggi un presente pieno di iniziative e di impegni, senza per questo mai rinunciare ai valori delle proprie origini, anzi, traendo dalla propria memoria la forza per guardare il futuro, con piena fiducia nella Provvidenza. Seppellire i morti, assistere i malati e i carcerati, ma anche lottare contro i nuovi mostri quali l’usura, la solitudine, le difficoltà economiche. Se un tempo la Misericordia accettò anche l’umile e tristissimo impegno di accompagnare cristianamente al patibolo i condannati a morte, oggi è in prima linea nell’aiutare famiglie che hanno problemi anche nel procurarsi il cibo, o tutti coloro che non possono permettersi di pagare

Madonna della Misericordia, fresco, Loggia del Bigallo, Florence cifre esose per una visita medica specialistica e relative analisi. Sentiamo come un profondo impegno morale questo essere nella società – una società “parcellizzata” è stato detto più volte – perché possa di nuovo riaggregarsi su comuni valori. Solidali verso il prossimo intrecciamo così la nostra storia con quella della città nella quale siamo nati e della quale siamo testimoni e protagonisti fino ad oggi. Se, dunque, nel 2014 ricordiamo i 770 anni dalla nostra nascita, non è per un vacuo senso autocelebrativo, ma per rafforzare la nostra identità, dimostrando come il passato sia la linfa dalla quale si può e si deve attingere per vivere il presente e organizzare il futuro. L’impegno durante le epidemie e le guerre, ma anche la presenza nelle manifestazioni sportive, nella letteratura, nei giornali, fino a diventare sinonimo di sostegno e di aiuto, in Firenze e non solo. Mi auguro che i nostri confratelli e la cittadinanza intera possano partecipare consapevolmente e intensamente a questo evento e che ci facciano sentire – come sempre è accaduto – il calore della loro affettuosa presenza.

beyond 8000 in the Santa Croce district. A unitary system then, following an even more complex logic than that found in the street numbers in Venice, where at least the buildings are divided according to sestieri (the six districts that make up the city). The whole system was reformed in 1865, introducing the present numbering by street or piazza. This was when the building once numbered 1702 became 7 Piazza Pitti. As for the old system, it’s nothing but a memory, although traces can still pose the odd puzzler for the sharp-eyed visitor. Italiano

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er quasi due anni il poco tempo libero lasciatomi dal mio incarico di Deputato al Parlamento Europeo l’ho dedicato a un piccolo progetto diventato giorno dopo giorno sempre più ambizioso. Scrivere anche per Firenze, come ne esistono per altre grandi città internazionali, una guida che raccolga e racconti i suoi luoghi segreti e meno noti. Alla fine, per le Edizioni Jonglez, è uscita nel 2011 la Firenze insolita e segreta, pubblicata poi in quattro lingue e divenuta un piccolo manuale dell’abitante e del viaggiatore curioso. Oltre duecento luoghi repertoriati, e tutti accessibili per il grande pubblico, che delineano un’altra città, la Firenze nascosta. Perché oltre quella visibile e percorsa dall’abitudine del cittadino assuefatto dalla superficie e dal turista banale e rinunciatario, c’è una città stratificata nelle prime pietre, raccolta in angoli appartati, in teatri ormai fantasmi e indirizzi enigmatici, una città di nicchie e segni, alcuni perfino recenti e non eredità di medioevi e rinascimenti, perché una città inquieta come Firenze ha sempre sopito i suoi bollori in un ritmo di vita che si ritrova, a saper guardare bene, nel significato di una finestra, o della minima traccia di un antico luogo lasciata per essere decifrata dall’occhio attento di chi sa discernerne il filo d’Arianna della storia vissuta. Per questo la citta è una e mille, ha il volto dell’apparenza e della guida turistica ordinaria, ma ha le venature dei percorsi intrecciati e delle singolarità che sfuggono a prima vista – eppure ci eravamo passati davanti mille volte…

Da oggi comincio una breve rubrica che è un incoraggiamento a camminare e a guardarsi intorno, ad andare oltre le apparenze delle strade che conosciamo. Le pietre di Firenze costituiscono un libro aperto o appena socchiuso, con angoli, iscrizioni, tracce, appartamenti, belvederi, angoli di verde, voci, personaggi, che sono altrettante storie, fermenti di una vita secolare ancora non sopita. Le città sono fatte per questo: crogiolo di eventi e di vite vissute, accumulano curiosità che ne sono il sale. Come Venezia o Parigi, anche Firenze è rivelata non tanto dai grandi monumenti, ma dai particolari, è il teatro dell’insolito. Dopo questa lunga introduzione per presentare la rubrica, comincio con l’abc del peregrinare per Firenze, dove una prima curiosità è il doppio sistema di numerazione civica: le abitazioni sono numerate con caratteri neri o blu scuro, mentre gli edifici pubblici e gli uffici presentano caratteri rossi. è così possibile, per esempio, che il numero 25 blu si trovi vicino al numero 3 rosso. Altrove, come a Genova e a Savona, i numeri rossi distinguono le uscite secondarie, sul retro di alcuni edifici. Ma la differenziazione tra esercizi commerciali e abitazioni è un sistema unico, tutto fiorentino, che già costituisce un aspetto insolito della città. Non solo. In Piazza Pitti, al numero 7, si può notare anche un altro numero, il 1702. In via dei Serragli, al nunmero 99, si trova invece anche il numero 2538. Come mai? Sono tra le poche tracce dell’antica numerazione di Firenze che partiva da Palazzo Vecchio, con suo numero 1, e si diramava per il resto della città. In Oltrarno la prima casa aveva il 1289, poi si tornava dall’altra parte del fiume – e a Santa Croce si superava il civico 8000. Un sistema unitario anche più complesso rispetto a quello veneziano, dove la numerazione unica è ancora vigente ma suddivisa per i sei sestrieri. Nel 1865 la riforma e l’introduzione del sistema attuale con la numerazione strada per strada, piazza per piazza. Così il palazzo di Piazza Pitti è passato dal 1702 al 7 - un cambio assai brusco e repentino, ma meglio per tutti, mentre l’antica numerazione rimasta è una memoria che per il passante attento si fa quasi un indovinello. E chi farà attenzione, potrà trovare altre testimonianze.


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February 2014 – March 2014

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The Crucifix between worship and musealization

By Francesco Gurrieri Architect

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s recently demonstrated by the position of the three Crucifixes in the Baptistery of St. John, the Crucifix remains and is confirmed as not only fundamental paradigm of the Christian faith, but a reference to the sedimentation of the whole history of the Church. At least a century ago the crucifixes, which are designed by artists for devotional purposes, started their journey with a museological irreversible expulsion from their original function. It is not a new issue; in recent times it has been complicated by the need to regulate access to the holy sites containing masterpieces of art object of interest, leading to an introduction of a “ticketing” to be paid in the costs of “conservation” of the same works of art. Undoubtedly, this is a sensitive issue, sometimes misunderstood, sometimes prejudiced and grossly manipulated to be talked foolishly of simony. In the ancient wisdom, the municipality of Florence was among the first to create an Opera (secular), aimed at the construction of the new cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (1296) and to preserve the works, as well as today. Of course, today, with the flow of hundreds of thousands of people, it is to actualize this “mission,” pursuing the most reasonable solutions. In a nutshell, the problem is this: a work of sacred art, say

a Crucifix, must be protected and guaranteed the exercise of worship, and only secondarily made available to the tourism of art. A state of equilibrium between the two functions must be found, with priority given to the first condition since the original spring. But on a practical level, what is achievable? Of course, the problem of the protection of “sacred cultural heritage” is wellchanged by the Episcopal Conference Tuscany, in 1979, with the co-ordination of Bishop Agresti (archbishop of Lucca), who faced many aspects of Church-State relations. Then the State covered an estimated 90 percent of the costs of maintenance and restoration of religious architectural heritage, which today is largely absent; churches are even without resources for their state-owned assets. Another problem is that of the preservation and safety of the works of sacred art in churches, which are usually defenseless, and the open education/ miseducation of those who enter. And beyond indignation, protests, and comparisons with the reactive capability of other religions, the fact remains that no one can afford a permanent garrison of surveillance. In the end, we are faced with two realistic alternatives: close the places of worship, opening them only to coincide with the celebrations, as already happens in Florence in the church of the Holy Spirit, or to ensure constant supervision. But in the latter case, it should be the same community that gravitates on the sacred property to mobilize in this way. And then we must ask ourselves: is this maturity? And is this the spirit of dedication? It is a check to do, a query for each of us, otherwise everything “remains literature ... “.

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ome ha recentemente dimostrato l’esposizione dei tre Crocifissi nel Battistero di San Giovanni, il Crocifisso resta e si conferma non solo paradigma fondamentale della fede cristiana, ma riferimento di tutta intera la sedimentazione della storia della Chiesa. È sicuramente da almeno un secolo che i Crocifissi, concepiti dagli artisti per fini

The Crucifix by Cimabue in the heart of the Basilica of Santa Croce devozionali, hanno iniziato il loro itinerario museologico con un irreversibile allontanamento dalla loro funzione originaria. Non è questione nuova, che negli ultimi tempi si è complicata per la necessità di regolamentare l’accesso ai luoghi sacri che conservano capolavori d’arte, oggetto di interesse turistico (inducendo a introdurre una “bigliettazione” da riversare nei costi di “conservazione”

delle stesse opere d’arte). Indubbiamente, si tratta di un problema delicato, talvolta mal compreso, altre volte pregiudizialmente e volgarmente strumentalizzato fino a far parlare stupidamente di simonia. Nella saggezza antica, il Comune di Firenze fu tra i primi a creare un’Opera (laica), finalizzata alla costruzione della nuova cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (1296) e a conservarne le opere, così come ancora oggi fa. Ovviamente, ai nostri giorni, con i flussi di centinaia di migliaia di persone, c’è da attualizzare codesta “missione”, perseguendo le soluzioni più ragionevoli. In estrema sintesi, il problema si pone in questi termini: un’opera d’arte sacra, poniamo un Crocifisso, va tutelato e garantito all’esercizio del culto e, solo secondariamente, reso accessibile al turismo d’arte? La ragione vorrebbe che fosse trovata una condizione di equilibrio tra le due funzioni, con priorità alla prima in quanto condizione sorgiva originaria. Ma sul piano pratico, quanto è realizzabile codesta soluzione? Certo, il problema della salvaguardia dei “beni culturali sacri” è ben cambiato dalla Conferenza Episcopale Toscana che, nel 1979, col coordinamento di Monsignor Agresti (arcivescovo di Lucca) affrontò numerosi aspetti del rapporto Chiesa-Stato: ma allora lo Stato copriva, mediamente il 90% dei costi manutentivi e di restauro del patrimonio architettonico religioso; oggi è sostanzialmente assente, senza risorse nemmeno per il proprio patrimonio demaniale. Problema altro è quello della conservazione e della sicurezza delle opere d’arte sacra nelle chiese, generalmente indifese e aperte all’educazione/diseducazione di chi entra. E oltre le indignazioni, le proteste, i paragoni con le capacità reattive di altre religioni, resta il fatto che nessuno si può permettere un presidio fisso di sorveglianza, così che, alla fine, siamo di fronte a due alternative realistiche: chiudere per lunghe ore i luoghi di culto (aprendoli solo in coincidenza con le celebrazioni), così come già accade a Firenze nella chiesa di Santo Spirito o garantirne un presidio costante. Ma in quest’ultimo caso, dovrebbe essere la stessa comunità che gravita sull’immobile sacro a mobilitarsi in questo senso. E allora domandiamoci: c’è questa maturità ? È avvertibile questo spirito di dedizione? È una verifica da fare, un’interrogazione per ciascuno di noi, altrimenti, tutto “resta letteratura...”.

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Contemporary Art

February – March 2014

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Yuné Hikosaka: Japanese painter and draftsman non ha ancora perso il suo splendore. E per me, inoltre, sono come “vicini di casa” e fanno una parte della vita quotidiana. Questa sensibilità particolare è sicuramente cresciuta influenzata anche dalla cultura giapponese, non quella recente ma antica. La nostra cultura si basa originariamente sulla religione animistica (oggi tuttavia molti la confondono con lo scintoismo), e questo vuol dire che per noi gli dei (o gli

By Yuné Hikosaka

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ince I was a child I had been fascinated by the animals, especially by dinosaurs and imaginary animals. They are the symbols of the great past that still extinguish it’s splendor. And for me, moreover, they are like the “neighbors” and they constitute the quotidian life. This particular sensitivity is certainly brought up being influenced also by the ancient japanese culture, not that recent. Our culture is originally based on animistic religion (today, however, many people confuses with Shintoism), and it tell that for us the gods could be found everywhere and they were first of all the symbols of the nature in which we lived together. At any rate, I draw them (or probably they have me draw) because I love them, and I feel very familiar with them.

spiriti) possono essere trovati dappertutto e sono innanzitutto i simboli della natura in cui viviamo. Dunque io li disegno (o probabilmente sono loro che mi inducono a farlo) perché mi piacciono e mi sento molto vicino a loro. In generale i dinosauri sono rappresentati più o meno come creature mostruose, terribili, ma perché non immaginiamo i dinosauri dolci, affettuosi, saggi, o buffi? È possibile! Certamente

avevano anche degli aspetti violenti, ma, possiamo dire che dentro di noi non c’è la crudeltà? O la mostruosità? Quando le persone perdono il contatto con la natura tutto diventa sempre più “meccanico” (purtroppo proprio nel mio paese questa tendenza è rilevante). Mantenere amore e rispetto per la natura, per le persone, è invece sempre più difficile. Secondo me nell’arte deve esserci lo spazio per immaginare e far immaginare.

Italiano

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in da bambino sono stato affascinato fortemente dai tutti gli animali, soprattutto dai dinosauri e dagli animali fantastici. Sono i simboli del grande passato che

Lea Monetti

Studio di Scultura via del Parioncino, 5/R 50123 Firenze tel. 340 3402503 Info: www.leamonetti.it


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The myth of the Golden Age Retrospective: Vettor Pisani A new exhibition in Naples Vermeer in Bologna By Ellen Miller

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ontemporary art in Italy is different from elsewhere around the world. Generally anything created post-Renaissance is considered modern, creating confusion when tourists visit the “modern” art galleries. For example, in Palazzo Pitti, the modern art galleries contain many pre-Impressionist and Impressionist time period paintings. Tourists expecting to see something painted by Mondrian are in for a surprise. Italian contemporary painting is just as significant to the Italian culture, however, as Andy Warhol is for Americans. A new exhibition in Naples celebrates the life of one such artist. In December an ode to one of Italy’s most important contemporary artists kicked off in Naples, celebrating the life and work of Vettor Pisani, who died in 2011. It is the first retrospective of his life and work and contains a wide variety of his works in all different mediums. Pisani emerged in the 1970s as one of the most important representatives of visual research. He was also an important visionary author about his generation. His work includes aspects of art, literature, theater, music, architecture,

By E. M.

philosophy, poetry and science. In a way, he hearkens back to Italy’s artistic past of the Renaissance by redefining the artists as more than a singular figure. Born in Bari, Pisani abandoned architectural studies in Naples to study Rosicrucianism, an occult organization. When he began to study art, he first completed conceptual analyses of works by Marcel Duchamp and Robert Motherwell. Even after he won an award and continued his study of art, his interest in the occult continued. Pisani’s drawings, collages and paintings will be on display, as well as a variety of his other work in the most comprehensive Pisani exhibit ever. Site-specific installations will be a part of the show as well as his work in photographs and mixed media. Accompanying the exhibition will be a variety of documentary information about Pisani that will contextualize his works. Held at the Madre museum in Naples, the exhibition is a must-see for those passionate about more modern Italian art history. The exhibition runs through March 24, 2014. www.madrenapoli.it

Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a pearl earring (1665-1666)

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short train ride away from Florence lies an incredible and final opportunity to see the famous painting Girl with a pearl earring outside its home in the Netherlands. Typically seeing such a national treasure outside of its home would be impossible; museums that host massively important paintings loathe to part with them. The traveling exhibition featuring Girl with a pearl earring is about as likely as a traveling painting featuring the Mona Lisa, or a detached fresco from the Sistine Chapel. Renovations to the Mauritshuis, located in the Hague, Netherlands, involved the entire closure of the museum. Instead of moving the paintings to storage for the duration, the museum chose to send a traveling exhibition to several major cities. It has previously visited Tokyo and Kobe in Japan in 2012 three cities in the US in 2013 and Bologna is the last stop for the exhibition before the paintings return to the Netherlands to be rehung in the newly remodeled Mauritshuis before its reopening this summer. Girl with a pearl earring is the most recog-

nizable name in the exhibition, painted by the master of light, Vermeer, and even inspired a novel of the same name. In addition to another Vermeer painting, a number of other Dutch masters accompany the painting, including Rembrandt, Hals, Steen and Ter Borch. The Mauritshuis celebrates the golden age of 17th-century Dutch painting and will reopen in June with expanded facilities. The design plan connects the original building with one across the street which will house a new exhibition space, an education area, a café and the museum shop, as well as the library, an auditorium and the museum offices. The museum’s goal is to make the art collection as well as Dutch culture more accessible to visitors and the general public. Painting connoisseurs cannot miss this unique opportunity to see one of the most famous paintings in the world without traveling to the Netherlands. Travel to Bologna from February 8-May 25 to see the famous Dutch masters before they return home.

Marathon in Rome prepares for 19th edition on March 23

By E. M.

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n March 23 a huge group of runners will set out to conquer the cobblestones in the twentieth edition of the Rome Marathon. Because the marathon is being held on a Sunday this year, it has been moved to start ten minutes earlier at 8:50 to accom-

modate tourists arriving for the pope’s Angelus prayer, held at noon on Sundays. The race kicks off in the shadow of the Coliseum, and despite Rome’s hills is a relatively flat race. However, runners must run over cobblestones during portions of the race, which can be challenging. Runners can run for a charity of their choice or one included in the grouping of charities that the marathon officially supports. The course winds past most of Rome’s main sights, including Saint Peter’s Square, where for a time the start of the race was held. The Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Venezia and Piazza di Spagna are other notable Roman landmarks that runners will be able to glance at in awe as they jog (or sprint) past. The race is a great way to see the major sights of Rome; just do not forget that you have to finish in seven hours! One of the most fa-

mous marathons ever was held in Rome during the 1960 Olympic Games. During the race, an Ethiopian named Abebe Bikila quickly outdistanced the rest of the pack and took gold all in his bare feet. Fifty years later, another Ethiopian named Siraj Gena won the Roma marathon, also running in his bare feet, an appropriate celebration of the momentous historic event. Registration for the marathon closes March 10. When registering all athletes must provide a health form validated by a doctor along with their registration and fee. All participants receive a backpack and technical tee as part of their registration fee.


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CERRETANI FIRENZE Via de’ Cerretani, 10, FIRENZE Tel. 0552381301 / Fax 0552381312 CLUB HOTEL Via Santa Caterina, 11r, FIRENZE Tel. 055217707 / Fax 055217707

COLUMBUS Lungarno C. Colombo, 22a, FIRENZE Tel. 055677251 / Fax 055669100 CONSIGLI Lungarno A. Vespucci, 50, FIRENZE Tel. 055214172 / Fax 055219367

CORONA D’ITALIA Via Nazionale, 14, FIRENZE Tel. 055261501 / Fax 055288639

COSMOPOLITAN Via F. Baracca,187, FIRENZE Tel. 0554225800 / Fax 0554225850 CROCE DI MALTA Via della Scala, 7, FIRENZE Tel. 055261870 / Fax 055287121 CURTATONE Via Curtatone, 12, FIRENZE Tel. 055215408 / Fax 055216731

DAVANZATI HOTEL Via Porta Rossa, 5, FIRENZE Tel. 055286666 / Fax 0552658252 DEI MACCHIAIOLI Via Cavour, 21, FIRENZE Tel. 055213154 / Fax 0552648153 DE LANZI Via delle Oche, 11, FIRENZE Tel. 055288043 / Fax 055288043

DELLA ROBBIA Via Della Robbia, 7/9, FIRENZE Tel. 0552638570 / Fax 0552466371 DE LA VILLE Piazza Antinori, 1, FIRENZE Tel. 0552381805 / Fax 0552381809 DELLE NAZIONI Via L. Alamanni, 15, FIRENZE Tel. 055283575 / 3356798237 Fax 055283579

DE ROSE PALACE HOTEL Via Solferino, 5, FIRENZE Tel. 0552396818 / Fax 055268249

DEGLI ORAFI Lungarno Archibusieri, 4, FIRENZE Tel. 05526622 / Fax 0552662111 DIPLOMAT Via L. Alamanni, 9, FIRENZE Tel. 0552608400 Fax 0552646525

DUOMO Piazza Duomo, 1, FIRENZE Tel. 055219922 / 3483813467 Fax 055216410

EDEN Via Nazionale, 55/157r, FIRENZE Tel. 055483722 / 055475451 Fax 055489478

EMBASSY Via Jacopo da Diacceto,8, FIRENZE Tel. 055219316 / Fax 0552382266 ESTER Largo F.lli Alinari, 15, FIRENZE Tel. 055280952 / 3286251017 Fax 0552675623

EXECUTIVE Via Curtatone, 5, FIRENZE Tel. 055217451 / Fax 055268346 FENICE PALACE Via de’ Martelli, 10, FIRENZE Tel. 055289942 Fax 055210087

FLORENCE BUSINESS HOTEL Via del Pantano, 16, FIRENZE Tel. 0555386800 / Fax 0555386801 GALILEO Via Nazionale, 22a, FIRENZE Tel. 055496645 / Fax 055496447 GIGLIO Via Cavour, 85, FIRENZE Tel. 055486621 / Fax 055461163 GINORI AL DUOMO Via dei Ginori, 24, FIRENZE Tel. 055218615 / 3497549765 Fax 055211392

GIOIA Via Cavour, 25, FIRENZE Tel. 055282804 / Fax 0552398997 GLOBUS Via Sant’ Antonino, 24, FIRENZE Tel. 055211062 / 3351684039 Fax 0552396225

GOLDEN TOWER Via Monalda, 1, FIRENZE Tel. 055287860 / Fax 0552658044 GOLDONI Borgo Ognissanti, 8, FIRENZE Tel. 055284080 / Fax 055282676 GRIFONE Via G. Pilati, 20, FIRENZE Tel. 055623300 / Fax 055677628

HERMITAGE Vicolo Marzio, 1 (piazza del Pesce), FIRENZE Tel. 055287216 / Fax 055212208 HELVETIA & BRISTOL Via dei Pescioni, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 05526651 / Fax 055288353

HILTON FLORENCE METROPOLE Via del Cavallaccio, 36, FIRENZE Tel. 05578711 / Fax 05578718020 IL DUCA la Pergola, 34, FIRENZE Tel. 0559062167 / 3476264284 Fax 0559062168 IL GUELFO BIANCO Via Cavour, 29, FIRENZE Tel. 055288330 / 3356069259 Fax 055295203

IL PERSEO Via Cerretani, 1, FIRENZE Tel. 055212504 / Fax 055288377 ITALIANA HOTELS FLORENCE Viale Europa, 205, FIRENZE Tel. 0556571 / Fax 0557472369

IL SALVIATINO Via del Salviatino, 14, FIESOLE Tel. 0559041111 / Fax 0559041247 J AND J Via di Mezzo, 20, FIRENZE Tel. 05526312 / Fax 055240282 KRAFT Via Solferino, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 055284273 Fax 0552398267


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February – March 2014 info@florenceisyou.com

www.florenceisyou.com

F

Takako Irifune

Birba & Le Chicche di Birba

lorence and its surrounding area have always been the heart of Fashion and Design in Italy, with most of the famous brands in Apparel and Accessories being born and raised over here. From scratch, just originating from a basic idea, colored fabric and cloths become Children’s Apparel, Layettes, Blankets or Bodysuits for Newborns and Infants. During 2003, from a long-nurtured dream Birba was born, a Children’s Apparel Store in Via dei Serragli in Florence. Here ideas become reality, and childhood becomes color and fun both for kids and grown-ups. I became a mother some year ago, and I know how Moms want to surround their kids with things that are not only beautiful to see, but are also made with passion and with an eye on some important values that improve their children lives. Here at Birba we sew and knit items that we make with our hands, in the traditional and artisanal way that we learnt from our Moms some years ago. This makes each piece unique and different from one another. Throughout the years, Birba has become an Artisanal Workshop in Florence for Kids Apparel, a unique place in town where objects originate from a meticulous research of raw materials, to finally evolve into one-of-a-kind pieces that range from Blankets to Apparel, but also Toys that are all part of “Le Chicche di Birba” Collection. There’s even more besides this, though. Today, Birba in Via dei Serragli is the meeting place for mothers and children that gather together in the upper wooden loft of the store to create their own clothes,

learn how to design and sew them, or simply sit and listen to readings of beautiful tales from the past. As a mom, I am lucky to participate to this with my daughter. And who knows how many new “Birba’s” the future will bring to us.

Atelier Le Chicche di Birba Articoli per l’infanzia Via de’ Serragli 7r, tel. 055 2399682 info@birbaatelier.it

Jewelry designer

J

ewelry is bonding and identifies us. It takes thousands and thousands of years for a stone to form. Every single stone has its own story from a long time ago, even before we were born. Every stone is unique and one of a kind Every stone has a different design that brings it to life. My work begins with taking good care of stones that are delicately raised by our Great Mother Earth. My decision to be become a designer is strongly influenced by memories of my mother. Since I was a little girl, she gave me pearls and other jewelry as a gift for my birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Therefore everytime I wear jewelry it makes me think of her smile and the words that she used to say to me. Yes, jewelry truly bonds us to one another. As I said earlier, every single stone is in need of its own different design. I often use big stones for my jewelry. One of the reasons is that I would like to make the most of its uniqueness and character. Even the rings I make have a unique design in which a part of the ring is movable because I want its owner to be able to communicate with the jewelry all the time. The jewelry that only you can share anytime, the jewelry is you. Jewelry is identity.

www.takako-jewelry.com

Designer

Your portrait just from a simple photo www.donatellaisola.it info@donatellaisola.it

Pop Art painting courses Tel. 055 2347209 Cell. 328 4662700


Contemporary Art www.florenceisyou.com

february – march 2014

Xu Hongfei’s sculpture exhibition in Italy

17

info@florenceisyou.com

Xu Hongfei, sculptor

X

u Hongfei, born in Yangjiang City, Guangdong Province in 1963, graduated from Sculpture Department in Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1990. He is now Dean of Guangzhou Sculpture Academy and national first-grade artist. His “Chubby Women” sculptures are quite unique in the China sculpture field. Xu Hongfei is good at applying various materials to create his homorous “Chubby Women” from different perspectives. They are bold, exaggerated but reasonable; they are the “Laurel and Hardy’’ in the sculpture comedy, carrying the praise and compliment to those chubby people. Looking back the last two hugely successful exhibitions in Sydney and Melbourne, we know that this celebrated sculptor’s confìdent, humorous and happy “Chubby Women” Xu Hongfei‘s sculpture exhibition in Sydney

are quite popular among the local people because such an extraordinary fresh experience is right presented on Australia soil. And his work Foreshore Frolics was even collected by Sydney government. Ever since “Chubby Women” came into being, they have been widely appreciated by people. Now “Chubby Women” sculptures have been displayed in many cities and become collections of numerous art institutions and the private at home and abroad. Chubby as they are, they are happy, cute, simple and cultured, they have their own realms. Traveling along with Xu Hongfei, “Chubby Woman” fly through France, Australia, Swiss and Thailand and arrive at its third exibition stop, Italy. It is believed that the coming exhibition will definitely be an unexpected visual feast.

Xu Hongfei‘s sculpture exhibition in Montepulciano (Siena)

Xu Hongfei‘s sculpture exhibition in Sydney


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february – march 2014

www.florenceisyou.com

Hotels: Our friends, your friends

LA CASA DI MORFEO Via Ghibellina, 51, FIRENZE Tel. 055241193 / Fax 055240999

PALAZZO GUADAGNI Piazza Santo Spirito, 9, FIRENZE Tel. 0552658376 / 3293324096

SAN GIORGIO & OLIMPIC Via Sant’ Antonino, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 055284344 / Fax 055283580

LA SCALETTA Via Guicciardini, 13, FIRENZE Tel. 055283028 / Fax 055283013

PALAZZO RICASOLI Via delle Mantellate, 2/3 FIRENZE Tel. 055352151 / Fax 055495001

SAVOY Piazza della Repubblica, 7, FIRENZE Tel. 05527351 / Fax 0552735888

LA RESIDENZA Via Tornabuoni, 8, FIRENZE Tel. 055218684 / Fax 055284197 LAURUS AL DUOMO Via Cerretani, 54r, FIRENZE Tel. 0552381752 / Fax 055268308 LA VENERE Via C. Cavour, 21, FIRENZE Tel. 055215087 / Fax 0552656243

LE DUE FONTANE Piazza SS. Annunziata, 14, FIRENZE Tel. 055210185 / Fax 055294461

LIBERTY Viale Michelangelo, 40, FIRENZE Tel. 0556810581 / Fax 0556812595 L’O HOTEL L’OROLOGIO Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 24, FIRENZE Tel. 055277380 / Fax 05527738199 LOGGIATO DEI SERVITI Piazza SS. Annunziata, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 055289592 - 055289593 LONDRA Via J. da Diacceto, 18, FIRENZE Tel. 05527390 / Fax 055210682

LORENZO IL MAGNIFICO Via Lorenzo Il Magnifico, 25, FIRENZE Tel. 0554630878 / Fax 055486168 LUNGARNO Borgo San Jacopo, 14, FIRENZE Tel. 05527261 / Fax 055268437

MACHIAVELLI PALACE Via Nazionale, 10, FIRENZE Tel. 055216622 / Fax 055214106 MARIO’S Via Faenza, 89, FIRENZE Tel. 055216801 / Fax 055212039 MARTELLI Via Panzani, 8, FIRENZE Tel. 055217151 / Fax 055268504 MIA CARA Via Faenza, 90r, FIRENZE Tel. 055216053 - 055290804

MEDITERRANEO Lungarno del Tempio, 44, FIRENZE Tel. 055660241 / Fax 055679560 MINERVA Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 16, FIRENZE Tel. 05527230 / Fax 055268281

MIRAGE Via F. Baracca, 231/18, FIRENZE Tel. 055352011 / Fax 055374096

MONNA LISA Borgo Pinti, 27, FIRENZE Tel. 0552479751 / Fax 0552479755 MONTEBELLO SPLENDID Via Garibaldi, 14, FIRENZE Tel. 05527471 / Fax 0552747700

MORANDI ALLA CROCETTA Via Laura, 50, FIRENZE Tel. 0552344747 / Fax 0552480954 MULINO DI FIRENZE Via Villamagna, 119, FIRENZE Tel. 0556530279 / Fax 0556531486 NH ANGLO AMERICAN Via G. Garibaldi, 9, FIRENZE Tel. 055282114 / Fax 055268513

NH FIRENZE Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 4a, FIRENZE Tel. 0552770 / Fax 0552657965 NILHOTEL Via Barsanti, 27/a-b, FIRENZE Tel. 055795540 / 3333237387 Fax 0554476093

NORD FLORENCE Via F. Baracca, 199a, FIRENZE Tel. 055431151 / Fax 055431202

NOVO HOTEL Via Tevere, 23, FIRENZE (Sesto F.no) Tel. 05553821 / Fax 05553821 OLIMPIA Piazza della Repubblica, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 055219781 / Fax 0552670383 ORTO DE’ MEDICI Via San Gallo, 30, FIRENZE Tel. 055483427 / Fax 055461276

PALAZZO OGNISSANTI Via M. Finiguerra,12r, Tel. 055213021 / Fax 0552657812

PALAZZO VECCHIO Via B. Cennini, 4, FIRENZE Tel. 055212182 / Fax 055216445 PARIS Via dei Banchi, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 055280281 / Fax 055268505 PARK PALACE Piazzale Galileo, 5, FIRENZE Tel. 055222431 / Fax 055220517 PENDINI Via Strozzi, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 055211170 / Fax 055281807

PIERRE Via de’ Lamberti, 5, FIRENZE Tel. 055216218 / Fax 0552396573

PITTI PALACE AL PONTE VECCHIO Borgo San Jacopo, 3r, FIRENZE Tel. 0552398711 / Fax 0552398867 PLAZA & LUCCHESI Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 38, FIRENZE Tel. 05526236 / Fax 0552480921

PORTA FAENZA Via Faenza, 77, FIRENZE Tel. 055217975 / Fax 055210101

PRINCIPE Lungarno A. Vespucci, 34, FIRENZE Tel. 055284848 / Fax 055283458 PRIVILEGE Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 26, FIRENZE Tel. 0552341221 - 0552478220

RAFFAELLO Viale Morgagni, 19, FIRENZE Tel. 0554224141 / Fax 055434374 RAPALLO Via Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, 7 FIRENZE Tel. 055472412 / Fax 055470385

REGENCY Piazza M. D’Azeglio, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 055245247 / Fax 0552346735 RELAIS IL CESTELLO Piazza di Cestello, 9, FIRENZE Tel. 055280632 - 055280633

RELAIS SANTA CROCE Via Ghibellina, 87, FIRENZE Tel. 0552342230 / Fax 0552341195 RELAIS UFFIZI Via Chiasso del Buco, 16, FIRENZE Tel. 0552676239 / Fax 0552657909 RESIDENZA FIORENTINA Via dei Fossi, 12, Tel. 055282980 / Fax 055286882

REX Via Faenza, 6, FIRENZE Tel. 055213506 / Fax 0552382390 RITZ Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 24 FIRENZE Tel. 0552340650 / Fax 055240863

RIVER Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 18 FIRENZE Tel. 0552343529 / Fax 0552343531 RIVOLI Via della Scala, 33, FIRENZE Tel. 05527861 / Fax 055294041

ROMA Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 8, FIRENZE Tel. 055210366 / Fax 055215306 ROYAL Via delle Ruote, 52, FIRENZE Tel. 055483287 / Fax 055490976

ROSSO 23 Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 23 FIRENZE Tel. 055277300 / Fax 05527730199 Room MATE ISABELLA Via Tornabuoni, 13, FIRENZE Tel. 0552396464 / Fax 0552398108 SAN GALLO PALACE Via L. Il Magnifico, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 055463871 / Fax 0554638704

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A showcase called... Taxi!

SANTA MARIA NOVELLA Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 1, FIRENZE Tel. 055271840 / 3357403355 Fax 05527184199 SEMPIONE Via Nazionale, 15, FIRENZE Tel. 055212462 / Fax 055212463 SHERATON Via G. Agnelli, 33, FIRENZE Tel. 05564901 / Fax 055680747 SILLA Via d Renai, 5, FIRENZE Tel. 0552342888 / 3355334235 Fax 0552341437

STARHOTELS MICHELANGELO Viale F.lli Rosselli, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 0552784 / Fax 0552382232

STARHOTELS TUSCANY Via di Novoli, 59, FIRENZE Tel. 055431441 / Fax 0554378257 STARHOTELS VESPUCCI Via San Quirico, 292 A, FIRENZE (Campi Bisenzio) Tel. 05589551/ Fax 05589551

ST. REGIS Piazza Ognissanti, 1, FIRENZE Tel. 05527161 / Fax 055217400

STROZZI PALACE HOTEL Via de’ Vecchietti, 4, FIRENZE Tel. 055283898 / Fax 055268201 TORNABUONI BEACCI Via Tornabuoni, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 055212645 / Fax 055283594

TORRE DI BELLOSGUARDO Via Roti Michelozzi, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 0552298145 / Fax 055229008

TORRE GUELFA Borgo SS. Apostoli, 8, FIRENZE Tel. 0552396338 / Fax 0552398577 UNA HOTEL VITTORIA Via Pisana, 59, FIRENZE Tel. 05522771 / Fax 05522772

UNICORNO Via dei Fossi, 27, FIRENZE Tel. 055287313 / Fax 055268332 UNIVERSO Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 20, FIRENZE Tel. 055293890 / 3357403355 0Fax 05529389199

VICTORIA Via Nazionale, 102r, FIRENZE Tel. 055287019 / Fax 0552398806 VILLA BELVEDERE Via B. Castelli, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 055222501 / Fax 055223163

VILLA BETANIA Viale del Poggio Imperiale, 23, FIRENZE Tel. 055222243 / Fax 0552281321 VILLA CARLOTTA Via M. di Lando, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 0552336134 / Fax 0552336147 VILLA CORA Viale Machiavelli, 18/20, FIRENZE Tel. 055228790 / Fax 05522879199 VILLA LA MASSA Via della Massa, 24 (Candeli), BAGNO A RIPOLI Tel. 05562611 / Fax 055633102

VILLA LA VEDETTA Viale Michelangiolo, 78, FIRENZE Tel. 055681631 / Fax 0556582544

VILLA LE RONDINI Via Bolognese Vecchia, 224, FIRENZE Tel. 055400271 / Fax 055268212 VILLA OLMI RESORT Via degli Olmi, 4-8, BAGNO A RIPOLI Tel. 055637710 / Fax 05563771600 VILLA SAN MICHELE Via Doccia, 4, FIESOLE Tel. 0555678200 / Fax 0555678250 VILLA TOLOMEI Via S. Maria a Marignolle, 10/b, FIRENZE Tel. 0553920401 / Fax 068415496 WESTIN EXCELSIOR Piazza Ognissanti, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 05527151 / Fax 055210278

By Claudio Giudici Chairman of Taxi 4390

T

he taxi can be considered the first showcase of a city. It is the first meeting which is done by a city, the “welcome to Florence.” The taxi starts off the production chain of the tourism industry in Florence. For this reason, the 4390 Taxi Florence has identified its mission to serve the customer in the best possible way. Recently, a survey of the Interactive Market Research has revealed how the mission should be a taxi cab to be the ideal. The 4390 Taxi Florence offers all the features that the market demands because we are the taxi ideal. Our taxi is environmentally friendly; you can buy the taxi online; you can pay by credit card or with a modern system of SMS; it has wifi and even a tablet on board. Today, we can truly speak of a Taxi 2.0. However, not just content to simply improve ourselves, if our customer has any dispute with our taxi drivers, they will ultimately find protection in the Association of Consumers Adiconsum. This is the real challenge that the 4390 issues, certain of the quality of its taxi service! Italiano

Una vetrina chiamata... Taxi! Il taxi può essere considerato la prima vetrina di una città. Esso rappresenta il primo incontro che si fa con una città, il “benvenuto a Firenze”. Il taxi si inserisce a tutti gli effetti nella catena produttiva dell’industria turistica fiorentina. E’ per questo che il 4390 Taxi Firenze ha individuato la propria mission nel servire nel miglior modo possibile il Cliente. Recentemente un’indagine dell’Interactive Market Research ci ha svelato come debba essere un taxi per essere il taxi ideale. Ebbene, il 4390 Taxi Firenze oggi offre tutte le caratteristiche che il mercato richiede perché si possa parlare di taxi ideale: è ecologico, è possibile acquistare la corsa online, è possibile pagarlo con carta di credito o con un moderno sistema di sms, ha il wifi e addirittura il tablet a bordo. Oggi, possiamo veramente parlare di un Taxi 2.0. Tuttavia, non contenti di migliorarci continuamente, oggi il nostro Cliente qualora avesse una qualsiasi controversia con i nostri tassisti, potrà trovare tutela in ultima istanza nell’Associazione dei consumatori Adiconsum. Questa è la vera sfida che il 4390, contro ogni facile luogo comune, lancia al mercato perché certo della qualità del proprio servizio taxi!


February – March 2014 www.florenceisyou.com The newspaper in English and Italian language

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Schools and Universities in Florence ABC Centro di lingua e cultura italiana Via Rustici, 7 tel. 055.212001 Accademia Delle Arti Del Disegno Via Orsanmichele 4 - 50123 Firenze tel: 055 288164 Accademia Italiana Arte Moda & Design Piazza Pitti 15 - 50125 Firenze tel: 055 211619 fax: 055 284486 American International School of Florence Villa Le Tavernule , Via del Carota, 23/25 Bagno a Ripoli tel. 055.640033 California State University Via G. Leopardi 12 - 50121 Firenze tel: 055 2345700 Centro Linguistico Italiano Dante Alighieri Lingua e Cultura Italiana Via dei Bardi, 12 tel. 055.2342984 Piazza della Repubblica, 5 tel. 055.210808 Centro Ponte Vecchio P.zza del Mercato Nuovo, 1 (Logge del Porcellino) tel. 055.294511 Conservatorio Statale Di Musica L. Cherubini Piazza Delle Belle Arti 2 - 50122 Firenze tel: 055 292180 Drake University c/o Centro Lorenzo de’ Medici, Via Ricasoli, 9 tel. 055.283142 Eurocentres P.zza S. Spirito, 9 tel. 055.213030 Fairfield University Via del Giglio, 15 tel. 055.210058 Florida State University Scuola Borgo Degli Albizi 15 - 50122 Firenze Fua Florence University of the arts Corso Tintori 21 Firenze Italia 50122 tel: 055 2340604

Giuseppe Linardi, Decodeficazione, 2011, private collection

Georgetown University Villa Le Balze, Via Vecchia Fiesolana, 26 Fiesole tel. 055.59208 Gonzaga-in-Florence Via Giorgio La pira, 16 - tel. 055.215053 Harvard University Villa I Tatti, Via di Vincigliata, 26 tel. 055.607467 Harding University Via di Triozzi, 57, Scandicci Firenze Tel 055 768977 IED Istituto Europeo di Design Via Maurizio Bufalini, 6-red 50122 Firenze Tel 055 29821 International Studies Institute Inc. Via Della Vigna Nuova 18 - 50123 Firenze James Madison University Piazza Degli Strozzi 2 - 50123 Firenze Tel 055 2657661 Kent State University Palazzo dei Cerchi, Vicolo dei Cerchi 1 tel. 055.265836 L’Arca Srl 7, Via Dei Rustici - tel. 055 2654017 Lorenzo De’ Medici Via Del Giglio 15 - 50123 Firenze tel: 055 2670364 fax: 055 2608770 Lorenzo de’ Medici Via Faenza, 43 tel. 055.283142 New York University Villa La Pietra - Via Bolognese, 120 tel. 055.50071 Fax 055.472725 Parola S.R.L. 8, Corso Dei Tintori - tel. 055 242182 Pepperdine University Viale Milton, 41 tel. 055.488657 Polimoda Via Pisana 77 - 5043 Firenze tel: 055 739961 fax: 055 700287

✔ Eventi e mostre d’arte ✔ Pubblicazioni a carattere divulgativo ✔ Ufficio Stampa ✔ Siti web ✔ Social media ✔ Graphic design ✔ Grafica Editoriale www.acontemporaryart.org

Richmond College Universita’ Americana Via Maggio 11 - 50125 Firenze tel: 055 215956 Santa Reparata International School of Art (SRISA) Via San Gallo, 53-red, 50129 Firenze 055 462 7374 Scuola Leonardo Da Vinci Via Bufalini Maurizio 3, - tel. 055 294820 Stanford-in-Italy Piazza S. M. Sopr’Arno, 1 tel. 055.2480951 Syracuse University Piazza Savonarola, 15 tel. 055.570386 The British Institute of Florence Piazza Strozzi, 2 tel. 055.267781 University of Michigan & University of Wisconsin Via Gramsci, 460 - Sesto Fiorentino tel. 055.444300

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Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino at Palazzo Strozzi: Painting in the “modern manner”

By Sandra Carotti Gesualdi Writer

A

fter nearly sixty years Pontormo returns to Palazzo Strozzi under the magnifying glass of the critics and invites the general public’s attention to the art. It is accompanied, in a privileged interview, by the other protagonist of the painting of the early sixteenth century, Rosso Fiorentino, in the name that brings all the centrality that at the time, the artists of our city. Pontormo and Rosso. The divergent paths of the “manner,” curated by Carlo Falciani and Antonio Natali, is the debut of the new year of great exhibitions at Palazzo Strozzi. Divided by thematic sessions marked chronologically, the exhibition aims to make accessible the two great exponents of the art movement that Vasari placed at the beginning of the “modern manner” and that marks the end of a period of historic and artistic balance for Italy. At the end of 400, Pontormo, born Jacopo Carrucci and Giovanni Battista di Jacopo, the Red, predicted that the historical events of Italy would undergo a major change and after the flowering of Commons and the Lords, the major foreign invasions, in from the French of Charles VIII, would trace the contours of the new country and society. This is proved true not only in Florence, with the expulsion of the Medici, but also beyond the borders imagined until then, with the discovery of Americas in 1492 and the beginning of modern history. Even art, a litmus, test of the historical and social changes, takes a new direction with respect to the Renaissance tradition that recognizes Pontormo in the great examples of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael. From their model and that of the master Andrea del Sarto, the young Pontormo and Rosso, take their first steps up to take the liberty to subvert the rules; they are launching the first phase of the so-called Mannerism, which had its peak between 1515 and 1525 in which the two artists introduced new compositional aspects and

broke, in part, with the classical tradition. Over the past sixty years, critics have made progress and this exhibition emphasizes the individual and different experiences that have characterized Mannerism, showing how Pontormo and Rosso were first a very early and experimental stage, capable of commencing the “modern manner.” The exhibition will be enriched by “new philological, historical and iconographic research carried on the work of two artists from 1956 to the present,” to offer a more updated reading of poetry and graceful pattern than the paintings of the two Florentines are capable of giving. Let us pause in front of the Entombment of Christ to the Sepulchre (1526-1528), a masterpiece by Pontormo, at which we will have an unexpected revelation of poetry full of innovation composition. It was painted for the Capponi Chapel in Santa Felicita, the church at the foot of the Ponte Vecchio which seems to stumble by chance in the course of Vasari. We will be screened in an unreal space, a day without sunshine, in which time the sky disappears to make way for the pain of the death of Christ, so early and bloody . A series of characters with elongated bodies are gathered around the body of Jesus. The pitying tones and expressive gestures are able to emotionally engage the viewer. The faces are marked by torture, strong in the half-closed eyes of Mary, the figures suspended, highlighted by acids and unnatural colors, the light faded they model their clothes and bodies, creating abstraction. And here you can see all the anxiety of the young Pontormo; you want to stop to examine those pained expressions and astonished, certain impulses that elude the soul. From the time that his new way of painting was not understood and appreciated immediately, his art has been contemporary .

Pontormo, Visitazione 1528-1529, oil on wood, cm 202 x 156. Carmignano (Prato), Pieve di San Michele

Pontormo e Rosso. Le divergenti vie della “maniera” Firenze, Palazzo Strozzi 8 marzo – 20 luglio 2014 www.palazzostrozzi.org info 055 2645155

Marinella Fani and the Fani Gioielli in Florence

nce upon a time there was a laboera una volta un laboratorio di arO ratory of silver handcrafted, one of C’genti artigianali, una di quelle leggenthose distinguished Florentine workshops darie botteghe fiorentine famose in tutto

Via dè Tornabuoni, 101/r Firenze Tel. 055 212075 www.fanishops.it

well-known all over the world for their creations and once upon a time there was a child that, after school’s time, ran in that workshop helping in little works his father Benito, master in silver handcraft. And here is Marinella that starting to wrap small things at Fani Argenti (this was the initial name of father’s company) begins to watch and comprehend the creation sequence and how from a raw sheet could be created a box or an ashtray or a table-lighter. Later the father Benito put her in a completely new different international world, made of exhibitions, contacts, people, creativity and charm. And so this world becomes her actuality and she was so attracted that decided to lead the way, that will become her job and her future. Today is evident that could not happen differently because Marinella Fani is part of narrow circle of predestined person that have into their DNA that Tuscanity and something of Florentine Renaissance intended as taste, elegance, sense of balance and essentiality, that together with inventiveness and instinct, are essential skills in the jeweller’s and entrepreneur’s world where Marinella Fani and the Fani Gioielli symbolize an indisputable national and international excellence. Today Marinella Fani, along with the sister Helga, manage the Fani Gioielli, temple of high jeweller’s craft, a company at present recognized among the most important in the luxury world, in the precious materials and gems. As buttonhole of the Fani Group there are the two splendid shops perfectly located in two unique town, one in via Tornabuoni in the hearth of Firenze renaissance and the other in the medieval Siena in via Pianigiani. The shops already point of reference for the two towns are official dealer of international and important brands as Rolex.

il mondo per le loro creazioni e c’era una bambina che, appena finita la scuola, correva in quella bottega per aiutare in piccoli lavoretti il babbo Benito, mastro argentiere. Ed ecco Marinella che dall’incartare piccole cose alla Fani Argenti, così si chiamava la prima ditta del babbo, inizia a vedere e capire il ciclo di produzione e come da una lastra nascesse all’occorrenza una scatola, un posacenere o un accendino da tavolo. Con il tempo il padre la introduce in un mondo completamente nuovo, variegato, internazionale, fatto di mostre, contatti, persone, creatività e fascino. E cosi questo mondo diventa la sua realtà e la prende a tal punto che ormai ha deciso: la via è tracciata, quello sarà il suo lavoro e il suo futuro. A pensarci oggi è chiaro che non poteva andare diversamente perché Marinella Fani fa parte della ristretta categoria dei predestinati che hanno nel loro DNA quella Toscanità, quel qualcosa del Rinascimento fiorentino inteso come gusto, eleganza, equilibrio ed essenzialità, che uniti a intraprendenza e intuito, sono doti indispensabili nel mondo dell’oreficeria, come dell’imprenditoria, mondo nel quale oggi Marinella Fani e la Fani Gioielli rappresentano pura eccellenza nazionale ed internazionale. Oggi Marinella Fani, insieme alla sorella Helga, gestisce la Fani Gioielli, un tempio dell’alta gioielleria, un’azienda oggi riconosciuta tra le più significative nel mondo del lusso, delle materie preziose e delle gemme. Fiore all’occhiello del gruppo Fani sono i due splendidi negozi, due gioielli perfettamente incastonati in due città uniche al mondo: uno in via Tornabuoni nel cuore della Firenze rinascimentale, l’altro nella Siena medioevale in via Pianigiani. I negozi ormai punti di riferimento per le città sono anche rivenditori autorizzati di marchi importanti ed internazioni, non ultimo Rolex.


Contemporary Art

february – march 2014

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Franco Ionda: Is it still possible to make poetry?

Democrazia, 2013, white Carrara marble, Galleria Tornabuoni Arte, Florence In the picture above Franco Ionda, born in Florence in 1946, lives in Florence and works in Prato.

By Amnon Barzel Curator and author

L

et’s talk about light. Just in the last few days I was looking over some drawings and work in general of a few years ago, a

study I made on light. “lt’s light that creates form”. I think I read it in Writings and thoughts about art by Matisse. I was struck by it, I needed to reflect on what I had just read. lt was a phrase that contained something very deep for me, something mystical: it stimulated me to search for the essence of things. l had to understand. So I took to drawing all kinds of objects, and what obsessed me was this light that gives form to things, makes them perceptible, real, existent, light, and this very lightness corresponded to a feeling of liberation. Light was my image, my existence that had to have meanings that went beyond those of a life made up of matter only. That was the beginning of the knowledge of myself as a person. It may be that there is an answer in the fall of Ionda’s decapitated stars. When these meet with the images of modern events, which Ionda extrapolates daily from the information of newspapers or magazines, a metamorphosis takes place, both of the forms and the ideas. Stars, the symbol of optimism and light, in falling become terrestrial and become integrated with human affairs, disasters, wars, loves, suffering; perhaps they protest and assume a socio-political character. The stories chosen by Ionda are everyday reality. They are not invented; they are stories of violence and injustice. These horrors are clearly presented at a time when society calls itself evolved and civilized and plans a future of development. It is the aesthetic level of his works that elevates, exalts and restores dignity to the facts, even the most horrendous ones. Ionda observes human behaviour with a magnifying glass; he enlarges the faces that are full of suffering or anger. In the newspapers these dramas are in the background. In his work londa puts the events themselves in the foreground, the images laden with all their gravity and human depth. It touches the person. This is the difference between the daily news and the artistic fact. Ionda magnifies the screen of the images of suffering, he works his way into the weft of tiny dots of various size and this becomes his world,

Nel rosso, 2007, mixed techniques on canvas, cm 100x100

the landscape he passes through with his feelings, his hands, with his whole being, perhaps to understand if what he has in front of him is real, or otherwise he asks: is it real? An obsession, a spiritual encounter, a devotion. Once again Ionda produces witnesses of this time. He does not avoid reality. He risks. The letters he impresses on the de-

capitated stars and on the nails, placed upside-down, flash by, questioning culture itself. In Ionda’s works the words that appear and disappear amid signs of the destruction of hope bring to mind the words of Adorno, that after Auschwitz it would no longer be possible to write poetry. Ionda’s images, fifty years later, raise the question again: is it still possible to make poetry?


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February – March 2014

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Exhibitions

Giorgio Vasari e l’Allegoria della Pazienza Giorgio Vasari and the Allegory of Patience dal 26 novembre 2012 al 09 febbraio 2014 from November 26 2012 to February 9 2014 Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina Pitti Palace, Palatine Gallery Info:+39 055 2388616 www.polomuseale.firenze.it

Events in Florence Villa Bardini and Stefano Bardini Museum Info:+39 055 20066206 +39 055 2388616 www.bardinipeyron.it Robert Capa in Italia 1943-1944 Robert Capa in Italy 1943-1944 dal 10 gennaio 2014 al 23 febbraio 2014 from January 10 2014 to February 23 2014 MNAF - Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotografia MNAF - Alinari National Museum of Photography Info:+39 055 216310 www.mnaf.it

Liaison Carbone dal 30 gennaio 2014 al 02 febbraio 2014 from January 30 2014 to February 2 2014 Teatro di Rifredi Info: +39 055 4220361+39 055 4220362 www.toscanateatro.it

‘Segno rapido essenziale’ Mostra di pittura di Marco Dolfi ‘Quick, essential sign’ Painting exhibition by Marco Dolfi dal 15 gennaio 2014 al 15 febbraio 2014 from January 15 2014 to February 15 2014 Palazzo Medici Riccardi Medici Riccardi Palace Info:+39 055 2760340 Le Statue Calde Scultura - corpo - azione, 1945 - 2013 The Warm Statues / Sculpture – Body – Action, 1945 - 2013 dal 19 gennaio 2014 al 08 marzo 2014 from January 19 2014 to March 8 2014 Museo Marino Marini Marino Marini Museum Info:+39 055 219432 www.museomarinomarini.it

Il cappello tra arte e stravaganza Hats between art and extravaganza dal 03 dicembre 2013 al 18 maggio 2014 from December 3 2013 to May 18 2014 Palazzo Pitti, Galleria del Costume Pitti Palace, The Costume Gallery Info:+39 055 294883 +39 055 2388801 www.cappelloinmostra.it Kaulonia, la città dell’amazzone Clete Kaulonia, the city of the Amazon Clete dal 13 dicembre 2013 al 09 marzo 2014 from December 13 2013 to March 9 2014 Museo Archeologico National Archaeological Museum Info:+39 055 2357720 +39 055 2357717 http://www.kaulon-archeologia.it/archives/1589#/ sthash.guumn8jW.8w0OwPqd.dpbs Una novella patria dello spirito. Firenze e gli artisti delle Venezie nel primo Novecento A new homeland of the spirit. Florence and the Venetian artists of the early twentieth century dal 14 dicembre 2013 al 09 febbraio 2014 from December 14 2013 to February 9 2014 Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi Department of Prints and Drawings of Uffizi Info:+39 055 2388624 +39 055 2388 671 www.polomuseale.firenze.it

Theater Una Pura Formalità dal 28 gennaio 2014 al 02 febbraio 2014 from January 28 2014 to February 2 2014 Teatro della Pergola Info: +39 055 0763333 www.fondazioneteatrodellapergola.it

Horne & Friends. Firenze un sogno da salvare Horne & Friends. Florence a dream to be saved dal 27 maggio 2013 al 07 aprile 2014 from May 27 2013 to April 7 2014 Museo Horne Horne Museum Info:+39 055 244661 www.museohorne.it Il Calzolaio prodigioso. Fiabe e leggende su scarpe e calzolai The Amazing shoemaker. Fairy tales about shoes and shoemakers dal 19 giugno 2013 al 31 marzo 2014 from June 19 2013 to March 31 2014 Museo Ferragamo, Palazzo Spini Feroni Ferragamo Museum, Palazzo Spini Feroni Info:+39 055 3360456 +39 055 3562417 www.museoferragamo.com

Zhao Xiao Hai - Mostra Personale Sul Paesaggio Cinese a Firenze Zhao Xiao Hai - Exhibition on the Chinese Landscape in Florence dal 21 febbraio 2014 al 04 marzo 2014 from February 21 2014 to March 4 2014 Palazzo Medici Riccardi Medici Riccardi Palace Info: +39 055 2760340

Una volta nella vita. Tesori dagli archivi e dalle biblioteche di Firenze Once in a Lifetime. Treasures from the archives and libraries of Florence dal 28 gennaio 2014 al 27 aprile 2014 from January 28 2014 to April 27 2014 Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina Pitti Palace, Palatine Gallery Info:+39 055 2388616 +39 055 294883 www.unannoadarte.it Visita guidata al Teatro della Pergola Guided visit to the Pergola Theatre 05, 12, 19, 26 febbraio 2014 February 5, 12, 19, 26 2014 Teatro della Pergola Info:+39 055 2264364 museo@teatrodellapergola.com www.teatrodellapergola.com Le Stanze delle Muse. Dipinti Barocchi dalla collezione di Francesco Molinari Pradelli The Rooms of the Muses.Baroque Paintings from the collection of Francesco Molinari Pradelli dal 11 febbraio 2014 al 11 maggio 2014 from February 11 2014 to May 11 2014 Galleria degli Uffizi Uffizi Gallery Info:+39 055 294883 www.unannoadarte.it Ri-conoscere Michelangelo. La scultura del Buonarroti nella fotografia e nella pittura Re-learning Michelangelo. Buonarroti’s sculpture in photography and painting dal 18 febbraio 2014 al 18 maggio 2014 from February 18 2014 to May 18 2014 Galleria dell’Accademia Accademia Gallery Info:+39 055 290832 www.unannoadarte.it

Due Italiani Veri dal 30 gennaio 2014 al 02 febbraio 2014 from January 30 2014 to February 2 2014 Teatro di Cestello Info: +39 055 294609Prenotazione biglietti:prenotazioni@teatrocestello.it www.teatrocestello.it Puzzle dal 31 gennaio 2014 al 01 febbraio 2014 from January 31 2014 to February 1 2014 Teatro Puccini Info: +39 055 362067 www.teatropuccini.it Cuori Matti dal 31 gennaio 2014 al 02 febbraio 2014 from January 31 2014 to February 2 2014 Teatro Lumière Info: +39 055 6821321+39 3703014987 www.teatrolumiere.it L’Avaro, da Molière L’Avaro, taken from Molière dal 01 febbraio 2014 al 02 febbraio 2014 from February 1 2014 to February 2 2014 Teatro delle Laudi Info: +39 055 572831 www.teatrolelaudi.it

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Info:+39 055 362067 www.teatropuccini.it

La storia di Prezzemolina 09 febbraio 2014 February 9 2014 Teatro Puccini Info: +39 055 362067 +39 055 210804 www.teatropuccini.it Neverland. L’Isola che non c’è dal 09 febbraio 2014 al 11 febbraio 2014 from February 9 2014 to February 11 2014 Teatro Cantiere Florida Info: +39 055 2321754 www.teatroflorida.it Il Don Giovanni dal 11 febbraio 2014 al 16 febbraio 2014 from February 11 2014 to February 16 2014 Teatro della Pergola Info: +39 055 0763333 www.fondazioneteatrodellapergola.it Cinema do Brasil. La selecao dal 13 febbraio 2014 al 16 febbraio 2014 from February 13 2014 to February 16 2014 Cinema Odeon Info: +39 055 2719054 www.quellidellacompagnia.it Antigone, di Jean Anouilh Antigone, by Jean Anouilh dal 15 febbraio 2014 al 16 febbraio 2014 from February 15 2014 to February 16 2014 Teatro delle Laudi Info: +39 055 572831 www.teatrolelaudi.it Nuda e Cruda 15 febbraio 2014 February 15 2014 Teatro Puccini Info: +39 055 362067 www.teatropuccini.it La bella addormentata nel bosco 16 febbraio 2014 February 16 2014 Teatro Puccini Info: +39 055 362067 +39 055 210804 www.teatropuccini.it

Il re senza corona 02 febbraio 2014 - February 2 2014 Teatro Everest Info: +39 055 2321754 www.teatroeverest.it

In sua movenza è fermo - visita spettacolo al Teatro della Pergola In sua movenza è fermo - theatrical visit to the Pergola Theatre 16 febbraio 2014 February 16 2014 Teatro della Pergola Info: +39 055 0763333 +39 055 2264364 museo@teatrodellapergola.com www.teatrodellapergola.com

R III - Riccardo III dal 04 febbraio 2014 al 09 febbraio 2014 from February 4 2014 to February 9 2014 Teatro della Pergola Info: +39 055 0763333 www.fondazioneteatrodellapergola.it

Il Lupo perde il vizio 16 febbraio 2014 February 16 2014 Teatro Everest Info: +39 055 2321754 www.teatroeverest.it

La Carta più alta dal 06 febbraio 2014 al 16 febbraio 2014 from February 6 2014 to February 16 2014 Teatro di Rifredi Info:+39 055 4220361 +39 055 4220362 www.toscanateatro.it

Le Avventure di Pinocchio 16 febbraio 2014 February 16 2014 Teatro Cantiere Florida Info: +39 055 2321754 www.teatroflorida.it

Tanti saluti. Un progetto di teatro civile clownesco 06 febbraio 2014 February 6 2014 Teatro Cantiere Florida Info: +39 055 2321754 www.teatroflorida.it

Non è vero, ma ci credo dal 18 febbraio 2014 al 23 febbraio 2014 from February 18 2014 to February 23 2014 Teatro della Pergola Info:+39 055 0763333 www.fondazioneteatrodellapergola.it

Variazioni Enigmatiche, di Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, con Saverio Marconi Variazioni enigmatiche - theatre show by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, with Saverio Marconi dal 07 febbraio 2014 al 09 febbraio 2014 from February 7 2014 to February 9 2014 Relais Santa Croce Info: +39 055 212320 www.teatroverdionline.it

Il Potere dello Sguardo Michelangelo.The Power of the Stare dal 08 gennaio 2014 al 15 marzo 2014 from January 8 2014 to March 15 2014 Museo delle Cappelle Medicee Museum of Medici Chapels Info:+39 055 2388602 +39 055 294883 www.polomuseale.firenze.it

Il mistero dell’assassino misterioso, di e con Lillo & Greg Il mistero dell’assassino misterioso, by and with Lillo & Greg dal 07 febbraio 2014 al 08 febbraio 2014 from February 7 2014 to February 8 2014 Teatro Puccini Info: +39 055 362067 www.teatropuccini.it

Aldo Fallai. Da Giorgio Armani al Rinascimento. Fotografie dal 1978 al 2013 Aldo Fallai. From Giorgio Armani to the Renaissance. Photographs 1978-2013 dal 10 gennaio 2014 al 16 marzo 2014 from January 10 2014 to March 16 2014 Villa Bardini e Museo Stefano Bardini

Un’infanzia - dall’omonimo racconto di Susanna Tamaro Un’infanzia, taken from Susanna Tamaro’s novel 08 febbraio 2014 February 8 2014 Teatro Puccini

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Useful Information www.florenceisyou.com

Libraries

Museums

Antiques Piazza Dei Ciompi Open Every Day On 8.30 am - 7.30 pm

Accademia Gallery Via Ricasoli, 58-60 Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8:15a.m. - 6:50p.m. Tickets: Full Price: 6.50 euros Reduced: 3.25 euros www.polomuseale.firenze.it

Bargello National Museum Via del Proconsolo, 4 Hours: Daily: 8:15a.m. - 1:50p.m. Tickets: Full Price: 4.00 euros Reduced: 2.00 euros www.polomuseale.firenze.it Museum of Medici Chapels Piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 6 Hours: Daily: 8:15a.m. - 6:50p.m. Tickets: Full Price: 6 euros Reduced: 3 euros www.polomuseale.firenze.it The Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens, Piazza Pitti 1 Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8:15a.m. - 6:50p.m. Tickets: Full Price: 8.50 euros Reduced: 4.25 euros www.polomuseale.firenze.it

Palazzo Davanzati Via Porta Rossa, 13 Hours: 8:13a.m.-1:50p.m. Floors 2 & 3 on booking 055 23 88 610 2 euros Closed: 1st, 3rd, 5th Mon. and 2nd, 4th Sun. of the month Tickets Full Price: 3 euros www.polomuseale.firenze.it Uffizi Gallery Loggiato degli Uffizi, 6 Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8:15a.m. - 6:50p.m. Tickets: Full Price: 6.50 euros Reduced: 3.25 euros www.polomuseale.firenze.it Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi Piazza Strozzi Hours: 9.00 a.m. - 8.00 p.m. Tuersday 9.00 .am. - 11.00 p.m. www.palazzostrozzi.org

Museum of Opera del Duomo Piazza del Duomo Hours: Mon-Sat 9a.m.-7:30p.m. Tickets: Full Price: 6 euros www.operaduomo.firenze.it Museum of Casa Buonarroti Via Ghibellina, 70 Hours: 10a.m.-5p.m. Closed: Tue Tickets Full Price: 6.50 euros www.casabuonarroti.it

Museum Galileo The Museum is open every day including Sundays and holidays except for 1 January and 25 December Monday to Sunday 9.30a.m. - 6.00p.m. Tuesdays 9.30 a.m. - 13.00 p.m. Entrance fees Full fee 9,00 euros 6-18 years old, over 65 years old € 5,50 Groups (15 person minimum) € 5,50 School groups (6-15 years old) € 4,50 Under 6 years old enter free www. museogalileo.it Museum of Santa Croce Piazza Santa Croce, 16, Monday - Saturday 9:30 am - 5:30 pm (last admission is at 5:00 pm: the ticket office closes half an hour before closing time) www.santacroceopera.it Opificio delle Pietre Dure Via degli Alfani, 78 Hours: 8:15a.m.-2p.m. Closed: Sun.&Holidays Tickets: Full Price: 4 euros www.opificiodellepietredure.it

Palazzo Vecchio Museum Piazza della Signoria Hours: Oct.-Mar. 9a.m.-7p.m. Thu 9a.m.-2p.m. Dec. 7,8,9 and Dec. 21 to 30 Thu. 9a.m.-2p.m. Closed: Dec. 26 Tickets: Full Price: 6.50 euros www.museicivicifiorentini.it

Markets Cascine Cascine Park Open Every Tuesday Morning: 7a.m. - 2p.m. Food, Clothing, Antiquities, Houseware, Specialties

Harold Acton Library of the British Institute Lungarno Guicciardini, 9. 50123 Firenze Tel: 055 2677 8270 Monday to Friday: 10.00 - 18.30 www.britishinstitute.it Laurentian Library Piazza di San Lorenzo, 9 Tel: 055 21 07 60 Mon - Sat: 9:30a.m. - 1:30p.m. Closed on the first Saturday of the month www.sbn.it Marucelliana Library Via Cavour, 43-45 Tel: 055 27 22 200 Mon - Fri: 8:30a.m. - 7p.m. Sat: 8:30a.m. - 1:45p.m. www.maru.firenze.sbn.it

National Central Library Piazza Cavalleggeri, 1/a Switch-board phone: 055 24 91 91 Tel: 055 24 91 91 Mon - Fri: 9a.m. - 7p.m. Sat: 9a.m. - 1p.m. www.bncf.firenze.sbn.it Oblate Library Via dell’ Oriuolo, 26 Tel: 055 26 16 512 Mon: 2p.m. - 7p.m. Wed - Sat: 9a.m. - 12p.m. www.bibliotecadelleoblate.it

Riccardiana Library Palazzo Medici Riccardi Via Ginori, 10 Tel: 055 21 25 86/ 05529 33 85 Mon, Thu: 8a.m. - 5:30p.m. Tue, Fri: 8a.m. - 2p.m. www.riccardiana.firenze.sbn.it

Spadolini Library Via Pian dei Giullari, 139 055 233 6071 nuovaantologia@cosimoceccuti.191.it Vieusseux Library Piazza e Palazzo Strozzi (piano terreno) Tel. 055 288342 int. 1 Fax 055 2396743 biblioteca@vieusseux.it

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Porcellino Piazza Del Mercato Nuovo Open Daily (Except Sundays & Monday Mornings): 8a.m. - 9p.m. Articles In Florentine Straw, Hand Embroidery, Leather Goods, Objects In Wood, Flowers

Sant’Ambrogio Piazza Ghiberti/Piazza Sant’Ambrogio (Indoor & Outdoor) Open Every Weekday (Except Sunday): 7a.m. - 2p.m. Fresh Fruits & Vegetables, Clothes, Flowers, Shoes & Houseware Stands

San Lorenzo Piazza S. Lorenzo To Via Dell’ariento Closed Sundays & Mondays Articles In Leather, Souvenirs, Clothing

Santo Spirito Piazza Santo Spirito Open Every Second Sunday of the month Specialist Organic Foods, Antiques and Individual Items

Transport

City Public Transportation ATAF & LI-NEA: 800 42 45 00 FROM MOBILE: 199 10 42 45 www.ataf.net

Bus Linea Lazzi Tel: 055 15 155 - 055 35 10 61 Serves Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra & Mugello www.lazzi.it

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Information Tourist Information Comune di Firenze Piazza Stazione, 4 Mon - Sat: 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sun: 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tel: 055 21 22 45 / 27 28 208 Www.comune.fi.it Turismo3@Comune.fi.it

Tourist Point in The Bigallo Museum Comune di Firenze Piazza San Giovanni, 1 (Ground Floor) Mon - Sat: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sun: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tel: 055 28 84 96 Bigallo@Comune.fi.it

Firenze Turismo Ufficio Informazioni Provincia di Firenze Via Cavour, 1/R Mon - Sat: 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Tel: 055 29 08 32 / 29 08 33 Www.firenzeturismo.It Info@Firenzeturismo.it Florence Airport Comune di Firenze Airport A. Vespucci Via del Termine, 1 Mon - Sat: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sun: 9a.m. - 2 p.m. Tel: 055 31 58 74 infoaeroporto@aeroporto.firenze.it

Public Security Carabinieri Police

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State Police

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Fire Department

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Hospital Careggi Hospital viale Pieraccini, 17 055 79 41 11

S. Giovanni di Dio Hospital via Torregalli, 3 055 69321 S. Maria Nuova Hospital Piazza Santa Maria Nuova, 1 055 69381

Medical Service Emergency Call

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Call 199.20.18.16 Okay Casa!

A “service to the city” for domestic sudden failures Un numero di telefono per le riparazioni domestiche

“service to the city” for domestic sudden failure, at the moment limited to the Municipality of Florence. 199.20.18.16 is the new number that you can call for urgent repairs in the areas of electrical, plumbing and building works. The Florence Chamber of Commerce, to ensure transparency and fairness in relations between enterprises and their customers , organized a 24-hour on-call service in Florence for the provision of services for urgent repair. So you can easily avoid unpleasant surprises and invoices pricey that some unscrupulous operator, taking advantage of the emergency in which the customer is, often holds in these cases. The service Okay Casa is regulated by a switchboard with automatic call manage the turn of availability of each company. The maximum hourly rates are determined by reference to the Price list of the building and plant works edited by the Florence Chamber of Commerce. No call-out charges. The interventions are carried out by operators with a badge . Italiano

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Central Market Stalls Inside The San Lorenzo Via Dell’ariento Open Monday-Saturday: 7a.m. - 2p.m. Best Food Market In The City

february – march 2014

n “servizio alla città” per i guasti domestici improvvisi, per ora limitato al terri-

torio del Comune di Firenze. 199.20.18.16 è il numero da chiamare per utilizzare il nuovo servizio di riparazioni urgenti nei settori impianti elettrici, idraulici e opere edili. La Camera di Commercio di Firenze, per garantire trasparenza e correttezza nei rapporti tra le imprese dei settori edile e impiantistico e i loro clienti, ha organizzato un servizio di reperibilità 24 ore su 24 nel comune di Firenze per l’erogazione di servizi di riparazione urgente. Così si possono agevolmente evitare sgradite sorprese e fatture salate, che qualche operatore spregiudicato, approfittando dell’emergenza in cui si trova il cliente, spesso riserva in questi casi. Il servizio è regolato da un centralino di chiamata automatica col quale è gestito il turno di reperibilità di ciascuna impresa, in base alla competenza

settoriale e in riferimento alla dislocazione della sede operativa (di regola, la più vicina al chiamante). Le tariffe orarie massime sono stabilite facendo riferimento al Prezzario delle opere edili ed impiantistiche curato dalla Camera di Commercio. Non è dovuto il diritto di chiamata. Gli interventi sono effettuati da operatori muniti di tesserino di riconoscimento. Per informazioni sul servizio: tel. 055 2981212 oppure 055 2750392 Camera di Commercio di Firenze Centralino 055 29810 Fax 055 2981157 E-mail info@fi.camcom.it Posta elettronica certificata: cciaa.firenze@fi.legalmail.camcom.it


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february – march 2014

Music, Movies & ...

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The Conservatory of Music of Florence for all

Maestro Leonardo De Lisi

By Anna Balzani He is considered an authority in the field of the German Lied, but his carrier began in France as a tenor soloist in the Opera singing company in Nice. He starred in operas of different eras and genres covering roles in works by Monteverdi, Haendel, Vivaldi, Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, Britten, Maderna, Stravinsky. However, his greater specialization has always been the art song and lied repertoire which is unanimously recognized as one of the leading specialists. At the Conservatory of Music Luigi Cherubini in Florence he teaches Art Song and Lied and he has trained generations of singers who are now working around the world. We asked Maestro Leonardo De Lisi a few questions about the Conservatory of Florence and about art events open to the public which we publish here the schedule of February and March. Master De Lisi, which kind of advice you can suggest to young people who want to enroll in a music conservatory? Music conservatories in Italy can provide excellent preparation for professional music, training from beginner level up to the specialist, especially in the field of classical music, but in some locations even jazz and modern repertoires or linked to new technologies such as electronic music. The educational structure of the conservatory is (for now) on three levels: 1. Pre-academic: it is a period of preparation for entry to higher diploma courses in practice from the absolute basics to an intermediate level in the main subject, i.e.: the musical instrument, or singing, or the disciplines of composition, or jazz or music and new technologies. 2. Diploma, first degree (three-years degree) is the first academic level and the first qualification of a path parallel to that of the university reform (3+2), the system of organization of the curriculum is 180 credits in 3 years. On the website you can see our conservatory curricula: www.conservatorio.firenze.it 3. Diploma, second degree (two-years degree) is the completion of the 3+2 system, similar to the Anglo-Saxon system Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, and in this case would be similar to the level of master degree. The prospects for the future in the field of music of every graduated student are traditionally linked to two important factors: the natural talent base and the great discipline in the study following the trail by our programs and our teachers. How different is today the Conservatory of Music with the new system and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this change? The transition from the old system to the new one has had positive and negative effects on the educational system of music. The more positive aspects have been the enlargement of the possibility to choose different paths and more differentiated than before. Under the new arrangements have been developed areas that previously had a marginal presence in the traditional conservatory, as early music, electronic music, jazz, the music together and chamber ensemble in general. From another point of view, however, the fragmentation into various courses or “smaller” modules (one semester, a few credits) made it to the conservatory as well as the university, the study as a path made of small short stages where a broader and more comprehensive breath is missing. It’s

a rather long course of study which at the same time can be shortened with much difficulty: the barriers of “university” inspiration make mandatory all of the years in their overall structure. Your conservatory is always a multicultural institution for the presence of foreign students attracted by the Italian “bel canto” or the general artistic culture of our Country. The presence of foreign students is now growing or shrinking and why? The presence of foreigners is clearly increasing. In Florence the very ancient cultural identity meets the artistic tradition, known throughout the world, in addition to the fact that the Cherubini Conservatory, through numerous initiatives at international level, has been able to get known very well, especially in certain areas. Many of our faculty members are active in concert at the international level and this creates a major attraction. In addition to the Open Day on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January in which your institution promotes itself, the academy offers regular meetings and free concerts at your Sala del Buonumore (Hall of Humour). Can you talk about these events? The Cherubini Conservatory has an activity of artistic and musical production very wide and not only at the Hall of Humour. For example, on May 15 we will be at the Teatro Verdi in Florence with a concert by the very structured program in which actually play or sing almost all of our students. In fact, orchestra, soloists and chorus will perform Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. Those interested can sign up our mailing list or consult the site regularly. For educational activities there are excellent information services at the Secretary’s office or by contacting faculty representatives of the boards of course, whose email addresses are also found on the site.

ODEON FIRENZE Piazza Strozzi, Firenze Tel: 055 214 068 Office: 055 295 051 www.odeonfirenze.com

12 Febbraio 2014 February 12, 2014 I Segreti di Osage County August: Osage County A movie by John Wells, with Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan Mc Gregor Versione originale con sottotitoli Original version with Italian subtitles

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FULGOR

Via Maso Finiguerra (Borgo Ognissanti) Tel. 055 238 1881 www.staseraalcinema.it

Hannah Arendt Genere: Drama Year: 2014 Nationality: France Director: Margarethe von Trotta Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Axel Milberg, Janet McTeer, Julia Jentsch, Ulrich Noethen, Michael Degen

www.conservatorio.firenze.it

Free entrance Jazz Festival january/february 2014 Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini Sala del Buonumore, Piazza delle Belle Arti 2, Firenze

15 February 2014, 5 p.m. Villa Favard, Via Rocca Tedalda 3, Rovezzano (Firenze) Featured books Coffe musical concert Presentation of Biografia in lingua italiana di Britten by Alessandro Macchia Free entrance 5-10 March 2014 Sala del Buonumore, Piazza delle Belle Arti 2, Firenze Multimedia festival MNT Department of Music and New Technologies of the Cherubini Conservatory presents The Body/the Light/the Sound In collaboration with New York University With interactive instrumental ensemble directed by Esther Lamneck

10 Marzo 2014 / March 10, 2014 Il Mistero di Dante Dante’s Mistery (Italia, 2013, 100′) A movie by Louis Nero, with F. Murray Abraham, Taylor Hackford, Franco Zeffirelli, Valerio Massimo Manfredi

Belle & Sebastien

Lunedì 10 Marzo, ore 21.00, Proiezione alla presenza del regista e del cast Monday 10, March, 9.00 p.m. show at the presence of the director and cast

Genere: Adventure and family Year: 2014 Nationality: France Director: Nicolas Vanier Cast: Félix Bossuet, Tchéky Karyo, Margaux Chatelier, Dimitri Storoge, Mehdi, Urbain Cancelier

Wednesday, February 26, 2014. 20.00 Film: Rocco E I Suoi Fratelli Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot

Wednesday, March 26, 2014. 20.00 Film: Death In Venice Dirk Bogarde, Silvana Mangano, Bjorn Andresen

A Brief History of the Conservatory

Florence has hosted music schools since at least the fourteenth century, the period of the flowering of the Ars Nova. Under the French government, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, were established the first municipal schools of music. We have more precise information on the Academy of Fine Arts, already active in 1811 and divided into three classes, one of which was devoted to music and declamation. A grand-ducal decree of August 6, 1849 converted the music school of the Academy of Fine Arts in musical institution in itself. Giovanni Papini, the famous composer of the time was called to direct it. Vittorio Emanuele II, by decree of March 15, 1860 transformed the old schools of music, which depended on the Academy of Fine Arts, in “Regio Istituto Musicale di Firenze” (Royal Music Institute of Florence). In 1910 the musical institute was named after Luigi Cherubini. Finally, under the direction of Arnaldo Bonaventura, the Royal Decree of December 31, 1923 transformed the institution in the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014. 20.00 Film: Il Gattopardo Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale Wednesday, March 12, 2014. 20.00 Film: Vaghe Stelle Dell’orsa Claudia Cardinale, Michael Craig, Jean Sorel Wednesday, March 19, 2014. 20.00 Film: La Caduta Degli Dei Dirk Bogarde, Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem, Helmut Berger

Afternoon tea is served every Thursday from 16.30 until 18.00 at the British Institute library and features the delicious blends of our local tea house, Tealicious. Open to all. Minimum suggested donation €1.50, which goes towards supporting the library. Lungarno Guicciardini, 9, 50123 Firenze Tel. 055 2677 8270 Piazza degli Strozzi, 2, 50123 Firenze Tel. 055 267781


Theatre

february – march 2014

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Riccardo Ventrella The cultural engineer of La Pergola theatre

By Sandra Carotti Gesualdi Writer

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adies and gentlemen, let me introduce Riccardo Ventrella, eclectic character of the Florentine culture, histrionic musician and ukulele strummer, music listener in the 90s at the Flog (a popular disco in Florence), semi-pro dj, joyful and cultured college professor, management manager, demiurge, event organizer, and just to name a few. But here we would like to talk about theatre, the beautiful one, with him who is in charge of special projects and innovation at La Pergola, one of the oldest theatres in Italy. So, it gets really serious and professional. The theatre as a space is a place of enchantment, it gives “fear and wonder”, that is to say a summary transported on the stage of life and our feelings. Tell us about the theatre location of La Pergola. The theatre is the place that “in sua movenza è fermo” (in its movement is stopped) and its destiny is the dual nature of being stable, with foundations rooted but with a life shaken from proposals and ideas that give life to it. Since ancient times it was a meeting place, even before an offer of shows. La Pergola is above all a meeting place, a point of reference for those who live in the city or

just pass by. It is not just a building that provides entertainment but it has its own life, twenty four hours a day and a complex history that tell stories in turn; it is a noble place to meet and in this I find a value primarily social. Of course, a noble place and for meetings, which releases spells able to transform us. But without the people who give life to it, it would make little sense. The people you meet at La Pergola, only they deserve a show. The people who attend and work at La Pergola are the composite crew of that ship made of the material of the stages, which sails on the open sea, a catalogue of diverse and colourful humanity. Standing at the entrance you can see them all and often I start to welcome the public to observe the drop of the world that goes on the ship. The public contributes to the staging, the theatre boxes are a representation of the show. Instead, the behind the scenes is a world apart and some nights we should pay for the ticket to be there to listen and talk to the technicians, actors, producers, tailors, make-up artists. Sometimes there are some beautiful dialogues, in which the actors, after the tension of the stage, give the best of themselves. Recently Gabriele Lavia (a famous actor) recited by heart Vincenzo Monti’s Iliad. The actor out of the necessary rite, and however, in the role assigned to him every day of his life, reaches peaks of sudden

Riccardo Ventrella grace. La Pergola also wants to tell these stories that the audience can not see but that fascinate and stimulate. Culture or entertainment, where is the boundary? I state that I am a lover of popular culture often snubbed and this did not allow us to enjoy it to the full, I think of the great value of popular Italian cinema, for exam-

ple. I can’t define the entertainment and culture is a very broad term. Culture is everything that allows us to grow and in theatre is identified with the professionalism. When there is mastery of the craft, knowledge of the texts, a training course, then you can talk about a theatre level that makes it grow. Then everything is subjective and there are those who are turned over from a text by Natalia Ginzburg rather than from one by Pirandello or Ibsen. I repeat, theatre today especially needs of professionalism and reliability. In recent years, it was decided to put some TV stars without study and training on stage and the result was not the best. Conversely, I have seen actors who have become famous thanks to the wide screen but they have made great efforts and managed to make a beautiful theatre. Our program this year is full of them, Accorsi, Gassman, Favino, Timi, Gifuni, Servillo; very good actors who are trying to convey something to the public, they struggle, they are not sloppy but inspired on stage and immerse in the text, each in his own way. The theatre can not be a convenient safety valve or an easy attainment of popularity and box office. This is bad theatre and perhaps the definition of entertainment. The beautiful theatre, even the poorest, it is hard work and sweat like life, is the study, but mostly it is to communicate with the public. The theatre must always generate debate and instead this is culture. This year you have had a good program, so many classics revisited by young actors and I know that is having a good response also among the audience of teens. The classics are the gateway to understanding the theatre and then maybe dare experimental screenplays. They have in themselves a charm and timeless values that young people recognize and value, and often use it as a refuge. The reputation of the classics is a timeless and touching language, without ever being rhetorical. When the Orlando furioso made its debut at La Pergola, were the days of the tragedy of Lampedusa and in the end there was a scene evocative of the knights dead after the duel and left on the ground. It was suggestive and evocative compared with the dramatic images of the reality and did understand how these texts are able to explain more than anything else, and with force, the life we live. The good theatre well provides tools for understanding what we are and act and young people feel it. We reciprocate by investing so much on their training, with the method Costa, to offer the opportunity to become actors but even before owning instruments of expression and life.


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Travel Siena

February – March 2014

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Carnevale celebrations in Italy of traditional Carnevale takes place. A parade is the norm, but then instead of throwing confetti, residents begin to pelt each other with oranges. The orange battles take place on the Sunday through Tuesday of Carnevale, and the city finishes off the celebration with the burning of the scarli, tall poles covered with dry bushes. Almost every Italian town has their own way of celebrating, and a simple internet search can help you find something festive close to wherever you may be during the month. It might be something as simple as masks or confetti, but you never know when you will run across an unusual Italian tradition!

By Ellen Miller

F

info@florenceisyou.com

or those traveling in Italy in the spring, Carnevale is the main event in many cities and is not to be missed. Celebrated across Italy, the celebration is similar to Halloween, for those Americans striving to draw a comparison. And yet, as with many things in Italy, the Italians take the celebration one step further and make it a day of worldwide renown. Carnevale is notable in many Italian towns, though if you have the opportunity to travel, you should hit as many as possible. Venice is the main city that comes to mind when one thinks of Carnevale and for good reason—the celebration does not stop. The celebrations last almost an entire month, from February 15 to March 4. This year the Carnevale’s theme draws from fantasy and fairy tales. The main piazzas of the city will be crammed with locals and tourists alike, watching the plays

If you fancy staying a little closer to home (or your tourism base) here in Florence, there is no shortage of fun as well! Though the celebrations here might not be as well renowned as those in other Italian towns, Florentines still know how to throw a party. Make sure wherever you are going to get a mask, from the San Lorenzo market or elsewhere, and pick up some confetti to add more to the streets. It is easily available at most euro stores. Specific Florence events will be announced closer to the date, but in the past have included flag throwers, confetti wars and even the burning of a mannequin and the subsequent disposal of its ashes in the Arno. You can’t get more festive than that!

and throwing confetti at one another. Still, for the tourist who has never truly seen Venice, you merely have to step a few streets away and the entire celebration falls behind you as you seem to step back in time. Events can change from day to day, and the city maintains a website so that you can get a general idea of what events are happening. Carnevale in Viareggio, closer to Florence in Tuscany, also has quite notable Carnevale celebrations. The event dates back to 1873 and is known primarily for its papier-mache floats which stun the town in a parade annually. Running from February 16-23 as well as on March 2, 4 and 9, the Carnivale is a favorite of Tuscans who do not want to travel further afield to celebrate. The parade typically happens around three o’clock in the afternoon, though more information can be found on the seaside town’s website. In Ivrea in Piedmont, a different kind

What is Discover Napoli Destinations?

Itʼs a new way of discovering Naples and the Campania region through the organization of bespoke itineraries. We will introduce you to the multi-faceted, unusual and surprising things to see and do in this fascinating region and which canʼt be missed by the discerning traveler. Each personalized itinerary will be tailored only on our guestsʼ particular interests, so as to create a truly unique and unforgettable trip.

The great classics… with something more A day spent shopping in the famous boutiquesin the narrow alleys of Positano, a private concert on a terrace at sunset, overlooking the magnificent, unique view of the Faraglioni on the isle of Capri, the religious processions on the sea of Sorrento, tour Pompei or Herculaneum under the guidance of professors of archeology who will unveil all the hidden significance of a lost civilization… the unusual, the exclusive, the particular details of these world-famous sites.

Relax and enjoy What do you really like to do? Hit the fashionable night life spots, savor the world-celebrated local cuisine, get seats for an opera at the majestic S. Carlo theater, enjoy a wine tasting tour of the Campania wines, celebrated all the way back in Roman times? Or would you like to organize a fantastically unique romantic honeymoon?

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Around the city We will guide you to discover the incredibly beautiful cities of Campania: Naples, of course, with its immense historical and artistic heritage, Caserta, home of the incredibly magnificent Royal Palace, Avellino and Benevento, where excellent wine is produced and beautiful artifacts are still made by hand following ancient techniques and Salerno, with its amazing coast and history.


Life www.florenceisyou.com

St. Patrick’s day

February – March 2014

27

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Feast of Annunciation and the Florentine New Year

By Ellen Miller

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ubs are a popular place for students to go nearly every weekend, but in March everything will get kicked up a notch for the annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Florence. The luck of the Irish will spread to the continent and students and locals alike will dress in green for the festivities. For the Irish expat looking for a bit of home to students looking for a fun night out, there is no lack for exciting activities all themed around the traditional Irish holiday. Saint Patrick started out life in Roman Britain in the fourth century. Both his father and grandfather held positions in the church, but life changed drastically for him when at age 16 he was kidnapped as a slave and taken to Ireland. In a dream God told him to flee his captivity and when he returned to Britain he began to study as a priest. Later on, he felt called to return to Ireland and preach, and it is there that he is buried. He is the principal person remembered for championing Christianity in Ireland. Ironically, the color blue was originally associated with St. Patrick, who was awarded a feast day in the early 1600s. Eventually the green that is now associated with the holiday overtook the other color. Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol

are lifted for the day, and Irish celebrate with wild abandon. It is said that Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaf clover, to teach the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, thus establishing its association with Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish have a national holiday for the day, but in Italy it is necessary to celebrate around other commitments like work and school. If you can’t get away long enough to catch a flight to Ireland for the real celebrations, Florence has some good options for marking the occasion. The biggest event celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Florence is “Irlanda in Festa” which is a big Irish-themed festival that typically runs for several days around St. Patrick’s Day. There is traditional Irish dancing as well as traditional music and food. Another sure place to hit up is Finnegan’s, the only official Irish pub in Florence, which will be sure to have some themed festivities going on to celebrate. Some organizations run bar crawls that include a stop at Finnegan’s, if that is your preferred style. Regardless of where you are celebrating, just make sure to wear green to commemorate the day as well as to avoid pinches by Americans following their own tradition!

Leonardo da Vinci, Annunciazione (c. 1472 / 1475), oil and tempera on wood, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

By E. M.

F

lorence may have already marked the new year along with the rest of the world, but there is another celebration coming. However, until 1749 Florence actually celebrated the new year in March, and it is that day that is still celebrated in Florence today as the Florentine New Year. The date originates from the Catholic annunciation, which celebrates the angel Gabriel’s announcement to the virgin Mary that she would give birth to Jesus, the savior of the world. Church officials originated the date by counting backwards nine months from the date the birth of Christ is traditionally celebrated, December 25. The Feast of the Annunciation is celebrated by Catholics and some other Christians annually to celebrate Mary’s obedience as well as the coming of the Christ child. In Florence, the event is more significant, however, as the date also marks the traditional Florentine New Year. In 1582 the Gregorian calendar came into

popularity, meaning that January 1 was more commonly believed to mark the beginning of the new year. The tradition in Florence did not change until Grand Duke Francis III issued a decree in 1749 that brought Florence into keeping with the rest of the area. Technically now Florence marks January 1 as the new year, but March 25 still holds a special place of interest to the city as it is the traditional new year as well as a significant date for Catholics. In 2000, the city of Florence made the date official. The Florentine New Year, or Feast of the Annunciation, is marked by a parade from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Piazza Santissima Annunziata. Food, drink and music abound in the piazza and visitors typically also pay a visit to the church, named for the annunciation and intricately decorated. If you are in Florence on March 25, the holiday is an excellent opportunity to experience a local holiday firsthand, and enjoy the celebration of a new year for the second time.

Segway has been in Florence since 2010 with four different locations. Two shops are located in the Center, one in via Guelfa and one near Piazza Pitti; two are located at the Cascine Park. In the shops you can rent bicycles and, at the Cascine, fun quadricycles are suitable for families. Every year the number of vehicles in circulation in Florence has increased. Segway have become very popular among tourists and tour guides who organize the same small tour on them. Segway is fun and environmentally friendly and can circulate the large Florentine pedestrian zone at a speed of 10km / h. Segway is “green”, all-electric, and works with a battery that allows you to travel up to 140km and has a duration of 7 hours. Each Segway also has a handy front storage pocket for your personal items. The shops are open 7 days a week from 10 am to 8.30 pm in summer and from 11 am to 7.00 pm in winter time. 75 euro for two hour tour with a professional guide. Official Point, Via Guelfa, 1h/r, 3h/r Ph. 055 285600 - Cell. 320 7944772

Via del Campanile, 2, 50122 Firenze 055 216158


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Culture

february – march 2014

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Carlo Pedretti: A life dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci

By Stefano Giraldi

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hat person has not heard of the great artist Leonardo da Vinci? Painter, sculptor, inventor and extraordinary designer of whom Giorgio Vasari said “his every action is so divine as to be (as indeed it is) a gift from God.” (Vasari, Le Vite, p. 557). Professor Carlo Pedretti, as one of the world’s leading contemporary historians of Leonardo da Vinci, has improved our understanding of the genius Artist. He is a professor emeritus in History of Art at the Armand Hammer Center, where he was also Director, and Professor of Leonardo Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His collaboration with the publisher Giunti in Florence has led to the publication of prestigious works such as The Facsimiles of the Leonardo Codices, printed and bound exactly as Leonardo’s originals were. He has worked with the Swedish city of Malmö on a wonderful exhibition on Leonardo’s bridges, which included the construction of a Leonardo bridge with the cooperation of the king of Sweden. It was also his idea to search for the lost Leonardo fresco in the Palazzo Vecchio’s Hall of the Five Hundred in Florence. A multi-faceted member of the art world, he is also interested in contemporary artists like the young Florentine artist Alessandro Reggioli, a painter and sculptor who, thanks to the support of Professor Pedretti, held a brilliant exhibition at the Palazzo Pretorio in Certaldo Alto on “Leonardo’s Hearts”, creating an imposing sculpture in bronze depicting, in a contemporary style, one of Leonardo’s most beautiful hearts. The life of Professor Carlo Pedretti has been one dedicated to the knowledge of the genius Leonardo da Vinci. Carlo Pedretti, awarded Honorary Citizenship of the City of Florence, has now retired to

Villa Di Castel Vitoni, an area in Tuscany above Vinci where Leonardo spent time. I had the honour of meeting him many years ago and the privilege of touring the museums of Europe with him photographing Leonardo da Vinci’s scattered designs. The good Florentine that I am, I asked the professor about another world-famous Tuscan, Pinocchio: “… Professor, if Leonardo da Vinci had had the opportunity to read Pinocchio, what would he have said?” The professor responded, looking at me with a serious expression, “…Leonardo would not have read Pinocchio, he would have written it!” Italiano

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hi nel mondo non conosce quel grande Artista di nome Leonardo da Vinci? Pittore, scultore, inventore e straordinario disegnatore che, come disse Giorgio Vasari “… ciascuna azione sua è tanto divina per cosa (come ella è) largita da Dio.” (Vasari, Le Vite, pag. 557). Da uno dei più importanti storici mondiali di Leonardo da Vinci che abbiamo oggi una conoscenza migliore del geniale artista, è il professor Carlo Pedretti. Già professore di Storia dell’Arte all’Armand Hammer Center di cui era anche direttore, professore degli Studi di Leonardo alla Università di California, Los Angeles (UCLA). La sua collaborazione con la casa editrice Giunti di Firenze ha portato alla pubblicazione di prestigiose edizioni come i Facsimili dei Codici Leonardiani, stampati e rilegati esattamente come erano gli originali di Leonardo. Ha collaborato con la città svedese di Malmö in una stupenda mostra sui ponti di Leonardo con la realizzazione di un ponte Leonardiano presente il Re di Svezia. Da lui è nata anche l’idea della ricerca dell’affresco perduto di Leonardo da Vinci nel Salone del ‘500 al Palazzo Vecchio di Firenze.

Carlo Pedretti with “Pinocchio Vitruvio d’Artista” Personaggio eclettico nell’arte, interessandosi molto anche agli artisti contemporanei come il giovane artista fiorentino Alessandro Reggioli, pittore e scultore che, grazie alla collaborazione del professor Pedretti, realizzò una straordinaria mostra al Palazzo Pretorio di Certaldo Alto sui “Cuori di Leonardo” realizzando una imponente scultura in bronzo raffigurante, in maniera contemporanea, uno dei più bei Cuori di Leonardo. Insomma, quella del professor Carlo Pedretti è stata una vita dedicata alla conoscenza del genio Leonardo da Vinci. Carlo Pedretti, che ha ricevuto la cittadinanza onoraria dalla Città di Firenze, ora si è ritirato in

Toscana a Villa Di Castel Vitoni sopra a Vinci nei luoghi che Leonardo ha vissuto e che frequentava. Ho avuto l’occasione di conoscerlo molti anni fa e il privilegio di collaborare con lui girando l’Europa per fotografare i disegni di Leonardo da Vinci sparsi nei vari musei, da buon fiorentino che sono feci una domanda al professore su un altro grande personaggio toscano anche lui conosciuto in tutto il mondo, Pinocchio: “… professore, se Leonardo da Vinci avesse potuto leggere Pinocchio, che avrebbe detto?” – il professore guardandomi seriamente mi rispose – “…Leonardo non avrebbe letto Pinocchio, l’avrebbe scritto!”.

fact, Virgil is without a doubt the reason of the human-being that proves sober, measured, resolute and wise. During the trip several times in fact protect Dante from hostile demons and monsters, which are the bad elements that can come into our lives. And is interesting to note that Dante-character and Dante-poet seem to consider different Virgil. Dante-character considers Virgil his mentor, always emphasizing his extreme confidence in him and his abandonment to his advice. Dante-poet, however, makes use of Hell to prove their poetic greatness often making reference to the great classics, including, first and foremost, the Aeneid of Virgil. We can understand this important meaning of Virgil-character in the following triplets of Canto I.

“O, of the other poets honour and light, Avail me the long study and great love That have impelled me to explore thy volume!

The Divina Commedia and its most important metaphors By Zdenka Marchi

Professor of Italian language and culture at the school for foreigns Istituto Europeo in Florence

The Divine Comedy is composed of three canticas (Ital. pl. cantiche) — Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise) — each consisting of 33 cantos (Ital. pl. canti). An initial canto serves as an introduction to the poem and is generally not considered to be part of the first cantica, bringing the total number of cantos to 100. The verse scheme used, terza rima, is hendecasyllabic (lines of eleven syllables), with the lines composing tercet. Metaphors and symbolism are found in every row. Dante wrote the Inferno after he was exiled in 1301, this made it possible for him to make accurate “predictions” about events which had already occurred, thus lending an aura of truth to his genuine prophecies. Dante begins his travel halfway of his life and in the first line of the Divina Commedia he says the central motif of his poem: it is the story of man’s pilgrimage to God. The writer recounts that in the middle of his life, he found himself lost in a dark forest, having lost the right path while half asleep. Worried and frightened, he was comforted by the sight of a hill, the top of which was sunlit. However, when he tried to climb the hill to reach the top, he saw three savage animals, which blocked his way. The first important metaphor is the dark forest, which represents everything that Dante thought was wrong in 1300. This could include inner confusion and sin, political corruption, the absence of true authority, the bad behaviour of the Pope, etc. We can point out on the line 6 the word “fear”, which let us know that Dante is not an Hero, because its first representation about himself is connected with something in contrast with Heros. Dante’s character symbolise indeed the human being, with all its fears and worries. Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Ah me! How hard a thing it is to say What was this forest savage, rough, and stern, Which in the very thought renews the fear. The three animals are the representation of the three most serious negative elements of Dante’s time. The leopard which symbolizes lust, the lion pride, and the shewolf avarice. And lo! Almost where the ascent began, A panther light and swift exceedingly, Which with a spotted skin was covered o’er! And never moved she from before my face, Nay, rather did impede so much my way, That many times I to return had turned. The time was the beginning of the morni ng, And up the sun was mounting with those stars That with him were, what time the Love Divine At first in motion set those beauteous things; So were to me occasion of good hope, The variegated skin of that wild beast, The hour of time, and the delicious season; But not so much, that did not give me fear A lion’s aspect which appeared to me. He seemed as if against me he were coming With head uplifted, and with ravenous hunger, So that it seemed the air was afraid of him; And a she-wolf, that with all hungerings Seemed to be laden in her meagreness, And many folk has caused to live forlorn! She brought upon me so much heaviness, With the affright that from her aspect came, That I the hope relinquished of the height. The other important character is Virgil. Dante-poet chooses Virgil, who was one of the most important Roman writers, because in truth it was his leadership literature. This is the reason why during this trip Virgil-character will be the Dante’s guide. In

Thou art my master, and my author thou, Thou art alone the one from whom I took The beautiful style that has done honour to me. Behold the beast, for which I have turned back; Do thou protect me from her, famous Sage, For she doth make my veins and pulses tremble.” After this introduction Dante and Virgil will begin their journey trough Hell, while they will compare each other about life’s complications, efforts and contradictions.

E. Delacroix, Dante and Virgilio on Flegiàs’ boat (1822)


Art & Fashion

Milan Fashion Week

The Medici Chapels in Florence

Aurelio Amendola, photographer

Writer and student at Santa Reparata International School of Art (SRISA) of Florence

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he Medici Chapels in Florence are one of the must-see attractions, as well as a reminder of just how wealthy and powerful the Medici family must have been to commission such an extensive work. Part of the church of San Lorenzo, the location already holds a bit of mystery because of the unfinished façade of the church. Now is a particularly good time to visit the Medici Chapels because there is a special display of photographs of Michelangelo’s works on display in the crypt. The photography exhibition corresponds with the 450th anniversary of death of Michelangelo this February. On display through March 15, the photographs are powerful images of Michelangelo’s sculptures taken by Aurelio Amendola. Fifteen images are on display in the center of the crypt; four of the David are displayed near the tomb of Cosimo I; two more of Prisoners near Ferdinand I. In the images Amendola tried to capture the “power of the gaze” in Michelangelo’s sculptures. The Medici

Chapels have treasures of their own to gaze upon, however, so even if you miss the photography display be sure to stop by. The crypt displays a collection of reliquaries as well as a family tree for the Medici family, some of whom are buried beneath the floor you walk over. Upstairs, there is one grand room of the chapel, with massive frescoes on the ceilings with bright colors. It is currently undergoing some restoration work, so there is a limited amount of scaffolding present, but the powerful paintings are well worth the inconvenience. Two side chapels display more reliquaries from a variety of different saints, collected over the years. The entire Medici Chapels has wonderful signage in English and Italian that allows visitors to really comprehend the different rooms, their designated purposes, and the pieces of art on display, including that designed for the tombs. Technically reservations are required, but if you go during the morning it is not very busy and you can usually walk right in. Part of Florence’s important history, the chapels are an interesting look at how art and life intersected during the Medici times.

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By Ellen Miller

February – March 2014

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ashion lovers know that each week seems to herald in a new city’s fashion week, full of shows and new garments to lust over. For true fashionistas, though, few weeks rival Paris and Milan, two of the industry’s biggest shows that attract the most famous talent. This spring Milan fashion week runs from February 18-23, and while the temperatures in Italy might finally start warming into spring, designers will be showcasing an entirely different season: fall. Over 170 shows and presentations will occur over the six days that the fashion week takes over the city. The Camera Nazionale della Moda manages the shows and publicity. The fashion week both promotes famous fashion houses as well as up and coming designers. Designers will exhibit their fall/winter collections during this edition of the show, which occurs twice annually. In addition to the catwalks,

the fashion week often encompasses special events and exhibitions dedicated to networking as well as celebrating famous fashion icons. In the past designers showing at Milan fashion week have included Alberta Ferretti, Bottega Veneta, Costume National, Dolce & Gabbana, Emperio Armani, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Fgendi, Karl Lagerfeld, Max Mara, Missoni, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo and Versace. For fashion lovers the best way to see the show is from the inside, but tickets are hard to come by. The official Milan fashion week website has livestreaming of many of the catwalk shows, so go ahead and hit the city but be prepared if you cannot get in to a show. If that is the case, just watch online to assess the trends for the upcoming season—and then take advantage of your extra free time to go shopping in some of the best stores in Italy.

Via Pietrapiana, 67/r Firenze - tel. 055 2478850 E-mail: outlet-firenzepietrapiana@sottosotto.it

Don Joe Lounge Bar & Restaurant

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on Joe Lounge Bar and Lorenzo de’ Medici Restaurant and Pizzeria are elegant places situated right in the heard of Florence, just a few steps away from the Medici Chapels, the Church of Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo Market, and no more than 200m from the Fortezza da basso. he Lorenzo de’ Medici Restaurant seats 350 people at time, has wheelchair access, five restrooms and two exits for the comfort of its clients. The Lorenzo de’ Medici Restaurant is the ideal place to try traditional Florentine dishes or Pizza clocked in the wood-fired oven. The perfect place for tourist groups, business dinner, meetings or private dining. very Wednesday night cocktail party, 5 € only for students, and every thursday night free champagne and 20% discount for ladies. Free buffet.

T E

via del Giglio 49/r tel. 055 212932 cell. 392 2474287 www.lorenzodemediciristorante.com


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february – march 2014

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The Spadolini Library: A cultural centre and meeting place

By Cosimo Ceccuti

Chairman of the Fondazione Spadolini

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ast October, in this newspaper, I described the museum-house of Giovanni Spadolini at Pian dei Giullari in the hills of Arcetri, which offers a unique and unforgettable view of Florence. This time I will describe the library, a meeting place and a place for study, open to the public free of charge from Monday to Thursday, from 9.30 to 17.00. The sizeable building is Pian dei Giullari n. 36/a (tel. 003955 2336071), at the end of the no.38/b bus route which links with Porta Romana: at the heart of the sixteenth century hamlet, next to Galileo Galilei’s house and the villa where Francesco Guicciardini wrote The History of Italy in the mid-sixteenth century. The library, fostered with such love during the last years of Giovanni Spadolini’s life, was brought into being thanks to an extended

loan by the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze. It occupies the plots of former outbuildings (in particular, the lemon house) of the villa belonging to Mario Nunes Vais, a Florentine photographer specialising in portraiture who lived at the turn of the nineteenth century. The library, open to the public since 1 July 1997, houses over 40,000 volumes, founded upon Giovanni Spadolini’s Contemporary History collection and added to more recently by the collections of Vita Finzi, Gasparotto, Serra, Mastellone, Prezzolini (brought over from the USA), Uzzielli, Molfese, Campodonico,

Granchi, Boris, Ungari, Pierleoni and Bernocchi (a specialist in the history of coins). These collections have come to the library thanks to donations by the collectors’ families, who saw the Spadolini Foundation’s library as the ideal location to house the libraries passed down to them and put them to good use. The library maintains an open access policy whereby users can consult volumes directly, albeit under the constant supervision of trained staff. The space is organised thematically; on the ground floor are the periodicals, including a complete collection of Illustrazione

known as bottom-up, they work to create change within the people and the community, hoping the social repercussions will move upward to create change at the national and international levels. UNESCO of Central Florence works together with other NGOs, both local and abroad to tackle contemporary social issues. Dr. Grassellini explains their method is somewhat unique- an approach called Co-development; where the same social issues are simultaneously addressed in both developed and developing nations. Therefore, the goal will be the same despite the contrary societal norms, but the objectives to achieving such goals may vary. For example, take the goal of teaching subject matter that public schools do not cover; in a developing nation the method of doing so may be to teach alphabetization. In a developed nation, where students are able to recite the alphabet but do not know about the transmission of STDs, the method may consist of providing sex education classes. Admittedly, the organization can at times find it difficult to perfectly mirror the UNESCO ideals, mainly for two reasons: money and size. Their status as a local NGO means they do not receive funds from the Italian government to run on. The agency is financially self-sustaining off of the money they receive from either private grants, or the fundraisers that they hold. This is one of reasons why Dr. Grassellini hopes to spread the word on the work that he and his team are doing; “one dollar can make a difference”, he says. To be honest I found this reality surprising, as I like many others I suppose, heard the term UNESCO and arrived at the conclusion that they were funded via UNESCO (international). Fortunately enough, their affiliation to one of the most internationally recognized organizations in the world, has drawn together a group of young individuals sharing a dream to change the world. Although I cannot foresee the future and thus, the fate of UNESCO of Central Florence, something tells me they can survive and prosper. With a staff consisting of individuals who are educated and prepared to navigate both, political and social avenues, they have an advantage. Furthermore, I must take a moment to applaud their use of interns constructively and without reservation. Comprised of

a modest staff; with four clerks and one President, the organization relies heavily on volunteers and interns alike. Particularly for young professionals looking to gain formative work experience within an agency dedicated to social justice, this may just be the place. Although it is affiliated with one of the most reputable, international organizations in the world there is no need to have reservations about being lost in the crowd, or becoming the staff secretary and making daily coffee runs. Here, interns are utilized in the most professional manner, typically over the course of six months. Through hands-on involvement with tasks such as: planning / promoting fundraisers, project development, and community outreach, they learn the expectations of working within an international NGO and will professionally evolve from, what Grassellini calls, “a 0 to 8 worker”. Moreover, if interns display a performance of good quality, they will be provided with a formal cover-letter and recommendation for their portfolio. In fact, it is this standard of active participation from all those contributing their time, which supplements the fulfillment of the organization’s mission. When you have a group of people from all walks of life, engaged in daily problem solving, it ignites a cultural exchange. Each person has a different mindset and thus, their own cultural paradigm, so the key is working together to find a mutual solution. From the inside, this is just one way that the agency works to promote cooperation and understanding between those of different cultures…a UNESCO (international) goal. External promotion consists of building community awareness through holding public events that highlight various cultures, or offering courses/lectures that explain the origins and characteristics of different cultural backgrounds. As champions for access to education, their charge is encompassed by a UNESCO quote: “Sometimes a teacher can save more lives than a doctor”. It comes as no surprise then that the future plans of this organization include an academic agenda, both locally and abroad. Specifically in Thailand, they are attempting to increase the amount of English being taught. In Italy, they work to continually provide instruction that the government does not

My research: UNESCO of Central Florence

By Rachael Perez Student at the school for foreigns Istituto Europeo in Florence

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s I continue my social research, I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Grassellini at UNESCO of Central Florence to understand the work this organization is doing. Our discussion shed light on several misconceptions that I had prior; notably three things: their work abroad, their use of interns, and their focus on education above all else. Situated beneath the umbrella of the United Nations, UNESCO of Central Florence works to “put into practice what UNESCO (international) says is ideal” states Dr. Grassellini. Their purpose is contrived from UNESCO’s target outreach areas; dealing with social matters associated with education, science, culture, and communication / information. As a non-government organization (NGO), they are not considered an international entity; therefore they do not formally operate at the diplomatic level and must adhere to local laws. What is surprising to learn is how despite this organization being locally based, its work still extends beyond the city limits, reaching even as far as Cambodia. While their UN counterpart disperses aid via the top-down approach, this agency does the opposite. Using the strategy

italiana, newspapers from the nineteenth century, collections of major post-war and contemporary historical magazines and the photographic archive. On the first floor, the first room plays host to illustrated Italian, English and French magazines from the end of the 1800s and the first decade of the 1900s, donated by the longstanding Florentine organisation “Leonardo”. In the expansive central space, amongst rows of bookshelves and places to read, is the History of the Unification of Italy (the largest section) with specialist subdivisions brimming with pamphlets and rare works by Mazzini, Cattaneo and Garibaldi. The last room on the first floor, the Giovanni Spadolini Room or conference room, is dedicated to encyclopaedias and general works. Worth mentioning are the complete collections of the Corriere della sera (1876-1925) and the Popolo d’Italia (1914-1922), formerly the property of Luigi Albertini, great director of the Milanese title. Editions of Antologia and Nuova Antologia – the political-cultural magazines that accompanied the process of national unification – are also available to users, as well as the complete works of Giovanni Spadolini. The most spacious rooms are found on the other side of the building, facing the Arcetri Observatory, and are used for occasional historical exhibitions: the next, beginning in spring 2014, will celebrate the cultural and political protagonists of Florence as the capital of Italy (18651871) as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations. A library, but not just a place to read. As well as exhibitions, lectures, book presentations, conferences and debates are all held in this vibrant cultural centre. Most importantly, workshops are held for school groups on fundamental areas of research ranging from the unity of Italy to the Constitution.

have as part of the public curriculum. Specifically HIV prevention, as the data reports statistics of 12 new infections each day, predominately among teens. In a place where it seems that cultural preservation is the lifeblood of the city, I was again surprised to discover this organization’s emphasis on education. I must admit that being an entity whose title includes the word culture I was jotting down questions inquiring about the rehabilitation process of ancient, marble statues in preparation for the interview. What I found was an agency taking, what I consider, a step outside the cultural box. Their work is very modern indeed, as Dr. Grassellini informs me on my way out that UNESCO is still an up-and-comer in the Western world. Although there are nearly 100 site locations throughout Italy, they are only just beginning to grow and develop in the United States. In a time such as this, where globalization is no longer a theory of the future but rather standing at our gate, someone who has knowledge has power. Operating within the light of education is something that UNESCO of Central Florence cannot stress enough when it comes to the agency’s work. As Dr. Grassellini says, education is the key which opens many doors and will create what he calls, “a new kind of citizen” for the world of tomorrow. Centro UNESCO di Firenze Onlus

via G.P. Orsini, 44 – 50126 Firenze telefono e fax +39 055 6810895 Codice Fiscale: 80101730481 presidenza@centrounescofi.it


Books

february – march 2014

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Quaderni del Circolo Rosselli

By Valdo Spini

Former Minister of Ambiente e delle Aree Urbane Già Ministro dell’Ambiente e delle Aree Urbane

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on i suoi 33 anni di vita, la rivista fiorentina Quaderni del Circolo Rosselli rappresenta uno dei punti di riferimento di cultura politica più vivi e presenti della nostra città. Il numero 2/2013 della rivista (il 116esimo fascicolo che è uscito), è dedicato proprio alla Città del Giglio, con il titolo avveniristico di Firenze 2020, proiettato sul terzo decennio di questo XXI secolo. Il “Quaderno” parte da un’assunzione poco nota: e cioè che è in dirittura d’arrivo un disegno di legge governativo che sostituirà, all’attuale provincia, la Città metropolitana, che dovrebbe permettere di pianificare insieme tutto il territorio della “Grande Firenze”. A questo tema dedico il mio articolo sulla rivista, anche per il fatto che attualmente sono presidente della Commissione affari istituzionali del Consiglio comunale di Firenze che sta sviluppando un’intensa iniziativa in proposito. I temi dell’urbanistica e del territorio, decisivi per l’amministrazione della città,

sono affrontati da Giuseppina Carla Romby, da Mariella Zoppi, da Manlio Marchetta e da Carlo Carbone, mentre i temi del trasporto e delle infrastrutture sono oggetto di un saggio di Francesco Re. Una ricerca fresca del sociologo Carlo Colloca analizza i flussi migratori nel comune di Firenze. Ma l’amministrazione cittadina deve essere finalizzata a far star bene i suoi abitanti in mezzo al bailamme di problemi di trasporto, di burocrazia, di funzionamento non sempre ottimale dei servizi. A questo tema “immateriale” della felicità del vivere si dedica Gaspare Polizzi, mentre Severino Saccardi sottolinea come Firenze sia sempre stata considerata una città simbolo e ricorda il fervore culturale e civile della Firenze degli anni 60. Per le sue caratteristiche, la rivista Quaderni del Circolo Rosselli ospita una rubrica molto significativa, “Storia e memoria”. In questo numero Mariella Zoppi e Adriano Poggiali ricordano il centenario della nascita del grande urbanista fiorentino Edoardo Detti, mentre io ricordo con piacere ed affetto il mio amico Giorgio Gaber.

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Interview with the writer Fabrizio Ulivieri

By Ilaria Gelichi The classic question: how did the book start? It has been bred by the belly. Not by the brain. The stomach is a second brain in all respects. It is able to think independently of the first brain, that of the skull, to be understood. For this reason, the book has dark tones, this brain – the stomach – works in the darkness and in silence. As the fecal matter the protagonists also looking for a way out. A lumen beyond the orifice from which they communicate between their inner world and the outer. It‘s a book born mainly at the end of a love affair, passionate but negative because of a woman who apparently was bad but I thought was good. Instead she was really bad while looking good. A belly centered woman, of basic feelings: eat, drink, fuck and defecate. And a less more ... However, in the book there are often references to Love, to the impossibility of Love and yet it seems that there is an intense search for Love Yes, Love is the lumen characters strive for to get the orifice that illuminates the lives of niche of these negative and belly centered characters. This is the unique feeling that can get them out of the darkness. They live in a borderline world (sphincteric ) between the darkness of their painless despair (Nothingness), and the love that can possibly redeem them, but it is as if they could see it through a tiny hole through which they fail to pass. Women are often painted in a negative way It’s not true in “Ninfomane”, for example, I underline a positive role of women’s sexuality. It’s not a negative vision of women at all. It’s a way to re-establish their roles. The woman’s apparent negativity that comes from the book goes as far back as the archetypal role: woman as a mother, woman as a prey and as an object of exchange, woman as a whore , woman as a temptress, woman as an incomprehensible object more than a sexual object... archetypes are actually dif-

Fabrizio Ulivieri ficult to conciliate with the women modern role advancement. Today there really is too much confusion with roles. The archetypes at least help us to identify the starting point from which we originated and to which we belong and will belong forever. The origin is in us and never abandons us as the etymology of words that century after century expands their meaning but still entails the well rooted initial meaning It ‘s a book apparently simple but dense It ‘s the book that I wanted to make people think, first of all. I hope I succeeded Why microstories (microracconti)? It ‘s the lesson of socialmedia: Facebook, Twitter... The contents have to be visualized rather than read. Thus, I forced myself to shorten the reading time. The thing that amazed me is that as I wrote the stories and as I was posting them on the blog I remained surprised by the fact that most of the clickers/viewers/readers were from the United States , Russia, Ukraine and Japan. I even had confirmation to have readers who never read books or very rarely. Certainly I think this is due to the shortness of the reading time that makes these stories readable to even those who maybe

have difficulty reading long texts but they could easily read such texts ... What do you think of Italian readers and publishers? About Italian readers I don’t know what to say, except that the majority has a globalized and visual taste. They prefer to see instead of thinking. Reading should lead people to think and not to “see”. But we live in the era of social media where the image is more important than the content. Regarding Italian publishers I only have negative things to say. Provincial, myopic, unable to look beyond the neo-realism that still dominates in the choking Italian culture, from literature to cinema to politics. Can you imagine that Elena Ferrante is considered one of the greatest Italian writers! What are your expectations about your book? I do not have many expectations . Without a big publisher behind you you don’t go far. At any rate the book is built according to my way of thinking, according to beliefs: I write to create, to learn and fight. A book that compels people to think, a book that will strike you , that will take you up to the heaven but also into the hell... The author’s relationship with the city of Florence. You often cite Florence in your books Yes, I often quote the city. I often quote its libraries, its cafes, its cinemas, its restaurants... Florence, although sometimes suffocates me, is an international city, charming, seductive, sexy... Some evenings in the winter when it is dark and cold, walking along the streets, observing the colors, and smelling makes you feel as if you are walking through a fairytale world. My loves, my lovers, the characters in my books are born here and they die here, in this city. In “The Smile of the Whore “ there is a microracconto entirely dedicated to Caffè Strozzi, one of my favorite places in Florence. Plans for the future I’m working on a novel, the title at this moment is “Un cattivo soggetto” but at the same time I continue writing stories, and

www.amazon.it miniracconti, miniriflessioni... as well as the rewriting of texts already published by other authors that lead me to explore new territories and to do style and plotting exercises which I find very interesting. I speak only through stories. If I have criticisms to make of society, politics, culture, I do it through my stories... I believe that the time has come to stop complaining. We live in a country of lamentoni (people who always complain) unable to give solutions because they are not even looking for them. Complaining is easy, it is difficult to find solutions. We have this political: the worst political class ever (maybe). Therefore there are only two paths to follow: either take the guns and knock it down or make the most of it by trying to do your job in the best way you can conscious, that the political class does not give us any help and will never give us any help .


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Florence is You! - February/March 2014