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WHAT DOES GEORGE CLOONEY HAVE IN COMMON WITH THE ANCIENT ROMANS?

posted by Home In Italy on August 23rd, 2016

This is a provocative question. But it was very funny when a picture of George Clooney appeared in the Gossip magazines, going around on the bike along the cycle paths surrounding Lake Como.

The Italians wondered what is there so special of that place that it has been chosen by an overseas film star. Yet, with all the heavenly places that populate the rest of the planet, it is Lake Como that George Lucas has chosen to set the love story between Anakim and Padme in Star Wars, born on the romantic planet of Naboo. The lake may seem indeed, on some memorable days, a dreamy and a world apart, although it is quite fun for those who know this place very well and for those who live there, to see the line of trucks of the entire Star Wars crew, marching on the narrow streets and settle in these towns of the lake. One thing is certain, Lake Como is not discovered by Hollywood. It has been loved for centuries, certainly since the Romans set foot in the colony of Nova Comum (founded on the lake shores 59 before Christ) and built luxurious villas on the shore.

The shock to the landscapes of Lake Como, however, occurred in the Romantic era. It could not go different wise: for its character and nature, with high forested mountains that rise vertically from the lake, the sky that clouds over by sudden storms, the Lario was, and still is, the destination for those with the most sensitive and dramatic souls.
During the nineteenth century it got conquered. At this point in history, the traveller/ writer Goethe could not be missed, he described it the luminous air, here Malombra Fogazzaro was set, and were consumed true and passionate loves. And if today these passions of the soul do not seem to exist anymore, on the lake you can always find a place to reinvent your own love story.


You can walk along the shore where you can catch a glimpse of the glorious Italian gardens of the most luxurious villas, today disputed industry from all over the world and international stars. And you can not help but imagine how much the ‘dolce vita’ was experienced in such beauty. Such as in 5 star hotels, from Villa D’Este to the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, places for a luxurious holiday and vacation, imagine how they could have been in the past!
Lake Como, place of passion, literary inspiration and the heart, just that is already worth a trip to Italy!

DISCOVERY ITALY WITH YOUR DOG IN MANTOVA: THE CITY OF CULTURE 2016

posted by Home In Italy on August 16th, 2016

Mantova is the city of culture 2016…. So why not go there and discover its beauty together with your four legged friend?
This is a city that has its roots very far, connected to the Gonzaga family who constructed one of the main centers of the Italian and European Renaissance period and has been included to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The nature of Mantova is overloaded with beauties: hills full of history, intense green landscapes, hydrography rich of rivers and canals.

It starts at Mincio, at Via San Giorgio where you can leave your car and start enjoying walks with your dog, including a lovely break in the green shores of ‘Lago di Mezzo’.
After a few steps you reach the square called Sordello, where the House of Rigoletto is situated. Here stands the imposing castle ‘Castello di San Giorgio’.
Tourists from all over the world come to the fort to admire the Bridal Chamber, or ‘Camera Picta’, painted by Andrea Mantegna between 1465 and 1475, the artist’s tribute to the family of Gonzaga – to visit, a reservation is required.
With the same ticket, free for children under 18 and for those over 65, you can visit, in additional to the ‘Camera Picta’, a part of ‘Castel San Giorgio’ and Palazzo Ducale’: The palace of the Gonzaga family, a sumptuous complex of apartments, lounge areas, corridors, courtyards and gardens – recommend to visit is the apartment of widow Isabella d’Este.
Going through ‘Portico dei Lattonai’, under the ‘Palazzo della Ragione’, you cross the nearby square ‘Broletto’, where you can browse through the various shops and buy the famous “sbrisolona”, a cake of poor origins, many years ago the ingredients in fact where typical of the countryside traditions, made of corn flour, lard and hazelnuts.
From ‘Palazzo della Ragione’, built in the mid-thirteenth century to host the city’s meetings, to the square ‘Broletto’ up to the most beautiful square ‘Piazza delle Erbe’.

On its Eastern side, you can see the ‘Torre dell’Orologio’, inside this tower you can find the museum ‘Museo dell’ Opera’, which exposes the mechanisms of the period of the watch, and from the top you can have a beautiful view of the city and its lake that surrounds it.When you continue toward south you reach the palace ‘Palazzo Te’, this masterpiece of Giulio Romano, is the most fascinating and mysterious residence of Mantova; built by the marquis Federico II Gonzaga, who for a long time was looking for a home for his entertainment; it is decorated with symbols and myth scenes.At one time ‘Palazzo Te’ stood at the center of an island surrounded by the waters of a lake and a green forest. This visit includes the ‘Cortile d’Onore’, the ‘Sala dei Cavalli’, the rooms of Cupid and Psyche, the ‘Venti’, the ‘Aquile’, the sumptuous room of the plasters and the chamber of the Giants, the largest and best known of ‘Palazzo Te’. Only guide dogs for the blind people can enter, so it is better to organize this beforehand and maybe take turns!
And if you want to explore the unspoiled nature of the park ‘Parco del Mincio’ to get lost between sounds and breathtaking views, your four legged friend can join you for a cruise on the river.

And if you fancy a typical dish of Mantova in the evening, at ‘Osteria delle Erbe’ also your four legged friend is welcome and can enter without any problem.

RAVELLO FESTIVAL: MUSIC SUSPENDED BETWEEN SEA AND SKY

posted by Home In Italy on July 21st, 2016

Since 1953, in the gardens of the Villa Rufolo of Ravello where Wagner found his “magic garden of Klingsor”, has been taking place the prestigious Ravello Musical Festival, that starts in early April and goes on from the beginning of July until August.

The current Ravello Festival derives from a series of previous initiatives which make it the oldest of the Italian festivals after the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. The association of Wagner’s name with Villa Rufolo, a place made splendid and welcoming by the Scottish philanthropist Francis Neville Reid, was too tempting not to suggest the idea of holding concerts at this site, blessed, besides, by the great composer in person. Thus, in the 1930s the orchestra of the San Carlo Theatre in Naples played a couple of times, with a program connected to Wagner.

This year on stage directors of orchestra such as Yuri Temirkanov, the first Russian artist who had the honor to perform in Russia after the resumption of cultural relations with the Soviet Union, which ended the war in Afghanistan. The American James Conlon, popularizer of the music of the composers persecuted by the Nazi regime. The Russian Tugan Sokhiev, among the emerging of this new generation, which is tightening a relationship with the greatest orchestras in the world. A great return for Jeffrey Tate. The music takes the guise of universal language of peace, against the wars around the world.

At Ravello Festival there will be big names of the international concert team but also youth orchestras like the Italian one, directed by Juraj Valcuha, which opened the 2016 edition on the evening of July 1, and that of “Young singers” of Salzburg who will close the cycle of the Festival at the end of August. A symbolic choice, intergenerational connection, which is rooted in meaning even with an autumn project, first of its kind, which includes dozens of new talents of conservatives and music schools across Europe.

Music, a rich calendar of dance, jazz, two days with Tim Robbins, a tribute to Paisiello by Paolo Isotta, an extraordinary exhibition of Michelangelo Pistoletto, projects and special events that will last until autumn. And for the first time in the history of the festival, will be represented in an opera staged: “Fairy Queen” by Henry Purcell headed by Antonio Florio and Denis Krief.

UMBRIA JAZZ 2016

posted by Home In Italy on July 7th, 2016

Everything is ready in Perugia, in Umbria region, to attend the prestigious jazz festival. Umbria Jazz 2016 (July 8-17) will offer to the public important new entries and great returns. From the traditional locations of the festival, this year two new symbols of Perugia have been added: the Basilica of San Pietro, unique space for its beauty and spirituality, location with perfect acoustics, where Paolo Fresu will present his productions, one of those unreleased.
The other symbol is the Galleria Nazionale of Umbria, the heart of the history and of the art of Umbria, where he will be performing as part of the noon concerts. In addition to the labelled Tuk Music artists.
There will participate Jon Alexander, an Indonesian boy of 13 years old, which was so close to win a Grammy.

As in the past the most attractive events will take place at the Santa Giuliana Arena, while in the theaters of Morlacchi and of Pavone they will play the most specialized concerts.
At the outdoor stages, where everything is free, popular entertainment will complete the enthusiastic atmosphere. The outdoor free concerts, successors of the street soul from the first Umbria Jazz, offer notable names among which Fred Wesley, trumpet player of Ike and of Tina Turner and then to James Brown, Ray Gelato, Pedrito Martinez, Allan Harris.
Among the many world-renowned artists, big names as the pop singer Mika, Massimo Ranieri, Buddy Guy, Diana Krall, Stefano Bollani, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny & Ron Carter, the reunion Steps Ahead, the unique partnership John Scofield- Brad Mehldau – Mark Guiliana, Marcus Miller, the Branford Marsalis quartet with Kurt Elling will attend at the Festival.

A tribute to classical music with Bach will be reinterpreted by a new young quarter, Roberto Gatto, the quartet Golden Circle, Fabrizio Bosso, Ezio Bosso, Mauro Ottolini Rea. A dedication to the Napolitan music will be made by Stefano Bollani, Rava Gatto, the quartet Golden Circle, Fabrizio Bosso, Ezio Bosso, Mauro Ottolini Rea.
For further information: www.umbriajazz.com