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posted by Home In Italy on March 18th, 2014

Artisan tradition and a manufacture that combines industrial, manual and technological techniques have for centuries characterized and exalted the Italian art of glassmaking. A segment of the luxury sector and synonomous with Italian design, glassmaking on the Peninsula calls the Venetian isle of Murano its epicenter – at least since the 8th Century – Murano being the famous brand name that is known and imported throughout the world.

On Murano, packed with Renaissance-style houses and in part defined by its dominant white lighthouse, glass production stands as the highest expression of refined objets and furnishings. It is an expression realized over time by several dynasties of master glassmakers, passing down this art of transforming sand with air and fire, and maintaining an archive of knowledge that has been kept very hush-hush on this semi-secluded little island.

Some maintain that the glass arts hark back to ancient Egypt, whence the tradition arrived in old Rome for the purpose of adorning noble residences. Yet it was with Eastern and Arab influences that glass design and manufacture was further refined throughout the centuries. More specifically, such took place in Venice, but not in Venice proper – rather, on the outlying island of Murano, where the possibility of large and dangerous fires (as a result of the glassmaking process) destroying the Most Serene Republic was minimized.

The creation of objects in glass is rather complex, both materially and economically, which is why early on glassmakers enjoyed certain immunities and were allowed to possess swords for self-defense; the catch is they could never be permitted to leave the Republic, in the regrettable case that the secrets of the glass arts might be given up by any mode or means.

For this, Murano’s glassmakers held a tight monopoly on both quality and manufacturing techniques, including millefiori, crystal or lead glass, glazed, and milk glass, up until the re-discovery of ancient Roman glass, today’s murrine.

Murano is still the foremost hub of artisan labs for both artistic and mass commercial production. One of the standouts among the most unique, original creations are glass objects imitating precious stones. Of course many of Venice’s historic glass ateliers have become international household names, including Salviati, Barovier & Toso, FerroMurano, and Berengo Studio.

Tourists in Venice seek out the workshops of the grand maestros – that, by the way, assisted Picasso, Fontana and Chagall in creating their own glass sculptures. Here visitors can acquire light fixtures, goblets and chalices, jewelry and vases – thin as paper or thick like marble, white like porcelain or cold-painted.  Before visiting the Museo del Vetro in Palazzo Giustinian, witness the glassmaking of Murano in person to appreciate the expert techniques used to shape and form these works. Viewing the manufacturing process up close truly makes the final product come alive in a brand new way.


posted by Home In Italy on January 28th, 2014

Ancona, Capital of the Marches Region, lies on the promontory of Monte Conero directly facing the sea. Founded by the Greeks, the city experienced remarkable development when the Emperor Hadrian extended the then-small port, long of great strategic importance for the traffic across the Adriatic.

Split into two parts - the historic center on Monte Guasco and the modern part on the coast - Ancona is a fascinating city. Among its principal monuments are the Cathedral of San Ciriaco, with its white and rose marble façade. The Cathedral dominates the city from the heights of Guasco Hill, where the city’s Acropolis was built.

Be sure to see the Archaeological Museum of The Marches, preserving relics from the Iron Age and from the civilizations that peopled the Adriatic coast; as well as the 11th-Century Church of Santa Maria della Piazza, originally in the Romanesque; Trajan’s Arch, built in the year 115 by Apollodoro da Damasco; and the Mole Vanvitelliana, a military construction designed by Luigi Vanvitelli in the 18th Century. The Roman Amphitheatre (1st Century A.D.) is a splendid Roman remnant, with thermal baths in its annex; the baths feature breathtaking mosaics with various epigraphs.

Much of the Province of Ancona composes part of the Conero Regional Park, characterized by sprawling evergreen woods and Mediterranean maquis, by cliffs jutting out high above the sea, beaches accessible on via water, and a countryside still pristine but rich in the local fruits of the land – including lavendar, honey, olive oil and citrus. Certain spots within the Park should be mentioned, particularly Portonovo, evocative and highly-frequented attraction, for its forests in the vicinity of the beaches, and for its ancient monuments.


posted by Home In Italy on November 5th, 2013

Northern Italy is often overlooked because there are simply so many choices facing visitors to Italy. However, this region boasts museums, cities and landscapes that range from sunny beaches to snow capped mountains.

The church of San Vitale is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the town of Ravenna.

It is sometimes referred to as the Mosaic Basilica because of its large collection of intricate mosaics.

This is not merely another impressive collection of religious art, it is some of the oldest surviving art in Italy. The mosaics were commissioned nearly 1500 years ago, making them some of the best remaining examples of art from their time period.


posted by Home In Italy on October 4th, 2013


The French artist and Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne (Aix en Provence 1839 – Aix en Provence 1906) laid the foundation for the transition from the pictorial process of the 19th century to the new and radically different expression of art that dominated the 20th century. Opposed to many aspects of Impressionist art, Cezanne demonstrated that color and form are inseparable, and so formed the bridge between Impressionism and Cubism. The atmosphere of renewal created after the Second World War and the tendency towards the disintegration of the image, evident in the last phase of Cézanne’s work, suggest the creation of this new artistic vocabulary. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have observed that Cézanne “is the father of us all.” The exhibition focuses on the influence Cezanne had on Italian artists Boccioni, Morandi, Pirandello, Corporo and Morlotti.
Complesso Del Vittoriano, Via Di San Pietro In Carcere (Piazza Venezia)
Monday – Thursday, 9:30 am – 7:30 pm and Friday – Saturday, 9:30 am – 11 pm; through February 2, 2014


Introducing his life and work, this exhibition celebrates Capa’s (1913 – 1954) centennial year and the 70th anniversary of the disembarkation of the Allies on the shores of Italy in 1943, which Capa documented. Capa is best known for redefining wartime photojournalism by insisting on joining soldiers in the trenches and documenting their battle in close-up shots that depicted the grim, harsh reality of war in the midst of combat. After covering the Spanish Civil War, his first assignment, he went on to cover World War II, the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the First Indochina War, during which he was killed by a landmine. Capa co-founded Magnum Photos with Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Museo di Roma, Palazzo Braschi,  Via Di San Pantaleo (Piazza Navona); through November 2


Founded in 1888 in Washington D. C. by a group of scientists who decided to explore the world, the National Geographic Society celebrates 125 years of discoveries. This exhibition reminds us of the extraordinary places, peoples, stories and species discovered over the century, with 125 photographs shot by National Geographic photographers. The show’s curator, Guglielmo Pepe discusses NG’s significance, pointing out that it is more than a photographic magazine but has served as a forum for scholars, researchers and journalists. Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Via Nazionale 194 (between Piazza Venezia and Piazza della Repubblica)
Tuesday – Thursday , Sunday, 10 am – 8 pm and Friday – Saturday 10 am – 10:30 pm; through March 2


In the centennial year of Venanzo Crocetti’s birth (Giulianova, August 4 1913 – Roma, February 3, 2003), an exhibition dedicated to his masterful sculptures, tracing references to the figurative language of the classical Egyptian, Etruscan and Greek cultures that prevailed in his work for the entirety of his career. His persistence in representing classical motifs in his compositions helped set him apart from the avant-garde that developed around him.
A selection of eighty-five sculptures in bronze, a series of models, drawings and preparatory studies divide the exhibitions into three thematic sections: the Elegantiae, Etternale and Clementiae.
Palazzo Venezia, Via Del Plebiscito 118
Tuesday – Sunday, 8:30 am – 7:30 pm; through October 20


In collaboration with the Museo Galileo – Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, an exhibition featuring models of inventions attributed to Archimedes (Syracuse-Sicily, 287 – 212 BC), the mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor and astronomer. Among his inventions in physics are the foundation of hydrostatics, statics and an explanation of the principle of the lever. He is credited with designing numerous machines, including siege engines and the screw pump that bears his name. Archimedes is said to have designed machines capable of lifting attacking ships out of the water and setting ships on fire using strategically placed mirrors. He was slain by a Roman soldier during the Second Punic War (212 BC) despite the orders of General Marcus Claudus Marcellus that he was not to be harmed. His tomb, surmounted by a sphere inscribed within a cylinder, is testimony to what is said to have been his greatest achievement, proving that the sphere has two thirds of the volume and surface area of the cylinder including the bases of the latter. The exhibition includes archaeological findings from the ancient city of Syracuse.
Musei Capitolini, Piazza Del Campidoglio 1
Tuesday – Sunday, 9 am – 8 pm; through January 12, 2014


Considered one of the most influential artists of the later 20th century, Isgrò was an innovator, poet, writer and theorist of Erasure, who paved the way for a new artistic language. Isgrò created “cancellature,” meaning works accomplished by acting on texts and manually covering some parts of them. Those words not effected by deletion become a new message carrying essential meanings, the unessential aspects having been obliterated.
This exhibition begins where the artist’s 2008 retrospective at the Center for Contemporary Art Luigi Pecci concluded. Its intention is to reveal the actuality of the art of Isgrò, as well as to portray the close relationship between the past and the present. The new installations, which review the complexities of the last period, are composed from elements outlined in the sixties and seventies, while continuing and expanding on the artist’s themes.
GNAM – Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna Viale Belle Arti 131
(Parioli at the north end of the Borghese Gardens)
Tuesday – Sunday, 8:30 am – 7:30 pm; through October 6


The first extensive international retrospective of Francesco Vezzoli displays 15 years of work in three separate but related exhibitions at MAXXI, MoMA PS1 in New York and MOCA in Los Angeles. Each one examines in depth the fundamental aspects of his body of work. At MAXXI, the galleries have been transformed into an over-decorated 19th century-style museum. A section devoted to the subject of self portraits has also been included, linking the various works by Vezzoli to a broader reflection on individual and collective identity. Whether in the form of petit-point embroidery, videos, photographs or sculptures, the Brescia-born artist’s works are an intermingling of references and quotations with fragments of art house cinema, Hollywood films and television productions, and the history of art, of fashion and of politics, Vezzoli delves deep into the world of culture, both “high” and “low”. Inspired by themes from the popular imagination, he adopts mass-media mechanisms and, using a complex web of linguistic codes, exposes their processes and mechanisms, and the logic behind them. A deconsecrated XIX century church, originally built in the south of Italy, will be re-located on the grounds of MoMA PS1. MOCA (LA) will open Cinema Vezzoli, an exhibition which will outline Vezzoli’s attitude in playing with the world of classic European cinema and contemporary Hollywood stardom as a way of mirroring today’s obsession with fame, politics and the public exposure of private issues.
MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts. Via Guido Reni 4
Tuesday – Friday and Sunday, 11 am – 7 pm, Saturday, 11 am – 10 pm; through November 24