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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

Italian gardens where to get lost: green mazes to visit

posted by Home In Italy on June 24th, 2016

Amusement place and symbol of power for the aristocratic families of the from the past, the labyrinth has always amused and enchanted with its treacherous paths. The charm that evokes the maze has strengthened its symbolic power, becoming a metaphor for the condition of modern man, always labored in the search of something. A symbol that has never lost its charm.
Here is the latest version of the contemporary garden: cultural bamboo maze from the publisher Franco Maria Ricci near Parma, Fontanellato. Although it is the largest in Europe, Fontanellato it is not the only labyrinth of the Peninsula. Here, some of the most famous Italian mazes.

Borges labyrinth of San Giorgio Island, Venice
Opened on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the death of the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, it is a reconstruction of the labyrinth garden that architect Randoll Coate designed in his honor. It ‘inspired by “The Garden of Forking Paths,” one of the best known stories of Borges, and consists in 3250 box trees that reproduce the poet’s name as if it were written on the pages of a huge open book. Inside the maze is also inserted a handrail in order to help blind people to find their way out; the condition that the poet met in the ’50s.

Villa Giusti, Verona
One of the oldest labyrinths of Europe: in the forest hedges, small but difficult in the track, was already included in the original sixteenth century building. Romantic, from the bell-tower runs a spiral staircase that leads to the panoramic terrace. Would Romeo and Juliet have liked the terrace?

The bamboo maze of Franco Maria Ricci in Fontanellato
300 square meters and 8 hectares of maze with three kilometers of trail. It is the maze’s largest bamboo in the world, the one built by the publisher Franco Maria Ricci in Fontanellato, in the province of Parma. “The idea I got it from my friends inspired writers Borges and Italo Calvino. The labyrinth is a symbol, it is a state of beauty,” he said to HuffPost. At the center of the labyrinth there is a pyramid, which contains a chapel, three restaurants, library, meeting areas, a ballroom and exhibition spaces. It arises around a museum, an archive and a library.

Villa Lante, Bagnaia
One of the most beautiful parks in the sixteenth century mannerist, voted “Italy’s Most Beautiful Park” in 2011. The maze of Villa Lante, in Lazio, is not particularly complicated, but hidden inside the majestic Fountain of Giambologna Mori.

Castle San Pelagio, Padua
This Venetian Castle mazes two houses: the Minotaur (1,200 square meters, with more than 1000 plants Leylandi nearly 3 meters high) and the mirrors (the most simple, no dead ends). The first is hidden a true minotaur (stone). The second one is dedicated to D’Annunzio: the hall of mirrors symbolizing the concept of “double identity”.

Night at the castle. Fairytale stays from the north to the south of Italy

posted by Home In Italy on May 30th, 2016

Return to the past, our childhood dreams, populated by fairy tale castles with queens and knights. A dream and a privilege coming true in one of the Italian castles, turned into private residences.
Here are some of the most beautiful castle where is possible to spend fabulous nights!

Umbria, Castelvecchio
This luxurious castle is situated near Perugia. Full of antique furniture, tapestries and precious silks, the castle, dating back to 1400, is now a private residence where you can stay for a week and enjoy the beautiful pool set in a commanding position at 600 meters high. Wellness room, chef service and everything you need to relax breathing pure air in a fairytale setting.
For more info click here!

Umbria, Castello Ducale
Carbonesca is a small village not far from Perugia, and 30 minutes from Gubbio. And here the Castello Ducale stands.
Nestled in a pristine landscape, dotted with forests, meadows and water, the castle was built in the Middle Ages to defend Gubbio against Perugia.
Then the Duke Federico da Montefeltro, around the fifteenth century made it his favorite hunting lodge. It is said that the Duke took pleasure in organizing hunting parties that invariably ended in tasty banquets with truffles, a precious ingredient in this land.
Today the castle is back to its former glory and offers weekly stays for up to 30 people. The castle, just for its romantic aspect, also is chosen by couples who intend to get married here, celebrating their wedding in this amazing location.
For more info click here!

Veneto, Castello Bevilacqua
A castle of the fourteenth century, near Verona, ideal starting point for visiting the city and nearby Mantova, Verona, Vicenza, Padova, Rovigo and Lake Garda. Conceived as a fortress to defend against the Carraresi and the Este. It lost its defensive purposes during the Republic of Venice and turned into a noble residence. It was attacked and restored several times, occupied by the Germans during the war and later became a Salesian College. It was eventually sold to a private and today it belongs the Iseppi-Cerato family.

Veneto, Castello di Lispida
This former monastery is situated in a quiet and secluded location among the hills, an ideal and fascinating destination for a getaway. Within the 90 hectares of the property, there is a spa lake with hot springs which produce therapeutic mud.

Marche, Castello Montegiove
Located near Fano, it is a fine country house built in the late ’800 in the Gothic Revival style. Around the structure a large park, once a hunting reserve, and other buildings such as the caretaker’s house, stables, warehouses, greenhouses.

Sicilia, Castello di San Marco
This princely residence of late seventeenth century is adorned with Sicilian baroque details and offers warm and friendly accommodation for those who want to relive the atmosphere of the past. It is a luxury hotel immersed in the countryside and attentive to energy saving.