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SAGRA MUSICALE UMBRA. A PROGRAM DEDICATED TO THE SPIRITUALITY OF ST. FRANCIS

posted by Home In Italy on September 19th, 2016

The 71st edition will be held during September, with a route even richer than the past editions, with twenty-four events divided over eleven places.
The festival will start in Perugia, with concerts in the splendid Basilica of ‘San Pietro’, in the historical theatre ‘Morlacchi’, in the Templar church of ‘San bevignate’, in the National Gallery, in the cathedral of ‘San Lorenzo’ and will continue in the collegiate church of ‘Santa Maria Maggiore’ in Collescipoli, in the museum of ‘San Francesco di Montefalco’, in the abbey of ‘San Nicolò’ of San Gemini, in the sanctuary of ‘Mongiovino di Panicale’, in the Superior Basilica of ‘San Francesco’ of Assisi, in the public theatre of Bevagna, in the cloister of ‘San Francesco’ of Acquasparta and in the auditorium ‘Sant’ Antonio’ of Torgiano.
From this edition the Umbrian Music Festival will offer a special showcase for young talents from Umbria with “aperitif concerts” at ‘Palazzo della Penna’ in Perugia, with five meetings with graduates of the academy of music. Anna Calabro, president of the foundation ‘Perugia Musica Classica’, says: “After nearly 80 years of history, the 71st edition, considering the period of detention during the Second World War, the Sagra Musicale Umbra is part of the cultural traditions of our region and it characteristics, in part, the identity. The offered music is part of the landscape and the many special places that Umbria preserved as treasures. The presence in this edition of so many different places in Umbria, like Perugia, Panicale, Passignano, Torgiano, Umbertide, Acquasparta, Assisi, Bevagna, Montefalco, San Gemini, Terni, shows how the Sagra Musicale Umbra is a real “Umbrian” festival albeit in its orientation towards the world.

Returning in these special places over the years increases the value, because the fascination grows with the contribution of a public that increasingly attentive, participates in the ritual music. And that is why, even with the difficulties of nowadays, is offered with great enthusiasm, a precious moment of spiritual enrichment through music and the places that history has given us. Artistic director Alberto Batista says that the tradition of spiritual singing in Umbria has its antic heart set in the repertoire of ‘Laude Franciscan’, born as a naïve poetry in the XIII century.
The most important witness of this heritage, which continues to be handed down and chanted until today thanks to the persistence of Laudesi companies spread in the region, is located in the illustration “code 91” of the Etruscan Academy in Cortona, universally known as “Laudario of Cortona”.

From this incunabula branches off a rich and unbroken tradition of oral transmission and variants that have remained for centuries and they continue to be kept alive in popular devotional practices. To this heritage, the 71st Sagra Musicale Umbra inspires itself, holding the laud and Franciscan spirituality as a compass through a route even more richer than past editions, in the timeframe of eleven days, twenty-four events will be held divided by eleven different locations, chosen for its monumental beauty and for its famous ruins of a spiritual heritage, artistic and unique in the world.

COPPEDÈ QUARTER, THE HIDDEN TREASURE OF ROME

posted by Home In Italy on September 12th, 2016

It seems that most of the inhabitants of Rome never has been there. Or they are not even aware of its existence. But during a vacation in the capital city, including the Collosseum, Trevi fountain and Piazza San Pietro, it would be good to leave some space for the Coppedè quarter. It is a most ambitious artistic- architectural experiment ever undertaken in Rome, if not in whole Italy: here blends an eclectic mix of different styles: nouveau, neo-gothic, kitsch, baroque and modernism, all to perfection. In fact, the definition of ‘quarter’, for this complex of buildings around the nucleus square Mincio, between the street Tagliamento and square Buenos Aires, is excessive. In fact the area called “Coppedè” is part of the quarter called Trieste.

It owes its name to Luigi Coppedè, an architect, sculptor and decorator, mixing different styles, has given endless life to a corner of Rome. The entire quarter can be considered a milestone of eclecticism: it combines the dark style of the Gothic to the classical Greek inspiration, as well as gates and towers from the Medieval time to Baroque and decoration Liberty. Needless to give any definition: walking through the streets of the Coppedè neighborhood gives you the impression of being in a bubble: caused by the silence, so different from the chaos of the surrounding streets, but also by the atmosphere, just like in a movie.
Overall, the quarter Coppedè is made up of eighteen buildings and twenty-seven other houses and structures. The most charming way to get there is through the big arch that connects the buildings of the Ambassadors at the corner between the street Arno and Tagliamento: the particular aspect is that under the internal vault of the Arch, decorated with asymmetrical architectural elements, there is a large iron chandelier. Once past the arch that connects the buildings of the Ambassadors, you find the square Mincio, the heart of the quarter. At the center you found the fountain ‘delle Rane’, with the main pond slightly higher than the street level: perhaps that is why, according to the legend, the Beatles bathed there after an evenings pent at Piper in 1965. Decorated with numerous frogs, from each of them gushes out water.
There are not only fountains dedicated to frogs. Even the buildings of Coppedè have their own name. There are so-called “Villini delle Fate”, from the refined exterior golden facades and with numerous golden women painted above. In these building alternate with travertine, tile, glass, wrought iron and wood, is enhanced Florence, with the words “you are beautiful Fiorenza”: not by coincidence, from a short distance you can recognize the figures of Dante and Petrarch. There is also “Palazzo del Ragno”: named after a giant arachnid, a decoration above the main entrance door. Not to miss on the third level is the balcony: above there is an ochre-black colored painting of a rider between two griffins, topped by the word “Labor”.


To list all the details and decoration of this quarter would be impossible. You have to arm yourself with patience and maybe binoculars and, with calm, discover every corner of the Coppedè. The atmosphere, as mentioned, is suggestive. It is not a coincidence that these roads were used for filming several feature films of the atmosphere noir, if not worse. This is the case of “The girl who knew too much” by Mario Bava, but above all the two horror films of Dario Argento such as “The bird with the crystal feather” and “Hell”. In these streets, movies have been shot such as “The Omen” and “The perfume of the woman in black”.

TO EAT: In Rome there is no shortage of restaurants where you can sample the local cuisine. In the area we recommend to try the specialties of Larysa, which brings you back to the original way of the Mediterranean tradition. In particular those based on fish, such as salmon tartar with pistachio and Tabasco, or rolls of sesame potatoes with a yoghurt dressing. But even the prawns in coconut cover with cous cous and Gazpacho sauce. In the street called Po you find Bucavino: its shops are below the street level. Worth going down to enjoy the facilities of this restaurant, that does not betray the regional gastronomic tradition. Do not miss the fried potato skins. In both cases a complete dinner costs about 30 Euros.

TO ARRIVE: the quarter of Coppedè is not far from the Termini train rail station. To get there, just get off the train and take the buses 86 and 92: in about 15 minutes you arrive at the square Buenos Aires. On the other side stands the church of Santa Maria Addolorata and is behind the arch with the chandelier. You can also walk if preferred: it will take you only two kilometers along the streets Goito, Piave, then Salaria and finally turning right in the street Po.

“DAVID BOWIE IS”. THE WHITE DUKE IN BOLOGNA

posted by Home In Italy on September 8th, 2016

The last stop of the exhibition David Bowie IS arrives exclusively in Italy. From July 14th till November 13th at the Mambo Museum of Bologna finally comes one of the most successful exhibitions of the past years, carried out by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the first retrospective devoted to the extraordinary career of David Bowie, one of the artists most fearless, influential and innovative of the contemporary music scene.
David Bowie Is, started in London in 2013, after being in Chicago, St. Paul, Toronto, Paris, Berlin, Melbourne and Groningen, will be at MAMBO from July 14th till November 13th and this is the only stop in Italy.

The exhibition celebrates the prolific career of David Bowie able to permanently pursue innovation in five decades, without ever betraying himself and his audience. The exhibition runs through “multimedia” contents that lead visitors into a creative process of the Thin White Duke and describes how his work has channeled the broader movements in art, design, theater and contemporary culture.
The portrait that emerges is of an artiest able to observe and reinterpret contemporary society with an innovative look which left indelible traces in the visual and pop culture.
The curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh have selected more than 300 objects of the musician’s personal archive, granted by the David Bowie Archive, including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photographs, set designs and other rare material to tell the evolution and success of this great artist.


David Bowie’s work influenced movements in the world of art, design and other aspects of contemporary culture, coming into contact also with the world of fashion, theater and cinema. The exhibition uses Sennheiser technology up to the highest enjoyment of sound, original video installations and animation.
For more information and pre ticket sale: www.davidbowieis.it , telephone number: +39 092 234.
Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays between 10am – 7pm. Thursday: 10am – 11pm. Monday closed.
Minimum time to visit the exhibition: 1 hour.

BYZANTINE INFLUENCES IN RAVENNA, THE JEWEL OF ITALY AND UNESCO

posted by Home In Italy on September 5th, 2016

If you visit Italy for the second or third time, it is really worth discovering Ravenna, where you can find culture, relaxation and amusement.
Ravenna is a seaside resort with 29 kilometers of coastline and a lively harbor. The city is well known for being the capital of mosaics, so much that is was included in the list of UNESCO (World Heritage List) for its various Christian religious monuments scattered in different areas, which have an extraordinary historical and artistic importance.
Since the capital of the Western Roman Empire was moved from Milan to Ravenna in 401 AD, due to the fact that the Emperor Honorius wanted to move to a more safe place, the city abandoned the provincial aspect in order to become a sumptuous residence. Since then Ravenna was elected as capital twice: the Kingdom of the Ostrogoth and then the Byzantine Empire.
UNESCO lists even eight monuments that have allowed Ravenna to portray this recognition. One of these is the Masuoleum of Galla Placida, most likely built in the fifth century, by an empress who wanted to built a family tomb with rich, mosaic complex with classical style.

The variety of colors ranging from blue peacock, orange, green moss and even gold, make the harmony of the work even more striking. The Neonian, also called the Orthodox Baptistery, is another famous masterpiece, followed by no less fascinating Mausoleum of Theodoric.
A huge monolith of 300 tons together with large stone blocks of Istria cover the Baptistery of the Orthodox, around the fifth century. The building impresses with polychrome decoration of the mosaics which cover the dome.
Another magnificent dome is the one of the Arian Baptistery, built by Theodoric for the Arian cult in Italy.
The list of monuments stretches with the Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo, the Gothic quarter, consecrated to Catholic worship only around 550 more or less, of which the walls are completely covered with bright mosaics of classical Byzantine style. Many photographs of Ravenna often show the extraordinary images of marble decorations of the Basilica of San Vitale including the splendid mosaics in green and gold standing out from the presbytery and the apse. The basilica was built in 526.

Ravenna reserves artistic and historical treasures outside its walls: Sant’ Apollinare in Classe is known for the mosaic that depict the patron Saint of Ravenna immersed in a rural landscape.
These are monuments that in addition to the mosaic craftsmanship demonstrate what was a dense network of relationships between artist and religion.