1 Volume 25, Number 1/Fall & Winter /Spedizione in abbonamento postale Gruppo IV 70%/Magenta Editrice/Registered in the Court of Florence on March 17, 1989 No. 3816/Distributed free. Florence and Tuscany In town and around 47 CONTEMPORARY ART in Florence & Tuscany THE NEW U.S. CONSUL in Florence ESPRESSO, Florence s Best SANSEPOLCRO & THE TIBER VALLEY THE ANTIQUE MARKET in Arezzo EVENTS & Entertainment PITTI FASHION FAIRS Latest Trends & Styles Con il patrocinio del Comune di Firenze 5,00 Euro in Bookshops
2 1 The cover photo of the town of Sansepolcro in province of Arezzo was taken by Daniel Cilia. Direttore Responsabile EXECUTIVE EDITOR MUSIC EDITOR GRAPHIC DESIGN PHOTOGRAPHERS COPY EDITOR PRODUCTION ASSISTANT CONTRIBUTING WRITERS INTERNS Rosanna Cirigliano Anne Lokken Stefano Grisieti/ Studio Bertram Andrea Pistolesi Guido Cozzi Stefano Amantini Massimo Borchi Michael Thurin Sarah Kearns Aubrey Williams Jacob McCarthy Rita Kungel Elizabeth Wicks Susan Arcamone Camilla Somers Elizabeth La Barbera Sydney Choi Kaylah Grant Grace Crummett Isabella Grezzi Shira Burns Lakota Gambill Giulia Penna Greg Combes OFFICES All editorial and advertising content & graphics Magenta Editrice Blog Web site Subscriptions (4 issues, payable in advance): Italy and EU countries r 20 Outside Europe r 40 (airmail) PLATES PRINTING La Nuova Lito Nidiaci San Gimignano
3 2 3 OPENING Florence, the city which gave birth to the Renaissance, is finally celebrating another eminent age of artistic innovation, that of the 20th century. Two important collections of modern and contemporary art in the city have come out of storage and onto the walls at the Pitti Palace and Florence s brand new MUSEUM OF 20TH CENTURY ART. Through March 2015, a major exhibition at Florence s Modern Art Gallery on the top floor of the Pitti Palace called LUCI SUL 900 brings to light 20th-century paintings belonging to the museum ELIZABETH WICKS Out of Storage and onto the Walls FLORENCE CELEBRATES 20TH CENTURY ART that have been in storage since their arrival. Exactly a hundred years ago, an agreement between to the city and the Fine Arts commission was signed, meaning to amplify the prestigious art collection left to the city by Macchaioli (Tuscan Impressionism) supporter and patron Diego Martelli, which forms the nucleus of the Modern Art Gallery s permanent collection. LUCI SUL NOVECENTO Thanks to this foresightedness, with a 10-year hiatus during WWII, the Gallery has acquired works of notable Tuscan artists of the 20th century, as well as masterpieces by the major Italian artists of the period and a few international artists such as Jasper Johns. From 1950 until 1974 the museum also acquired the winning paintings of the Florin Prize (Premio Fiorino), a competition founded in order to promote contemporary art in Florence. Important donations by the artists themselves have also enriched the collection (and the storage spaces). In contrast to the spacious rooms of the Modern Art Gallery s 19th century art, these never before seen masterworks are hung almost on top of each other in small rooms and hallways, jostling for space on the walls, as if to underscore the necessity of the need to find a permanent home. The resulting display of color and form is somewhat confusing but also inspirational. Highlights include Elisabeth Chaplin s Rest on the Flight into Egypt, in which deceptively simple composition and strong blocks of color transmit strength, serenity and tenderness. The nearly total absence of shading in this work contrasts the artist s adjoining Three Sisters, where the dramatic emergence of faces from the shadowy background gives the viewer a disquieting sensation, heightened by the intense gaze of the three girls. Another striking portrait is by Primo Conti, depicting the Japanese Lyung-Yuk, with its dramatic color and shading and the almost sculptural use of paint to highlight the details of the elaborate silk kimono. The visitor can also see exceptional works by Lagoon, (1932) by Carlo Carrà, Florence s Modern Art Gallery. Right, courtyard of the Museo del Novecento by Maurizio Nannucci. Baldasella, Burri, Capogrossi, Carrà, de Chirico, Marino Marini, Morandi and Reggiani. Many more artists are represented, and the quality of the individual pieces is truly stunning and proof, if any is needed, that these works deserve a permanent home of their own. MUSEO DEL NOVECENTO A home finally has been found for the City of Florence s modern art collection. This past June, Florence inaugurated its Museo del Novecento, or Museum of 20th Century Art. After years in a warehouse, the city s collections have found a permanent exhibition space in the historic Leopoldine building complex in Piazza Santa Maria Novella. The story behind the scenes of the brand new museum began almost 50 years ago, with an appeal to the international art world by art historian Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti in 1966, just days after Florence was devastated by a major flood. The generosity of the more than 200 artists from all over the world who answered Ragghianti s call by donating their works to the ravaged city forms the nucleus of the new museum. Situated directly across the piazza from the church of Santa Maria Novella with its famous façade by Leon Battista Alberti, the museum s restoration represents the last piece of the puzzle completing the newly renovated square. The Leopoldine was originally the Hospital of St. Paul, connected with the nearby church of that name (San Paolino), and then later converted by Tuscan Granduke Pietro Leopoldo into the city s first public school for girls living in poverty (thus the name Leopoldine, for Leopoldo s girls). Designed by the Medici s favorite architect Michelozzo, the building has a portico that recalls another famous Florentine Renaissance landmark Brunelleschi s Ospedale degli Innocenti in Piazza Santissima Annunziata. Visitors wearied by the crowds at the Uffizi and the Academia will delight in having the space to experience the art in large rooms set around a beautiful and serene cloister, in addition to enjoying the stunning vistas from the second floor windows looking out across the square. There are 15 exhibition rooms in the two-story museum, as well as a temporary installation
4 4 5 OPENING space and a covered roof terrace with a screening room showing movie clips dating from 1916 to 1999 with impressions of Florence as their theme. The museum itinerary proceeds rather confusingly backwards in time through the 20th century, beginning in Room 1. Reacting to the Transavanguardia artistic current then in vogue in Italy that was characterized by neoexpressionist figurative painting, three young Florentine sculptors Antonio Catelani, Daniela de Lorenzo and Carlo Guaita achieved recognition at the Venice Biennale in 1988 for the originality and independence of their work. Their pieces, starkly abstract with an emphasis on the materials used and on geometric shapes, launched a counter-trend in art that was to reach into the new millennium. Moving on through the rooms on the ground floor, one notices that the Museo del Novecento is designed to engage the senses and have various art forms interact with each other, as they did throughout the century. There is also a constant juxtaposition of old and new that is a theme of the museum experience itself. As visitors move into the cloister, for instance, they encounter a series of installations by different artists, which interact with the symmetry and balance of the Renaissance architectural space. Paolo Masi s Elastic Wall with Continuous Dilation is a dance of elastic threads pulling against the cloister wall, while Maurizio Nannucci s Everything Might Be Different proclaims its neon message underneath the cloister s loggia. The idea of artistic crosspollination from one medium to another continues on the second floor as well, with space given to the reciprocal influences of 20th-century art on fashion, theater, architecture, music, politics and mass communication. In Room 9, viewers can examine a wealth of set drawings, scenery mock-ups and costume designs created for the Maggio Musicale Festival by key contemporary artists of the period, while listening to a soundtrack of original opera scores. In Room 12, Ottone Rosai s portraits of his friends (Gli Amici) captures the spirit of the poets, artists and art critics who formed the cultural heart of Florentine society in the 40s and 50s. This character also comes across through the original soundtrack recordings of some of the amici portrayed. The visitor can see and hear poets Mario Luzi, Eugenio Montale, and Giuseppe Ungaretti, writers Domenico Giuliotti, Giulia Veronesi and Elio Vittorini, artists Giuseppe Cesetti, Giorgio de Chirico and Ardengo Soffici, and critics Carlo Bo, Alessandro Parronchi and Piero Santi. A highlight of the Museum is the Alberto della Ragione collection. A naval engineer turned art patron. Della Ragione became interested in 20th century art in 1931, a time when modern works not amenable to the propaganda aims of the Fascist regime. Over several decades he built up a comprehensive body of paintings and sculptures representing the major artistic movements in Italy from the 1920s up until 1970, when he donated his entire collection to the city of Florence. To be shown on a rotating basis are works by Mirko Basaldella, Felice Casorati, Lucio Fontana, Renato Guttuso, Giacomo Manzoni, Marino Marini, Giuseppe Santomaso, Gino Severini, Mario Sironi, and Emilio Vedova. Florentine-American gallery owner CAROLE THOMAS BIAGIOTTI originally hails from Arizona, where she developed a passion and keen eye for art at an early age. Biagiotti distinctly remembers the first moment she fell in love with art a photograph of a Henry Moore work caught her attention at the tender age of eight. Her home state is known for its galleries and artist colonies, which inspired her to go on to study sculpture and painting at Northwestern University in Chicago. Now the proprietor of Biagiotti Progetto Arte, she felt predestined for Florence, the city she now calls home with her Florentine husband and their children. On her way to Paris to study art, she disembarked in the port of Naples. It was her first trip to Italy since early childhood, and she reveled in the opportunity to rediscover the country, visiting a number of cities. When I reached Florence, my purse fell apart in front of a small Florentine leather shop, she recalls. She walked in the store to select a replacement. That day, Carole left with a new handbag and had met her future husband. She and her husband both have an appreciation for art that their daughter, Caterina would later share. The present gallery space was originally purchased as the premises of a new leather shop, but Carole and Caterina transformed it into a contemporary art gallery. The Galleria Biagiotti Progetto Arte was established in 1997 and has hosted an impressive number of emerging and established artists since then. Biagiotti sees it as her duty to find gifted young artists who would otherwise be overlooked because of their less-developed portfolios. I can often detect talent, even if I don t like what the artist is doing, she GRACE CRUMMETT Photo by Sarah Kearns The Ever-Changing Language of Contemporary Art YOUNG, PROMISING ARTISTS ARE WELCOME AT THE BIAGIOTTI PROGETTO ART GALLERY says. Her intent is to publicize developing artists and help art lovers appreciate the ever-changing language of contemporary art. It is to this end that Biagiotti has dedicated Progetto Arte. The altruistic nature of the gallery s work can be attributed in part to her extensive experience with charity work and organizations such as the Associazione Volontari Ospedalieri (AVO). Melding two of her interests, art and volunteering in in a health facility, the latter was the brainchild of Biagiotti herself, along with several friends. Doing what she knows best, Biagotti went to the hospitals with paintbrush in hand, putting countless children at ease with illustrated books and artworks. Recently, the Progetto Arte instituted a foundation to assist young people entering the art world, specifically Italian artists who face an increasingly unreceptive market. Biagotti wants to give them a chance to learn, grow and make a name for themselves both in and out of Italy. Since the beginning of her work there s been a buzz. Collectors and artists alike pay attention to Progetto Arte, and Biagiotti is proud to say, Young people come to us all the time to show us their work. Continuing the contemporary dialogue on art in a country where art of the past is most often celebrated, Carole Biagiotti wishes to give young artists of today a chance to thrive, beginning with the walls of her gallery tucked away on via delle Belle Donne. PAST & PRESENT
5 6 7 SIGHTSEEING Florence s MOST IMPORTANT MUSEUMS THE ACADEMY GALLERY (L ACCADEMIA) Via Ricasoli, 60 (tel. 055/ ) Hours: Tuesday Sunday 8:15 am 6:50 pm. Admission: 8 euro, 4 euro for students (Closed Monday) THE UFFIZI GALLERY Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6 (tel. 055/ ) Hours: Tuesday Sunday 8:15 am 6:50 pm. Free admission every first Sunday of the month Admission: 8 euro (Closed Monday) PALAZZO VECCHIO Piazza Signoria (tel. 055/ ) Hours: 9 am 7 pm; Thursday until 2 pm. Admission: 10 euro, 8 euro for students (Open every day) GIOTTO S BELL TOWER Piazza Duomo (tel. 055/ ) Hours: 8:30 am 7:30 pm. Admission: 10 euro (combined ticket) (Open every day) AN AT-A-GLANCE GUIDE CASA BUONAROTTI (Michelangelo s House) Via Ghibellina, 70 (tel. 055/241752) Hours: Monday, Wednesday Sunday 10 am 4 pm. Admission: 6.50 euro (Closed Tuesday) THE PALATINE GALLERY Pitti Palace Piazza Pitti (tel. 055/238614) Hours: Tuesday Sunday 8:15 am 6:50 pm. Admission: 13 euro or 8.50 without access to exhibitions (Closed Monday) THE NATIONAL SCULPTURE MUSEUM (Il Bargello) Via del Proconsolo, 4 (tel. 055/ ) Hours: 8:15 am-1:50 pm. Admission: 4 euro or 7 euro with access to exhibitions (Closed the 1st, 3rd and 5th Monday and the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month) CATHEDRAL MUSEUM (L Opera del Duomo) Piazza Duomo, 9 (tel. 055/ ) Closed until Fall 2015 PALAZZO MEDICI RICCARDI (Capella dei Magi) Via Cavour, 3 (tel. 055/ ) Hours: 8:30 am 7 pm. Admission: 7 euro (Closed Wednesday) THE MEDICI CHAPELS (behind San Lorenzo) tel. 055/ Hours: 8:15 am - 1:50 pm; Admission: 6 euro (Closed the second and fourth Sunday of every month as well as the first, third and fifth Monday) THE SAN MARCO MUSEUM Piazza San Marco, 1 (tel. 055/ ) Hours: Monday Friday 8:15 am 1:50 pm; Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 8:15 am 4:50 pm. Admission: 4 euro or 7 euro with access to exhibitions (Closed the 1st, 3rd & 5th Sunday and the 2nd & 4th Monday of the month) THE STIBBERT MUSEUM Via Stibbert, 26 (tel. 055/475520) Hours: Monday Wednesday 10 am 2 pm; Friday - Sunday 10 am 6 pm. Admission: 8 euro (Closed Thursday) THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM Piazza SS. Annunziata, 9/b (tel. 055/23575) Hours: Tuesday Friday 8:30 am 7 pm, Monday, Saturday, Sunday 8:30 am 2 pm. Admission: 4 euro (Open every day) THE BOBOLI GARDENS Piazza Pitti (tel. 055/ ) Hours: Open daily from 8:15 am 6:30 pm. Admission: 7 euro (combined ticket) (Closed the first and last Monday of the month) THE BRANCACCI CHAPEL Piazza del Carmine (tel. 055/ ) Hours: Monday, Wednesday - Saturday 10 am 5 pm Sunday 1 pm 5 pm Admission: 6 euro, reservation required (Closed Tuesday) JEWISH MUSEUM & SYNAGOGUE Via Luigi Carlo Farini 4 (tel. 055/24525) Hours: Sunday Thursday 10 am 5:30 pm, Friday 10 am 3 pm. Admission: 6.50 euro (Closed Saturday) MARINO MARINI MUSEUM Piazza San Pancrazio (tel. 055/219432) Hours: Monday, Wednesday - Saturday 10 am 5 pm Admission: 6 euro (Closed Tues.& Sat.) ISABELLA GREZZI Photo by Gianluca Moggi Time Traveling in Florence s Cathedral A VISIT TO FLORENCE S ORIGINAL, ANCIENT CATHEDRAL Few know that underneath the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore, commonly referred to as il Duomo, one of the most iconic symbols of Florence, lies the remains of a much earlier church, Santa Reparata. Referred to today as the CRYPT OF SANTA REPARATA, it is open to visitors at il Grande Museo del Duomo, and those who have actually been there know that it is much more than just a crypt. Descending the staircase in the central nave of Santa Maria del Fiore will take the visitor to the entrance of the well-lit Santa Reparata museum. The ruins, which took 10 years and six distinct archaeological campaigns to uncover, date from the Late Roman Empire to the Romanesque Era. The display highlights Santa Reparata s four distinct construction phases throughout the centuries. The museum offers a unique view of each archaeological layer of the foundations: the Roman pavement, the Early Christian mosaic, the stone floor of the Middle Ages and finally the Romanesque brick and cobblestone pavement. The details of each period are explained by clear, succinct signage both in English and Italian, as well as a short video that demonstrates the various stages of the church s development. At the museum s entrance, visitors will immediately encounter the Roman walls and floors, which are the earliest ruins of Santa Reparata. These ancient walls, which include those of a Roman domus, or house, were built during the fifth century A.D. As visitors progress through the museum s winding path, the Early Christian layer becomes visible. Several centimeters higher than the Roman floor, a beautiful mosaic with a peacock as its focal point is the distinctive element of the Early Christian floor. The mosaic includes a list in Latin of all the donors who financed the project and the amount they contributed. Near this is also the only column base that remains from this era. Although the base has been moved from its original location, the site where it was found is clearly marked, thus preserving the museum s archaeological integrity. During the Gothic War in the 6th century, the church suffered damage and was partly rebuilt afterwards with the addition of a small crypt, two side Crypt of Santa Reparata. chapels in the apse, and a new stone floor. Later still, during the Romanesque period, additional construction gave Santa Reparata a structure similar to that of San Miniato al Monte, with a crypt that was visible from the entryway. Two stairways were built to lead to the presbytery, one of which is still visible today. The excavations also unearthed several frescos, including a Pietà, done in the new visual language of the early Renaissance by a follower of Giotto. Scattered throughout the museum are many tombstones and graves of prominent Florentines, including Giovanni de Medici (d.1352), demonstrating the high status the Medici family was already enjoying at that time. Although Santa Reparata closed in 1375, it continued to be used as a crypt for a number of years. The famous Renaissance architect Filippo Brunelleschi, who designed the dome, is buried there. Santa Reparata is truly unique in its comprehensive span of historical layers, making it a perfect synthesis of the city s rich history and a must-see destination for any visitor in Florence. FOCUS
6 8 9 DISPLAYS & SHOWS From the history of the mystical lapis lazuli to depictions of travel in the Middle Ages, the 10th year of FLORENCE A YEAR OF ART offers a series of exhibitions that present a wide breadth of art from museums all over the world. Four of them, which examine the period between the Renaissance and Baroque periods, are a platform for little-known artists better known to experts. Here is a preview of the program. February 10 May 24: GHERARDO DELLE NOTTI. Uffizi Gallery. The show features works by Dutch golden age painter Gerard Van Honthorst, including the rich and stylistically innovative paintings from his period in Italy. The retrospective incorporates paintings by his contemporaries and artists influenced by his jovial night scenes illuminated by candlelight. March 20 June 21: THE TRAVELING MIDDLE AGES. Bargello Museum. The product of collaboration among museums across Europe, the show aims to demonstrate the variety of travel undertaken in medieval times, from pilgrimages and crusades to merchant expeditions. A selection of maps and geographical paintings also displays the representation of the world during the Middle Ages. March 30 October 11: FRANCESCO S ART. Galleria dell Accademia. Drawing on documents, paintings and sculptures depicting St. Francis of Assisi from the thirteen to the fifteen centuries, the display features masterpieces commissioned by Franciscan monks and devoted Italian citizens. It also highlights St. Francis s influence in Asia with archeological finds from the Terra Santa museum in China, and other works from Asia. June 9 October 11: LAPIS LAZULI. Silver Museum. Beginning with the ancient use of lapis lazuli to create decorative and sacred objects in Mesopotamia and Egypt, the exhibit continues through the Middle Ages until the Renaissance SHIRA BURNS Exhibitions for the New Year with a vast collection of lapis vases and inlaid furniture belonging to the ruling Medici family. The show also highlights the artistic use of lapis lazuli as a blue pigment. June 23 September 27: PIERO DI COSIMO. Uffizi Gallery. The walls will be hung with 45 paintings of this eccentric Florentine genius spanning from the late Renaissance through the early Mannerism period. Favoring religious, natural and allegorical subjects, Di Cosimo was influenced by artists such as Botticelli and Da Vinci. Also on view will be stylistically similar paintings from masters such as Filippino Lippi for a total of 100 pieces. June 30 November 15: CARLO DOLCI. Palatine Gallery. The show celebrates the work of Baroque artist Carlo Dolci, who painted religious and allegorical themes with a naturalness verging on hyperrealism. His 70 presented works will celebrate the uniqueness and beauty of his art, from his early paintings to his masterpieces. November 19 April 3, 2016: FLORENCE, THE CAPITAL. Modern Art Gallery. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the transfer of the capital of Italy from Torino to Florence, the exhibition reunites collections of the first king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II, focusing on paintings of famous historical scenes and protagonists of the Medieval and Renaissance eras. December 14 April 17, 2016: CARLO PORTELLI. Galleria dell Accademia. Portelli studied in Ghirlandaio s workshop and worked on commission for Florentine churches such as Santa Croce, and for the Medici family. The show includes over 50 of his paintings, sketches and documents, and will introduce to the public a Renaissance artist recognized by scholars for his originality. Above, Supper with the Lute Players by Gerard van Honthorst, known as Gherardo delle Notti in Italy Italians, known more for their customary drink-and-go behavior when it comes to coffee, are finally changing their tune, joining the increasing number of baristas, café owners and most importantly, clientele in Florence and around the world who can t get enough of an Italian patrimony: IL CAFFÈ. Many of the men and women who run Florence s cafés and torrefazioni (production companies), are so passionate about coffee that they sniff, swill and close their eyes in pleasure as if handling a glass of fine cabernet rather than a cup of espresso, which, as Vista goes to press, costs 1 or All those involved in preparing a excellent espresso are using all means available to make the consumer feel the same way. They want everyone to understand their passion for Arabica and Robusta and every combination in between. A superior espresso comes not only from the blend, but the expertise behind the roasting of coffee beans, and the proper selection of an espresso machine as well as its constant maintenance, says Simone Checcucci of OKE TORREFAZIONE. A CAFÉ TOUR There aren t many places like CHIAROSCURO, a café located on via del Corso in Florence s historic center that DITTA ARTIGIANALE, via dei Neri CHIAROSCURO, via del Corso ROBIGLIO, via Tosinghi CAFFÈ GIACOSA, via Tornabuoni CAMILLA SOMERS Photos by Michael Thurin & Lakota Gambill Florence s Passion for il Caffè THE CITY S BEST ESPRESSO, AN IN-DEPTH LOOK, PART 1 makes people understand what they re drinking. Indeed, the café has made a decided effort to transform its clientele into informed coffee drinkers. The menu includes explanations for every flavor and brew, while the walls display the array of beans available. Here, the discerning customer can buy coffee hailing from all over the world in the form of a steaming cup or ground to make at home. Mexican coffee beans SCENE
7 10 11 SCENE are the favorite, but Guatemalan, Costa Rican, Brazilian, Ethiopian, Indian and Indonesian are also available, as are Fair Trade beans. Just off of Florence s posh via de Tornabuoni is the Roberto Cavalli s CAFFÈ GIACOSA, where a plain shot of espresso, however, disappoints. Served in an attractive china cup with a silver spoon, the coffee proved too acidic with an unpleasant aftertaste. Not far from Giacosa s glossiness is ROBIGLIO on via Tosinghi, something of an oasis among the tourist traps surrounding the Duomo. This is a typical Italian café, says Daniele Pesato, one of the few places that maintains that tradition. We don t want to become a museum. This Robiglio one of four independently owned cafés under the same name in Florence specializes in extra dark, straightforward espresso, perfect for reviving weary, cobblestone-pounding feet. The espresso proved to be rich, fullbodied and robust with a smoky and pleasant aftertaste. Robiglio utilizes Segafredo coffee 100% Arabica and a San Marco coffee machine. A more centrally located torrefazione is COFFEE MAGIC, via Pietrapiana 63/r, while a newcomer on the Florentine coffee scene is 101 CAFFE at via dei Ginori 58 near San Lorenzo. 101 Caffè carries a wide range of blends prepared by a number of selected Italian coffee production companies. THE ULTIMATE ESPRESSO MACHINE But for a delightful coffee that pleases the senses, with a perfect, smooth crema the reddish brown foam of a freshly made espresso, there is something equally as important than the quality of the coffee bean itself. What is also needed is a trained barista with a hand and heart for coffee. steel or customizable materials, represents a handmade masterpiece, dedicated to coffee shops wishing to serve the best espresso. In Florence these include Mercato Centrale, the JT Café in piazza Pitti, Open Bar Golden View at Ponte Vecchio, Bistrot Le Cocotte in via Nazionale, Le Cocotte and Sarafini on via Gioberti, Pasticcieria Così in Borgo degli Albizi and the new tea room in the Santa Maria Novella pharmacy, all of which use a La Marzocco espresso machine. COFFEE CLASSES In keeping with its mission to educate clients, the owners of Chiaroscuro café offer lessons on the tasting, preparation and ecology of coffee at its torrefazione, SYDNEY CHOI A Cup for Everyone ARTISTS & ARTISANS COFFEE PRODUCTION COMPANIES A torrefazione, so small it comprises just a single room, is the family-owned OKE CAFFÈ, located on via Pisana near Porta San Frediano. Founded by Omero Checcucci in 1967, the factory in Sambuca, located in the Chianti region, and store in Oltrarno are now operated by brother and sister team Stefania and Simone Checcucci. Stefania calls coffee roasting not just a matter of production, but a poetic work as well, a sentiment that expresses the family s passion for their daily espresso. The Checcuccis roast their beans, which hail almost exclusively from Central America, using a massive contraption that seems like a throwback to the Industrial Revolution. No matter, though, because it produces delicious, gourmet-grade coffee ground for the traditional Italian moka pot, for drip or filter machines, and even Turkish coffee. We make our own flavor, our own taste, says Stefania proudly. You can, too, by requesting on your own mix of coffee beans, or by stopping by the torrefazione itself, where the door always remains open to welcome clients or inquisitive passersby. With this in mind, in 1927 the Florentine company La Marzocco was established, and today produces espresso machines destined to 35% of the high end niche globally. Sponsor of the World Barista Championships for nine years, the company, which has played an important role in the growing specialty coffee sector worldwide for the past 15 years, was recently proclaimed as the Best Coffee Equipment Supplier at the European Coffee Awards. Each machine s innovative technology, encompassed in a case of stainless Mokaflor, located on the outskirts of Florence at via delle Torri 55. Called Espresso Academy, the school plays host to Italian professionals and foreign enthusiasts alike. The lessons offered at Mokaflor are divided into two parts: the first covers quality, or how coffee is cultivated, roasted and blended; the second is the theater of coffee, or specifically, how to make those complicated designs on a cappuccino. FLORENCE S DITTA ARTGIANALE TAKES COFFEE TO ANOTHER LEVEL With dark espressos, dainty cappuccinos and latte actually meaning milk, Italians take much pride in coffee as a part of their culture so why is it so hard to find a good cup of ESPRESSO? According to Lucian Trapanese of DITTA ARTIGIANALE, the secret to making a good espresso is to not overextract the grounds; every 17g of coffee bean should only produce 34g of liquid. Over-extraction results in a higher astringency dryness at the back of the throat and a more bitter, sour taste. Trapanese says, Most don t know how to make an espresso, or even where the coffee beans come from. People think it s simple. It is, in fact, an exact science. Many of Florence s cafés and bars have become gimmicky and commercial, striving to please tourists or to simply make something that wakes you up. But brewing coffee is truly an art form that Artigianale takes quite seriously, applying special care to grind the beans for each individual order. Francesco Sanapo and Trapanese work together to present both Italians and foreigners with a satisfying way to experience coffee. Their menu offers a wide variety, from the Espresso Jump to filtered coffees including the V60, aeropress and syphon. The Espresso Jump is their caffè normale which is to be swirled, sniffed and drunk in two sips an original blend that is changed every six months. Currently, the blend consists of 50% Brazilian, 25% Colombian and 25% Ethiopian beans. It is thick with a dynamic flavor; the first sip has a peach acidity, and the second maintains the fruitiness, but with a hint of chocolate and almond. The V60 filtration processes the grounds without pressure to produce a balanced, clean and fruity taste. The light-bodied beverage is fragrant and crisp, something that has been described as the coffee version of tea. It is translucent with tangy and woody undertones, and because the taste is so subtle, it can be sipped. Prepared with half the pressure of the espresso, aeropressed coffee stands as an in-between, having a fuller body than the V60, but can still be enjoyed slowly. In the winter, Artigianale offers syphon filtration, a method that uses less pressure than the aeropress but produces a stronger coffee. What the three have in common is that they leave a pleasant aftertaste and do not cause uncomfortable shakiness associated with caffeine. Ditta Artigianale also serves the Special Espresso (a single origin roast that changes weekly), the Big Cappuccino (two shots of espresso with extra milk) and the Flat White (two shots of espresso with less foam, popular among locals and visitors alike). There is a price to be paid for this quality: 2.50 minimum for filtered coffees (serving a minimum of two people), 1.50 for the Espresso Jump, 2.50 for the Special Espresso, 3 for the Big Cappuccino and 2.50 for the Flat White.
8 12 13 HIGHER EDUCATION ROSANNA CIRIGLIANO Photo by Andrea Pistolesi Facing the Future KAYLAH GRANT & JACOB MCCARTHY Photo by Sarah Kearns American Horizons in Tuscany VIEWS & INTERVIEWS THE LISTENING SUMMIT EXAMINES UPCOMING TRENDS IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY VISTA S NEW SERIES, WOMEN IN THE KNOW INTRODUCES U.S. CONSUL GENERAL RUPP Old models and new thinking intersected at the annual LISTENING SUMMIT, illustrating the theme Information Technology: Changing the World We Live In involving American students from Florence s Pepperdine University campus and their Italian counterparts at Gargonza castle last October. Technology helps us to arrive where we want to go, but we can either choose to get on the train or be left behind at the station, said Pepperdine professor Milton Shatzer (above), senior advisor at the Listening Summit. Over the two-day event, guest speakers Rachael Hartley and Selim Burduroglu of the Oracle Corporation guided their audience to take an indepth look at a variety of topics, opening with The Power of Connectivity, Data and Information, in addition to The Consumer is King, Power to the People. With this in mind, they noted there are more Internet devices (nine billion) than people in the world (seven billion), resulting in the age of the empowered consumer. While Big Data the expanding digital record of thoughts, things and activities has undoubtedly positive consequences in the scientific field, one of its uses in marketing is to boost corporate sales by personalizing and predicting customer behavior. This provided themes for small group discussions such as Information is Power, and The Challenges of Data Security and Privacy. In view of this, Italian participant Marta Mandriani commented, Internet needs to be viewed as a tool, for Americans it is an integral part of their lives. By not challenging this, it can be used inappropriately. An undoubtedly appropriate use of technology is in education, with Burduorglu observing that non traditional learning means more choices and more mobility, and Hartley explaining that the future of education includes MOOC (massive open online courses) that bundles content and personalize it to the individual learner. Key to the Listening Summit was the personal contact among international students who were housed together, shared meals and discussions together, participated in a nature hike and also received lessons in line dancing. For Jenna Welsh, Being with Italians, learning from them and bonding with them that was my favorite part of all, with intercultural exchange also significant for Erica Ghisolfi, I really appreciated seeing the American point of view. The final morning of the Listening Summit was devoted to the impact of the Internet on the workplace, family and personal life as well as society as a whole. An historical introduction included the lasting influence of Ada Lovelace, daughter of Romantic poet Lord Byron and a mathematician, who was the first to envision a programmable machine not able to think (1843), up to the engineer Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, who, according to the speakers, built intuition into Apple products. Dr. Shatzner contrasted the disparity between concurrent realities where we don t take the time to contemplate and be silent, we need to be connected, and people need skills to make the marketable in the next 25 years. Burduroglu suggested a unifying approach, those in humanities should appreciate math, it is quite beautiful, and use technology to help them do what they do best. AVista reporter sat down with the new U.S. CONSUL GENERAL IN FLORENCE, ABIGAIL RUPP, to get her take on WOMEN IN THE KNOW. Rupp works in coordination with the American Embassy in Rome to serve the U.S. and her citizens in Tuscany, most of Emilia Romagna, and San Marino. Before arriving in July 2014, Rupp worked in Moldova, Ghana, Russia, Ethiopia and Washington D.C. The daughter of two U.S. government employees and a resident of D.C., Columbia, Maryland and Reston, Virginia, whether or not Rupp would pursue a career in the Foreign Service was something she never questioned. Fluent in Russian, Romanian and Italian, and despite a long list of accomplishments, Rupp is also a mother of three and wife of a diplomatic security special agent. The interview began by questioning Rupp about how her high-ranked position pertains to her gender and how her wisdom can apply to women across the board. It then moved to questions regarding the study abroad agenda and experience in Florence. As a college student, seeing women in such high positions of power is an inspiration. What advice do you have for young women pursuing higher education, specifically in fields typically dominated by men? Pick something that really interests you, even if people say you can t make money at it. I have a Master s Degree in Public Policy and Philosophy. A degree in Philosophy teaches you how to read critically, and ask questions, and build an argument, and all of those skills are useful in my job. So, that would be my advice: find something you re interested in and then figure out how that could connect to the employment possibilities. What have you discovered about the condition of women during your international postings?
9 14 15 VIEWS & INTERVIEWS Offering assistance to women improves the entire country s condition. In many cases, they are the ones that hold that society together, and not just for the traditional reasons of kids and home. There s research that shows that if you provide extra income to women, either through microcredit or food assistance, they use it to support their families. Of course, there are lots of challenges for women around the world. It s not an easy life. I worked with an anti-trafficking program in Russia, and with different kinds of health programs in Ethiopia and Ghana, but I believe we always have to think about how significant the work of women is, no matter where they are. Another priority is setting up programs that allow young girls to go to school. The theme for Vista Magazine s newest series of articles is Women in the Know. How would this apply to your life and career so far? I think that to be a woman in the know, you would have to know who you are, where your place is in the world and what you want to achieve. I think a woman in the know should also have a commitment to helping others. What advice do you have for other Women In The Know? You know more than you think you know. It doesn t matter how you think others see you if you are genuine, and work hard and have an interest in what you re doing, people will see that. I think the best way to be successful is to be true to yourself and do something that interests you personally. What are your other goals and priorities as the U.S. Consul General? We have a lot of things on our plate, and a few of them are coming up in the relatively short-term. One of them is the Milan Expo, which used to be known as the World Fair. The U.S. has a big pavilion that we re building; the Expo itself is focused on food, both the cooking of food and the gourmet side of things, but more importantly on how we re going to feed a world population that continues to grow. Another priority for us here in Florence is promoting entrepreneurship in the region. Part of that as well is our support for the ongoing discus- sions on a bilateral trade treaty between the U.S. and the EU, called TTIP, which would allow an enormous market to open up for Italy, certainly for the U.S., and for the rest of Europe. The consistent priority of our mission is always going to be to support American citizens who are overseas, no matter what else is happening in the world. Do you have any advice for prospective or current college students debating whether or not to study abroad? It s a fantastic means to learn not only about another country, but also about yourself. You can challenge yourself in ways you don t expect, no matter where you re living, and you learn about a culture. It also is a great way to see if an international career is right for you. When presenting the publication Educating In Paradise: The Value of North American Study Abroad Programs in Italy, you mentioned that you foresee a doubling in the number of students studying abroad. As an advocate for the study abroad experience, do you believe there are both pros and cons? I mentioned the doubling because it s a goal of the State Department in collaboration with the Institute for International Education. They would like to find a way to get more American students to study overseas. I think it s two-fold. One is universities have to prepare students for that study abroad experience, and then they have to collaborate closely with countries to make sure that there are programs where those students can go. It s no secret, however, that there have been some difficulties in the past few years in particular with students safety in Italy, and certainly in Florence. We have students who have too much to drink and in some cases get arrested, or worse. It is a challenge to live in any foreign country and be immersed in a culture. I feel it s important for the universities and the city and we and the U.S. government to collaborate on ways to make sure students are well-prepared and wellsupported and well-informed about what it s like overseas. When a break from Florence is in order, the AREZZO ANTIQUE MARKET makes the perfect destination for both connoisseurs of antiquity and casual treasure seekers. Established in 1968, the fair takes place the first Saturday and Sunday of every month, during which approximately 500 vendors fill piazza Grande with Tuscany s biggest selection of antiques. Arezzo, featured in the classic 1997 film Life Is Beautiful, is an idyllic small town about 50 miles southeast of Florence. It is easily accessible by train from Florence s main stations, Santa Maria Novella and Campo di Marte, for as little as eight euros each way. The hour and a half long journey offers a scenic route through the Tuscan hills, with the occasional spotting of a medieval castle or fortress. The market itself is not far from the Arezzo train station; simply cross the street onto via Spinello, then turn left onto Corso Italiano. The road to the Antique Market is almost as exciting as the market itself. Corso Italiano is lined with popular name-brand stores, as well as small stands featuring local products. About midway there is a cluster of tents where one can indulge in sugary childhood confections: candied nuts, chocolate and Italian marzipan fruits. As the market draws nearer, the presence of antique vendors takes over the sloping street with items from all over the world. Traditional African masks, handmade jewelry and a wide range of old books in many languages are just the beginning. The famed market begins when the visitor turns right into piazza Grande. There, in the shadow of the Romanesque ISABELLA GREZZI Photo by Sarah Kearns Recycling the Past A VISIT TO AREZZO S MONTHLY ANTIQUE MARKET church Santa Maria della Pieve, the antique fair, which is known in Italy as la più grande e la più bella (the biggest and most beautiful), comes into view. It features something for everyone and every budget. Collectors of World War II memorabilia will delight in rummaging through the multitudes of original photographs, medals and handwritten letters. A wide selection of tea sets, silverware, quirky mirrors and frames appeal to the sensibilities of a more practical shopper, while lovers of all things strange and bizarre will enjoy pondering over some of the mysterious items, the use for which has since been lost in time. The market is also a great source for unique gifts for friends and family, offering many small, travel-sized curios such as metal cat-shaped corkscrews or hand-painted thimbles. Once one has browsed the tables at the many tents at the market, the cafés around the piazza offer a convenient place to warm up and re-energize with a cappuccino, or perhaps a panino and a small glass of wine. The antique stores specializing in wooden furniture and decorative household items that encircle the piazza are also worth exploring. At 8 pm on Sunday the market closes as vendors disappear for three weeks in search of merchandise. The city becomes still again, with only its permanent shops and local craftsman remaining. At the start of the next month, however, the market returns without fail, bringing a new adventure of antiquated items with an often-mysterious past. TUSCAN LIFE
10 16 CENTERFIELD RITA KUNGEL Photos by Daniel Cilia SANSEPOLCRO: Pilgrims, Palaces & Piero Located in southeast Tuscany, SANSEPOLCRO welcomes visitors to come and enjoy the ambiance of their town with its history of pilgrimages, pasta, Palio and above all, art. HISTORY & CUISINE According to tradition, two pilgrims returning from the Holy Land founded the town of Sansepolcro in the 10th century. Arcanus and Aegidus, bearing stones from the church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, stopped to rest in a forest and received a divine sign inspiring them to construct an oratory chapel to house the sacred relics. Shortly after, a Benedictine Abbey was built, around which the town developed. Situated on the plains of the Upper Tiber River Valley (Valtiberina), Sansepolcro marks the spot where Tuscany, Umbria and Le Marche meet. During the Middle Ages, travelers often passed through the city to view the holy relics on their way to the hermitage of La Verna, the site of St. Francis stigmata (the wounds of Christ). An important spot on the trade route linking the central Italian peninsula and the Adriatic, a succession of city, Papal States and lords fought to control Sansepolcro until the Florentine Medici rulers acquired the village in the 15th century. The economy of the fertile river valley plain has traditionally been based on agriculture, with tobacco as the major cash crop and grains, sunflowers and vegetables still grown today. Italy s first pasta factory was built in Sansepolcro in 1827, and Buitoni pasta continues to be sold around the world. The town is the birthplace of Luca Pacioli, one of the greatest mathematicians of the Renaissance and collaborator of Leonardo da Vinci, who is recognized as the father of accounting. Pacioli received some of his education under the tutelage of Sansepolcro s most famous son, Piero della Francesca. Della Francesca, known as a mathematician and geometer to his contemporaries, is now mainly appreciated for his art. His naturalistic paintings employ a cool color palette as a precursor to the 17th-century Dutch masters, and depict serene characters and landscapes inspired by his home in Valtiberina. His use of geometric forms and perspective illustrates the perfect merger of art and science. Lost to history for centuries, then rediscovered in the 19th century by British and American elites taking the Grand Tour, Della Francesca s masterpieces today attract art lovers to this often overlooked corner of Tuscany. ON THE TRAIL OF PIERO DEL BORGO Della Francesca signed his paintings Piero del Borgo, as the town was then called Borgo San Sepolcro. Because most of his masterpieces remain in the vicinity, admirers can view them with a one-day jaunt in the Valtiberina. Sansepolcro s Civic Museum houses The Resurrection venerated by Aldous Huxley as the best picture in the world. The fresco portrays a muscular, upright Christ at its center, with one foot on top of his tomb, as if defying death. He towers above four soldiers guarding the sepulcher who have succumbed to sleep. The artist incorporated his self-portrait in the figure of the soldier clothed in brown. At the time of writing, The Resurrection is undergoing a longdelayed restoration. The particular nature of fresco painting on plaster, accompanied by numerous earthquakes, has caused the work to develop cracks and discoloration. Fortunately, the restoration is being conducted in plain view of the public and visitors can walk along a special scaffolding bridge to see how the work is progressing. The Madonna del Misericordia (Madonna of Mercy), created as an altarpiece and also found in this museum, consists of 23 panels depicting scenes from the saints and life of Christ. The centerpiece, containing a larger-thanlife Virgin Mary with outstretched arms, enfolds her followers in her mantle. While in the town, visitors might want to see the cathedral built on the original site of the oratory. Its artistic masterpiece, a unique wooden crucifix, Il Volto Santo, carved from a single walnut log in the ninth century, stands nine feet high. Visit the adjacent 16th-century Bishop s Palace, built on the site of the original abbey, to view the artist s tomb in the cloister. The hilltop village of MONTERCHI, birthplace of the painter s mother, lies nine miles south. Its small museum houses one famous painting, Madonna del Parto, a masterpiece of symmetry.
11 18 19 CENTERFIELD Piero della Francesca s iconic Madonna del Parto in the village of Monterchi, near Sansepolcro. Preceding page, a view of Sansepolcro and residents in piazza Torre di Berta. The artist created a touching image of the Virgin Mary, heavy with child, a rare depiction in Christian art. Clad in a flowing blue velvet dress, her right hand supports her large belly while her left holds her side. Through the centuries, pregnant women have visited the museum to pray for a safe delivery. AREZZO, an important Etruscan city later conquered by the Romans and now the capital of the province, is the next stop on the tour. Its Basilica of San Francesco houses the splendid fresco cycle, The Legend of the True Cross. Recently restored, it tells the story of the origin of the wood used to build the cross on which Christ was crucified. Literally covering the walls and ceilings of the Bacci Chapel, the cycle begins with the Death of Adam and ends with the Annunciation. The artist s strong sense of geometric harmony and perspective are repeated throughout the scenes of the work. The walled city of URBINO lies in the region of Le Marche and boasts an architectural treasure, the Palazzo Ducale, or Duke s Palace. The Duke Federico of Montefeltro was a political ruler, diplomat, mercenary and patron of art and literature. Travelers may have seen della Francesca s famous portrait of the duke and his wife in Florence s Uffizi. The loss of his right eye and bridge of his nose in a tournament resulted in him being portrayed from his good side. Today, visitors go to the Palazzo Ducale to view the artist s Flagellation of Christ, a tour de force in oil and tempura. Although only 32 x 24 inches, the unusual and detailed painting contains two scenes. The primary action depicting the flogging of Christ is placed in the background with Pontius Pilate seated to the side watching. In the foreground, three men engaged in conversation appear disinterested in Christ s suffering. The observer must stand exactly in the center of the painting in order to view the single vanishing point the right hem of Christ s tormentor s robe. VISITING HOURS Sansepolcro s Civic Museum is located on via Niccolo Aggiunti, 65; open September 16 to June 14, 10 am - 1 pm and 2:30-6 pm daily, June 15 to September 15, 10 am - 1:20 pm and 2:30-7 pm daily. Admission is 8. The Madonna del Parto museum is located on via della Reglia, 1, Monterchi; open November to March, 9 am 1 pm and 2-5 pm, April to October, 9 am 1 pm and 2 7 pm, Monday and Wednesday through Sunday. The museum is closed Tuesday. Admission is 5.50, free to children under 14 and pregnant women. The basilica of San Francesco is situated in piazza San Francesco, Arezzo; open Monday through Friday, 9 am - 6:30 pm, Saturday 9 am - 5:30 pm, Sunday 1 pm - 7:30 pm. Admission is 8. Palazzo Ducale is found in piazza Duca Federico, Urbino; open Tuesday through Sunday 8:30 am - 7:15 pm, Monday 8:30 am - 2 pm. Admission is 5. 20th CENTURY ART SAVIOR The art treasures of Sansepolcro, as well as its architectural structures, were spared heavy damage during World War II when British Artillery Officer Anthony Clarke disobeyed orders and held back using his guns to shell the town. Clarke, an art lover, had read Huxley s essay extolling the brilliance of The Resurrection and risked court martial to save the painting. Today in the town, via Anthony Clarke honors his contribution to its heritage. THE PALIO DELLA BALESTRA Present-day tourists flock to Sansepolcro on the second Sunday in September to witness a competition with roots in medieval Tuscany. The event, held since the 15th century, commences when men from the town challenge combatants from nearby rival Gubbio to a tournament using crossbows (balestre). Trumpets blare, drums roll, flags wave and nobles, knights and ladies parade in medieval costumes meticulously copied from Piero della Francesca s paintings. The weapons are blessed in the cathedral, and the archers assemble in piazza Torre di Berta. The prize for the town with the most contestants hitting a target from 120 feet away is a red woolen banner (palio). SHIRA BURNS An Encounter Across Centuries PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA IN DIALOGUE WITH ALBERTO BURRI Although they lived 500 years apart, two artists that changed the course of Italian art, ALBERTO BURRI and PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA, were born within miles of each other. Each had a distinctive style: Piero was a master of the Italian Renaissance while Burri created 20thcentury abstract art. The Tuscan village of Sansepolcro, the hometown of Piero della Francesca and the venue of several of his signature works, is currently hosting an exhibition, one of many in honor of the 100th anniversary of Burri s death. This complementary juxtaposition between Renaissance and contemporary art runs until March 12, 2015 in the town s civic museum. Despite coming from two vastly different times, each artist lived and worked in the Tiber River valley and shared a strong love for their birthplace. Both were pioneers of their era: Piero, a painter of the Early Renaissance, influenced many subsequent artists. Burri s incorporation of materials such as plastic, cement, tar and resin into his work was a groundbreaking new feature of Abstract Expressionism. According to curator Bruno Corà, the pair had an affinity for geometric tension and the balance of form and space. Piero was a mathematician famous for his study of perspective, whereas Burri used industrial materials and contrasting colors to create irregular shapes. BURRI Born on March 12, 1915 in Città di Castello, Burri began his career as a military physician. During the Second World War, while held as a prisoner of war in Texas, he began painting on the A modern work by Albert Burri on display in Sansepolcro. only material that was accessible: burlap. This experience inspired him to become an abstract artist, and a year after his release his first solo art show opened in Rome. Burri is best known for his experimentation with a wide variety of unconventional materials, which creates tactile collages with three-dimensional surfaces. His work has been exhibited throughout Italy and the United States in museums such as the Guggenheim. The exhibition in Sansepolcro features four of Burri s mixed media on loan from a museum in Perugia and allows visitors a journey through the evolution of his style. The earliest work on display is Sacking and Green (1956), in which he sewed together pieces of burlap sackcloth. Next is Red Plastic (1962), from his series incorporating special effects created by the burning of plastic, and then Great White Cretto (1974), one of his 1970s cracked works, which have fractured surfaces that resemble terrain. The most current piece is Celotex (1975), which dates from Burri s period of experimentation with this insulation material. SIGHTSEEING
12 20 21 SIGHTSEEING A detail of Piero della Francesca s St. Ludovico fresco (1460) in Sansepolcro PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA In a dialogue between the centuries, della Francesca s frescos are exhibited on the walls of the adjacent room: The Resurrection (1458), San Ludovico (1460) and San Giuliano (1454). The Resurrection is a symbol of della Francesca s love for Sansepolcro the subject is an allusion to the name of the town, Holy Sepulcher. Daniela Frullani, mayor of Sansepolcro, stated that the village owes its existence to the fresco: it was spared destruction during WWII when an English officer disobeyed orders to shell the town in order to save The Resurrection. Defined as the greatest painting in the world by Aldous Huxley, the piece has influenced many writers, poets and film directors. Despite the care given to the fresco by the town that views it as one of their most important resources, it is slated for a much-overdue restoration. This dream will be fulfilled thanks to the generosity of an entrepreneur affiliated with a local pasta company, Buitoni. Now a resident of Switzerland, the entrepreneur is donating 100 million euro. Not associated with any sponsorship, his generosity stems from his love of Sansepolcro, the town where his son was born. He said that his donation is not spontaneous, and that he has many fond memories of the village and wishes to promote awareness of the painting. The gift will allow for scaffolding to be built and restorers to begin the delicate preservation of the Renaissance work. They will conduct a thorough cleaning of the fresco s surface in order to eliminate a dull film that has accumulated due to humidity, pollutants and the passage of time. The film has created a milky layer that gives opaqueness to the overall color, which is subject to degradation from a phenomenon known as lime sulfation, the chemical transformation of calcium carbonate. A non-invasive examination of the painting has also shown that there are micro-cracks in the plaster and that the paint is peeling. As explained during a November 2014 press conference, the masterpiece will not be obscured from the public eye. Visitors will be allowed on the scaffolding for a close-up view of the work and the actual restoration process, estimated to take two years. The donor will follow the step-by-step procedure thanks to a specially created cell phone app. The exhibition of these two very stylistically diverse artists enables visitors to find connections between the works of both della Francesca and Burri. Although they are from different periods of art history, these innovative pieces complement one another in an unexpected manner. The comparison brings to the forefront a strong affinity between the two: a vibrant use of color and a heavy reliance on geometric form. REVISITATION: BURRI MEETS PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA Until March 12, 2015 Civic Museum of Sansepolcro Open daily 10 am - 1 pm and 2:30-4 pm. Admission: 8 euro Friday, 9 JANUARY MAGGIO MUSICALE ORCHESTRA conducted by Xu Zhong (piano soloist). Music of Chen Qigang, Beethoven and Shostakovich. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (MM) Saturday, 10 CREMONA QUARTET featuring soloist Antonio Meneses (cello). Music of Webern, Haydn, Schubert. Teatro della Pergola. 4 pm. (AM) Sunday, 11 HARPSICHORD RECITAL by Ottavio Dantone. Music of Bach, English Suites I. Teatro della Pergola. 9 pm. (AM) Monday, 12 HARPSICHORD RECITAL by Ottavio Dantone. Music of Bach, English Suites II. Teatro della Pergola. 9 pm. (AM) Wednesday, 14 ORCHESTRA DELLA TOSCANA conducted by Giovanni Sollima (cello soloist). Music of Sollima and Haydn. Teatro Verdi. 9 pm. (ORT) MAGGIO MUSICALE ORCHESTRA conducted by Ryan McAdams. Music of Mussorgsky, Elgar and Rimsky-Korsakov. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (MM) Saturday, 17 PIANO RECITAL by Piotr Anderszewski. Music of Beethoven, Schumann, Szymanowski and Bartok. Teatro della Pergola. 4 pm. (AM) Sunday, 18 SIGNUM SAXOPHONE QUARTET music of Sibelius, Glazunov, Ligeti, Barber and Gershwin. Teatro della Pergola. 9 pm. (AM) Monday, 19 THE JULIA FISCHER QUARTET chamber music concert. Music of Beethoven, Schumann and Shostakovich. Teatro della Pergola. 9 pm. (AM) Saturday, 24 PIANO AND VIOLIN RECITAL by Katia Labèque and Viktoria Mullova. Music of Mozart, Schumann, Pärt, Takemitsu and Ravel. Teatro della Pergola. 4 pm. (AM) Sunday, 25 KELEMEN QUARTET chamber music concert. Music of Haydn, Mendelssohn and Bartók. Teatro della Pergola. 9 pm. (AM) Wednesday, 28 ORCHESTRA DELLA TOSCANA conducted by John Axelrod with soloist Andrea Lucchesini. Music of Beethoven. Teatro Verdi. 9 pm. (ORT) I PURITANI opera by Vincenzo Bellini. Maggio Musicale Orchestra and Choir conducted by Giacomo Sagripanti. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (MM) GRACE CRUMMETT & SHIRA BURNS Music Calendar *** For ticket information, contact: BOX OFFICE Ticket Agency, Via Vecchie Carceri 1 (tel. 055/210804) AC: Accademia Chigiana, Palazzo Chigi Saracini, Siena (tel. 0577/22091) AM: Amici della Musica, Teatro della Pergola, Via della Pergola 32 (tel. 055/608420, FCO: Florence Chamber Orchestra, Orsanmichele, (www.orcafi.it) MM: Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Opera di Firenze (tel , ORT: Orchestra della Toscana, Teatro Verdi, Via Ghibellina 101 (tel. 0584/359322, Friday, 30 I PURITANI (see Wednesday, 28) Saturday, 31 PIANO AND VOICE RECITAL by Jonathon Biss and Mark Padmore (tenor). Music of Schubert. Teatro della Pergola. 4 pm. (AM) Sunday, 1 FEBRUARY I PURITANI opera by Vincenzo Bellini. Maggio Musicale Orchestra and Choir conducted by Giacomo Sagripanti. Opera di Firenze. 3:30 pm. (MM) VIOLIN RECITAL by Segej Krylov. Music of Ysaye, Bach, Berio and Paganini. Teatro della Pergola. 9 pm. (AM) Tuesday, 3 MAGGIO MUSICALE ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS conducted by Giacomo Sagripanti. Music of Donizetti and Verdi. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (MM) Wednesday, 4 I PURITANI (see Sunday, 1). 8:30 pm. Thursday, 5 I PURITANI (see Sunday, 1). 8:30 pm. Saturday, 7 PIANO RECITAL by Maria Perrotta. Homage to Bach. Teatro della Pergola. 4 pm. (AM) Sunday, 8 TACKACS QUARTET chamber music concert. Music of Schubert and Beethoven. Teatro della Pergola. 9 pm. (AM) Tuesday, 10 I PURITANI (see Sunday, 1). 8:30 pm. Saturday, 14 CELLO, VIOLIN AND PIANO CONCERT by Clemens Hagen, Kolja Blacher and Kirill Gerstien. Music of Beethoven. Teatro della Pergola. 4 pm. (AM) MAGGIO MUSICALE ORCHESTRA conducted by Daniel Oren with piano soloist Giuseppe Albanian. Music of Tchaikovsky and Brahms. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (MM) Sunday, 15 MAGGIO MUSICALE ORCHESTRA (see Saturday, 15). 4:30 pm. CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT by Clemens Hagen (cello), Kolja Blacher (violin) and Kirill Gerstien (piano). Music of Beethoven. Teatro della Pergola. 9 pm. (AM) Monday, 16 PIANO RECITAL by Yuja Wang. Music of Chopin, Scriabin, Granados, Albéniz and Schubert. Teatro della Pergola. 9 pm. (AM) Tuesday, 17 THE BAT operetta by Johann Strauss Jr. Maggio Musicale Orchestra conducted by Paolo Ponziano Ciardi. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (MM) CARNIVAL CONCERT Orchestra della Toscana conducted by Daniele Rustioni with soloist Enrico Dindo (cello). Music of Casella, Tchaikovsky, Rossini and Sostakovich. Teatro Verdi. 9 pm. (ORT) Friday, 20 MAGGIO MUSICALE ORCHESTRA conducted by Antonello Manacorda. Music of Strauss and Stravinksy. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (MM) Saturday, 21 HAGEN QUARTET chamber music concert. Music of Mozart. Teatro della Pergola. 4 pm. (AM) Sunday, 22 MUSICI AUREI conducted by Luigi Piovano with soloist Sara Mingardo (alto). Music of Mahler, Busoni and Britten. Teatro della Pergola. 9 pm. (AM) Tuesday, 24 TOM THUMB Florence School of Music Boys Choir conducted by Alessandro Cadario. Music of Hans Werner Henze. Teatro Goldoni. 8:30 pm. (MM) Thursday, 26 TOM THUMB (see Tuesday, 24). 10 am and 8:30 pm. ORCHESTRA DELLA TOSCANA conducted by Emilio Pomarico with soloist Roger Muraro (piano). Music of Busoni, Beethoven and Brahms. Teatro Verdi. 9 pm. (ORT) Friday, 27 TOM THUMB (see Tuesday, 24). 10 am. MUSIC & DANCE
13 22 23 MUSIC & DANCE Saturday, 28 SWEDISH RADIO CHOIR conducted by Peter Dijkstra. Homage to Bach. Teatro della Pergola. 4 pm. (AM) MAGGIO MUSICALE ORCHESTRA conducted by Nikolaj Znaider. Music of Beethoven and Mozart. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (MM) MARCH MARCH Sunday, 1 CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT with Alban Gerhardt (cello), Carolin Widmann (violin), Alexander Melnikov (piano) and Jörg Widmann (clarinet). Music of Debussy, Bartok and Messiaen. Teatro della Pergola (Saloncino). 9 pm. (AM) DIDO AND AENEAS/ LE JEUNE HOMME ET LA MORTE Maggio Musicale Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Stefano Montanari. Music of Purcello and Bach. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (MM) Tuesday, 3 DIDO AND AENEAS/ LE JEUNE HOMME ET LA MORTE (see Sunday, 1) Wednesday, 4 MAGGIO MUSICALE ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS conducted by Lorenzo Fratini. Music by Fauré and Bizet. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (MM) Thursday, 5 DIDO AND AENEAS/ LE JEUNE HOMME ET LA MORTE (aee Sunday, 1) Saturday, 7 PIANO RECITAL by Paul Lewis. Music of Beethoven. Teatro della Pergola. 4 pm. (AM) MAGGIO MUSICALE ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS conducted by Roberto Abbado. Music of Strauss, Wagner and Haydn. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (MM) Sunday, 8 DIDO AND AENEAS/ LE JEUNE HOMME ET LA MORTE (see Sunday, 1). 3:30 pm. Tuesday, 10 DIDO AND AENEAS/ LE JEUNE HOMME ET LA MORTE (see Sunday, 1) Thursday, 12 ORCHESTRA DELLA TOSCANA conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer with soloist Lilya Zilberstein (piano). Music of Bartók, Beeethoven, Kagel and Haydn. Teatro Verdi. 9 pm. (ORT) Friday, 13 FIDELIO, THE FACE OF FREEDOM Maggio Musicale Orchestra conducted by Giuseppe La Malfa. Music of Beethoven. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. Saturday, 14 PIANO & VIOLIN RECITAL by Enrico Pace and Leonidas Kavakos. Music of Poulenc, Fauré, Stravinsky and Schubert. Teatro della Pergola. 4 pm. FIDELIO, THE FACE OF FREEDOM (see Friday, 13). 4:30 pm. (MM) Sunday, 15 FIDELIO, THE FACE OF FREEDOM (see Friday,15). 4:30 pm. VIOLIN & PIANO RECITAL Natalia Prishepenko and Sir Antonio Pappano. Teatro della Pergola. 9 pm. (AM) Tuesday, 17 FIDELIO, THE FACE OF FREEDOM (see Friday,15). 10 am. Friday, 20 PIANO RECITAL by Krystian Zimerman. Music of Brahms. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (AM) Saturday, 21 PIANO RECITAL by Beatrice Rana. Music of Bach, Chopin and Ravel. Teatro della Pergola. 4 pm. (AM) Sunday, 22 PIANO RECITAL by Evgeny Kissin. Music of Beethoven, Prokofiev, Chopin and Liszt. Opera di Firenze. 8:30 pm. (AM) Thursday, 26 ORCHESTRA DELLA TOSCANA conducted by Salvatore Accardo (violin) with Laura Gorna (violin). Music of Mozart, Spohr, Schönberg. Teatro Verdi. 9 pm. (ORT) Saturday, 28 PIANO RECITAL by Benjamin Grosvenor. Music of Rameau, Bach, Franck, Chopin and Grandos. Teatro della Pergola. 4 pm. (AM) Sunday, 29 MAHLER CHAMBER SOLOISTS chamber music concert. Music of Stravinskym Koechlin, Stravinsky and Poulenc. Teatro della Pergola. 9 pm. (AM) Monday, 30 PIANO DUETS by Julian Brocal and Maria João Pires. Music of Debussy, Ravel and Beethoven. Opera di Firenze. 9 pm. (AM) MUSIC & DANCE Maurizio Pollini ANNE LOKKEN A Florentine New Year of Music LOOKING AHEAD TO THE CONCERTS OF THE AMICI DELLA MUSICA, OPERA DI FIRENZE & ORT The most exciting event on the Florence classical music scene of the New Year is the concert series, THE GREAT PERFORMERS (I Grandi Interpreti). In a combined effort by the Opera di Firenze and Amici della Musica, some of the world s greatest pianists are scheduled at the new Opera of Florence theater from February through May. These concerts, offering a wide variety of important repertoire by the finest musicians of our time, are a must for the appassionati of the piano. Inaugurating The Great Performers on February 9 is Maurizio Pollini, undisputedly the finest living Italian pianist. He returns to Florence after an eight-year absence with a program of Beethoven and Chopin. On March 20, the Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman will perform an evening of Brahms. The winner of the International Chopin Piano Competition in 1975 at the age of 19, he is considered one of the foremost interpreters of the romantic repertoire. Evgeny Kissen will arrive on March 26. The Moscow-born former child prodigy is considered one of the finest virtuosos of the piano and will perform Beethoven, Prokof ev, a selection of Nocturnes and Mazurkas by Chopin and the Marcia Ràkòczy by Liszt. Maria João Pires will give a joint recital with the young French pianist Julien Brocal, alternating works of Beethoven, Ravel and Debussy (March 30). Sir Andràs Schiff, a Hungarian but longtime Florence resident, presents an all-bach program on April 19. Noted for his sensitive touch and contrapuntal clarity, he has recorded the entire catalogue of Bach s works for keyboard and will perform the six Partite BWV for harpsichord transcribed for piano. Lang Lang (May 4) and Murray Perhaia (May 8) offer very different styles of performance and interpretation in programs to be announced. Closing the series will be another giant of the keyboard, Russian Grigory Sokolov, known for his physical strength and variety of colors, playing Bach and Beethoven. The winter months will also feature a variety of wonderful classical concerts, with no genre or style overlooked AMICI DELLA MUSICA AMICI DELLA MUSICA continues its
14 24 MUSIC & DANCE series of world-class chamber music concerts at Teatro della Pergola. On January 10 and 11, concertgoers can enjoy the six suites for cello solo by J. S. Bach performed by Enrico Bronzi. For something out of the ordinary, the Signum Saxophone Quartet will arrive on January 18. Formed in 2006, this group of two Germans and two Slovenians play works of classical music from arrangements of string quartets and symphonic pieces to new contemporary works. The quartet performs their music from memory, preferring freedom of movement and choreography on stage. OPERA OF FLORENCE For opera lovers, the MAGGIO MUSICALE at the Opera of Florence, will stage I Puritani, Bellini s final work (he died at only 33). This bel canto masterpiece, with six performances starting January 28, is rarely performed due to the technical difficulty of the vocal roles. The Israeli conductor, Daniel Oren, always popular with the Florentine public, will appear on two occasions in February. On February 3, there will be a special event marking the 150th anniversary of Florence designated as capital of Italy. On that day in 1865, King Vittorio Emanuele II arrived in the city with big plans for modernization, which included the creation of the future piazza della Repubblica and the viali (the boulevards encircling Florence) in Parisian style. The celebration will include entire acts of two favorite operas: Act III from Donizetti s Lucia di Lamermoor, and Acts I and II of Ernani, a work based on the Victor Hugo play, by Giuseppe Verdi. On February 14, Oren will lead the orchestra with pianist Giuseppe Albanese in the Tchaikovsky Concerto n. 1 for piano and orchestra and the Symphony n. 2. by Johannes Brahms. ORT THE ORCHESTRA REGIONALE TOSCANA continues its program of symphonic concerts at Teatro Verdi in Florence. Giovanni Sollima, born in Palermo, has the roles of cello soloist, conductor and composer on January 14. He is known for his crossover styles, from baroque and classical through the rock music of Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and Slayer. The concert begins with his composition Hell I Songs from the Divine Comedy, conceived during a long period of residence in the orderly chaos of New York and revisits Dante s Inferno. Next, he will interpret the Concerto n. 1 by Haydn, followed by another of his own compositions, Folktales, composed in 2009, which found its inspiration in Italo Calvino s Italian Folktales, his fabulous recounting and reinvention of 200 popular tales. To celebrate Mardi Gras, on Tuesday, February 17 in Florence, the ORT, conductor Daniele Rustioni and cellist Enrico Dindo, offer an evening of music by Casella, Tchaikovsky, Rossini and Shostakovich. True to its name, the Regional Orchestra travels to concert venues in various towns and cities of the Tuscan region including Piombino, Pisa, Empoli, Siena, Arezzo and others. Their annual festival of Italian contemporary music, PLAY IT! has been postponed until September, 2015
15 26 27 NOTES CALENDAR Until February 8 GIOVANNI BARTOLINI S ARNINA Galleria dell Accademia Open daily 8:15 am 6:15 pm, closed Mondays Admission: 8.50 euro Until February 10 PASSION & COLLECTION Casa Buonarrotti, via Ghibellina 70. Open daily 10 am 4 pm, closed Tuesdays Admission: 6.50 euro Until February 22 TREASURES OF THE BUCCELLATI FOUNDATION Pitti Palace, Museo degli Argenti Open daily 8:15 am 4:30 pm closed the first and last Sundays of the month Admission: 7 euro (includes all Pitti Palace exhibitions) Until February 15 MODIGLIANI & FRIENDS Palazzo Blu, Lungarno Gambacorti 9, Pisa. Open Tuesday Friday, 10 am 7 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 10 am 8 pm, closed Monday Admission: 10 euro Until February 28 VIAREGGIO CARNIVAL Viareggio Every Sunday in February at 3 pm The last Sunday, February 28 at 8:30 pm Admission: 18 euro, children 7 and under free February 26 March 1 DANZA IN FIERA, INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL Fortezza da Basso Open Thurs. 3 8 pm; Fri., Sat., & Sun. 9 am 8 pm. Admission: adults 15 euro, children under 8 free March 7 9 TASTE Stazione Leopolda Open Fri. & Sat. 1:30 pm 7:30 pm Open Sun., 9:30 am 4:30 pm Admission: 15 euro ***All events are in Florence unless otherwise specified GIOVANNI BARTOLINI S ARNINA A single, exquisite 1825 sculpture and its original plaster cast on loan from Prato is the centerpiece of display of a masterwork lost and found. Aspiring to be the head of the sculpture department of Florence s Fine Arts Academy (Accademia delle Belle Arti), preeminent yet controversial sculptor Giovanni Bartolini created this statue of an Arno water nymph (Arnina), presenting it to the head of the Academy and Uffizi Gallery director Giovanni degli Alessandri, who refused to accept it. It was later sold to an English buyer and had disappeared from public sight until now. In the 1990s, the present owner purchased the work, which shows Bartolini s transition from a purely neoclassical style to naturalism, from a plant nursery for a nominal fee. Not conscious of its origins or true identity, Arnina adorned a private garden, visible from the proprietor s breakfast room. Little did he dream that the sculpture was actually a valuable antique. The work, which bears an inscription to Giovanni degli Alessandri, key to its recent identification, will return to Great Britain at the show s end. (rosanna cirigliano) PASSION & COLLECTION Although Michelangelo acquired what was to become known as Casa Buonarroti, members of his family lived there for generations, yet he never did. Now a museum to his memory, in addition to Michelangelo s works Madonna of the Stairs and The Battle of the Centaurs, the display cases now contain 100 pieces of Tuscan ceramics and majolica from the 14th to the 18th centuries. REPORTED BY THE VISTA STAFF in Town & Around All from private collections, the plates, vases, jugs and bowls portray the evolution of color palette and decorative motifs in Tuscany. Highlighted is production in Montelupo, where Spanish influences are initially evident, later giving way to a burst of creativity and bold use of color. The exhibition opens with a piece that belongs to Casa Buonarroti: in the entryway is a 17th century majolica dish depicting a figure and the Buonarroti coat-of-arms, granted to the family by the Medici Pope Leo X. (rosanna cirigliano) TREASURES OF THE BUCCELLATI FOUNDATION The founders of Buccellati Jewelry, Mario Buccellati, along with his son Gianmaria, are two of the most renowned goldsmiths in the world. A special exhibition to celebrate the firm s 100th anniversary features over 100 pieces of their breathtaking jewelry, gold and silver pieces on loan from their foundation. The show is curated by Gianmaria himself and is located in the Grandducal Summer Apartments on the ground and mezzanine floors of the Pitti Palace, home to the precious antique jewelry and porcelain collections of the Medici family. Visitors will be greeted by some of the most valuable works designed by the founder of the brand, such as bracelets, brooches and tiaras. Inspired by the masters of the Renaissance, Mario Buccellati created his own unique and recognizable style that was appreciated by members of royal families, popes and wealthy intellectuals. Poet Gabriele D Annunzio called Mario the prince of the goldsmiths, and there is a specific collection of jewelry dedicated to him, including a twisted silver bracelet decorated with five lapis lazuli stones. Mario also studied the technical secrets of ancient silversmiths, and reproduced eight cups that were buried in lava from the eruption of Vesuvius. The next section focuses on the work of son Gianmaria Buccellati. Born in Milan in 1929, at age 12 he sketched his first piece of jewelry and was encouraged by his parents to continue the family tradition. He said, My father did not teach me the work techniques, just as I have not taught them to my son. What happens is the transmission of thought, vision and work experience, together with the absorption of tradition. Gianmaria s personal collection, in a section called Precious Objects, features bowls, vases and boxes that he designed after being inspired by historic Medici collections. These 20 th - century artifacts are testimonials to his strong ties with Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo culture. Among the exhibits is the Cup of Love (1975), inspired by a Rococo pattern and showcasing a piece of jasper topped with an exquisite gold figurine of Venus encircled by three angels. His love for Renaissance designs is represented by extraordinary items such as the Medici Chest, a 10-sided box decorated with yellow, red and white gold and 266 diamonds. He was also influenced by neoclassicism, as seen in the Crater of the Muses (1981), a jade cup with 2,027 sapphires and the names of the nine deities of the arts in Greek mythology inscribed on the lip. Despite the sometimes hundreds of gems on each piece, the jewelry is incredibly delicate and often features gold honeycomb drillwork, a signature of the company, which has mastered this intricate art. Since there are few modern-day emperors to hoard these precious jewels, this overflowing collection of Buccellati s greatest masterpieces can be enjoyed by the public, who will walk though a doorway into the life of royalty at least for the duration of their visit. (shira burns) VIAREGGIO CARNIVAL The period preceding Easter is a time to reflect on all of the past year s events. In Tuscany, this reflection manifests itself as a parade of satirical papier-mâché carri (floats) at the Viareggio Carnival. Taking hundreds of hours to manually assemble, the building-sized floats proceed down a seaside boulevard in competition, according to size, for a grand prize. Unlike the better-known Venice Carnival, the Viareggio Carnival is rollickingly humorous rather than poetically elegant. It is a time where Tuscans exercise their famous biting wit to comment on contemporary culture and politics. Here, political satire and social commentary are either mockingly subtle or brutally scathing and derisive. There is a saying in Viareggio: A Carnevale, Ogni Scherzo Vale (All s Fair At Carnival). Nothing is sacred no one is spared. This year s floats primarily focus on political corruption and reformation, as well as the preservation of the environment. They include: Reformers, featuring a Transformer with the face of Prime Minister Renzi; Bella Ciao, an anti-fascist float that derives inspiration from the World War II resistance fighter s song; White Gold, a float NOTES
16 28 29 NOTES condemning ivory poaching; and Don t Fossilize Us, a Jurassic Parkthemed float with a grim message and a call-to-arms against global warming. These remarkable works of pop art are up to 40 feet high and pulled by concealed tractors. Teams of men and women inside each work the multiple moving parts manually, pushing and manipulating an arrangement of ropes, pulleys and levers. The carri are in constant motion against the beach s backdrop, with the scene reminiscent of a Fellini film. DANZA IN FIERA Fusing styles of dance from all over the world, the biggest international dance extravaganza is returning to Florence for four days and over 30 hours of events. The 10th anniversary of the festival will feature performances, exhibitions, dance competitions, and workshops. Free classes will be open to all levels and ages. Members of the community can try their hand at traditional styles such as classical ballet, ballroom, and jazz, or more modern styles such as hiphop and breakdance. Also offered are Bollywood and yoga, as well as flamenco and belly dancing. Visitors can try Zumba, aerobics and Jazzercize. More advanced dancers are welcome to participate in master classes and teacher s workshops. Younger dancers interested in furthering their careers are invited to partake in auditions and showcases throughout the weekend, as well as exchanges with prominent members of the dance community. Dancers can also submit videos in order for a chance to perform. The Metro newspaper will have its program, Metrotalent, with opportunities for dancers to win scholarships and more. Also on the schedule will be dance competitions, and performances from international and national companies. Danza in Fiera also offers meetings and talks, allowing participants to meet the national director of the Royal Academy of Dance Italy, or attend a round table dedicated to the street dance movement in Italy. There will be stands selling dancewear, shoes, and accessories, as well as fashion shows so that the dance aficionado can learn about new trends. (shira burns) TASTE Known for its fashion fairs, Pitti Immagine also organizes Taste, a festival that blends food and lifestyle. The three-day-long fair is dedicated to the discovery of excellent cuisine, and how its diversity has roots in culture and production methods. Table after table of delicious breads, cheeses, gourmet cold cuts, wine, honey, chocolates, cookies, pastries and coffee just about any delectable that one can dream of line the counters of the enormous interior of the former Grand Ducal train station. Featuring renowned culinary masters from across Italy, the fair is nothing short of a mouth-watering delight, as helpful exhibitors provide enticing information while giving free samples of their products. Divided into four guided junctures, the fair directs the visitor as follows: Taste Tour, described above; Taste Tools; Taste Press; and Taste Shop. Taste Tools supplies the necessary culinary gadgets vital to Italian recipes, while Taste Press is dedicated to culinary literature and magazines. Finally, don t expect to leave empty handed the Taste Shop facilitates the purchase of the products sampled so the visitor can recreate recipes. ELIZABETH LA BARBERA Photo by Letizia Francioni Naldi Upcoming Fashion Professionals at Florence s FIT Florence is loved for many aspects of its culture, including its continued contribution to the fashion industry. Once a home to pioneers in the field, the city is now a place where passion and talent are nurtured, including that of students from New York s FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (FIT). The Florence program is open to F.I.T. students studying International Fashion Design, International Fashion Merchandising Management, as well as Liberal Arts. Those enrolled are given the chance to immerse themselves in a fashion-forward culture through courses and once-in-a-lifetime field trips. While productions that were once in Italy have moved abroad to adapt to the demand of high volume, fast-fashion markets, history is still radiating from every major luxury fashion house that calls this country home. According to FIT in Florence s resident director Madeleine Kaplan, people come to Italy not because they are missing the basics, but because they are looking for the extra. Florence gives students that extra element of experience and opportunities that they can t get in New York, including classrooms in a historic villa. A stunning campus located in Polimoda s Villa Favard welcomes students. The elegant space helps to invoke a high standard of creativity and imagination, because it is almost impossible not to be inspired by such elements as the dizzyingly high ceiling. A noblewoman born in Livorno of French and Italian descent commissioned the building to Florentine urban architect Giuseppe Poggi. Villa Favard was designed in a Florentine neoclassical style with a French twist, seen today through a mix of frescoes and stucco AMERICAN STUDENTS MEET ITALIAN STYLE Ferruccio Ferragamo at Florence s FIT campus that line the university campus. FIT in Florence seeks to open doors for students that can only truly be opened from within. Opportunities include entrance to the Pitti trade shows. Nearly 60% of the study abroad students are fashion business students who know the importance of studying globally and understanding international markets. They are encouraged to reach out of their comfort zones and into the community, working alongside artisans and small business owners through internships and volunteer work. A number of design students are even fortunate enough to be mentored by creative directors of some of the world s top luxury brands, including Mr. Giornetti of Ferragamo, who volunteer their time to the advancement of the fashion industry through investment in education. When the school year comes to a close, instead of finals as the tradi- tional never-ending exams and papers, these students also put theory to practice with their hands. A final exhibition showcases creations by FIT students graduating with their Associate Degree in either International Fashion Design or International Fashion Merchandising Management. The designs are often made with unique printed fabrics in collaboration with leading textile companies such as Mantero Seta, Ratti Spa and Isa Seta. Florence is just the right size with the right combinations, according to Madeleine Kaplan, both for herself and the energetic and passionate FIT students. A bigger city is a better platform for some, making FIT in Milan the perfect setting for willing third and fourth year fashion design students. Made in Italy, even an education made in Italy, continues to be desirable and valuable. HIGHER EDUCATION
17 31 ISABELLA GREZZI & SYDNEY CHOI In Stride with Tomorrow s Fashion THE NEWEST STYLES AT THE PITTI FAIRS, FASHION FROM THE PAST AT VINTAGE SELECTION Acity situated at the crossroads of beauty and innovation, Florence continues its dedication to style with the semi-annual Pitti Immagine trade fairs early in the New Year, filling the city with excitement. This year s theme, Walkabout Pitti, echoes the vibrant energy of the four shows, PITTI UOMO, PITTI W, PITTI FILATI and PITTI BIMBO, as well as the VINTAGE SELECTION event. Involving both locals and visitors alike, Pitti Immagine provides a global platform for both established and upand-coming brands, hosting buyers from around the world. An estimated 1,090 labels will be showcased at Pitti Uomo, plus 70 collections at Pitti W. Not to be outdone, Pitti Bimbo will display over 430 collections, firmly establishing its position as the premier global children s fashion trade show. Walkabout Pitti explores the modern concept of walking for pure pleasure instead of necessity, in addition to the idea of walking as a means of being healthy and self-aware. This theme will be embodied by the Pitti People and extend to the entire city, with special itineraries which are to be followed exclusively on foot. PITTI UOMO Pitti Immagine Uomo 87 will feature collections for fall/winter that explore the links between art, fashion, sport and design. Distinguished by its balance of both global and Italian brands, Pitti Uomo comprises a mix of established and rising brands. This year s show received a record number of applications, with vendors coming to Florence from over 30 different countries. The New York brand Hood By Air, founded in 2006 and known for its cut- ting edge designs, will be the Pitti Special Guest and will produce a special event for Pitti Uomo on Wednesday, January 14. The Menswear Guest Designer will be Marni. The Milanbased company recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and will present an exclusive show on Thursday, January 15, featuring the company s fall-winter menswear collection. This year s show will also mark the fourth edition of the Isetan-Tokyo Project, and Isetan Shinjuku-Tokyo will host a special promotion of men s fashion for Pitti guests. Other notable brands that will be unveiling their fallwinter collections at Pitti Immagine are Colmar Originals and German brands Drykorn and Bogner. Twelve stages will be set up along Pitti s men s fashion itinerary, including I PLAY, which will feature styles that blend urban lifestyles with the technology of sports, TOUCH!, L Altro Uomo, which will present the most visionary and eccentric styles and Futuro Maschile, dedicated to changes in classic-contemporary menswear with a number of sophisticated international labels. In addition to runway events, Pitti Uomo visitors will be treated to Cloakroom, an original performance created by Olivier Saillard, director of Palais Galliera, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris, and performed by Tilda Swinton, one of the best-known contemporary actresses. In this one-of-akind performance, Saillard and Swinton play the role of the hosts, asking guests to leave their hats and coats in the cloakroom. The pieces will be used as part of the act. PITTI W With the 15th installment of Pitti Immagine W, women s fashion has returned to Florence s catwalk with a fresh look at the everyday woman. The Arena Strozzi at Fortezza da Basso will be previewing the newest trends, which will coordinate well with the men s fashion at Pitti Uomo. The precollection will start with the innovative styles of international labels for fall and winter of This year, the collections will have a heavier focus on concepts directly related to the Pitti Uomo, as stylistic concepts between men and women s fashion are becoming increasingly similar. For this reason, Futuro Maschile, Touch! and L Altro Uomo will be key influences on this project. The new features for this edition include a bigger space for the world of accessories, which is playing an even more decisive role on the market, with a selection of brands created for the high range boutique and department store clientele, says Pitti Immagine general manager Agostino Poletto. Some of the big names include Jeffrey Campbell, Sara Roka and Gianni Segatta, with all of the showcases to be presented on a stage created by the designer Ilaria Marelli. Thanks to Pitti Uomo and W, despite the cold of winter, Florence will come alive to represent one of Italy s most important industries. The Alternative Set project will establish the most innovative concepts and specific focuses in the collections, giving the entire event a more diverse and interesting perspective. PITTI BIMBO The following week, Pitti Bimbo, the key international event for children s fashion, will arrive in Florence. The fair s growing prominence in the fashion world is evident by the 430 featured collections, 166 of which are global brands, as well as the expected participation of nearly 7,200 buyers and 10,000 visitors. Even the youngest guests will be able to join in Walkabout Pitti as the theme will be adapted for kids by designer Ilaria Marelli. The Fortezza da Basso will feature a mixed terrain with various paths to follow illustrated by brochures, maps and apps, all redesigned for children. Pitti Bimbo is divided into eight sections including Pop Up Stores, which will feature fun, youthful accessories, and a special section called EcoEthic, which will present products from companies that are dedicated to the use of organic and biological materials in their designs. The KidsroomZOOM! Project, curated by Paola Noe s unduetrestella!, offers guests a peek at the latest creations by international young designers and is part of the Pitti Bimbo concept lab, characterized by fashion and design. PITTI FILATI More than just a trade show, the 76th edition of Pitti Filati is a combination research lab and observatory, offering a glimpse into the fabric trends of the future. The event will unveil world previews of yarns for 2016, furthering Pitti Immagine s initiative dedicated to the interaction between art, sport, fashion and design. Sharing the spotlight are 138 firms, including international labels from Great Britain, Japan, CLOSING
18 32 Turkey, China and Germany. The three main sections are Denim Italiano, Fashion At Work and KnitClub. Denim Italiano, a project dedicated to the rich history of Italian denim that premiered last June, displays techniques for manufacturing the fabric as well as wash finishes, printing and embroidering. The result of collaborations between Pitti Immagine and Milano Unica, the initiative will feature a striking exhibition-installation at Pitti Filati 76, showcasing items made specifically for the event by some of the biggest names in Italy s denim chain. Fashion At Work provides venues for knitwear-manufacturing technology, including dyeing techniques, embroideries, printing on knits and soft wear for knitwear design. KnitClub will focus on quality knitting mills, offering a rare encounter between the manufacturers and buyers. KnitClub allows them to work together to realize their creative ideas. VINTAGE SELECTION A combination of fashion, commerce, culture and entertainment, Vintage Selection attracts the attention of vintage enthusiasts worldwide marks the 25th anniversary of Vintage Selection, which has inspired the event s theme of Silver Edition at Stazione Leopolda. Vintage Selection mainly hosts Italian exhibitors who will display a mix of men s, women s and children s clothing as well as accessories and some furniture, highlighting fashion from the 1940s-80s. Stands will fill Stazione Leopolda to display the many vintage items available. Each will have a practical and artistic installation hanging about to indicate the various exhibitors. Participants include well-known names such as A.N.G.E.L.O., Roberta Polato and Deuda Vintage. The Silver Anniversary will be a tribute to how far we have come while looking forward to the future, say the organizers. Having been established for so long, Vintage Selection has proven itself in Italy and in all of Europe as one of the most important fashion events, with a focus on vintage culture and remake quality the use of vintage elements in contemporary style. Thanks to researchers, collectors and fashion exhibitors, the event has always been a great success, accommodating 13,500 visitors at its last winter edition. Vintage Selection and Pitti Filati, which take place simultaneously at Fortezza da Basso, are closely associated as designers and buyers come together to set the fashion agenda. Designers are exposed to the new developments in textiles and can find inspiration from the samples as pins and buttons to add a vintage twist to modern styles. Vintage Selection will also offer different activities including afternoon workshops conducted by experts in their respective fields; Lampinposa an event where visitors can be photographed in clothing and accessories found in the stands; a DJ (who will play music from the 50s) and live music; aperitivo (cocktail hour) and more. Organizers will also provide volunteer opportunities, allowing both locals and tourists to participate in this milestone event. Pitti Uomo, Pitti W, January Pitti Bimbo, January Pitti Filati, January Fortezza da Basso, Florence Entrance limited to buyers and the press Vintage Selection, January 28 to February 1 Open 10 am - 9 pm daily Admission: 5 euro