THE IMPRESSIVE ABBEY OF CORAZZO (CALABRIA, ITALY). IT WAS DESTROYED SEVERAL TIMES AND ITS RUINS TELL A GREAT STORY  

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© Roberto Alborghetti Photos

On the slopes of the Sila, in Calabria (Italy), in the province of Catanzaro, there is an extraordinary place, representing great pages of history and  culture. It’s the ancient abbey of Santa Maria di Corazzo, founded by Benedictine monks in the eleventh century, near the river Corace. It was mentioned in papers since 1060-70! It appears today in the particularity of its ruins, which give a charm to the surroundings. Almost a destiny that it was destroyed several times. It was firstly rebuilt by the Cistercian monks in the twelfth century. It was later damaged by the earthquake in March 1638, and again after another earthquake in 1783. The monastery was then slowly abandoned and stripped of his artistic works. Today, as I said, the ruins remain as wonderful tracks of the past. The abbey is located in the village of Castagna (Chestnut), in Carlopoli territory.

 

I discovered it a few weeks ago, during my tour in Calabria for lectures and launches of my new book “Nessuno resti indietro”. I met there the guide Antonio Mangiafave – he dressed a medieval monk suit  while explaing history and facts about the place – and Maria Antoinetta Sacco, councilor of Carlopoli, who led me visiting the ruins, which seem to evoke a Stonehenge atmosphere in the land of Calabria . Why the Abbey of Corazzo is so important? Not only for the fact of being an ancient Benedictine building, but also because its story intersects with that of a great man and author, Joachim of Fiore, also mentioned in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. He took the monk’s habit,becoming abbot. Then he moved to Pietralata, before settling in Sila in the spring of 1189, in San Giovanni in Fiore where he founded a new religious order, the Florence Congregation, approved by Pope Celestine III in 1196.

 Santa Maria Corazzo was now “adopted” by the volunteers of the “Progetto Gedeone – Gideon Project” for the creation of a “Social Enterprise” animated by different purposes. They provide opportunities for job placement to people living in social-economic hardship and / or psychic, experimenting with new career paths, in forestry agriculture, social tourism and enhancement environmental goods but above all, as a place of integration and reference for the community where the disadvantaged subjects play a leading role, thus breaking down the prejudices inherent in distress. “Gideon Project” also aims to encourage activities directed to mediate and mitigate the relational and emotional problems that people encounter in their daily family life. The volunteers welcome the visitors of the ancient abbey providing informations while they lead them through the amazing ruins of an impressive place.  

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ART & GEOMETRY # 2 : ST. MARY OF THE FLOWER, THE IMPRESSIVE CATHEDRAL OF FLORENCE

 © Photos: ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

 

Santa Maria del Fiore (also known simply as the Duomo) is the cathedral of Florence known for its distinctive Renaissance dome. Its name (“Saint Mary of the Flower“) refers to the lily, the symbol of Florence. The impressive Gothic cathedral complex includes the Duomo, the famous baptistery and a campanile. The cathedral was built on the site of the previous one, Santa Reparata, prompted by the magnificence of the new cathedrals in Pisa and Siena. It was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1294 to be the largest Roman Catholic church in the world (although the design was later reduced in size). After Arnolfo died in 1302, work on the cathedral slowed. In 1331, the Arte della Lana (Guild of Wool Merchants) took over responsibility for the construction of the cathedral and in 1334 they appointed Giotto as overseer for the work. His major accomplishment was the campanile.

It was not until 1355 that work resumed on the cathedral itself under a series of architects, including Francesco Talenti, Alberto Arnoldi, Giovanni d’Ambrogio, Giovanni di Lapo Ghini, Neri di Fioravante and Orcagna. The nave was finished by 1380, and by 1418 only the dome was uncompleted. In 1418 a competition was held to design a new dome for the cathedral. The two competitors were Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi, who won the competition with his distinctive octagonal design. Construction on the dome began in 1420 and was completed in 1436; the cathedral was consecrated by Pope Eugenius IV on March 25, 1436.

It was the first ‘octagonal’ dome in history to be built without a wooden supporting frame (the Pantheon, a circular dome, was built in 118-128 AD without support structures), and was the largest dome built at the time (it is still the largest masonry dome in the world). Brunelleschi’s ability to crown the dome with a lantern was questioned and he had to undergo another competition. The lantern was begun a few months before his death in 1446 and was completed by his friend Michelozzo.

The cathedral’s facade was demolished in 1587 and left bare until the 19th century. In 1864 a competition was held to design a new facade, won by Emilio De Fabris. Work was begun in 1876 and completed in 1887. The huge bronze doors date from 1899 to 1903.

 

http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/florence-duomo

 

MY SURPRISE PUBLIC EXHIBITION IN A BEAUTIFUL MEDIEVAL SQUARE WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF 3 HISTORICAL PLACES AND THEIR FOOD EXCELLENCES…

A surprise public exhibition dedicated to my works… It will happen on Sunday, July 14, during an evening event with food excellences, good Irish music and a special performance with my “Lacer/actions” artworks. The venue is an ancient and fascinating place: a beautiful square in the historic heart of Ambivere, “The Countess Palace”, Bergamo country, not so far from Milan; this place is  documented and quoted in scripts dating back to year 923!

In this picturesque setting between ancient walls and medieval towers, three Historical Places will present some delicious menus: this is “GustAmbivere”. Master chefs and barmen will represent Antica Osteria dei Cameli (founded in 1856), Trattoria Visconti (founded in 1932) and Caffè del Fiola (founded in 1887). These Historical Places has been highlighted and  recognized in national and international publications, as Michelin Guide (Antica Osteria dei Cameli). A special selection of wines will be served by Azienda Agricola S.Egidio from  Fontanella-Sotto il Monte. 

I was invited to have a “solo show” focusing on some of my works from “Lacer/actions” Project about torn and decomposed publicity posters and urban tokens. I think these historic square and places, evoking the passage of times, are an ideal space to enhance the contrasting language of colors and shapes of my compositions. My art comes from the streets and now it goes back to the streets, along these ancient streets… This special event – which has a charity purpose for “Ponte di Stelle”Association – is promoted by Ambivere Council and the three Historical Places.

PLACES / FUTURE & ARCHITECTURE: THE LOMBARDY PALACE IN MILAN, “THE BEST EUROPEAN TALL BUILDING”

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© Photos: ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

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In 2012 the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, CTBUH, has awarded the Palazzo Lombardia as the Best European Tall Building: “In a city known for history and fashion, the tower is perfectly attuned to the urban environment. More than simply a tower, the project creates a cohesive blend of parks and commercial space, with an appropriate local flair.” ( Anthony Wood CTBUH)

Palazzo Lombardia, with its 163 meters heigth, it is the second tallest building in Italy. It is in fact a complex of buildings housing the new offices of Lombardy Regional Government. It was designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, a well reputed architectural company based in New York.

The Lombardy Palace is close to the new Porta Nuova (“New Gate”) area that is undergoing major construction activities like the Unicredit Tower. Completed in 2012, with its 231 meters it is the highest building in Italy. Milan will host the EXPO 2015 Universal Exposition and also for such reason is undergoing an important development phase with many new buildings contracted to world-famous architects.

(HE)ART PLACES / BILBAO (BASQUE COUNTRY, SPAIN): THE SPECTACULAR GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM (AND AN UNFORGETTABLE CY TWOMBLY’S EXHIBITION)

In Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain) I visited the incredible Guggenheim Museum, where I saw stunning art installations and masterpieces (unfortunately, the Jeff Koon’s Puppy was packed up for restoration). It’s all the whole building to fascinate in its unmistakable style. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao has become the cultural and tourism driving force of the Basque Country. This spectacular building – designed by Frank O. Gehry, 1997 – is covered in titanium panels and has its own important collection, as well as sharing the largest private modern and contemporary art collection in the world with New York and Venice.

I saw there (January 2009) an unforgettable exhibition: the tribute to american artist Cy Twombly, who died in Rome in 2011. Organized in the occasion of the 80 years of the artist, the Cy Twombly exhibition featured focused groups of related paintings, drawings and sculpture, multipark works, and works in series, highlighting the artist’s use of themes of classical art. The Guggenheim Bilbao magazine dedicated its cover to Cy Twombly’s masterpiece “Wilder Shores of Love” (1985).

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, at that time, had just acquired the series “Nine Discourses on Commodus” (1963), the work around which the exhibition was designed. It consisted in nine distinct canvases and was the first of the artist’s series to be conceived as a unified whole. That beautiful and unforgettable exhibition featured Twombly’s work in series, including the earlier five-canvases “Ferragosto” (1961) which can be viewed as individual paintings. Other important series included in the exhibition were “Hero and Leandro” (1984) and “Quattro Stagioni” (1993-94).

Cy Twombly ‘s artworks offered a closer look at the spirit of a marvelous artist who “not only irradiates a fascinating personal magic, but has also taken us to the most intricate frontiers of contemporary painting”. I had the permission – as a reporter – to take a few pictures, that I have the pleasure to share in the photo-gallery.

Always in Bilbao I visited the Fine Arts Museum which is one of the best in Spain and has a complete and priceless art gallery with three collections: old art (El Greco, Zurbarán, Goya or Van Dyck), contemporary art (Gauguin, Bacon or Tàpies) and Basque art (Regoyos, Zuloaga or Iturrino).

The Basque Museum includes Basque prehistory and archaeology; the Diocesan Museum of Religious Art and the Easter Pasos Museum hold religious works connected with Bizkaia. Other museums in Bilbao are the Maritime Museum and the Bullfighting Museum. The Rekalde exhibition hall holds top class contemporary art exhibitions. There are also about twenty other galleries with permanent  plastic art exhibitions.

ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI 

(2 – END )

(HE)ART PLACES / BILBAO (BASQUE REGION, SPAIN) WHERE THE FUTURE HAS REGENERATED A CITY…

© PHOTOS: ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

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Bilbao (Basque region, Spain) is one of the most amazing cities of Europe. It had the courage to develop itself in a new identity based on culture and art. I had the pleasure to visit it a few years ago. And I was really astonished by a city where I had the sensation to walk in the future and in the past in the same time.

Its 700 years history can be seen in its buildings and constructions. The old town is an Historic-Artistic Monument and a reference point for reconstructing the city’s history from its beginnings. It is an example of urban regeneration, with more than 400 shops of all kinds. The city centre is an example of the best 20th century architecture, with buildings that have been housing the main institutions and companies in Bilbao for more than a hundred years. It is an outstanding architectural site, always designed by the best local architects. 

Nonetheless, the city continues to expand: alongside the skill of local architects, the top international firms are represented with works by Foster, Gehry, Calatrava, Isozaki, Pelli… I visited the incredible Guggenheim Museum, where I saw nice art installations and masterpieces (see the next second part of the post). Along the “Gran Via”, in the city centre, I admired a beautiful “open air” exhibition of seven Rodin sculptures, with the famous “Thinker”. In Bilbao culture and art become life. Despite the social problems of the region (autonomist movements), people are really friendly – but don’t call them “Spanish”, they are “Basques” – and conscious to be and to live in a city which walks in the future.

 1 – TO BE CONTINUED

ROME: 40,000 FLOWERS FROM HOLLAND FOR ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS SQUARES IN THE WORLD

Truly spectacular, this year, the floral decoration of St. Peter’s Square in Rome on the occasion of the Easter celebrations, on Sunday March 31. For the 28th consecutive year Flower Council of Holland created the impressive floral show to welcome the new Pope Francesco. The varieties most represented were white roses (3,000), daffodils (10,000 more than 6000 different colors yellow) and lilies (600). And, of course, the inevitable tulips in 20,000 various shades. A total of about 40,000 between plants, flowering branches and cut flowers were used to decorate St. Peter’s Square, the staircase and the central loggia. This  tradition began in 1985. And also on the last Sunday, skilled hands and great creativity celebrated one of the most famous squares in the world.  

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Photos by Charles Lansdorp (Flower Council of Holland)

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THIS POST IS TOP INFLUENCER AT WIKIPEDIA ART -  LINKEDIN GROUPS - THIS WEEK

THIS POST IS TOP INFLUENCER AT WIKIPEDIA ART – LINKEDIN GROUPS – THIS WEEK