Photos: Roberto Alborghetti    


In recent weeks I had the pleasure of visiting an exhibition at the medieval Baptistery in Lenno on Lake Como. Piero Marchesini – a distinguished gentleman and artist – exhibited his beautiful art pieces. Marchesini carves wood, carrying out really lovely works. He lives in Lipomo, Como City, and sculpture is his passion. He has already showed his creations around the world raising lot of attention. Marchesini loves to work on subjects recalling mythology, nature, characters from fairy tales and legends and biblical scenes.

He carves wood – walnut, lime, ash, hornbeam, boxwood, maple, olive, cherry-wood and so on – with great mastery and skill and he is able to create works of singular fascination and charm. More than words, count the pictures, just from the exhibition of Lenno. His next show is planned in Menaggio, on Lake Como, from 30 July to 5 August, 2013 at the Art Gallery (Garibaldi square) overlooking the lake. It’s another opportunity to see its stunning creations.



Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo (Lake Como, Italy) is really a place of rare beauty, where masterpieces of nature and art live together in perfect harmony in over 70.000 square meters of gardens and museum.

The beautiful Villa was built at the end of 17th Century in a natural basin between lake and mountains, facing the dolomitic Grignas and the peninsula of Bellagio.

The architect created for the Clericis – a noble and powerful Milanese family – an important but sober building, with an Italian garden decorated with sculptures, stairs and fountains.

In 1801 Gian Battista Sommariva, famous politician, business man and patron of arts, bought the villa. Thanks to him, the villa attained the summit of its splendor and became one of the most important halting-place of the Grand Tour with its collections of art – as the masterpieces of Canova (Amore e Psiche), Thorvaldsen and Hayez – and its fascinating romantic garden.

In the Museum, at ground floor, we may visit the Marble Room, the Plasters Room, the Cameos Room, the Palamede Room, The Wicar Room, the Magdalene Room, the enchanting Eros and Psyche Room, the Romeo and Juliet Room, the Views Room, the Napoleonic Room. At the second floor, we admire the Gallery, Princess Carlotta bedroom, the Red Parlour, the Tapestry Room, the Empire Style Parlour, the Empire Style dining-room, Georg II Room and the bedroom.

In the second half of the Century Princess Marianne of Nassau bought the villa and gave it as a present to her daughter Carlotta in occasion of her wedding with Georg II of Saxe-Meningen. Georg was passionate about botany and made a lot of improvements and new additions to the park that became more and more famous for its botanical richness and the rhododendrons and azaleas spring flowering. They are more than 150 varieties giving an extraordinary flowering which is known all over the world.  In the park we may admire the beautiful Terrace and the Italian Gardens, The Camelias, the Theatre of Greenery, the Rock Garden, the Ferms Valley, the Azaleas, the Rhododendrons Wood, the Bamboos Garden, the Old Garden, the Museum of agricultural tools and a Tower (XIX Century). 



 Monferrato area (Italy): events and shows to celebrate the great master of international sculpture


” Gio Pomodoro, The path of a sculptor: 1954-2001″ is the theme of one of the most important exhibitions devoted to the celebrated Italian sculptor. The show opened on December 7, in Alessandria (Piemonte, Italy) and it will continue in the enchanting Monferrato area. Villas, Palaces and Museums will become a sort of network by which people may approach the works of the great master of international sculpture. The events started in Alessandria and they’ll also reach Acqui Terme, Novi Ligure, Valenza, Tortona and Casale Monferrato.

During the great show, which involves nine venues, will be exhibited 173 works, offering a trip back in cognitive poetics and aesthetics of the monumental and magnificent works of Gio’ Pomodoro, whose intellectual roots, mathematics and philosophy, have been recognized and appreciated throughout the world. The event is sponsored by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Alessandria and by public institution of the Monferrato area. The exhibition is curated by Marco Meneguzzo and Giuliana Godio. In Alessandria, at Palazzo del Monferrato – a rare example of a blend of Baroque and Expressionism – are exhibited, as well as the monumental work “Grande Ghibellina”, 12 bronze, stone and marble sculptures, and a major series of watercolors. Palazzo Guasco Carlo Carra Gallery is hosting 5 bronze and stone sculptures and a series of designs on paper.

At Palazzo Cuttica, now the Civic Museum, are presented small and medium-size sculptures as well as the monumental work “Sole deposto”, that is installed at the entrance of the building. In the courtyard of the Paris Chamber of Commerce is featured another monumental bronze sculpture: “Colloqui con il figlio”. The event is a sort of a great museum spread on Alessandria land. The exhibition is showing Gio’ Pomodoro ‘s genius in sculpture, paintings, watercolors, and jewels. Marco Meneguzzo, events curator, says that Gio’ Pomodoro has been always moved between the absolutes that define the “human” category : the space and history. The events will end in April 30, 2011.



Created by Mario Salazzari – tortured by nazis after being arrested and imprisoned – this monument can be considered one of the masterpieces of Twentieth century Italian sculpture.


 Yes, dr. Srini Pillay is right when he says that art “encouraging us not to lose ourselves in remembering the tragedy but also seeing the beauty in our resilience as a nation as well as the possibilities for recovery.” (read his article on “The Huffington Post”: ).

I had the way, in these last days, to be in Verona – the historical and celebrated Verona – and to admire the terrific National monument dedicated to the victims of the massacre perpetrated by the nazis in the greek island of Kefalonia, in September 1943 (my father Battista is one of the few survivors). You find this monument in the Park devoted to the Divisione Acqui (close to Porta Nuova). It was inaugurated on October 23, 1966 by the Prime Minister Aldo Moro and it has been created by Mario Salazzari, from Verona, one of the greatest artists of the Twentieth century.

 Apart from the historical meaning, this monument can be considered the most beautiful contemporary sculptural work in Verona and one of the masterpieces of Twentieth century Italian sculpture. It is a work of considerable majesty, seven and a half meters high. You may see male figures in movement, joined by ropes that look like snakes. In the foreground there is a figure while the other three are in the background. These characters are modeled according to anatomical forms with the best sculptural accuracy. Its aim is that to honor and remember the victims of those terrible events happened in Kefalonia.

Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Alessandro Canestrari, it was commissioned by the Italian Government to Salazzari, an artist who fought for freedom during Italian Resistance against fascism and nazism. This work in bronze shows a marble target with the words “Italy to the martyrs of Divisione Acqui, Kefalonia, Corfu. September 1943” and also “9.000 men of the Division Acqui in the islands of Kefalonia and Corfu suffered the bloody sacrifice to give honor and pledgeresistance to their distant homeland”. Of the 9,000 killed soldiers, 1,200 came from Verona. The “Arena’s City” is today the national headquarter of the Divisione Acqui, founded in 1945, which represents the survivors of the massacre of Kefalonia and Corfu in September 1943.

The horror of the event, symbolized by the bronze snake that pierces the bodies, has been expressed with great cleverness by Mario Salazzari. The artist was born in Lugagnano (November 16, 1904) and died in Verona on June 6, 1993. Nobody better than Salazzari was able to represent that horror, since the sculptor was tortured by nazis after being arrested and imprisoned as a partisan (he was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment) in Padua where – a few days before April 25, 1945, and the arrival of Usa allied Army – he managed to escape from.

Horror, despair and deep pity: these are the feelings flowing from this monument. It bring us that sense of “stately sadness” – “the basis of tragedy”, as Jean Racine says – that help us today to remember the Kefalonia events.

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 Si, il dr. Srini Pillay ha ragione quando dice che l’arte “ci incoraggia a non smarrire il ricordo della tragedia, ma anche a vedere la bellezza delle nostre risorse, come nazione e come possibilità di recupero” (leggi l’articolo pubblicato su “The Huffington Post” )

Ho avuto modo, in questi ultimi giorni di ammirare, a Verona, il meraviglioso monumento nazionale alle vittime dell’eccidio perpetrato dai nazisti nell’Isola di Cefalonia nel settembre 1943 (mio padre Battista è uno degli ormai pochi superstiti del massacro). Il monumento si trova nel Parco proprio dedicato alla Divisione Acqui, in circonvallazione Oriani, vicino a Porta Nuova. E’ considerato uno dei capolavori della scultura veronese del secolo XX. Venne inaugurato il 23 ottobre 1966 dall’allora presidente del Consiglio, Aldo Moro, ed è opera di Mario Salazzari, uno dei grandi artisti veronesi del Novecento.

Al di là del significato storico, il monumento è considerata la più bella opera scultorea contemporanea della città. E’ un’opera imponente, alta sette metri e mezzo. È composta da figure maschili in movimento, legate da corde che sembrano serpenti. In primo piano c’è una figura giacente, mentre altre tre sono dietro, tutte modellate con una precisa accuratezza.

Il monumento – che ha la finalità di onorare e ricordare le vittime dei tragici eventi di Cefalonia – fu commissionato dal governo italiano all’artista veronese Salezzari, combattente per la libertà durante la Resistenza al fascismo ed al nazismo. Venne portato a termine grazie all’impegno dell’onorevole Alessandro Canestrari. È un’opera in bronzo che reca una targa in marmo con queste parole: “L’Italia ai martiri della divisione Acqui, Cefalonia, Corfù. Settembre 1943. È anche scritto 9000 uomini della Divisione Acqui nelle isole di Cefalonia e Corfù vollero il sacrificio cruento per dare alla patria lontana onore e pegno di resistenza.” Dei 9.000 soldati italiani uccisi a Cefalonia e Corfù, 1.200 erano veronesi. La città dell’Arena è oggi la sede dell’Associazione Nazionale Divisione Acqui, fondata nel 1945, per riunire i superstiti dell’eccidio di Cefalonia e Corfù del settembre 1943.

L’orrore della vicenda – rappresentato nel simbolico biscione bronzo che trapassa i corpi – è stato espresso con grande forza artistica da Mario Salazzari, nato a Lugagnano (16 novembre 1904) e morto a Verona (6 giugno 1993). Nessuno meglio di Salazzari era nella condizione di raccontare quell’orrore. L’artista fu egli stesso vittima delle torture naziste: arrestato, imprigionato e condannato a 30 anni di carcere, come partigiano, nel carcere di Padova, riuscì a fuggire qualche giorno prima della Liberazione del 25 aprile 1945.

Orrore e pietà sono i sentimenti e gli stati d’animo che fluiscono da questo monumento veronese, che racconta tutta quella “maestosa tristezza, fondamento della tragedia” (Jean Racine) che ci aiuta ad avvicinare e conoscere i terribili eventi di Cefalonia.