“GUBBIO AT THE TIME OF GIOTTO”: A GREAT EXHIBITION OF ART TREASURES AND MASTERPIECES

The city of Gubbio preserves intact its splendid medieval appearance, with churches and stone palaces that stand out against the green of the Apennines. It is still the city of the time of Dante and of Oderisi da Gubbio, the miniaturist whom the great poet meets among the proud in Purgatory and to whom he dedicates important verses, which sanction the beginning of a modern age that manifests itself precisely with poetry of Dante and the art of Giotto.
The exhibition “Gubbio at the time of Giotto, art treasures in the land of Oderisi” – open until November 7, 2018 – wants to give back the image of a medium-sized city of political and cultural importance in the Italian panorama between the end of the thirteenth century and the first decades of the Three hundred, exposing the figurative heritage both civil and religious. For the occasion he restored paintings hidden by the dust of the centuries, returning to Gubbio works scattered throughout history, bringing together paintings of the same painters eugubini destined to other cities of Umbria, calling important loans from abroad.

Panel paintings, sculptures, goldsmiths and illuminated manuscripts outline, also with new attributions, the physiognomies of great artists like Guido di Oderisi, aka Maestro delle Croci Francescane, The Master of the Cross of Gubbio, the Expressionist Master of Santa Chiara or Palmerino di Guido , “Guiduccio Palmerucci”, Mello da Gubbio and the Maestro of Figline.
The father of Oderisi, Guido di Pietro from Gubbio, is today identified as one of the protagonists of the so-called “Greek Manner”, from Giunta Pisano to Cimabue. Palmerino was Giotto’s companion in Assisi in 1309, and with him he painted the walls of two chapels of San Francesco, then return to Gubbio and fresco the church of the Friars Minor and other buildings of the city.

“Guiduccio Palmerucci”, today a convention name, is still attributed to rapacious polyptychs. Mello da Gubbio wrote his name at the feet of a Madonna with a full and joyful face like the Madonnas of Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the city of Siena. The Master of Figline, who painted the stained glass windows for Saint Francis in Assisi, then the great Crucifix in the church of Santa Croce in Florence, is likely to have left an extraordinary polyptych in the church of San Francesco in Gubbio, which we can admire again this exhibition thanks to today’s owners who have granted the loan for the first time.

From the archival documents and the appearance of the Madonnas and Crucifixes hanging on the walls of the museums, it appears that the painters who joined Giunta Pisano originated in Gubbio, then worked alongside Giotto and finally Pietro Lorenzetti, to decorate the colorful images the masterpiece that opened the doors of modern art in the church erected above the tomb of the saint of Assisi.
Back home, those painters, who had been involved in the new language of Giotto and Pietro Lorenzetti for an audience of popes and cardinals, challenged with a refined style and popular in the illustrative aspect, to be understood by an audience of blacksmiths and stone masters. The language of lauda was then spoken at Gubbio together with the language of the Commedia.

The exhibition “Gubbio at the time of Giotto. Art treasures in the land of Oderisi “is set up in three different locations, because there are irremovable works, but also because there are places full of meaning and imbued with beauty: the Palazzo dei Consoli which rises above a fabulous terrace that makes it look like to those cities that the saints carry in the sky in the altar polyptychs, the Diocesan Museum that stands next to the cathedral church and finally the Palazzo Ducale, which was born as the seat of the City and ended up being the residence of Federico da Montefeltro, lord of Urbino.
Along this path you can trace the footprints of the men and women of that ancient time, to see from the same perspective and understand with the same taste a civic and religious art together.

Curated by Giordana Benazzi, Elvio Lunghi and Enrica Neri Lusanna, the exhibition is promoted by the Municipality of Gubbio, the Polo Museale dell’Umbria, the Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Umbria, the Eugubian Church and the Umbria Region.

The organization is entrusted to Civita Exhibitions in collaboration with Gubbio Cultura and Multiservizi and La Medusa Cultural Association. The initiative’s partner is the Festival of the Middle Ages, with the support of the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation of Perugia and with the important contribution of the BCC Umbria.

An audio guide for the exhibition is available for hire at the Ducal Palace. The catalog is published by Fabrizio Fabbri Editore-Perugia. The exhibition is accessible with a single ticket that allows you to visit the three exhibition sections but also the three museum sites as a whole, the Palazzo dei Consoli, the Diocesan Museum and the Palazzo Ducale, thus creating an extraordinary city circuit that collects the works in the territory and those that have long been dispersed, reconstructing the historical events and the artistic heritage of Gubbio in the municipal age.

THE PRESENTATION OF MY NEW BOOK IN THE AMAZING “SANTA GRATA ABBEY” (XI-XII CENTURY) IN BERGAMO ALTA (ITALY)

 

© Roberto Alborghetti Photos (2)

© Roberto Alborghetti Photos

 

My new book will be officially presented on next Friday September 16 in the wonderful setting of the ancient Santa Grata Abbey, built between XI and XII Century, in the medieval Bergamo Alta (Italy). The book, published by Editrice Velar, talks in fact about this great historical place, which will host the event. The book is in Italian language, and you can download the press release at this address …

https://www.academia.edu/27463038/GRATA_UN_GESTO_DI_PIETA_DIVENUTO_LEGENDARIO_

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Published by Editrice Velar, my new book tells about an act of mercy, performed by Grata for St. Alexander, the noble Theban knight, patron of the city of Bergamo. I found this fascinating story in a wonderful treasure of art: a script of the Thirteenth Century, composed by Pinamonte da Brembate. Art, history, literature and culture come together in an extraordinary document that lives on today thanks to this publication.

In this photo gallery some exclusive pictures of the Abbey and of the charming “Legendario di S. Grata” (XIII Century).

IN THE ANCIENT TEMPLAR CASTLE OF PESCOLANCIANO (ITALY) THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW EDITION OF MY BOOK DEDICATED TO ALESSANDRO,MARTYR AND SOLDIER

 

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF D’ALESSANDRO FAMILY, PESCOLANCIANO (ITALY)

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The tremendous earthquake has only touched upon this charming corner of Italy, Pescolanciano, home to one of the most beautiful castles in central Italy. Tomorrow, Saturday, I’ll be there, to present the new edition of my book dedicated to Alexander, martyr and soldier and to talk about art, history, culture and architecture, launching a message of solidarity to the nearby populations affected by the fury of the earthquake.

Alexander and its iconography of martyr and soldier inspired so many artists and fascinated the same ancient Knights Templar of D’Alessandro noble family in Pescolanciano (Molise, Italy) where there is a great and ancient castle which will be the enchanting setting of the book presentation (Saturday August 27, 2016, 4pm).    

ABOUT THE ANCIENT D’ALESSANDRO CASTLE IN PESCOLANCIANO

The castle of Pescolanciano is located in a strategic position for control of the Castel di Sangro-Lucera sheep-track. The small church belongs to the original nucleus. In 1656 the place of worship was moved inside the castle to house the relics of Saint Alexander, transferred here from the Roman catacombs. The name Pescolanciano originates from the old designation Pesclum Lanzanum (Pesclum means rock whileLanzanum originates from Lanz, the name of the owner of the lands). In the reign of William II the feud was held by Berardo de Calvellis, mentioned in the Catalogus Baronum. With Frederick II (Diruenda castrorum) the castle shared the fate of many other Molisian fortresses. Later it passed into the hands of the Carafa family, the Spinelli family and the Eboli family of Naples until (1576) it was sold to Rita Baldassarre, wife of Giovan Francesco d’Alessandro. The castle underwent several modifications, especially in 1600 when the entrance was moved to the esplanade that leads to the drawbridge, and then again after the 1805 earthquake.
The castle perches on top of a rocky spur and can be accessed through a drawbridge (1691). A great variety of masonry styles are noticeable, with bonds that bear witness to a large number of modifications and repairs. The floor plan is trapezoid. The bulk of the four-sided keep and numerous traces of functional installations (cisterns, chimneys, niches and storerooms, cellars) as well as defensive ones (chemin-de-ronde transformed into a panoramic terrace, arrow slits and murder holes, cannon ports) are still recognisable.

MY BOOK AND THE WONDERFUL ICONOGRAPHY ABOUT ALEXANDER

S.ALESSANDRO copertinaA rich selection of works demonstrates how the arts over the centuries have bestowed a singular and striking homage to Alexander, the patron saint of Bergamo, an enchanting and ancient city near Milan (North of Italy). The artists list includes great names as sculptur Giovanni Ugo da Campione ( XIV century), Vincenzo Foppa (1430-1516 ), Lorenzo Lotto ( 1480-1556 ), Giovanni Battista Moroni (1520 / 24-1578 ), Giacomo Palma il Giovane ( c. 1548-1628 ), Antonio Boselli ( c. 1475 – c. 1530), Enea Salmeggia ( 1550-1626 ), Giovanni Paolo Cavagna (1556-1627 ), Carlo Ceresa ( 1607-1687 ), Francesco Coghetti (1802 -1875 ). These artists told through image an extraordinary story which corresponds to the content of “Passiones” documents and to the imaginative projection of the people as an expression of a simple and genuine faith .

The iconography always presents Alexander with its  military uniform – the armor symbolizes virtues such as courage and strength – and the lilies banner which expresses his role of flag-bearer and leader; lily flower is at the same time synonym for purity,  transparency of mind and appointment, in the biblical sense of the term . The extensive series of frescoes , sculptures , paintings, tables, miniatures, mosaics, stained glass, embroidery, frontals, stucco and silvers illustrates and honors the reputation of Alexander , exalting his courage, the spiritual power of those who fought ” the good fight “, to the ultimate sacrifice. 

 ABOUT ALEXANDER

Alexander (died c. 298-303) is the patron saint of Bergamo. He may simply have been a Roman soldier who was tortured and killed for not renouncing his Christian faith. As I write in the book, subsequent Christian stories (the so-called “Passiones”) consider him a flag-bearer of the Theban Legion commanded by Saint Maurice.

Prior to the commencement of the Diocletian in 303, both Galerius and Maximian in the West inaugurated, on their own responsibility, a crusade against Christianity and sought particularly to remove all Christians from the armies. St. Alexander was one of the victims of this persecution. He is reputed to have been a survivor of the decimation (the killing of every tenth man) ordered against the Theban Legion. He escaped to Milan.

At Milan, he was recognized and imprisoned, and it was demanded that he renounce his Christian faith. However, he was visited in jail by Saint Fidelis and Bishop Saint Maternus. Fidelis managed to organize Alexander’s escape. Alexander fled to Como but was captured again.

Brought back to Milan, he was once more condemned to death by decapitation, but during the execution the executioner’s arms went stiff. He was imprisoned again, but Alexander once again managed to escape, and ended up in Bergamo after passing through Fara Gera d’Adda and Capriate San Gervasio. Alexander was once again captured and was finally decapitated on August 26, (298 or 303) on the spot now occupied by the church of San Alessandro in Colonna. Bergamo Cathedral is dedicated to him and dates from the 4th century, and he is one of the saints in the dedication of the church in Rome for natives of Bergamo.

VIDEOCLIP: THE IMPRESSIVE ABBEY OF CORAZZO (CALABRIA, ITALY). A PLACE OF ART, HISTORY AND CULTURE

© Roberto Alborghetti 

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.  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. 

VIDEO BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI; SOUNDTRACK: “APOLLO’S TRIUMPH”, AUDIOMACHINE

Abbazia S.M. Corazzo - Photo Roberto Alborghetti (1)

Abbazia S.M. Corazzo – Photo Roberto Alborghetti (1)

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.  

THE VOLCANO DRESS: A VERY SPECIAL EVENT IN TUSCANY TO CELEBRATE THE SUCCESS OF THE E-BOOK

Foto Roberto Alborghetti - Mitrani Yarden 2 - Copia

One of the 40 photos published in “The Princess, the Fire and the Castle” e-book by Roberto Alborghetti & Mitrani Yarden. It’s a modern fairy tale set in the wonderful Medieval Rocca Aldobrandesca in Tuscany. Special launch price at 0,99 Euro.

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A very special event will take place in Piancastagnaio (Monte Amiata, Siena) in the context of the Christmas activities sponsored by the City. On Sunday December 20, at 5pm, at the Municipal Theatre, there will be the presentation of   “The Princess, the Fire and the Castle” project by Roberto Alborghetti & Mitrani Yarden. The eBook and a video documentary will lead into the world of high fashion and into “The Volcano Dress” based on an abstract photo that Roberto Alborghetti (Lacer/actions) took from an old bus at Bartons PLC in Nottingham (UK).

At the end of last October, as part of “Penne and Video Sconosciuti Award” promoted by Osa Onlus, “The Ghost Bus” film had been screened on Mount Amiata, attracting the participation of a delegation from Nottingham. In those same days Alborghetti and Mitrani  have made a real fantastic story, with the participation of the model and actress Genevra Bertolani, set in the Aldobrandesca Fortress, an amazing Medieval castle. The story consists in text and 40 photos and winds through the ancient castle… The eBook is available in online bookstores at 0.99 euro.

NINEVA

http://www.nineva.com.tr/marna/alborghetti-roberto-mitrani-yarden/the-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle-9788866700883.htm

 

 

MyBook

https://mybook.is/alborghetti-roberto-mitrani-yarden/the-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle/

 

9 am

http://www.9am.it/sito/Catalog/Language0/Default.aspx?template=ebookDettaglio.html&ck=WRWIORYWPY&F=Codice&V=%279788866700883%27

 

Hoepli

http://www.hoepli.it/ebook/the-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle/9788866700883.html

 

Excalibooks

http://www.excalibooks.com/Ebook/I/Alborghetti_Roberto_Yarden_Mitrani/The_princess_the_fire_and_the_castle/9788866700883

 

Ultimabooks  

http://store.streetlib.com/the-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle

 

Net-ebook – Mediaworld    

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TIM Reading    

http://www.timreading.it/home.php/ebook-the-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle-alborghetti-roberto-mitrani-yarden-marna-9788866700883.html

 

Libreria Universitaria  

http://www.libreriauniversitaria.it/ebook/9788866700883/autore-alborghetti-roberto/the-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle-e-book.htm

 

Sanpaolostore  

http://www.sanpaolostore.it/the-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle-roberto-alborghetti-9788866700883.aspx

 

Ebookstore Unità    

http://ebook.unita.it/catalog/product/view/id/191998/

The special event of next Sunday, with the preview of the film – with original music by Eylon Malhi – will offer again the opportunity to talk about the project (also the American magazine “Arts & Cultural Strategies”, directed by Renee LaVerne Rose, wrote about it). There will be also a meeting with students of the course for designers at the Avogadro Institute in Abbadia San Salvatore. The City of Piancastagnaio, Osa Onlus, Natalia Scalacci (Makeup and Hairstyle), Nicola Cirocco and Patrizia Sapri collaborate in the initiative.

 EVENTO 20 DIC AMIATA

 

THE E-BOOK IN ONLINE BOOKSTORES:

9 am

http://www.9am.it/sito/Catalog/Language0/Default.aspx?template=ebookDettaglio.html&ck=WRWIORYWPY&F=Codice&V=%279788866700883%27

 

Hoepli

http://www.hoepli.it/ebook/the-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle/9788866700883.html

 

Excalibooks

http://www.excalibooks.com/Ebook/I/Alborghetti_Roberto_Yarden_Mitrani/The_princess_the_fire_and_the_castle/9788866700883

 

Ultimabooks  

http://store.streetlib.com/the-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle

 

Net-ebook – Mediaworld    

http://www.net-ebook.it/ebooks/162985/The-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle.aspx

 

TIM Reading    

http://www.timreading.it/home.php/ebook-the-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle-alborghetti-roberto-mitrani-yarden-marna-9788866700883.html

 

Libreria Universitaria  

http://www.libreriauniversitaria.it/ebook/9788866700883/autore-alborghetti-roberto/the-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle-e-book.htm

 

Sanpaolostore  

http://www.sanpaolostore.it/the-princess-the-fire-and-the-castle-roberto-alborghetti-9788866700883.aspx

 

Ebookstore Unità    

http://ebook.unita.it/catalog/product/view/id/191998/

TUSCANY: THE MEDIEVAL FORTRESS, AMAZING SET OF “THE PRINCESS” e-BOOK AND SHORT FILM

© Photos: ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

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the PRINCESS COVERLet’s know something about the fascinating Aldobrandesca Fortress, one of the most impressive Medieval Italian castles, amazing setting for the making of “The Princess, the Fire and the Castle” short movie and the e-book created by Roberto Alborghetti-Mitrani Yarden, in online bookstores and in  Hopes Store  at only 0.99 Euro.

Since the 11th century the area of southern Tuscany around the castle of Piancastagnaio was the object of the expansionist politics of the powerful feudal family of theAldobrandeschi. The whole territory is rich in historical remains tied to these potentates. Between the possessions of the Aldobrandeschi, Piancastagnaio was almost always the site of allotted to the noble family from the monks of the Abbey of S.Salvatore since the beginning of the year 1000. Subsequently it was claimed from the Viscounts of Campiglia and during the 13th century it became object of ulterior disputes between the cities of Siena and Orvieto.

The Orvietani gained control of the powerful fortress in the 1303 and maintained it for around fifty years. At this point they entered in the quarrel with the heirs of the Aldobrandeschi, the Orsini of Pitigliano, to       oppose the new aims of the Senese Republic. Only between the years 1415 and 1430 Siena finally succeeded to taking possession of Piancastagnaio,       that was attached to the Capitanato ofRadicofani. In 17th century the settlement became a Granducal fief and finally, with the Leopoldine reforms, the chief town of the the same community.

The country town has a circular form, once had surrounding wall enclosure with alternating square towers and four gates. The walls and the gates       have been almost entirely demolished, with the exception of few lines, three towers, two with semicircular shape and the other squared, the main       city Gate beside the Rocca and other three minor Gates in the southern front of the walls: ‘Porta Romana’, ‘Porticciola’ e ‘Porta di Voltaia’.

In the highest point of the inhabited area rises still today the mighty Rocca Aldobrandesca. The construction has a square form and is endowed with tall and strongly inclined walls. From the enclosure rises two towers , the greatest, either as thickest, had functions of keep, the other, in the opposite angle, defended the underlying gate of access to the city.

The whole complex was endowed with machicoulis and battlement, still today almost intact. The Rocca is under good condition thanks to careful work of  restoration.

INCREDIBLE FRESCOES OF COLORED STRIPES (XV CENTURY) IN THE MEDIEVAL VILLAGE WHERE THE MODERN POSTAL SERVICE STARTED IN

  

© PHOTOS BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

I recently had the way to visit again one of the most beautiful Italian medieval villages, Cornello dei Tasso (Bergamo). In the ancient church (XII Century) I saw incredible frescoes. I was attracted and fascinated by frescoes of colored stripes on the walls (XV-XVI Century). They are really cool and they have an incredible modern touch. They are signs and signals comin’ from the past; they tell us the universal language of colors and art. 

The church (dedicated to Saints Cornelio and Cipriano) where I saw the frescoed stripes, dominates the village from on high, with its bell tower with mullioned windows, beautiful example of Romanesque architecture. It has undergone considerable changes from its original 12th-Century structure and it is one of the elements of greatest interest in the village.

The most interesting aspect brought to light by restoration work is the magnificent fresco cycle covering the interior walls of the Tasso noble chapel, painted in the 15th-16th century. It shows a variety of themes, and an excellent execution. Considerable variation in style – as the colored stripes – can be seen in the different panels of the fresco.

The figures of St. George, St. Vincent, St. Stephen and St. Agatha are well-painted; the Adoration of the Magi is admirable; but the finest of all is the panel of the Miracle of St. Giles, protector of farriers, a scene of considerable historical interest for its depiction of settings, clothing and tools from the period.

 Little, but important village. We may say that here was “invented” the postal service. According to documents, Cornello is the home of Omodeo Tasso and other members of this “postmaster” family. Mail was first carried on foot, and later the service was improved with use of horses, dispatch riders, and mail coaches. The Tasso family organized itself into a private company, the Compagnia dei Corrieri, and through its various branches, it succeeded in obtaining contracts for handling mail first in the Republic of Venice and, later, in the 1400-1500s, in the Papal States, in the State of Milan, and in all the lands of Europe dominated by the Hapsburg empire. The family Tasso – this surname gave origin to the same word of “taxi” – still survives at nowadays in the german Thurm und Taxis family.

Cornello dei Tasso is one of the villages in the province of Bergamo that has best preserved its medieval structure. At one time the village was the center of trade with the Valtellina along the Via Mercatorum, and it had an important market. At the end of the 1500s its commercial fortune began to decline. Its centuries of isolation helped preserve the original layout of the village, which is characterized by the superimposing of four levels of buildings. In the lower part, a number of buildings are aligned horizontally, overhanging the Brembo river , which show the original fortified character of the village. On the upper level there is the street with porticos, topped by stone arcades, covered by a wooden beam ceiling and paved with cobblestones.

 In the pics: the fresco stripes and a street with porticos in Cornello dei Tasso (Bergamo, Milan Area, Italy). 

FLORENCE: IN THE MEDIEVAL “PHARMACY” OF S.MARIA NOVELLA (XIV CENTURY) A SPECIAL EVENT FOR MY BOOK ON POPE FRANCIS LIFE

 

© Photos: ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI / OFFICINA PROFUMO-FARMACEUTICA S.M.NOVELLA, FLORENCE

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Guest Writer: Press Office Velar-Elledici Editions

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On Friday the 9th of May, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. takes place the book presentation of “Francesco” by Roberto Alborghetti inside the historical rooms of the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Florence, via della Scala 16. The book talks about the life of Pope Francis. It is the first historical and illustrated biography on the argentine Pope and also the result of unpublished researches and statements useful to know how a “son of emigrants” is became the pastor of the universal Church.

FRANCESCO, copertina ristampaStarting from the information about his original family – retracing the childhood and the adolescence years of the young Jorge Mario – until his religious vocation and cultural education, included the pastoral years in Argentina, the work of Alborghetti accompanied the reader to discover the personality, the responsibility and the mission of the future Pope.

Together with the author during the event participate also the journalist Carmelina Rotundo, the director of Toscana Oggi Mr. Andrea Fagioli, the journalist and writer Riccardo Clementi, the journalist Giuseppe Saponaro, the director of Over the Sky, Mr. Maurizio Martini, and Giuseppe Piani, d.e.i.s.t.a.f.’s researcher of the University of Florence. Moreover the master Giuseppe Tocchetti exposes his opera which is based on the book of Alborghetti.

WHATCH THE CLIP:

http://youtu.be/qrZw-AWYeDM

The enchanting and capturing Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica of Santa Maria Novella is part of Florence history. During the thirteenth century, thanks to a growing economic development, Florence attracted crowds of outcasts in search of work, finding asylum in the city centre; they camped in villages where they were miserable and unhealthy.

They dedicated themselves to support their new mendicant orders. The Franciscans settled east of the city, where they settled in the area of the shops of the dyers and tanners, polluting water and air and where the church of Santa Croce was built, completed during 1800s. The Dominicans settled in the city walls to the north-west: first at the church of San Pancrazio, then in that of Santa Maria delle Vigne, which, in the middle of the fourteenth century, was rebuilt and named the Santa Maria Novella. The Carmelites settled in the south, in a booming area, where workers lived in poor carders and Battilana: Santa Maria del Carmine was consecrated in 1422.

In 2012 Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella celebrated 400 years of uninterrupted business, in the name of tradition and innovation. Raw materials of the highest quality are still used and the apothecary fathers’ artisanal procedures are still followed, yet the company avails itself of modern technology and state of the art equipment Eugenio Alphandery, general manager and co-owner of Officina comments on this:

Given my passion for both antique and modern cars, I could compare this company to a convertible from the 1930’s with hand hammered bodywork crafted by an artisan and a powerful, modern motor, perfect brakes and suspension, all exhalting the car’s beauty and the pleasure of driving it.”

For the occasion major restoration has been undertaken at the historic shop on Via della Scala to restore the ancient pharmacy to its original appearance. This restoration project represents a milestone in Officina’s long history.

Production is now carried out on Liberty style premises on Via Reginaldo Giuliani, in the north of Florence about 3 km from the head office on Via della Scala. All the products are made here with equipment that has been specially designed and custom-built for each specific purpose. Each product has a peculiar story, for example the Cologne and Pot pourri, two of the company’s distinguishing products.

http://www.smnovella.it/

SIENA (ITALY): “THE GATE OF HEAVEN” RE-OPENS ITS WALK THROUGH MAGNIFICENT ART

 

Photos: Courtesy of Opera – Civita Group, Press Office

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The Cathedral of Siena re-opens its “Gate of Heaven( 1 March – 6 January 2015). Once again, from 1st March, visitors will be able to admire the very peak of the building. The visiting path, opened forthe first timelast spring,has allowed to admire venueseveropen to the publicandonly used bythe workmen directed by a succession of great architects who have followed one another during the centuries. After the large attendance of Italian and foreign public registered during the last extraordinary opening, the Rector of the Opera della Metropolitana, MarioLorenzoni, has promoted also forthis year, a re-openingof the Gate ofHeaven.

The visit starts with the magnificent façade of the Duomo, flanked by two majestic towers ending in many spirelike forms that shoot upwards.  In these towers, winding staircases, practically invisible to visitors, lead up to the ‘heavens’ of the Cathedral.  Above the starry vault of the right aisle begins an itinerary reserved to small groups accompanied by expert guides, which reserves a succession of discoveries and emotions.  Visitors will indeed walk ‘above’ the holy temple and admire fascinating views both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the Cathedral.  From the polychrome stained glass windows depicting the Apostles by Ulisse De Matteis, visitors will gaze down onto the floor and the principal sculptural monuments, and even inside the dome with its ‘Pantheon’ of Sienese saints, the four Patron Saints, Saint Catherine and Saint Bernardino, the golden ‘giants’ who from above protect the community of the faithful.  Then, from the balcony of the dome, they will contemplate the high altar, the copy of the stained glass window by Duccio di Buoninsegna with, in the centre, the mandorla of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, and masterpieces of sculpture.  From the left aisle, they will look out to admire a splendid panorama of the Basilica of San Domenico, the Medici Fortress, the entire dome of the Chapel of Saint John the Baptist, and the surrounding countryside up to hills known as the Montagnola Senese.  Finally, they will enter behind the façade, at the balcony that looks out onto Piazza del Duomo and the view of the Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala, and enter the balcony on the counter-façade.  Here unfolds an overall view of the nave; the gaze scans the heads of popes and emperors, the intarsias with the philosophers of the ancient world uttering sentences.

The “gate of heaven” is opened to visitors as though they were climbing the ladder that appeared to Jacob in his dream, the top of which reached heaven, and the angels of God ascending and descending on it (Genesis 28: 10-22).  In his dream, God promises Jacob the earth on which he has slept and an immense lineage.  When he rises, Jacob exclaims «This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven», a verse used by the liturgy of the mass in dedicating cathedrals.  In the Litany of Loreto, though, the ‘gate of heaven’ is also the Virgin Mary, a definition that best expresses her power and goodness.  As the Mother of Christ and of humanity, Mary contributes to our eternal salvation in Heaven where she is the ‘Queen assumed into Heaven’.  The visiting itinerary “from above” will thus permit visitors to better understand the dedication of the Cathedral of Siena to the Assumption of the Madonna, and the strong connection the people of Siena have had with their ‘patron’ for centuries:  Sena vetus civitas Virginis.

Strongly desired by the Opera della Metropolitana di Siena, the initiative is organised by Opera – Civita Group. Opera Civita Group manages the booking, information and guided tours services for the Cathedral of Siena complex and, for the extraordinary opening of the ‘Gate of Heaven’, proposes cultural packages that enrich the city’s touristic offer.

For more information, visit our website at:  www.operaduomo.siena.it

SPECS

1 March 2014 – 6 January 2015

Cathedral of Siena

Tickets (by reservation only)

Full:  € 25.00

Children up to 11 years old: € 7.00

Group:   € 400.00 (max 17 pax)

OPA SI PASS + (Museums and Attic of the Duomo) € 30.00

Ticket price includes the guided tour to the Attic of the Duomo and to the Cathedral

Information and Booking

Tel. +39 0577286300 (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm)

Email: opasiena@operalaboratori.com

PRESS OFFICE

Opera – Civita Group

Barbara Izzo – Arianna Diana

Salvatore La Spina