(HE)ART PLACES / THE NIGHT (AND THE SILENCE) IN THE FASCINATING MEDIEVAL TUSCANY VILLAGE

© Photos by ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

The historical centre of Abbadia San Salvatore (Siena, Tuscany, Italy) is a well kept medieval fortress-village, where you may walk through incredible narrow streets and squares, all built with the local grey stone.

The castle of Abbadia is first mentioned in a document dating to 1203, which shows that the community came under the aegis of a communal hierarchy headed by a Podestà, under the political control of Orvieto. A few years later, the strenght and power of this communal organization are described in the “bill of freedom” (“Carta delle libertà”) granted in 1212 to communal chancellors by the Abbot of the San Salvatore monastery.

The pattern of settlements in the area of Abbadia was defined around the mid-XII Century, when under the pressure of external threats, the local population, up until then scattered over the surrounding countryside, came together within one large fortified settlement.

The Abbey and all the Medieval centre are telling us how Abbadia San Salvatore was important in the past. All its area is rich in history and traditions, that to a great extent can be found in documents in the old archive belonging to the monastery dedicated to the Saviour. The archive contains many references to the importance and power of the Abbey.

In Abbadia we may also admire the Servadio Theatre (1873), a tiny but fascinating place. It was built thanks to the initiative of the Carli and Gragnoli families; it is dedicated to Giacomo Servadio (XIX Century) a Florentine member of Italian Parliament, banker, musician and theatre producer. Between the end of XIX Century and the beginning of the XX, the building was the seat of a friendly Society of the workers of Abbadia, where in XIX Century quicksilver mines began their activities, now closed and presented in a museum.

MIDNIGHT LIGHTS AT THE MEDIEVAL CASTLE TO SAY THAT LIFE AND WORLD (AND MY SHOW) WILL GO ON…

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This enchanting castle – which is hosting Roberto Alborghetti’s “Colors of an Apocalypse” Exhibition – tonight will be enlighted to say to the world that the life goes on… And the art show too (it will be opened to visitors until January 15, 20013). Rocca Aldobrandesca (in Piancastagnaio, Siena, Tuscany, Italy) becomes tonight an outstanding symbol of the times (and of the life). It was built in XIII Century, but it still well and alive… And it is stronger than Maya prophecies…

But let’s know something more about this fascinating fortress, one of the most impressive Medieval Italian castle, a perfect location for Roberto Alborghetti ‘s show. 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 the Aldobrandeschi. 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 of Radicofani. 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.

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IN THIS IMPRESSIVE TUSCANY FORTRESS THE NEXT ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI SHOW: “COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE /AN INTRIGUE FOR THE EYES AND MIND FROM DECOMPOSED PUBLICITY POSTERS”

VIDEOCLIP : ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI SHOW 2012 : “COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE”

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The next Roberto Alborghetti Lacer/actions Show (“Colors of an Apocalypse – An Intrigue for the  Eyes and Mind from Decomposed Publicity Posters“) will take place in a wonderful and impressive location: the Rocca Aldobrandesca – a XIII Century fortress in Tuscany (Siena, Italy) – from October 6 to November 5, 2012. The exhibition is one of the most awaited Italian events of Fall 2012 and has been organized by Piancastagnaio Municipality and Siena Territory Communities and Osa Onlus. 

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There is a great expectation for this event: simply browse the site – www.robertoalborghetti.wordpress.com/ –  where there’s a page about the exhibition. The title couldn’t be more hit for this exceptional exhibition sponsored by the Municipality and Osa. Roberto Alborghetti will show forty artworks that symbolically represent the meaning of his artistic research, based on observation and reproduction of  one of the several “apocalypses” of our times, namely the decomposed and torn publicity posters we see on walls and along the streets. 

Roberto Alborghetti looks inside this great Babel of decomposed colors and words degraded by time, environment and humans. He draws chromatic energy from trash images, giving new life and reason to what is considered (for the eyes and the urban landscape) a rejection or a disturbing element. The historic  Piancastagnaio fortress, evoking the passage of times, offers an ideal space to enhance the contrasting language of colors and shapes of Roberto Alborghetti compositions.

The “Lacer /actions” Show will be accompanied by forums, workshops and videoshows created by Alborghetti. The exhibition will also feature a limited-edition of a three silk scarves series which Roberto Alborghetti produced in collaboration with renowned textile designer Bruno Boggia who worked with the most famous international fashion designers.              

But let’s know something more about this fascinating fortress, one of the most impressive Medieval Italian castles, a perfect location for Roberto Alborghetti artpieces. 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 the Aldobrandeschi. 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 of Radicofani. 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.

ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI LACER/ACTIONS SHOW AT ROCCA ALDOBRANDESCA 7 THE OFFICIAL POSTER