Posts made in September, 2009

Chagall in Pisa

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This Fall Pisa is displaying the warm colors of Chagall. The works of the famous Russian artist Marc Chagall will be on display from the 9th of October to the 11th of January at the Blue Palace of Pisa. This is the first of a three year cycle exhibitions devoted to the great masters of the Twentieth century and their relationship with traditions, light and cultures of the Mediterranean basin. The Chagall exhibition presents 150 works. The creations of the author on display start from 1926 when he encountered the colorful and bright Mediterranean landscapes, from France to Greece and the Holy Land. The style of the master changes, and is inspired by what surrounds him allowing him to acquire a sensual and ethereal painting style where the color becomes predominant...

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Aghinolfi Castle

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Aghinolfi castle in Tuscany stands on an isolated hill, placed at the foot of the Apuan Alps, to the left of the stream Tascio. The proximity to the sea and direct control of the underlying Francigena way gave to the complex a unique strategic role. An Eighth-century document certifies the existence of the castle in Longobard era. During the late middle age the castle was intermittently under the domain of Lucca, which considered Montignoso a valuable point of control over the sea. The castle was modified during this period and other major changes seem to date back to the Fifteenth century continuing during the following centuries in a series of expansions and adjustments of the structure walls. The last military occupation of the castle, with its architectural...

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Mapplethorpe and Michelangelo

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This summer I visited the Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze to see Michelangelos David. Circling the sculpture were several large black and white photographs taken by the American photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe. What struck me was that the works blended, coincided, and danced together. To me, the special exhibition surrounding the David said: “This is our Renaissance heritage and we in modern times through our art have been able to match it.” Thankfully, while visiting Florence I was able to purchase a travel and art history book that gave me a deep appreciation for the city: “To Florence Con Amore: 77 Ways to love the City” by Jane Fortune. Definitely worth the read to enhance the Tuscany...

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Piazza Duomo in Pistoia

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This square is the artistic and historical center of Pistoia, bordered by medieval buildings that form a striking architectural framework. In summer here is performed the “Giostra dell’Orso” which evokes a modern ancient Palio race born in the first half of 1200. One of the most important Italian musical events, the Pistoia Blues, takes place here The square is dominated by the steeple, which, in the Thirteenth century, was converted from a tower of Lombard era to which were added three floors. From atop the tower’s 67 meters and 200 steps, you can enjoy the unique panoramic view of the city. The Basilica of San Zeno, built before the Eleventh century, was rebuilt in Romanesque-Pisan style between the Twelfth and Thirteenth centuries. On...

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Autumn Tuscan Appetizers

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The Fall season has arrived in Tuscany. The Tuscan culinary tradition follows the way of seasons with their peculiar fruits, vegetables and meats. Autumn also brings a slower pace of life, with more hours spent indoors while outside is raining. Farmers used to spend the indoor hours doing the house chores impossible to carry out when work had to be done in the fields. If nothing was left to be done, chatting around the house fire while munching on some quick snack was a nice way to relax while waiting for better weather. It may be right during these days that quick and tasty recipes have come to life. You can prepare them to your guests as tasty Tuscan appetizers, quick to make and surely to bring you culinary success. Crostoni with Portabella Mushrooms and Tuscan...

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