Ambrogio Lorenzetti on exhibition at Santa Maria della Scala, Siena

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Maestà in Trono, detail

Opening on October 22nd at the Santa Maria della Scala museum in Siena is an exhibition of one of the greatest artists of the 14th century. Unfortunately Ambrogio Lorenzetti is also one of the less known.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Allegory of Good Government, detail)

Universally, this painter of the Sienese school is known as the painter of the “The Allegory of Good  and Bad Government” a series of three fresco panels to be found in the Council Room, Sala dei Nove, of Palazzo Pubblico, Siena’s town hall.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Annunciation, 1344, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena

However, apart from this cycle of allegorical frescoes most people have no other knowledge of this incredibly creative artist who renovated many iconographical traditions of his time.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Madonna and Child, Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena

For this reason Santa Maria della Scala has borrowed masterpieces from many places, including the National Gallery, the Gallerie degli Uffizi, the Louvre, the Museum of Sacred Art in Massa Marittima, to illustrate Lorenzetti’s intense artistic career.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Maestà in Trono, Museum of Sacred Art, Massa Marittima

Closing on January 21, 2018, the exhibition is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 5 pm, on Fridays from 10 am to 7 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 8 pm. Tuesday closed. Full price tickets cost 9 Euros. The exhibition will include an audio-guide in five languages and a selection of videos containing both information and narrative.


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Lucca Comics & Games Heroes 2017

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The International festival of comics, animation, illustration and games is back in Lucca from 1 to 5 November and it’s a Heroes edition. Comic strips, fantasy novels, films, TV series and video games’ heroes.

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Amongst the many guests of this year’s edition will be “The Other Side”, now Marvel, Jason Aaron (attending for four days), “The Walking Dead” creator  Robert Kirkman (who will meet fans from the 2nd to the 5th), “Lupin III” legend Tomonaga Kazuhide (here to celebrate 50 years of Lupin on the 4th and 5th) and Canadian Tolkein artist John Howe (three events on 3rd and 4th).

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As always Lucca Comics & Games proves to be a gigantic, colourful universe which succeeds in becoming more lavish and fascinating with every edition.

04 Doctor Who preview

Open daily from 9 am to 7 pm and on Saturday until 8 pm. Full tickets cost from 17 to 19 Euros depending on which day you go. There are also cheaper tickets for 2 days (from 27 Euros) to 5 days (65 Euros).

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Gustatus 2017 – The Sense of Taste


From November 1st to 5th Orbetello is hosting its traditional Maremma food and wine festival, Gustatus, now at its 12th edition.


This event was created back in 2006 to deseason local tourism. It was a  wish to demonstrate that the local heritage had much to give, food and wine wise, all year round: a patrimony of traditions.


Here healthy food and wine are at kilometre zero, the pride of Maremma. Local producers bring to Gustatus their wine, olive oil, milk, meat, cold meats, honey, jams, species, legumes, obviously fish and much more.


Local restaurateurs take this produce and turn the age-old Maremma recipes into reality: scottiglia, acquacotta, fegatelli alla Buttera, crostini con bottarga di Orbetello and even more mouth-watering dishes are there awaiting you.


During the event the town centre of Orbetello transforms itself into a forest with a multitude of flavours where visitors can also participate in shows, pageants, didactic labs, congresses and guided tastings.


So for those visiting Maremma and Orbetello in these days, a quick visit to the Welcome Maremma stand in the Cathedral square, or in any of the town centre shops with the “vendita bicchieri” brand, with permit you to purchase a bag with a glass goblet, a map and 10 tasting stamps for 7 Euros. Should you think 10 tastings aren’t enough you can buy other 10 tastings (without the goblet) for 6 Euros.


This is certainly an excellent opportunity to try the flavours and tradition of this magnificent region.


Posted in Events in Maremma, Italian food and wine, Maremma, Tuscan food and wine, Tuscan lifestyle, Tuscan recipes, Tuscany | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lost Leonardo’s work to be auctioned by Christie’s for $ 100M

Images from Christie's Auction House

Recently attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci, Salvator Mundi is a painting of Christ as the Saviour of the World. Leonardo painted the subject for Louis XII between 1506 and 1513. The work of art shows Christ giving a benediction with his raised right hand and crossed fingers while holding a crystal sphere in his left hand. The painting disappeared from 1763 to 1900, when it was purchased by British collector Francis Cook, 1st Viscount of Monserrate. The picture had been damaged by previous restorations and for this reason its paternity was unsure.

Leonardo's Salvator Mundi

In 1958 Cook’s descendants sold the painting at an auction for £ 45. Since then it has undergone various restorations until it was authenticated as a painting by Leonardo da Vinci and was exhibited in London’s National Gallery during the Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan exhibition from November 2011 and February 2012. Painted during the same timeframe as The Monna Lisa, this painting is rightly considered the Holy Grail of old master paintings, since for a long time it was known to exist and had been much sought.

Leonardo's Salvator Mundi

Sold in 2013 to Russian collector Dmitry Rybolovlev for $ 127.5 million, it will now be sold on November 15th by Christie’s in New York. Bids are expected to top $ 100 million.


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16th-Century Art in Florence: among Michelangelo, Pontormo and Giambologna


On at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence until January 21st, 2018, is the impressive exhibition  Il Cinquecento a Firenze. Tra Michelangelo, Pontormo e Giambologna, a showcase of over 70 masterpieces from the 16th century.


On show works of art by artists such as Michelangelo, Giorgio Vasari, Bronzino, Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Giambologna and Bartolomeo Ammannati and Santi di Tito.


This was the period of the Counter-Reformation and the Council of Trent. In Florence Francesco I de’ Medici was continuing his father’s, Cosimo I, patronage of the arts, supporting artists and founding the Accademia della Crusca, as well as building the Medici Theatre. This was an age of particularly outstanding cultural and intellectual talent.


Open every day, including holidays, from 10 am to 8 pm, on Thursday until 11 pm. Full price ticket costs 13 Euros.


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