Cartasia 2018, Lucca

The International Biennial Paper Festival, Cartasia, returns to Lucca from August 3rd to September 30th. This event is about paper in all its shapes, as a means to express art, for games and other fun activities and as a versatile element of design. The theme of this 9th edition will be “Chaos and Silence”.

There will be outdoor exhibitions with monumental paper sculptures in the squares and on Lucca’s lovely Renaissance walls; indoor exhibitions from all over the world within the halls of Palazzo Ducale; design exhibitions showing both interior furniture and innovative prototypes; conferences on various topics; creative labs for children; and events around town such as performances and concerts.

The Festival is held in Lucca since 2004 because it is one of the biggest paper production centres of Europe. Here the Biennial unites its elements of sustainability and environmentalism, promoting and encouraging collaborations with paper companies that share the same philosophy.

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Pistoia Blues Festival 2018

Pistoia Blues Festival has been giving this well-preserved medieval city and its regulars excellent blues music since 1980. Legends like Muddy Waters, Fats Domino, B. B. King, Alexis Kerner and Dizzy Gillespie have trod its stage. Following editions have also seen rock, soul and jazz stars like Chuck Berry, Frank Zappa, Jimmy Page, Buddy Guy, Pat Metheny, Jeff Healey, Carlos Santana, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Robert Plant and Skunk Anansie, just to name a few.

On July 4th, British Rock legend Graham Nash will be at Teatro Manzoni for “Road to Pistoia Blues”. The 39th edition of Pistoia Blues will officially begin on the 10th in Piazza Duomo with Alanis Morrissette, who returns in Italy after 6 years. James Blunt will be on stage on July 13th while on the 14th it will be the turn of Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. On Sunday 15th Pistoia Blues closes with Mark Lanegan Band and Supersonic Blues Machine, featuring Billy F. Gibbons, guitarist and lead vocalist of the American rock band ZZ Top.

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Piero Della Francesca. The seduction of prospective.

To coincide with the presentation of the restoration of “The Resurrection” by Italian painter, mathematician and geometer Piero della Francesca, the Museo Civico of Sansepolcro, in the province of Arezzo, inaugurated on March 25th the exhibition “Piero della Francesca. La seduzione della prospettiva”. Della Francesca was born in San Sepolcro in 1415 and became a living testimony of the Early Renaissance. His most famous work is the cycle of frescoes “The History of the True Cross” in the church of San Francesco in Arezzo.

Trained in mathematics during his youth, Della Francesca wrote three treatises known to modern mathematicians which cover the subjects of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, solid geometry and perspective. Della Francesca’s deep interest in the theoretical study of perspective is apparent in all his work. Now his hometown, where he died in 1492 on the same day Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas, has organized this exhibition to illustrate his immense scientific culture with reproductions of drawings, perspective models, scientific instruments, plaquettes and videos. All this incredible mathematical research turned out to be Piero della Francesca’s legacy to artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer and Daniele Barbaro, just to name a few.

The exhibition also aims to reveal to the public the two souls of Piero della Francesca, the refined painter and the great mathematician. In addition to being Master of the abacus, an Euclidean geometer, a scholar of Archimedes, Della Francesca was also an innovator in the field of painting. For him, painting obtained its substantial foundation from both mathematics and geometry. His writings, especially “De Prospectiva Pingendi” (On Perspective for Painting), written both in vernacular for the artists and in Latin for the Humanists, commenced the great Renaissance perspective experience.

On until 9 January 2019 the museum is open from 25 September to 9 June from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2.30 pm to 6 pm, and from 10 June to 24 September from 10 am to 1.30 pm and from 2.30 pm to 7 pm. Full ticket costs 10 Euros. If you’re visiting the area around Arezzo be sure not to miss this great tribute to Sansepolcro’s favourite son.

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Eroica Montalcino 2018

The Eroica Montalcino is a vintage bike ride along a stretch of the renowned white roads of the breathtaking 209 km L’Eroica route. South of Siena, this itinerary will take participants on May 27th through Val d’Arbia, Val d’Orcia and the Crete Senesi.

Five routes depart from Montalcino and stretch out into the Val d’Orcia, through Bagno Vignoni, San Quirico d’Orcia, Pienza and the heart of the Crete Senesi, particularly Montisi and Trequanda. The Long Route is 171 km long and will lead cyclists through the Unesco treasures of the Val d’Orcia. The Medium Route is 96 km and shouldn’t be underestimated because fit legs are needed here for those steep slopes.

The 70 km Short Route is just perfect for those wishing to discover the Eroica itinerary for the first time, while the Brunello Route, 46 km long, is for those wishing to know what the Long Route is but without going too far. Finally, the 27 km Eroica Stroll has been thought for families with children who want to discover this magnificent territory and the marvels of Montalcino.

Montalcino will also be hosting a festival where visitors can breathe in the magical vintage atmosphere of old bikes, large beards and moustaches, old (and new) jerseys and also get the chance to try tasty local dishes and excellent wine.  Other events will be on programme for this cycling experience which combines traditionalism with breathtaking sceneries.

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Palazzo Strozzi presents “Dawn of a Nation”

On at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence the exhibition “Dawn of a Nation. From Guttuso to Fontana and Schifano”. On until July 22nd, the show represents an exploration of art, politics and society in Italy from the 1950s to the years of protest in the late 1960s. On display 80 works of art by artists such as Renato Guttuso, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Emilio Vedova, Piero Manzoni, Mario Schifano, Mario Merz and Michelangelo Pistoletto.

The works on display are intended to illustrate Italian culture after World War II, in the years of the so-called “economic miracle” that profoundly marked Italian society. In this period the world also witnessed a development in art with a new vision which was stoked by an extraordinarily vibrant and inventive burst of creativity, that spared neither style, form or material.

Visitors will, thus, be lead through the dispute between Realism and Abstraction, onwards to the triumph of Informal Art and up to Pop Art until the Arte Povera and the Conceptual Art. Twenty years of creative growth.

The exhibition is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm, on Thursdays closing at 11 pm. Full tickets cost 13 Euros.

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