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Life & People
Spring and summer are the best times to visit the Italian Lakes – flowers are in bloom in the beautiful gardens and boat trips and outdoor activities can be enjoyed in the warm weather. Summers at the Lakes though can be exceptionally busy – make sure you book ahead. Below is a guide to the best places to stay and what to do, eat and drink in the area.
A new exhibition will be held on May 19 at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence to mark the 90th anniversary of the legendary designer’s return from the United States to Italy.
After a warm and sunny start to the spring, it seems that winter is back in Italy, with temperatures dropping by 10C across the peninsula on Wednesday.
The lift to Emma Bonino’s sixth-floor apartment in the heart of Rome travels up slowly, but the flat is well worth the wait. The door opens up directly on to a large terrace dotted with plants, which overlooks the rooftops of the Eternal City, its dozens of churches and orange palazzos. In the distance is St Peter’s Basilica, under blue skies and the late winter sun
Uber’s international legal drama continues to unfold. Last week, a court in Italy ruled to officially ban the ride-sharing service, saying the app cannot be used in the country and that Uber cannot advertise its services there. The block came after a lawsuit by Italian taxi groups, which claimed that Uber created unfair competition.
The world's oldest person has died in Italy at the age of 117, reports say. Emma Morano was born on 29 November 1899 in the Piedmont region of Italy. She was officially the last person born in the 1800s still living.
It’s a family affair in Veneto, Italy, for 84-year-old Ernesto Gazzola and his children making Gaerne cycling shoes
The best way to beat the Monday blues? By booking a round-trip ticket to Italy for under $400. According to the airfare site, The Flight Deal, American Airlines is now offering steeply discounted tickets to Europe.
IItaly is the one to beat at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest according to the betting houses, fan polls and Eurovision gurus. Francesco Gabbani remains the hot favorite to belt the 2017 Eurovision Grad Prix next May according to the bookies. The 2017 Italian Eurovision entry has gone viral worldwide, the song has received more than 90 million views on Youtube.
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni will fly to Washington and Ottawa meet U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in April, ahead of a Group of Seven summit in Italy the following month.
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Italy in NY Calendar
Perhaps more than any other painter, Sandro Botticelli (about 1445–1510) exemplifies the artistic achievement of Renaissance Florence in the 15th century. “Botticelli and the Search for the Divine,” organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary and Italy’s Metamorfosi Associazione Culturale, explores the dramatic changes in the artist’s style and subject matter—from poetic depictions of classical gods and goddesses to austere sacred themes—reflecting the shifting political and religious climate of Florence during his lifetime.
At the height of his career, Botticelli was supported by the powerful Medici family, headed by Lorenzo the Magnificent. Botticelli’s instantly recognizable style, characterized by strong contours, lyrical poses, and transparent flowing drapery, was influenced both by Antique models and the courtly preferences of his patrons. Two paintings from this period on view in the exhibition, Minerva and the Centaur (1481, Uffizi, Florence) and Venus (about 1490, Galleria Sabauda, Turin)—Botticelli’s reworking of his famous Birth of Venus—are life-size and display the painter’s skill in depicting elegant figures from classical mythology.
In his later years, Botticelli became a follower of the stern Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola, who by 1494 had established a theocracy in Florence following the exile of the Medici family. Personal conduct came under harsh scrutiny, and in 1497 all manner of worldly goods—including cosmetics, mirrors, fancy clothing, musical instruments, and paintings with nudes and pagan subjects—were burned in a notorious “Bonfire of the Vanities.” Under Savonarola’s sway, Botticelli’s graceful manner gave way to a newly austere approach, and secular subject matter disappeared. Severe religious paintings dominate the artist’s later production, and such moving masterpieces as the Virgin and Child with the Young Saint John (about 1495, Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence) demonstrate the striking departure from his earlier sweet style. The exhibition also includes paintings by Botticelli’s teacher Filippo Lippi, his student Filippino Lippi, and other contemporaries.
The exhibition, the largest and most important display of Botticelli’s works in the United States, features 24 paintings from international lenders and the MFA’s own Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist (about 1500) as well as important loans from Harvard and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s bold, irreverent work skewers social complacencies and reimagines cultural icons. On the occasion of his 2011–12 retrospective at the Guggenheim, which featured virtually every work he had ever made suspended from the oculus of the rotunda, Cattelan announced his retirement from art making. Five years later, he returns from this self-imposed exile with a new, ongoing project at the museum. For “America” Cattelan replaced the toilet in this restroom with a fully functional replica cast in 18-karat gold, making available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent. Its participatory nature, in which viewers are invited to make use of the fixture individually and privately, allows for an experience of unprecedented intimacy with a work of art. Cattelan’s toilet offers a wink to the excesses of the art market but also evokes the American dream of opportunity for all—its utility ultimately reminding us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity.
Deemed a "Paradise of Exiles" by the British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Italy attracted not only 19th-century Romantics, but also many of photography's earliest practitioners, who traveled to the peninsula in order to capture its monuments and distinctive topography. At the same time, Italians adopted daguerreotypes and paper negatives as a means to represent their own cultural patrimony during a period of political upheaval.
This exhibition focuses on Italy's importance as a center of exchange and experimentation during the first three decades of photography's history—from 1839, the year of its invention, to 1871, the year Italy became a unified nation. Paradise of Exiles highlights the little-known contribution of Italian photographers to the development of the new medium through some 35 photographs and albums drawn from The Met collection, along with 11 loans, including rare daguerreotypes and photographs related to the Risorgimento, the period of modern Italian unification.
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"Over twenty years ago, William Papaleo moved to Naples to practice the art he had learned in the U.S. A third-generation U.S. American with ancestors from Italy, Papaleo is diﬀerent from most Italian American artists who use Italy to set up a sense of the past and reconnect to it through travel. Their art, more oﬅen than not focuses on the family and their own reactions to retiring to the home of their ancestors. What you ﬁnd in Papaleo’s art is something new, something all other Italian Americans have not dealt with, and that is the role of the immigrant in today’s Italy. It is through art like this work, that we can we reach beyond the real, and sometime we even achieve the impossible."
--from Distinguished Professor Fred Gardaphe's exhibition catalogue essay
The Norton Simon Museum presents an intimate exhibition examining Pietro Rotari (1707–1762), an illustrious Italian artist who found success and fortune in Vienna and beyond, ultimately becoming court painter to Empress Elizabeth of Russia. Serial Flirtations: Rotari’s Muses brings together eight paintings from the Simon holdings attributed to Rotari and his studio, including his iconic Young Girl Writing a Love Letter. Six rarely displayed character studies, all of which were returned to the artist’s family after his death in St. Petersburg and retained until the 1970s by the Cartolari family, his heirs, will be featured as a set. As a whole, the installation commemorates Rotari’s inclination to summon his muses and celebrates the 310th anniversary of the artist’s birth.