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European Biennial of Wrought Iron Exhibition

The European Biennial of Wrought Iron Exhibition reaches its 17th edition. The European Biennial of Wrought Iron Exhibition is an important meeting and exchange point for blacksmiths from all over the world, who are the keepers of an ancient profession that, in centuries, has maintained unchanged many of its characteristics. Blacksmiths are the real protagonists of an event that this year is even richer for what regards the international character of the manifestation, thanks to the twinning between 7 municipalities, members of the European Union of the Cities of Iron, that was signed in Stia last year.

Thie event is held is Casentino, Tuscany, in the city of Stia.


Thursday 30th August

10:30 piazza Tanucci, inauguration ceremony

11:30 piazza Tanucci, visit of the stands

21:00 piazza Mazzini, Opening of the World Forging Championship

21:30 Pieve di Santa Maria Assunta - piazza Tanucci, Concert : “Albacustica” and vocal group directed by G.M. Checcacci

Friday 31st August

8:00-24:00 piazza Mazzini, World Forging Championship

08:20-20:00 Palazzo Comunale, International design and drawing contest
“Pierluigi Della Bordella”

09:00-24:00 piazza Tanucci, opening time of stands

21:00 Palagio Fiorentino, Conference by prof. Ortensio Mendicino and prof. Peter Parkinson

Saturday 1st September

8:00-24:00 piazza Mazzini, World Forging Championship

08:20-20:00 Palazzo Comunale, International design and drawing contest “Pierluigi Della Bordella”

09:00-24:00 piazza Tanucci, opening time of stands

Sunday 2nd September

08:00 piazza Mazzini, non-competitive forging exhibition

09:00-23:00 piazza Tanucci, opening of the stands

12:00 medieval centre and Parco delle Terme, historic procession and exhibition of crossbows from San Sepolcro

16:30 piazza Mazzini, Prize-giving ceremony

How to arrive in Stia
- from Florence: Pontassieve, S.S.70, Consuma mountain pass, Scarpaccia, Stia
- from Arezzo: S.S.71 Umbro-Casentinese, Bibbiena, Poppi, Pratovecchio, Stia
- from Cesena: E45 Rome direction, Exit at Bagno di Romagna, Mandrioli mountain pass, Badia Prataglia, Soci, Poppi, Pratovecchio, Stia
- from Mugello: San Piero a Sieve, Dicomano, Londa, Croce ai Mori mountain pass, Stia

by motorway
- from south direction: A1 exit Arezzo, S.S.71 Umbro-Casentinese direction Casentino, Bibbiena, Poppi, Pratovecchio, Stia
- from north direction: A1 exit Barberino di Mugello, San Piero a Sieve, Dicomano, Londa, Croce ai Mori mountain pass, Stia
A1 exit Firenze Sud , Pontassieve, Diacceto, Consuma mountain pass, Scarpaccia, Stia
A14 exit Cesena Nord, E45 Rome direction, exit Bagno di Romana, Mandrioli mountain pass, Badia Prataglia , Soci , Poppi, Pratovecchio, Stia

- from Florence: SITA bus for Casentino (Stia) – direct line

- from Florence: Train for Arezzo, Change for L.F.I. train to Stia
- from Arezzo: L.F.I. train to Stia


Events in Mugello

On this weekend there will be several events in Mugello: many "sagre del tortello".
Tortelli are a type of stuffed pasta, filled with pumpkin, meat, cheese or other things, then topped with butter or sausage sauce. Tortelli are often stuffed with ricotta and spinach, too.
In the Tuscany region of Mugello there are special versions filled with potatoes: their names is "tortelli di patate". Tortelli are similar to what are known in other places as "ravioli", but the flavour is quite different.
This stuffed pasta with a potato based filling, are the high point of many sagre and country fairs.
In the first weekend of september you will find many cities organizing fairs and sagre, where to eat tortelli and other tuscan dishes.
This weekend you can taste tortelli (and other tuscan recipes) at:

Borgo San Lorenzo

If you are coming in other periods, in the Mugello area, at Sagginale (a very small town) there's a nice trattoria named "Da Giorgione" (it's also an alimentari).

Giorgione (big george) is a fat and funny man who welcomes every person entering his restaurant. They are famous even in Florence for the tortelli. But it's very good also the meat, the vegetables, the garlic shoots..
You can taste tortelli with ricotta (soft and sweet cheese), tortelli stuffed with potato pureè, flavored with garlic and herbs, topped with ragout (meat sauce) or duck sauce or porcini mushroom.. or just butter.

Trattoria “Da Giorgione”, Via Belvedere - Loc. Sagginale - Borgo San Lorenzo (FI)
Tel : +39-055-849-0130 (Closed Thursdays and holidays).
Read the italian review of Giorgione
Watch the pictures on Flickr.
Besides the sagre of tortello, this weekend in the Mugello area, at Scarperia, you can see also the 34th edition of the Trade Exhibition of Knives.

Scarperia has always been involved in the production of knives. In recent times, there has been a renewal of the development of this activity which has allowed Scarperia to maintain its position as the national centre for knife production. At the exhibition, knives can be ordered and bought. Scarperia, a village of 6,000 inhabitants, lies 30 km north of Florence, in the Mugello valley (the area where Moto Gp is held every year). The village was founded in 1306 by the Florentine Republic, which decided to create an military outpost to guarantee the viability from Florence towards the north. Little more than a century after its foundation, Scarperia became the seat of the vicariate, or governor, in 1415, and, under the delegation of the Florentine Republic, held administrative functions covering a vast territory.

Palzzo dei Vicari - Scarperia Opening hours: from Wednesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m./3.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Pro Loco of Scarperia tel.: +39 055-8468165


Exhibition at Pitti Palace

Until the 23th of September 2007 in Florence, at Pitti Palace (Museo degli Argenti) there is "Babetto 1967-2007".The exhibition traces the artistic career of Giampaolo Babetto from his beginnings up to the most current works: a fascinating and rich production recounted through pieces of particular prestige that bear witness, not only to his sophisticated work as an artist goldsmith, but also to the more recent experience connected with the production of interior architecture.
This retrospective is a truly important opportunity both to celebrate an artist of international fame and to confirm the attention of Florence towards artists capable of expressing themselves with an absolutely contemporary language, albeit not devoid of explicit and cultured references to our artistic and architectural tradition.

Thus Babetto has managed to make his own the forms of Pontormo, and in a less evocative manner has taken ample inspiration from classicism.

After Florence the show will move on to the major European sites, to end up finally in Rome.

Giampaolo Babetto is an important member of a small but very influential group of contemporary goldsmiths who have been making authentic contributions to the development of their craft. His jewelled creations are always characterized by a sense of great delicacy, sustained by an exemplary technique

Opening Hours: Daily 8.15 – 18.30

Entry is permitted up to half an hour before closing time.
Closed on the 1st and the last Monday of each month.

Firenze Musei
Ph.: +39 055.294883
Fax. +39 055.264406


Uffizi summer evening opening

uffizi gallery florenceThe Gallery of Accademy in Florence and the Uffizi Gallery during all the summer extend the time table until late.
The Gallery of Accademy in Florence, one of the most famous museums in the world and home of the celebrated Michelangelo's David, during all the summer extends the current time-table: every Tuesday and Friday until 10.00 p.m.
In the gallery it is possible to see some collection, since to 1800, important masterpieces come from to the Accademy of Drawing and to the Accademy of Beauty Art.
Gallery of Accademy Via Ricasoli 58-60 -FLORENCE- Tel.: 0039 055 2388612

The Uffizi Gallery too extends the opening hours. One of the most famous museums in the world, during all the summer, extends the current time-table: every Tuesday until 10.00 p.m. you can visit for longest time the masterpieces of artists like Giotto, Simone Martini, Piero della Francesca, Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Caravaggio.
Gallery of Uffizi Piazzale degli Uffizi -FIRENZE- Tel. 0039 055 2388651

Until the 30rd of September.


Italian Renaissance in Florence

If you have not seen this exhibition, there are still some days you can visit the exhibition: "Donatello and a Renaissance Home". The event is one of the many events planned for "Genio Fiorentino".
55 works by great masters of the Italian Renaissance, back to Italy after a long “stay” abroad which started back in the 19th century when they joined the private collection of Jacquemart-André in Paris.
Donatello and a Renaissance Home is a Florence homecoming hosted by Palazzo Medici Riccardi.
Opening hours: every day (except Wednesdays) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tickets: 5 euro - the tickets provide also the access to the entire Palazzo Medici Riccardi museum complex
Donatello and a Renaissance Home
Begin date: Friday, May 11, 2007
End date: Friday, August 31, 2007
City: Firenze
Where: Palazzo Medici Riccardi. This palace is in the center of Florence, very close to Piazza Duomo and Mercato di San Lorenzo (San Lorenzo Market).

When: The exhibition – tickets provide access to the entire Palazzo Medici Riccardi museum complex – will be open to the public starting May 12 and ending August 31, 2007, every day (except Wednesdays) between 9 am and 7pm hours.


Serravalle Jazz

From Sunday 26th to Tuesday 28th August 2007 at Serravalle Pistoiese, near to Pistoia there will be the 6th edition of Serravalle Jazz. The jazz festival is held in the suggestive Towers of the Castello di Castruccio Castracani (the Castele of Serravalle Pistoiese), and some of the most important jazz artists will perform during the three days.
During the afternoon there will be also workshops, as in the twin Barga Jazz Festival.
Guest star: Kenny Wheeler on Sunday 26th August.
Where: Serravalle Pistoiese, Castello di Castruccio Castracani
Info: +39 0573 917404
e-mail: cultura@comune.serravalle-pistoiese.pt.it
Web: www.comune.serravalle-pistoiese.pt.it

26th of august
6.00 pm at Oratorio della Vergine Assunta
“Jazz europeo tra Big Band ed orchestra”
9.15 pm Rocca di Castruccio
Barga Jazz Big Band

27th of august
6.00 pm at Oratorio della Vergine Assunta
“I mille volti di Billie Holiday”
Conference by MAURIZIO TUCI
9.15 pm Rocca di Castruccio
"Lady day today"
Remembering Billie Holiday
Adattamento da The Lady sing the blues

MONICA MENCHI voce recitante
Regia Monica Menchi

28th of august
6.00 pm at Oratorio della Vergine Assunta
“Il Jazz contaminato”
9.15 pm Rocca di Castruccio
"Viva il Brasile"
Posia Do Brasil dedicato a Tom Jobim
10.30 pm Rocca di Castruccio
Salis Pareti Cantini Trio


The chiantigiana road

After travelling through all Japan (have a look to my flickr pictures about the trip to japan) I thought I needed to take a breathe in the tuscan countryside.
So, last Sunday, I took my car and I drove towards Siena, to get to a lovely place in the Chianti area I discovered few weeks ago. The name of the small city is Castelnuovo Berardenga and it is close to Badesse (4km) and Siena (8km). It's just 10 minutes after Castellina in Chianti: one of the most important cities for wine tasting.

swimming pool in chianti areaThere's a nice and big swimming pool at Mulino di Quercegrossa: 7 different pools for swimming, sun bathing, relaxing, diving and walking in the water..
You can enter in the morning and you pay 12 euros (on weekends) but you can also get in after 3 pm and you pay the "afternoon" fee (9 euros). When I arrived it was around 1.30.. and I was a bit hungry. So I decided to go and look for some food just before entering the pool.

I drove back to Castellina, I parked the car just outside the historical center of the small city. And I tried one little italian bar: panino with prosciutto and pecorino cheese, tuna salad and a glass of red wine. Really delicious!
I hardly recommend to visit Castellina, it's quite small, but it's vey nice with the old walls and buildings. And some little nice stores, too.

After the light and cheap lunch I went back to the swimming pool (about 9 km).
I have been 3 or 4 hours just lying under the sun, to enjoy the last warm days of the summer.

tuscan holidaysWhen the temperature was becoming a little cold I decided to go away and have a stop at Monteriggioni, which is a medieval town, surrounded by walls and towers (it's not famous as San Gimignano, but I really like it!). I had a lovely "aperitivo" in the main square: 2 glasses of Chianti Classico of Fonterutoli, a slice of bread with porcini mushrooms and pecorino cheese.. and a great sunset. You could also have dinner there. It wasn't expensive.

At 8 pm I finally went back to Florence..


Free events in Florence

In the last days of August, some events are coming in Florence. Some of them you can access without paying a ticket or a fee..
Hoping that the weather will be good (today is raining a lot).
Every evening in "Piazza dei Ciompi" under the "Loggia del Pesce" you can seat and have a drink, while listening to some live music. On wednesday, the 22nd of August, some jazz music inspired to John Coltrane music. On saturday and sunday a big aperitif, for drinking and eating together.

Always on the 22nd of August you can enjoy a special evening at Parco dell'Anconella, near the Arno River: spanish, arabian and esotic ballet for a talented duo. Entrance free.

At Forte Belvedere you can admire the exhibition devoted to Hugo Pratt's main character: Corto Maltese. Pratt was a very famous italian comic painter. His novels and comics have been translated in several languages, trough all the world. Now you can see some of his best watercolors. And maybe after, you can have a gorgeous "aperitivo" on the terrace of Forte Belvedere, that watches the city of Florence.
From 5.00 pm to 12.00 pm, No entrance fee.


Villa Demidoff

Around Florence there are many villas built by Medici Family. Most of them are quite unknown. They are all very beautiful, with great parks and gardens.
For the day of "Ferragosto" (the 15th of august) I've been to Villa Demidoff at Pratolino (Vaglia). It's not far from Florence: just take the "via Bolognese" (the ancient road that brings to Bologna from Florence) and after about 20 minutes by car you get to Pratolino. I think you can go there also by bus.
There you can find the villa and the marvellous garden. It's a huge green park, up and down some hills (it's very fresh also in the summer), with narrow paths and wide green fields where you can lie and sunbath or maybe have a picnic.
There's also a big statue, named "Appennino". The statue was build by Giambologna an italian sculptor. It's very impressive. It has the shape of an old man, that looks at a waterpool full of flowers.

During the summer 2007 the entrance to this park is free and you can enjoy walking in the big park or just relaxing under a centenary tree, for how long as you wish. In some days there are also some free exhibitions, shows and happenings and also games for kids. Here you can find some information (I'm sorry it's in italian)

Around Pratolino there are many trattorie and pizzerie where you can eat "tortelli alla mugellana" and other tuscan food.


Cabianca exhibition: the Macchiaioli movement

The exhibition "Vincenzo Cabianca, the Macchiaioli movement" showcases about 100 works by Cabianca as well as approximately 25 paintings by other macchiaioli artists among which are Telemaco Signorini, Giovanni Fattori, Silvestro Lega, Cristiano Banti, and Nino Costa.
The exhibition in Florence includes the large painting of I novellieri fiorentini (Florentine Storytellers) from Palazzo Pitti, the Scena medievale (Medieval Scene) and Le monachine in riva al mare (Nuns on the Seashore) both from the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in Milan, the very beautiful paintings Al sole (In the Sun) and L’acquaiola (The Water-carrier) from private collections and works by other macchiaioli masters such as the painting Giovani pescatori (Young Fishermen) by Telemaco Signorini, and Riunione di contadine (Group of Countrywomen) by Cristiano Banti.

We can admire famous paintings such as the Abbandonata (Deserted Wife) and unknown ones like Vendemmia in Toscana (Grape Harvest in Tuscany), evidence of the years of daring experimentations with the “macchia” technique (macchia in Italian means a spot of colour) which Cabianca carried out with Banti and Signorini in Liguria and in the Tuscan countryside between 1859 and 1862, culminating in the famous masterpiece Il mattino (Morning) and in Marmi a Carrara Marina (Marble Blocks in Carrara Marina) which had not been exhibited for almost a century.

The fellowship with his macchiaioli friends in the Florentine countryside around Piagentina and in the seascapes of Castiglioncello and Versilia, are witnessed by famous masterpieces such as Spiaggia a Viareggio (Beach in Viareggio) and Un bagno fra gli scogli (Bathers on the Rocks). The splendid 1862 Ritorno dai campi (Back from the Fields), which had not been exhibited for decades, is the painting around which views of Tuscan countryside, either never displayed before or not seen for a long time, rotate.

12th July – 14th October 2007, Florence, Villa Bardini, Bardini Garden
Exhibition opening hours:
July and August 8.15 a.m.- 7.30 p.m.
September and October 8.15 a.m.- 6.30 p.m.
Closed on the first and last Mondays of the month

Free entrance to the exhibition from no. 4 Costa S. Giorgio

Shuttle service: In the months of July and August from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. and in the months of September and October from 3.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m., there will be a shuttle service between Costa San Giorgio and Piazza Poggi.

Guided visits: Every day free guided visits available at 4.30 p.m., 5.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.
At other times, upon booking, guided visits against payment
For groups of adults (with a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 25 people) 100 euros
Bookings: Firenze Musei 055 2654321


Florence Queer Festival

The Florence Queer Festival is one international review of cinema, video and other limbs to thematic gay, lesbian and transgender. The fifth edition will be from the 22nd of september to the 6th October 2007 in Florence.
Tonight there will be a special preview at Forte Belvedere, in Florence, Italy.

PREVIEW of the fifth EDITION OF FLORENCE QUEER FESTIVAL in Florence. 9th of August, 9.30 pm at Forte Belvedere, Firenze.
Projection of the Film:
The CLANS of Gaël Morel (France 2004) Duration: 90'
The clans: the story of the history through the body. That one of a group of young maghreb people living in France. Exhibited bodies, made by hours of gymn. In the first 20 minutes there isn't any shoot that goes away from the splendid eyes of Jamel or from the male shoulders of Marc, releasing muscles and trains you of the companions of `the Clan'. In a tripudio of male beauty. “History of life” would say italian poet and director Pierpaolo Pasolini.
A history of loneliness, hopes and dreams disregarded of boys who do not succeed to find a job that does not destroy them. Single, without a love, incapable to give a sense just to the living. Also the sex, like all, is consumed without conviction, made of meaningless and fast movements…

To follow a selection of "corti" that have participated to the past edition of the VIDEOQUEER. Approximately 20' of projection.
For Info: Silvia 347 8553836 silvia@florencequeerfestival.it


San lorenzo night

This friday (10th of August) is "San Lorenzo" night: the night in which you can admire the falling stars. In Florence there is a very famous church named San Lorenzo. For the occasion, there will be several events.
First of all there will be a special mass in the church of San Lorenzo (very close to the Duomo). Then from 10.00 am to 3.30 pm it will be possible to see freely (without paying the entrance fee) the "Cappelle Medicee" (where some of the most important members of the florentine Medici family are buried). There's also the opportunity to have a free english guide thanks to Centro Guide Turismo.
At 9.00 pm in front of the church there will be a great concert. At 10.00 pm there will be a free tasting of italian lasagne and water melon.

For info:
Basilica di S.Lorenzo tel. 055.2616051/6
tel. 055.2768030 Comune di Firenze Web: www.comune.fi.it

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