Monthly Archives: April 2015


MATER…..latin word for “mother”….one of the most beautiful word ever. And motherhood is a blessing in a woman’s life, for the lucky ones. My hometown dedicates an exhibition to the subject, till the end of june, MATER. SYMBOLIC ROUTES ON MATERNITY

So one sunday afternoon me, daughter M and her friend A, were in line for a visit (photos were forbidden with a camera, I tried to steal some, so not all of them are good)

The exhibition aims to explore the sacred and archetypal aspect of motherhood and its fundamental role in the Mediterranean culture through a selection of archaeological and artistic masterpieces (by Rosso Fiorentino, Pinturicchio, Veronese, Moretto, Hayez, Casorati, Ernst, Giacometti, up to Michelangelo Pistoletto and Bill Viola) with works from more than 70 major museums and Italian collections, insured for 100 million euro in value by Reale Mutua Assicurazioni. The story, created by the masterpieces of every age on the great mystery of motherhood, will be the focus of the exhibition, through 170 works, wandering on what the value of procreation and the responsibility for growth have been, and continue to represent, in the life of every human being. The exhibition takes the visitor through the symbols of motherhood, in that territory where thought meets the technique, the colors, the design, and in which nothing has to have limits, creating a space where the visitor can find its deep and exclusive interpretation.

The exhibition is developed through four main sections:

Section I: Cosmogonies GODDESES AND MOTHERS: MOTHERHOOD MATERNITY OF EARTH AND SKY: From the ancient depictions of the Great Mothers ‘steatopygous’ up to the myths greek-Roman theme of fertility and motherhood was for centuries the physical representation of the constant ratio of Humanity with the Divine. Among the most important works of this section, are exposed female idols primitive (Mother Goddess) as the famous “Venus of Savignano (Mo)” Ethnography Museum Pigorini of Rome and the “Mother of man’s Urzei” of the Archaeological Museum Cagliari, the Artemis Ephesia of the Vatican Museums, Ara Eos of the Regional Museum of Gela, the famous children in diapers (votive) of the sanctuary of Vulci of the second century BC, the frescoes of Pompeii and the curious ivory tablet with childbirth scene of the first century AD of the Archaeological Museum of Naples. The feminine mysteries connected with the cult of Isis and Demeter are represented by the bust of Isis in basalt of the XXVI dynasty of the Egyptian Museum of Florence and the precious statue of Persephone (III century BC.) of the Municipal Museum of Lucera.






Section II: MATERNITY REVEALED: The section will be given the symbolic turning point in the artistic representation of Motherhood after recognition of Mary as the Mother of God at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. From  the artistic/religious experience of Byzantine icons in the exhibition, the route runs from the fourteenth century Tuscan until the seventeenth century with precious masterpieces on canvas and famous Madonna and Child by Filippo Lippi, Andrea Mantegna, Pinturicchio, Rosso Fiorentino, by Veronese and Tiepolo.




Section III: THE SACRED TO MOTHERHOOD MATERNITY BORGHESE: The transformation of the family within the bourgeois century has changed the ideal of sanctity of motherhood. The section will analyze the strong social imbalance created by the industrial revolution that will be the background to the recovery of motherhood as a new value, here exemplified by the portraits of Francesco Hayez and Domenico Induno to the magnificent paintings by Felice Casorati (The family Consolaro Girelli ) and Gino Severini (Motherhood).




Section IV: THE CENTURY SHORT: EMANCIPATION OF FEMALE FIGURE FROM ARCHETYPAL THEMES: The section emphasizes the theme of motherhood in the art of the twentieth century and its vanguards. What emerges is no longer an abstract figure of the mother and her femininity in a closed sacral, but a figure in real competition in the real life, in which the woman – freeing themselves from the exclusive condition of mother – determines a change in the art of his own iconography . Sacred motherhood becomes seductive femininity and the procreative sense gives way to a conceptual aesthetic representation. The section questions the modern artistic research of a new female archetype through the works of Mimmo Rotella, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Max Kuatty, Bill Viola, Mat Collishaw, until the famous icon of the character of Valentina Crepax (of which this year marks the fiftieth anniversary).






It was really a nice visit, the works are well placed in a easy way to follow and well described on explaining panels (Too bad for the foreigners visiting the exhibition – and there were many – because of the lack of a translation, at least in english. I wrote to the management, complaining about it).

One of the reasons I like this location for exhibitions is the place in itself. Located on the northern side of Piazza Garibaldi, the palace used to be the seat of the Capitano del Popolo and combines two buildings dating to 13th century. After undergoing several transformations, it was redesigned in 1760 by Ennemond Alexandre Petitot, a French architect working at the court of Philip of Bourbon. The baroque tower built in 1763 preserves in the belfry the original bell of the civic tower, collapsed in 1606, while a crowned Virgo situated in the bell tower niche was made by the French sculptor J. B. Boudard. Worth of notice, two sundials on the facade dating back to 1829. The Governor’s palace, after many years of restoration works, has opened again in January 16, 2010 with the Nove100 exhibition. The palace is an important venue of modern and comtemporary art, where besides the calendar of temporary exhibitions, there will be notable events such as workshops and meetings.

From the second floor on the west wing, there’s a beautiful view on the little square of La Steccata, with the monument to Parmigianino

but mostly on the Church of La Steccata, stunning (for more read here)


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Posted by on April 30, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Quote of the week

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone. We find it with another.”

(Thomas Merton)

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Posted by on April 29, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Risotto time

Per 8 servings

  • 1 lb Carnaroli rice
  • 7 oz broad beans
  • 7 oz peas
  • 3 artichokes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¾ oz butter
  • 3 ½ oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • pepper to taste
Put the oil and the onion into a pan, brown lightly, add the broad beans, peas and artichokes, season with salt and pepper, add some spoonfuls of water and simmer over moderate heat until the vegetables are cooked. Toss the rice into lightly salted boiling water, drain when “al dente”, transfer to a preheated serving plate, dress with the butter in small pieces and grated Parmesan. Stir. Arrange the vegetable sauté along the edges of the plate and in the center.
(You can add some tomato sauce if you like it smoother)
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Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Uncategorized



Toscanini, the Maestro

I already posted about the Maestro Toscanini here, and now I want to show you how interesting would be a visit to his house, now a museum….I’ts so weird sometimes, you live in a city you think you know well, still there are places you never saw…..we thought it was about time we cut the list shorter….

The house where the great conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) was born is situated in an unpretentious part of Parma across the river from the centre and represents one of the symbolic places in memory of the Maestro even though he lived there for just a few months. Nevertheless he was so very proud of his roots, he never sold the house.

It was donated by the heirs of Toscanini to the city which renovated it and made it into a museum in 1967 and recently renovated. It contains mainly artefacts from the musician’s residences in Milan in Via Durini, and at Riverdale in the United States. The exhibit, set out in the form of a house/museum, includes musical folios, a number of personal items belonging to the Maestro, curios, paintings, announcements, drawings and photographs. In a specially equipped room it is possible to listen to some of Toscanini’s most celebrated performances.

A Bechstein piano belonging to the opera singer Aureliano Pertile, to whom Toscanini was very close, was recently added to the collection. Other artifacts connected the life of the musician can be found in the furnished studio at the “Arrigo Boito” Music Conservatory in Parma

We spent a pleasant saturday morning there, our ears filled with some good music, learning a lot more about one of the most celebrated Parma’s son…..

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Posted by on April 25, 2015 in Uncategorized


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70 years

Thanks to all those who lost their life to ensure us a better one today.

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Posted by on April 25, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Quote of the week

 “The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive but in finding something to live for.”

(Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

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Posted by on April 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Some kind of bruschetta

Per 4 servings

  • 8 slices sandwich bread
  • 2 oz mayonnaise
  • 3 ½ oz Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, thinly sliced
  • 3 ½ oz Porcini Mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ¾ oz white truffle, in slivers
  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Stack the slices of bread one on top of the other and use a knife to cut of the crust from the four edges. Spread bread with mayonnaise and place Parmigiano shavings, porcini mushrooms, and truffle slices on four slices of bread. Drizzle with oil. Cover with the other slices of bread, press gently, and place the sandwiches on a moist kitchen towel. Cut in half diagonally, then cover with another damp kitchen towel. Keep them covered until serving time.
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Posted by on April 20, 2015 in Uncategorized