Venice, an Endangered Species?

I was introduced to Jane da Mosto a few months ago at a social and arts event in Venice. Holder of a zoology degree from the University of Oxford as well as a Masters degree from the Imperial College London, Jane is an environmental scientist and an experienced consultant on sustainable development and climate change.

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In Venice and in Grand Style: the Art of Damien Hirst

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, enunciated this, and would probably have upheld this view if he had seen the artwork of Damien Hirst, one of the most famous creators of contemporary art and reportedly the United Kingdom’s richest living artist. Or would he?

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Fifty Shades of Blue in Padua

Blue… midnight blue, electric blue, royal blue, sky blue… According to public opinions polls conducted in Europe and North America, blue is the most popular colour with both men and women. It is a favourite of mine too. And the shade of blue I like the most is the Giotto blue. You’ve never heard of this shade before?

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The Great Paolo Veronese Event

Few Italian artists have captured the colours of the Veneto Renaissance, its luminous spaces and its splendid architecture as effectively as Paolo Veronese (1528-1588). A series of five exhibitions are currently bringing back to the Veneto masterpieces from Europe and North America which left the region centuries ago. Continue Reading →

The Contemporary Mountain

“Have you ever been to the Arte Sella  biodegradable exhibition, Katharina?
–        The what? Biodegradable exhibition?! Where on earth is that being held? And for how long? If it’s biodegradable, I guess we have to hurry if we want to see it!”

My reply made my friend laugh. “No, we don’t have to hurry”, he said.

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Venetia – PART 2

“So, what wonder are you promising us today, Katharina? my brother asked me on the fourth day of our family holiday at the Villa Valmarana.

– Well, today I suggest we get romantic and head for the hometown of Romeo and Juliet…” Continue Reading →

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Venetia – PART 1

True, I may have a slight tendency to use superlatives when I write, talk or dream about Italy. Superlatives which, however, needless to say, are always well-founded and fully justified!

Here is another verifiable superlative which I’d like to expand upon today in this article: Italy is home to the greatest number of “World Heritage Sites” to date, with 47 sites inscribed on a list totalling 962 entries. Continue Reading →

The Cream of Italian Ceramics

“I’m really fond of these plates, Katharina. Where did you get them?

– A little less than a thousand kilometers from here.

– Let me guess… In Italy, right?”

Yes, in Italy. In a little town south of Padua, to be exact. Continue Reading →

Palazzo Bo in Padua – designed by Giò Ponti

This week’s topic is once again related to a “rare” item I purchased for a song many years ago. Not at a flea market this time, but at a charity sale. A set of six modernist dining room chairs which I bought for the equivalent of 15 euros – the whole set! I was absolutely delighted. Continue Reading →

The Falcons of Frassanelle

“How about letting our little friend here perch on your hand?

– Um… well… Is he in a good mood?”

The “little friend” whom Stefania was introducing me to was a healthy falcon with a sharp beak, long claws and big fierce eyes. His name was Naggy or Narghile, something like that. Continue Reading →



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