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Showing posts from January, 2013

BITTER ORANGE: DANCING BEYOND THE MONTE DEI PASCHI NIGHTMARE

It is a tough week in Siena . Instead of getting better, the crisis of the world's oldest bank (MPS was founded in 1472) has turned into a full blown nightmare. Evidence is mounting that the bank's former chairman Giuseppe Mussari and some of his co-workers may have main responsibility for the massive losses accumulated by Italy's third biggest bank. (See Bloomberg news for regular English language updates in regard to Giuseepe Mussari and the situation of MPS). MPS headquarters: Things definitely looked brighter in the past Bitter Orange is the title of a dance performance that suits the momentary climate in the city of the Palio only two well. Second part of a triology by the Francesca Selva dance company , the performance will take place this Saturday night at the Rinnovati theater in piazza del Campo.    Considering that a huge amount of Southern Tuscany's cultural life has been supported by the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi (the foundation of the MPS

SIENA BY NIGHT: PIANIST JIN JU IN CONCERT, January 25, 2013

Jin Ju: piano world star and former  prize winning student at the Accademia Chigiana's master classes Chinese pianist and Italy resident Jin Ju keeps being showered with music awards world wide. In Siena, she will present a program of Czerny, Beethoven and Schubert - a combination that just won her the 2012 German Music Award (ECHO KLASSIK) for the best solo interpretation of piano works by composers of the 19th century.  Jin Ju is a bit of a celebrity even beyond Italy's classical music world, since the concert she gave in 2009 for Joseph Ratzinger, the German pope who keeps insisting that gays are a danger for world peace . But let's stick to Jin Ju's talent and not bother with pope Benedict's medieval world view. During her concert at the Vatican, Jin Ju played seven historic pianoforte with a program stretching from Scarlatti to Rachmaninoff.  I don't know about historical instruments, but I know that Jin Ju rocks on the contemporary Fazioli piano,

VEGETARIAN IN TUSCANY? HERE'S YOUR TREAT (IT WAS ABOUT TIME!)

Siena goes vegetarian every Thursday night at restaurant Tre Cristi A weekly vegetarian evening in Siena? I'm still speechless. Even more so, as the meat free night out is presented by Tre Cristi, one of Siena's best restaurants. Tre Cristi has been cooking Tuscan delicacies (with an eye on fish) since 1830. And now they're serious about a veggie night? Nothing over tradition going hand in hand with innovation.    Life as a vegetarian in Tuscany is great. As long as you eat at home. Fresh vegetables and high quality ingredients, organic olive oil or special treats like the prized saffron from Val d'Orcia make do-it-yourself an enjoyable feat. But in regard to eating out, vegetarians aren't spoiled.

WHAT TO DO IN SIENA: A WEEKEND FOR CAT AND REPTILE LOVERS, JANUARY 12/13 2013

You're so slow, I'm falling asleep here Italian cats and reptiles? I'm no specialist, but I happen to know many a Tuscan example of them, as they tend to hang around our olive grove. Luckily the snakes never like to stay on, once the grove gets crowded. But the cats love to look on and tell me what I'm supposed to do with the olives I'm trying to get off our trees . As if I didn't know for myself. That feline sense of superiority!

WHAT TO DO IN SIENA: GUITAR FESTIVAL, 4th of January 2012

It's called Siena Guitar Festival, but it really only comes down to one evening of life music. But looking at the program (five fine guitarists and Italian star trumpeter Flavio Boltro as a special guest), we're surely in for a long, inspiring and entertaining night.  Considering that life events and cultural projects aren't far-flung in Siena in the winter, this is great news for the start of the new year.  Siena Guitar Festival , Friday 4th of January, 2013 Teatro dei Rozzi, 9 pm For reservations call +39 0577 44521