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Showing posts from May, 2013

CONTEMPORARY ART AND FREE MUSEUM NIGHT IN SIENA: MAY 18, 2013

With the financial mess Siena is in right now, you'd think free cultural events are a thing of the past. But quite to the contrary, they keep popping up all over the town.  SATURDAY, 18th of May starts off with another appointment of RSVP, an initiative that brings contemporary art to the medieval heart of the city and some of its most beautiful privately owned buildings. From 4.30 pm to 8 pm you can explore a Siena most of us have never seen. Three generous and art loving house owners open the doors of their homes for the artworks of Vedovamazzei, Ettore Favini and Emanuele Becheri - and for you and me. 

SIENA AND THE MONTE DEI PASCHI CRISIS

The world's oldest banking institute (founded in 1472) has made it into the media big time since 2012. But not because of its longevity.  Wondering what the financial nigh tmare is all about? I'm still trying to figure it out - just as everybody else who's living in Southern Tuscany.   The crisis of the Monte dei Paschi bank isn't just about MPS employers losing their jobs and museums their funding (which on its own is already bad enough). But it's also about research, universities and even kindergartens. Basically every age group in and around Siena will be affected in some way or another by the drying up of the streams of money that supported most social and cultural aspects of Southern Tuscany.  Right, I would look worried too. Palazzo Spannocchi, part of the MPS HQ in piazza Salimbeni Want to know more?  The art newspaper has published a well researched article in April, which explains some of the artier effects of the bank's crisis.  

LEARN ABOUT SIENA'S WATERWAYS AT THE SANTA MARIA DELLA SCALA MUSEUM

Recently we've visited Siena's bottini , the city's underground water tunnels. My kids were impressed and so was I. Just that I didn't feel quite as relaxed as the two of them. The medieval tunnels are a narrow affair - especially if you're a bit of a claustrophobic.   However, if you don't suffer from any major phobias and personality disorders, the bottini are a must see sight. Even more so if you're a geologist at heart (or just an adventurer by nature). This said, the visits are a little complicated to organize (only via previous reservation with the Diana association ).  Fontebranda: fed entirely by the water arriving from the bottini. 

CULTURAL AWAKENING: THE WEEKEND IN SIENA MAY 3/5 2013

Spring has definitely sprung in the hills around Siena and so has the city's cultural life, which sports a weekend of concerts, cocktails, exhibitions and clever arty events.  FRIDAY, 3rd of MAY 2013 Start off the evening with a guided visit to the rediscovered crypt below Siena's cathedral . Hear about its amazing history, have a look at the amazingly well kept frescoes and Caravaggio's painting of Saint John the Baptist. Afterwards enjoy the view onto the tourist free square in front of the cathedral, sip a glass of Prosecco and taste your way through the buffet. Tickets for visit and aperitif 13€. From 7.30 pm (also on the evenings of May 10, 17 and 24) .  Caravaggio and drinks: guided evening visits and aperitifs, May 2013