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Showing posts from June, 2013

SIENA and STARS: SUMMER FESTIVAL JULY AND AUGUST 2013

Siena's summer is dominated by the Palio races on the second of July and the 16th of August. But to bridge the hot weeks between the two horse crazy events, Siena has decided to keep itself busy with a new summer music festival stretching from July to August.  The first edition of SIENA AND STARS  will take place on piazza del Duomo, the medieval town square between the cathedral and the Santa Maria della Scala and OPA museums.  Siena, piazza del Duomo: from tourist hang out to concert stage Marco Menegoni , the winner of this year's San Remo music festival will open Siena and Stars on the 10th of July (expect to meet a lot of love crazy Italian teenagers at Menegoni's concert on piazza del Duomo).  Not to be missed are the concerts of Buena Vista Social Club with Omara Portuondo and Eliades Ochoa (19/7), Italian uber-musicians Mario Biondi and Pino Daniele (21/7) and  Baustelle  the great Italian indie pop band from Montepulciano in Southern Tuscany (27/7)

CONCERTS, GUIDED VISITS AND SHOPPING FRENZY FOR THE 2013 SUMMER SOLSTICE IN SIENA

Let's get this party started Sometimes I wonder whether the Monte dei Paschi fiasco and Siena's resulting financial crisis is a good thing. Okay, as a resident in Southern Tuscany I know only too well about the negative effects of the  crisis of the world's oldest banks . However, if you observe closely, some positive aspects can be made out too. Like the new trade organisation, which has been founded in Siena by merchants and shop owners who want to help Palio town to get back on its feet. On their initiative  Siena's museums, institutions, trade and cultural organisations have pulled together to organize the city's first NOTTE BIANCA.  The longest day of the year and the start of summer (not that it wasn't hot enough so far) will be celebrated in Siena with a wide selection of events.  The Santa Maria della Scala museum (including the  Steve McCurry exhibition ) and the Civic museum on piazza del Campo will stay open till midnight. So does S

MEET STEVE McCURRY IN SIENA

For a change in front of the lens: Steve McCurry in Siena Meet the man who made a photo go around the world. Tomorrow, Saturday 15th of June , Siena's Santa Maria della Scala museum opens the doors for Steve McCurry's  Viaggio Intorno al Mondo.  Maybe National Geographic's best known photographer, Steve McCurry is in town for the opening of the show. His masterclass at Siena University was attended by 700 students from all over Italy. You'll be able to meet McCurry at the museum for questions and book signing from  11 am to noon and from 4 pm to 5 pm.  The exhibition in the stunning setting of the medieval SMS museum complex concentrates on Steve McCurry's portrait work. Also part of the exhibition are the photo of the green-eyed Afghan girl and a short film by National Geographic, which documents McCurry's quest to find his famous model nearly two decades later. Which indeed he did.   Old friends: Steve Mc Curry's voyage to find

SIENA BY NIGHT... DOES IT EXIST?

A frenetic nightlife isn't the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Palio town. When it comes to going out, Siena reminds one more of a sleeping beauty than of European university cities of comparable size.  Nevertheless, after some scouting around, you'll find there is more to Siena's nightlife than warm summer evenings spent on piazza del Campo.  WINE BARS, PUBS AND DISCOS With contemporary design in a medieval space, wine bar and music club  Un Tubo  is the latest add-on to Siena's party scene . Owned by famous restaurant Le Logge, Un Tubo holds a weekly jam session on Tuesday nights and a couple of mostly jazzy concerts trough the rest of the month (many of them organized with the collaboration of Siena's Jazz Foundation). The sophisticated setting is reflected in the club's upscale prices, but the ambiance and the wine cellar carved into tufo stone make up for it. Un Tubo has been tastefully restored by Siena architect Marco Pignattai

LOOKING FOR A TOUR GUIDE IN SIENA? I'VE GOT HER!

I've written a self-guided Siena itinerary ( Siena in a Day for Unanchor.com), so it's not like I think you can only explore Palio town in company of an expert guide.  However when I first listened to Elena Sardelli's explanation about the mysterious history of the re-discovered crypt below Siena's cathedral, I've got reminded that humans still have a few advantages over audio, e- or paper guides. Siena tour guide Elena Sardelli in Piazza del Campo

PALIO DI SIENA, JULY 2013

Out of Siena's 17 contrade / neighborhoods the following seven didn't participate in last year's July Palio and were therefore already designated to participate in the Palio della Madonna di Provenzano on the 2nd of July 2013: Valdimontone (ram), Pantera (panther), Oca (goose), Civetta (owl), Istrice (porcupine), Lupa (she-wolf) and Torre (tower).  Yesterday Leocorno (unicorn), Onda (wave) and Nicchio (shell) were drawn as the extra three contrade that can join in to make up the total of ten neighborhoods, which can participate in each race. According to my Tuscan native we're in for one hell of a Palio, as most of Siena's historic enemies will be present at the race. Oca and Onda vs Torre (the tiny contrada della Torre is the only one with two enemies), Civetta vs Leocorno, Nicchio vs Valdimontone, Istrice vs Lupa . Giraffa (giraffe), Chiocciola (snail), Drago (dragon), Tartuca (turtle), Selva (forest), Bruco (caterpillar) and Aquila (eagle) can't parti

CONTEMPORARY ART IN SIENA? stARTers ARTIST TALKS JUNE 2013

Julie Evans - BigHairDo Right, this is probably not what you planned to look at during your short visit in Siena. But as much as I love the Sienese school and the Renaissance frescoes in town - I can't but thank god that Siena has decided to be more than a Gothic dream.  One of the creative forces in the city's contemporary tapestry is the recently born Siena Art Institute. And so are the artist talks organized each Tuesday night with the institute's visiting visual artists.  The conversation with artist Julie Evans from New York will head off the program of this June, to be followed by encounters with two more visiting artists from the USA, Ellen Driscoll and Jarrod Beck (click through to the website of the Siena Art Institute for the artists' biographies).  Tuesday 2nd of June: Julie Evans Tuesday, 11th of June: Ellen Driscoll Tuesday, 18th of June: Jarrod Beck The stARTers artist talks take place at 6pm in Siena's historic town center in via Tomma