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Showing posts from July, 2013

A JEWISH OPERA AT SIENA'S SYNAGOGUE: AUGUST 2013

Siena's splendid synagogue is having a busy cultural summer. After the interesting guided tour and talk organized by the Siena Art Institute with Israeli artist Avital Cnaani last week, the synagogue hosts a video performance called A Jewish Opera  by Davide Casali.  The video performance allows a glimpse into the rhythms of Jewish life, which is divided by the reciting and singing of the three daily prayers - Shachrit, Mincha and Arvit.  Siena's synagogue A Jewish Opera will be installed in the women's gallery of Siena's synagogue and has already been on show in Trieste and at the Jewish Museum of Venice. SIENA SYNAGOGUE - A JEWISH OPERA by DAVIDE CASALI Opening in the presence of the artist and participating musicians: 31st of July, 9 pm Vicolo delle Scotte, 14 (near piazza del Campo in the Torre neighborhood) The installation can be visited from the 1st to the 31st of August 2103 from 10.30 am to 3 pm (Monday to Friday) and from 10.30 am to 5.30

BAUSTELLE IN SIENA FOR SIENA AND STARS

Due to the banking crisis Siena is indeed a Baustelle right now (more on this in my interview with the head of SIENA2019 ). But the German word for construction site is also the name of a popular Italian indie band, which is about to rock the town.  Originally from Montepulciano, Baustelle by now have breached the indie label and have become one of the best known and most innovative players in the Italian pop scene. The Siena and Stars summer music festival, will bring the three Baustelle musicians back to their homeland for a concert in piazza del Duomo.  Their latest album Fantasma (Ghost)  was released last winter, and the 2013 tour will see the band accompanied by no less than a 48 person symphony orchestra.  SIENA AND STARS : BAUSTELLE -  Sunday 28th of July, 2013 Concert starts at 9.15 pm in piazza del Duomo (the square in front of Siena's cathedral). Tickets from 25 Euro.   You can find more info about Baustelle and the wines of their famous Tuscan hometown

ARTIST TALK AND GUIDED VISIT AT SIENA'S SYNAGOGUE: JULY 23, 2013

All through the year the Siena Art Institute hosts a series of artist talks on Tuesday evenings. During the events, the mostly visual artists in residence talk with their audience about their work in general and about the themes of their project in Siena in particular.  In a special collaboration for the talk with Israeli artist Avital Cnaani , the  Jewish Community of Florence  and  the  Siena Art Institute have organized  this week's event at Siena's synagogue.  For the occasion free guided tours to the synagogue are organized in English and Italian.  StARTers - Artist Talks with Avital Cnaani, Tuesday 23rd of July, 9pm Synagogue of Siena, Vicolo delle Scotte (near piazza del Campo in the Torre neighborhood) The guided tours to the synagogue take place from 8 pm to 9 pm. The talk with Avital Cnaani will start at 9 pm. Kosher wine will be served during the evening. 

SIENA AS EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE IN 2019? AN INTERVIEW WITH PIER LUIGI SACCO

Every year the European Union designates at least two cities from different member countries to become European Capitals of Culture for a period of 12 months. Italy’s turn is up again in 2019 (together with Bulgaria), and Siena has joined the race as one of the candidate cities, which are competing to represent the country and the whole of Europe. Recently the website of SIENA 2019  has been launched in English, which gave me the opportunity to meet project director Pier Luigi Sacco to find out more about the reasons behind Siena’s candidature. Originally from Pescara the head of  # SIENA2019 is professor of Cultural Economics at IULM university in Milan and of Creative Industries at the university of Lugano in Switzerland. No doubt a busy man, Pier Luigi Sacco nevertheless took proper time to thoroughly answer my questions. The interview took place at the headquarters of  # SIENA2019, which are based in the fascinating underground maze of the Santa Maria della Scala museum (

SUMMER IN SIENA: OMARA PORTUONDO AND BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB AT SIENA AND STARS

Feeling a little fragile? Can't take the summer heat? Omara Portuondo is the woman who always manages to pick me up, when life is getting too much (or just too hot). The famous female voice of Cuban music turns 83 this year and still keeps touring the world. But even more impressively, she still sings like a bird.   Omara Portuondo live in Montreal  Starting her career in the early fifties, Omara interprets the great classics of Cuban music from the Jazz like 'filin' to the popular arrangements for dance hall style big band formations. Omara Portuondo will be on stage with singer and guitarist Eliades Ochoa and her fellow musicians from Buena Vista Social Club , the famous formation that brought the singer and Cuba's warm and rhythmic music to world fame in the nineties.  SIENA AND STARS  - OMARA PORTUONDO, ELIADES OCHOA and Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club Piazza del Duomo: Friday, 19th of July 2013, 9.15 pm T ickets from 25€.  Siena&#

L'OCA - THE WINNER OF THE 2013 JULY PALIO IN SIENA

La contrada dell'Oca (the neighborhood of the goose) won the race of the Palio di Provenzano 2013 with the horse Guess mounted by jockey Tittia. Guess is owned by a member of the Oca contrada, so this is double reason for joy in the Fontebranda neighborhood.  Guess - the winning horse of the July Palio 2013 L'Oca won the July Palio already in 2011, also then under the guidance of jockey Tittia - in real life Giovanni Atzeni. Tittia has won the Siena Palio three times so far, each time with a different horse but always riding for l'Oca.   As predicted by everybody, the race took a long time to get started because of the high number of rival contrade participating in the July 2013 edition of the horse race. In fact, after a false start, the young jockey of il Nicchio (dressed in dark blue for the neighborhood of the shell) did a good job in getting the race started only once horse and jockey of the enemy contrada Valdimontone (yellow and pink for the neighbo

JULY PALIO 2013: HOW TO WATCH IT ON TELEVISION OR VIA LIVE STREAMING

At the Palio tonight? Lucky you! These guys are waiting for you. If you're not in Siena's Piazza del Campo, get your hotel or B&B to turn on RAI DUE . The race is being watched all through Italy on national television from 6.45 pm (the race itself starts at 7.30 pm, but only lasts 80 seconds, so make sure you turn it on in time!).  Or try to watch the Palio in livestreaming on Siena News .  Below the names of the ten participating contrade (neighborhoods).  TORRE (tower) - Horse, Mocambo, Jockey: Giuseppe Zedde called Gingillo ISTRICE (porcupine) - Horse: Naik√®, Jockey: Valter Pusceddu called Bighino OCA (goose) - Horse: Guess, Jockey: Giovanni Atzeni called Tittia LUPA (she-wolf) - Horse: Indianos, Jockey: Andrea Mari called Brio PANTERA (panther) - Horse: Pestifero, Jockey: Silvano Mulas called Voglia NICCHIO (shell) - Horse: Morosita Prima, Jockey: Sebastiano Murtas called Grandine LEOCORNO (unicorn) - Horse: Porto Alabe, Jockey: Luigi Bruschell

SHOPPING IN SIENA: A FASHIONISTA AND FOOD LOVERS MAP

Even if you came to Siena for art not shopping - it will be hard to resist all the leather bags, Italian shoes and designer sunglasses on via Montanini, Banchi di Sopra and Via di Citt√† - the main roads making up Siena's corso or high street.  Pilgrims, merchants and the clergy travelling to Rome already did their shopping and money changing on these roads 800 years ago, so just follow in their footsteps for a break from the best museums  in town.  CLOTHES - ITALIAN FASHION A GOGO Many of the brand names and stores won't be new to you. Most of them can be found in every bigger Italian town, and some of them all over the world.  BENETTON: a must. No other Benetton store is looking anything like the one in Siena. Think  Renaissance building and frescoed ceilings .  TEZENIS, INTIMISSIMI, CALZEDONIA, YAMAMAY are Italy's main underwear chains for reduced budgets. If you travel with a teenager don't miss out on Tezenis (I'm far beyond