BO­LO­GNA, ENCHANTMENT & TRIUMPH

Marie Claire Maison (Italy) - - ENGLISH TEXT -

The opu­len­ce of the hi­sto­ri­cal buil­dings and the gra­ce of the co­lon­na­des that em­broi­der the ci­ty. A mix of la­te Go­thic sty­le and new, stri­king ar­chi­tec­tu­ral di­rec­tions

By Ele­na Luraghi - Pho­tos Mat­teo Carassale

A triumph of pe­riod ar­chi­tec­tu­re and majestic co­lon­na­des that li­ne the stree­ts in the cen­tre for ki­lo­me­tres, the hi­sto­ri­cal Asi­nel­li and Ga­ri­sen­da to­wers, the re­stau­ran­ts wi­th ex­per­ti­se in en­no­bling the tra­di­tio­nal cui­si­ne, but al­so the ho­me of Lu­cio Dal­la in Via d’Aze­glio and his Piaz­za Gran­de. To tell the tru­th, its real na­me is ac­tual­ly Piaz­za Mag­gio­re: the stri­king dra­wing room in the heart of Bo­lo­gna over­loo­ked by cre­nel­la­ted me­die­val buil­dings (Pa­laz­zo d’Ac­cur­sio, Pa­laz­zo dei No­tai and Pa­laz­zo del Po­de­stà) and San Pe­tro­nio, the ba­si­li­ca whi­ch has to­we­red hi­gh over the ci­ty’s roof­tops sin­ce the 17th cen­tu­ry wi­th its struc­tu­re in mar­ble and bricks. In the ori­gi­nal de­si­gns, the chur­ch was sup­po­sed to be lar­ger than St Pe­ter’s in Ro­me, but ar­chi­tec­ts and po­li­ti­cal even­ts re­si­zed it to ma­ke room for the Ar­chi­gin­na­sio, whi­ch ma­ny con­si­der to be Ita­ly’s fir­st uni­ver- si­ty. Its cor­ri­dors − spor­ting coa­ts of arms bea­ring the sur­na­mes of pu­pils and “ma­sters of Stu­dy” − are a Wun­der­kam­mer ba­sed on grandeur. It was the aca­de­mic haun­ting ground of Leon Bat­ti­sta Al­ber­ti, Al­bre­cht Dü­rer, Nic­co­lò Co­per­ni­co, Car­lo Goldoni and Gio­suè Car­duc­ci. In the 17th cen­tu­ry, doc­tors su­ch as Gio­van­ni Gi­ro­la­mo Sba­ra­glia and Mar­cel­lo Mal­pi­ghi held their les­sons in the Anatomy Theatre whi­ch had ju­st ope­ned, whi­le in 1921 Al­bert Ein­stein en­lighte­ned the pu­blic the­re wi­th me­mo­ra­ble lec­tu­res on the theo­ry of re­la­ti­vi­ty, in the hall of the Sta­bat Ma

ter, co­ve­red in ti­les and shields. To­day Neo-Re­nais­san­ce per­va­des the ci­ty and in­deed re­vi­ves the ve­ry glo­ries of the pa­st. Thanks to a new ge­ne­ra­tion that mi­xes blue blood and en­tre­pre­neu­rial spi­rit, re­si­den­tial buil­dings that we­re on­ce inac­ces­si­ble ha­ve been ope­ned to the pu­blic. One exam­ple is Pa­laz­zo Iso­la­ni, sta­te­ly ho­me and hea­d­quar­ters of De­si­gn Week, the event sche­du­led to ta­ke pla­ce from 25 to 29 Sep­tem­ber, du­ring whi­ch vi­si­tors co­me to “ad­mi­re the fur­ni­tu­re amid­st the fre­scoes, fa­mi­ly por­trai­ts and the da­ma­sk ta­pe­stries from the 1700s”, re­veals Le­ti­zia Ca­vaz­za Iso­la­ni. Hers was the idea to tran­sform the rooms on the top floor − for a long ti­me ho­me to Clau­dio Ab­ba­do − in­to a bou­ti­que bed & break­fa­st. “An al­ter­na­ti­ve way of ex­pe­rien­cing the re­si­den­ces of long ago”, adds the bu­si­nes­swo­man. Chia­ra Cam­pa­gno­li too, the pa­tron of Pa­laz­zo Pal­la­vi­ci­ni – whi­ch ta­kes its na­me from the count who brought the elite of in­ter­na­tio­nal di­plo­ma­cy to Bo­lo­gna in the 18th cen­tu­ry – in­ve­sted in in­no­va­tion and con­ver­ted the re­sto­red halls whe­re Mo­zart played in the pro­mi­sed land of crea­ti­vi­ty. “He­re we ho­st an­nual even­ts li­ke the Tea Fe­sti­val, pho­to­gra­phy ex­hi­bi­tions and the Fe­brua­ry da­te wi­th Se­tUp Con­tem­po­ra­ry Art Fair”, the di­rec­tor poin­ts out. The tur­ning point was in­ge­nui­ty, whi­ch has tran­sfor­med itself in­to a se­ries of long-ran­ging ope­ra­tions ca­pa­ble of tur­ning di­su­sed lo­ca­tions in­to in­sti­tu­tio­nal cul­tu­ral con­tai­ners. The em­ble­ma­tic ca­se of this phe­no­me­non is that of the MAM­bo, Mu­seum of Mo­dern Art, crea­ted in the for­mer Ba­ke­ry: it fea­tu­res can­va­ses by Gior­gio Mo­ran­di and a per­ma­nent col­lec­tion that looks in­crea­sin­gly to­wards con­tem­po­ra­ry sty­le. Not by chan­ce, it is ma­na­ged by Lo­ren­zo Bal­bi; wi­th his weal­th of ex­per­ti­se gai­ned at the San­dret­to Re Re­bau­den­go Foun­da­tion in Tu­rin, he al­so ma­na­ges Art Ci­ty, a ca­len­dar of even­ts and ex­po­si­tions that at­trac­ts one hun­dred thou­sand vi­si­tors to ea­ch edi­tion. “I fo­cus mo­st on up-an­d­co­ming ar­tists and on po­st avant-gar­de works. This is why the col­lec­ti­ve ex­hi­bi­tion on un­til 11 No­vem­ber − That’s it! On the newe­st ge­ne­ra­tion of ar­tists in Ita­ly and one me­ter eighty from the bor­der, in the Sa­la del­le Ci­mi­nie­re − is de­di­ca­ted to un­der-40s Ita­lians, in­te­rac­ting wi­th the in­ter­na­tio­nal con­text”, spe­ci­fies Bal­bi. This sho­w­ca­sing ve­nue re­la­tes Bo­lo-

gna to the world and is on­ly one of the pie­ces in that mo­saic wi­th in­no­va­ti­ve fea­tu­res that dra­ws its lym­ph from tra­di­tions. By coi­ning al­ter­na­ti­ve forms of ex­pres­sion. A lit­tle fur­ther on, in the hin­ter­land, we rea­ch the Fer­ruc­cio Lam­bor­ghi­ni Mu­seum, a tem­ple to the me­mo­ry and icon of fi­ne Ita­lian pro­duc­tion, now ma­na­ged − as the fa­mi­ly bu­si­ness − by the gran­d­chil­dren of the bu­si­ness­man from Emi­lia. In­stead the fac­to­ry in Via Pao­lo Nan­ni Co­sta is ho­me to the Go­li­nel­li Foun­da­tion. An ex­traor­di­na­ry phi­lan­th­ro­pic in­sti­tu­tion, mo­del­led on pri­va­te Ame­ri­can ones, it has “an in­te­gra­ted vi­sion of kno­w­led­ge, edu­ca­tion and trai­ning, whi­ch ena­bles its stu­den­ts to ex­pe­rien­ce the dif­fe­rent fields of kno­w­led­ge and ethics”, af­firms An­to­nio Da­nie­li, the di­rec­tor. In the sa­me com­plex, the fu­tu­ri­stic Arts and Scien­ces Cen­tre − de­si­gned by Ma­rio Cu­ci­nel­la Ar­chi­tec­ts − hosts fu­tu­ri­stic ex­hi­bi­ts and tra­ces the sky­li­ne wi­th its ethe­real si­lhouet­te: a trans­pa­rent pa­ral­le­le­pi­ped eight me­tres hi­gh and de­di­ca­ted to ma­xi­mum fle­xi­bi­li­ty, si­mi­lar to a hi­gh-te­ch cloud. Ano­ther un­mis­sa­ble new en­try is the Ci­rul­li Foun­da­tion in San Laz­za­ro di Sa­ve­na. He­re the hi­sto­ri­cal ar­chi­ve and the ex­hi­bi­tions, su­ch as Uni­ver­so Fu­tu­ri­sta, open to vi­si­tors un­til 18 No­vem­ber, are con­se­cra­ted to the cul­tu­re of the 1900s, among the vo­lu­mes of a buil­ding com­mis­sio­ned by in­du­stria­li­st Di­no Ga­vi­na and de­si­gned by Achil­le and Pier Gia­co­mo Ca­sti­glio­ni. At the en­tran­ce we can read a quo­te by Wal­ter Gro­pius: “Pe­rhaps Ita­ly is de­sti­ned to cla­ri­fy the fac­tors of mo­dern li­fe we need to esta­bli­sh our so­cie­ty on, to re­co­ver the lo­st sen­se of beau­ty and pro­mo­te, in the in­du­stria­li­sed era, a new cul­tu­ral uni­ty”.

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