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Siena Contemporanea

“The key words of the program of Siena, Italian Capital of Culture, have been participation, innovation and sharing. The many initiatives, in fact, were produced by a path of confrontation and mutual stimulation between Institutions and citizens who have voluntarily decided to engage”.

These are the words of the mayor of Siena, Bruno Valentini, about the shared vision that recently led to the realization of the program of the Week of Contemporary in Siena. Meetings, workshops and exhibitions of artists from Siena at the Santa Maria della Scala, but also installations of international artists and performances (music, dance and theater) in other places in the city.

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    Pet daycare for busy parents

    It takes one look at those vibrant and loving eyes and before you know it, you are taking a new pet home. Sometimes you find them inside a box at a street fair being given away, other times they are behind a pet shop window looking so cute and irresistible or, often, they are the lucky doggie or kitty leaving a shelter. One way or another, they are cute and they will steal your heart away and give you theirs in return. As pet lovers, we can fight and we can resist, however, it is only a matter of time before a cute fury snout makes their way home with us, only to later eat or scratch all of our furniture and possibly pee on our bathroom rug. We’ll make excuses for them on the grounds of them being so young, or it being a new situation for them and life will go on – even if, in some cases, we need to repair half of what we once called a home.

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      Domenico-di-Michelino-Dante-Alighieri-and-the-allegory-of-the-Divine-Comedy-and-the-town-of-Florence-1465 copia

      The Dante’s comedy And its plaques on buildings throughout the city

      In the streets of Florence you’ll find a total of thirty-four plaques with quotations from the La Divina Commedia: nine from Inferno, five from Purgatorio and no less than twenty from Paradiso. Given their number and unity of form, these plaques form a sort of unfolding poetic mural that is unique in the world. Although they are now considered to be an integral part of the “Stones of Florence”, they actually date from a project initiated in 1900. You could undertake a sort of treasure hunt to identify the various locations. But for those who can’t be bothered to search for all thirty- four, here is a list of some locations and quotations. Inferno VIII, 61 – 63 (Filippo Argenti): Via del Corso, location of the home of the Adimari, parents of Filippo Argenti;
 X, 58 – 63 (Guido Cavalcanti): Via Calzaiuoli, location of the home of the Cavalcanti;
 X, 91 – 93 (Farinata):

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        Boris Mikhailov

        Ukraine in the photographs of Boris Mikhailov Until the 10th of January at the Italian Center for Photography of Torino

        n overwhelming exhibition, of profound political and social implications, the first anthological one in Italy dedicated to Boris Mikhailov (1938) and also the most comprehensive one on an international level: through around three hundred exhibited photographs, in a period that starts in 1968 until 2013, Ukraine, the simple and immediate title, tells the story of the changes that have affected the former Soviet Republic, since the years from the last crisis within the regime, that has first brought the Perestrojka and to the collapse of the URSS immediately after.

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          Florence Marathon

          The 32nd running of the Florence Marathon, that ultimate test of the super-athlete and the everyman, takes place on November 29. The Florence version of the road-race marries a mental tour of strength and endurance with a historical tour of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

          With over 10,000 runners, Florence is the second largest race by participation (after Rome) in Italy, ensuring that participants are carried along in a small but manageable city of fellow athletes. For those who fear hills, take heart, the route through the city is as flat as they come. The finish is in the magnificent Santa Croce where you can kneel before the statue of Dante to find your inner Paradiso or Inferno, depending on how much training you did beforehand.

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            Thanksgiving Day

            Thanksgiving, the giant American holiday second only to Christmas, can seem far away while studying, traveling or living in Italy. Italian Sunday lunches can mask as gluttonous takedowns of all things-on-a-plate, but where, one might ask is the (NFL) football, the dumpster-sized turkey, the uncle you haven’t talked to since last Thanksgiving? Florence is the answer, one of the best places outside the USA to celebrate Thanksgiving, thanks to its high degree of expats, its natural relationship with food, and access to buckets of vino.

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              Certaldo, home of Boccaccio

              Certaldo is a small town in the province of Florence, located in the middle of Valdelsa. The city is divided into an upper and a lower part, tied together by a funicular railway that operates every 15 minutes. While the lower part of the town, Certaldo Basso is a modern, functional city, the upper part, Certaldo Alto is a glimpse into a perfectly preserved medieval world. The red brick walls, narrow streets, and vintage shops allure tourists to explore, to get lost into its beauty and charm.

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                Villa della Petraia

                When, in 1568 Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici received Villa della Petraia as a gift from his father Cosimo I, he could not be able even to imagine that it would have turned into one of the most beloved family properties. Nor that, centuries later, the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele, would have strolled along its gardens together with the beautiful Rosina, his lover for more than three decades. Ferdinando, when he became Grand Duke, renovated the fourteenth-century “palagio” (palace) into a noble villa, converting the fields full of rocks (in Italian “pietre”, hence the name “Petraia”) into a thriving garden made of overlapping terraces. At the end of XVI century, the first terrace, at the same level of the villa, was called “the garden of the dwarf-fruits”. The trees were so low that even the dames could pick the fruits without any effort.

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                  jedoa arca del masi

                  L’Arca del Masi More time to cuddle

                  L’Arca del Masi was born first as a traditional, family-run shop, bottega di mesticheria, which then sold among other items, unpackaged products for animals. At that time, Gianni Masi, the owner of L’Arca del Masi , was already responsible for the animal section of the business. In the years to come the shop expanded and in 1994 it is born as L’Arca del Masi, pet shop. Gianni’s partner in the business, Jedoa Rodrigues, being also an interior designer and organizer of indoor spaces has used that knowledge in the sector of pet and has introduced into the pet store products that are practical and will bring quality and design into the daily routine and home of those who own a pet.

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                    sepolcri di santa croce -ida-botti-scifoni

                    Santa Croce and its “Sepolcri”

                    Seven centuries after its foundation, the Basilica of Santa Croce, a Franciscan religious monument, contains a patrimony of memories that make it unique; you may consider it as a history book made out of stone. In order to browse those pages, filled with illustrious names, the Opera of Santa Croce was trusted to Carlo Sisi, the one who coordinated a team of scholars able to recount to the public, through a cycle of conferences, about the main components of the Tuscan and Italian society in the nineteen century, using great figures from the nineteen century buried in the Basilica and its extensions.

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                      Armida Nardi Games of shadows and lights

                      We live, paraphrasing the title of a recently successful book, in an age of “sad passions”, depression, confusion, loss of sense, and in this age we encounter the paintings of Armida, that are filled with color, shapes that seem to escape from the canvases and expand in the environment that hosts them. Our technological rooms, sorted and furnished in a melancholic way, frantically armored, isolated in anorexic buildings, isolated in toxic neighborhoods, isolated in delusional towns, slowly animated by shapes and glimpses of light in the paintings.

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