A new tradition has been established in Ferrara lately. Every year we celebrate the new summer with a city-wide night party thrown on the solstice day. In yesterday’s edition I attended a wonderful fireworks show where music and light synchronized together built a moving synesthetic show. Fireworks went on for about 45 minutes, with a sequence of several songs, each one with a different choreography. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday I went to see Miró: la terra, an exposition dedicated to the Catalan artist held at Palazzo dei Diamanti. This was my second attempt with Miró. The first was many years ago – I was still in primary school – the teacher brought us to the exposition and tried hard to make us understand what’s behind the surface of such apparently simple and meaningless sketches. That time she failed. Luckily enough, now I’m grown up. After so many years, watching Miró’s painting had a totally different effect on me and, even if I know little about art. At least this time I could appreciate the message conveyed. Read the rest of this entry »
A mere few months after I’ve enjoyed The Final Four at the Birdland in Manhattan, yesterday I’ve had the opportunity to listen again to one of the most important jazz players and composers worldwide, this time at the Jazz Club (A.K.A. Il torrione) in Ferrara. Steve Kuhn played in a trio, together with Billy Drummond (drum) and David Finck (bass). Read the rest of this entry »
This was taken last September at the Ferrara Balloons Festival. There were many huge balloons, some of them with crazy shapes. You could even buy a ticket to ride one. An interesting thing: I discovered balloons are better flown in the morning or in late afternoon, apparently because the hottest and coldest hours make navigation harder.
This week Ferrara celebrates the 20th Buskers Festival. For seven days straight, every night the medieval town center will be invaded by a few hundred street performers coming from all over the world and playing the most amazing instruments and music styles. It’s like the whole town became a giant stage 50 acres wide, surrounded by monuments and typical shops and shared by many parallel concerts. If all those performances were to be executed one after the other, they would continue uninterrupted for over 100 days. Read the rest of this entry »
Fortana is a relatively unknown grape variety typical of sand soil in north east of Italy. Growing vines in this kind of extreme terrains is very difficult and fortana is one of the few varieties that makes it possible. Its low vineyards survived attacks from phylloxera and therefore still today are grown self-rooted (e.g. no grafting). Mattarelli makes 500k bottles/yr of Bosco Eliceo DOC, but also has a small higher quality production (just 3k bottles/yr) using barriques and named Baba.
This wine has a very structured bouquet. At first you can feel a strong smell of minerals, paint, sage. Wait a while and you will see hints of asphalt and some black berry emerge from behind. Wait some more and it will turn in caramel and the hay. Wait even more and it will finally turn into tobacco. Taste is a little bitter, strong, with good balance between acidity and tannin and a sapid tail. Surprisingly, it disappears relatively quickly. Refreshing.
Federico Aldrovandi was an 18 years old guy from the same town where I was born. One year ago, the early morning of Sep 24th, Federico died in the hands of the police. They initially tried to hide what happened and the body was left alone 5 hours dead on the ground while his mother was looking for him. Then, their version has been that he collapsed by drug overdose when they tried to arrest him.
Pictures and independent analysis show that he he was beaten hard with a wound ruptured on his head, violet colored stripes on his pulses of the handcuffs, his scrotum smashed, lots of blood under his body. This story was almost unknown outside of the town, until Federico’s mother opened a blog. That eventually brought the case to national attention.
After one year, the truth still struggles to emerge as no trial in court took place yet but, no matter what really happened, we must make sure people won’t forget Federico’s story. I know, this post is mostly useless and won’t change anything, but then again…