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lunedì 24 ottobre 2011

Tourist Markets to become Made in Florence

Tourist Markets to become Made in Florence 

By Paige Gherardi

When tourists come to Florence they are drawn to the large markets like San Lorenzo and Mercato Nuovo to buy what they believe to be Florentine goods. People come away with leather jackets, shoes, gloves, scarves, Ciao Bella t-shirts, figurines of Florentine monuments, and just about any souvenir you can think of. While this market started out as a traditional market selling local goods, globalization has changed the inventory to be mainly goods made outside of Italy.

Florence Vice Mayor Dario Nardella is now pushing for all tourist markets to sell only products that are traditional to Tuscany and Italy, and that are made in Italy. Nardella told La Repubblica that he doesn’t have a problem with someone buying from stores selling goods from other cultures, but that he does have a problem that people shopping in the tourist markets are leaving with a tag that says “Made in China.” He emphasized the importance of selling goods made by Florentine and Tuscan artisans even if that means having to change laws in Florence. Laws currently allow for the liberalization of markets, which usually pushes out higher quality and traditional products. Nardella seems to be prepared to create new legislation to limit the types of products that can be sold in markets.

It will most likely be difficult to transform the tourist markets into Made in Italy vendors since foreign goods are cheaper to buy and sell in an economic downturn. However, it is equally important to create outlets for local artisans and producers to sell their products. Market prices may rise for hand-crafted and locally produced goods, but it is worth it knowing that what you bought came from the place you visited. There is nothing worse than getting home with gifts for friends and family and realizing that every item says “Made in Who-Knows-Where.”


martedì 18 ottobre 2011

STUDY ABROAD ISTITUTO EUROPEO: Stage Manager Intern

An Italian theater company is looking for an intern in the position of stage manager from January through June 2012. Please contact Istituto Europeo for more details: info@istitutoeuropeo.it

lunedì 17 ottobre 2011

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE di Paolo Sorrentino



di Fabrizio Ulivieri

This Must Be the Place

Genere:  Drammatico
Durata: 118 min

Cheyenne una ex rock star famosa che in passato aveva cantato addirittura con Mick Jagger (pardon: Mick jagger aveva cantato con lui), vive isolato in una splendida villa castello in Irlanda, arredata con l'essenziale ma di buon gusto. In cucina ad esempio campeggia una grande scritta "CUISINE" ("Perchè l'architetto ha scritto CUISINE nella nostra cucina? Lo sappiamo che è la cucina..."nella piscina non c'è l'acqua ma ci giocano lui e la moglie ad una specie di pallammano... E lui perde sempre. Lui è depresso. Lui è una maschera. Una cariatide. Si trucca. Si dà il rossetto. Si colora le unghie fin da quando era un ragazzino e suo padre lo odiava per questo...il padre è una figura irrisolta. La morte di due ex compagni è una situazione irrisolta ed entrambe le situazioni gli procurano sensi di colpa che lo hanno portato ad un tipo di vita in cui lui è chiaramente vivo per il solo motivo che respira.
La morte del padre lo fa ritornare a casa. Una casa di ebrei, un quartiere di ebrei, una cultura di ebrei che lo porterà a riimmergersi in un'atmosfera in cui lui è davvero un pesce fuor d'acqua.
In questo ritorno alle origini si vedrà spinto ad affrontare l'origine dei suoi attuali problemi: quel numero tatuato sul braccio destro del padre: il numero di un'internato in campo nazi a cui ha sopravvissuto. E qui si salderà un'irreale storia: la caccia al nazi che ha torturato il padre e il leitmotiv dell' on the road decollerà, secondo la migliore tradizione del cinema americano. 
Scenari suggestivi. Colori bellissimi. Film bizzarro. Grande amore per la musica, soprattutto per i Talking Heads. Da cineteca la scena in cui David Byrne suona "This must be the place" (solo per questa scena il prezzo del biglietto potrebbe essere pagato). Un film che talora sembra ammiccare a Taxi driver, soprattutto per i dialoghi senza senso fra i personaggi ("Sto cercando di far mettere insieme una ragazza triste con un ragazzo triste, ma forse tristezza e tristezza non sono compatibili" - "Non sto cercando me stesso. Sono in New Mexico, non in India..."),  come i memorabili dialoghi fra Travis e Mago.
Ma soprattutto appare un film sulla compassione fra gli umani. Una compassione istintiva che si genera dalla semplice coscienza dello stesso dolore che ci fa vivere e ci dà la forza di andare avanti ogni giorno e che istintivamente si riconosce nell'altro nel momento stesso del contatto.

E' un film fatto da uno che ha talento ma volendo scrivere in un'altra lingua che non sia quella madre, naturalmente si autolimita. E perciò scopiazza da altri scrivendo in modo abbastanza lineare e semplice. Così è per il film di Sorrentino: un talento espresso in una lingua non propria che sceglie un modello molto battuto per esprimere il proprio talento, perché così è più facile. Una lingua in cui non può brillare per  maturità ovviamente ma tuttavia lascia trapelare il talento.

Voto: tre stelle.

venerdì 14 ottobre 2011

We need new models to enhance a new growth in global Capitalism

Serching for new prospectives...



BY FABRIZIO ULIVIERI

Mario Draghi has recently warned that in order for Italy to repay its debts it has to adopt policies that enhance the growth of the Italian Economy (an indirect criticism of Giulio Tremonti, the Italian minister of finance).
Of course to produce that enhancement in Italy it shouldn’t be too complicated given the exaggerated fiscal pressure.
There is a lot of talk about growth. The need to enhance a new growth in global Capitalism, but probably time has come to change the model. The current model has become unsustainable and stagnant it cannot produce neither wealth, growth, nor happiness any longer. 
The growth model has to be reoriented. We need new models. We should be running the economy to increase happiness (compassion and respect for the environment) not just to aim to increase the economy for the profit sectors (i.e. relentless pursuit of GNP to the exclusion of other goals).
“In the US, GNP has risen sharply in the past 40 years, but happiness has not. Instead, single-minded pursuit of GNP has led to great inequalities of wealth and power, fueled the growth of a vast underclass, trapped millions of children in poverty, and caused serious environmental degradation” (Jeffrey Sachs)



giovedì 13 ottobre 2011

STUDY ABROAD ISTITUTO EUROPEO (multidestination internship program): Francesco Clemente’s “I Tarocchi”, and the Twelve Apostles. Uffizi Gallery Tuesday-Sunday 8.15 am- 6.15 pm Through Nov. 6

We are glad to start a new collaboration with  Anna Maria Frastali at ISTITUTO EUROPEO for an internship in "Creative Writing"



Francesco Clemente’s “I Tarocchi”,
and the Twelve Apostles.


Uffizi Gallery
Tuesday-Sunday  8.15 am- 6.15 pm
Through Nov. 6
The first floor of the Uffizi museum hosts two series of works by internationally acclaimed painter, Francesco Clemente. Though each series differs in subject, they are similar to each other in technical terms. “I Tarocchi”, or “The Tarots”, is the name of the main exhibition, but there is also a special section inspired by the twelve Apostles.
The paintings “I Tarocchi” were created between 2009 and 2011 in several places- New York, India, Naples and New Mexico. The painter combines the traditional division of tarots with his own symbolic preferences. The 78 cards are separated into two main categories: 22 tramps cards (major arcane) and 56 pip and court cards divided into four suits: cups, swords, wands and disks. The painter introduces symbols such as hearts in different shapes, the sun, the human body and especially the female body scarred or not. The painter is depicted in some of them, such as The Fool, but the works primarily feature portraits of individuals close to the painter’s environment. Big intense eyes and red shapely lips emerge in every painting. Each suit is painted in a different media: watercolor on paper, ink and colored pencil on paper, pastel on paper and finally collage, pencil and ink on paper.
Francesco Clemente focused on one of his favorite subjects for the second exhibition “Self portraits as the 12 Apostles”. Self portrait is the departure point the painter uses to explore the self’s other. Well known features are used in each painting, such as the skin of St Bartholomew, the saw of St Simon and the coins of St Matthew. The same eyes and lips are recognizable in these paintings, too, in an effort to engage the evangelical theme but also interrogate the viewer. One of these paintings will be donated by the painter to the Uffizi museum.

by  Anna Maria Frastali

STUDY ABROAD ISTITUTO EUROPEO Protest Neapolitan Style


by Fabrizio Ulivieri


The Neapolitan indignados (outraged) protest in front of Banca d'Italia against the outgoing governor Draghi.
They prostest in the best Neapolitan style serving and eating spaghetti and warning the banks: non contate su di noi questi erano gli ultimi soldi rimasti (don't count on us, to buy these spaghetti we used the remaining money we had!)

mercoledì 12 ottobre 2011

ISTITUTO EUROPEO Study Abroad, Middlebury College Sets an Example for American Universities in Florence

Middlebury Campus in Via degli Alfani
By Paige Gherardi

Middlebury College celebrated 50 years of its Florence location in Palazzo Vecchio with Mayor Matteo Renzi and the new Consulate General Sarah Craddock Morrison. One of the elements that sets Middlebury aside from other American universities in Florence is that their students sign an “impegno d’onore,” or honor code, to speak in Italian while they follow a Florentine curriculum.


It is very rare to see American students blending in with Florentine students their own age, and the biggest obstacle for interaction between them is the language barrier. Florence is trying to break this barrier by offering events that include both foreign and Italian students, but it is still difficult to find occasions to speak in Italian.

American universities, which send around 300,000 students abroad per year, are finding that their students are taking less and less away from the culture of their host countries because they spend an average of 4 hours per day connected with friends at family at home and are not challenged to speak a foreign language in social events. Now more universities are following in Middlebury’s footsteps and creating similar honor codes to speak in Italian.  

It will be interesting to see how many foreign universities enforce new language and cultural requirements to make Florence into a melting pot for students and culture exchange rather than remain an increasingly English-speaking town.

Middlebury College Impegno d'onore
M'impegno a usare esclusivamente la lingua
italiana durante il mio soggiorno alla Scuola
Italiana.  Sono pienamente consapevole del
fatto che l'uso, anche se episodico, dell'inglese
può comportare l'allontanamento dalla Scuola
in qualsiasi momento della sessione.

martedì 11 ottobre 2011

Matteo Renzi, Mayor of Florence, starts a new (creative) politics with his Big-Bang vision



Di Fabrizio Ulivieri

In his Big-Bang chart Matteo Renzi (http://networkedblogs.com/oeQPS ) is trying to give birth to a new vision of politics.
A three-day meeting will be held at Stazione Leopolda of Florence and important names of PD’s nouvelle vogue will be camping there to discuss the Renzi chart and estabilish a new direction forItalian politics.
A chart inspired by title of a Jovanotti song (ll più grande spettacolo dopo il big bang http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aESaXzvfs78) is giving  fresh air to a choking world and calls for citizens (pro-sumers) dissatisfied with the traditional way of makingpolitics to jumpstart a New Beginning for this country.
In this chart Renzi insists on the need of a rottamazione concept: to put aside the senescent Italian politicians and give the green light to young and rampant newcomers who aim to change this country’s structures betting on merit, innovation and quality.
It’s a step forward. An attempt to find a way out from the suffocating world of dinosauric mentality that pervades and entangles Italian institutions and irremovable politicians.



lunedì 10 ottobre 2011

Eurochocolate – Perugia’s International Chocolate Exhibition



Each October Perugia turns its historical center into a chocolate lover’s paradise. The streets are lined with vendors selling anything and everything having to do with chocolate. Chocoholics will find small vendors selling their own recipes as well as big names like Lindt, Milka, and of course Perugia’s own Perugina brand famous for Baci. Live music, demonstrations, and information sessions take place throughout the exhibition. If you’re not a fan of sweets, don’t worry because there are also several vendors selling sandwiches, pizza, and any other typical Italian street food. Don’t miss the opportunity to see Europe’s chocolate fair and discover the artistic and historic sites of Perugia. This year’s dates are October 14 – October 23 from 9 AM to 9 PM (until 11PM on Saturdays). Check out the Eurochocolate website for a list of daily events and more information about the Chococard.  http://www.eurochocolate.com/perugia2011/

mercoledì 5 ottobre 2011

ITALY A LAND DEVASTASTED BY CONTRADICTION

IBy Fabrizio Ulivieri


I am Italian even though I don't look like an Italian. I am Catholic even though I don't believe in Catholicism.
Isn't this a contradiction?
I've never been fond of this country. And I don't know why. I've never hated this country and I've never loved it at the same time. And I don't know why.
But now time has come to know why and to try to help this miserable society. To have compassion for such devastated land. A land that I hardly understand. Where the opposite of "just" is always valid and counts.
A land where you stay with someone or you are nothing. Where you have a recommendation or you are nothing. Where politicians are comedians. Where comedians are politicians. Where a person is convicted for a murder and four years later the verdict is overturned and the convict is freed. Where if you criticize the class of politicians (casta) you are "antipolitica" (you simply do populism), but instead you are trying to start a new sense of social responsibility which doesn't pertain to the current politics made of nonsense quarrels and personal interests of low profile. 


Berlusconi is an exhausted politician but doesn't give up. He probably understands that he completely lost his state of grace but he continues to persist.
The left criticizes the right wing but never proposes solutions, since they have no solution.
The Lega wants Secession but stays in the Government. 
The Association of Industrialists (Confindustria) is on the same page as the Unions (Sindacati). The (former) middle-class is paying for the upper classes which never pay for what they should have paid. 
The young generations are sacrificed because the oldest generations (their fathers) robbed them any  right for a decent life.
In this country there is a deep sense of contradiction that imbued our lives, our minds, our souls, even the air we breathe, and this subsequently caused the largest lack of respect. In this country everything is permitted, and the contrary of everything too. "Gli italiani son brava gente! " (Italians are good guys!), that is the ground that triggered the persistent contradiction we live in today and keeps alive the tremendous lack of respect which is surrounding us everywhere: 

We all are good
Ergo everything is permitted
--------------------------------------
A good guy will never harm anyone
Ergo you can do what you want

Look at the neorealist movie and literature and you will find thousands of these examples. Examples that reveal an anarchist flock-folk, without rules and laws: like a flock we live, like a flock we think, like a flock we act, like a flock we die...

We need to change. We need a different perception of politics: politics as a social commitment; politics as creativity; politics as a continuous act of innovation to launch a new society, just in the sense you launch a new product. Politics have to become more similar to a marketing campaign if we want to change our flock-folk-structure versus a better tied cluster of responsible individuals connected by a vaster sense of social responsibility instead of a flock- folk-sense-of-life.