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Gilles Vigneault — a man whose name has been idolized and politicized. He is regarded as a legend, a man whose words have effectively shaped Quebec culture.

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I was completely dumbstruck, and with every thump of my heart, the same question repeated itself. What, will you speak about? Until the minute that he began to speak, I was still looking for their intersection. Vigneault has recently started working on a joint venture with photographer Geraldo Pace. The latter had been shooting what can only be described as landscape portraits and when Vigneault saw them, he jumped on board — agreeing to write texts that would accompany the photos.

Y en a-t-il vraiment un? De quoi allons-nous discuter? Ce dernier venait de photographier des paysages. Each tree has the ability to become a mast, each smaller branch, an oar. These photos bring you into the countryside — they allow you to travel. He would have accepted the project simply to be of assistance to them. We cannot be indifferent to each other; we are all responsible for each other. But Vigneault tends to see it another way.

On y retrouve des paysages, des arbres, des plantes. Ces photos rappellent le terroir et incitent au voyage. La confiance est l'un des moteurs de la condition humaine. I am not a depressive pessimist nor am I an exuberant optimist. Disposable, superficial, they merrily trip over the surface without being given the time to sink to any real depth, carrying such little weight that they are forgotten as soon as they are uttered.

Their value has become so cheap that we forget the hurt that they can cause, the happiness that they can generate. There are long silences that bloom into a thought. Watching him, I imagine the wheels of his mind turning, taking the time and profiting from the silence to weave together an idea that is so perfectly described the image leaps onto the table. Nous leur accordons si peu de valeur que nous oublions le mal qu'ils peuvent causer ou le bonheur qu'ils peuvent apporter. Les mots de Gilles Vigneault, eux, sont aux antipodes de cette situation.

Pour moi, ils sont comme le serment d'Hippocrate: By knowing someone, or so knowledge, that experience enhanc to new things and new deeper levels every time that a conversation is sh altered, born anew, each and every. If they fall upon infertile earth, nothing can grow. Words are incredibly powerful — just look at a prayer in its simplest form: They are what bind us to each other, offering solace, recognition, humour and love.

They can be the stable ground upon which we build our lives or the shifting sands that can cause our greatest deceptions. Words are what link us to each other. By knowing someone, or something, you are born again. That knowledge, that experience enhances your life, effectively giving birth to new things and new deeper levels. Every time that we meet a person, every time that a conversation is shared, we are changed. We have been altered, born anew, each and every time. Life is hidden in its words. Did I ask the right questions?

Did I finally find the place where all those lines intersected? The answer is, no. We live in a world defined by a multitude of different views, different cultures, and different languages. And sometimes, we are so busy sorting our similarities and the differences that we miss out on an opportunity entirely.

It is enough to hear him speak and learn a little bit about how he views the world. It is enough to enjoy the pleasure of his company for a few hours. Sometimes, appreciation is simply enough. Pouvez-vous imaginer ce qu'elle a pu ressentir?

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Ce sont eux qui nous unissent les uns aux autres. Ils permettent la reconnaissance. Ils disent l'amour et cachent une pointe d'humour. Les mots sont ambivalents: Les mots nous lient les uns aux autres. On y trouve un autre mot: Chaque fois que nous rencontrons quelqu'un, chaque discussion que nous partageons, nous changeons.

La vie se cache dans les mots. Parfois, la plus simple marque de reconnaissance suffit. Tha ces your life, effectively giving birth s. Every time that we meet a person hared, we are changed. We have been y time. One can taste its fruit, learn to speak its dialect and the culture of the land where it was made. One can learn to know the people who made it.

Those who harvested its grapes. A great wine comes from the pride of men, from the desire and often the dream of realizing, in one single taste, the fullness of a variety of meanings, and to be the best, or at least try to be. Il Borro is a young winery, which was born in the splendid region of Tuscany. A winery that has managed to reach great recognition worldwide thanks to products of high quality and character. An ambitious quest for perfection, a charisma that is found in the land where these wines are created and in the ownership itself, the Ferragamo family.

In , the family of Ferruccio Ferragamo, son of Salvatore, founder of the fashion house of the same name, decided to purchase hectares of land, roughly fifty kilometres outside of Florence, heading towards Arezzo. The area included a medieval village called "Il Borro" that had remained untouched in its historical elements and its vocation.

Il Borro was once a fortified castle with a drawbridge. Today, it still is a splendid example of medieval architecture, in a village safely located atop a peak, in constant defence of its land and its people. And of a secret that's starting to become rather well known on the international wine scene. On a historic note, "Il Borro" has been producing wine since the end of the s, thanks to the Medici-Tornaquinci family.

More recently, under the property of the Duke Amedeo of Aosta heir to the Royal family the estate boasted some six hectares of vineyards. Ne si assaporano i frutti, si imparano a conoscere i dialetti, le culture della terra in cui nasce. Chi ne ha raccolto gli acini. Un grande vino nasce per la fierezza degli uomini, per un desiderio e spesso anche un sogno di realizzare in un assaggio la pienezza di tanti significati ed essere i migliori, o almeno provarci.

Nel , la famiglia di Ferruccio Ferragamo, figlio di Salvatore fondatore della casa di moda che ne porta il nome, decide di acquistare ettari di terreno ad una cinquantina di chilometri da Firenze in direzione di Arezzo. Il Borro era anticamente un castello fortificato con tanto di ponte levatoio.


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Oggi rimane uno splendido esempio di architettura medioevale in un villaggio arrampicato su di uno sprone sempre a difesa dei suoi terreni e delle sue genti. Il Borro ha un grande potenziale; bisogna realizzarlo. From the moment he purchased the estate, Ferruccio started the restoration of the village but, most of all, he initiated to chase his dream: The last problem was to blend all the elements together.

It is agreed upon that wine can be considered a science, but it is also true that there are no absolute rules. There are principles, experience, a lot of passion and philosophical concepts, I wouldn't know how else to call them. It was decided by the winemaker and technical consultant, D'Afflitto, but perhaps it was the "Borro" itself who decided, to follow the rule of terroir, according to which it is the land to impose the choice of grapes that will most likely enhance the elements typical and inherent to the land itself.

This was a considerable risk, considering that we are talking of an area usually dedicated to the Prince Sangiovese. A research was oriented towards the vocation of this extremely stratified soil, of alluvial origin, that during the Pliocene was covered by vast lakes. If you imagined a lake without water, in the center of it you would find a soil of clay and sand, excellent for Merlot which has a predilection for clayey-calcareous soils and for Cabernet Sauvignon sandy soils.

When the waters flow from rivers and streams the soil is loose and pebbly, perfect for Syrah. Sangiovese has a predilection for soils rich in galestro, schist based soils typical of the banks of the beautiful landscapes which once were wine lakes. The purchase by the Ferragamo family coincided with the necessity of uprooting the existing vines in order to introduce Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Syrah and Sangiovese, over some 40 hectares.

The strategies have changed in order to reflect a decisively more youthful attitude, in which a touch of youthful presumptuousness can be detected, and rightfully so. A heavy name to carry in the Ferragamo family. But Salvatore has strong shoulders and clear ideas: Salvatore shares the dream of a wine of the outmost quality, without compromise, carrying it to a superior level by applying this to the cellar and the different phases of production. Rimane ancora il problema di unire tutti gli elementi. Una ricerca orientata alla vocazione stessa di un terreno estremamente stratificato, di origine alluvionale che in epoca pliocenica era coperto da grandi laghi.

Il Sangiovese predilige terreni ricchi di galestro e scistosi tipici delle sponde di questi splendidi paesaggi che furono laghi da vino. Sono i terreni che abbracciano il Borro e che ne definiscono il carattere, il fascino, i profumi. Ma lui, le spalle le ha forti. E le idee chiare: It is a simple and efficient procedure, that exploits natural gravity to move the juice or the wine, from one phase to the other.

And we are talking about a medieval village. Fresh, respectful of its great culture, yet evolving to a new chapter, with elegance. And then there are the vines. The same which we mentioned in relation to the territory, which are protected by rigorous rules of density plants par hectare with a very limited production per vine. Towards the end of August, after the thinning of the vines, a single kilogram of grapes is left on each vine. During the harvest, the grapes are picked and sorted manually, destemmed, crushed and placed in vinification tanks by, as we mentioned, natural flow.

The same procedure is employed to the transfer of product into the Allier oak barriques, after the alcoholic fermentation and the racking. The use of the barriques varies according to the structure of the wines and the grape type utilized. E stiamo parlando di un villaggio medioevale. Devo ammettere che inizio a subire questo fascino innegabile di un luogo allo stesso tempo storico ed estremamente giovane. Fresco, che nel rispetto di tanta cultura, si evolve ad un nuovo capitolo, con eleganza. E poi ci sono le vigne. Stesso processo applicato per il trasferimento in barricchi di rovere di Alliers, dopo la fermentazione alcoolica e la svinatura.

Un blend, una composizione di Merlot u. A wine of excellence, an ambassador for the winery whose name it carries. It is a very ambitious grape blend, that recalls, on different terms, the beginnings of another famous supertuscan. A great wine, offering an intense, full perfume, with notes of underbrush and spices.

The colour is red, with purple tones. A wine that should be drunk in company of friends, around a dinner table. A little for the pride of showing a youthful and qualitatively excellent new wine, but mostly to breathe the perfumes that will take you back to a medieval village in which we too wish we could be, perhaps only for a few days. From the same family, but made up from a different grape blend, is the "Pian di Nova. A very pleasant wine, with an intense perfume.

It shows a fruity and spicy finish, which highlights the fullness and the drinkability that characterize it. Of course, there had to be a wine made purely of Sangiovese. This is Tuscany, after all. The Polissena is reminiscent of the typical elements of this region, which are carried to the nose with notes of underbrush and aromas of red berries. The colour is a vibrant ruby red; intense like its perfume.

An excellent choice for red and white meats, as well as for roasts. Un Grande Vino che regala un profumo intenso, pieno, con note di sottobosco e sentori di spezie. Colore rosso con riflessi purpurei. Un vino che si vuole bere in compagnia di amici, a tavola. Magari solo per pochi giorni. Un vino estremamente piacevole e dal profumo intenso. Non poteva mancare in Toscana un Sangiovese in purezza. Colore rosso rubino intenso; intenso quanto il suo profumo. Nel futuro della cantina vi sono progetti molto interessanti che riguardano anche vini bianchi.

Uno Chardonnay potrebbe rivelarsi molto difficile da fare emergere ad alti livelli, ma sicuramente interessante da affiancare alla serie dei rossi di grande carattere. In the future of this winery there are very interesting projects regarding white wines as well. It can be difficult for a Chardonnay to stand out at very high levels, but it sure can be interesting to have one support the line up of great character reds.

It also offers to visitors from across the planet a splendid agriturismo, in which art and tradition meet with nature and with rhythms more in keeping with our passions than our necessities. If you visit this marvellous Tuscan village, you might have the pleasure of tasting the dishes of the "Osteria" a restaurant managed by young and talented chefs I cinque sensi — The five senses trained in local schools and putting forward a cuisine "on a human scale. I beat you to it… But I did even better, I enrolled in the cooking class called: Pasta, risotto and soup.

If all goes well, we'll move on to the class on modern Tuscan cuisine. The village is alive. There is the Osteria, but apartments are also available for those who care to enjoy an unforgettable experience, wake in a countryside wrapped in a golden light, admiring the trees painted through the morning fog. A holiday to taste real flavours, but also to get out of the city and find values that were almost forgotten. In the village, craftsmen live and work.

The guests can u. Vi ho preceduti… Ma ho fatto anche meglio, mi sono iscritto al corso di cucina che si intitola: La Pasta, i Risotti e le Zuppe. Se tutto va bene, passeremo anche al corso sulla cucina Toscana moderna… Il borgo vive. Nel borgo vivono e lavorano gli artigiani. E tanta arte, dal legno, alla pittura, oreficeria, ceramica, vetro. Many crafts, from woodwork to painting, goldsmith's art, ceramic and glass. These are the expressions of a generation of craftsmen, who still display their talent with much passion, in a homely and extremely creative context.

The secret of "Il Borro" isn't very hard to grasp. It represents centuries of history, through wars and countless sacrifices, to shed light on a nature that is still genuine, true. It would be enough to simply visit the vineyards to feel part of the magic, walking across the different landscapes, driven by our curiosity and by the colours that surround us, step after step. And understanding how it is possible for a perfume to be different in one same flower, a color more ruby if matured in a certain area, how in a little village atop a peak, in the splendid Tuscan countryside, it is nature to guide man and not the opposite.

Rappresenta secoli di storia, attraverso guerre e tanti sacrifici, per dare luce ad una natura ancora genuina, vera. My visit to "Il Borro" had many ambassadors of exception. I asked them a few questions. I had initially thought of integrating these interviews in the text of the article, but I decided otherwise in order to propose to the readers of Panoramitalia the answers exactly in the way they were given to whom, with great interest, has listened to them.

A loro ho fatto alcune domande. Which is the most exciting qualitative aspect of "Il Borro"? Il Borro is an exciting project because it represents a beautiful union between an enlightened ownership, always willing to invest in quality, and a diversified land, with multiple viticultural and enological vocations, in a relatively small geological area.

A young winery such as "Il Borro" has proved to be foreboding of innovative ideas in the research for quality products; what is the importance of tradition and respect of history in this process? The bond with the territory of the Borro has been the guiding thread of all our investments, therefore, in the areas rich with schist, more inclined to the cultivation of the primary grape type of Tuscany, Sangiovese, we planted such variety; but where the land expressed itself with more sandy or clayey soils, we preferred Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

For the vinification, we chose to build an underground cellar that respected the contour lines of the land and exploited the gravitational force to respect the grapes. A great wine is destined for success, but on which table? This is the difference between a great wine and a good wine: What do you look for in a wine? Or, even better, what would you suggest readers of Panoramitalia to look for in a wine? Wine, with its personality, should be an ambassador of a message, it should be the reflection of a territory and of its pedoclimatic characteristics, with a proper interpretation of the estate.

Therefore, typicality, with characteristics that are constant through time and reflect a specific area. Cosa cerca in un vino? O meglio, cosa suggerisce ai lettori di Panoramitalia di cercare in un vino? How do you reconcile the search for aesthetic value, typical of the Ferragamo production, with the search for a product of inherent quality such as wine? One thing's for sure, refinement and a natural sense for good taste are indispensable in fashion just as they are in the world of wine. A quest for style and quality, supported by commitment and steadfastness, in order to give birth to something distinctive and of relevance, to be remembered in time.

We also should emphasize that the Borro's estate, purchased by my father in , after completely falling in love with this magical place, represents the realization of a dream for both of us, and for me a true choice of lifestyle, this is why we insisted that the estate remained a distinct reality, separated from our fashion sector and, therefore, from the Salvatore Ferragamo SpA; It's the Borro, simply and solely our dream, that everyone can appreciate.

What has been the international response to a winery that is extremely young both in terms of management and production, such as "Il Borro"? Our production is destined, in balanced proportions, to three main markets, the United States, Asia and Europe. Our objective is to be present with "il Borro" on the best marketplaces around the world, and this has been possible so far mainly thanks to the enthusiasm that foreign markets have shown towards our products, hence stimulating even more our constant search for quality.

But let's not forget the importance of the Italian market, let alone our region, where it's essential to maintain the presence of a regional product, for a rightful valorization of the Tuscan territory. Qual'e' la risposta internazionale di fronte ad una cantina estremamente giovane in termini di gestione e di prodotti come "il Borro"? Is the wine marketplace being handed over to a new generation?

More than a transfer of authority, one should wish for a synergy between tradition and innovation, looking to tomorrow while respecting what has been done yesterday. This is why, the dream that is mine and my father's, lives in the long history of an estate, the Borro, that narrates the events of valorous men, that have gone to great lengths for this land. And what we hope for today is that the Borro could reach the highest levels of success, both in the production of wine and in the agrituristic hospitality, in total respect and valorization of a land with a millenarian history.

Il mercato del vino sta passando le consegne ad una nuova generazione? Non a caso il sogno mio e di mio padre, vive nella lunga storia di una tenuta, quella del Borro, che narra antiche vicende di uomini valorosi che tanto hanno fatto per questa terra. I have come to recognize that people who achieve their dreams share many characteristics — they are passionate, confident, persistent and talented.

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And while the road to success is always an intriguing one, I am even more curious about what happens once a person attains their goal. Is that accomplishment a final destination or simply a stop along the way to greater things? Nicholas Di Tempora is certainly the definition of a successful man. Dreams were never ephemeral imaginings for Di Tempora; instead they were concrete goals that were imminently attainable. Life was challenging from the get go for Di Tempora.

He was born in Campobasso on the same day the war started. His father, who was in the army, was imprisoned for five years, and the young boy would only meet him when he was 6-years-old.

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Times were extremely tough after the war and with little work and no hope for the future, the family decided to immigrate when Di Tempora was years-old. Thanks to a sponsorship from a distant cousin, Montreal became the destination point. Two values dominated home life on Grand Boulevard. While the household budget might have been tight, his mother, Eleonora, always donated money, sending it back to Italy to the children of Rome. From his father, Giuseppe, who worked the night shift at the bakery, Di Tempora learned the importance of hard work.

After working as a sales representative, Di Tempora was. His instincts in the field were strong and his enjoyment was obvious. Craving new challenges, Di Tempora eventually left the job to open his own real estate venture company, specializing in speculating and developing commercial and industrial real estate. The entrepreneur entered into discussions with MAPEI, an Italian-based company regarded as a leader in the floor covering installation industry.

Seven years ago, Di Tempora spearheaded the initiative to move the company headquarters from Texas to Florida, where they are presently located in Deerfield Beach. Di Tempora would always take time to make frequent u. As we trace the arc of his business career, one thing becomes apparent — Di Tempora is insistent upon crediting the contributions of those that surround him.

They are truly the essence of the man. You needed to be with your own — you needed that sense of identification and comfort. While the institution is a monument to the Italian immigrant community of Montreal, Di Tempora believes that it has not been able to keep up with the needs of the community. But these needs no longer need to be fulfilled, they are outmoded and outdated. We need to find ways to bring the community back to the Casa, things like a museum and a kindergarten.

While living in Arizona, he befriended a family who had five children. Times were tough for the family and they were forced to live out of their car. More than simply giving them money, Di Tempora would pay weekly visits to spend some time with them. The first thing one of them bought was rat poison - that was their reality. We all have so much to give to those that are less fortunate than we are. I go out of my way to do what I can for children. The charity began after the Second World War when Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing started setting up a shelter for orphaned boys who had no where to go.

These self-governing, democratic communities offer shelter, education and a chance at life for children of all nationalities, creeds and races. Replacing hopelessness and loneliness with more constructive and positive values, children learn about responsibility, democracy and leadership. They become well-adjusted positive citizens imbued with a sense of love as well as self-worth. Di Tempora tells me that while each child is offered shelter until the age of 18, many find the experience so fulfilling that they return to get married in the local community church.

In addition, he is a guest lecturer, an experience that he finds deeply fulfilling. While the honour put him squarely in the spotlight, Di Tempora remains modest about the accolade. There was never a goal or ulterior motive; it just makes me feel good. People look at you in a different light, with a different level of respect when you are committed to something. I really just want to be regarded as a man who has helped children in need. They are deeply personal choices based upon his life experiences.

Growing up as an immigrant, Di Tempora felt the uneasy pull of having two feet in two cultures. This country has been extremely good to me — we had to fight our way through the unpopular welcome and turned it into a positive. We have earned our respect. But growing up, small sections of Italian community were created by need. You can dip yourself in history. There are areas, regions, in which you could almost choose randomly: Nevertheless, even in such an endless selection of art and history, if you ask an Italian where he truly felt in touch with the past, he would have no hesitation: Siena is pure medieval harmony, unaltered through the centuries.

Anyone who's heard about it, even if only once, can quickly make the connection: Yes, of course, the Palio and so much more. Like its gothic architecture, per example, intact, protected through the centuries with a care and intelligence that are unique even for Italy's standards. Walking through the narrow and often incredibly steep alleys, one can't see much difference from what a Sienese, or any walker by, could have seen in the s. The same houses, the same spire windows, the stones and the paved roads on which the history of this proud and beautiful city has slipped by.

One might even thinks that the tables of the "osterie," where one can eat like a king and drink perhaps even better, are the same on which might have eaten our forefathers, six or seven hundred years ago. And the funny thing is that this doesn't happen only on certain streets, or in restricted areas. The whole urban plan, still surrounded by its medieval walls, is like this: Not for one minute one can get the feeling of being in a fake atmosphere.

Come to think of it, this is the most amazing aspect of it. One never feels like in Disneyland, for a very simple reason: Siena doesn't live for the tourists. Per intingerti nella storia. Ci sono zone, regioni, in cui potresti persino scegliere a caso: Cammini per i vicoli stretti, spesso ripidissimi, e non vedi molte cose diverse da quelle che avrebbe visto un senese o un viandante del Ti verrebbe da pensare che persino i tavolacci delle osterie, dove si mangia divinamente e si beve persino meglio, siano gli stessi su cui potrebbe aver pranzato un tuo antenato di sei o settecento anni fa.

Non ti senti a Disneyland per una ragione molto semplice: Siena non vive per i turisti. Every day, and rightfully so, foreigners and Italians arrive in large numbers. And they are welcome, too. Welcomed by the kindness and the genuine likeability typical of Tuscany. But the urban economy has its alternatives and one gets the impression that the plans and the projects are thought more for the inhabitants than for the tourists. Except that, the taste, the sensibility and the intelligence of those who, through the years, have managed everything public, coincided in the end with the functionality and the charm for those who come from the outside.

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Furthermore, the real secret is that no one has stopped to bask in the memories. Siena is also a modern city, the first in Italy to be completely cabled. One will not see even a single satellite dish on the roofs, but thousands of kilometres of fiber optics run under its streets. It now is primordial to talk about this harmony, to try to explain the wonder that is widespread, street after street, in small squares and tiny churches, even before the more renowned monuments, which are also extraordinary.

Over all, Il Campo, the shell-shaped main square. It's enormous, if you compare it to the narrow boroughs that are embedded all around it. Concave, to give a chance to the tens of thousands who fill it to watch the Palio, to see the horses race around its perimeter. The Sienese simply call it "Campo," because in fact, right there, in the middle of the city, there used to be a field.

Right up to the day when, il Governo dei Nove the Government of Nine — decided to transform it in a real square. Overlooked by what is today, more than any other, the symbol of the city: Symbol of the liberation from feudal powers of a city who, throughout the Middle Ages, was proudly "Ghibellina," or loyal to the Emperor and, therefore, opposed to the "Guelfa" city of Florence, loyal to the Pope.

The two cities were at war for u. E sono anche i benvenuti, accolti dalla gentilezza e dalla schietta simpatia tipiche della Toscana. Su tutti Il Campo, ovvero la piazza principale, a forma di conchiglia. Concava, per dar modo alle decina di migliaia di persone che la riempiono per il palio, di vedere i cavalli che filano via lungo il suo perimetro.

Fino a quando il Governo dei Nove decise di trasformarlo in una piazza vera e propria. E dunque contrapposta alla guelfa u. The final victory of Florence would result in the conditions we can witness today. Florence, the capital of the Gran Ducato di Toscana Great Duchy of Tuscany and, for a short period, also of the Italian Kingdom, is a small metropolis, beautiful, but a metropolis nonetheless. Siena's defeat, in , caused the loss of its Republic and, closed within its walls, the city remained the jewel that it's always been. Just as the rivalry between the two cities remained unaltered. Parochialism, or "campanilismo" as it's called in Italy, a longing to show to the neighbouring town, that one's own bell tower "campanile" is taller than the other's.

Well, nowhere else is this "campanilismo" felt as strongly as in Tuscany. From it derive rivalries that divide neighbouring cities, such as the renowned one between Pisa and Livorno. But the one between Florence and Siena certainly isn't outdone by any other rivalry. It's still not uncommon to hear a Sienese describe a Florence native as a "Guelfo" just as his ancestors might have done six or seven centuries earlier. This, too, is a sign that among the stones of Siena, history hasn't completely passed us by.

One can realize this climbing the steps of the "Duomo" the Cathedral , looking up, entranced by the beauty of a church, built between and , that is a masterpiece of Italian gothic. And then, once inside, the unique floor, with its 56 square marble panels, inlaid with mythological figures and scenes from the Old Testament. Sacred and profane, myths, legends and deeply-rooted traditions, felt as strongly as perhaps nowhere else in the world.

One would realize this by visiting the Duomo on a 16th of August, when, right after the end of the Palio, the men and women of the winning "contrada" quarter with their flags and the traditional handkerchief around their necks, burst in triumphantly carrying the jockey. There, in the church that represents the city's unity, to show off before the people of the other "contrade," the allied ones, but most of all the rivals ones. Singing their own anthem and then the Te Deum, giving thanks to the Lord for the victory.

Today, exactly like seven centuries ago. Firenze, leale al Papa. La supremazia finale dei fiorentini si sarebbe poi tradotta nelle condizioni che vediamo oggi. Chiunque potrebbe citarvi quella celeberrima tra Pisa e Livorno. Ammirando il singolare motivo a strisce bianche e nere orizzontali i colori dello stemma cittadino, ma anche della maglia della squadra di calcio , le statue e i marmi che ornano la facciata.

E poi, una volta entrati, quel pavimento unico al mondo, coi suoi 56 riquadri di marmo intarsiati con figure mitologiche e scene del Vecchio Testamento. Sacro e profano, miti, leggende e tradizioni radicate, sentite come forse in nessun altra parte al Mondo. Ve ne rendereste conto se in quel Duomo vi capitasse di entrare il 16 di agosto, quando, appena finito il Palio, gli uomini e le donne della contrada vincente, con le bandiere e il loro fazzoletto al collo, irrompono di corsa, col fantino portato in trionfo.

Cantando il proprio inno e poi il Te Deum di ringraziamento, grati al Signore per la vittoria. Oggi come sette secoli fa. Let's make something clear right away: The 75 seconds that the horses need to race the three laps around the Campo, on the 2nd of July and the 16th of August, in fact, last all year round.

Because life takes place in the contrade, the quarters, or neighbourhoods, which divide the city. Each one has its church, its fountain, in which every baby receives his contrada's baptism. Each one also has an office which, in the end, is not much different from any club: But with a passion and an extraordinary mission: It would take a book to tell everything there is to tell about the Palio.

To try and summarize is to run the risk of leaving out important details and not stressing adequately the attraction of a race that is absolutely unique.

But we'll try anyway. The contrade are 17 and they are very ancient, going back to the Renaissance. However, only 10 of them take place on the square for each Palio. These are the 7 that were left out the previous year, plus three which are chosen by luck of the draw. And the same happens on the 16th of August. The ceremony and the way the approach to the race is lived have an incomparable power of seduction.

Starting from the draw of the three lucky contrade. Then, the secret negotiations to enrol a skilled jockey they are always the same, famous, in great demand, loved and loathed, just like the stars in other sports. The horses are assigned to each contrada by draw too, this is called the "tratta" and it gives place to the most important decision: If, instead, the horse isn't worthy of trust, the people will decide to race against a rival contrada, because all the contrade or almost have one or more loyal allies, but also one or two sworn enemies.

And there is no bigger disgrace than the victory of the Palio by a rival contrada. Victory justifies any means: There are also people who would go as far as to sedate the horse of a rival contrada, this is why, after the "tratta," a group of people from each contrada never leave their horse out of their sight, they keep watch, they nurse him, they feed him.

And the morning of the Palio, they take the horse to church, to receive the blessings of the contrada's priest. Before the Palio, test runs take place on the tuff track that is set up on the edges of the Campo. Meanwhile, the tension rises, and clashes between boys or men of rival contrade aren't uncommon. The evening of the "Prova generale," a sort of dress rehearsal, people in u. Spieghiamo subito una cosa: Ognuna ha la sua chiesa, la sua fontana, dove ad ogni bimbo viene fatto il battesimo da contradaiolo. Ci vorrebbe un libro intero per raccontare tutto.

Ma ci proviamo ugualmente. Le contrade sono 17, antichissime, risalgono al Rinascimento. E lo stesso avviene il 16 agosto. A partire dalla estrazione a sorte delle tre Contrade fortunate. E poi via via nelle trattative segrete per assicurarsi un fantino di valore sono sempre gli stessi, celebri, richiesti, amati e odiati come le stelle dello sport.

Per riuscirci vale tutto: E la mattina del palio lo accompagnano in chiesa, dove il parroco provvede alla sua benedizione. Prima del Palio si fanno varie prove sulla pista in tufo che viene allestita su bordi di piazza del Campo. Intanto la tensione cresce, e non sono infrequenti scontri tra ragazzi e uomini di contrade nemiche. La sera della prova generale in ogni contrada, anche quelle che non corrono, si montano tavoli per le strade e si cena tutti insieme.

Si calcola che u. It is estimated that, in the streets of Siena, some people eat, sing and chant hymns and profane prayers, and make toasts, many toasts! The day of the Palio, the atmosphere is electric. In the morning, the jockey's Mass is celebrated, after which takes place the umpteenth trial. Then, in each of the 17 contrade, the "Comparse", or historical figures, dress up in their traditional costumes for the "Corteo storico" the historic cortege.

They will parade on the Campo, along the track: The lucky ones, selected by their contrada for this event, will have been practicing months in the squares of the city. When the horses enter the Campo, some fifty or sixty thousand people are already waiting in the centre of the square.

About 75 seconds are all it takes to complete the prophetic three laps. Often with disastrous falls, in the turns of the Casato and of San Martino where protection mattresses are set up. Sometimes, jockeys get thrown off: With the palio well in sight and the jockey triumphantly on their shoulders, the people from the winning contrada run to the Basilica of S. Maria di Provenzano, on the 2nd of July, or to the Duomo, on the 16th of August: An then, on with the partying, which will last weeks. Already, on the night of the victory, no one sleeps: The following day, the first celebration dinner is organized, with long tables set up in the middle of the streets.

Corteges of sneer at the rival contrade take place. These scenes will go on until the real Victory dinner, which takes place only a few weeks later, after the celebrations organized by the committees nominated by the contrada. There will be sketches to mock the rivals, some rather impressive drinking binges, speeches by the contrada's Captain and the jockey. All around, hundreds and hundreds of people from the contrada, seated at the tables along the streets.

At the head of the table, the true protagonist: Per sfilare poi sul Campo, lungo la pista: Quando i cavalli entrano nel Campo, in mezzo alla piazza ci sono mila persone. Spesso con cadute rovinose alle curve del Casato e di San Martino dove vengono appoggiai materassi di protezione. A volte i fantini vengono disarcionati: Scosso o montato, non appena il cavallo taglia il traguardo sotto il palco dei Giudici, i contradaioli vincenti corrono sotto il palco a richiedere a gran voce il drappellone, ovvero il palio, una tela dipinta spesso da pittori celebri in un recente passato anche da Guttuso, Sassu, Fiume.

Col palio in vista, il fantino in trionfo sulle spalle, i contradaioli vittoriosi corrono alla Basilica di S. E poi via con le feste che dureranno per settimane. Il giorno successivo si allestisce la prima delle cene di celebrazione, ovviamente con lunghi tavolacci montati lungo nelle strade. E partono i cortei di scherno nei confronti delle contrade nemiche.

Ci saranno scenette per sbeffeggiare i nemici, solenni bevute, discorsi del capitano di Contrada e del fantino. Attorno, centinaia e centinaia di contradaioli, ancora una volta a tavola lungo la strada. Rosso cremisi; alleata Bruco; nemica Oca Valdimontone: Once you've left Siena behind, all around, you are spoilt for choice.

Everywhere, there are things to see, to taste, to admire. Any guide can confirm this with data, addresses, historical facts. But it is even more enjoyable to lose yourself in villages not mentioned by the travel book you bought: Head North West, towards Florence, you'll find Monteriggioni, a boutique-village, set securely within its walls. And then San Gimignano, with its towers, a perfect example of how, even in the Middle Ages, the skyline could be the symbol of a city.

Or you can head u. Vai a nord ovest, verso Firenze, e trovi subito Monteriggioni, paesino-bijoux, incastonato, al sicuro, tra le sue mura. South, between the Val d'Orcia and Val di Chiana: Land of exceptional wines and choice meats, of ancient villages, each one very proud of its own identity, for it comes from centuries of history.

Between medieval palaces and gothic or Romanesque churches. Walking up and down over steep, stone paved roads, prying in the handicraft shops. Admiring the serene peacefulness of its people, thinking that, truly, the quality of life in these lands of Tuscany is as good as it gets. That everything proceeds with the right rhythm, the natural one. And if you look around yourself, you'll realize why. It will happen while you travel from one village to the next and notice that the wonders are right there: While you drive, you'll feel submerged by a landscape that was designed with the sole aim of relaxing your eyes.

The gentle slope of the hills, the vivid colours: And atop each hill, a farmhouse, a single one, made of stone, in perfect harmony with the landscape: The are no other buildings that can bother your sight: It's well worth stopping here for a few days: Tra palazzi medievali e chiese gotiche o romaniche. Colline dalle curvature dolci, colori vivi: E sopra ogni collina un casale, uno solo, di pietra, perfettamente in armonia col paesaggio: Non si sono altre costruzioni che possano infastidirti la vista: Vale la pena di fermarcisi per qualche giorno: One can literally dive in the extraordinary scenery of Siena's lands.

This is possible in Bagno Vignoni, an excellent starting point, just a few kilometres away from San Quirico d'Orcia, easily within reach of all the marvels of the Val d'Orcia and Val di Chiana. Don't think of the usual hilltop village. Actually, don't even think of a village. This is a hamlet of barely a dozen stone houses, most of which around a square that is probably unique in its kind: Yes, a pool, right there, in the middle of ancient buildings, there is a tub, unchanged through the centuries, with its spring in the middle and its arcade on the side: The more expert cinema buffs might remember the pool-square in Andrei Tarkovskij's "Nostalgia.

But that's no problem, just a few metres from it there is the Hotel Posta Marcucci, which our ideal starting point for excursions. Because, upon returning from a visit to a neighbouring village, from a sampling of cold meats and a tasting of Brunello di Montalcino or Nobile di Montepulciano, one can slip into a swimming suit and dive into the Hotel's big swimming pool. This might not sounds like a very special thing, but one should actually see the basin of the "Piscina Val di Sole," a hillside pool where, soaking in neck high water, one feels like part of the scenery, among the fields, the vines, the flowers.

Before the eyes, the tower of Rocca d'Orcia, the village perched on the opposite hill, and the Park of Val d'Orcia, a Unesco World Heritage protected site. And it's still not all: Anyone, even the most sensitive to the cold, will be able to relax fully, even when surrounded by snow. It's been this way for more than a century: From the great-grandfathers, Agostino and Stella, to Leonardo and Riccardo Marcucci, the actual proprietors.

More than a Hotel, it is a great big house where, among armchairs and velvets, freely goes about his business Minou the cat, who the Marcucci brothers call the "Chief Executive. Truly, being based in Bagno Vignoni is a good and relaxing idea. Non immaginate il classico paese sul cucuzzolo.

Anzi, non immaginate nemmeno un paese. Ma bisogna vedere cosa significa: E dove si mangia divinamente. E che vengono cucinati secondo le ricette tramandate attraverso le generazioni dalle donne di casa. One should stay at least a week in Siena and its outskirts. Otherwise, one might not have sufficient time to taste all the wines of the area, which — certainly, you already know — are exquisite.

There is an area, straddling across the communes of Florence and Siena, which is called Chianti: But many other delights also come from this region, such as the Nobile di Montepulciano and, most of all, Brunello di Montalcino, one of the most refined wines in the world. Brunello, from the Sangiovese grape, is rigorously produced and bottled exclusively in the area of Montalcino. It has an intense red ruby colour, with garnet shades resulting from the 5 years of ageing 6 for the riserva.

The wine from Casanova di Neri is a Brunello, produced by Giacomo Neri and his family in the area of Castelnovo dellAbate in the commune of Montalcino, obviously. The Wine Spectator, after tasting some wines from the whole world, elected the one from Casanova di Neri as wine of the year for In other words, it's the best there is. We need not split hairs too much: Simply pay a little attention to the prices, some can be astonishing: But don't let this discourage you, there are excellent Brunellos for a lot less and they are always worth it.

Loyal to tradition and, therefore, to rivalry too, each territory has its wines. In Montepulciano one can find the excellent Nobile, less refined than Brunello, but not so different in the end. And from the same region, one can find Rosso di Montepulciano. Chianti, as we mentioned, is produced just a little to the North.

Careful to the denomination: There is also the Chianti Colli Senesi, usually more perfumed and easier to drink, even for those who are less accustomed to wine. As you might have guessed, the commune of Siena, a lot like the rest of Tuscany, is a land of red wines, ideal to accompany the refined meats of the area one must try the "Fiorentina" steak. But there also a few whites: We could not finish without mentioning Vin Santo.

Just as, when one is in Tuscany, he will not be able to finish a dinner without asking to have a glass of it, accompanied by its cantucci. It is a wine u. A Siena e dintorni bisognerebbe restare almeno una settimana. Diversamente si rischia di non avere tempo a sufficienza per assaggiare tutti i vini della zona. Solo fate un poco di attenzione ai prezzi, potrebbero stupirvi: Nella parte nord, come si diceva, si produce il Chianti. Ma qualche bianco non manca: Esattamente come, quando sarete in Toscana, non potrete terminare una cena senza farvene portare un bicchierino, corredato dai suoi cantucci.

It has an amber colour, it can be dry or "amabile" sweet and rather alcoholic at least 16 degrees. In the small glass, one will dip the cantucci, the characteristic dry almond cookies. And, in Tuscany, only when the cantucci will have soaked up all the Vin Santo from the glass, will dinner truly be considered finished. Nel bicchierino che vi porteranno intingerete i cantucci, ovvero i caratteristici biscottini secchi alla mandorla. Francigena street, La via Francigena, the road of the P il grims.

It was originally created by the Longobards to allow them to reach their dukedoms beyond the Appennino mountains. It was subsequently widened by the Francs, hence the name Francigena. It is Europe's backbone: He designed the route and its halts, on the way back from Rome, where the Pope had given him the Pallium, a white woollen stole, sign of the Episcopal mission, granted by the Pontiff to metropolitan Archbishops. Used for more than a thousand years by merchants, kings and commoners, the road, from a religious point of view, needed to be travelled by foot, for penance reasons, with a distance of kilometres par day.

The example to follow is already known: Part of this ancient road can be travelled by shifting from San Gimignano — Siena, to Viterbo. These are the halts that we suggest, for an itinerary of at least five days, to travel not on foot, but with the necessary steadiness to appreciate and savour the art and the many great local things even at the table. We are certain that history will find its place at every meal and with every sip. Attraversata per oltre un millennio anche da mercanti, sovrani e gente comune, la via, dal punto di vista religioso, doveva essere percorsa prevalentemente a piedi, per ragioni penitenziali, con un percorso di chilometri al giorno.

E queste sono le tappe che vi consigliamo, per un itinerario di almeno cinque giorni, da percorrere non a piedi, ma con la necessaria calma per poter gustare arte ed eccellenze locali anche a tavola. Even before being a fief of the Bishops of Volterra, this was an ancient Etruscan and then Roman settlement. San Gimignano was liberated in the thirteenth century only to fall under Florence a century and a half later. The city, entirely surrounded by walls, is still articulated on the plans of the Francigena road, that runs through it from East to West. The two main squares open up atop the hill, the square of the Cisterna a triangle surrounded by buildings the square of the Potere the power , which divides the Duomo the cathedral from the Municipal Palace.

The appeal of San Gimignano besides the art collections, endowment of the religious orders and kept since the Florentine ages are the towers. In the Middle Ages, every important family in the city built one. With time, the rivalry — every one wanted his tower to be taller than the neighbour's — had left a unique heritage.

Of the 72 built in the Middle Ages, only 14 are still standing. The soul of the city is Santa Fina: In cima alla collina si aprono le due piazze principali, quella della Cisterna triangolo contornato da edifici e quella del Duomo, la piazza del Potere divide il Duomo dal palazzo Comunale. A few kilometres North of Siena, one will encounter this city on the road in from Florence. A square, a hamlet, a few vegetable gardens: They call it "la Corona" the crown: Pochi chilometri a nord di Siena, la si incontra sulla strada arrivando a Siena da Firenze.

Una piazza, un gruppo di case, qualche orto: La chiamano la Corona: As a matter of fact, it was taken as a model for the crown that wreathed Italy's head on the old coin. The fourteen towers, built between and , represent Siena's attempt to stop Florence's expansion. The defensive impact is obvious: Today, 12 of those 14 towers are still standing, two were destroyed during the Second World War. Only 42 people live between these walls year-round; the borough is rich with handicrafts shops: In the area that marks the confluence between the Arbia and the Ombrone, Buonconvento is, historically, a place of meetings, clashes and exchanges.

Le quattordici torri edificate tra il e il rappresentano il tentativo senese di controllare la continua espansione fiorentina. Oggi di quelle 14 torri ne restano 12, due sono state distrutte durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale. Before we carry on with our tour, a curiosity for movie lovers: Valdorcia, with its castles, farmhouses, monasteries and noble palaces, has seduced cinematographers and spectators from around the world. Otto booklet, un tavolo e otto sedie dal Ristorante Wenzhow, otto pesche, traccia sonora.

In cosa consiste AscensoreOFF?

I Litfiba tornano in concerto: "Faremo brani mai suonati live"

In cosa consiste il loro intervento? A Palermo, gli artisti hanno ricostruito una macchina del tempo. In mostra la complessa e tuttora in corso, installazione Landing Strip in progress. A Palermo, Ying Ying siede con gli altri commensali al tavolo alla Casa del Mutilato e apre un nuovo capitolo della Landing Strip saga. Quali sono, a tuo parere, i punti di forza di questo luogo di ricerca? Supporta la ricerca artistica grazie alla realizzazione di nuove produzioni realizzate in situ.