April 12, 2011

Giovani, Monumenti e Forze Idrauliche, Firenze

Hi bloggers,

here is an Italian initiative happening in Florence next monady (April 18th – 9.30pm to 13.30 pm at the Auditorium al Duomo in Via de’ Cerretani 54r) , in order to celebrate  the World Heritage Day – which is yearly promoted by UNESCO and ICOMOS on April 18th: this year’s topic is the Heritage of  Water, and ICOMOS Italia has promoted other two celebrations to be held in Venice and Assisi.
Click here for more information in English or write the Italian text below.


In occasione della Giornata Internazionale dei Monumenti e dei Siti celebrata il 18 aprile dall’UNESCO e dall’ICOMOS, la Sezione Giovani di ICOMOS Italia con l’Ufficio Centro Storico del Comune di Firenze e con il sostegno della Fondazione Romualdo Del Bianco-Life Beyond Tourism®, organizza un evento dedicato al tema del “patrimonio culturale dell’acqua”, tema unificante della giornata per l’anno 2011. L’iniziativa si svolge sotto l’egida del Consiglio Italiano per i Monumenti e Siti (ICOMOS) e con il patrocinio dell’ICCROM e del Centro UNESCO di Firenze.

Il programma dell’evento, aperto al pubblico, comprende – oltre agli interventi istituzionali e ai contributi di esperti fra i quali il TICCIH (The International Committee for the Conservation of Industrial Heritage), il Centro UNESCO Firenze, il CICOP (Centro Internazionale per la Conservazione del Patrimonio Architettonico) e il Portale No-Profit Life Beyond Tourism® – la presentazione del film documentario “Per Firenze” del Maestro Franco Zeffirelli sull’alluvione di Firenze del 1966

La Giornata si terrà a Firenze presso il Life Beyond Tourism® Auditorium al Duomo in Via De’ Cerretani 54r, il 18 aprile dalle ore 9:30 alle ore 13:30, ed è inserita nel programma di eventi promosso da ICOMOS Italia, che comprende un incontro a Venezia (‘Reti culturali territoriali per il patrimonio delle acque’) e ad Assisi (‘I Siti Italiani del Patrimonio Mondiale’).

Per maggiori informazioni:
Segreteria Sezione Giovani ICOMOS Italia
Via del Giglio 10 – 50123, Firenze
(+39) 055 216066,

L’evento è anche su Facebook: a questo link.

February 23, 2011

Across the Ocean…compared visitor’s experiences between Chicago and Florence

Hi bloggers,

let’s go back to discover your own travel stories!!
Today, we have Hannah Ring from Chicago, USA telling us about her experience, suggestions, and pictures of a Chicagoan living in Florence, Italy for four months:

“Becoming a local visitor is truly the only way to see the world and experience first hand the uniqueness, beauty, and culture of each location. In visiting places such as Chicago and also Florence, it takes not only visiting the most renowned museums or just walking back and forth down Michigan Avenue, but also uncovering the culture and what makes the cities “home” for the locals. Adjusting to the closing of shops for lunch in Florence or the mile a minute speed of Chicagoans is just the start of a journey to learn the different realities of life around the world.

Tourists come to the “Windy City” for all kinds of reasons be it the sports, the architecture, the lake, shopping, etc. There is always something to find for everyone. Having grown up in “Chi-Town”, I thrive on driving down the highway with the skyline in front of me, watching the Sears Tower and John Hancock building tower over the city. Looking from side to side in the city, you cannot help but be constantly distracted by flashing lights of the theater, shops or restaurants as you continue to follow the flow of pedestrians that guide you up and down the streets. I always love to go to Navy Pier, one of Chicago’s great tourist attractions on the lake, to take a ride on the Ferris Wheel or walk through Millenium Park to laugh at your pictures off the “bean”, a contemporary steel sculpture that is actually shaped like a bean and reflects the Chicago skyline. Although it does not compare to the museums of the most renowned artists in history, the Aquarium, Planetarium and Field Museums were my favorite weekend adventures when I was a kid and find myself even today wanting to return to these places to have a fun and exciting day in the city. It cannot be forgotten that Chicago has some of the best sports life in the country and nothing compares to a sunny day at Wrigley Field watching the Cubs baseball team play while eating a hotdog, or spending the night in the Bull’s and Blackhawk’s home arena, the United Center, with thousands of other Chicago sports fans bonding, cheering, and celebrating with each other. I love Chicago for its excitement, versatility, and opportunity and it definitely welcomes anyone that wants to experience the culture of the city.

Florence, on the other hand, is known around the world as a site of the most renowned Renaissance art, architecture and history, housed in museums such as the Uffizi, Galleria dell’Accademia, Bargello and many more. But beyond these first few essential tourist sites there are hundreds more spots to get a feel for the real Florentine culture, such as small churches, Italian shops, or piazzas. My first recommendation is to wander down the streets and alleyways of the city until you really don’t know where you are. Being able to orient yourself in relation to some of the many major landmarks in the city, such as the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, Santa Maria Novella Railway Station, Piazza della Santa Croce, or the Palazzo Vecchio, will enable anyone to learn about city and also discover all of its special niches off the beaten track. Restaurants, cafes, shops, and bars line every street you may find yourself on and there is nothing better than stopping for a homemade Italian meal, a cappuccino or pastry, and maybe even some of the best gelato afterwards. My first experience in Florence was sitting in a small café while just watching a flow of Italians stop in for a quick drink while standing at the bar and conversing simply among each other. Just listening to the fluidity of the Italian language and watching the hand gestures and expressions of Italians when they laugh and talk to each other cannot help but make you smile even if you cannot understand what is being said. My second recommendation would be to walk up to the Saint Michelangelo’s Square, which sits on top of a hill not far across the river, and see the most amazing view of the city from above. It allows you to appreciate the beautiful location of the city as it sits among the mountains of Tuscany. Being able to appreciate both the history and the beauty of the Florentine lifestyle is the most important aspect of traveling to this one of a kind city.

Although the two locations are separated by many other countries and even an ocean, the experience of touring in a new environment and retaining a piece of each culture truly does make the world a smaller place.”

Thanks Hannah! And now it’s your turn, reader … send us your  travel story by writing at!

Millenium Park

November 24, 2010

Live again Kratky’s photo-exhibition in Florence!

During the week of November 15, 2010 until November 21, 2010, we had the pleasure of attending a photo exhibition by a Czech photographer, Frantisek Kratky. The exhibition was held at the Auditorium al Duomo, right  in  the centre of Florence, and is another part of our expanding Life Beyond Tourism project.

The exhibition formally opened on the evening of November 15, where guests that included students, professors, and people from around the world, could stop in to enjoy this nostalgic exhibition.

The exhibition showed Italy during the late nineteenth century and is titled: Italy 1897 Stereotypical Views of the Bohemian Photographer Frantisek Kratky. This exhibition was in collaboration with the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic of Tuscany, led by Giovanna Dani Del Bianco.

Many students and professors from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and several other countries, attended the event to support this beautiful cultural encounter. Although this exhibition reveals breathtaking photos of Italy’s major cities such as Rome, Florence, and Venice during the nineteenth century, there is more to their histories than just the interesting pictures. This event represents one of the primary aspects and goals of Life Beyond Tourism. It demonstrates the establishment of a cultural link between Italy and the Czech Republic and reveals how a man such as Kratky is extremely interested in discovering a culture other than his own. The manifestation conveyed more than just the major tourist attractions of Italy at the time, such as Brunelleschi’s Dome and Saint Peter’s Square. It instead revealed beyond the gorgeous architecture and into the deeper culture of Italy such as its people on the streets, the animals in the countryside, and the way the two interacted during the time period. It is here that one’s life beyond tourism actually begins. It is only when one starts to interact directly with the culture and environment in which they are surrounded, that they can create an intercultural dialogue that establishes a powerful link between two cultures.

Article by Lauren Di Bartolomeo, United States – Life Beyond Tourism University Delegate 2010

September 13, 2010

Open-air painting with water colour technologies!

Hi bloggers,

While the Romualdo Del Bianco Fondation with Life Beyond Tourism is welcoming in Florence, Italy, the workshop Open air on the estates Medici in the environments of Florence and Lastra Signa, we decided to  give you some information about open-air painting! How?? By  a little watercolour lesson by Professor Yuri Kolomiets from Kiev National University of Building and Construction, Kyiv – Ukraine. Below we report Professor Kolomiets’ paintings and text:

“My name is  Yuri Kolomiets. I have been  practicing in water-colour technology for more than 20 years. As an artist I always felt drawn to simple landscape peasant theme. Small corner of village backyards.

Village Church of St.Paraskeva, watercolour, 23x28cm

Worm white  shades of  cottage walls, violet shadows with numerous picturesque reflections, colour from yellow to soft green. Coloured too small gardens crossing by horizontal pattern of shadows. Colours is melting into each others, rhytmes is transforming from smallest patches in larger. All of that creates charming images that  always are in harmony with human being sand the surrounding environements.

Sometimes I mainly prefer to work  in  Kiev’s open-air spaces, such as the Museum of Folk Architecture and domestic life of Ukrainians. Its name is Pirogovo Village. Museum is situated nearby Kiev city, and featuring some of the 300 representative examples of vernacular buildings from all over Ukraine. Its exposition was set up according to historic and ethnographic regions of Ukraine. Numerous houses, churches, windmills and household buildings are restored, renovated, and well located in surrounding nature. I quite often prefer to paint and draw there, because it is in tune with  my artistic objectives. By painting a new subject I’m striving not only to receive plesure from contemplation, but attracting spectators to admire beauties of nature.

Shinok, watercolour - 17x28cm

What would I say about create my images, shown in a water colour  picture named “Shinok”. (It was a  kind of  historical and domestic village -space, such as a tavern  or a trattoria). I depicted a scene typical and usual, but tried to pay attention to the nature condition, and the structure of the composition . Autumn  landscape with skillfully applied colored tones, contrasting with each other on the foreground but becaming opaque  when striving into depth.
In the centre of  the picture I used a composition device, that produces an effect of perspective:  a piramidal structure incorporates lineas with regard for the laws of linear perspective. Lines of thatched cottage roof  pointing on it, I think. These virtual lines can be extended more, through the cherry  trees on the left side, then toward two men (ukrainian kozaks), and with their shadows. From the right side of the roof, you can watch the same line going downward and lock the triangular main group. While the foreground appears to be in contrast short earthy brushstrokes in the grass, crossing by  longe shadows from sunset, background seems plunged in darkness of the right side. A dramatic condition of fall soft and mild evening, I tried to portray by particularly contrasting dark and light tones. The picture is reflecting, that real automne become not yet. Contrasts and , soft tones create a good mood,
filled with worm and transparent sunset light. Bushes with red and yellow flowers of middleground and in the centre, supplement and adorn the whole composition. All of that gives to image freshness and completness.

Church of All Saints, watercolour, 23x28

I prefer  avoiding strong sunlight while painting, go out to paint in the afternoon, even close to evening, when the lights go fade, become more diffused, and the sun no longer cast deep shadows. Seems, I painted there in earthy colours with ochre, red, sombre blue, and brown. But if you learn it more attentively, you can see transparence shades with mixtures of green, red, violet, yellow, and blue spectrum colours. Finally I can say, in studying of my paintings scenes, I try to capture light and weather conditions, show to spectators images filled with peacefool and harmony between human being and nature life, a long time ago, where the time had passed slow, and thoroughly.”

Yuris Kolomiets

Violet Cyclamens, watercolour, 23x28

August 27, 2010

Dedicated to all costume lovers, costume historians, dancers, etc … Costume Colloquium II Dress for Dance

Following the great success in 2008, the 2010 Edition of  Costume Colloquium is coming soon in Florence, Italy from the 4th to the 7th of November 2010! Promoted by the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation in the context of Life Beyond Tourism, this year the topic Dress for Dance will be exploring interdisciplinary and cultural aspects of historic, popular, and contemporary  dance costumes, and dresses.

Eight sessions will be exploring historic, conservative, creative, and technical aspects: view all the sessions and the conference’s parallel events at this link.

What: Costume Colloqium II: Dress for Dance
Where: Florence, Italy
When: November 4-7 2010

Fore more information:
the group on facebook here
write to
call 0039.055.285588

June 30, 2010

Special Visits and special offers in Florence

Do you want to be part of  History in Florence, Italy!?? We have selected some special visits/offers in Florence for you! Such as the following ….

. visit to the Casa Martelli Museum

.visit to the exhibition La Città degli Uffizi-Beato Angelico a Pontassieve

. taking part to the project ‘Be part of History

More information from the Life Beyond Tourism Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio here.

More information from the Life Beyond Tourism Best WesternPremier Hotel Laurus al Duomo here.

May 20, 2010

ITKI- International Traditional Knowledge Institute

Promoted by UNESCO, a new institute to study, preserve, and apply traditional knowledges and tecniques is recently born. The official presentation of  ITKI- International Traditional Knowledge Institute was held in Florence on the 12th of May, 2010.

Read the full news at this link!!!

April 27, 2010

90 day for Intercultural Dialogue in Florence: reopening of the Caffè Astra al Duomo!

Are you in Florence, Italy? Are you looking for a charming, warm enviroment in the centre of  Florence to have lunch or to spend your happy hour?? Then you will be happy to know that Caffè Astra al Duomo is going to re-open tomorrow April 28th!

Caffè Astra al Duomo is going to offer you the best of  Tuscan and Italian food&wine, as well as the opportunity to witness cultural events such as international conference and art exhibitions! As a matter of fact, Caffè Astra al Duomo is part of the Centro Congressi al Duomo. The Centro Congressi al Duomo is itself  member of Life Beyond Tourism, and – with its activities – represent one of the Best Practices of Life Beyond Tourism. Thus, the project 90 Days for Intercultural Dialogue also takes place here.

During the Press Conference for the re-opening of Caffè Astra al Duomo, the the project 90 Days for Intercultural Dialogue has been officially presented to the Florentine press: download the Press Release of the Caffè Astra’s reopening here!

Read more Press at the Life Beyond Tourism website!

April 19, 2010

‘Firenze:2000 Anni di Storia’ is on You Tube!

Hi bloggers,
interested in learning more about the history of  Florence?? Then,  watch the DVD Firenze:2000 Anni di Storia/Florence: 2000 Years of  History at this link on You Tube.

The DVD has been:
Realized by

Vincenzo Capalbo, Marilena Bertozzi – Art Media Studio

Promoted by Fondazione Romualdo Del Bianco in the context of  Life Beyond Tourism.
Produced by
Vivahotels and Comi Spa
With the contribution of Antonio Paolucci, Bruno Santi, Cristina Acidini

April 15, 2010

18 Aprile Giornata Internazionale dei Monumenti e dei Siti

Ciao Bloggers,

lo sapevate che il 18 Aprile è la Giornata Internazionale dei Monumenti e dei Siti? Questa giornata speciale è stata indetta dall’ICOMOS (International Council for Monuments and Sites) fin dal 2001;  e prevede numerose iniziative in tutto il mondo! Questa giornata e le varie iniziative ad essa correlata, sono tutte volte a “sensibilizzare l’opinione pubblica sull’importanza del patrimonio culturale e mettere in evidenza l’impegno necessario per apprezzarlo, proteggerlo e conservarlo richiamando una particolare attenzione alla sua vulnerabilità”.

In questa ottica, Firenze non poteva non esserne parte…  ICOMOS Italia, il Comune di Firenze, l’Associazione Città e Siti Italiani Patrimonio Mondiale UNESCO, e la Fondazione Romualdo Del Bianco celebrano questa giornata promuovendo una serie di incontri, mostre e presentazioni (anche multimediali) aperti alla cittadinanza! Tra gli altri:

. Proiezione continua del DVD Firenze: 2000 Anni di Storia
Le tue foto in diretta
sul photoblog Life Beyond Tourism

Dove: Firenze,  Centro Congressi al Duomo, Via de’ Cerretani 54r
Quando: 18 Aprile 2010, h. 10.00-18.00

Scarica qui la presentazione e il programma completi!

Clicca qui per vedere le foto!
Guarda i video dell’evento su You Tube


Hi Bloggers,

did you know that the 18th of April is internationally dedicated to celebrate and valorize Monuments and Sites? This special day has been called by ICOMOS (International Council for Monuments and Sites) since 2001, and it will include numerous initiatives all around the world! The day and its related events are all aimed to make the public more aware of the importance of cultural heritage, as well as of the increasing need for cultural heritage’s  appreciation,  safeguarding, and conservation.

In this respect, Florence couldn’t not be part of this world day … ICOMOS Italia, Florence City Hall, Associazione Città e Siti Italiani Patrimonio Mondiale UNESCO, and Fondazione Romualdo Del Bianco will celebrate it by promoting a series of exhibitions, open meetings, and presentations where everybody is welcome! Among other activities:

. All day projection of the DVD Florence: 2000 Years of  History
. Live: your photos on the Life Beyond Tourism Photoblog

Where: Florence,  Centro Congressi al Duomo, Via de’ Cerretani 54r
When: 18th of April 2010, h. 10.00 am-6.00 pm

Click here to see the pictures!

Watch the videos on You Tube

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