July 2, 2010

Japanese ancient traditions: a new publication to be presented in Florence

We today inform you about a new publication to be soon presented  in Florence:

by Olimpia Niglio and Koji Kuwakino (Pisa: Plus-Pisa University Press, 2010)

The publication is the result of the collaboration between the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Tokyo and the Gabinetto Scientifico Letterario G.P. Vieusseux, and it will be officially presented in Florence, Italy in Palazzo Strozzi on November 17th 2010, at 17.30.

The book represents a journey through the world of art, of architecture and Japanese landscapes, discovering values and methods which are fundamental for the conservation of architectural and historical/artistic heritage. A journey inside the Land of the Rising Sun culture, which expands our mental horizons – as Fosco Maraini wrote – and focusing attention on the intimate mechanisms which are fundamental in the relationship between man and nature.
The book has three parts: Art and Culture, Cultural Scenery, Architecture and Restoration. Inside this tripartition, runs through the traces of ancient and modern traditions again, which also today characterize Japan and are at the base of its cultural development.
Download the invitation and the poster.

OLIMPIA NIGLIO, architect, university researcher in Restoration at the College of Engineering – eCampus  University (Novedrate, Como). She teaches architectural restoration at Postgraduate School in Historical/Artistic Assets at the University of Pisa. In 2009 did a lecture about restoration in Italy at the Kanto Gakuin University of Yokohama.

KOJI KUWAKINO, graduate in Engineering at the Chiba University in Japan. In 1999 did a Master on History of Western Architecture at  the Tokyo University. In 2007 became Doctor in Research into History of Visual and Performance Arts at the University of Pisa.


October 20, 2009

Upcoming event on Saturday, October 24th!


are you in Florence this weekend? are you looking for a special event in Florence? So come discovering  Russian culture this Saturday, October 24th, at Poggio Imperiale in Florence, Italy with the event  ‘Pushkin and his epoch’ !!

July 17, 2008

American students talk about Florence

Filed under: Impressions about a place,News,Your Travel Stories — worldsitetravellers @ 3:51 pm
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Dear Friends,

Yesterday a group of students of an American University who has been studying in Florence for three months had a very interesting meeting at the Gabinetto Vieusseux ( in Palazzo Strozzi.

The meeting was entitled Firenze Immaginata, Firenze Vissuta and they had to talk about the difference between how they had imagined Florence before coming here and how it is in reality after a three months’ stay?

The guys have kept talking for almost two hours and their comments and opinions were very impressive!

Here are some of their considerations about the argument:

“…Which is the element that makes you feel part of Florence? Is it visiting the museums or eating the Bistecca alla Fiorentina in a very expensive restaurant? I don’t think so. I think that when you start living in a place, and you also start working, you start taking part to the daily routine of that place, so you are not a tourist anymore and you don’t behave as you still were it. So, life in Florence is not only going to the museums or doing something special, but it’s also study, work and routine…”

“…Since I live in Florence, I noticed that life is very expensive! One of the main means of livelihood for Florence is tourism, and of course also fashion and luxury, but this is often an outward way of living, because actually many families have financial difficulties and living here is quite hard…”

“…I noticed that there is a strong sense of solidarity between the families of the block of flats where I live. I think that Italian people in general have a great sense of community and neighborhood, and this is different from America, where people live on their own without having any contact with their neighbor…!”

“What I expected to find and what I actually found:

  • The social aspect of Italians: they are very open and dramatic people above all when they discuss something

  • The food culture: for Italian people living is eating, but in the sense that to them the eating time is a time to spend together, a time to share opinions, feelings, etc.

  • The sense of belonging to a place

I also learnt one thing from this experience: imagination is something that you can’t have if you don’t have real life.”

“…Before coming to Florence I had the common stereotypes that everyone has about Italians: pizza, football, mandolino. This is what I imagined, actually I learnt that reality is often very different from imagination. Florence is in fact a very cosmopolitan place where different people from different cultures leave together every day with all the difficulties that come from a similar situation…”

“…How the Florentine people do behave with foreign people? Do they accept the fact that their city is full of foreign people? What do they think about the foreign tourists?…Sometimes it seems to me that they have an attitude to separation from other people…”

“…I am from Angola and I have been living in Florence for 8 years. My idea of Florence has changed a lot during these years. Before coming here I thought that all Italian people were Catholic, but then I suddenly realized that it was an old idea. In fact, I usually go to Mass while my Italian friends meet me later outside the church…”

“…Living in Florence gave me the sensation of being independent and self-governing. When I arrived here I suddenly felt that I could walk around the city without losing myself and in an autonomous way. Florence transmits a sense of safety and independence…”

“…Every place in the World is different from all the others and it’s unique, and every place communicates something different and peculiar…”

“…To deepen your own knowledge of a place you need to feel the spirit of that place and immerse yourself in the local customs and culture…”

“..To get in contact with a place you need time and patience, you need to be curious and investigating, you need to listen to that place…”

“…To understand a city you can observe people in their daily actions, such as waiting for a bus, going to work, etc…”.


These are just some of the ideas that came out yesterday during this meeting and we would be very happy if these guys wrote other comments on our blog!!!

The IMAGINATION/REALITY theme is very important to understand many things on people and places and to realize how easy it is to generate stereotypes in general.

How can we avoid to be superficial in our judgements?…

Think about it!


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