Move away Speaker’s Corner: Bologna has “Lo Sgabellino”

Non potevo non ribloggarlo questo post di Flaneur in Bologna… 🙂 Buona lettura! #Bologna

Flaneur in Bologna

The young woman, she doesn’t look any older than 28, is standing on the stool, “the guy” has just wrapped an Italian flag around her neck and this smooth present gently brushes against her hijab. Standing still on her skinny jeans on skinny legs, she is telling a boy about half her age that, whether he likes it or not, she’s Italian.

«I didn’t want to leave Morocco you know, I was a happy kid playing with her friends and her animals in the country. If you have to blame someone, blame my dad for bringing me here. But I grew to love Italy, I studied and worked here most of my life,  this is my country and I love it. Yet I am glad that you are telling me what you think».

Even if he’s just said, basically, that «Everything’s because of the immigrants». Everything what? Just…

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Hamlet @ Harold Pinter Theatre (Almeida Transfer)

Come dice il mio bravissimo Rory di All Theatre Reviews, Amleto non ha bisogno di presentazioni. Se poi oltre al genio di Shakespeare si unisce il fatto che a vestire i panni del nevrotico Principe di Danimarca c’era Andrew Scott, il terribile Jim Moriarty nemesi dello Sherlock interpretato da Benedict Cumberbatch, si capisce che la combinazione era troppo golosa per lasciarsela scappare. Un’esperienza che neppure i biglietti economici a sole £15 sterline che io e la mia dolce meta’ siamo riusciti ad assicurarci ha diminuito. Ode al West Est! To be or not to be…

All Theatre Reviews

Hamlet @ Harold Pinter Theatre

Monday 19/06/17

Cast Includes Andrew Scott, Juliet Stevenson and Angus Wright

Running Time: 3 hours 30 mins, inc. Interval and ‘Pause’


Hamlet needs no introduction. As Shakespeare’s longest work, and yet one of those most appealing to actors, it has recently been frequently revived in the West End – the past few years have seen David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch both take on the part. It is Cumberbatch’s Sherlock co-star Andrew Scott who takes on the role in this production that has transferred from the Almeida with direction by Robert Icke.

One of the first and most major things to comment on is Scott’s central performance, which is truly amazing. He makes the verse sound fresh and spontaneous, giving the piece a true vitality throughout, with each major speech being made his own. He also manages to inject a lot of humour in the…

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Bologna loves Hamburg via The Beatles

Una recensione (questa volta in inglese) di una mostra sui Beatles nella mia Bologna. Astrid Kirchherr with the Beatles, a Palazzo Favae’ davvero da non perdere. Qui nella recencesione di Flaneur in Bologna 🙂 Buona lettura!

Flaneur in Bologna

It was impossible not to sing along this afternoon while Stefanie Hempel, beautiful low voice, cheerful interpretation and ukulele, was tuning Here comes the sun and With a little help from my friend at Palazzo Fava. The german singer was a special gift for the first day of Astrid Kirchherr with the Beatles, by Genus Bononiae and Ono Arte Contemporanea, an exhibition for all of those who have a little Dear Prudence, Blackbird or Lucy in the sky gently tattooed in their hearts.


I’m one of them and I was also one of the many improvised Beatles’ scholars. When I was 17 I spent a couple of weeks eagerly reading their biography, with that typical sting of pain for not having been there. And among the many “there” of the history of the Beatles there’s Hamburg.

7. The Beatles, Hugo Haase, 1960 LOW REScredits ©GINZBURG FINE ARTS/PHOTO…

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Young Man among Roses, by Nicholas Hiliard, 1587.


I have always been fascinated by Elizabethan England. Like Italian art, it revelled in hidden symbols; but, unlike the Italians, the Elizabethans had no use for the kind of realistic visual art that existed in contemporary Italy.

A Young Man Amongst Roses by Nicholas Hilliard, 1585-95. Museum no. P.163-1910, © Victoria and Albert Museum, LondonDuring the Elizabethan times, the visual arts retreated in favour of a series on symbols as signs, they become a sort of visual text. While in Italy frescos and canvases in large dimensions were the norm, in England Nicholas Hiliard was painting his little portable gems. To me, he was the greatest master of the English miniature.

Hiliard’s portrait miniatures are the perfect examples of the visual arts of a country very different from 16th century Italy. They were exchanged as a symbol of love, friendship and loyalty: they were intimate objects, not for show, but to be carried everywhere, like a photo today. They have the immediacy of a snapshot and the preciousness of a jewel and, like contemporary Italian art, they are steeped in hidden symbols.

My favourite is the Young Man among Roses in the British Galleries, at the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was made in 1587, when the tradition of falling in love with the monarch was still alive and Elizabeth exerted her authority on her male courtiers according to the rules of Courtly Love. This young man wears the Queen’s colours, the black and white, therefore declaring his secret passion for her and, with hand on heart, swears his eternal devotion. The man is presumed to be Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, the Queen’s young favourite, who at this date was seventeen years old to the Queen’s sixty. Only a few years later, however, in 1601, he would be at the centre of a conspiracy to overthrow Elizabeth and take power. It all ended very badly, with the Queen heartbroken and Essex losing his head on Tower Green, the last person to be beheaded in the Tower of London. Nothing is what it seems…