With Covid-19 restrictions still in place, Italian events are still pressing on in the new year – either online of with tight safety precautions in place. John Bensalhia reports...
The Covid-19 pandemic remains ever-present around the world as it enters 2021. This has – and continues to make – events a huge challenge. While people need a bit of entertainment and enlightenment in their lives, safety is the number one priority. With that in mind, hats off to event organisers for doing the very best they can with events like the ones I'll be discussing this month. As ever, these are provisional dates, so keep checking the websites provided for any possible last minute changes.
Lasting through to 10th January 2021
Art fans will still have time to enjoy the digital edition of ArtVerona, which is scheduled to continue through to 10th January. The digital edition has allowed online visitors to enjoy a range of Italian artwork, as well as contributions from artists and art critics.
The digital version is currently in its third phase, Digital White. With the Covid-19 pandemic affecting events such as this, the Veronafiere hub has been used to present a special online platform for visitors to access. It's apt that with the rise of digital and online use, this edition of ArtVerona has presented galleries that work with artists who use digital technology to conduct their artistic research with concepts such as big data and virtual reality.
Trentino Alto Adige, 5th - 6th January 2021
Pencilled in for early January, the Winter season brings the annual Tour de Ski – Dobbiaco / Toblach World Cup. Set in Trentino Alto Adige, the event kicks off (or skis off) on 5th January after a day of training. This will see both the Individual 10km F (Women), which will begin at 1.00pm, while 2.45pm starts the Individual 15km F (Men). The next day sees both the Pursuit 10km C (Women – starting at 1.30pm) and Pursuit 15km C (Men – 2.40pm). These contests are part of the Coop FIS Tour de Ski performance by Le Gruyère AOP.
Online Divine Dante
Florence, Italy (virtual), 1-7 January 2021
The year 2021 marks the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, and his epic poem, The Divine Comedy, is more relevant than ever. A story of hitting rock bottom and making the arduous but joyful climb up to the stars, Dante’s tale is proof that the only way out is through. Start the New Year off right by immersing yourself in poetry, beauty, and a deeper understanding of the universal human experience with a six-week guided reading of the Comedy with Alexandra Lawrence.
*The sessions will take place live on Zoom—a recording will also be sent to all participants the following day that they may access for the duration of the course. The cost for the entire course is 100 euros. To sign up or to receive more information, please email them.
8th January - 26th February 2021
Budding art historians may like this online history of Italian art course. Eight online sessions will be hosted by art historian Dr Domenico Salamino, who will guide visitors through the ages of classic Italian art.
Taking place on a weekly basis through January and February, the course will look at the origins of Italian art, moving through the development of ancient Italian art through to the medieval period.
Specifically, the course will cover the artwork of locations including Rome, Milan, Ravenna, Venice and its cities Verona, Vicenza and Padua, Puglia, Matera and Palermo. Lessons begin at 5.30pm (Italian time) between 8th January and 26th February 2021.
San Vigilio and San Candido, 13th - 20th January 2021
The annual Snow Sculptures International Festival is, at the time of writing, still poised to get the green light this year. Now in its 31st edition, the festival takes place in two locations: San Vigilio (13th to 15th January) and San Candido (18th to 20th January).
Prospective entrants are invited to create a snow sculpture from a huge cube of pressed snow, using only a saw, shovel, and water, which is used to solidify the end result. Competitors are allowed the three days to complete the sculpture, with judgement passed by locals. Because the area is illuminated at night, the sculptures can be seen through the remainder of the long Winter nights.
14th - 18th January 2021
After the past year, it's appropriate that the traditional Fòcara di Novoli has the title 'Libera nos: pain, prayer, hope'. The 2021 edition is set to return to the square in front of the Sant'Antonio Abate sanctuary as a result of the pandemic, and with the relevant precautions in place, marks a return to this destination after over 60 years.
Before the event officially begins on 16th January, a couple of important happenings take place. These are the awarding of the Nabokov International Literary Prize, which will be dedicated to journalist Pino Scaccia, who passed away from Covid in November. The following day, a press conference and unveiling of Andrea Gandini's sculpture will be held in the Baronial Palace.
The lighting of the Fòcara will be televised as a means of ensuring that as many can witness the spectacle as possible. This will take place on 16th January, and will also be marked with a small procession of musicians and waders, and an a cappella quartet. The next day sees a show called 'Antonio. A saint. A different focus' performing at the Municipal Theater.
16th - 19th January 2021
Following the previous September's fashion event, the forthcoming Men's Milan Fashion Event will follow the same format. The result is a combination of a limited number of shows that can be attended in person and online shows.
The amount of actual shows that can be seen in person has been restricted to five on account of the pandemic, with the remaining 32 streamed through a platform on the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana website (see address above).
The Men's Fashion showcase will feature new clothes and accessories from a mixture of established and upcoming designers, providing a few new ideas for the stylish chap about town.
30th January - 16th February 2021
With last year's Venice Carnival coming to a premature conclusion on account of the advance of the Covid-19 pandemic, the much anticipated event is (at the time of writing) set to return at the end of the month. It's worth noting that the official line-up of the 2021 Venice Carnival has not been fully published at the time of writing, but expect it to be fully compliant with the relevant restrictions. You can, however, expect a wonderful experience, despite the current circumstances.
As of December 2020, the 2021 Venice Carnival is set to kick off with the Venetian Water Festival on 31st January (taking place in Rio di Cannaregio). One of the busiest days is the 6th February which will see the Feste delle Marie procession from San Pietro di Castello to the Doges’ Palace and Saint Mark’s Square. Mid-February sees both the Flights of the Eagle and Lion bringing the event to a conclusion with the contest to find the most beautiful mask.
Please check the website for regular updates and any possible changes.