John Bensalhia begins his monthly look at some interesting and notable events, shows and exhibitions taking place in Italy.
January's normally the month that everyone dreads – especially with the post-festive blues, money grumbles and cold weather. But here are some notable events, shows and happenings this month to brighten up those cold winter days...
UMBRIA JAZZ WINTER FESTIVAL – Orvieto, Till January 1st 2014
The ever-popular Umbria Jazz Winter Festival may be coming to a halt on New Year's Day, but it certainly packs an awful lot into the final day.
The festival's swansong boats a diverse, eclectic line-up, from the gospel of Dr Bobby Jones and The Singletons through to the New Orleans sound of Tuba Skinny. Other guests include Lewis Nash and the Steve Wilson Duo; Christian McBride and Inside Straight (Plus guest, Melissa Aldana) and the Cecile McLorin Salvant Quartet.
The music will take place at a number of locations including Ristorante al San Francesco, Palazzo del Popolo and Teatro del Carmine. With something to suit all fans of jazz music fans, the last day of the festival looks sure to wrap things up in considerable style.
CAVALCADE OF THE MAGI – January 6th
January 6th is a national holiday in Italy, celebrating the Feast Of The Epiphany. A common method of celebration in Italy is the Cavalcade Of The Magi.
This colourful parade is headed by the three kings who arrived in Bethlehem bearing gifts for baby Jesus. People throughout Italy join in the parades as historical figures such as knights, lords and ladies in a variety of distinctive, sumptuous costumes. The carnival atmosphere extends to the accompaniment of music, flag waving and throwing and fireworks. Notable examples of the Cavalcade Of The Magi can be found in locations such as Tuscany and Lizzano. A live manger is set up at the end of the parade to re-enact the nativity scene. It's a colourful and memorable way to spend the holiday, bringing the 12th day of the Christmas season to a spectacular end.
WHITE TRADE SHOW – Milan, January 11th - 13th
White is a leading international fashion trade show. It runs a number of trade shows throughout the year, and between the 11th and 13th of January 2014, there will be a showcase of men's, women's and accessories collections.
Attended by more than 16,000 international buyers, these shows offer a wide selection of clothing and accessory items. The January trade shows are set to open their doors between 9.30am and 6.30pm, apart from the final day which closes an hour earlier at 5.30pm.
LA ZAMPOGNA – Maranola, January 18th - 19th
If you thought that bagpipes were purely the province of Scotland, then think again. La Zampogna is a two-day festival celebrating the sounds of the pipes.
Now in its 21st edition, La Zampogna brings together a wide variety of musicians, scholars, instrument makers and pipe enthusiasts to provide a memorable two days for attendees. There will be concerts, classes, productions and also a procession at Piazza Antonio Ricca. A workshop will be held on Saturday the 18th of January and will allow budding amateurs the opportunity to get to grips with this musical instrument. Guests include the bagpipers of Aurinici, who will add their own unique contribution to the weekend performances.
WORLD SALSA MEETING – Milan, January 23rd – 26th
All things Salsa will be gathering at Milan at the tail end of January for the 6th annual meeting. With over 3000 Salsa dancers, this looks set to be another memorable celebration of this popular South American culture. In addition to the dancers, there will be singers and DJs as well as dance schools, dance shows and also a TV show competition in which professionals and amateurs compete for a place in the Worldwide Championship in Miami later in the year.
Among the wide number of artists and teachers appearing at the meeting are Gabry and Stefy Spagna; Mitchell and Monica; Shani Talmor; Dimitris and Stella; Andrea and Silvia; and the Euphoria Dance Company.
ROME SCIENCE MEETING – Rome, January 23rd - 26th
Also taking place between January 23rd and 26th is the Rome Science Festival. This year's festival will look in detail at the 'Language Of Science' with a wide range of meetings, exhibitions, shows, cafés and debates. Topics include scientific and philosophical inquiry, science fiction and the language of humans and machines.
Booked to appear are a number of experts in the field, including Noam Chomsky, who will be lecturing on the concept of language as an organ of the mind. Other contributors attending from all around the world include Philippe Schlenker, director of research at Institute Jean-Nicod, Paris, Jason Stanley, Yale University Professor, Jesse Snedeker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard and Thomas Poggio, director of Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, Boston.
VERSO MONET: HISTORY OF LANDSCAPE ART – Verona, All throughout January 2014
If you're interested in a bit of culture, then this showcase of the progression of landscape art may be for you.
This exhibition is based at Verona's Palazzo della Gran Guardia and examines the progression of landscape paintings from the 17th century through to the 20th. The 18th and 19th centuries are particularly examined in great detail with an emphasis on the works of Monet, a key artist in the world of landscape paintings.
The showcase will break down the history of the landscape painting into five different segments starting from the “true and false nature” of the early beginnings, through to the “age of veduta”, the Romanticism era, the Impressionism era and finally ending at “Monet and the new nature”.
The exhibition of great landscape art will continue all throughout January and right up until the middle of February 2014, so if you're an art lover, it's the perfect place to visit in the early part of the new year.