Friday, March 28, 2008

FAI Giornate di Primavera 2008

On April 5th and 6th the FAI (Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano) will celebrate its XVI edition of the "FAI Spring days" with the very special opening of 550 monuments, villas, gardens, churches, etc. that are not normally available for visits.
The FAI volunteers will be helped once more by over 10.000 "Apprendisti Ciceroni", young (10-14) students that will guide the visitors around the properties.
The complete list of monuments that will open can be found here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ornatissimo Codice Part 2

I visited the Ornatissimo Codice expo (in Urbino Ducal Palace until July 27th 2008, read the previous post for more info), the books are really impressive but, of course, I could not take photos...
What I could photograph is the permanent new multimedia expo of the Federico da Montefeltro Library. When you enter the Ducal Palace, the first tiny door on the left is the Library, step inside and you'll find yourself surrounded by "shelves" of books projected on the library walls.

You can "take out" the books from the shelves and browse through them by miming the gestures of picking them and turning the pages.

One of the books is a manuscript of Apicius "De Re Coquinaria"

The page displayed (the one on the left in the photo) gives the recipe of a spiced wine from the Roman times called Conditum Paradoxum that goes: "conditi paradoxi compositio: mellis pondo XV in aeneum vas mittuntur, praemissi[s] vini sextariis duobus, ut in cocturam mellis vinum decoquas. Quod igni lento et aridis lignis calefactum, commotum ferula dum coquitur, si effervere coeperit, vini rore compescitur, praeter quod subtracto igni in se redit. Cum perfrixerit, rursus accenditur. Hoc secundo ac tertio fiet, ac tum demum remotum a foco postridie despumatur. Tum [mittis] piperis uncias IV iam triti, masticis scripulos II, folii et croci dragmas singulas, dactylorum ossibus torridis quinque, isdemque dactylis vino mollitis, intercedente prius suffusione vini de suo modo ac numero, ut tritura lenis habeatur. His omnibus paratis supermittis vini lenis sextarios XVIII. Carbones perfecto aderunt duo milia."

I'll ask some friends to translate it and give it a try... well, maybe I will, depending on the ingredients... the Romans used to consider absolutely fantastic food that we would at least consider "strange". The most known example is Garum a sauce made of fermented fish intestines...

See more photos of the expo here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The MEATrix

Another wonderful Free Range Studios video (see Grocery STORE WARS).

The MEATrix is the story we tell ourselves about where our meat and animal products come from. Family farms are often a fantasy: take the blue pill and stay here in the fantasy take the red pill and I'll show you the truth...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ornatissimo codice

350 years after the relocation of the Library of the Dukes of Urbino to the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Soprintendenza per il Patrimonio Storico Artistico ed Etnoantropologico of Le Marche, promotes the first return of 15 volumes belonging to the library of Federico da Montefeltro to its original location. The whole collection was moved to Rome's Vatican Library in 1657 after the Pope Urban VIII definitively incorporated the Duchy into the papal dominions.

The duke’s library of 900 manuscript volumes, by the leading scribes and illuminators of Florence, Ferrara, Mantua and Padua, was assembled in 1464-82. The collection, that will be exhibited in the original library in the Ducal Palace and in two large adjacent halls, allows the visitor to plunge into the unique context created by the Duke in Urbino in the second half of the 15th Century, the first Renaissance Court.
The exhibit is a faithful reconstruction of the original library and it displays what has been considered as the most wonderful collection of 15th century manuscripts.

The expo will open on March 15th and end on July 27th 2008.
After writing this, on March 22nd I visited the expo, see photos here