Il compito degli uomini di cultura è più che mai oggi quello di seminare dei dubbi, non già di raccogliere certezze, Norberto Bobbio


WENG SHIHUI: "Harmony" concept at cultural forefront

When thinking about Italy, key words such as "Michelangelo'', "opera'', "fashion'' and "cathedral'' to name but a few, come to mind.

"Those words speak for Italy themselves'', said Paolo Sabbatini, the colorful director of the Italian Culture Center.

After 23 years of working as an official at the United Nations, Sabbatini decided to switch to the cultural section of the Italian Foreign Service and came to Shanghai in February.
"I was sent to China to deal with Italian promotion of Italian culture, especially this year as it is the `Year of Italy in China,''' he said. "I was trusted to do this very challenging task to help with the organization of lots of events taking place in China, particularly during the Italian year.''
As the "melting pot of the ancient world'' Italy offers a fascinating fusion of art and architecture that was influenced by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, French and Spanish.
Sabbatini said he and his team would endeavor to promote an image of Italy that depicts "harmony which balances economy and culture in a mixed manner.''
The concept of "harmony'' was invented in Italy and was first used in the country during the Renaissance period of the 14th to 17th centuries.

SHANGHAI: Mostra “Matteo Ricci”. Incontro di civilta’ nella Cina dei Ming.

L’IIC Shanghai e’ lieto di annunciare la Mostra “Matteo Ricci.  Incontro di civilta’ nella Cina dei Ming”, che si terra’ dal 3 aprile al 23 maggio 2010.
Al Fregio di Raffaello, al ritratto di Filippo II di Tiziano, al Battesimo di Lotto, alle Incisioni del Colosseo, a carte geografiche, orologi, e sfere armillari, è affidato il compito di raccontare quello che rappresentò Li Madou nella storia della Cina dei Ming e come riuscì a conquistarsi il benvolere dell’Imperatore.

Data e Orario3 aprile-23 maggio 2010
Luogo: Shanghai Museum, People’s Square, Shanghai.
Ingresso Libero.

SHANGHAI: “Siciliana Wine & Food Festival”

L’IIC Shanghai e’ lieto di annunciare l’evento enogastronomico “Festival di cibo e vino siciliano”, curato dallo chef siciliano Salvatore Buscarello, presso il Ristorante Italiano “Casanova”.
Lo chef presenterà i piatti più tipici della Regione Sicilia in occasione di un brunch.
L’evento e’ organizzato in collaborazione con e Tricolour.

Data e Orario: domenica 28 marzo 2010, 12.00-15.00
Luogo: Italian Restaurant “Casanova”, 913 Julu Lu, Jing An, by Changshu Lu.
Info &,, 13482890056 / 13636591675

NANCHINO: Mostra “Caffe’ = Italia, Italia = Caffe’”.

La prima “bottega del caffè” aprì a Venezia nel 1640, rendendo questa bevanda così popolare in Europa.
Dalle antiche macchine per il caffè alle moderne tecnologie, si vuol tracciare il percorso del Caffe’ Italiano come simbolo dello stile di vita italiana in una avvincente mostra, il cui vernissage è previsto per venerdì 25 marzo 2010 alle ore 14.00 presso l’Universita’ Normale di Nanchino.
Nei discorsi che il Prof. Michele Marini e l’Addetto Culturale, Prof. Giorgio Casacchia, terranno per l’occasione, si trattera’ della civilta’ settecentesca della conversazione, dei rapporti fra i caffe’ e l’Illuminismo e della rivista “Il Caffe’” dei fratelli Verri.

Data e orario: giovedi' 25 marzo 2010, ore 14.00
Luogo: Room 203 , Hua Cheng Building, No.1 Wen Yuan Rd., Campus Xian Lin, Nanjing Normal University
Ingresso Libero.

Italian Food Festival in Ningbo


There is an old Chinese saying which goes like this: From everything in the world, food comes first. Being a cultural representative of Italian Culture in China, it never bores me to attend an Italian Food Festival because Italian cuisine just keeps surprising us.
On 22nd Sep, last Monday, I was invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Italian Food Festival in Nanyuan Hotel in the occasion of NingBo International Festival of Tourism, organized by Ningbo Foreign Affairs’ Office and Ningbo Tourism Office. It was indeed a very pleasant night, I had the pleasure to know Mr.KongWeiWei and found out that he is actually a descendent of Confucius, what a big surprise; I was delighted to learn that Mr. Kong is also a fan of Italian opera and an excellent Peking Opera singer, how amusing it is! 
In order to present the most authentic Italian cuisine, the organizer of the festival has specially invited a famous Italian chef for this occasion, Giovanni Ruotolo, who has started practicing the culinary art since the age of 17.
Ningbo is the sister city of two famous Italian cities, Florence and Verona, I therefore sincerely wish more and more citizens of Ningbo will come to enjoy the delicious Italian food.

Italy, a country for all seasons


Italy consists predominantly of a large peninsula (the Italian Peninsula) with a distinctive boot shape that extends into the Mediterranean Sea, where together with its two main islands Sicily and Sardinia it creates distinct bodies of water, such as the Adriatic Sea to the north-east, the Ionian Sea to the south-east, the Tyrrhenian Sea to the south-west and finally the Ligurian Sea to the north-west. The Apennine mountains form the backbone of this peninsula, leading north-west to where they join the Alps, the mountain range that then forms an arc enclosing Italy from the north. Italy is more typically associated with two famous volcanoes: the currently dormant Vesuvius near Naples and the very active Etna on Sicily.

Italy is subdivided into 20 regions. The official language of Italy is Standard Italian, descendant of Tuscan dialect and a direct descendant of Latin. However, when Italy was unified, in 1861, Italian existed mainly as a literary language. Different languages were spoken throughout Italian peninsula. Indeed, each historical region of Italy had its own so-called ‘dialetto’.
Italy is called "il Belpaese" (Italian for beautiful country) by its inhabitants, due to the beauty and variety of its landscapes and for having the world's largest artistic patrimony. In fact  Italy's contributions to the cultural and historical heritage of Europe is immense. Perhaps Italy's greatest cultural achievements lie in its long artistic heritage, which is often validated through the names of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Bernini and Raphael, among many others. Beyond art, Italy's contributions to the realms of literature, science and music cannot be overlooked. The basis of the modern Italian language was established through the eminent Florentine poet, Dante Alighieri, whose greatest work, the “Divina Commedia” is often considered the foremost literary statement produced in Europe during the Middle Ages.
Contemporary Italy is a country that represents and fuses a mix of different cultures. These cultures are strongly tied to history and tradition. Thanks to the depth of this historical-cultural dimension, Italy approaches and follows the path of modernity with an original and innovative perspective. This is as valid in art and design as it is in literature and in the creation of media content, guardianship of the natural environment and archeological legacy, as well as in high-tech industrial production.

DA SHANGHAI A TOKYO: 6a Conferenza Internazionale sulla Linguistica Missionaria.

L’IIC Shanghai e’ lieto di annunciare la partecipazione alla 6a Conferenza Internazionale sulla Linguistica Missionaria, che avra’ luogo a Tokyo dal 16 al 19 marzo 2010.
Nel pomeriggio di martedi’ 17 marzo, alle:
- ore 15.45: l’Addetto Culturale, Prof. Giorgio Casacchia e la Prof.ssa Mariarosaria Gianninoto dell’Universita’ di Grenoble, parleranno su “Le grammatiche cinesi della lingua latina nel XVIII e XIX secolo”;
- ore 16.15: il Direttore IIC Shanghai, Dott. Paolo Sabbatini, parlera’ su “Matteo Ricci e l’introduzione della musica italiana in Cina durante la Dinastia Ming”.

Data e Orario: 16-19 marzo 2010
Luogo: ILCAA (Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan.

Ingresso Libero.

"Le Quattro Stagioni" di Antonio Vivaldi (1678/1741)


The famous piece “The Four Seasons” written by the Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi is one of the most beautiful pages of the world music. It is an epitome of the love for beauty and the search for excellence, which are the basis of the Italian culture since the Roman Empire.

Vivaldi’s “The Four seasons” is to music what Monna Lisa is to visual arts: an icon of the extraordinary contribution which Italians have given to the world culture around the centuries. When one listens to this music, he/she will be dreamingly transported to “the land where the lemons blossom”, as a great poet defined Italy. 

The reason for the success of this music resides on its harmony (a concept made famous by the Italian Renaissance painters) and also on its meaning. We can say that this is the first “Symphonic Poem” ever written, because that music tries to convey some messages and to recreate a visual representation in the mind of the listener. Vivaldi carefully composed the music, based on written poems on the life in countryside Italy in the XVIII century. A summary of those poetic texts follows:

1. Spring 
This first movement explains how nature wakens itself up and flowers blossoms.
Two elements are presents: water and air, and one can recognize the startling rustle of the leaves and the music of the flowing water in a river. One should imagine a wild landscape as it was on the first day of the Creation of the world. Spring is the creation of the year. One can hear birds singing.

2. Summer 
 Summer time is the period in which the hot weather inspires calm and laziness. In the country side, the peasants are collecting wheat and corn .One can almost hear the noise of the sickles cutting the stems. Unfortunately a violent summer storm arrives, whith thunder and lights and all the peasants have to rush in the huts.

3. Autumn
 In Europe it is the period of preparing wine. So the music begins with the merry dance of peasants who are cutting the grapes, collecting them in the barrels and happily squeezing them under their feet to extract the wonderful juice which, once fermented, will became wine. Some of them drink too much wine and their dance becomes frenetic and irregular.

4. Winter
This magnificent music suggests an atmosphere of rest and cold. In a small village men and  women are shivering for the cold weather,  running from one place to an other and making exercise to fight the cold. While a frosting wind whistles through the frozen branches of the trees, a young boy very happily skates on the frozen river.

I hope that this article will encourage the Chinese readers to pay attention to the meaning of the “four seasons” and consider the message of peace and friendship which, through this music, we  Italians would like to convey.

SHANGHAI E NANCHINO: 4a Giornata Mondiale della Lentezza.

L’IIC Shanghai e’ lieto di annunciare la 4a Giornata Mondiale della Lentezza, che per il 2010 verra’ celebrata a Shanghai e Nanchino.
- sabato 13 marzo, ore 15.30: Conferenza Stampa presso la Sede dell’Istituto per il Commercio Estero (ICE) di Shanghai.
E’ prevista anche la presentazione di due nuovi modelli di biciclette elettriche dell’Azienda Italiana “Ducati”;
 mercoledi’ 17 marzo, ore 13.30: Conferenza presso l’Universita’ Normale di Nanchino.
E’ prevista anche la presentazione della nuova vettura elettrica “Smile” dell’Azienda Italiana “FAAM” .

Date e Luoghi:
sabato 15 marzo, ore 15.30: Sede ICE, 19F, The Center, 989, Changle Road, Shanghai;

mercoledi' 17 marzo, ore 13.30: Room 203 , Hua Cheng Building, No.1 Wen Yuan Rd,, Campus Xian Lin, Nanjing Normal University

Ingresso Libero.

“Settimana Culturale Partenopea”

L’IIC Shanghai e’ lieto di annunciare l’inaugurazione della “Settimana Culturale Partenopea”, curata da Carlo Scialdone, presso il Ristorante Italiano “Da Marco”.
Durante la serata:
- musiche classiche e popolari napoletane;
- proiezione del film “Miseria e Nobilta’” di Toto’, e lettura delle sue poesie;
- discorso del Direttore IIC Shanghai, Dott. Paolo Sabbatini, sulla storia, sulla cultura e sulle tradizioni della citta’ di Napoli;
- presentazione del “Libro di ricette di cucina italiana” dell’Associazione Donne Italiane di Pechino;
- asta di beneficenza di quadri “Veduta di Napoli” di giorno e di notte.
Il personale di sala vestira’ i panni di Pulcinella e il Menu’ sara’ ricco di specialita’ enogastronomiche napoletane, che caratterizzeranno tutta la settimana successiva.

Data e Orarioda sabato 13th marzo, ore 19.00
Luogo: Ristorante Italiano “Da Marco”, Golden Bridge Garden, 103 East Zhu An Bang Road.
Info & Prenotazioni: 021-62.10 44.95

Mostra di Capolavori della Galleria degli Uffizi e Conferenza.

Sandro Botticelli, “Adorazione dei Magi”, 1475.

(dipinto a tempera su tavola, 111x134 cm)

L’IIC Shanghai e’ lieto di annunciare la Mostra “Dalla Collezione della Galleria degli Uffizi.  La pittura di genere: paesaggio, vita quotidiana e ritratti”, che si terra’ dall’11 marzo al 6 giugno 2010.
Alle ore 10.00 del giorno 11 marzo, il Direttore della Galleria degli Uffizi, Prof. Antonio Natali, illustrera’ la Mostra con una Conferenza dal titolo “Viaggio attraverso gli Uffizi”.

2006: The Italians, the best-looking Champions of the World


In Ancient Rome, winning athletes were decorated with a laurel wreath. This was a symbol of success, and has since become an icon of victory worldwide. The national emblems of many countries of the world still include the laurel wreath as a sign of power and victory to this day. This symbol can also be found in many other occasions, adorning the heads of emperors and poets, for example.

Power in life is the possibility of winning. Victory cannot only be obtained by means of physical strength, but also thanks to other, more subtle devices: the power of communication through words; the power of seduction. In ancient times heroes ought to have been beautiful, and therefore successful in love as well.

The power of seduction is as important as physical prowess. There are many examples of men and women who changed the face of the history because of their charm. One such person was Cleopatra, the Egyptian Queen, who is said to have saved her position, and the destiny of her country because Julius Cesar, the Roman Emperor (who had conquered Egypt at the time), was enticed by her perfect nose.

Shanghai International Literary Festival 2010

Anche quest’anno l’IIC Shanghai è lieto di annunciare l’ottavo “Festival Internazionale della Letteratura (2010)”, che iniziera’ venerdi’ 5 marzo e si concludera’ domenica 21 marzo 2010.
Gli autori italiani che parteciperanno al Festival sono:
- venerdi’ 5 marzo, ore 18.00: lo scrittore Dario Castagno, che ci condurra’ nel magico ed incantato mondo turistico ed enogastronomico della Toscana, e che aprira’ il Festival, presentato dal Direttore IIC, Dott. Paolo Sabbatini.
- mercoldi’ 17 marzo, ore 12.00, e sabato 20 marzo, ore 12.00: la scrittrice Francesca Marciano terra’ dapprima un workshop su “Writing for the Silver Screen”, poi una sessione su “East Africa. Afghanistan. Southern Italy. What do they have in common”?
In allegato, il programma completo.

Data e Orario:
venerdi' 5 marzo, ore 18.00:
Glamour Bar, 6th F., 5 M on The Bund, Guangdong Road, Shanghai.

mercoledi' 17 e sabato 20 marzo, ore 12.00:
Crystal Room, 7th F., 5 M on The Bund, Guangdong Road, Shanghai.

Tel.: 400-620-6006
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