The Bagni di Lucca arts festival continues apace until August 10th (and probably a little beyond) and new exhibitions are opening all the time. I was at the second phase of this now internationally known and respected event last Friday.
Already the second year of the festival is proving even more engaging and varied than the first, especially with regard to courses, performances and the always debated continuum between art and artisanship.
With regard to workshops it’s startling to realise that the following items were all sculpted by students who’d never lifted a stone carving chisel before but who’d attended a week’s sculpture course run by Petra Boshart (returning to Bagni di Lucca from last year).
Other courses include life drawing, theatre & clowning and ceramics. Full details are at
It’s a great chance to do something one may have never thought of doing before (or just dreamt about) with a convivial group tutored by masters of their arts.
Performance-wise, there was a magical union of two art forms, music and acrobatic ballet, in Bagni di Lucca Villa’s central park last Friday evening. Qualche volta sogno, (sometimes I dream) combined local (and international) tenor Claudio Sassetti singing, unaccompanied, arias from Tosca, Traviata and Neapolitan songs with Danica Hilton from the Cirque du Soleil executing virtuoso dancing using a rope suspended from the trees. There was true interaction between Claudio’s operatic movements and Danica’s expressive choreography. A story of love unfolded, uniting unlikely combinations with a stroke of genius and working brilliantly among the twilit trees and lawns of the park.
It’s so often the yoking together of two seemingly dissimilar worlds that produces new and stimulating creations. One just has to develop a mind freed from the usual boxed-in experiences one so often gets imprisoned in with life and art.
I was also pleased that finally Villa is beginning to interact more fully with Ponte through this show. After all, it forms part of Bagni di Lucca too!
Of new exhibitions opened since last Friday at Ponte a Serraglio the following are to be particularly noted:
Giorgio Brogi’s installation which plays with colour and water, Alyssia Lazin’s superb photographs, Glauco Di Sacco who, too, explores new expressive means, photographer Simone Franchi from Lucca who experiments with digital effects, Pavel Kapic’s abstract art, ceramicist Carol Newmarch and eco artist Wren Miller who derives her palette literally from mother earth.
With the added focus on artisans one cannot forget the incredible quality of made-in-Italy crafts brought together (and all for sale) by Belinda Hall and which range from the most delicate (and warm) shawls made from Kashmiri goats bred in Chianti to traditionally-weaved textiles from Lucca. (See http://homeofartisans.com/ for more details.
With another wet day forecast today why take the risk of getting even wetter by the swimming pool when you can have a true rive gauche quarter created at Ponte di Serraglio all to yourself and, at the same time, keeping dry with great things to look at, feel, hear and maybe even buy…