Having lived in Folkestone for just over six years now, this is the second Folkestone Triennal event I am enjoying. For two months this town becomes an open-air art exhibition, with artworks especially commissioned by the Creative Foundation scattered in public areas.
This year the theme is double edge, in the sense of "borders; thresholds; margins; the periphery; the liminal." Therefore, " double edge resonates with major contemporary cultural, economic and political realities experienced as part of everyday lives in Folkestone and across the globe: migration; border control; wealth inequality; sustainability; a challenging urban environment; and climate change, to name a few."
The theme is investigated also with presentations, field trips, guided tours of the artworks, study days, artist-led events, free exhibitions, and workshops for families or schools.
For example, I attended an interesting debate about new ways of working with finance, labour, land and capital; and an eye-opening presentation by KRAN (Kent Refugees Action Network). I've booked a walking tour of the artworks and I'm planning to attend lectures and performances.
What I like the most is looking out for the artworks. It's like going on a treasure hunt. They make Folkestone more vibrant. And the good thing is that usually half of them stays here after the Triennial is over.
Intrigued? Find out more by visiting the Folkestone Triennial 2017's website www.folkestonetriennial.org.uk
I'm sorry it took me so long to do this post. I meant to get it published two weeks ago but life decided otherwise.
For one reasons or another, I hadn’t visited Vicenza, the city where I was born, for many years. I remembered it was beautiful but I was stunned when I saw its monuments and buildings again.
Well, it's not without reason that Unesco has added the City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas to the World Heritage List.
It is a pity that my Italian friends from Folkestone Maria and her daughter Chiara could come to meet me, my daughter and my mum on a Monday, when most sights are closed.
One sight that was open was The Sanctuary of the Madonna of Monte Berico (1428), a church built on the site of two apparitions of the Madonna. It's a tradition for Catholics to walk to the Sanctuary from all over the province on 8th September, patron saint day.
Although my family never did it, I had my chance when I was a teenager. As getting up at 4 am and walking for 20 km didn't appeal to me, I gave it a miss, even if it meant missing out on the hot chocolate served to the pilgrims at the famous bar "Al Pellegrino" near the Basilica.
After a along walk from the hill where the Sanctuary is located down to the town centre in the scorching sun, and with still a few hours before their train was due, we took refuge in the shops. Not our idea of visiting a city but life saving under the circumstances.
Two weeks later I went back with my daughter and two dear friends, Maristella and her daughter Giada, to finish my tour of this wonderful city.
One of the sights I'm most fond of is architect Andrea Palladio's masterpiece, The Olympic Theatre, inaugurated on 3rd March 1585. The scenes, in wood and stucco, meant to represent the streets of the Greek city of Thebes (see photo under the title).
Another sight I really love is The Church of the Holy Thorn (XIII century). Among its masterpieces (paintings by Bellini and Paolo Veronese for example), there is the high altar (1667-1669) by the studio of Corberelli.
With temperature still above 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), an excellent idea is to visit the industrial city of Milan for the weekend.
With a special guide, my friend Sonia who has been living and working there for over 20 years, we walked for kilometres in the semi-deserted city, populated mainly by tourists, because the tickets for the public transport were hard to find.
Sonia took us not only to see the usual Duomo, the Scala Theatre and the Sforzesco Castle, but also to new places like the Gae Aulenti Square, where we rested and dipped our tired and hot feet into the cool water. Pure bliss.
Near Gae Aulensi Square stand the impressive Vertical Forest. Milan is a surprising green city.
And last but not least, the Needle, Thread and Knot at Cadorna Square, that represents the hard work and talent for fashion of this city.
Next year I would like to visit other places, like Turin. Possibly with lower temperatures!