Category Archives: History/Culture

Another Mystery about the Mona Lisa?

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa

Florence. December, 1913. The Mona Lisa, stolen from the Louvre in 1911, turns up in an antiquarian’s shop on via Borgognissanti in Florence. Discover the true facts about the theft and the man who pulled it off in a new documentary film: The Missing Piece, The Truth About the Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa.

Screening October 6 and October 8 at The Mill Valley Film Festival. Tickets HERE

Spring Language Course Schedule

Come study Italian at IEI! New courses begin the week of March 11 on the campus of Menlo College in Atherton
Classe are eight (8) weeks long and each lasts 90 minutes

2013 SPRING SCHEDULE

sched

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Summer in Italy
by Mario Fusco

Whether you’re a first-time traveler to Italy or a seasoned veteran you won’t want to miss the Tuscany, Cinqueterre and Rome Tour being organized by The Sacramento Italian Cultural Society. Scheduled to depart on June 20, this 12-day tour hits some of the must-see sites in Italy.

TUSCANY – home to illustrious personages from Dante to Leonardo to Galileo, it was the incubator of the Italian Renaissance, which in turn spawned the European Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the Scientific Revolution. The Medici family, lords of Florence, were inarguably the most active and effective patrons of the arts ever. Today Tuscany is famous for its wines (Chianti), the loveliness of its hill towns, its artistic patrimony, and events such as the Palio di Siena.

Winter 2013 Italian Language Classes

WINTER 2013

Classes at IEI begin on January 7, 2013, according to the following schedule:

 

Class Days Start Date Time Room Fee
Italian 1 Wednesdays Jan. 9 7 to 8:30 pm TBD 190
Italian 3 Mondays January 7 7 to 8:30 pm TBD 190
Evening Conversation Tuesdays January 15 7 to 8:30 pm TBD 190
Morning Conversation Wednesdays January 16 10 to 11:30 am TBD 190
Discovering Italy Thursdays January 10 7 to 8:30 pm TBD 190

 

Follow the links below for more information

 
Go to:
COURSE DESCRIPTION
COURSE LOCATION
PLACEMENT QUIZ
ENROLLMENT PAGE
YOU MUST REGISTER TO COMMENT. GO TO SIGN UP PAGE

Italian Language Classes starting in October!
by Mario Fusco

So many reasons to learn Italian! Come to the Italian Educational Institute!

The next series of Italian language courses at the Italian Educational Institute is scheduled to start October 22. See our online course descriptions or call us for further information. As always, classes are taught by native speakers on the campus of Menlo College in Atherton. See our schedule below.
 
WINTER 2012
Classes at IEI begin on October 22, 2012, according to the following schedule: 

Class Days Start Date Time Room Fee
Italian 1 Tuesdays October 23 7 to 8:30 pm TBD 190
Italian 2 Mondays October 22 7 to 8:30 pm TBD 190
Italian 4 Wednesdays October 24 7 to 8:30 pm TBD 190
Beginning Conversation Thursdays October 25 10 to 11:30 am TBD 190
Evening Conversation Thursdays October 25 7 to 8:30 pm TBD 190

 

Go to:
COURSE DESCRIPTION
COURSE LOCATION
PLACEMENT QUIZ
ENROLLMENT PAGE
YOU MUST REGISTER TO COMMENT. GO TO SIGN UP PAGE

Fall Italian Classes at IEI
by Mario Fusco

Italian language courses are taught by Mario Fusco and Angelica di Chiara Fusco. Both Mario and Angelica were born and educated in Italy, and, as California residents, they continue to share their knowledge and love of their native country with anyone who is interested in learning and appreciating the various aspects of Italian lifestyle. Their organization, the Italian Educational Institute, housed on the campus of Menlo College in Atherton, is the venue through which language and culture classes are offered and Italian events are organized.

We hope you enjoy what you see here and hope to see you in one of our classes or events. Arrivederci.

Italia

Italia


Go to:
COURSE DESCRIPTION
COURSE LOCATION
COURSE SCHEDULE
ENROLLMENT PAGE
YOU MUST REGISTER TO COMMENT. GO TO SIGN UP PAGE

The Leonardo da Vinci Society
by Mario Fusco

The city of San Francisco is the fortunate home of the Leonardo da Vinci Society. This Society is a beacon of Italian culture and history, having operated in the City since 1951. Launched by Countess Lillian Dandini, Mrs. Dobbins D’Anneo and Mrs. Louis Piccirillo, the Society provides today a venue for speakers on a wide variety of Italian topics, ranging from art to history, music and politics, travel and lifestyle. Most of the Society’s event are held at the Museo Italo Americano at Fort Mason Center.

A sampling of past and future lectures includes: “Venice as a Work of Art”, by Terisio Pignatti, Chair of Italian Culture at USB; “Dramatic Readings of the Divine Comedy”, by A. F. Alberico, Dept. of Italian at SFU; “Pirandello’s View of Man”, by Giovanni Cecchetti, Dept. of Italian at Stanford University, “Fibonacci and his Mathematics”, by Keith Devlin, Executive Director of the H-Star Institute at Stanford University. Coming up in September, the Society will host author Carol Field, presenting her newest book, “The Italian Baker – revised”. Each presentation lasts about 50 minutes, and is followed by a question/answer period and a brief reception during which the members can mingle and interact further with the speaker.

Leonardo again – and the Bank of America?
by Mario Fusco

Banks are not well-loved, these days, for reasons that are familiar to all of us. But here’s a story that shows that even banks may on occasion exhibit a social conscience and an artistic sensibility. The article below is a fragment (in free translation) from a longer article which has appeared on the Corriere della Sera, the newspaper of Milano.

The Codex Trivulzianus, one of Leonardo da Vinci’s earliest manuscripts, part of the collection of the Biblioteca del Castello Sforzesco in Milano, will be restored. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project will finance the restoration. This will not be the Art Conservation project’s only enterprise: 20 works of art and artifacts of great cultural and historic value, gathered from 19 countries, have been selected for restoration.

DIGITAL RESTORATION – The Trivulzian Codex, a collection of Leonardo’s drawings and writings, is comprised of 55 folios dated between 1478 and 1490, and it is one of the most significant documents of the Italian Renaissance. It is a unique testimonial to the eclecticism of the Italian artist/inventor: it contains notes, drawings and studies of religious and military architecture (amongst which a sketch for the cupola of the Duomo di Milano), but also analyses of the Italian language and observations on the literature of the time. Using cutting-edge software capable of producing virtual copies of Leonardo’s technical designs, the restoration project will result in a digital version of the manuscript which will remain impervious to the passage of time and will facilitate academic research, while rendering it more accessible to the lay public.

So, kudos to the Bank of America, and never mind the tax writeoffs they will take. They are doing a good thing for all of us.

Codex Trivulzianus


Codex Trivulzianus

Codex Trivulzianus

Leonardo da Vinci
by Mario Fusco

Vitruvian Man

The word “genius” is much bandied about in these days of facile judgments and commercial hype. One can, for example, go to the local Apple store and make an appointment at the “genius bar”, where a personable “genius”, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, just past puberty, will affably assist you with your Apple product. But then there are the undisputed, true geniuses, a very few throughout human history, who are or have been so far off the charts that sometimes they appear to belong to some other race, as far beyond the average human as the average human is beyond reptiles (no offense!)

Such an undisputed genius was the Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci, whose contributions as a scientist and artist truly boggle the mind. A description of the achievements of this Renaissance Italian must perforce include hyperbole, but this time amply justified and probably even short of the mark.

Leonardo lived from 1452 to 1519, was born in a hamlet near Vinci, and apprenticed in Florence in the bottega of Verrocchio. Most of his professional life, however, was spent in Milano, under the sponsorship of that city’s ruling family, the Sforza. A complete characterization of Leonardo’s professional curriculum would include sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, inventor, anatomist, and more.

Everything Italian on one site!

Looking for Italian language instruction? Organizing a trip to Italy? What about finding the greatest Italian restaurant in the Bay Area or that ultimate recipe just like your grandma used to make? Or perhaps you spent too much time watching the game (alas!) with your buddies, and need a little Italian bauble to soothe your lovely wife’s ruffled feathers. All of these things you will find on our website. We have consolidated the contents of a couple of earlier sites to provide you with a seamless Italian experience.

Along with the new commercial elements there remains, on this site, the original focus on art, culture, and history. And we intend to grow: the ultimate aim is to provide all Italophiles of the Bay Area, and beyond, a one-stop electronic storefront that will provide intellectual stimulation alongside material possessions for gracious living. Our sister site, finestItalian.com, continues unchanged, though it, too, is slated for some enhancements.

So please come visit often, drop us a line, let us know how you feel. Buy some Italian art once in a while, or an Italian pendant for your sweetheart, or a gorgeous ceramics bowl for your holiday table. But even if you don’t, we hope to hear from you.