Thursday, 18 May 2017
Transfer to Sabbioneta
9.30 – 11.30 am
Sabbioneta, Teatro di Vincenzo Scamozzi
World Federation Council Meeting
The theatre was designed in 1588 by architect Vincenzo Scamozzi for Vespasiano Gonzaga Colonna, Duke of Sabbioneta. The innovative entrance system, the mixed profile of the cavea, and the changing rooms for actors and orchestra players at the back of the stage, puts it among the most prominent examples among European theatres. The elegant decorative structure of the main hall is suspended between a re-visitation of Vespasiano’s favourite classical myths and the current taste of the painted balustrade on the upper tier of the room, displaying musicians, comedians, dames and knights in late XV century attire.
11.30 am – 1.00 pm
Sabbioneta, a cultural sightseeing tour of the UNESCO heritage city
Sabbioneta was founded by will of Vespasiano Gonzaga Colonna (ab urbe condita, 1556 – 1591), a condottiere, enlightened and cultivated prince and a scholar of Vitruvius. It was the capital city of the tiny Gonzaga duchy: well protected by the ramparts of the strong, star-shaped walls whose project is attributed to Vespasiano himself, Sabbioneta was also a modern hub for art and culture, a sort of “small Athens”. The walls still guard the checkerboard urban structure as well as the sophisticated XVI century buildings. Among the most interesting parts, the gateways called Imperiale and della Vittoria, the Galleria degli Antichi, the Theatre, the Palazzo Ducale – the first major building ever built in Vespasiano’s new city – and the archpriest church of Santa Maria Assunta. Other noteworthy landmarks are the “Casino” or Palazzo Giardino, the duke’s otium sanctuary, the Colonna della dea Pallade, a statue of Adrian or Anton age purchased on the antiquity market by Vespasiano; the church of Incoronata, a Ducal mausoleum where in the summer of 1988 the restoration works unveiled the tomb of Vespasiano Gonzaga.
1.00 – 2.00 pm
Cantine di Palazzo Ducale
Buffet lunch with the Companions
Transfer to Mantua
3.00 – 4.30 pm
Mantua, Palazzo Te – site tour with the Companions’ group
Palazzo Te is considered the masterpiece of Giulio Pippi de’Jannuzzi, also know as Giulio Romano. The main architecture and the palace’s decorative structure were inspired by the Roman domus, and were entirely made between 1525 and 1535 in an area right outside of the city and commissioned for the “leisurely time” of Federico II Gonzaga. In spite of the several restoration projects over the centuries, Palazzo Te is one of the most outstanding and better-preserved Renaissance buildings of Europe. There, Giulio collected his profound knowledge of classical culture and his flawless mastery of the contemporary greats, from Raphael to Michelangelo, not to mention his ingenious, ground-breaking inventions that still impress visitors.
4.30 – 6.30 pm
Return transfer to the hotels, free time
Transfer to Mantua
7.30 – 8.45 pm
Mantua, Palazzo dell’Accademia
Palazzo dell’Accademia is a building designed by Giuseppe Piermarini as the seat of the “Royal Academy of Science, Literature and Art”, under the tutelage of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. Over time the institution came to be known as the “Accademia Nazionale Virgiliana”. The upper floor houses the beautiful Accademici meeting room, also known as Piermarini room, designed in 1775 by architect Paolo Pozzo. The plasticity of the ornaments, made by Stanislao Somazzi on a design by Giuseppe Bottani, is particularly exquisite. Three large canvases by Hubert Maurer celebrate the Imperial Family.
Mantua, Teatrino Scientifico dell’Accademia
Concert in honour of the World Federation of Friends of Museums
Teatro dell’Accademia was commissioned by Mantua academics to architect and stage designer Antonio Galli Bibiena in 1767 to hold scientific exhibitions, cultural conferences and musical performances. The superb Baroque architect conceived a stunning theatre hall in the shape of a bell, with 3 tiers of boxes, which he personally decorated with monochrome frescoes. Thanks to the perfect acoustics, this theatre is one of the most coveted venues among chamber musicians for their performances and recording sessions.
A few months after the opening, a thirteen-year old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed in this venue. His father Leopold wrote his wife that he had seen “the most beautiful theatre in the world”.
Società della Musica ‘GRANDI INTERPRETI’, Francis Duroy, violin Agnès Melchior, piano
Debussy’s: Sonata for Violin and Piano
Bartok: Rhapsody No. 1 for violin and piano
Ysaÿe: sonata for solo violin No. 3
Schumann: Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1
Return transfer to the hotels