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Florestano Vancini : a memoir Hit by a thunderbolt that determined a career and style of life. “In my day, it made a difference whether you were born and raised inside or outside the walls. Ferrara seemed to be a fortified place compared to that limitless countryside, poor and hard-working, and my father was only the Boara postman….” Florestano Vancini, who died on 18 September 2008 last, was physically born inside the walls, on 24 August 1926 in the hospital. However he was raised in Boara, the first village on the road to Copparo, and not “inside” the walled city.
Boldini in Paris The relationship between Boldini and French Impressionism will be explored in this great exhibition. Boldini painted a fascinating picture called Cantante mondana [“Society singer”] in the mid-1880s. It shows a snapshot of the Paris of the late nineteen-hundreds - the life, the cafés and the music halls that the artist patronised along with his friends and fellow-painters like Degas - and as such lay outside the area for which he was renowned, namely portrait painting.
It's all in the blood Impromptu thoughts of a "Dolomite-Po Valley man" My mother was tall and slim, with a consciously understated beauty; on the contrary, my athletic father was well aware of his good looks, tanned by the Cortina sun. She was from a good Ferrara family, had a diploma from the music conservatory and was anything but sporty; he was a ski and ice-hockey champion and mountain climber, from a modest family who were photography pioneers in this remote corner of Italy.
Story of a insolvent bank Luigi Franceschini and the "Piccolo Credito" bank, as remembered by his son. This is a nice “vintage” photograph taken at the San Girolamo Piazza eighty years ago.  It is a  souvenir photo with a certain historical interest: the  three people on  the right were very important characters in the story of  the insolvency of a Ferrara  bank, the  “ Piccolo   Credito ” : my  father,  the lawyer   Luigi   Franceschini,  who  was  the  receiver  appointed  by   the  Court   of   Ferrara ;   to  his  right,
Mystery and blades of grass in Filippo De Pisis The re-emergence of the herbarium collected by the Ferrara painter as a young man. The artistic sensibility of many leading cultural figures was cultivated by collecting grasses, herbs and flowers stalks, to then smoothen them out and press them between sheets of blotting paper:Obviously the great naturalists were enthusiasts, but world-famous thinkers also shared this hobby (Rousseau,Goethe,von Chamisso and Hesse), as well as poets,


Written by  Alfredo Santini

This issue of Ferrara-Voci di una città presents a series of contributions on various items of interest to the area. The articles put the spotlight on times past, with some pieces obviously devoted to Ferrara’s renaissance glory, but others deal with the more recent history of Ferrara and its surroundings. They open with Vittorio Emiliani’s timely and moving tribute to the great director, Florestano Vancini, an intellectual who brought honour to the city and Italian cinema. This is followed by reminiscences on the Piccolo Credito bank and Luigi Franceschini as recounted by his son Giorgio Franceschini, well-known in both cultural and political circles. Further recent history is provided by Gian Pietro Testa in the portrait he paints of Doctor Giuseppe Campailla, his life in Ferrara and the eminent role he played in the field of psychiatry. Another item of historical interest is given by Gabriele Battaglia’s article on the battle of Adwa and his grandfather’s participation in that event. On the more artistic side of things, Barbara Guidi gives us a foretaste of the great exhibition on Boldini that will be soon held in Palazzo dei Diamanti, and Alessandra Pattanaro writes about restoration of the work attributed to Garofalo in the sala del tesoro in Palazzo Costabili. The herbarium of Filippo de Pisis was recently rediscovered by Paola Roncarati who illustrates its scientific and cultural value and provides more information on early twentieth century Ferrara. Romano Guzzinati’s description of the banquet prepared for the wedding of Alfonso II and Barbara of Austria can also be savoured for its culinary and historical content. There is a description of a heronry in a natural oasis by Castagnoli and Gozzi. Nascimbeni’s examination of recently discovered files from the nineteen-thirties and Barbara Ghelfi’s discovery of a secret Modena archive are also of special interest.