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A Bible and heresy The Ariostea library keeps a treasure which caused discussions, all the more up-to-date when acquired. Thanks to the information provided by a noted book collector, Renzo Bonfiglioli, in 1959 the Municipality of Ferrara acquired a treasure of history and culture: the Biblia Latina annotated by Girolamo Savonarola, when a novice in Ferrara, between 1479 and 1482.
"Nebbia" by Andrea Veronese Love defeated by political fervour in Ferrara through the 1950 s. The novel Nebbia [Fog] by Andrea Veronese held me enthralled from its very first pages, encouraging me to have it published as part of the Corbo literature series. The book makes an impact right from the very first scenes, where the focus gradually narrows down onto the events that unfolded in Ferrara between 22 October and  8  December 1954, when
Dancing Ferrara dance venues, from debutante balls to Latin-American nights. In his book A question of stature. The story of a boy who grew too much, Gaetano Tumiati brings us back to a Ferrara of the thirties and forties, when young people met in exclusive places to dance the tango, waltz, mazurka, and the rumba.
Update on the Costabili collection The research on collecting never stops. This article will provide an update on the Costabili collection in view of new information that has emerged over the last 10 years on works that have often only been recently identified as forming part of the Costabili collection.
I was born in the F.lli Navarra Agricultural College Or: how I found my forgotten birthplace, during a professional visit I was born in Malborghetto di Boara (Municipality of Ferrara) on 26 December 1926, in the F.lli Navarra agricultural college. My father had taken over management of the college a few months previously, having transferred from the Fabriano agricultural college.


Written by  Patrizia Segna

Ferrara dance venues, from debutante balls to Latin-American nights.1961. The orchestra at the Centenary Ball, at Circolo dei Negozianti, in palazzo Roverella.

In his book A question of stature. The story of a boy who grew too much, Gaetano Tumiati brings us back to a Ferrara of the thirties and forties, when young people met in exclusive places to dance the tango, waltz, mazurka, and the rumba.

Eighty years on, these dances are still popular in a changed society. So we decided to look for those places where Ferrara people met to dance to get to know them and make them known. Venues in buildings that have changed over the years to accommodate new lifestyles, at least on the outside. As told by Tumiati, Palazzo Roverella became the headquarters of the shopkeepers association in 1932, opening its rooms for receptions, shows and dances. This was where the debutante ball was held, in January or February, with eight to ten debutantes, (only daughters of association members could take part). The ball would take place in the room where the Estense Prize jury meets now. The orchestra was at the centre of the room, and the mothers would sit1968. One of the last grand Debutante Ball at Circolo dei Negozianti, in palazzo Roverella. around the room, admiring their daughters and keeping an eye on their dance steps, while the fathers preferred to chat and stroll around the other rooms in the building. The ball would start with an aperitif, the debutantes would then be presented, followed by the opening dance, usually a waltz with a dance partner who would be a member of the family like the father or a brother. This would be followed by dinner, and then by more dancing. The escorts would be young men of twenty-two to thirty, and they would dance the waltz, the swing, the charleston and the cha cha cha. If a girl danced a lot with one particular fellow during the ball, he might telephone her the following day to take her out for a walk. There were strict rules for the girls' dresses: a long dress in a pastel shade, and made of lace, satin, or tulle. The skirt of the dress would be wide with petticoats, and would be accompanied with white shoes, pearl earrings and one strand of pearls at their throats. Each girl would have a rose tied to her purse. This was the tradition up to 1955 when it stopped being an annual event and became an occasional event. Sixteen-year-old girls could get into these places by the end of the sixties, so it was no longer considered necessary to celebrate their entry into society. Dances were also held at the Teatro Nuovo between the two wars, which was considered to be the "most aristocratic and popular venue in the city". It was opened on 3 January 1926 and dances for the traders association and sometimes the press association were held there through the 1930s. Another place to dance in Ferrara at that time was the Sale Riunite Apollo in Via Porta Reno and Via San Romano, opened by the lawyer, Aldo Azzalli in 1923, two years after the cinema opened. There was dancing, skating and a tea room there. "This is a venue for well bred ladies and young ladies: the nicest, most elegant members of society will hold their parties here: There are eight rooms for the men, which can be used as the headquarters for associations and they are set up for games and billiards. There is also a cinema, skating, billiards, a tea room, party rooms and coffee". You could dance at theThe Sala delle Feste in palazzo Roverella, in the 1930s Palazzo Panfilio in Ferrara too, a liberty style building, built in 1927 by Professor Giacomo Diegoli. Three was a café with a band there, owned by the brothers Guglielmo and Federico Azzolini who were bakers, a restaurant and a dance hall beautifully decorated with floral stuccos, decorations and glass. Press parties were held in the Castle on new year's eve in the 1930s and 1940s, where you could dance the night away. There were numerous dance halls in the thirties and forties in the city: the Marfisa, the Magoni in Porta Reno, the Alberghini in Via Bologna, the Circolo Avanti venues, the Farolfi and all the PCI and the PSI party branches in addition to the former branches of the National Fascist Party district offices. The most popular dances included the Viennese waltz, the slow waltz, the tango, the rumba, the paso doble, the mazurka, the polka and the boogie-woogie. Rock 'n roll arrived after 1945. From the fifties to the sixties the most popular dance halls for young people included the Due Fontane, the main floor of the Palazzo Manfredini in Via Mortara on the corner of Via Bovelli, where you could even dance in summer, the Circolo Mandolinistico on Via Savonarola, the Terzo Cerchio on Corso Giovecca. The rooms of the Z Club in Via Padova were also popular along with the Afro Club in Via XX Settembre, successor to the Giardino d'Inverno, which was once visited by Sofia Loren. But let's go back to the young people of those times. In summer they preferred the venues outside the city, La Lucciola and the Serenella di Mizzana, the Cristallo di Vigarano Mainarda, the 2000, the Grandi di Bondeno and the Park Bridge di Pontelagoscuro. They went by car or moped. The dance halls would be full on holidays, Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons and evenings. The over-18s would go in the afternoon and the older crowd (the over 21s) would go at night. Anyone who looked too young would have to produce an ID card at the entrance. The music was often live, with an orchestra of six, eight, ten or even twelve members, who would workThe Sala delle Feste in palazzo Roverella, today. for the season and be very well-known and supported. The most popular orchestras included Patroncini, the first to have all its members use a microphone in Ferrara, Orsatti, Zero Nove Orsatti, Rosso e Nero di Piccoli e Fogli, Bonzagni and Franchino Caporale. Some were famous for specific types of dance music but they all could play everything. There would be a ten to fifteen

minute interval after every four or five songs. Fast dances would be interspersed with slow dances, with the slower sets winning out towards the end of the evening. The tango, waltz, mazurka, boogie-woogie, cha cha cha, samba, twist, charleston and spirù were the most popular dances. There was a boom in the Latin American dance schools in the eighties and nineties in Ferrara, just like the rest of the country, giving rise to a number of venues being established on the outskirts of the city where these dances are taught and danced. The classes are attended by already established couples seeking to break their daily routines and singles who are often on the look-out for a partner. A recent national survey has shown that the increase in separations and divorces is mirrored by a higher number of people taking dance classes. This number increases every year in Ferrara. These venues are very well attended from 9 to 12 on weekdays, just like the Sunday courses organised by these schools on the outskirts of the city. Latin American and Caribbean dances are now the favourites of the thirty, forty and fifty year olds. The Latin American dances include the samba, rumba, paso doble, jive and cha cha cha, while the Caribbean dances include the mambo and the merengue which is still elegant but was more popular in the eighties, the salsa and the bachata. Even twenty-five year olds have been enjoying these dances over the past few years as their favourite night spots are starting to play this type of music too. The oversixty couples, the single fifty year olds, and recently even young foreign women, prefer the liscio which includes the mazurka, the polka and the Viennese waltz. Young people are not interested in the waltz, the1928. Charity ball in the Borsa palace. Dancer with Argentinean clothes right to dance tango. Argentinean tango or the milonga, but can be persuaded to boogie on occasion. On the other hand the more mature couples love these dances. These dance halls and summer courses held by Argentinean dancers are in the centre of the city and hotels on the outskirts of Ferrara. The younger Ferrara set now got to places outside the city. Some of these are the same places their parents danced in, others are warehouses built in the last few years. They dance to contemporary and house music from Friday to Sunday. Many venues now have themed evenings, with some showing live concerts and music sessions, some hosting special evenings for university students only or for gays. The most popular venues are the ones most in fashion, those with links to Riccione, Milano Marittima and the Lidos. They then all close before summer to transfer to sea-side locations.