Le mani raccontano – The hands tell is an exhibition organised by the Arte in Vigevano association at the second stable of the Castello Sforzesco in Vigevano. 

As you can see from the cover of the exhibition catalogue, the hands of the artists are portrayed, hands that are an expression of the feminine as art.

The preface is by Edoardo Maffeo

The hands tell the story of art expressed in different ways, but still manage to communicate a common element: passion.

The hands that tell of women’s creativity.

The hands that tell are those of ten women from the Pavia area:

Samantha Bonanno

Antonietta Bussi

Luciana Casatti

Loretta Dell’Acqua

Laura Dell’Erba

Diana Dent

Carla Gioetto

Rosy Mantovani

Chiara Sidoti

and Rita Viarenghi, artist and organiser of the event.

I have been following Samantha Bonanno for some time and once again I was enchanted.

Her hands are magical, capable of creating ethereal suggestions with paper together with concrete emotions.

She says about herself: ‘for me everything in life is Art.’

This is her Nubivago: a learned voice retrieved from the Latin nubivagus, composed from nūbes “cloud” + vagus “wandering” that wanders, flies among the clouds, with the head in the clouds.

And I am in love with it.

IPSEITA’ instead represents all the reflections made on asserting oneself, as a unique and distinguishable individual.

Becoming oneself is a lifelong journey, and perhaps that is what is so fascinating in my eyes.
Samantha Bonanno 

What could your hands tell ?



Keep calm and pota!

Don’t say you’re not already smiling thinking to Keep calm and pota.

I immediately lit up, also because Keep calm and pota is curated by Piöcc’s Café.

Café! A coincidence, or rather, I would directly say a sign.

A sign that I immediately grasped when I contacted the Teatro Centro Lucia in Botticino Sera.

Yes, you read that right: theatre.

Elena kindly explained that their artistic direction in recent seasons has been proposing a review of dialectal comedies from the Brescia area entitled ‘Èl bel del dialet a teàter’.

As I have already mentioned, I am very fond of dialect

Keep calm and pota is therefore a dialect comedy, and Cafè di Piöcc a theatre company.

Elena also helped me contact the director: Manuela.

In two words: a revelation!

Quoting Queen Agatha:
A clue is a clue, two clues are a coincidence, but three clues make a proof.

Keep Calm, Coffee and Friendship

The founders of the Café di Piöcc are three friends who meet in the parvis of the cathedral church in Montichiari.

Money is tight and friends watch the gentlemen eat pastries and drink wine, but they can only afford water from the fountain: the Café di Piöcc then, that is, the poor man’s café.

At Cafè di Piöcc, stories, gossip and historical facts are told.

From these tales, one of the first theatre companies in Brescia was born in 1970, a troupe that was also the subject of a university thesis.

Manuela joined the company, gradually performing various tasks: props girl, prompter, actress with a small part, assistant director.

Until one evening in the rehearsal room she picked up a book from which an envelope came out with a letter that no one had ever seen.

Destiny, magic, what would you call it?

In this letter, Beppe Boschetti, one of the three founding friends, had expressed his wish to leave the company in Manuela’s hands.

A story made up of people, a long journey made up of extremely remarkable theatre works such as I tre innocenti (The Three Innocents), inspired by news events, or Semplicemente donna (Simply Woman): a red chair and 49 changes of clothes representing the stages of life up to menopause.

And yet settings and periods vary while the common denominator remains the titles that are idioms, e.g. Petost che peji l’è mei insi or Ogné come la sàpes stada.

All the way to Keep Calm and pota.

Pota is the word that unites Brescia and Bergamo, an intercalary that, pronounced with the typical accent, is always very nice.

The author had the intuition to combine pota with the expression keep calm, linking up with Freud’s truth, the female Ego interjecting itself with the Super Ego, and communicating a message: love wins.

Speaking of messages, the Cafè di Piöcc also collaborates with the municipality of Montichiari for social work with the Legality in short project. 

It can therefore be said that Cafè di Piöcc keeps calm but is unstoppable!

Many many compliments and a special thanks to Manuela Danieli.



Restored velarium at at the Cagnoni Theatre in Vigevano:  a rare case of a velario preserved in its original location.

It is a work by the painter Giovan Battista Garberini entitled The Siege of Vigevano.

The restoration was financed thanks to a fundraiser organised by the Associazione Amici del Teatro Cagnoni  and the Fondazione Piacenza Vigevano.

Sipario alla ribalta, written by Edoardo Maffeo, Dino Rabai, Giovanni Borroni and Pier Luigi Muggiati and published by Ievve, is dedicated to this work.

Sipario alla ribalta was published with the contribution of ASM Energia, Amici di Palazzo Crespi, Soroptimist Lomellina and the patronage of the Municipality of Vigevano

On Saturday 9 March at the Teatro Cagnoni foyer, the authors held the book presentation as speakers.


Edoardo Maffeo edited the part of the book concerning a careful biography of the Vigevano painter Giovan Battista Garberini.

Dino Rabai recounted what Vigevano was like at the end of the 19th century through meticulous research based on historical archives, interweaving his talk with curious and interesting information and anecdotes.

Giovanni Borroni dealt with the historiography of the 19th century on a national and international level as a century of important changes.

His speech offered a series of reflections that I really recommend not to miss: he himself called it a short chronology of a long century actually a long chronology of a short century.

I also leave you with the question that Giovanni Borroni asked those present: what is the historiographical sense of dividing history into centuries?

Pier Luigi Muggiati reassembled the historical facts, providing a precise reconstruction beyond the legend that has been handed down over time and revealing a particularly relevant detail.

But let us take a step back and return to the Siege of Vigevano portrayed on the velarium: if you pause to look at the scene depicted, you will notice that women are portrayed in the centre.

They are the ones strenuously defending the breach from the invaders commanded by Francesco Sforza, led by the woman depicted as a heroine in shining armour with drawn sword.

We have always known this character as Camilla Rodolfi.

However, Camilla Rodolfi is not a real woman: the name Camilla was inspired by the character in the Aeneid, while the surname Rodolfi belonged to an important family from Vigevano.

A woman who undoubtedly deserves mention is Pinin Brambilla Barcilon famous for the restoration of the Cenacolo: she was also the restorer of the Garberini’s velari, the book includes her report kept at La Venaria Reale

Giovan Battista Garberini also painted a second curtain entitled La Festa sul Ticino

Did you know that the curtain or velarium is also called a ‘comodino’ that more or less means handy?



Vigevano Biennial: the very moment I saw the first video introducing it, I felt a great sense of gratitude.

Arianna Forni, the creator and curator of this artistic and cultural project, during the last interview explains that she was inspired while visiting an artist’s exhibition in Vigevano, and fell in love with the Sforza Castle after about 45 seconds.

I want to point out this not so much with pride, but to remind those who, like me, live there and sometimes do not consider its value that much.

Who is Arianna Forni? Her bio is very rich, but among the many things I like to mention in particular her blog: The Greatest Coat.

On her home page, you can also find R.E.M.‘s  Loosing my religion and to me this a sign.

Music aside, Arianna with her words takes us on an artistic journey through art and with art

Alongside Arianna Forni, artistic director of all the side events: musical and otherwise, an artist capable of embodying the perfect fusion of music and painting: Andrea Fumagalli, Andy

The Vigevano Biennial has the patronage of the Municipality of Vigevano and 

of the District of Pavia 

and will be held from

8 April to 31 May, so be warned.

In the meantime, I suggest you not to miss the artists’ presentations on the Biennale Vigevano whispers of arts social pages. 

AFMetastrategy produces a crescendo of stories containing calls for artists, calls for partners, calls for endorsement and presentations of all the artists who will participate.

Truly the Castello Sforzesco and the Piazza Ducale are the place where step by step the dream becomes reality, or rather, turns into Art.



Coffee kiss 咖啡之吻 is the “nickname” of Johnson Tsang’s artwork as the author himself explains on his blog

Some people called this work Coffee Kiss 咖啡之吻. I do think it is a great suggestion!

I think so too, and speaking of suggestions, thanks to whoever pointed me to Coffee Kiss: Chito a.k.a. @cala.mistro, if you still don’t know his drawings do it now because they are brilliant!

But if Coffee Kiss is just the nickname, what is the original title of the artwork?

Yuanyang II

Yuanyang is a species of water birds literally known as Mandarin duck. Because “Yuanyang” always appears in pairs, it is adopted as a symbol of conjugal love in Chinese, as Johnson Tsang explains.

Yuanyang II was displayed at Hong Kong International Airport with the following motivation:
with Hong Kong’s historical background, local culture embraces Chinese traditions as well as impacts from the West. In fact, inclusion has long been the major characteristic of local culture. Yet, Hong Kong people are no copycats. We infuse the external impacts with our own creativities. Yuanyang, a local drink which mixes milk tea and coffee, reflects Hong Kong’s unique fusion of Eastern and Western cultures. I hope to represent Hong Kong culture’s organic vitality in the West Kowloon Cultural District with this sculpture.
Johnson Tsang Cheung Shing 2012

Surely the organic vitality of Hong Kong is well represented, but at this point a further question arises: Yuanyang “local drink”?!

Yet weren’t we talking about ducks?

Actually, the name Yuanyang has many facets: as we mentioned, it is the Chinese name for mandarin ducks, which historically were believed to mate for life.

The popular association of yuanyang with romance arose during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

In his Changan poem: poetry written in an antiquated form, the seventh-century poet Lu Zhaolin wrote that lovers “wished to be mandarin ducks more so than immortals.” 

However, the Aix galericulata during the breeding season stay in couple often for many seasons, but not forever, after all, you know, times change… laughing

Yuanyang are also the beautiful rice terraces beyond the clouds, perfectly described by Si parte dopo il caffè

In Mandarin, yuanyang is then used when eating hotpot: “Yuanyang Pot “a double-tasting pot in which you can enjoy both spicy and non-spicy soup, divided into two parts. And the name relates precisely to the two halves joined, as in an inseparable pair.

Finally, to close the circle and return to Coffee Kiss, in Hong Kong yuanyang is a beverage: milk and coffee tea also known as Yuan Yang Cha 鸳鸯 in Mandarin, Yin Yang, Yun Yueng, Yin Yong, Yin Yeung or Yuenyueng tea 鴛鴦  commonly used among young people.

There are many transliterations, but the common denominator is unique and corresponds to a very popular drink and refers to how coffee and milk tea are a perfect match!

What do you think?

Coffee Informer explains the recipe, who wants to try it?



What does Artycapucines mean?

Rue des Capucines is the location of the first Louis Vuitton store in Paris.

The maison in 2013 to celebrate this successful debut which dates back to 1854, launched the Capucines bag.

In a short time Capucines became an iconic model.

Arty Capucines is the fusion of classic and art: six international artists personalize the bag expressing their completely unique creative flair.

On the website you can find photos, details and information from the 2020 edition. 

The next limited edition of 200 bags will be released in October but many previews are also circulating on the social profiles of artists such as Donna Huanca who defines it as a surreal experience

Among others, I cannot fail to pay particular attention to one name: Paola Pivi

Do you already know her 2007 performance One Cup of Cappuccino Then I Go

A photographic print belonging to the ACACIA collection by Gemma De Angelis, donated to the Museo del Novecento in 2015.

In case you’re wondering… yes: it’s a real leopard.

I admit my abysmal ignorance in terms of art, so maybe it’s better if I ask for help … Art and Cult Blog maybe will want to enlighten me.

Meanwhile, I remain on the topic of bags … this artistic performance was the inspiration for the Arty Capucines version curated by Paola Pivi.

The decoration in the shape of cappuccino cups, which a particular varnish makes similar to porcelain, is inserted using the inlay technique, while for the foam the leather, much softer, is embellished with gold leaf applications. Finally, the leopard is made with an overprinted embroidery to give an additional sensory dimension similar to fur.

Paola Pivi advises us to look into the pockets …

what will there be in your opinion?


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