Villa Fiorentino or Dei Fazzoletti, Sorrento | www.facebook.com/FondazioneSorrento
Francis Bacon Comes to Villa Fiorentino
With art galleries and designer boutiques, Corso Italia is the main street in Sorrento where you can find the ancient walls of the city and the cathedral dedicated to Saints Filippo and Giacomo, but that’s not all. Almost at the end of the street that leads to Massa Lubrense, there is one of the most important historic buildings on the Sorrentine Coast - Villa Fiorentino or Villa Fazzoletti, today, home to the Fondazione Sorrento whose President is the international shipping magnate Gianluigi Aponte.
But let’s take a step back for a second. The Villa was created in the 1930s for husband and wife Antonino Fiorentino and Lucia Cuomo who, at the time, had decided to live in such a charming spot to be able to welcome clients interested in their embroidered handkerchiefs, one of the city’s oldest traditions along with wood inlay manufacturing and the production of the liquor, limoncello. Under the guidance of Almerico Gargiulo, the building, in the neo-classical style, was completed in 1936 with a large garden surrounding the entire structure, where, today, roses, camellias and citrus trees still bloom as they always have.
The garden of Villa Fiorentino | www.facebook.com/FondazioneSorrento
Willed by the couple, the Villa became the cultural centre of the city, where every year the calendar of the Fondazione Sorrento is jammed with events to promote the art, history, nature, traditions and typical products of the area.
In past years, the Villa hosted, among others, the masterpieces of Salvador Dalì, Mimmo Paladino, Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall. This year, there are great expectations for the arrival of the works of the great Irish painter Francis Bacon featured in the exhibition Transformations with works from the collection of Barry Joule (friend of the artist), which will be held from 20 May to 21 October.
Transformations, Villa Fiorentino, Project layout | www.facebook.com/FondazioneSorrento
An itinerary with over one-hundred pieces, including paintings, photos, videos, manuscripts and original sketches discovered in the London residence, where the artist lived and worked for around thirty years until 1992, when, in Madrid, he died of a heart attack provoked by chronic asthma. Several multimedia installations underline, with a dynamic touch, the drama of human existence that characterised Bacon’s work.
Francis Bacon and Barry Joule | www.facebook.com/FondazioneSorrento
The Fondazione Sorrento pays special attention to the youth but also art in general with projects that often involve highly successful artists. A fine example is the Sorrento Young Art Festival, which, for the second year, looks at contemporary art with performances and live painting. This year, it will be held from 7 April to 13 May and will include the participation of Sicilian artist Salvatore Benintende, better known as Tvboy, one of the most interesting Italian urban art figures on the international scene.
Sorrento Young Art Festival | www.facebook.com/sorrentoyoungart
The aim of the Foundation is to contribute to connecting the cultural activities of the Mediterranean basin with the rest of Europe. Among the most important events that represent the city in this sense is Incontri Internazionali del Cinema, now in its 40th Edition with events at the Cinema-Teatro Tasso and the Cloister of San Francesco from 18 to 22 April 2018.
Chiostro di San Francesco, Sorrento | Photo: Berthold Werner, via Wikimedia Creative Commons