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The Tagliolini Foundation, San Quirico d’Orcia IT
Thursday 3 October 2013
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The Tagliolini Foundation is a centre for the Study of Landscape and Gardens and comprises the five towns of the Val d’Orcia region. It has an extensive specialized library on landscapes and gardens that also includes valuable, ancient books.

The photographic archive contains thousands of colour and black and white images of the most important gardens of central Italy. It also includes lesser-known, smaller gardens. The Foundation has taken steps in recent years to digitize hundreds of black and white photographs documenting the status of the landscape of the Val d’Orcia (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

The Tagliolini Foundation has created the Grundtvig project which holds conferences and meetings dedicated to the theme of ’ vegetation ’, its decisive influence on the landscape and the development of certain types of farming typical of the area.

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In addition to the discussion of economic aspects that come into play in the management of an agricultural landscape, the conferences conducted by the Grundtvig project explore the relationships between: landscape and literature, landscape and art history, landscape and food culture. We regularly invite experts in these fields to attend our meetings and talk to our members about the topics related to the Grundtvig project.

Research about the mythological character of olive and cypress trees has been conducted by one of our teachers, Raffaele Giannetti, with the support of other teachers and students. Research is made of bibliographic literature, on the iconography and the field work of those who have made these photographic images.

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The City of Pienza offers guided tours of the fifteenth-century roof top garden of Pope Pius II’s palace (Palazzo Piccolomini) where, during the traditional Festival of Flowers, visitors can see the town square in front of the cathedral transformed into an Italian garden thanks to the work of experienced gardeners.

The Foundation also offers a guided tour of Bagno Vignoni and it’s extraordinary "square shaped Roman bath" as well as tours of a number of historic and contemporary gardens (including the sixteenth century Leonini in San Quirico d’ Orcia, the Garden of La Foce in Val d’Orcia and the Tarot Garden of Capalbio ) with the guidance of experts in the field (Ugo Sani and Fabio Pellegrini of the Tagliolini Foundation, in collaboration with Aline Rutily) .

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At Palazzo Chigi, in San Quricio D’Orcia where the Foundation is based, we have prepared exhibitions dedicated to the theme “the language of vegetation" which opened in May at San Quirico and remained open until the summer. The exhibition demonstrated the great effort made by a local artist, Annibale Parisi, who is part of our working group, consisting in the installation of a large tree trunk - library containing volumes of wood, each dedicated to a plant and containing wood , bark, leaves, flowers, in short, all the elements relevant to that specific plant.

In addition to this, we have worked on other projects. At San Quirico, in May, Carlotta Parisi organized a display of paper machè sculptures of the plants her group studied. Her sister Judith produced a children’s game along the rules of the famous "Game of the Goose". She called it the "Game of Oil" and it is designed to develop people’s knowledge on the processes and production of olive oil. The game was unveiled at the traditional Oil Festival in San Quirico last December.

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Finally, a photographic exhibition was organized by one of our members, Paolo Naldi, who exhibited photos of the beautiful landscape of Valdorcia which included the four plants his group focused on.

Exhibitions were also held by two of our students; Mario Morellini and Catherine Cardia. The first, entitled " paper and ink", showed the production of writing materials and the second, " herbs in the kitchen ", examined the use of herbs in the culinary arts .

In May our guests were greeted by the local flag-throwers who performed the traditional flag throwing demonstration, which is considered a great medieval tradition linked to the Palio of Siena .

Ugo Sani, directeur de la Fondation Tagliolini

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