“O’ wind, if winter comes, can Spring be far behind” – Percy Shelley
Now that I have my next assignment, my final months in Rome seem to be zooming by. Despite being on the road non-stop in December and early January, it feels like there is still so much left to see in Italy. How did January pass by in the blink of an eye? I find that the last few months of my overseas assignments are always a balancing act between getting to new places and returning to the ones I enjoyed the most during my time in the countries that I call home for a couple of years. One of my favorite places in Rome has been the Fendi Headquarters at the Palazzo de la Civilita Italia. The luxury fashion house has dedicated space in the historic palazzo for innovation exhibitions and events that allow the public to experience Italian art and fashion free of charge. Its current initiative, Fendi Studios Showcases Love of Cinema, is no exception. I’m glad I re-arranged my holiday travel to experience it for my self. The pop-up cinema runs all winter through March 25.
So far, 2018 has started off on an amazing foot for blogging. I was beyond ecstatic when I learned that my Instagram photo series on the Florence F-Light Festival won first place in the European Commission Year of Cultural Heritage photo contest, which will provide further opportunities and motivation to explore cultural activities in Italy.
Congratulations to the 5 winners of our #EuropeForCulture photo competition! The challenge was to capture traditions and #CulturalHeritage in the festive season, which all our winners did in their own unique way. Continue reading to learn more about the winning entries: 1st Prize: @dolceandmasala has captured this beautifully lit bridge, which is part of the annual Florence light festival. The installation was made with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), on the theme of migration and the global refugee crisis. 2nd Prize This boy, snapped by @andrei.c.stefan, is waiting for his turn to join the traditional dance in Tîrgu Neamţ, a town in northern Romania. The dance routine symbolises the death and revival of the New Year, and is also believed to chase away evil spirits. Talking about evil spirits – they better watch out for Kukeri from Bulgaria. Between Christmas and Lent, these masked creatures walk around villages and towns to chase away evil, welcome the New Year and bless the people with happiness and prosperity. Photographed by @mybestsouvenir 3rd Prize: @kanelbulle94 reminds us that there’s one thing that truly unites us all over the festive season: cookies, pastries and cakes. Winter holidays is a great occasion to travel, discovering other cultures and meeting new people. @manfalou visited northern Finland, home to the Sami community. The winners will be rewarded with a cultural experience in their respective home countries (they will be contacted in the coming days) A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated – showing us Europe’s rich and diverse cultural heritage at this time of the year ❤ The European Year of Cultural Heritage has merely started; stay curious and tuned for updates on how you can participate. #culture #europeforculture #EYCH #food #foodstagram #tradition #traditional #europe #EU #europeanunion
Winter in Rome
The weather in Rome is starting to feel spring-like and the streets are less crowded during the low winter season, making it the perfect time to enjoy the Eternal City’s endless treasures. In addition to the Fendi Studios pop-up film screenings and shorter crowds on free museum Sundays, winter brings special festivals and reduced accommodation costs. Check out the #WinterinRome campaign run by Linda of The Beehive hostel on Twitter for winter activity inspiration.
Last weekend, my favorite Italian Bollywood aficionado Valentina Manduchi of Apsara Dance and I checked out creative couture and increasing diversity on the runways of Alta Roma Fashion Week. We met more inspirational artists and designers to feature on Dolce & Masala. Valentina also introduced me to the Bollywood cinema in Rome for the screening of Sanjay Leela Bansali’s latest opulent re-telling of the Padmavati fable. The political controversy surrounding the film’s production in India and the cultural experience of watching it in the mixed audience of Italian and first-generation South Asians (even Delhi crowd paled in comparison) is worthy of a separate blog post.
Fendi Studios Showcases Love of Cinema
Fendi’s pop-up film studio includes an uber-lux screening room resplendent in cushy red velvet and designer gold touches. The accompanying exhibition (which closes an hour before the evening screening) showcases the fashion house’s decades-long love affair with the silver screen. Fendi fur coats seen in award-winning films such as the Royal Tenenbaums, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Evita are on display alongside vintage Alfa Romeo.
The glamorous world of cinema is replicated throughout the Fendi studio experience, which includes an old-fashioned ticket booth for collecting your souvenir ticket. Fendi chose an impressive list of Italian and international award-winning films the fashion house has contributed fashion to over the last 60 years for its pop-up studio. I knew I had to go when I saw that The Grand Budapest Hotel was on the list.
You can also grab some fresh popcorn for your viewing pleasure from the cutest corn popping vending machine.
The full list of films and registration for free tickets is available at Eventbrite. Note, the films are screened in Italian without subtitles. The experience is still well worth it, especially if you pick a movie you have already seen and love.