Art in Umbria

Modern art in Umbria: Foligno and Trevi

Art in movement in the multi-purpose spaces of Foligno and Trevi

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Although most of us somehow believe that great art can only be found in big cities, when you get to Foligno, head towards the historical centre. One of the buildings you see there is a parallelepiped building without windows and sheathed in Corten, a rust coloured material. First it was the Dairy Centre, and then the Post Office. Now it is the Italian Centre of Contemporary Art. This large and elegant three-storey structure is illuminated by natural light to ensure that your experience as observer is at the centre of attention: the light and space are there to serve art. It is home to constant activities and events, as is fitting to their mission of culture and awareness spreading. Another must is the second CIAC museum in what was once the church of the Santissima Trinità in Annunziata. Your first sensation will no doubt be one of marvel and silence as you are bewildered by the sheer size and the object itself: a vast skeleton that expresses the transience of existence and the end of a century. The space is literally invaded by the great Calamita Cosmica (Cosmic Magnet) made by Gino De Dominicis, considered one of the greatest works of art of the 20th century.

After having been on tour all over Europe, in 2011 it was finally placed in the church which has become its final resting place. It's a union of contemporary and neoclassical art.

When you get to Trevi, you'll find Palazzo Lucarini right in front of the Sant'Emiliano cathedral. Built in the 15th century, it enveloped a small medieval neighbourhood and got its name from an ancient family that dates to the early 1400s. The two doors of the façade are from the 16th and 17th centuries. The Centre for Contemporary Art is located on the ground floor. The Centre serves as an observatory and to encourage various aspects of contemporary art, and it als mounts exhibitions and acts as an incubator for the arts. Apart from exhibitions, it organise conferences, workshops and educational activities, and puts on solo exhibits and retrospectives featuring young artists from all over Italy.

As the day nears its end, sit down for a meal, starting with the famous "black celery" of Trevi dipped in plenty of delicious local extra-virgin DOP Umbria Colli Assisi Spoleto olive oil, followed by handmade pasta in a black truffle sauce and then oven-baked hare. The wine to pair with this meal is, of course, Sagrantino di Montefalco.