Visit to the Briganti Library

We had the privilege to visit the Biblioteca Briganti, part of the museum complex of Santa Maria della Scala.  It’s a treasure trove of resources, including the amazing volumes of Piranesi’s views of Rome, and many books related to Siena’s history, artists, and craftspeople. It also houses the “Librartis” collection of contemporary artists’ books.   For more info on the library:


Art & Society Intro Meeting

Bernardo Giorgi and Irene Lupi led our intro session for the Art & Society course with our newly-arrived Spring 2020 participants.

Exploring and finding inspiration in the city of Siena and it’s surrounding territory, one important source of inspiration is the book “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino (born 1923 Cuba, died 1985 in Siena)



We looked at several references of contemporary artworks inspired by Calvino’s “Invisible Cities” including the short digital animation by Mario Pietro Brioschi:

…and the site-specific opera at the Los Angeles train station:
… and a longer video on the opera project:

San Gimignano Orientation Trip

On Sunday Jan 26 we travelled to the hilltop town of San Gimignano with our newly-arrived students from the Siena Art Institute & Siena School for Liberal Arts.  The day included a group lunch together and a guided tour of the city led by our Program Director Miriam Grottanelli de Santi.

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We were able to see two contemporary art exhibits by KIKI SMITH & JOSÉ ANTONIO SUÁREZ LONDOÑO organized by Galleria Continua.

If you weren’t able to join us in person, here is a little video to give you a glimpse of San Gimignano from above: