Natural art history on the island of Bisentina

Bisentina Island opens to the public, an unpolluted microcosm of the largest volcanic lake in Europe, made up of ancient trees and native flora with the integration of imported species, a place of testimony, passages and settlements of people from ancient times to those closest to us. For the first time, the island offers visitors a journey through ancient architectural constructions and site-specific modern works that integrate with the territory, reflecting its most important aspect: its sanctity.

From 2 July to 8 October, the public will have the opportunity to visit this historic site, which is also steeped in mystery, in the phase of its new rebirth. In fact, the Rovati family – the current owner – since 2017 started the restoration work, which has already restored some of the monuments in situ to their original splendor. In addition to returning to enjoy the island’s natural beauty after a long time, visitors can get to know an all-Italian heritage that combines history, ancient art and contemporary art installations. The initiative is being carried out in agreement with the Archeology, Visual Arts and Landscape Supervision Authority of Viterbo Province and Southern Etruria and Capodimonte Municipality.

Immersed in the majesty of the local flora, you can visit three of the seven chapels built between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries on the perimeter paths of a devotional path, which was a religious pilgrimage site near Via Francigena: Santa Caterina’s octagonal chapel attributed to Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and located on a 22-meter-high rock outcrop that houses one of the site-specific works, Sintonie by José Angelino, in which the artist reveals how the frequencies imperceptible to the senses affect matter; the Chapel of the Crucifix or Monte Calvario, which preserves precious frescoes attributed to the hand of Benozzo Gozzoli; Finally, the chapel of Santa Concordia, also home to one of the site-specific works, Welcome Wanderer by Matteo Nasini, which, thanks to special software, translates the passage of the stars over our heads into music, giving the island its own true and heavenly voice. The remaining chapels will be opened to visitors and revealed one by one over time. The third site-specific work is Federico Goris Il Vello d’Oro, located around a centuries-old stone oak to protect it.

The spirit of the project is summed up by its creator Sofia Elena Rovati: “During its long history, the island of Bisentina has gone into the hands of various guardians, very important historical figures: popes and princesses, but also simple men like the lesser monks. Like the has loved, loved and enriched with beauty.From its lush and wild vegetables to its centuries-old plants that branch out with their roots when reaching the depths of a soil naturally rich in minerals on which sacred structures rise towards a sky populated by birds who have chosen the island as their own sanctuary.This place is a real garden of delights.And so many other stories, tales, glimpses of life for people, I had the pleasure of meeting and luck to hear, glances , who still smiles at the memory of the few stolen moments, spent in the gardens of the island of Bisentina when it was still available.Thanks to these meetings, I realized after some time the enormous gift, but also the enormous responsibility that had come into my hands e on my and my family. And therefore there is nothing better than to follow the good example of those who before us have put themselves at the service of this wonderful island, so that it may continue to shine among the waters of this lake, even when our task of protecting and sharing will pass. to the next keeper “.

The modern path is created and supported by Tearose, a reality imbued with and animated by a philosophy that combines love of beauty and creativity with botanical science. Especially through the newly created initiative Coltivare l’Arte, a project comes to life where artists from different disciplines are called to deal with themes related to nature, its silences and sounds as well as its protection.
Alessandra Rovati Vitali, creator and art director of the Tearose experience, tells the story of the creation of the Isola Bisentina / Contemporary Art duo:
“Tearose was born of the love of plants, which for those who know how to listen, gives moments of deep joy in every moment. Therefore, I enthusiastically accepted the invitation to participate in this initiative, and I am happy to be able to contribute to the rebirth. ”of Bisentina Island, an immaculate place where I like to believe that people can rediscover a dimension of harmony and peace. With this perspective, our commitment to a future where nature returns to being a teacher begins”.

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