The sky began to fade as time crept to 9 p.m. at the historic courtyard of the Casa della Poesia. Everything was in place — the rows of chairs filled with eager concertgoers; the grand piano centered at the front, gleaming under the overhead lights. Fifteen opera singers entered the stage in single file, their tuxedos and long dresses creating a sea of color.
Swirling the sparkling glass of wine ever so delicately, Martina Brescini treats this classic Italian beverage as if it were her child. Breathing in the strong aroma, Brescini’s face glows as she begins to explain the composition of the wine in detail. This is just another workday for the 29-year-old sommelier.
Via Raffaello is a relentlessly steep street in this hillside city named for the famed Renaissance artist who called it home as a child. Today a different artist resides here. Leonardo Cartolari doesn’t work with paint. Sugar and flour are his medium, his hands are his brush, and an oven is his canvas. With passion and a love for his craft, Cartolari rises before the sun to create his art.
A melted motorcycle sits casually in the middle of the workshop, as if it were an armchair or a coffee table. Zanchi shuffles across the airy studio, his wild curls bouncing with every step. He holds the shoes gingerly in his hands, careful to touch only the bottoms—an odd amount of care for average-looking, dingy brown loafers.
Walking into Ceramiche Artistiche Molaroni, the Molaroni Artistic Ceramics store in Pesaro, Italy, you can’t help but hold your breath. It feels as if even a small breeze would break the intricate vases, plates, bowls, and clocks on display. Each item stands out as its own masterpiece. Tiny elephants and owls are covered in complex floral and vine patterns that almost look like real daisies and roses wrapped precisely around the pure white backgrounds. A large three-foot vase at the entrance stands out with powerful blues, yellows, and reds that catch your eye right as you walk in the room.
Suddenly, the stage is aglow with blue and yellow lights, upbeat music is blaring, and dancers rush out, clad in similar colors of the classic impressionism painting. For two and a half minutes everyone is captivated, watching the syncopated body rolls and sharp arm movements. The guys and girls on stage spin their legs around in intricate circles while supporting themselves on their hands—and the audience's eyes are as starry as the painting the group is dancing about.