So far 2012 has indeed been very much Vespucci-oriented (for my joy!). Many initiatives have been organized throughout Italy and, judging from what’s still to come, the Vespucci season has not finished yet.
For those of you who happen to be in Florence at the beginning of October (I know, short notice I am afraid...) do not miss out on the event organized by the Comitato Amerigo Vespucci, scheduled for Wednesday 3 October. In the church of Ognissanti at 4.00 pm attendants will have the opportunity to see a life-size copy of the Waldsemuller Map, displayed next to the Vespucci chapel. The presentation of the volume I segreti delle antiche carte geografiche by Claudio Piani and Diego Baratono will follow at 5.30 pm in the Libreria de’ Servi. The book will reveal the authors’ ideas on the Waldsemuller map and its relation with the frescoed lunette of the Vespucci chapel. Piani-Baratono already developed the hypothesis that the Waldsemuller Map might be derived from the cloak of the Virgin represented in the chapel’s lunette. According to the authors, in fact, the map has the same shape of the Virgin’s mantle. This theory is now further investigated in I segreti delle antiche carte geografiche where the authors sustain that the name America did not come from Amerigo but from Maria which would establish a link with the devotion the family showed towards the Virgin Mary in the fifteenth and sixteenth century (first contribution on the subject available online: http://www.mastromarcopugacioff.it/Articoli/Teofanie4.htm)
For those of you who cannot make it to Florence there is still the chance to know more about Amerigo the explorer at the Italian Cultural Institute of Edinburgh on Thursday 15 November, 6.00 pm. Margherita Calderoni, an Italian journalist, historian and lecturer will take us through the life and travels of Amerigo Vespucci bringing the attention on Florence’s network dynamics that sealed the friendship between Amerigo, Leonardo da Vinci, Paolo Toscanelli and Lorenzo il Magnifico. Dealing with fifteenth century geographical discoveries, humanistic culture, and love-related gossips, the talk seems to have the right mix of ingredients to attract the curiosity of many. For more information on the event visit the Italian Cultural Institute website: