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Versilia - memories of a summer at the seaside from 1880-1940

Exhibitions in Viareggio

Versilia - memories of a summer at the seaside from 1880-1940

A 60-year-old summer, between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with evocative images that bring us back to an extraordinary era of Versilia. On Sunday, April 29 at 5 pm in Villa Argentina (Viareggio), the photographic exhibition "VERSILIA memories of a summer at sea 1880-1940", curated by Enrico Stefanellie promoted by the Banca del Monte di Lucca Foundation and the Province of Lucca, in collaboration with the City of Viareggio and the Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Lucca and Massa Carrara and with the patronage of the Municipalities of Lucca, Camaiore, Forte dei Marmi, Massarosa, Pietrasanta, Seravezza and Stazzema.


Sonocirca 70 the photographic prints on display (in reproduction), to which are added photos and original posters from the photographic archive of the Province of Lucca and videos from the Chini Archive of Camaiore.


The story goes from the first images on the bathing establishments, the coast and the inland referred to the last decades of the nineteenth century, to arrive at the end of the thirties of the twentieth century, passing through the Belle Époque. The first rooms are dedicated to a chronological account of the life of the places, of the costumee of the territory, with an unsettling effect for the visitor who perhaps will struggle to recognize it as it was. On the first floor a focus on cross-cutting issues such as the evolution of bathing establishments, the bathing suit, time out of the beach with sports games, tennis, bridge, dance, life in the pine forest, transport ( as we arrived and we moved in Versilia), urban development.


"It is an exhibition that strengthens our sense of identity as it helps us to recognize, through the seaside life and social development of Versilia, the time when it became a model dreamed of by tourists from all over Europe. Versilia is still all this and the magic that is renewed every summer stimulates us to regain awareness of the wonders of our territory "is the thought expressed by the President of the Province of Lucca, Luca Menesini, proud of this new exhibition at Villa Argentina that confirms the incessant cultural and artistic activity.


The president of the Banca del Monte di Lucca Foundation, Oriano Landuccimanifesta his enthusiasm: "The exhibition presents itself as the natural development of the previous exhibition 'La Versilia ritrovata'. A new edition that wants to be a wide-ranging project that does not simply refer to the memories of a summer by the sea, but also and above all the passionate relationship between man and Versilia. Each image exhibited is an exciting frame that takes us into a happy time, suspended between dream and reality ".


The welcome to visitors will be supported by ISI students. Piaggia di Viareggio as part of a training project of Alternanza Scuola Lavoro with the Province of Lucca that has been going on for several years.

The renowned Bazaar store in Viareggio also collaborates in the setting up of the environments. pieces coming from the great collection of vintage clothing and accessories and Pezzini Editore (antique typography that produces editorial products historical notebooks dedicated to Viareggio and its history).

Numerous collateral initiatives will take place during the period of the exhibition: from meetings on fashion and costume, to presentations of books and period films and moments of entertainment.


Photography enthusiasts and collectors can participate enriching the contents of the exhibition with their vintage photos (always relating to the period 1880 - 1940) accompanied by captions that will be placed in a special dedicated corner.


The exhibition was realized with the precious support of Fratelli Alinari, PhotoLux, Apple Editing, Chini Archive of Lido di Camaiore (film owned by the Chini Family), ISI Piaggia of Viareggio (welcoming visitors as part of the project of Alternanza Scuola Lavoro with the Province of Lucca), Arci Committee Lucca Versilia, Bazaar Viareggio (collaboration with the setting up drawing from their vintage collection) Pezzini Editore (antique typography that produces editorial products dedicated to Viareggio and its history).

The photographs come from the famous Alinari Archives of Florence, from the Archive of the Province of Lucca, from the Chinie Archive from the archives of the Autonomous Tourist and Tourism Company, established in 1928, which holds over 1,500 pieces acts and advertising posters of all the towns of Versilia.


Alinari Archive of Florence. For all scholars and fans of History of Photography, the Alinari Brothers and what they represent a guarantee of quality, a real expressive model that has influenced generations of photographers and artists: their images have entered fully into the historical memory of the our cultural heritage.


The Archive of the Province of Lucca particularly draws the Tourist Photographic Archive that comes from the patrimony of the Autonomous Tourist Office, born in 1928 then became Riviera della Versilia. In the '30s many advertising campaigns were commissioned and numerous films that made the coast from Viareggio to Forte dei Marmi famous. These multimedia products, which still amaze us for their freshness and innovative ability, were meant to show all the beauties of the territory to attract more and more tourists. The Photographic Archive, consisting of more than 1,500 pieces, holds about 600 photos and advertising posters covering a period from the '30s to the present day and covers all the towns of Versilia. The photos in the exhibition recount the myth of the localities of holiday and vacationers in a golden age that seems not to feel the imminence of the Second World War.


Chini Archive of Lido di Camaiore: the exhibition path is enriched also by images from period films including one by Galileo Chini placed at the disposal of the Chini Archives in Lido di Camaiore, whose beautiful images see the versatile artist as versatile artist Galileo Chini, pioneer of Liberty style in Italy


Photographers In vintage images, the professionalism of some truly extraordinary photographers immediately stands out. Among the many it is possible the Lucca Ettore Cortopassile whose photographs are preserved in the Photographic Photographic Archive of the Province of Lucca. His way of working is at the border between visual art and documentary photography and by observing his photographs it is easy to identify a compositional balance where documentation and aesthetic research meet; a photograph of 1939 will be taken as a subject by Piero Cantini, around 1950, to create an advertising poster of Viareggio.

The figure of Carlo Brogi, who in 1881 inherited the "Brogi Company" ", Founded in 1864 by his father, the famous Giacomo Brogi. His visions are clearly pictorial with great attention to the composition of the image.


The opening is scheduled for Sunday, April 29 at 17.00


The show will open on July 22nd for free admission.

Timetable: Tuesday to Sunday 10.00-13.00 and 15.00-18.30.

Closed on Mondays (except for April 30th)


When: until 07/22/2018

Where: Villa Argentina Via Fratti, Viareggio

Time: Orario: da martedì a domenica 10.00-13.00 e 15.00-18.30. Chiuso il lunedì (ad eccezione del 30 aprile)

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