So seldom, in my lifetime, have I come across my first name, that when I do, I take note. I was very surprised to see this theatre in Paris. I want to attend a program there!
LE LAURETTE THEATRE – PARIS36, Rue Bichat, 75010 PARIS
I found this on the internet:
Notre envie de partager avec les artistes, compagnies, producteurs et toutes professions qui subliment autour du spectacle, est née d’une rencontre exceptionnelle.
Laurette est généreuse, attentive et amoureuse des autres.
C’est tout ce qu’elle nous a communiqué qui fait de cette salle de spectacle, un lieu charmant, intimiste et chaleureux.
C’est dans chacun de vos pas (spectateurs, comédiens, chanteurs, auteurs…) que l’on retrouve Laurette, notre Laurette,
et dans chacun de vos applaudissements que l’on retrouve son sourire.
Merci à tous ceux qui nous aide à exister chaque jour.
En hommage à Laurette, notre amie passionnée de théâtre, cinéma et elle-même actrice…
AT THE LAURETTE THEATER
Our desire to share with artists, companies, producers and all professions that sublimate around the show, was born from an exceptional meeting.
Laurette is generous, attentive and in love with others.
It’s all that she communicated to us that makes this performance hall a charming, intimate and warm place.
It is in each of your steps (spectators, actors, singers, authors …) that we find Laurette, our Laurette,
and in each of your applause that we find his smile.
Thank you to everyone who helps us exist every day.
In tribute to Laurette, our passionate friend of theater, cinema and herself an actr
Hi Janis, I’m disappointed we didn’t get a chance to meet up again before our trips to the US! I hope you are well again. I am happy to say I am almost well. The 2nd round of antibiotics and nebulizer did the trick.
I’ve been wanting to share a couple of things from my Paris trip that only you will understand! You know how we are always saying that “things aren’t like they used to be” in the art world in Italy. You can’t just pop in at the Medici Chapel and expect to find it open and empty like it would have been in the olden days! We are ancient!
And you know how we are always saying that we don’t like going to special exhibitions nowadays because you have to fight the crowds to get close to a painting. It is too much work and it ruins the experience.
So, in that vein, I have a couple of things:
First, I can spend an entire vacation without going into an art museum at all nowadays! I think that not only do I dislike the two items above, but I am just tired of art museums in general and my interests have evolved. I have to face the fact that I’m no longer a devoted student of art.
So, on one of our first days in Paris, staying well out of the center of the city and relying on the Metro, but the Metro was on strike…we decided to walk to the Pompidou Center. I haven’t been there in 30 years. My son has never been there. We had a lovely walk through a fascinating section of Paris and, when we arrived at the Pompidou, we joined a small group of people waiting to enter. We got inside, I looked around, and every fiber in my being said “leave!” There is all of Paris to experience and I don’t feel like getting lost in this big, modern building looking at art I really couldn’t care less about. My son was only too happy to leave. He was drug into so many art museums as a child that his right arm is longer than his left, or so we joke.
We were in Paris for 10 days and the one Metro line that you could count on working was the #1, which goes East to West, stopping at the Louvre. We rode that line almost every day and many a time we got off at the Louvre, the center of the city.
We walked by the pyramid almost daily, and even though the museum was always open, we decided not to go in and save our complete Louvre experience for the 17th, when we had Leonardo tickets.
So the days go by and we are planning to see the Louvre on the 17th. We depart Paris on the 19th.
We arrive at the Louvre about 11 a.m. on the 17th, even though our tickets were for 1 pm. I notice immediately that the usual line to enter the pyramid is not there and there is a pretty good sized group of people in the area, but it is helter scelter. I find a Louvre official and show him my Leonardo ticket on my phone. He scoffs. I’m confused. Then it becomes clear, on the 17th of January (my birthday and Michelle Obama’s too, btw!) the Louvre employees decided to join the strike. No one is getting into the museum!
I am in shock. This was one scenario I didn’t see coming. We planned our entire trip around this exhibition.
And yet, another part of me was just fine with this outcome. We gathered ourselves up and headed to the Left Bank where I treated us to a delicious birthday lunch at Les Deux Magots! It was perfect.
I hasten to add that during the 10 days I was in Paris I did attend 2 special art exhibitions: Toulouse Lautrec at the Grand Palais and Degas at the Opera at the Musee d’ Orsay. Both exhibitions were very crowded (in January for god’s sake!) and not enjoyable from that standpoint. I had been dreading the Leonardo show because I assumed it would be even more crowded.
So, what did I learn? I learned that I have made my last plan around a special art exhibition. Those days are officially over for me. Yes, I will always look at art. But, no more blockbusters unless I get a personal invitation to visit privately when the museum is closed to the public. And, while that used to happen in my life, that ain’t gonna happen again in this lifetime!
Only a fellow (sister?) art historian can understand the greatness of this tale!!
Ciao for now, sister, Lauretta
How’s my goal of living in Italy working out? Pretty well. It hasn’t been easy or fast, but it has been steady.
I came to Florence at the end of November in 2016. I arrived with a student Visa, which let me live in Italy beyond the 90 days any American can stay in Europe as a tourist. I stayed in Florence for 11 months and successfully obtained the all important Permesso di Soggiorno with that Visa. The Permesso expired after 8 months, regardless of the fact that I had already paid for Italian language school for 12 months. Lesson 1: there is no logic.
I returned to the states in October of 2017, going from Florence to Chicago where it was necessary for me to go to the Italian Consulate to apply for an elective residency Visa. Such a Visa allows Americans like me, if we are fortunate enough to receive the Visa, to live in Italy under certain circumstances. Chicago was necessary for me because my home is in Denver and that’s the way that cookie is divided. I filed the myriad documents needed to show my eligibility for the elective residency Visa, and then went to Denver to wait its hoped-for arrival.
Fortunately, I received the Visa. But, it has certain conditions. I won’t enumerate them all, but one of the most important ones is that I am not allowed to have gainful employment in Italy. I cannot receive any payment from anyone in Italy. Doing so could result not only in my Visa being revoked, but the Italian government could prohibit me from ever setting foot in Italy again. It’s a powerful rule.
I returned to Florence in December of 2017, armed with my new elective residency Visa. The first step, then, once within the country, is that within 8 days, one must apply for the Permesso di Soggiorno. I applied for this before Christmas in 2017 and then began to wait for its arrival.
Some people will receive their Permesso within a month, or so they say. Others, like me, are not so lucky. I waited for 8 months to receive word that my new Permesso was ready for me to pick up at the police station, or the dreaded Questura.
In July of 2018, I received a text message telling me to appear at the Questura on a certain date in early August, at a certain time. I did as I was asked. I turned in my old, expired, student-based Permesso, and received my new one. Unfortunately, my new Permesso was already expired when I received it. You read that right. Welcome to Italy.
The true impact of this situation on my daily life was nil. As long as one re-applies for a new Permesso within a short period, and keeps the receipt of that application with them at all times, typically no problems will result. Fortunately, I have never been stopped by the police in Italy and asked to show my documents. Theoretically, even if the police did stop me and ask for my documents, the receipt of the new Permesso application would suffice.
I filed my new application for a new Permesso in late September of 2018. Of course I kept a copy of the receipt for fees paid for that application with me at all times.
And then I began the wait for my new Permesso.
So, what is the importance of this waiting period on my life? Again, on a daily basis it is unnoticeable. However, there are other steps that one needs to do to truly function in present day Italy after one receives the Permesso.
For example, I tried to open a bank account in Italy in the winter of 2017, while I had my student Visa and my related Permesso. With the assistance of an Italian friend, we could not find a bank that was willing to open an account for me. I suppose I was considered to be too transient to bother with.
At that time, I was warned about opening an Italian bank account in any case. Still not having one, I cannot tell you exactly why people recommended I NOT open an account, should I ever find a bank that was willing to let me. Why? As I understand it, bank accounts here are very different from what I’m used to in the USA. For starters, it is quite costly to maintain an account here. In any case, no bank would open an account for me if I didn’t have a current Permesso di Soggiorno. Although I never tried to open an account with just my receipt, perhaps I could have done so. It just didn’t seem worthwhile to try, so I didn’t. For months I expected to receive my new Permesso and then I would try. That was my plan
Once I received my elective residency Visa and had an actual, unexpired Permesso di Soggiorno, I could follow other steps. First among these is applying for a Certificato di Residenza. I still don’t understand why this is important to have, but it is. There are certain things I just accept here and just accept that it makes no sense to me. The Serenity Prayer comes in handy.
After obtaining the Certificato di Residenza, one can apply for the Carta d’ Identita, which is necessary to have before applying for an Italian health care card which would allow me to seek medical treatment in Italy should the need arise. Up until such time, it is incumbent upon me to maintain a private traveler’s health insurance policy to cover unforseen events. As a matter of fact, proof of such a policy is a necessary document needed to apply for both the elective residency Visa and also for the Permesso di Soggiorno.
So, I’ve been waiting since last September (2018), for my new Permesso di Soggiorno. Six months went by, 7 months, 8 months, 9 months, 10 months and then, finally, I received a text message telling me my new Permesso would be ready for me to pick up at the Questura last week. I went with baited breath, wondering if it would already be expired again.
This time, I got lucky. True, I had to wait 11.5 months for the thing, but at least I got one that does not expire for 12 months! I’m suddenly completely legal, not needing any receipts for anything, at least for a year! Then I get to do the whole thing over again.
So, how did I celebrate? I did so by immediately (the next week) applying for my Certificato di Residenza. I was informed by knowledgeable people and blogs that this would arrive 45 days after I applied for it. Then I could apply for the Carta d’ Identita.
Imagine my surprise, after going to the correct government office in Florence, when the clerk told me she could produce and give it to me that same day! She asked me if I wanted to apply for the Carta d’ Identita and I mostly certainly did. She gave me the forms to sign and submitted them. She said I should receive it within a week (I’ll expect it within a month, if I’m lucky).
Once I have that in hand, I intend to apply for the Italian health care card which, if I understand things correctly, will allow me to seek medical assistance if the need were to arise, which I obviously hope it will not!
And, bonus, in the meantime I met an Italian who works with a lot of English speakers, and she told me that she thought I could apply for a “bank account” with the Italian postal system. Say what?
It turned out, she was correct. I went into the Post Office in Florence last week and opened an account that seems to be something like a bank account…even if it is with the postal system. I have a new debit card and the ability to wire money into this account from the US. For the first time since I arrived in Italy in November of 2016, I will be able to pay my rent to my landlord’s bank account. Up until now, I’ve had to take cash out of the ATM over the period of a few days to get enough money together to pay my rent.
All of a sudden, I feel like I’m living in the 21st century again. However, I’ve been in Italy long enough to know that any number of things could and may still go wrong. I’ll check in again once money has successfully been wired from the states to my post office bank account and I’ve paid my rent. Fingers crossed.
And, next week, I’ll apply for a health insurance card. Step by slow step, my life in Italy is becoming complete.
From the book by Clara Louise Dentler:
Where Greenough lived, worked, or exhibited in Florence:
See this rather formidable looking building? It is one of most important libraries in Europe. Once housed inside the Uffizi, since 1935 has been located in this building designed around 1911 by Cesare Bazzani and later enlarged by V. Mazzei. It is located along the Arno River in the quarter of Santa Croce.
Sometime very soon, (more or less) armed with my newly (more or less) acquired Italian language skills , I’ll be entering this august archive to start my research on Florence after WWII.
Wish me a lot of luck: this place has a reputation for being formidable and working hard to keep people out.
I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a bit intimidated!
You may take a virtual tour of the library’s exterior here: http://arno66-archive.netseven.it/vt/index.htm
Ah, what mysteries are held inside!
Here’s some formal data on the library, from Wikipedia:
The library was founded in 1714 when scholar Antonio Magliabechi bequeathed his entire collection of approximately 30,000 volumes to the city of Florence. By 1743, it was required that a copy of every work published in Tuscany be submitted to the library.
Originally known as the Magliabechiana, the library was opened to the public in 1747. Its holdings were combined with those of the Biblioteca Palatina (Firenze) in 1861, and by 1885, the library had been renamed as the National Central Library of Florence, or the BNCF. Since 1870, the library has collected copies of all Italian publications.
The National Library System (SBN), located in the BNCF, is responsible for the automation of library services and the indexing of national holdings.
Unfortunately, a major flood of the Arno River in 1966 damaged nearly one-third of the library’s holdings, most notably its periodicals and Palatine and Magliabechi collections. The Restoration Center was subsequently established and may be credited with saving many of these priceless artifacts. However, much work remains to be done and some items were forever lost.
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