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A journey through architecture, identity and Jewishness. If one were to choose a theme for tomorrow’s events in Florence, organised by the Foundation for Jewish Cultural Heritage in Italy, that trio might just provide the leitmotif for the day. There are three events scheduled, all related to the centrality of Jewish cultural heritage in Italy, and to the contribution that Judaism has made to Italian society. A key role, in this sense, was played by Enrico Lattes, the internationally renowned architect to whom the historian and architect Danilo Sergio Pirro has dedicated a book, “Enrico Lattes – L’architetto ritrovato” (Gangemi Editore). In it, Pirro describes the figure of one of the most progressive exponents of Italian architecture, who trained under figures such as Carlo Enrico Rava, Luigi Piccinato and Giuseppe Pagano. Along with the author, following a greeting from the President of the Foundation Dario Disegni, other speakers will include Renzo Funaro, Vice President of the Foundation, with a speech about Lattes and his leading role among Jewish 20th century architects; Lionella Neppi Modona Viterbo, of the Centro Studi Storici, who will shed light on the relations between the Lattes family and the Pitigliano community; and Ulisse Tramonti, head of the Department of Architecture at Florence University, who will give a talk on “The figure of Lattes within Italian between-the-wars architecture”.

Meanwhile, the other two events will focus on sites of remembrance, with a guided tour around the restoration work at the Jewish monumental cemetery in Via Ariosto and the presentation of the book Il Cimitero Ebraico in Italia – Storia e architettura di uno spazio identitario by Andrea Morpurgo (Edizioni Quodlibet Studio). Through a history of the Jewish cemeteries scattered throughout Italy, Morpurgo describes the architectural and symbolic role of these places. The presentation will be moderated by the President of the Jewish Community of Florence Sara Cividalli, attended by the author, with speeches by Renzo Funaro (“Jewish cemeteries: the experience of restoration in Tuscany”) and the Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Florence Joseph Levi (“Rituality and symbols in Jewish cemeteries”).

(14 May 2014)

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