Granite, caprili, desolean genist. Elementary colors and primordial scents that inebriate the senses. At our feet the crystal clear sea and a breathtaking view. We are on Elba, on the slopes of Mountain huts.The highest peak of the island and of the whole province of Livorno stands rugged and majestic with its 1019 meters. In the ascent as good hikers we try to fill up on all this beauty. To crystallize it in the spirit. We would like to put it in the backpack between the sandwiches and the energy bars and take it home to be able to take it out once we return to our condominiums.

Instead the mechanism at some point jams. Something is missing. Something that perhaps the architect and set designer has sought and found Paolo Ferruzzi who was born there on the slopes of Monte Capanne, in the town of Poggio, a hamlet of Marciana. Something that prompted him to found right here, in what was once the prestigious Albergo Monte Capanne, his Academy of Beauty, a place of art and more.

Books (a few thousand), paintings, sculptures. The Academy is a figurative arts museum inaugurated in 2017, it hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions of works of figurative arts and scenography, but also a literary salon with fine associates where it ranges between cinema and geology, philosophy and archeology, art and life . Atmospheres a la Bertolucci, like those you breathe in the award-winning short film "Whales", shot last summer almost entirely within this magical place, born from the creative mind of Nora Jaenicke, director and founder ofElba Film Festival. It is like a big old suitcase with a thousand backgrounds, mountains of memories emerge, of experiences from the past that feed ideas and projects of the present and the future.

Paolo Ferruzzi

But what does 'Accademia del Bello' mean? "In the meantime - says Ferruzzi -" to be admitted you have to be beautiful inside at the discretion of a jury that we like to imagine constantly changing and liable to lapse instantly, because in turn it is subjected to the same procedure "

In one of the rooms we scroll through the videos relating to the mythical village festivals, they are evocative whirlwinds of energy and colors. One in particular attracts our attention, that summer when the youngsters dressed up for sunrise and sunset to pay homage to Pierre Balmain.

Oh yes, Poggio has always been a very chic place. At the Palace Fonte Napoleone hotel by Giuseppe Cacciò, roundups of VIPs have landed from all over the world. Churchill, Garbo, Onassis and so on and so forth. Today, in memory of illustrious times, there are information panels posted in the town squares.

Literary Lounge Accademia del Bello

For those who want to know what's cooking, this summer the Accademia del Bello will organize an exhibition-memory on The Festa del Poggio, on the 60th year of his "birth". Then there are also exhibitions on the Fonte Napoleone, the Monte Capanne hotel and the Fonte Napoleone hotel, in addition to literary meetings.

April 18, 2021 is scheduled Journey into beauty, an excursion of Another Elba Tours which includes a visit to the museum  and a performance by soprano Yuka Kobayashi.

“To do something in Elba you have to go back to believing in yourself”, these words remain in our heads Paolo Ferruzzi as we say goodbye. We remain silent. Beauty doesn't come at random. This time it pervades us little by little. One breath and we feel satisfied. Good Elba to all.

Tatiana Paolini, Yuka Kobayashi, Valèrie Pizzera

Photocredit: Archive of the Accademia del Bello by Paolo Ferruzzi