The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - January 1

Garments worn by cinema greats Charlton Heston, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are the highlights of a new show delving into the history of costume design.

The exhibition, entitled 'I Costumi di Scena, un Cammino Lungo 1000 Anni' (Set Costumes, A 1000-Year-Long Path), runs until January 6 at the Fondazione Cerratelli in San Giuliano Terme, near Pisa. It features the chain mail Heston donned for his film interpretation of legendary Spanish hero El Cid in the 1961 epic. Also on display are the costumes from Franco Zeffirelli's 1967 adaptation of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in their primes.

Costume design is traditionally one of Italy's cinematic fortes. Italian designers, like Oscar winners Milena Canoneri and Gabriella Pescucci, continue to play a lead role in the field. The exhibition is not just concerned with the world of film though. It also takes a look at the history of costume design for the stage with around 50 exhibits dating back from the Middle Ages to the start of the 20th century.

The material on show belongs to the Fondazione Cerratelli, which stores its rich archive of 25,000 costumes and 20,000 movie and stage props, posters and photographs at San Giuliano Terme.