The history of the Florence Lyceum Club is one of a women’s movement that has pursued its objectives through cultural education and technical and professional training of women with a view to their playing an active role in society. This goal has led to establishing serious commitment and responsibility on many fronts, leaving an indelible mark on the history of Florence.
Today the Florence Lyceum Club continues to be involved in both the emancipation of women and the dissemination of culture. Its method is to combine tradition and innovation and to monitor the contemporary world, suggesting ever new themes. The world of young people in particular spurs the Club on to keep working with schools, offering students the opportunity to follow university lectures and to participate in cultural events. With its 54 events a year, the comprehensive program is carried out by different sections, each offering a specific profile (music, art, literature, science, social medicine, history, current events, etc.), but within a common theme, such asBirth, Journeys, The Blue Flower, etc. We lay stress on partnerships between sections, with other cultural associations and with the city government.
The Lyceum club of Genoa was founded in 1921, and is now about to celebrate the ninetieth year of its foundation. On this occasion the Genoa Lyceum Club has been awarded the medal of the President of the Italian Republic. We remember the former President Mrs. Minnie Alzona, who greatly added to the club’s prestige by organising numerous meetings and including a large number of councillors. Many members, such as the president of the club Clara Rubbi and the national president Silvana Canevelli, are themselves writers, so that literary interests are prevalent even if the philanthropic section is not neglected; every year it collects funds in favour of persons or organizations in need of help. Cultural activities include book presentations and round tables on social subjects, such as the ill-treatment inflicted on women and children, with the presence of a justice of the peace and the person responsible for Unicef in our Province.
Many meetings are dedicated to music, with vocal and instrumental concerts and conferences on musical topics from Paganini to the greatest interpreters of the French chanson.
The Lyceum of Catania was founded on the 28th of May 1928 by Amalia Pantano, a scion of a well-known family of local politicians (her uncle having been Minister of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce in the Sonnino Government and Minister of Public Labour in the Nitti Government), and whose brother Enrico fell in WWI and had a central street in Catania dedicated to his name. Amalia, who married Paolo Lanzerotti, an architect who built many buildings of Catania“in the French Baroque style”, always attended to the organization of charitable institutions. On the 23rd December 1928, Tommaso Martinetti inaugurated the Lyceum at Teatro Massimo “Vincenzo Bellini”. During her Presidency she invited many famous artists (Borgese, Ungaretti, Silvio D’Amico, Massimo Bontempelli, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Segovia…). After her death in 1961, her daughter Elettra Battaglini became President. In 1996 Concetta Abatelli was elected, in 2004 Ninfa Ricciardolo and in 2007 Lina Costa, who is at present President of the Lyceum.
The Lyceum Club of Naples was founded by Mrs. Emma Gianturco after the Second World War. After her twenty years of presidency, Baroness Bianca Dorsa Zampaglione was elected new President, and began her activity by organizing conferences with renowned professors of the University Federico II of Naples, concerts, and meetings with the most outstanding authorities of the town. She has organized many visits to the monuments of great historical interest in Naples, cultural tours such as to the palaceof Baron Paolo Silvestriat S. Lorenzelloand the trip to Ischia, invited by Mr. Gaetano Izzo. On each occasion, the Lyceum has presented its hosts with a silver medal in order to thankthem for their kind invitation.
The President has always placed great emphasis on the philanthropic section. Today the lawyer Maria Chiariello and the poetess Silvia Panfili Izzo are members of the Council, and the journalist Carmelo Pittari is a regular guest.
The Lyceum Club of Cremona was founded by Jucci Tornaletti in 1985.
In 1988, the BCI took place in Cremona, on which occasion the National Statute – still in force today – was drawn up and registered.
Laura Ruffini has been the President since 1995; she was also the National President from 2003 to 2008.
In 1998 Locarnoand Cremonabecame sister Clubs.
In 2000 the Lyceum Club of Cremona welcomed Mme Dalman, International President.
In 2004 Ms Travers, International President, attended the memorable centennial celebrations of the foundation of the Lyceum Club organized in Cremonaby the Club on behalf of the Italian Federation.
The many activities of the Club include presentations of books, lectures on art, topical and historical subjects, and visits to museums and exhibitions, instrumental and vocal concerts.
In cooperation with UNICEF and with local, provincial, regional and women’s associations, we provide social care for battered women and abused children.
The Club works with public local authorities and with cultural and women’s Clubs in Cremona.
The seat of the Club is Palazzo Cattaneo, a historical palace in the centre of Cremona, town of art.