Starting on a High Note: Andrea Bocelli Foundation to Open in Florence

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By Melissa Corsi

Tenor Andrea Bocelli will be heard a lot more around Florence, because the new headquarters of his foundation are in the heart of the city at Palazzo San Firenze.

A ribbon celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and its new home in the Tuscan capital. The organization’s aim is to continue education and build community among youth.

The vocational center, called ABF GlobaLAB, virtually opened on the International Day of Education to foster growth in the arts.

“If human intelligence is not valued, if it’s not put in a useful position for the whole of humanity, it is a terrible shame,” Andrea told Currents News. It’s the reason why he’s using his voice to encourage youth to create and dialogue.

The space took one year to renovate, changing multiple times, after its original use as St. Philip Neri’s Oratories in the 16th century. 

Five hundred years later, Andrea’s wife Veronica Berti, vice chairman of the organization, said this location was “meant to be.”

“And we are waiting for a lot of young people to live inside and to bring their experience to us, so that we can coordinate and empower the talent that every student can bring,” she added.

If we want to hope for a better world, we must work to build it, with the knowledge that good is absolutely stronger than evil, and in the end it will win,” said Andrea. 

They say their position in life gives them the privilege to help and support others and bring a bit of joy to the world.

A small portion of the work the foundation has been able to do in the past 10 years is raise 36 million euros, provide drinking water to 400,000 people who did not have access previously and build nine schools, both in Italy and Haiti. They say this is only the beginning.