Summer in Italy, never a dull moment (1)

Although they are desperately keen to attract tourists, most Italian cities manage not to forget their own residents when the summer season arrives. Take Rome. If you look on the cit’s official Estate Romana website you can see what’s on in the week to come and here’s a guide in English that those who don’t yet read Italian may find useful:


Renato Nicolini of the Estate Romana

The Estate Romana was the brainchild of the late Renato Nicolini (1942-2012) who from 1976 to 1985 was the Commissioner of Culture for successive, leftwing city administrations under mayors Giulio Carlo Argan e Luigi Petroselli. The idea, which has left its mark over succeeding decades, albeit, alas, in a somewhat watered down version (less money, less passion), was to provide cinema, theatre, dance, and music throughout the city, in both downtown and outlying areas of the capital. Some accused Nicolini of elitism but, believe me, there really was something for everyone so that Romans who couldn’t afford to leave the city for le vacanze could still wind down, cool off and have fun. Just think of the success that the outdoor cinema program had. In summer 1981, close to 10,000 people turned out (I was there, too) to see Abel Gance’s brilliant silent film, Napoléon, on Via di S. Gregorio in the shadow of the Coliseum. Rest in peace, Renato. You really did make a difference!


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