Once again this year Livorno’s old Venezia district will host the annual Effetto Venezia festival that, since it began twenty three years ago , has built up a reputation for the high standards of its events and organisation. The festival takes place over a period of ten days and this year it all begins on 1st August.
The theme of the event this year is La Poesia e i Popoli ('poetry and peoples') inspired by a sentiment of international understanding between people from different countries and cultures. Arts and crafts, music and dance, theatre and prose, canal trips, children's entertainment, al fresco dining, and lots lots more...
It is hard to sum up what Effetto Venezia is all about. Over the years it has developed into a complex and highly diversified combination of music, art, theatre, poetry, cabaret and crafts, with something to appeal to all ages and all tastes.
People come to Livorno from all over the region during the festival, to a highly suggestive setting – the historic Venezia district with its web of canals that glisten in the streetlight after dark. From 9pm each evening the area buzzes with life as visitors stroll around, taking in the spectacle, browsing around craft stalls, stopping to watch an itinerant show, or enjoying the cooler evening air from one of the many restaurant tables.
The many venues for the wide array of events that take place throughout the festival include Livorno’s two remarkable forts – the Fortezza Vecchia and the Fortezza Nuova, which mark the boundary of the Venezia district at either side. Other venues (see below) now spread beyond the Venezia district itself to the heart of the city centre where the entertainment continues.
This year’s nightly entertainment venues are as follows:
Piazza dei Domenicani – Città dei Bambini, children’s entertainment nightly
Fortezza Nuova – (on the area of grass outside the fort), concerts at 10.30pm
Piazza del Luogo Pio – theatre and music at 9pm
Bottini dell’Olio, Viale Caprera – poetry and choirs from 9.30pm
Via di Santa Caterina – poetry, theatre and music from 10pm
Scali Finocchietti – from ethnic to classical music (10.45pm), and theatre in the cloister (9.30pm)
Via Traversa – poetry and theatre at 9.30pm
Piazza Cavallotti (near Central Market)– concerts and shows at 9.30pm
Fortezza Vecchia – theatre (11.30pm)and poetry readings (9.30pm), and music ‘til the early hours
Piazza dei Legnami – Cittadella del Gusto – the Slow Food organisation and FISAR sommeliers’ association host a series of tasting sessions and food and wine workshops (10.30pm)
Centro Donna, Largo Strozzi, - a whole host of events with a female theme, from poetry to belly dancing, from 9pm.
During Effetto Venezia, participating restaurants displaying the Effetto Venezia 2008 sign, will be offering special inclusive menus at €10, €15 and €20.
Painting and Sculpture - Bottini dell’Olio, Viale Caprera –from 25 July to 17 August (Tuscan artists)
Poesia del contrasto - Fortezza Nuova, Sala degli Archi – photographic exhibition by Jacopo Querci
Scoprire Livorno (discover Livorno) - Camera di Commercio (Chamber of Commerce), Sala Gorgona, Piazza del Municipio 48 – exhibition of ancient manuscripts and documents from 18th-19th centuries. Showing of the films “Livorno segreta” e “Scoprire Livorno”.
Egypt: Arte e Mistero (art and mystery) - Camera di Commercio (Chamber of Commerce), Sala Elba, Piazza del Municipio 48 – works by Florentine artist Alessandro Benassai
Burkina Faso. Ritratti dal popolo degli uomini integri - Palazzo della Provincia, Piazza del Municipio – photographic exhibition by Pino Bertelli
Una città pulita è motivo di allegria (‘a clean city is a reason to be cheerful’) - Fortezza Vecchia – results of the schools anti –graffiti project involving 30 primary school classes.
Arnold Mario dall’O – Church of the Luogo Pio
Centro Donna, Largo Strozzi 1 - “Cento di queste donne” (‘one hundred of these women’), “Viaggio in Tanzania” (‘Journey to Tanzania’), “La Bacheca Manidistrega” (‘the Manidistrega Noticeboard’), “Le donne, i fiori e la poesia” (‘women, flowers and poetry’).
Galleria Blu Cammello - Via San Marco, 24 – “Un certo modo di essere nel mondo” by Riccardo Bargellini. From 1 August to 5 September
Homage to Mario Madiai - Piazza dei Domenicani 1/3, c/o Circolo Dipendenti Difesa
Gare remiere: un’antica tradizione di Livorno, città del mare (Rowing competitions: an ancient tradition in Livorno, the city by the sea) - Via Borra 35, Palazzo Huigens
For further information about festival events, see the What's On pages