Italy's living theatres

Art is seen all over Italy; a country with an immense reservoir of works, often of unusual value, carefully preserved in museums, churches, privately owned palaces, and grandiose villas. Likely, because of such ubiquitous and pervasive influence, Italians grow up with an extra gene designated to justifying their artistic abilities and unusual capacity to invent something unexpected even in the most unusual circumstance.

At the Rome International Film Festival a few years ago, large artifacts (fig. 1) were placed in outdoor spaces, reminiscent of Roman classical works. I, however, found the many artists (fig. 2) throughout the piazze of small and large towns well worth discussing. A violinist (fig. 3) performs wonderful baroque music wearing the perfect outfit. Roman soldiers and gladiators (figs. 4, 5) can be seen around the Eternal City, while medieval exhibitions (fig. 6) are often enjoyed when visiting historic small towns and villages. Traditional sagra are preserved and celebrated, usually featuring the banda del paese (fig. 7) playing for visitors and local people.

The Carnevale is certain to bring out surprising performers (figs. 8, 9) as do soccer matches with their faithful fans (fig. 10, 11). Italy is truly a place with infinite surprises awaiting the visitor, where the street has been called a “living theater.” Just keep your eyes open and your camera always ready!