Artisti in Piazza – Closing down the medieval village of Pennabilli for an annual street artist festival

It’s not often that I can say I sat in a conference room with the mayor of a medieval Italian town to talk about my blog. (Yes, this blog.) A few days ago, the BlogVille crew met the fine folks running Pennabilli, a hilltop town in Emilia-Romagna. They welcomed us to their wonderful home prior to the start of perhaps their largest celebration.

The name of the city derives from two formal rivals, those living in the castles at Penna and those at Billi. In the 16th century, they joined together to form the city now known as Pennabilli. Today, the city houses notable art installations by poet and intellectual Tonino Guerra, as well as attractions like meditation gardens and Tibetan bells donated from the Dalai Lama. More relevant to this post, Pennabilli hosts an annual three-day festival known as Artisti in Piazza – Festival Internazionale dell’Arte in Strada (“Artists in the Piazza – The International Festival of Street Art”), drawing innovative entertainers from around the world to their cobblestone streets.

If you should ever find yourself in Emilia-Romagna during the time of this festival, do yourself a favor and join in on the fun. It’s full of good people, great shows and really delicious food. Even without Artisti in Piazza, Pennabilli is a beautiful place to visit, as evidenced by the videos and photos below.

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Artisti in Piazza - Lords of Strut perform in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II

Pennabilli - Orto dei Frutti Dimenticati

Pennabilli - View from the top of the hill

Pennabilli - Tibetan bells donated from the Dalai Lama

Pennabilli - View from the top of the hill

Artisti in Piazza - Streets of Pennabilli

Artisti in Piazza - Pennabilli man watches from his window

Artisti in Piazza - Yukinko Akira rocks out while painting

Artisti in Piazza - Bluegrass duo performing in the Pennabilli streets

Artisti in Piazza - Mobile Cinema

Artisti in Piazza - Italian comic with a Russian act (I think)

Artisti in Piazza - Dare d'Art performs comedy acrobatics

Artisti in Piazza - Dare d'Art performs comedy acrobatics

The sunset over Pennabilli

Artisti in Piazza - Lanterns and looming nightfall in Pennabilli

Artisti in Piazza - Duo performs on stage

Artisti in Piazza - Meat from Emilia-Romagna and gnocco fritto

Artisti in Piazza - A party in the streets of Pennabilli