Passions & Places

Festival Adriatico Mediterraneo

Adriatic Mediterranean Festival
Festival Adriatico Mediterraneo

City of Ancona

Le Marche

Sixth edition of the Adriatic Mediterranean Festival                     25 August - 2 September 2012

The Mediterranean becomes the protagonist of eight days of music, plays, original performances and debates. Mare Nostrum is seen as a vibrant and shared space, rich with exchanges and thriving meetings between the peoples and cultures that inhabit its shores.


In order to understand the spirit of the Adriatic Mediterranean Festival, which takes place every year in Ancona during the first week of September, it is necessary to look back at history. A long way back. As stated by Fernand Braudel, the most important historian of the 20th century, “Civilisations travel across time, they triumph over life. They remain masters of their own space, since the territory that they occupy can vary at the margins, but at the heart, in the central area, their domination, their home continues to be the same. Civilisations founder roots even more ancient ¬— far more — than those that brought them to prominence or success, and out of necessity the long duration comes to be part of their nature.”

And so to understand the Mediterranean and therefore the Adriatic, one needs to go back in history, on account of the notion that “the state of being is one of having been.” One only has to start with the fact that the Romans called the Mediterranean Mare Nostrum and had probably borrowed this acceptation from the most ancient population of its coasts: the Pelasgians. Ancient civilisations have always projected their dreams, hopes and desires of cognizance on Mare Nostrum: the blue of the Mediterranean have always invited people to push the boundaries.

The articulation of the Mediterranean — which is also called the Adriatic Sea, or Deti Adriatik, or Jadransko more, or Jadransko morje, to say it with the languages of those who have inhabited it for centuries — makes no difference. Encompassed between the Italian peninsula and the Balkans, it constitutes the appearance, the communication route and the meeting point for many different populations linked by millennia of commercial, cultural and religious exchanges. Indeed, many names and many civilisations, but only a small sea that mixes its borders with a larger one and with which it has always communicated.

The Adriatic Mediterranean Festival, an artistic event that defines the identity of our region — and in particular the city of Ancona — in comparison with other countries in the Adriatic¬–Mediterranean basin and Balkan region, is borne out of the following conditions: the promotion of cohesion and the integration of cultures through a long series of events that, from time to time, favour enrichment, entertainment and reflection. Ancona transforms itself into the ‘Adriatic capital of culture’ for the occasion, hosting dynamic and communicative artistic events, aimed at strengthening a territorial network of human and cultural cooperation.

Every year artists from the entire Adriatic–Mediterranean basin area brighten up the late summer evenings as they are welcomed in many of the most evocative places throughout the city: the Mole Vanvitelliana, a pentagonal island suspended between the sea and the sky, which rather distinctively defines the identity of the port; Arco di Traiano, a triumphal arc among the most elegant and one that “time has not touched, but still breathes an aura of freshness inside, as if an eternally thriving life and a soul that never ages had been infused within it”; the Theatre of the Muses, reopened in 2002 and one of the protagonists in the great cultural rebirth of the city; the Synagogue, a testimony to the heterogeneous cultural origins of the city and to the ancient roots of the Jewish community in Ancona, also visible in the Campo degli Ebrei: a kind of open-air museum inside Cardeto Park. And in piazzas, churches and palaces.

The festival constitutes an important moment for reflection on themes historically linked to our Mediterranean — principally the sea’s role as a vehicle for possibility and a fountain of life, but also as a cultural barrier and an obstacle — and on other themes of a more pressing nature like globalisation or the expansion of Europe towards the east. It has become an out-and-out project in search of a stronger fellowship between culture and cooperation, open to international and local institutions and one that year by year broadens the participation of other countries and their artists. Through music, plays, debates and unforeseen shows, Mare Nostrum rediscovers its true identity and becomes a symbol of a living and shared reality constructed by humans and ideas for the future but founded on the consciousness of a common story.

Special Thanks to:

Municipality of Ancona

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