Garfagnana: Roots, Identity and Memory

21 May 2024

4 minutes

“Garfagnana: Roots, Identity and Memory” is a program of initiatives carried out by the Union of Municipalities of Garfagnana, through the five municipalities participating in the Ministerial Call for the Year of Italian Roots in the World during the summer and autumn of 2024.

Here is a brief description of each event being organized, which will be subject to further development and communicated in a more precise manner at a later stage.

Castiglione Di Garfagnana

1) SAN PELLEGRINO IN ALPE – CONCERT OF THE ROOTS of classical music – with some arias by Giacomo Puccini, a composer of Lucca origin, whose centenary of his death falls in 2024 – in collaboration with the Associazione Musica Arte Cultura Aps (Ama Cultura) and the ASD of Chiozza, which will take place on August 1 in the hamlet of San Pellegrino in Alpe for the Cambio della Croce, the centuries-old feast of Saints Pellegrino and Bianco and in which the Cross placed the previous year at the end of the “pier” was replaced, and which saw a strong participation of emigrants who returned for the occasion to their places of origin, bringing with them on their return a wooden notch of the old cross.

2) CHIOZZA – CONCERT OF THE ROOTS during the Feast of the Patron Saint St. Bartholomew (August 24th), also the name of a place in São Paulo (Brazil) with a strong presence of Chiozzini emigrants.

Vergemoli Factories

1) VERGEMOLI – 52nd edition of the BOCCABUGIA annual contest of extemporaneous poetry in Garfagnana dialect on the afternoon of Sunday 11 August. Free of charge and promoted by the Authority, Associations and local traders, since 2001 it has been presented by the actor Paolo Ruffini, honorary citizen of Fabbriche di Vergemoli, who in 2023 directed a docufilm focused on the territorial identity of the event. Citizens who live in the village and emigrants who live abroad come together to organize the day.

2) PERMANENT OPEN-AIR PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION curated by ANDREA CALISSI, local photographer who followed the entire course of the filming of the docufilm, immortalizing the faces of the characters of Vergemoli who will be exhibited in the streets of the village thanks to the installation of a permanent photographic exhibition, an attraction for tourists and original emigrants. The exhibition will be inaugurated on August 11, 2024 during the Boccabugia by Paolo Ruffini. It will be set up every year in the summer and can be visited at all hours of the day and evening.


1) FESTA DELL’EMIGRANTE on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September in the hamlet of Migliano. An opportunity for communities and emigrants who return to their places of origin in the summer, and for public recognition of the phenomenon of emigration that will be inaugurated with the Emigrant Concert in collaboration with the “I Ragazzi del Giglio” Music Band, and will continue throughout Sunday with workshops on emigration for children, guided tours of the excellence and craftsmanship of the area, food tastings and conferences. A conference space will be set up to give voice to the protagonists and scholars who have reflected so much on the theme of emigration – broadcast live on social media with the circles of emigrants – and their descendants – originally from the territory. The emigrants – or their descendants present – will be rewarded with a symbolic ceremony by the Mayor.

San Romano in Garfagnana

1) WONDERFUL LANDS (second edition) from 26 to 29 September, a Festival of nature, fantasy, traditions, games, gastronomy and musical and theatrical entertainment to promote natural, historical and cultural riches in an original way with the involvement of schools and interested parties from all over the world. An initiative of great attraction for returning tourists who will be able to discover new aspects of the places of family origin and immerse themselves in traditions. During the event, the Affective Citizenships of the ParcoAppennino nel Mondo project will be awarded.

2) AUTUMN FESTIVAL on Sunday 29 September in the hamlet of Orzaglia, an identity and gastronomic initiative where you can learn about the typical products of all the hamlets thanks to the associations, in which the Affective Citizenships will be delivered.

Villa Collemandina

1) Project of historical and cultural enhancement on the figure of Astor Piazzolla: 4th edition of the Festival “SOY…! THE RAIZ”. The project intends to continue the path of historical-cultural enhancement on the figure of Astor Piazzolla through a series of actions aimed at rediscovering the origin and locally enhancing the figure of the story of a particular illustrious character, Maestro Astor Piazzolla, with origins from the territory and born in Mar del Plata in Argentina. (8 events from June to September in the villages of the Municipality).

2) CORFINO – NATIONAL COMPETITION OF EXTEMPORANEOUS PAINTING from 2 to 4 August, three days dedicated to painting with artists from all over the world. On the Sunday of the award ceremony, the Affective Citizenships are awarded.
In all the events, roots workshops and institutional moments of sharing will be organized.

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