Last night saw Livorno launch one of its greatest summer events: Effetto Venezia. In fact, from July 26th to August 4th the ancient streets and bridges of the New Venice district are hosting the 28th edition of this happening. Notwithstanding its name the New Venice district retains much of the original town planning and architectural features, in a dense network of canals that once served to link Livorno’s warehouses to the port, having been the only area to survive the massive bombing of the town centre during the Second World War. This is the real historic centre of this town, which since the Middle Ages was an international, strategic port and to later become an enlightened European city.
Since 1986, every summer, the bridges and narrow lanes of the New Venice district are enlivened by the stalls, shows, buskers and cultural events of Effetto Venezia. Every year a different international theme: 2010 it was the “Scents of Spain”, 2011 “la Douce France”, 2012 “Mythical Greece”, this year is the turn of “la Bella Italia”.
With 15 stages and over 80 events, this year’s programme kicked off last evening with the show of Gaetano Triggiano, one of the world’s greatest illusionists. This evening, 27th July, there will be the White Night Festival together with the Palio dell’Antenna, an ancient medieval rowing race.
Events will continue until the grand finale Sunday 4th August with Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto performed in Piazza XX Settembre. Every day the Hall of Arches in the old red-brick fortress of Fortezza Nuova will host the performance of “The Five Italian Rooms”, 5 plays of 10 minutes each centred on 5 important characters of Italian history. Also every day the Medicean Moats will lend their meanders and gangways to the adventurous journey of Dante Alighieri through the circles of Inferno of the Divine Comedy in, precisely, the “Hellish Moats”.
As always there will also be street artists, marching bands, itinerant concerts, classical concerts, exhibitions, and much more, not to forget the many different food stalls with dishes from all over the world, in memory of the internationality that has always characterized this beautiful port town on the Etruscan Coast.