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Spotlights on town of art

Di Antonio Caneva English translation Paola Pr, 1 Giugno 2001

Italy is a country of many facets and peculiarities. Fully aware of this is architect Lanfranco Viola, who has developed a project precisely based on his confidence in the significant growth potential of niche tourism in Italy, and, in Ferrara, has designed an all but ordinary tool for the promotion of smaller Italian towns – the fair of towns of art. What is out of the ordinary is Lanfranco Viola’s concrete and constructive attitude, quite distinguished from the vacuous superficiality that is typical, for instance, of round-table professionals. For four days, the town of Ferrara has been involved in an all-encompassing experience – a sequence of events, meetings and games such as I did not imagine could be organised by a private structure. Strolling in the centre of Ferrara, in the square, you find the tents hosting the participating towns; in the cloister there is an aperitif party, with a concert of Verdi’s best arias (we are indeed in the Emilia region!); at the Communal Palace the Turin Province displays its projects, while at the Ripagrande hotel a meeting is under way on the theme of wellness tourism. Simultaneously, should all that not be enough, jugglers exhibit themselves in the streets, and in the fair pavilions a workshop with foreign operators has just ended. Ferrara is certainly beautiful on a springtime night, but just as beautiful are the many towns of art that are presented under the tents. The fortunate thing in our country is that there is always someone who- though being small, compared with the scale of the undertaking – has the genius to think big, and succeeds in doing excellent things which benefit the entire community. Lanfranco Viola is one of such people, and meeting him – after having attended a conference where a big shot of the moment delighted in listening to his own pompous voice ranting banalities – is definitely refreshing, and helps to reconcile with a world that is too often superficial.

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