Tag Archive: emilia romagna


ROCKIN’ 1000 – THAT’S LIVE : Orogel Stadium, Cesena, Italy 24th July 2016

arockin4Talkin’ ’bout a revolution?

Well, if you define a revolution as a popular uprising for the common good of the people, then that is exactly what we witnessed last night at a soccer stadium in Cesena in a unique event organized by Rockin’1000.

This time last year Cesena rocked the world with a one-off mass performance of ‘Learn To Fly’.

The stirring video of this went viral and brought tears to the eyes of Dave Grohl. It achieved the goal of getting The Foo Fighters to play in this small provincial town in Emilia-Romagna (Population 97,000) .

This is the video:

arockin1

For those about to rock. How the stadium looked before the start of the show.

This year, the aim was to kick ass worldwide once again and play, not just one song, but a full concert.

As before this was the brainchild/wild dream of Fabio Zaffagnini a modest spokesman for the project who is always at pains to point out that this a team mission that could not succeed without others having the same level of passion, creativity, madness and belief in miracles.
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I haven’t eaten meat or fish for the past forty years and in all that time I have never been remotely tempted to regress. On the contrary, I am now trying to stop consuming ALL animal related products and switch to a completely plant-based diet.

The wisdom of following a vegetarian lifestyle is, to my mind, beyond dispute and arguments for taking this one step further towards veganism are equally compelling.

Not succulent, tasty or nice.

Not succulent, tasty or nice.

It is relatively easy to explain why I don’t eat raw steak, ground veal or chicken legs but the processes that lie behind the mass production of eggs, milk and cheese are just as closely tied to barbaric factory farming methods. You don’t have to be overly squeamish or sentimental to see that the routine practices of animal agriculture are increasingly indefensible and unsustainable. Continue reading

Wellness_ValleyThe French are renowned for their zero tolerance towards borrowing words from other languages. Previously I have regarded this as an extremist position but I am beginning to think they have a point. Italians are not so up tight on this issue and the consequences are plain for all to see.

Many schools have ‘Open Days’ , numerous companies adopt tiresome variations of Obama’s  ‘Yes We Can’ slogan and my local gym is peppered with motivational missives like ‘Never Give Up’  and ‘Impossible Is Nothing.

Using such phrases is presumably intended to show that corporate Italy takes an all-encompassing Anglo-American attitude to business, education and leisure pursuits.

Near where I live, the successful Technogym gym equipment company calls itself ‘The Wellness Company’™.  Their  ‘Technogym Village’ is a poncey name for their spanking new HQ which opened in 2013 and is located in what founder Nerio Alessandri has recently named  ‘Wellness Valley’. His stated  aim is to single-handedly create a sporty equivalent of  Silicon Valley in the heart of Emilia-Romagna. Continue reading

malatestianaWith so much of life in Italy blighted by news of economic depression and under the shadow of endless governmental crises,  it was good to be part of an event in my adopted home town of Cesena in Emilia-Romagna that gave cause for optimism and pride.

After many decades of careful planning and patient work, the new central library – La Biblioteca Malatestiana – was finally opened yesterday.

Within the same complex, a 15th century humanist library has been listed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register and justifiably celebrated. Now the needs of 21st century scholars are addressed with the beautifully restored and redesigned building. Continue reading

vegfest-forli-cesena-2013This weekend was the 4th edition of the Veg Fest near my home town of Cesena in Emilia Romagna. This has been an annual event for the past five years (one year was skipped as the original venue fell through).

For the past two years the festival has been held at Parco Fellini in Gambettola, a small town situated midway between Cesena and Rimini.

The organisers are the local group Lega Anti Vivisezione (LAV) whose broad goal  is to promote Vegetarianism/Veganism as a more humane lifestyle choice.

I attend as one of the converted, having been a vegetarian for almost 40 years now. These days, I count myself more as a demi-vegan. To fall short of being a full-on vegan as this would mean the stiff challenge of foregoing most beers, wines, cheeses, cappuccino, dairy ice cream etc. etc. I’m working on it!

It is interesting to note the social changes over the past five years using this Veg Fest as a subjective indicator of some subtle ways in which attitudes are shifting. Continue reading

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