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Pilot action in Forli Atrium and Festival of '900

by Maria Maltoni, Conselor for Tourism, Municipality of Forli and Patrick Leech, Counselor for Culture and International Relations, Municipality of Forli

June 2013

Forlì is a member of the Art Cities of Emilia Romagna because of the various monuments dating from different periods as well as the art works that can be founder in the city. With the conclusion of the ATRIUM project and the presence of Forlì within the European Cultural Route of the Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes in Urban Memory, the question arises as to how this historical and architectural legacy can be made into an opportunity.

The buildings, linked to the urban development of the city between the two wars, with all the historical, social, political and institutional implications behind this development, can become an opportunity for cultural tourism not only for specialists. This has nothing to do with any supposed clemency towards a period which denied basic political freedoms to Italy for twenty years and which ended in the horror of the Racial Laws and war. Quite the opposite: making this heritage available, cataloguing and restoring it, helps us to avoid cancelling this history. The interest in the historical legacy left by the totalitarian regimes, in fact, can be seen in a wider European context, one which includes not only the architectural legacy of the Fascist period but also that relating to the Stalinist period which marked much of eastern Europe, a similarly awkward heritage. The European Cultural Route ATRIUM, in fact, includes Italy as well as a series of countries of south-east Europe,with the intention of enlarging the partnership to other countries in the future. The concluding events of the ATRIUM project, therefore, aim to explore the architectural and urban character of this heritage, with in addition a series of cultural, theatrical, musical and historical events and exhibitions. In addition, the project has produced multimedial material as well as tourist information which allow the visitors to Forlì to choose their own visitor pathway, on foot or by bicycle, in the classic tradition of Romagna.

To promote the Cultural Route from a tourist point of view, the cultural events linked to ATRIUM have been supported by the organisation of a “Festival of the Twentieth Century”, a collection of events which involve the whole Forlì area including five towns of the district: Bertinoro, Castrocaro Terme-Terra del Sole, Predappio, Forlimpopoli and Cesenatico. The guiding principle is to propose a visit to the area which, starting from rationalist and monumentalist architecture, is able to include all that the cities can offer in terms of art, events and food.

The European Cultural Route of the Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes, then, offers the opportunity for a cultural and critical tourism which, taking as its starting point architecture and the often problematic legacy of totalitarian regimes of the past, develops along the lines of a more traditional tourism and the search for traditions and characteristics of the area.

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