In a city where art and beauty are everywhere, there has to be a festival to celebrate them! Guests from all around the world celebrate beauty in a range of venues, including Verona's historic theatres. The schedule is with events featuring illustrious names from the world of art and show business.
What does beauty mean to you? Many writers and poets have tried to describe the feelings which beauty triggers but the concept itself is ephemeral, something which cannot be explained and which does not require explanation.
"Beauty doth of itself persuade the eyes of men without orator." (William Shakespeare)
It is abstract yet we can see and feel it. Something which triggers joy in us.
What was the inspiration for Festival of Beauty?
I think Verona was already the quintessential city for cultural tourism. People visit the city simply because it is beautiful.
They don’t come for the nightlife or to relax like you would at a holiday resort. It is not famous for its outdoor activities, even though it has much to offer in that respect, but it is known for its art.
Everyone associates Verona with Romeo and Juliet, and therefore with the works of Shakespeare, and opera in the Arena. Do you agree? In these ideal surroundings, the idea of the Festival of Beauty came completely naturally. The aim is to celebrate all arts which have inherent beauty, the ones which can inspire positive emotions in us. All cultural and artistic forms are celebrated here, including philosophers, actors, musicians, film makers, art critics and writers. Verona becomes an advocate for art and a national stage for culture, reflecting on beauty in all its forms.
The theatres of the Festival of Beauty
An association called Idem, with the support of the city council, has organised this month-long event since 2014, a series of cultural happenings held between May and June in the city’s oldest theatres.
The historic venues for the events are: the Teatro Romano, Giardino Giusti, the Teatro Filarmonico and the Arena. In recent years these have been joined by theatres in Mantua, Vicenza and the Vittoriale in Gardone on Lake Garda.
The hope is to grow the event with the involvement of historic theatres from across the whole of Italy. But why theatres and not in a piazza? I would say that the main reason is that theatres are a place where beauty takes centre stage. Indeed, the theatres chosen are historic ones, with a timeless beauty where great writers, directors, singers and actors have expressed this concept for centuries.
There is also the practical aspect. The events have a theatrical format, with images, films and live music, so a theatre is well suited to the format.
If you love art and cultural tourism and beauty in general, I'll see you at the end of May! The festival is just one aspect of the art which can be found in Verona, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Who needs any more reason to explore the beauty of its artistic and natural monuments?