The “Festival dei Boschi” is an event taking place in San Romolo near Sanremo and wants to trigger social change through the art-education as well as valorise the territory behind Sanremo. It also represents a moment of popular aggregation at the lowest price possible. The festival artists propose cultural and recreational activities engaging the participants, turning them into the real protagonists of the Festival. The location, the “Prato di San Romolo” is highly symbolic because, since the Middle Age, the families from Matuzia – Civitas Sancti Romuli and then Sanremo used to go to collect the firewood, till the introduction of the coal to aliment the heating towards the end of the 19th century. Some episodes of the resistance narrated by Italo Calvino as well as Nazi massacres took place in this location. Here, during the second world war, the “Prato” tried to become a vegetable garden for many starving families cultivating potatoes. Therefore, the “Prato” is an important symbol of roots and freedom at the same time.
During the Festival, the activities proposed to the participants of all ages are diverse and partly change according to the topic of the year: Festival 2015 “Quando la Terra diventa Arte”, Festival 2016 “Natura, comunità, arte”, Festival 2017 “Al ritmo della Terra ”, Festival 2018 “Come in un cerchio“, Festival 2019 “Riscoprendo” and the work in progress Festival 2020 “Ponti di terra e di mani”. The hikes follow paths of San Romolo -Monte Caggio, San Romolo – Monte Bignone, Bajardo – San Romolo, Perinaldo – San Romolo. Regarding the discovery of the territory, there is also the possibility to go on bike tours of several difficulty levels on the San Romolo – Passo Ghimbegna-Sanromolo ring. There is also the opportunity to discover local plants, birds and other wild fauna, food and infusions. Nature’s roof is the sky, and more and more people stay or come on purpose at night to observe the stars and the moon by the naked eye and/or with a telescope.
The art and handicrafts workshops use mainly natural materials such as wood, clay, wool and yarn or work putting the body in action thanks to the theatre, mime, and the martial art. The music workshops entail singing, music, and dance. Moreover, we try to keep a minimal approach towards light and amplification equipment in order to enjoy as much as possible the music as it is produced naturally by the hands of the musicians. The music played and danced often belongs to a variety of folk traditions ranging from the Occitan repertoire up to the Celtic, Mediterranean, or other popular traditions all over the world.
Narrator of the Festival, since the second edition of the festival we gave birth to the figure of the storyteller: it is played by a popular educator that recovers the ancient tradition of the Italian storytellers by telling important stories of the “Prato” or inspired by it.
Year after year, the Festival is representing an opportunity to create cohesion among different cultural realities present in Sanremo and surroundings, as well as the economic realities of the territory, in particular San Romolo.