A tiny town, quiet enough to taste its slow rhythm, but very alive and full of history. Forli, founded by the romans as a military “castrum” and a point of control on the via Emilia (Emilia Romagna main road), had its major historical highlight in the medieval period. Mercuriale, the first abbot, founded the abbey that takes his name. The bell tower ( you can visit it but remember the 273 steps) spires high on the square, even over the palace of the City Council, once the headquarter of the Lord of the town. As many historical matters here in Romagna, the history of Mercuriale, the protector of the town, is a mysterious legend.
Piazza Saffi: where everything began
The Piazza Saffi is the center of the town: monday and friday a big market covers and colors this huge square where Mr Saffi’s statue looks at the ancient palaces in one of the short sides.
This is the place of my childhood, when I used to run after the pigeons and eat my gelato with mom and dad. Beside the church, romanic style, there is the cloister. Here young people use to meet in summer and enjoy the cool air.
Since then, the town has changed a lot. The University has established a branch of some faculties, collecting a lot of students coming from all over Italy.
The square, which three years ago celebrated 800 years from its foundation (see my old posts about it) , is also the place of the main events in town, such as the Settimana of Buon Vivere and the Green Night, that since 2014 are together.
The Green Night in Forlì and the Social Street Dinner
A true, honest, chaotic happening that shows all that can make our life sustainable: energy, food, green mobility, recycle, and last but not least the Social Street Dinner.
I met Raffaella, the president of the Association Regnoli 41 with the fellow bloggers of the Settimana del Buon Vivere. It’s 7 pm and via Giorgio Regnoli, so is the name of the street is already prepared for dinner. A long, long table, longer every year, runs along the street that, in a few years has become an example of social managing an integration.
Via Regnoli was one of the luxury street when I was a child. Here wealthy people used to come and buy high quality goods and for me was the street of my favourite toys shop. Through the years many shops closed and the street became the favourite spot for robberies and other criminal activities.
Raffaella and a few others decided to gather together, create an association, and convince all the shop remained, included the new ones managed by foreign immigrants to give the street a new life.
A challenge that Raffaella and the others won, creating one of the first social street in Italy with its own open air museum.
Every year the social street dinner is the main event that gathers over 400 people together, eating, talking, sharing food. How does it works? Very simple, they prepare the table, you take your own food and wine, dishes and forks and you take your seat. Everyone will be happy to share the table with you and you will have the chance to met new people.
A must do in Forlì, if you are here during the Settimana of Buonvivere. We also had the chance to use the bikes of Forlì Sustainable Mobility together with Elisa Giovannetti, assessor for culture and Tourism. Forlì has a very nice cycle lane circuit so that it’s not hard to move from one place to another throughout the town.
If you need more info about the social street and the association Regnoli41, contact Raffaella Orazi via Facebook, here https://www.facebook.com/raffaella.orazi.1