Placemaking: where puppets meet Canederli.

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Our last meeting, on February 28th, was really interesting! We went on the terrace and started from the analysis of some practical aspects that were pointed out during the community meeting the week before. We divided in two groups, one realized a map of the parking lot which is in front of the terrace and the second went in the neighbourhood to choose the right spots to put the signage on.

We are finally arrived at the moment when all we’ve planned and discussed during the meeting have to be done. The parking lot has to draw back for about 80cm and the signage, either the red thread or the arrows, has to be placed. I was in the second group and, during our patrol, we had the chance to visit the new book store that opened in the neighbourhood.

After that, we all moved together to the Teatro di Figura to meet Mario Mirabassi and to continue thinking about the terrace/drawing some ideas about the furniture. Mario, as always, was really happy to have the chance to explain us a bit deeper the activities of the TFU. He told us that the TFU, which is a travelling theatre, mostly performs shows using modern characters rather than traditional ones and rivisiting fairy tales. He told us the different components that belong to the Teatro d’Animazione e Figura (not the one in Perugia but the general branch of this figurative art): marionettes (moved with strings), puppets (moved with hands), shadows and objects. The Mario, and the TFU in general, are in particular experts of puppets. He created and mastered a personal technique that allows the performer to move puppets in unusual ways, impossible with the normal techniques, using a specific mechanical system. He also told us about a lot of events TFU is involved in such as the huge manifestation in July called “Figuriamoci…di essere bambini” (which is a word pun in Italian) which attracts more than forty thousand people from all the Europe. He also talked about the carnival tradition in Perugia especially regarding the Bartoccio, a local mask, and the story of this character. He was a farmer that lived next to the river Tevere and, once in a year, came to the city of Perugia to sell his products. He didn’t understand the traditions of the city and its rules together with the behaviour of the citizens. So he started criticizing writing on papers some rhymes in the dialect of Perugia; those were called “Bartocciate” (he was a literate farmer!). During the Carnival, as a tradition, someone has to perform the role of the Bartoccio and, since few years, Mario has been nominated the new Bartoccio of the city!

Mario also showed the room in which all the puppets are held in; it’s like the Harem of puppets.

After the lesson some of us went to a bar/confectionery in order to wait to 7,45 pm because we had our class dinner to the “Do Pazzi” restaurant in Borgo Bello. Also David Grohmann joined us! We all enjoyed the evening; really great food and atmosphere! We all had fun and had the change to know deeper each other. We also had the chance to meet Mrs Lorenzo who is fantastic and not only because she, as me, comes from Naples. We had a really nice time remembering our city, talking about our roots and, I have to admit it, criticizing a bit something that we still don’t understand of Perugia and Perugians. One of my favourite sentences says “A man can leave Naples but Naples will never leave a man”.

I really enjoyed this day and i sincerely hope to repeat the dinner experience!

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