You take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
There are many ways a citizen can describe the place where he or she lives.
What guided us in Cesenatico is a foundational element of narrative work: the urgency of the story we want to tell, the desire to share an experience, whether lived or imagined.
And that’s where our ability to see expands, not so much in breadth (in fact, the focus of many Heritage Guardians was a little detail that might escape a distracted eye, such as a bench on the dock, or the “eyes” of a fishing boat), as in depth. In this process, every corner of Cesenatico came alive with stories, faces, voices, sounds, smells, tactile memories, seasons of the soul, intimate conversations: “In a sweltering summer day, I find myself collecting, as always, the key to the Moretti House Museum. I turn it in the lock and open the door, with no need to ring the bell. It is as if you, Marino, were here waiting for me…”.
Fourteen citizens (fishermen, cooks, accountants, teachers, librarians, former city officials…) set out to find a corner of the city answering their most pressing questions: how do you preserve the memory of a world which cannot, must not be forgotten? what is the place you keep returning to, so as to let your mind wander? where can the hidden scent of old fishing vessels be retrieved? how do you relive the anguish of not seeing your father’s boat make its way to port? where does the deepest feeling of family and community reside?
An audio-trail dense with emotions and affection towards Cesenatico took shape from the answers these citizens found to their questions – a journey triggering not only in them, but also in fellow “cesenaticensi” and visitors, a new way of looking at cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible.
Click here to listen to the fourteen stories (available in Italian, English and German).
The “Heritage Guardians” series is a project of Formula Servizi’s Culture and Tourism Department, designed and implemented by Silvia Brecciaroli and Paola Cimatti.
Narrative work curated by Simona Bodo and Maria Grazia Panigada, Patrimonio di Storie.
Audio-trail and original soundtrack by Benedetta Annibali and Arturo Stalteri.
Translations by Naomi Colley (English) and Birgit Neuper (German).