Faenza, everything is ready for the Festival of gullies and blue clays

Faenza, everything is ready for the Festival of gullies and blue clays
Faenza, everything is ready for the Festival of gullies and blue clays

From today to 4 July and from 19 to 26 September, the Carlo Zauli Museum presents the third edition of the Festival of gullies and blue clays, with the aim of enhancing the geographical area of ​​the “gullies of blue clays” – as defined by Leonardo da Vinci in the well-known Hammer Code – included between the territories of Faenza, Brisighella, Riolo Terme, Castel Bolognese.

The gullies are what remains of the sandy bottoms of the prehistoric sea of ​​millions of years ago and are structured as ridges cloaked in sweet broom, orchids and a species that grows only among these clays, the Cretaceous artemisia: a territory that includes terraces panoramic views, breathtaking views, fine clays, thermal water sources, vineyards and high-level crops and which is the subject of countless narratives. In just a few square kilometres, this area contains naturalistic and cultural wonders, and is a source of inspiration for many artists, in particular for Carlo Zauli, one of the most important ceramists and sculptors of the twentieth century, who dedicated a large part of his work to these lands.


This year too the Festival offers a large en plein air programme: exhibitions, workshops and performances of visual arts, theatre, dance, poetic readings, concerts, installations between architecture and design, food and wine tastings, yoga and Biogymnastics® workshops, cultural treks , meetings linked to environmental sustainability, involving schools, academies, training courses, individuals, groups, cultural associations, with the aim of creating a real Calanques Cultural Park, whose symbol – the Blue Clay Pavilion designed by the Studio Bartoletti Cicognani – was installed in the Dinosaur Panoramic Point (via Pideura, halfway between Oasi and Bulzaga).

Culture and landscape

«A project of cultural tourism and valorization of a territory in which culture becomes an expression of the landscape – declared Mauro Felicori, Councilor for Culture and Landscape of the Region – This Festival has an educational and laboratory vocation, which involves schools, academies, training courses, individuals, groups, cultural associations, with a style that has the symbolic value of the harmony between man and landscape, between culture and nature”.

Creativity and millenary civilization

For Massimo Isola, Mayor of Faenza, «the Festival of gullies and blue clays is a pleasant surprise that is consolidated. Born as a laboratory project, in just three years it is consolidating itself as one of the most innovative and strongest cultural events in the city. It is an event that seeks to bring together the valorization and promotion of the creative, cultural and Faenza fabric with that of the landscape. The gullies are by definition the meeting between nature and culture, which generated the material that man was then able to transform into ceramic. There is a thousand-year-old civilization behind the gullies: they were the place of clay production, but they were also the place of the aesthetic and pictorial imagination of our lands.”

Stories and legends

Matteo Zauli, director of the Carlo Zauli Museum, added: «Many stories and legends were born among the lands of the badlands. And it is here that in Roman times the clays of the gullies began to be used to produce ceramics, which would later become famous throughout the world during the Renaissance: the Faenze. Even Leonardo da Vinci in the Hammer Codex, the most precious document in the world, mentions this landscape, giving these lands the name that still distinguishes them today. But even after Leonardo, the gullies have continued to inspire many artists at all times. Carlo Zauli, for example, had a unique connection with the gullies, which he considered a truly inspirational landscape.”

International presences

The third edition of the Festival of gullies and blue clays will see some international presences, such as the Japanese Noriko Yamaguchi, among the artists protagonists of the Azzurro fragili exhibition, together with Sergia Avveduti, Gilberto Bucci, Gaia Carboni, Jacopo Casadei, Marco Ceroni, Silvia Chiarini , Barbara Deponti, Oscar Dominguez, Francesco Nonni, Giovanni Pini, Cesare Reggiani, Andrea Salvatori, Marco Samorè, Noriko Yamaguchi, Carlo Zauli, Monica Zauli.

The Colombian sculptor Juan Esteban Sandoval will propose, in collaboration with the Greek musician George Moraitis, a performance with sound sculptures, while his compatriots Zoe Drakopoulou, Petros Roussos, Iannis Sioutis, will create an unprecedented traveling performance.

There will then be the participation of Save the Children, who will create a highly original activity dedicated to children, while a reminder of the Festival will then be held in September with the presence of Enrico Malatesta, who applies his work to the sound investigation of the production of artefacts in ceramics, and by the internationally renowned ceramic sculptor Alfredo Gioventù.

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