Tiber extravaganza launches travel writing festival

Pallazzetto Mattei, the hub of the festival

ROME-The Eternal City's travel writing festival launched its new programme with a special Tiber boat trip, underlining how great journeys are at our fingertips. 

 One of the final fixtures of the summer events programme ‘Estate Romana,' the main festival will take place Sept. 25 – 28, with peripheral events beginning Sep. 18 and continuing through October and beyond. The festival celebrates representations of travel in all its forms, through literature, photography, journalism, cinema and theatre, and in previous years has won awards for its array of talks and exhibitions.

 Now in its seventh year, the festival staged a launch event on this scale for the first time. The event on the Tiber, hosted by the Roman swimming society, was so well attended that it was standing room only in the conference room. The event was inspired, as explained swimming society president Dante Mortet, by the fact that so few Romans have actually been out on the river, and that great, unexpected journeys can begin on our doorstep. In a festival that celebrates all corners of the globe, it is important to organisers to evoke great local journeys in not only Lazio but also Italy as a whole. The interactive exhibition on the Tiber valley, opening Sept. 27 at Palazzetto Mattei, is sure to further this aim.

 This year festival president Franco Salvatori is excited to announce a programme more varied than ever with more than 40 events. Palazzetto Mattei is the hive of activity for the festival, but events will take place across the city. Highlights are to include the exhibition ‘Eritrea. The Red Country: A journey into your past’ at the national prehistoric museum Luigi Pigorini, and ‘Through food’, an exploration of travel through cookery at Palazzetto Mattei. A full program of events, some of which require advance booking, can be found here.

 To explore the link between travelling and story-telling; the festival has teamed up with the libraries of Rome where one event in particular is planned to celebrate the imaginative journeys portrayed in Italian Literature. ‘Travelling with Dante’ anticipates the slew of celebrations organised for next year to honour the 750th birthday of Italy’s most famous literary son. The event is to feature short films inspired by the Divine Comedy. It runs Sept. 18 – 24.