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  • Immagine del redattoreCasa delle Agriculture Tullia e Gino

Notte Verde - XII Edition: Agriculture, Utopias and Community Castiglione d’Otranto, 29-31 August

The inferno of the living is not something that will someday be: if there is one, it is already here, the hell that we live in every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept this hell and become a part of it until one cannot see it any more. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and learning: seek out and know how to recognize who and what, in the midst of this inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, and given them space.

This is Marco Polo’s response to Kublai Khan, the great Mongolian warlord, founder of the first Chinese empire, who had spoken to Polo with resignation, saying, “It is all pointless if the final landing place can be none other than the infernal city, and it is there, in the bottom, that in a spiral ever tightening, it swallows up our flow.

This epilogue from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities aptly characterizes the path of the Notte Verde in Castiglione d’Otranto from its very ideation, created and stubbornly recreated year after year in order to bring to light “who and what, in the midst of the inferno, is not inferno,” giving a voice, the role of protagonist, and, most importantly space, without ceding to the obliging temptation that everything is already lost and there is nothing left that we can possible change.

The Notte Verde continues to grow, lending substance to this very conviction. And it provides opportunities for action on a daily basis, helping us to keep from growing numb, so we do not “accept this hell and become a part of it.

This is why this 12th edition couldn’t be dedicated to anyone besides Italo Calvino on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth: he wasn’t “just” a writer and intellectual of incredible depth and weight. He was also a pioneer in the formation of an ecological conscience here in Italy, able to identify and denounce with elegance the extent of environmental degradation during the years of the economic boom (1950’s – 60’s), as well as illustrate the relationship between existential evil and the precarious status of the natural world, corrupted by the choices of human beings, entirely driven by profit.

In his book The Baron in the Trees the main character “understood this: that associations make man stronger and bring out the individual’s best talents, and offer the joy, rarely felt if we remain on our own, of seeing how many honest and good and capable people there are, for whom it’s worthwhile to wish for good things (whereas if we live on our own, the contrary more often happens, of seeing people’s other face, the one that causes us to keep our hand on the hilt guard of our sword).”

The correlation between our guests and the experiences of this year’s Notte Verde are exactly those “for whom it is worthwhile to wish for good things.” And they are also the most ardent proof that our orchestrated and over ten-year-long group effort is made up of research, study, open-mindedness, debate, cultural cross-fertilization, critical reading of our present moment, and growing awareness of the nexus between phenomena. This commitment is based on the rejection of a capitalist system that puts the burden of its own warped nature on those who are weaker and more exposed, on places where riches are extracted for use elsewhere, that benefits and enriches the few, and feeds environmental and social imbalance in epochal proportions. This system today is even more insidious, because it is able to confound (us among many), to mutate our very lexicon (“organic” and “sustainable” for example), to appropriate virtuous practices, emptying them of any meaning, as they are twisted into other purposes (look no farther than the speculation around re-forestry practices by way of green-washing).

The Notte Verde over the years has seen a growth in reputation precisely because it has not given in to attempts to flatter and pollute its true meaning. It will continue to have meaning as long as it is able to resist capitulating to these forces and continue digging deep into and understanding ever more the dynamics that link climate with marketplace with migration with exploitation of land and of people. And it will maintain its credibility if it can continue to protect the small, the beautiful and the just in our territory, creating connection with the rest of the world, centering our energy around people and collectives that safeguard the land and work on the margins of society, taking care of the fragile though inclusion.

All of this is a matter of choice, a matter of the “politics of choice,” in the highest possible sense of this beautiful phrase. If the Notte Verde returns this year it is because we feel responsible for continuing to choose “with constant vigilance and learning” exactly what side we want to be on.

La Notte Verde 2023 is curated by the Casa delle Agriculture Tullia e Gino volunteer organization and the Casa delle Agriculture farming cooperative, with financing from the town of Andrano, in collaboration with: the Regional Park of the Otranto-Leuca Coast and the Tricase Woodland, the Gruppo Umana Solidarietà (GUS), Cooperativa Girolomoni, COSPE Association, Auser Ponte Andrano-Castiglione, The Association of Italian Celiacs (AIC), Visible (Città dell’arte/ Pistoletto Foundation and Zegna Foundation) among countless other organizations and volunteer groups. Media partners: Terra Nuova Edizioni and Mondoradio.

The 12th edition event is part of the “Confederacy of Villages” project, Creative Europe Culture Sub-programme "Support for European cooperation projects" 2020 EACEA-32-2019m and the “Minor Fruit Public Park,” funds for financing projects and activities in the non-for-profit sector (artt. 72 e 73 n.D.Lgs. n. 117/2017) - Avviso Puglia Capitale Sociale 3.0. CUP n. B55I22002090009.

Notte Verde is an “Eco-party” with low environmental impact.

The event is designed to be inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities and special needs, for the elderly, as well as new and expectant mothers. Casa delle Agriculture will temporarily reduce architectural impediments in town and has adopted the “Notte Verde: friends of autism” protocol that guarantees the following services:

- reserved parking is guaranteed near the event grounds;

- dedicated restrooms (located in the former elementary school and the community mill buildings);

- nursing and baby changing area (located in the former elementary school);

- accessibility maps

- braille menus and “zero wait time” service at concessions;

- menus for celiacs and the lactose intolerant (hosted by Le Melodie del Gusto di Ceglie Messapica-AIC);

- menus for vegetarians and vegans;

- free wheelchair rental service available by reservation.

Info: +39 328/546 9804, +39 348/564 9772;; Facebook- Casa delle Agriculture Tullia e Gino; Instagram - Casa delle Agriculture;

Pre-Opening: Job Day 28 August

(events conducted in Italian)

Agriculture, the Future is in our Territory and Community

4:00-10:00pm, The Luigi Russo Memorial Nursery of Social Inclusion (via Vecchia Lecce, Castiglione d’Otranto)

The future of natural agriculture is strictly connected to local territories and community, especially in areas like this one, south Salento, where for decades different factors have contributed to the abandonment of the land, neglect and desertification. Even so, a constellation of small local entrepreneurial and cooperative realities are proving that there are legitimate work opportunities deriving from new and more mindful approaches in agricultural production, freeing it from mechanisms that until now have dominated it through non-sustainable practices that put all the weight of the warped marketplace created by large-scale distribution onto the backs of farmers.


· 4:00-5:00pm

Ø Visitor Registration

Ø Visit to the “BioDiverso” presidio garden with Graziano Andrioli, farmer

· 5:00-7:00pm (Session I)

Ø Making Agricultural Production Sustainable - Natale Reda, agronomist, plant health consultant and VP of the order of forestry and agronomy professionals of the Marche region.

Ø Safeguarding natural resources: becoming informed farmers Eleonora Migno, economist and expert in the rights of indigenous people in the Amazon regions (COSPE Association)

· 7:00-8:00pm, Agri-aperitivo and dialogue with Loukmane Sawadogo, from the Arbres et Arbustes Association (Burkina Faso), son of Yacouba, “the man who stopped the desert by planting trees”

· 8:00-10:00pm (Session II)

Ø Cooperation Among Farmers to Reinforce Supply Chains – Donato Nuzzo, agricultural cooperative Casa delle Agriculture

Ø Building Alliance Between Farmers and Other Professionals – Luigi Coppola, Casa delle Agriculture Tullia e Gino volunteer association

Ø Creating Community Economies, the Alpine Experiment Bianca Elzenbaumer, president of Brave New Alps

In Closing:

Ø There is no Earth without a Community to Inhabit Her – Giorgio Menchini, COSPE Association, spokesperson for Azione TerrAe, coalition for agro-ecological transitioning in Western Africa

The Notte Verde for Children

(events conducted in Italian)

A celebration within the celebration: the Notte Verde has designed spaces and activities including free workshops, performances and games especially for children and families (info and reservations: +39 329 406 6530).


Giardinetto Angelica Pirtoli - ex scuola elementare, via don Sturzo

· 5:00-7:00pm Ecology between Games, Aromas and Silences workshop by Arianna Lupo

· 7:00-8:00pm Heart of Bread puppet performance by Alice Pietroforte’s Il piccolo teatro di pane”


· 5:00-7:00pm, Giardinetto Angelica Pirtoli - ex scuola elementare, via don Sturzo

Game of the Earth Between Seeds and Theater workshop by Arianna Lupo

· 7:15-8:30pm, Courtyard of Palazzo Bacile Italo Calvino. Magical Stories and Folk Songs Performance inspired by “Italian Fables” with narration, music and dialogues by Dario Muci

31 AUGUST “The Earth in Play”

  • Starting at 9:00pm, Parvise of the Church of San Michele

A Special Climb: children can climb on the installation “Planning and Building Sustainble Workshop-ing with Tarantino and Messapia Style.” This first-time collaboration using hemp-based lime, salvaged construction materials, bamboo and olive branches.

  • 8:30-11:30 pm, Giardinetto Angelica Pirtoli - ex scuola elementare, via don Sturzo

Wild Plants with Senses – sensorial workshop for chilldren (ages 2-6)

Organized by Emozioni in libertà

  • 8:30-11:30pm, Giardinetto Angelica Pirtoli - ex scuola elementare, via don Sturzo

EcoScena-Ecological Theater Workshops for Children (ages 6-10)

Organized by the actors/educators Valeria Benedetta Covella and Fabio Zullino

Let’s Eat Healthy: for 29-30-31 August, starting at 8:00pm, Casa delle Agriculture has prepared farm to table kids menus.. Le Melodie del Gusto from Ceglie Messapica together with the Italian Associations for Celiacs will supply a variety of gluten free and lactose free items.

The Notte Verde is Public Art and Research

Exhibitions and Installations 29-30-31 August

(events conducted in Italian)

Michele Lapini, Capitalocene. Images from the Climate Crisis in Italy

Photographic essay on the devastation of climate change.

Rocco Casaluci, The Garden of Weeds

Photography exhibit in the stables of Palazzo Bacile. A project giving common “weeds” the same treatment as intimate human portraits, showing the authentic riches of a territory in downfall.

Luigi Coppola, Vinculum

Installation, facade of Palazzo Bacile.

Attempts at imagining the post-epidemic, post-monoculture, inspired by the Rural Parliaments of the Notte Verde from previous editions.

Luigi Coppola, Evolutionary Garden (with cereals produced by Casa delle Agriculture)

Installation, Cappella della Maddalena.

The poetic experience of cereal cultivation: an experiential garden with the association’s seed bank.

Nikolay Oleynikov, Works of Art for Castiglione

Installation of lace and other fabric designs turned into banners of resistance.

Oleynikov is an artist, punk and antifascist from Moscow, member of the dissident group Chto Delat and singer for the band Arkady Kots.

Rocco Casaluci/La Scatola di Latta, All the stories contained in a ‘scatola.’ Learning how to stay in the South.

Exhibition and installation. Cappella dell’Annunziata.

A poetic, civic photographic voyage among the places, stories and people of the South.

Various artistic interventions by Stefano Ferrari, Diletta Fachechi, Alice Pietroforte, Stefania Rizzo, Teo Fotografo d’Arte.

Prelude 29 August

(events conducted in Italian)

5:00-8:00pm, Giardinetto Angelica Pirtoli - ex scuola elementare, via don Sturzo Ecology between Games, Aromas and Silences – workshop by Arianna Lupo

Heart of Bread puppet performance by Alice Pietroforte’s “Il piccolo teatro di pane”

5:15-7:15pm, historic center

School of Agriculture:

  • Techniques for farming with reduced environmental impacts

With Natale Reda, Francesco Minonne, and Roberto De Giorgi

  • Mother dough: how to start a fermentation with water and flour

Workshop with Andrea Cirolla from Sette Croste bakery in Galatina

5:00-7:30pm, via Girolamo Comi

This Loaf of Bread, between Misery and Fortune

Artistic residence guided by Gerardo Ferrara

5:30-7:30pm, “Fourth Arch” of Palazzo Bacile

Michele Contaldo, Before the Dusk

Classical piano from the balcony of the baronial palace.

7:30-8:15pm, Courtyard Palazzo Bacile

The Garden of Weeds. A Walk among the Wild Plants of Salento

Presentation of the book by photographer Rocco Casaluci, with the participation of Michela Santoro from Libreria Idrusa.

9:00pm, Piazza della Libertà

Assembly for the Earth and Plants

The manifesto of the Notte Verde by Casa delle Agriculture

9:30pm, Piazza della Libertà

Wild Bestiary. Notes on Return Trips and Intruders.

Presentation of the book by Massimo Zamboni with the participation of Francesco Minonne, director of the Regional Park of the Otranto-Leuca Coast and the Tricase Woodland.

10:30pm, Piazza della Libertà

Wild Bestiary

Theatrical and musical performance by Massimo Zamboni and Luca Zannotti.

Prelude 30 August

4:00-7:00pm, Castiglione d’Otranto → Public Park for Non-Commercial Fruit Varieities → Boschetto di Depressa → Castiglione d’Otranto

The March of Seeds (for info: +39 328 659 4611)

Started in 2016 by the Albero Maestro Association together with the Regional Park of the Otranto-Leuca Coast and the Tricase Woodland, the March of the Seeds follows a 7.5km itinerary.

Meeting Time & Place:

4:00pm, Castiglione d’Otranto, zona Trice

Visit to the Community Mill

Next Stop: Public Park for Non-Commercial Fruit Varieties

Next Stop: Amadeco Farm at the Boschetto di Depressa – tour of the experimental food forest

Final Stop: Castiglione d’Otranto in time for Dario Muci’s performance of “Italo Calvino. Magical Stories and Folk Songs”

Each stop will be accompanied by poetry and music performed by Renato Grilli with Samuel Mele on the oud and the Association of Salentine Horse Riders, who will bring guests with limited mobility via horse and cart.

5:00-7:00pm, Giardinetto Angelica Pirtoli - ex scuola elementare, via don Sturzo

Game of the Earth Between Seeds and Theater workshop by Arianna Lupo

5:00-7:00pm, historic center

School of Agriculture:

  • How to Plant Trees, Even in the Desert

Meeting with Loukmane Sawadogo, from the Arbres et Arbustes Association (Burkina Faso), son of Yacouba, “the man who stopped the desert by planting trees.”

  • “Al Masha _ Rural Commons”

Group reflections on practices, activities, projects, and collective strategies for the care, revitalization and vitalization of the rural landscape and its resources. Organized by the Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Course postgraduate program of the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Directed by Alessandro Petti, professor of Architecture and Social Justice and Judith Wielander, curator of public and socially active art. Guests include Bianca Elzenbaumer, President of Brave New Alps, and Andrea Bagnato, architect and researcher/project designer for Terra Infecta.

5:00-7:30pm, via Girolamo Comi

This Loaf of Bread, between Misery and Fortune

Artistic residence guided by Gerardo Ferrara

5:30-7:15pm, “Fourth Arch” of Palazzo Bacile

Michele Contaldo, Before the Dusk

Classical piano from the balcony of the baronial palace.

7:15-8:30pm, Courtyard of Palazzo Bacile

Italo Calvino. Magical Stories and Folk Songs

Performance inspired by “Italian Fables” with narration, music and dialogues by Dario Muci

8:45pm, Piazza della Libertà

We are all Marcovaldo

Theatrical reading of texts by Italo Calvino, organized by Lorenzo Bertolino

9:15pm, Piazza della Libertà

Climate Change is Now. The Influence of Geopolitics.

Conversation between Carlo Cacciamani and Eleonora Migno, economist and expert in the rights of indigenous people in the Amazon regions (COSPE Association).

10:30pm, Piazza della Libertà

Mediterraneo Contemporaneo

Concert performance by Redi Hasa (cello) and Rocco Nigro (accordion).

31 August

(events conducted in Italian)

Piazza della Libertà

7:00-8:30pm, “Fourth Arch” of Palazzo Bacile

Michele Contaldo, Before the Dusk

Classical piano from the balcony of the baronial palace.

8:30pm Welcome back, Notte Verde!

9:00pm, We Will not Die in a Desert. The Resistance of Peoples and Climate Migration.

Conversation between Loukmane Sawadogo, president of the Arbres et Arbustes Association and Virginia Meo, president of Gruppo Umana Solidarietà (GUS).

10:00pm Grain, War and Peace

Giammarco Sicuro, a RAI journalist and Ukraine war correspondent, presents his book “Grain. Stories and People from a War Nearby.”

11:00pm The Great Race towards Lupionòpolis

Live concert by Peppe Voltarelli, singer-songwriter from Calabria presenting his seventh studio album.

Live Performances Along the Streets of the Notte Verde

Ø This Loaf of Bread, between Misery and Fortune with Gerardo Ferrara, and Tonino Macis of Sardegna on guitar

Ø Unouno: street theater created and performed by Ippolito Chiarello

Ø Pomo d’amore: choral and theatrical narration about the ties between man and tomatoes, from the seeds to the preparation of tomato sauce with Ilaria Mancino

Ø Les Oiseaux de Passage: musical voyage between original songs and folk music from the French, Central European, Yiddish and Italian traditions with Domenico Lapolla (violin), Emmanuel Ferrari (voice, accordion), and Giorgio Distante (tuba)

Ø Decadent Dream with Luigi Botrugno and Frank Bramato

Ø P40, singer-songwriter and storyteller

Ø A Basso d’Uomo music from jazz, to funky and Italian songwriters

Ø Giuseppe Valente, singer song-writer

Mapping out the Notte Verde

  • Biodiversity Main Street: pomological exhibition, seed exchange, forestry and minor fruit nursery products, legumes, vegetables, scions and seedlings.

  • Cereal Lane: experiential visits to the Community Mill: exhibition of varieties of ears, grain and flour; the art of bread and pasta; collective cereal display and tastings.

  • Road of Natural Agriculture: farms practicing natural agriculture with eco-compatible practices (organic, bio-dynamic, regenerative).

  • Ecological Conversion Place: solutions for rethinking the model of environmental and social impact of a consumer and capitalistic society

  • The Earth that Heals & Social Agriculture: agricultural and artisan projects for the social and labor inclusion of migrants, disadvantaged workers, and people with disabilities with services that accompany medical, psychological and rehabilitative therapies; pedagogical projects and those using assets seized from the Mafia.

- 9:00pm MUM. Studying and Communicating with the Motherly Universal Method

Presentation of the book by Anna Petrachi.

- 10:00pm L’oliveto circolare

Installation organized by the Daytime Center of Campi Salentini (CSM ASL LE) directed by Paola Calò as part of the “Cultivate Yourself” project, including lectures by actor Fabio Rubino.

  • Road of Life: with sustainably minded beekeepers; apiaries with didactic and inclusive activities: exhibition of historic and contemporary tools for beekeeping.

  • Herbal Way: the world of wild, medicinal and dying plants including traditional herbalists, distillates, soaps, fabric dyers, and an exhibition of antique distillers.

  • Generational Bridge Street: grandparents from the Auser Ponte Andrano-Castiglione share their knowledge of legumes, with tasting of traditional “pignate” and “cunti.”

  • Eco-Artisan Road: with artisans dedicated to the manual production of non-industrial goods using both traditional and innovative techniques and materials.

  • Eco-Artisan Boulevard: with artisans who employ manual, non-industrial techniques, traditional and innovative materials.

  • Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Court: projects that are dedicated to sustainable environmental, cultural and identity practices that respect the nature, places and their inhabitants.

  • Of Earth and Paper: dedicated book area with Terra Nuova Edizioni, AnimaMundi Edizioni, and Libreria Idrusa publishing houses.

  • Playful Earth (see the dedicated section above listing activities for children).

  • Partisan Court: associations, popular movements, and the coordinated and active promoters of an alternative idea for the future, moving away from exploitation of people and the earth.

  • Culinary Interaction Place: local partners designated with a Notte Verde logo where you can purchase dishes created with verified local products – Trattoria Vardaceli, Chiosco Bar Sole-Luna, Punto Market Gam, Pizzeria Pirumafru, Supermercati Ingletto.

  • Collective Dining Area: by the Casa delle Agriculture agricultural cooperative with shared tables and sustainable and natural farm to table dishes for omnivores, vegans and vegetarians.

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