Celebrating Italian lifestyle and culture at Thessaloniki’s Mylos

“Festitalia ’05,» which kicked off at the Mylos Arts Complex in Thessaloniki last week and will run to July 3, offers up a lively journey through Italian life and culture in 20 days. The wide variety of events range from exhibitions to concerts, Italian delicacies and even a fashion show. Along with the works of well-known cartoonist Milo Manara, another exhibition, «Vespamania,» is also on display until the end of Festitalia. «Vespamania» is addressed to all Vespa lovers who want to admire different models of the popular vehicle. On Thursday, popular Italian singer Al Bano Carrisi will play some of his hits, adding a touch of nostalgia. During his 30-year career, Al Bano has received numerous awards and has appeared alongside acclaimed artists like Placido Domingo, Montserrat Caballe, the Rolling Stones and flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia. The Sbandieratori Citta di Firenze, a company of artists from Florence whose spectacular shows have a distinctly Renaissance air, will appear on Thursday and Friday. Their performances feature flagwavers, musicians and traditional Renaissance costumes. Fans of Italian cuisine are in for a treat, since pizza makers will prepare pizzas and other delicacies while performing acrobatics from Thursday to July 3, while chef Giuliano Tassinari, from the International Italian School Alma, will provide a taste of cuisine from Bologna and Emilia-Romana from Friday to July 3. The festival will close with a fashion show hosted by Maria Grazia Cucinotta and featuring works by Italian designers including Gattinoni, Renato Balestra, Chiara Boni and Blumarine. «Festitalia ’05» is organized by the Mylos Arts Complex and Thessaloniki’s Instituto Italiano di Cultura, with the support of the Italian Embassy. The event falls under the aegis of the Culture Department of the Municipality of Thessaloniki.

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