Every summer, the city of Sarsina – an ancient and pretty town located over Romagna’s hills, at about 30 minutes from Cesena – hosts the PLAUTUS FESTIVAL that, from 1956, is one of the most important theatrical events in Italy. This important festival is dedicated to Tito Maccio Plauto, the great Latin playwright that was born in Sarsina in 255-251 BC, and its main goal is to promote drama as an ancient and noble art. Thanks to the important performances carried out by the most famous italian actors, and to the value and esteem that it has gained over the years, in 1997 this festival has been recognized as “Festival of national importance” by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, confirming itself as one of the few important events in the italian theatre panorama.
The festival takes place in the months of July and August in the suggestive Arena Plautina, found at the foothills of Calbano, a medieval town located less than a kilometer from Sarsina’s city center, on a natural slope immersed in an environment of exceptional beauty. The Arena is able to accomodate more than a thousand of spectators in numbered seats. In 2008 was then inaugurated a modern retractable roof, both for the cavea and the stage, that is able to assure the staging of shows also in case of rain.
Every edition includes in its programme 12-15 prose shows, represented by the most important italian theatre companies. The Ancient Drama always has a prominent place, but during the last years the curators decided to also have an eye on contemporary dramaturgy, that allowed them to gain more popularity and appreciation from both the italian and foreign audience. In the same billboard find space Plauto and Racine, Euripide and Dostoevskij, Molière and Pirandello, Shakespeare and D’Annunzio, Goldoni and Pasolini. Alessandro Gassman, Vanessa Gravina, Giorgio Albertazzi, Elisabetta Pozzi, Mario Scaccia, Manuela Mandracchia, Giuseppe Pambieri, Lia Tanzi, Massimo Venturiello, Pamela Villoresi, Arnoldo Foà are just some of the actors and actresses who have stepped on the scene, decreeing a growing and uninterrupted success of audiences and critics.
This is an unmissable event that every year attracts thousands and thousands of spectators from the nearest tourist resorts of the Adriatic Riviera, to the most distant metropolitan cities of Milan, Turin, Venice, Genoa, Florence and Rome. I highly recommend it: you can combine participation in the shows with a visit to the beautiful cathedral of San Vicinio or the beautiful National Archaeological Museum of Sarsina, one of the most important archaeological museums in northern Italy.
And for a beautiful ending you can enjoy an excellent dinner in one of the many typical restaurants of the area that propose typical local products: an excellent alternative to the scorching heat of the city!