A new hope

There is hope that one day
there will be a better world, without any prisons…
Italo Calvino

Mercantia is the land of a dream, of the immagination, of hope and joy, of the good life and good food! In this new edition of the festival, Mercantia returns to its five traditional days, from Wednesday the 12th to Sunday the 16th of July, when the medieval castle once again becomes the stage of a great feast, and this too is a sign of the desire to bring back the artistic and organizational format that has made us a little bit famous all over the world…

This year, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, I want to remember Italo Calvino, author of wonderful books that have always fed my poetic inspirations and my theatrical imagination, I also remember him for one of the few songs he wrote: “Beyond the Bridge” with its beautiful moving lyrics inspired by his partisan youth, a song that I have listened to many times during my Mercantia days, in the hours that precede the big party! Thank you Italo, thank you Sarah!”

Now let’s talk about hope, he who does not nourish this virtue becomes barren! And in his life, the seeds of happiness and of the future do not grow.
I also wish, although I’m certain, that our Mercantia festival, with this new edition, will become once more that light-hearted place where everyone can fall in love, where the festivities leap at you and surround you, warming your heart.

I want to continue to hope for a better world, where wars will cease, where weapons will turn into plows, where lambs will graze with wolves. We are longing for these prophetic days, we must also stop attacking our planet, our one common home, may man, not the economy, be at the center of our lives.
I prefer a rainbow in the sky, flowers and butterflies, the fruit of this earth to those many useless toys that society offers us!

For hope to be real, it is never passive and requires constant determination, it uses creativity and imagination to create new scenarios and concrete perspectives, this goes for Mercantia, too, which in this edition wants to tell us how it’s possible to walk from one tower to the next, how to dance on the walls and in the squares, to sway and court each other in the air! Once again, all the imagery of the theatre will be on show to give you thousands of smiles and unforgettable moments.

The gift of hope is one of the most beautiful gifts that man can possess, a virtue in the spiritual realm, a song, and maybe even a dance that can accompany us in the darkest moments of our individual and social existence.
When one of our master craftsmen, who enriches Mercantia by his very pressence, begins to handle his material, he already has in mind and can see the object he is bringing to life, this is his hope, his certainty, cause and effect are simultaneous, our concept of hope is this, this is our story (qui dipende se ‘storia’ si riferisce a storia per intendere un racconto o storia come passato. Se è storia come passato allora la parola inglese è history), our tradition! As always, there will also be a rich craft market and suggestive installations to crown our festival, and as usual, it will be impossible to taste all the recipes, the dishes of our newly adorned medieval castle on a single night!

Nevertheless, Mercantia will not stop trying out new expressive forms and techniques, already in the 2022 edition with the use of eye visors we took you into space amongst the stars and planets, there is a word that we started listening to: the metaverse, a mysterious word that we want to taste…
I am getting on in years, I’ll be seventy when the thirty-fifth edition of the Mercantia festival and its Fourth theater will take place, I am still here, we are still here with the hope of organizing a festival that is even more beautiful and complete, rich and joyously abundant!
A necessary stage, an opportunity for celebration, like those festivities that have accompanied mankind since for ever, marking his vital rhythms and the changing of the seasons.

Mercantia with its shows, its craftsmen, its ancient walls forces us to hold hands symbolically in a playful circle, reminding us that there is still so much hope for our lives and for our dreams, for our deepest humanity!

30-11-2022 Certaldo
Alessandro Gigli