2023 Ferragosto Festivities in Florence

Riccardo Tesi and Banditaliana


San Salvi Park, via San Salvi 12

The Chille de la Balanza theater company invites residents and visitors to San Salvi on Ferragosto: the cool outdoor green space will host the annual August 15 concert by Riccardo Tesi and Banditaliana (9:45 pm; admission €15, reservations recommended via Whatsapp 335 6270739 or sending an email to info@chille.it).  San Salvi may be reached by public transportation (bus #6).

The performance, a tradition for who remain in the city during the holiday, is scheduled  at 9:30 pm.  In addition to Tesi, the trio also comprises Claudio Carboni and Maurizio Geri. The group first started out in the province of Pistoia and now is known nationally and internationally. Tesi’s music has been inspired by a variety of genres during his long career, from the folk music of Tuscany and Romagna, sounds typical of Spain’s Basque region and France to jazz.  For reservations, call 335 6270739 or mail info@chille.it.

The show will be preceded by a 9 pm screening (in Italian) of the documentary: “I Care. Don Lorenzo Milani 100” which as the closing event of a series which Chille de la Balanza dedicated to the extraordinary figure of Don Lorenzo Milani on the 100th anniversary of his birth.  Milani’s mission was to help the poor and disadvantaged. A philosophy not popular with the Church hierarchy at the time, Milan was exiled to small remote village in the Mugello valley, where he taught peasant children of all ages either in a space in the rectory, or outdoors.

The Chille de la Balanza headquarters at San Salvi has been through a dramatic transformation over the years: the journey started in a closed insane asylum, where a pavilion now houses the historical theater company. San Salvi is one of the most spacious places in Florence with its wide-open green spaces surrounded by a large park.

The former psychiatric hospital was stablished in 1891, and housed 5,000 inmates yearly until 1998. The Basaglia law mandated the closing down of all insane asylums, requiring patients to leave, and gradually replacing on-site treatment with community-based services or psychiatric wards in hospitals.

San Salvi’s last director, Dr. Carmelo Pellicanò stated that to be able to close an insane asylum, the city had to come inside the asylum to never let its tragic story fade from memory. Following the closure of the asylum in 1998, he decided to turn the place into a permanent cultural center, and for that purpose, he asked the theater company called “Chille de la Balanza” to reside in the pavilion and organizes a wide range of cultural and artistic events.