Euro Mediterranean Network of Culture and Heritage

arianna logo web

The Euro-Mediterranean Network called "Arianna" is a project aimed at all those territories that recognize the value of cultural exchange. After signing ​​the declaration of intent of Sassari in June, 2011, operators and public institutions in Italy, Spain, France, Morocco, Algeria, Romania and Greece have launched a political-organizational plan to get a policy coordination and a strong cultural partnership. As a consequence, in June 2012, through the signing of a memorandum of understanding in Sassari, Arianna declared its particular attention to the work on the mapping of cultural resources in certain areas and exposed its desire to develop shared projects. In order to get this aim, since this time, the work of the Euro-Mediterranean Network it’s been oriented to create the conditions for verification of local resources, to develop a recognition of each other's calendars of activities, to create a work of fund raising and building a international communication plan. In 2012, we saw the birth and organization of the first "Itinerant Festival of the Mediterranean", dedicated to the first immediate actions of knowledge: rituals, festivals, research, crafts and policies of community among the main objectives.

Why "Arianna"?

Ariadne (Arianna, in Italian), the purest, otherwise known as the lady of the labyrinth, a woman who gets to save her lover Theseus from being devoured by the Minotaur. Theseus, trapped in a maze, with the help of a wire that Arianna provides, will find the way back. Arianna saves us from a maze, but what a maze? We take the license to use the words of an Italian philosopher, Giorgio Colli, which defines the labyrinth as "a multifaceted network with endless centers of radiation." Our network is also a multiform network, since it represents different countries of the Mediterranean, and more. We could say that each member can be a center of irradiation with the same activity and dynamics of working in favor of culture. What would happen if Arianna offered us a thread? By connecting our territories, it would give us the opportunity to make a greater force than that which each of us could accomplish. That thread would give meaning and coherence to the individual strengths of each connected point. This is the reason why we use the myth of Arianna, so that, through the network and through its wire, the whole is better than the sum of its parts.

The Signatories

GREECE: City of Pilea Hortiatis, Festival of Kilkis and Festival of Yakinthia.
MOROCCO: City of Fès, Festival de la Culture Amazighe and Fondation Esprit de Fès.
CATALUNYA (España): Generalitat de Catalonia, Festival Portalblau (Escala), City of Escala, Institut de Cultura de Barcelona (ICUB) - Barcelona Capital, Qadar Producions Cultural.
ITALY: Province of Sassari, Province of Rieti, Province of Florence, Province of Cosenza, Region of Molise, City of Salerno, Consorce Assomab Alto Molise, Italian Network of Folk Culture.

Traveling Mediterranean Festival 

Since 2012, the Traveling Mediterranean Festival is on. This is a real trip to navigate through the ports and cities of the Mediterranean.

Main events  and projects that took to the creation of Arianna

  • 6 July, 2008 – Fez (Morocco) - In cooperation with the “Esprit de Fès”, World Sacred Music, Foundation (Morocco) and ONG Fawanees (Egypt), the first action about a common work towards the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Folk Culture Network, took place in 2008. The Italian Folk Culture Network participated to  the Festival Amazigh Esprit de Fès, World Sacred Music, with the “Canto a tenore Cunsonu Santu Giuanne” coming from Thiesi, Province of Sassari.
  • 25, 26 and 27 July , 2008 – International Festival of Folk Oral Culture, Turin - The edition 2008 of that Festival was opened by the round table about “The Mediterranean Oral Culture”: a meeting about local cultures and networks building, attended by the members of the Italian Folk Culture Network, its Scientific Committee, some anthropologists and the most important representatives of cultural organisations belonging to the Euro-Mediterranean basin. Within the performing arts program of the festival, a significant part has been dedicated to Mediterranean oral culture's expressions, with the participation of several groups from Euro-Mediterranean countries: Avinar (Iran), Bouaazza Larbi (Morocco), Ensemble Fawanys (Egypt)
  • 24-26 October 2008 – Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria  – CULTNAT, Cairo (Egypt) - “Oral traditions between the two shores of the Mediterranean:  local cultures and network construction” in cooperation with Piedmont Region, Herimed, CULTNAT (Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage-Bibliotheca Alexandrina), Traditional Music of Egypt. In occasion of “The Week of the Italian Language in the world”. From Cctober 24th to 26th, the Italian Folk Culture Network, in cooperation with Herimed Association, CULTNAT (supported by  the Egyptian Ministry for Culture) and the local Fawanys association, organized in Egypt an international event about the folk oral culture. The initiative, sustained by Piedmont Region, was included in the “The Week of the Italian Language in the world” and represented a real summit to lay the foundations for an effective and far-sighted policy aiming  to save folk culture from extinction. Further to the musical performance Veglia per la Terra (Wake for the earth), that saw the cooperation on stage among Italian and Egyptian traditional musicians, a seminar was held on “Oral traditions between the two shores of the Mediterranean: local cultures and network construction”. The representatives of UNESCO, Anna Lindh Foundation, CULTNAT, Festival of Provinces Committee, Piedmont Region and Herimed Association were speakers.
  • 5 May 2009- Circolo dei Lettori (Readers’ Club), Turin - The new edition of “Lingua Madre” aimed to promote the safeguard of cultural and linguistic differences, the protection of communities and socio-historical memories of natives. It was also an occasion to plan a geographical exploration of Southern Caucasic area (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan). To that effect, the Italian Folk Culture Network engaged itself in the development and managing of the meeting-concert with Fakhraddin Gafarov and the turkish traditional music.
  • 14 May 2009 – Turin International Book Fair, Lingotto Fiere Exhibition Centre - On may 14th, at 8 p.m., the Italian Folk Culture Network presented the performance Veglia per la Terra (Wake for the Earth), a concert where musicians from Piedmont, of new and old generation, met egyptian artists to renew an ancient tradition.
  • 26, 27, 28 June 2009 – International Festival of Folk Oral Culture, Turin - The whole Festival opened a door on the migrant communities in Italy and Piedmont Region, that expressed themselves through exhibitions, talk-shows about culinary subjects, introducing meetings and workshops about rituals and traditions.
  • 5 July 2009 – Fès (Morocco) - The cooperation with the Esprit de Fès Foundation has continued: the Fès  Festival of World Sacred Music hosted two concerts of the Italian group “Viulan”, formed by thirty-years-experienced researchers and representatives of tradition in the Frignano area, placed in the Tuscan-Emilian Appennine.
  • 27 november 2009 - Circolo dei Lettori, Turin - Within the autumnal edition of “Lingua Madre”, the Italian Folk Culture Network presented Quel che resta è la voce (What remains is the voice). Beyond the linguistic and cultural differences is the tale of stories,  a first attempt to bring together for an evening some historical and recently settled languages in our region. A little step and a wish for a true civil convivence, that will be reproposed in a more articulated dimension during the events promoted by “Lingua Madre” at the 2010 Turin International Book Fair.
  • 7 november 2009 – Manresa, Spain – Mediterrània - The “Fira Mediterrània” Foundation organized from november 5th to 8th, the 10th edition of “Fira Mediterrània”, peculiar for its strong international aspect. During the 3rd professional Symposium titled “2009-2010-Get together: Fairs and Festivals” held on November 7th, were hosted 35 operators coming from Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco and United Kingdom, as well as Catalunya, Valencian Community, Basque Countries and the City of Madrid, giving life to various seminars and round tables. The Italian Folk Culture Network, in the person of its director Antonio Damasco, was invited to keep a specific report as an example of cultural system, where the local forces of individual territories reach a value that individually they could not get - concerning communication, economies of scale, operative qualities, planning capability, national and international level of participation. On that occasion, in the presence of Alessandra Giudici, President of the Province of Sassari, has been presented one of the Intangible Goods recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage, the “Canto a tenore”, from Sardinia.
  • Euro-Mediterranean work-table – Site:  Province of Sassari Palace, Angioy Hall. “Towards a Euro-Mediterranean Network of Folk Culture” - That convention has been an opportunity of comparison between the main promoters of folk culture from various countries of the Mediterranean area. In addition, it's been a way to keep on building an inter-organizational network that aims to safeguard, research and promotion of traditional and folk culture in the Euro-Mediterranean territories. This effort is oriented to create conditions by which these cultures can be involved in a system of international networks to increase the value of local cultures.


  • Alessandra Giudici- President  of the Province of  Sassari and President of the Italian Folk Culture Network,                   Italy
  • Ugo Perone - Councillor for Culture, Province of Turin, Italy
  • Carlo Falato – Councillor for Culture, Province of Benevento, Italy
  • Cinzia Tacconi – Councillor for Culture, Province of Grosseto, Italy
  • Antonio Damasco - Director of Italian Folk Culture Network, Torino, Italy
  • Malak Wahba – CULTNAT, Centre for documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Cairo, Egypt
  • Dragos Cosmin Preda, Romania
  • Este Lozano Tornè – Qadar Cultural Productions, Barcelona, Spain
  • Jordì Urpì – Cases de la Musica, Barcelona, Spain
  • Moha Ennaji – Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, Fez, Morocco
  • Roberto Albergoni – HERIMED, Association for the documentation, preservation and enhancement of the Euro- Mediterranean Cultural Heritage, Palermo, Italy
  • Zéphora Nachite - Fệte de la Méditerranée, Association EPI, Marseille, France
  • The tradition of bonfires and fellowship rites on St. John’s day - Till the Fifties, the town of Alghero was the scene of important  celebrations during the month of June, owing  the celebrations of St. John’s day. It was a very old traditional feast where ancestral rituals merged with the religious anniversary.With the economic boom years, the  celebration lost its importance and gradually disappeared. Since 2010 the Feast has returned to life and during only one edition has become an event of strong appeal, able to to involve realities outside the island. The Italian Folk Culture Network, of which the Province of Sassari is member and promoter (representing also the national vice-presidency and the coordination of the “Euro-Mediterranean work-table”), organized a “folk caravan” with the participation of researchers, video makers and performers belonging to the Euro-Mediterranean Network. In this context, the reborned Feast does not want to be only a show and celebration but also a period of research and study on local traditions and a chance of meeting with the local communities.
  • The signing of the Charter of Values of Arianna – Euro-Mediterranean Network of Culture and Heritage - The day June 20, 2012 took place the signing of the Arianna's Charter of Values in the presence of the institutional and cultural representatives of the countries involved. The guidelines that have inspired us in the drafting of the Charter of Values and in the organization of the Traveling Mediterranean Festival 2012 are related to the need to develop economies of scale, which take into account local resources, and want to express the principles of solidarity and encounter, thanks to a shared communication and promotion. All this is to be read as cognitive action between the partners themselves, also aimed to the future possibility of participating in European calls and in shared actions of fund raising . We believe that the establishment of a working network between already operational activities, with good coordination and communication, is a discriminating factor in the search for new resources.