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Montecchio Emilia, IT, 27-30th April 2016. Second Transnational Meeting of Erasmus Partnership Roads of the Blue in Europe"
Saturday 30 April 2016
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JPEG Pleasantly warm sunny days propitiated this second meeting. Such favourable conditions are not always assured during our unpredictable spring.
Welcoming speech delivered by Naire Boniburini, president of « La Sorgiva » Popular University

The first informal moment of welcome occured at « Casa Cavezzi », a 15th century building which is currently the seat of the « La Sorgiva » People’s University and hosts the « Via Crucis » exhibition, by Montecchian sculptor Graziano Pompili, « Prophet of the Homeland » in 2016 . Every year, a Montecchian artist is elected as « Prophet of the Homeland » and offered the possibility to exhibit his works, speak of his artistic training and develop his art.
« La Rocca », a medieval castle in Montecchio, hosted several different moments of the meeting. Once the partners were introduced to Naire Boniburini, President of the « La Sorgiva » People’s University and to Aline Rutily, the coordinator of the project, the seminar officially debuted on the morning of the 28th of April. To begin with, the Transcultural Carpet of Blue, inherited from the previous Grundtvig partnership « The languages of the colour blue in Europe », was installed in the boardroom. This Erasmus + project intends to offer a form of continuity to this Transcultural Carpet, regularly aided in this regard by photographic perspectives on the colour blue, so that this initiative, conceived by Aline Rutily, continues to grow and evolve during our meetings. JPEG
An intense day of work then commenced, with the tools developed in the project being tested and the progress of the work being evaluated. Eighty educational sheets proposed by the eight participating structures were presented in terms of content, application, recipients and purposes, as well as their consistency with the objectives of the project.
A demanding task, led wisely by the project coordinator, Aline Rutily, who did not fail to provide valuable information for the drafting of the cards and urged the group to exchange information and work proposals relating to this topic.
In the evening, the "Songs of the World" concert performed by Johnny and Adelmo, Wandering Guitars, offered a moment of relaxation, as well as the opportunity for the Municipal Administration, represented by the Councilor for Culture and Education, Angela Marchetti, to bid everyone a warm welcome. This was an important moment of dissemination for the aims and contents of this European project in the presence of other cultural associations of Montecchio, who also wanted to partake in this meeting.
In the late evening, the Transcultural Blue Carpet and a piece of the Garden Mat in memory of the Grundtvig project "The Languages of Vegetation in Europe" were exhibited and presented to the guests. JPEG

Friday, the 29th of April was dedicated to visiting Mantua, the Italian Capital of Culture for the year 2016. Mantua is indeed a city of art, built on the water and, moreover, surrounded by three lakes. The grandeur of its palaces, its cupolas, its steeples reflected in the blue waters, evoke a landscape of dreams … that too is in the plain of the Po, "which is as if the green plain had recollected an ancient memory of the sea ".
Where is the colour blue? It is in the heavens, reflected in the waters, in the heavenly deities who have found their abode in the palaces of Mantua. It is as if Mount Olympus is no longer in the sky, but here on earth. The Te Palace, a place of delights and entertainment, sings a hymn to sensual love: goddesses, nymphs, satires, giants celebrate the pagan holidays in a triumph of nudity generously shaped in a padane manner. In a place in which reality and its reflected fiction merge, between many audacities and innovative perspectives, ceiling-painted frescoes appear as giant holes in the sky.

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If it is indeed true that you are what you eat, the food one eats is linked to one’s identity not just as a nutritional reality, but, rather, a mélange of values, symbols and meaning. In this sense, the food we enjoyed here was truly a cultural reality. In the plain of the Po, where water and butter flow, nutrition is a matter not to be taken lightly, and, with the sumptuous dishes of the ducal table, we tried to bear witness to it.
It is true that the color blue is not only a simple natural phenomenon, and this project, which allows us to know its many different expressions, gives us the thread to weave the blue of our various countries, to create a strong link between us, privileged beneficiaries of Erasmus +, citizens of a Europe which we love, and to whom we wish to bring our contribution of trust and friendship.

- Naire Boniburini, President of "La Sorgiva", Popular University, Montecchio Emilia, IT

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