Vasco Rossi’s Modena Park concert: the world’s biggest live rock concert ever – in my hometown. Who’s that guy that comes from the farm?

Vasco-Rossi Modena-Park

Vasco Rossi’s Modena Park means 220.000 paying spectators at the concert. Is this a modern-day Woodstock or just a megalomaniac product? Is the rebellious spirit of Woodstock still here or are the children-parents-grandparents singing along together just celebrating cheap thrills? Is Italy a full-time member of international rock music now or are we just celebrating…

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Mafia Republic, a true crime book by J. Dickie – review


Mafia Republic: Italy’s Criminal Curse. Cosa Nostra, ‘ndrangheta and Camorra from 1946 to the Present by John Dickie My rating: 5 of 5 stars … a wise traveller should bring this book with him on an Italian holiday and use it as sunscreen while tanning on a gorgeous Sicilian beach. As I was researching for…

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“Theirs is a cultural richness like no other”: Italy’s earthquakes and the loss of great human fabric


On October 30, 2016 another tremendous earthquake hit central Italy again, the greatest one in the last decades of a series that started in August, killed almost 300 people and destroyed the cultural treasures of the medieval small towns and villages scattered along the Apennines. The news came to me as I was spending my…

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29 Settembre: happy birthday to Modena ‘beat’ music capital


When the folk revival and then the rock revolution of the 60s arrived in Italy, it landed in Modena. Amid Ferrari and Maserati cars, balsamic vinegar producers, tortellini restaurants and small industrial enterprises scattered around the province, ‘beat’ music started to bloom almost unexpectedly in that ‘little town, bastard place’, as Francesco Guccini, one of…

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