Six-year-old Federico Fellini watched his first film from his father’s lap in the Cinema Fulgor, a small jewel box of a theater in his home town of Rimini. That experience—as well as a profound lifelong attachment to his birthplace—helped shape his career as a film director.
Join food historian Francine Segan on a journey to Rimini and Modena, two wondrous cities along the Via Emilia, an ancient Roman byway in the Emilia-Romagna region. She reveals why the area inspired both the iconic director as well as today’s travelers who love chic beaches, fabulous food, ancient ruins, and distinctive art, culture, music, and architecture.
The Fellini-focused itinerary in Rimini includes the city’s Borgo San Giuliano, a neighborhood filled with colorful frescoes depicting his films and life; Piazza Cavour, one of Italy’s most beautiful squares, which the director recreated for his Oscar-winning films Amarcord and 8 ½; the beautifully restored Cinema Fulgor; and the magnificent Grand Hotel di Rimini, which captivated Fellini as a boy. She also discusses the city’s plans for the 2020 centenary of his birth.
Fellini declared “Life is a mix of magic and pasta,” and the glorious food and wines found in Emilia-Romagna provide plenty of those ingredients. Modena’s famed cuisine ranges from extraordinary street food to Michelin-starred restaurants, including the internationally celebrated Osteria Francescana. This is a city that takes its pasta seriously: A tortellini festival each September celebrates the shape that by legend captured the navel of Venus in edible form.
Modena, the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari, also satisfies the appetites of car enthusiasts. With more than 30 museums and private collections devoted to cars, the city hosts the lively annual Motor Valley Festival, highlighted by the Mille Miglia, a thousand-mile parade of vintage autos traveling from northern Italy to Rome and back.
After the program, enjoy a reception with tastings of regional specialties from Emilia-Romagna.
Tastings donated by Italian Products; Flamigni; Fruitt del Grano & Rizzoli Emanuelli
S. Dillon Ripley Center
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Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)