The Cleto Festival returns in August

Cleto Festival 2014


There is great anticipation for the fifth edition of the Cleto Festival, which will take place as always in the historic centre of Cleto, in the province of Cosenza. The Festival promises to be exuding the usual atmosphere of magic and surrealism, proceeding along an itinerary made of characteristic alleys and little squares at the feet of ancient buildings and plain style house.

The Cleto Festival is a socio-cultural project initiated by the association “La piazza ” in the summer of 2011 and aimed at the “promotion of Calabrian culture through all its artistic forms, from music to theatre, from figurative arts to photography, touching on literature and conceptual arts”

“The project- as the organizers care to point out – is realized thanks to self-financing and private financial support coming from its fans and sustainers, and no public funds go into it”. The Festival is a cultural project coming from the bottom up, created and carried out little by little by the boys and girls who, living in the area, have acquired a deep understanding of both its weaknesses and its vast potential.

From August 19 to August 21 the historic centre of Cleto will once again come alive with “humming crowds, music, street performances and of course plenty of  people meeting, smiling – and dancing – in the streets”. To sum up, the festival is one of the most interesting events of Calabria’s cultural landscape in its capacity to combine reflection on topical themes with an interest for the past, while keeping up a mix of cheerfulness, entertainment and lust for life. The kermis undoubtedly provides a sound model for the promotion of old Calabrian villages, which seem to have suffered from a wave of depopulation and  cultural desertification over the past years.

Conferences and meetings with journalists and prominent personalities of the territory are going to be held. Every afternoon, visitors will be given the opportunity to set off on guided tours of the historic centre and of the castle, and to attend dance  and folk music workshops as well as juggling courses.


The main theme chosen for this year’s edition is “the South”.  The reason for this choice is thus explained by the festival’s organizers: “By choosing the South as our main theme, our purpose is to draw people’s attention on a territory that has always been a victim of clichés, showing how in fact a good number of local subjects, such as associations, private citizens and various projects have managed to overcome infinite obstacles and achieve great results. Also, the proclamation of Matera as European Capital of Culture 2019 could be a valid opportunity for the South – and for Calabria too – to promote a harmonic vision of development; by highlighting the natural affinities these two regions share when it comes to culture, history and tradition, a huge step could be taken towards the retrieval of  the memory of a common territorial heritage”.

The festival started out as a challenge, but its promoters today can show a grin of satisfaction in saying: “The solidarity and compliments received from all the people who have attended the past editions of the festival has encouraged us to work on its fifth appointment with an eye to increasing the quality of its featured events and artistic performances, always trying to convey the extraordinary beauty of the location hosting it.”