SANTO STEFANO DI SESSANIO – With the patronage of 6 municipalities in Aquila, at the end of June, the project “100 years later in the footsteps of Estella Canziani art journey in the baronial lands in donkey pace” by Gira will take shape and Rigira and TeatroVagante. The project, funded by the Creativity Incubator at the University of L’Aquila, in collaboration with the stable theater of Abruzzo and the hospitality of Maxxi L’Aquila, will make use of the presence of Valeria Pica, researcher in the sociology of cultural processes that will accompany the entire journey. The main bodies and realities on the list are supported by the Cooperative Credit Bank of Rome, the Red Gold Cooperative and Decathlon L’Aquila.

The project consists of a study trip: a traveling artistic abode that will rediscover part of the journey that Estella Canzianian English intellectual and traveler of Italian descent, made in Abruzzo in 1913 told in the book Through the Apennines and the land of the Abruzzo.

The tour will involve a group of university students, guides, actors, journalists and donkeys with the aim of relating art, research and territory.

Trekking and culture, theater and society, research and young people: the key pairs in this project.

The proposed experience is a journey through time and space in the company of donkeys and a travel diary to be reinterpreted in a theatrical key; to discover landscapes, paths and villages, their history and their traditions, we will rediscover part of the trip to the artist Estella Canziani, which took place more than a century ago, and compare before and after through meetings with craftsmen, locals and customers .

The tour consists of a 5-day donkey walk to discover the Terre della Baronia in the heart of Gran Sasso National Park. Each day the group will touch a different country: Starting from Santo Stefano di Sessanio, they arrive at Castel del Monte and then continue towards Calascio, after which they descend to Castelvecchio Calvisio to finally close the ring, returning to Santo Stefano.

Donkey hiking is an activity associated with slow tourism, which consists of hiking with donkeys intended as travel companions that can help the group carry backpacks and luggage. Trekking with donkeys promotes a new relationship between humans and animals, based on mutual knowledge, respect and care.

In the villages, the group will live a real experience of exchange with the local community.

The meeting will take place through a collective theater performance that will take place in the most characteristic places of the countries visited, and which will involve the host community and those who wish to participate (events open to the public free of charge).


June 28 Castel del Monte at 18.30. The child watches the sunset

The meeting will be with the boys and girls living in the city. Caravans and spectators will exchange with them, with Mrs. Luciana and with adults in love instead, current life experiences between old games and songs.

June 29 Calascio at 18.00. Tax collectors

Goldsmith Giampiero Verna will guide the participants in the Jewelry Museum and in the old goldsmith shop; there will be live demonstrations and we will discover anecdotes and curiosities on this topic that impressed our Estella. With us the association “Gli Amici di Calascio” which takes care of and animates the old ex-monastery.

June 30 Castelvecchio Calvisio at 17.00. Daily bread

Romeo Battistella, the only baker in town, tells us about yesterday’s bread and today’s bread. The meeting is in collaboration with the agency’s volunteers and La Rosa de Venti coop. Social

July 1 Santo Stefano di Sessanio kl. 17.00. Intrecci, meeting with “Ciaole stefanare” and AquilLana by Valeria Gallese among stories, threads and wool.

Preparing for the trip is an artistic residence for TeatroVagante in Carapelle Calvisio, the municipality’s guest, and a two-day meeting at Ostello sul Trattiro in Civitaretenga – Navelli, where the group through a theater workshop will be guided to the construction of the performance to be performed in those countries , he will visit and will be instructed on the journey.

On July 6, however, the Caravan of Estella will be a guest of Maxxi L’Aquila for the final meeting, where a map of the experience to be shared will be created.

The project is born out of an idea Chiara Ciaglia (Gira e Rigira), who crossed the goals of the artistic career of Sara Gagliarducci (TeatroVagante) thanks to the collaboration that took place in the escape trip that was completed in 2021 with the University’s “Creativity Incubator”.

Chiara Ciaglia is co-founder with Luigi CalabreseGira and Rigira, a reality born in 2017, which deals with cultural excursions and trekking in the company of donkeys based in Santo Stefano di Sessanio, and which aims to contribute to the promotion and improvement of the territory through original activities suitable for all hikers . ages and athletic training.

Through performative art, Sara Gagliarducci explores the relationship between places and people, between the public and the private space. Sara brings with TeatroVagante and with the project “Evasion: from the square to the heart” street art and community theater to small villages outside the tourist and festival circuit, and overcomes the hit-and-run perspective of cultural enjoyment and insists on the relationship and exchange with the host community.


British traveler, author and painter from the early 1900s, she is the author of the book Through the land of the Apennines and the Abruzzo. Landscape and peasant lifea description of the villages and life of the shepherds and peasants of Abruzzo accompanied by 24 magnificent illustrations, published in England in 1928.

Canziani makes the journey in the company of his father and a mule and faithfully recounts his experience spent in the villages of Castelvecchio Calvisio, Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Calascio, Castel Del Monte, Scanno, Cocullo and L’Aquila.

In his diary, the acute traveler records everything: breathtaking views, women’s clothing, stories and traditions, including the many superstitions that are the origin of symbols and amulets that are still rendered today as jewels. Observe, write and paint.

The organizers hope that this tour can be repeated at other times of the year also in different ways and invite hikers and tourists who want to live a unique experience, to get in touch to build together “Art Tour between the Lands of Baronia in step donkey to discover Estella Canziani “.

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