Postcard from Parma, Italy: Festivals fill the streets with art and regional flavors

Beginning in early April, for 45 days contemporary art popped up in public spaces and unexpected places throughout the city as part of Parma 360. Although the event map listed 40 venues, we tended to stumble upon them rather randomly.

Man cannot live on art alone. In the midst of the art events, Parma hosted its three-day Street Food Festival with approximately two dozen food trucks and portable booths in Piazzale della Pilotta in the shadow of the Farnese Palace. Street food in Parma covers a broad sweep of flavors. In addition to burgers and brews, vendors offered some of the region’s finest hams, cheeses and wines.

Am still unsure whether the clever plays on the “do not enter” signs we encountered in our immediate neighborhood were part of Parma 360 or vigilante street art, but hope they remain past yesterday’s closing of the festival.

Sampling Luminaria San Antonio 2014

If you didn’t meander through the streets from the Central Library to the Tobin Center last night, this evening brings another opportunity to experience the art, lights and sounds of Luminaria San Antonio 2014. Los Angeles-based La Santa Cecilia plays the main stage tonight. Had the opportunity to enjoy this group performing at the International Accordion Festival a couple of years ago. For a preview, watch the Tiny Desk Concert provided by National  Public Radio.

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