Ars, Eros, Cibus – the Ovidian City of Sulmona as the City of Love
Sulmona is perhaps best known as the birthplace of the classical poet Ovid. Those who know their Roman history will remember that Ovid was exiled for something heinous but unspecified and died in 17 or 18 AD in what is now modern Romania. It took Sulmona until 1925 to erect a state to Ovid in the centre of Piazza XX Settembre and we are now trying to make up for hundreds of years of neglect by celebrating his work with a big festival.
‘Ars, Eros, Cibus’ is a December weekend event which was first held in 2010 and is fast becoming one of the major highlights on the Sulmona calendar. The brainchild of a group of local professionals and entrepreneurs called Fabbricacultura (Culture Factory), the weekend aims to showcase the city’s proud Ovidian heritage with series of events and activities with the themes of ‘Art, Love & Food’.
It usually takes place over the first weekend of the month and therefore often also straddles the traditional pre-Christmas public holiday of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.
The whole city is invited to participate in a number of different creative ways and it has become a big event both for local Sulmonesi and visitors alike. The shops along the main Corso Ovidio dress their windows with an ‘Eros’ theme so you’ll find red love hearts and Ovidian quotes aplenty. The participating shops also feature numerous special offers and promotions so this is a great Christmas shopping opportunity. Many hotels and and restaurants offer themed packages to encourage visitors too.
The various activities, displays, exhibitions and gastronomic events take place all over the city centre, and are often in buildings and courtyards not generally open to the public, so there are plenty of different reasons to come and visit either just for the day or even for the whole weekend.