the first European festival on creativity

2023 Programme

Event #1

Friday 1 September, 05.15 pm

piazza Matteotti1 free entrance with ticket
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Massimiliano Valerii

The trial of Galileo Galilei: wonder and disenchantment

Wonder is the source of modernity. On a clear autumn night in 1609, Galileo Galilei pointed his rudimentary telescope to the stars and saw something that no one before him had ever seen. From those ‘wonderful observations’ began the scientific revolution that would change our view of the world and of ourselves. Astronomical discoveries, however, are shocking and create conflicts between truth and power. One of the most famous and controversial court cases started at the time: the trial for heresy held by the Holy Office, the Inquisition Tribunal in Rome. Galileo was arrested, interrogated, threatened with torture, and his work was put on the Index. We know that he eventually submitted to the humiliation of abjuration. Was this the ingenious stratagem of a heroic defender of freedom of thought against all dogma to escape martyrdom and secretly promote human emancipation? Or was Galileo a hypocritical and cowardly man, surrendered to obscurantism? This enigma anticipates the dilemmas that shook the Manhattan Project scientists engaged in building the first atomic bomb. And it brings us to our questions about today’s dominance of technology, when new capital risks seem to be looming over mankind: climate catastrophes, the spectre of nuclear weapons, the proliferation of technologies undermining free will. So let us go back to that fateful day in 1633 and go over those distressing hours before the sentence when Galileo had to decide what he would say to his judges.



Massimiliano Valerii is the general director of Censis, the Italian institute for socio-economical research. After graduating in Philosophy at the Sapienza University of Rome, he devoted his research to social, economic and territorial issues. He is curator of the yearly Rapporto sulla situazione sociale del Paese – the Report on the social situation of the Country – published since 1967 and considered one of the most qualified and complete instruments for interpreting Italy’s socio-economic reality. He was a columnist for Repubblica and teaches Media, Society, Institutions in the Master's degree in Publishing and Writing at Sapienza University of Rome. He wrote the essays La notte di un’epoca (2019), Il contagio del desiderio (2020) e Le ciliegie di Hegel (2022), all published by Ponte alle Grazie.

All theevents2023


Event #1

Massimiliano Valerii

The trial of Galileo Galilei: wonder and disenchantment

Event #2

Franco Lorenzoni

Educating against the wind

Event #3

Paolo Giordano

Wonder between nature and knowledge

Event #4

Chiara Civello

I am what I am

Event #5

Matteo Nucci

A philosopher's wonder: Plato

Event #6

Erika Fatland, Alberto Riva

The wonder of wanderlust

Event #8

Guido Tonelli

Matter. The wonderful illusion

Event #9

Vittorio Lingiardi

Dreams as neuro-wonder

Event #9 BIS

Vittorio Lingiardi

Dreams as neuro-wonder

Event #10

Francesca Mannocchi

Wonder during war: is it possible?

Event #12

Sabrina Speich

Wonderful, immense sea

Event #13

Massimo Zamboni

Wild bestiary. An illustrated reading

Event #14

Massimo Recalcati

The trauma of loss and the working-through of a bereavement

Event #15

Martina Mazzotta

Wunderkammer: art, science, wonder. From the Renaissance until the present day

Event #16

Matteo Nucci

A poet’s wonder: Omer

Event #17

Alessandro Barbero

1204: the Crusaders discover Constantinople

Event #17 BIS

Alessandro Barbero

1204: the Crusaders discover Constantinople

Event #18

Cinzia Spanò, Roberta Di Mario

Reading Lolita in Tehran. Reading concert

Event #19

Alberto Rollo

The Humble Beauty of Ditches and Majesties

Event #22

Carlo Stanga, Giulia Capodieci

Wunderkit: five objects for creativity

Event #23

Veronica Barassi, Gerd Gigerenzer

Generative AI and the Wonder of Human Intelligence

Event #24

Alessandro Zaccuri

Wonderfully. Learning wonder from literature

Event #25

Nazareth Castellanos

Discovering our mind through the wonders of our body

Event #26

Massimo Recalcati

Wonderful nostalgia

Event #27

Elena Stancanelli, Bernardo Zannoni

Out of the blue: wandering to find wonder

Event #28

Matteo Nucci

A novelist’s wonder: Gabriel García Márquez

Event #29

Francesco Costa

Wonderfully informed

Event #33Children / Kids


Have you ever seen a 3D hologram?

Event #36Children / Kids

Cristina Bellemo

Did you know that the world has a sound?

Event #38Children / Kids

Marco Somà

To infinity… and beyond!

Event #39Children / Kids

Willy Guasti

Soft-hearted animals… And more!

Event #40Children / Kids

Sergio Rossi

Water: the world's strangest substance!

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