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II italian permaculture festival 3-6 september Italy Bolsena
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The italian permaculture festival is about to rock for the second year!
From the 3rd to the 6th of september its going to be permaculture time!

Same location as last year, Bolsena, awesome town. We're getting ready to start up all the four day program.

This year its going to be intense.
First day national permaculture gathering in which the point will be made on a few base topics fo the whole movement in Italy
with nearly all the organizations that teach permaculture and the people that practice it in their lives.

From then on its going to be three days of intense discussing, learning and fun.

In three days there's going to be:
19 workshops
7 conferences
8 meetings

And all the evenings films, music and art exhibitions!
The whole town is going to be involved and thats the beauty of Bolsena!

here a link to the whole events schedule: daily program

Any permies in Italy that want to come for a visit are welcome

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Heading to Bolsena!!! who knows maybe there will be some fellow permies there
Be back on monday with fresh news from the festival
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II italian permaculture festival 3-6 september Italy Bolsena

By Lorenzo Costa, photos by Valentina Burla

The second italian permaculture festival took place in Bolsena from the 3rd to the 6th of September. The medieval town welcomed the festival even better than last year.
For the second year the organization, led by Luca Puri, followed the same idea of designing the event throughout the town center. This has proved to be the idea that characterizes the festival. Permaculture meets a community, like that of Bolsena, and the two get positively infected by the connection.
It is nice to see how permaculture can be practiced and lived in a living community.

The festival throughout the town center

The first day was entirely dedicated to the national permaculture meeting, organized with some of the existing institutions that promote permaculture and many free practitioners.

The national permaculture meeting

The meeting had two separate moments. In the morning a general discussion on the situation of the Italian movement and its connection with the rest of the European network. The focus on the European scene was seen as necessary since in 2016 Italy, and Bolsena as location, will host the EUPC under the organization of the Italian permaculture academy.

The EUPC will be designed even on the feedback that this year participants will share on the 2015 festival. So every participant can become part of the designing process of the EUPC.

The afternoon session was organized using the open space format and six groups of discussion were defined: creation of an Italian network permaculture network focused on applied research; definition of the guidelines in teaching permaculture from the curriculum of the 72 hr PDC to the Diploma, focusing on the certification of teachers and the quality of their practice; European convergence 2016; teaching permaculture to children; social permaculture and last sea/maritime permaculture.

The other three days were dedicated to eight meetings, seven conferences, and 19 workshops. The organizers had more than 500 registrations to the workshops (the strong pre-registration to them made the organizers decide to increase the number of participants, but nonetheless someone lost the opportunity to attend due to overbooking), with a total of more than 900 people that came to Bolsena for the festival.

One of the workshops

The philosophy of this festival is always the same, to organize an event without sponsors or a predetermined budget, counting on local firms, the help of a willing community, and the adherence of the teachers and speakers to the ethics of permaculture. The registration, like last year, cost only ten euros, and the workshops five. Luca Puri has demonstrated how design and applied social permaculture can achieve great results.

The outdoor workshop on pyrolitic stoves

It is interesting to share briefly what resulted from the discussions of the work groups at the end of the first day.

The first group on the italian permaculture network started working on the idea of a regional permablitz network, stating that mutual aid is a the basis for a growing movement. The discussants analyzed different existing mutual aid networks recognizing that the result of these experiences is very different. The regional network in Sicily has, after five years, proved to be the most organized in Italy. Starting from the needs of its members the network has grown from fifteen to more than 200 members! Yes 200 and its still growing with local chapters organizing. Permaculture is infectous!! The basis of the idea when the network was setup, was to start not from having a PDC but from skills that could be helpful. This way many more have been drawn to permaculture after having seen the importance of the skills they had and the use they could do with those skills.
Starting from a regional scale, or even smaller, the idea is to connect an entire nation. From the correct use of the web and the clear definition of rules, the next step is to share skills and research.

The second group discussed the necessity of teaching standards that follow those already internationally recognized and quality assurance of the courses held in Italy. A representative of the Academy shared the work that has been don with the European teachers partnership. There is a European group that is working on this topic, searching to keep together the basic international guidelines with national solutions that have been achieved, and that can have a European interest. An example can be that of the medium route project discussion defined by the Italian academy for the diploma practitioners.

The third group focused on the organization of the EUPC 2016 being that the existing workgroup could meet in Bolsena and new energies could be included. The work of this group is in progress and did not end with the meeting on the first day. The theme of the EUPC is: permaculture a living community.

The fourth and fifth groups can be treated together in some way being they are intimately connected: social permaculture and teaching permaculture to children. The two groups came to the conclusion that we have to take permaculture in two the communities we live, starting from schools or projects focused on children. The idea of social permaculture is very interesting if connected to the traditional community based local social structure. We should redesign that tradition observing the good it has to offer for creating beneficial habitats.

The sixth group worked on the idea of extending the fertility building not only to soil but to sea. The maritime tradition of Italy has to make us reshape our culture with the tools of permaculture. Why not focus on sea as a key element that has an edge, which is the coast, that connects two habitats. Are they distinct? No, they shouldn’t be. What we have seen in the Molokai island as a complete system that connects land to sea, the Ahupuaʻa system has existed to some extent even in Italy with its maritime tradition, so why not research its legacy and unite it to permaculture practice. A lot can come from this idea, Sea can become a connection and not a boundary between countries as is seen today in the Mediterranean.

The festival was a great occasion for creating connections, binding relations and living an intense experience. Next year many more will have the opportunity to live this unique experience of permaculture in a living community with the EUPC.

The logo of the festival, the pink cockerel, colors the town
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