The central Italian city of Modena will delve into the world of fantasy this month, as it celebrates the third edition of its world-famous Philosophy Festival.
Modena, along with the neighbouring towns of Carpi and Sassuolo, will explore how fantasy feeds the body as well as the mind, with a packed three-day programme of events.
Art, music, science and food will all play a role in the festival, which features over 200 free events between September 19 and 21.
Among the top names slated to attend are philosophers Emanuele Severino and Jean-Luc Nancy, author Vincenzo Cerami and jazz musicians Renato Sellani and Alessandro Lanzoni.
Elio Fiorucci, founder of the world-famous Fiorucci label, will discuss masculine elegance, on the theme of ''appearance and fiction in fashion''. The festival will host its usual array of talks by top thinkers, as well as a series of menus designed by one of Italy's best-known philosophers, Tullio Gregory, playing with concepts of reality and expectations. Transcripts of some of the most important talks will be available in the form of booklets sold at vending machines around the main site. Another development at this year's event is ''travelling with philosophy'', which will see philosophers engage in on-board discussions with train passengers travelling between Modena, Carpi and Sassuolo. The programme divides the events into five main areas: The nature and function of images; Territories of the imagination; Utopia and the Future; Second Life; and Appearance and Fiction.
A different aspect of the festival will be emphasized in each of the three towns involved, the event's director, Michelina Borsari explained. ''Modena will host initiatives linked to questions of image, with 15 shows here alone,'' she said.
''Sassuolo will cater to kids, with an exhibition of work by illustrator Serge Bloch and shows of soap bubbles and kites. Carpi will instead focus on activities linked to the theme of fiction''.
Launched in 2000, the Philosophy Festival has been more successful than anyone imagined possible.
The festival has also been a major cultural shot-in-the-arm for Modena, a city more famous abroad for its balsamic vinegar, tortellini and the nearby Ferrari headquarters.
''Because it's such an original idea, the philosophy festival has become a defining moment for our city,'' said Modena Mayor Giorgio Pighi. ''It's something that everyone feels involved with.''