When in Tarragona, do as the Romans do
Tarraco Viva ends 20th edition and looks ahead to what comes next
The Tarraco Viva festival came to an end on Sunday in Tarragona, after two weeks of cultural activities bringing the glories of Ancient Rome back to life. In its 20th edition, the fair just about sold out, with more than 17,000 tickets bought. More than 3,000 students took part in the festival.
This year’s activities included cooking an old Greek recipe, a workshop to show children how soldiers lived in an Imperial Rome military camp—and which provided them with all the army material, such as lances, shields or helmets—, gladiators fighting for their lives, and recreations of ancient Rome markets.
“Thinking about the past can provide us with some keys for making sense of the future”
Magí Seritjol · Tarraco Viva director
The festival is held in the southern Catalan city of Tarragona, the oldest Roman settlement on the peninsula and once the capital of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. Thus the festival bears the city’s original Roman name of ‘Tarraco'. Even today Tarragona still boasts a sprawling Roman amphitheater overlooking a crystalline Mediterranean sea.
Meanwhile, the organizers disclosed the main theme of next year’s edition: ancient cities. “In a world where cities are gaining greater importance, remembering where old cities stood, where we are now, and where we’re going is extremely important,” said Begoña Floria, Tarragona’s city councilor for culture.
The director of the festival, Magí Seritjol, referred to next year’s theme as timely, since the upcoming local election “will be a good moment to think about the urban world, because cities are pushing for change.” That’s why, said Seritjol, “thinking about the past can provide us with some keys for making sense of the future.”