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Liscio Night in Romagna

From July 21 to 24 all of Romagna, from the Riviera to the inland areas, will pay homage to one of its most identifying and unmistakeable elements, “Liscio” dancing.

It’s “Liscio Night”, which will involve all of the towns of the Riviera Romagnola - Comacchio, Ravenna, Cervia-Milano Marittima, Cesenatico, Gatteo Mare, San Mauro Mare, Bellaria Igea Marina, Rimini, Riccione, Misano Adriatico, Cattolica – together with the inland areas, in a single sound of waltzer, polka and mazurka played by the most famous traditional orchestras – but also by young bands with their reinterpretations and contemporary touch – with the beaches and squares enlivened by professional dancers and fans of all ages.



On the evening of Saturday, July 23 there will be the main event of this festival with a very special guest, a master in mixing styles, the Serbian musician Goran Bregovic. Great at mixing folk with electronic music, racing rhythms and sacred themes, and famous for having done the soundtracks for the films by the cult director Emir Kusturica, he will play on a stage set up in Rimini, giving the public his personal reinterpretation of a series of Liscio songs, which will culminate with “Romagna Mia” played together with the Orchestra Mirko Casadei and the Orchestra of Moreno Il Biondo & Extraliscio, with the guests singer-songwriter Cisco and Mirco Mariani.


One of the most identifying and unmistakable elements of Romagna, Liscio dancing, will be celebrated not with nostalgia, but with a contemporary view, which can be seen in the participation of the musician Goran Bregovic and by artists such as Frankie hi-nrg, Khorakhané, and Massimo Bubola, just to name a few, along with the most famous traditional orchestras. Another distinctive trait of Romagna and of its people will be honored, their passion, which here is expressed in the seduction of dancing, as an expression of the desire to socialize and listen to music in a positive, beautiful way, without exaggerating, in a sort of big musical hug.


The first events


The contagious atmosphere of liscio will start to spread on Wednesday, July 20, from 9pm in Savignano sul Rubicone (Fc), which will host a meeting on the history of liscio with the stars Riccarda and Raoul Casadei, (the daughter and nephew of Secondo Casadei, undisputed maestro of liscio and composer of Romagna Mia) together with experts from the culture and journalism world, while in Ravenna, in Piazza del Popolo (at 9pm) a tribute will be paid to Secondo Casadei. Thursday, July 21 there will be the first live show in Cervia (Ra), with the Orchestra Mirko Casadei (son of the king of liscio, Raoul Casadei, who has been conducting this famous Orchestra Casadei for 16 years) which will offer a unique evening together with the rapper Frankie hi-nrg, the singer-songwriter Massimo Bubola, the groups Ridillo and Khorakhané and many more. Also taking the stage in Cervia is Raoul Casadei, who after 36 years has created the “Casadei Social Club”, the historic reunion of the Orchestra Spettacolo with its musicians from the 70s playing together again. Deus ex machina of the evening, presented by Carolina Casadei, will be Gabriele Pellegrini, in art Dado, the famous face of Zelig.


Friday, July 22 the place to be is Gatteo Mare (Fc), with the exciting notes of the Orchestra Moreno Il Biondo (44 year career in liscio, owner of his orchestra at age twenty) who will host on stage, among others, Lo Stato Sociale, the orchestra Extraliscio (futuristic formation that revisits with a contemporary touch Romagna folk transforming it into “dance hall punk”), the poly-instrumentalist Pio Spiriti (famous for his collaborations with Cocciante, Ennio Morricone, Renato Zero, Laura Pausini and many others), and the guitarist Luca Allevi, with his original version for guitar of Romagna Mia. Also on Friday, live liscio will be offered in Piazza della Repubblica in Misano Adriatico, with “Misano Balla”.


Saturday, July 23 there will be an evocative event at sunrise on the free beach in Bellaria Igea Marina, with the notes of the acoustic orchestra of Mirko Casadei and Moreno Il Biondo, while at 5pm Cesenatico will host a meeting of notes between a traditional Liscio orchestra and some young bands, and at 6pm, the bathing establishments of the coast will be filled with the sweet notes of Romagna Mia and other famous songs in a happy invitation for swimmers to take a twirl on the sand dance floor.

At 9pm on the stages from Comacchio to Cattolica, and in many Romagna towns from the hills to the sea, traditional and contemporary groups will perform, with the dance schools filling the dance floor. Just like the final event which will be held in Cesena, on Sunday, July 24, with a big festival dedicated to Liscio and traditional Romagna music, with the participation of dance schools from all over Italy.


The origins of Liscio in Romagna


This folklore in Romagna began with Carlo Brighi, called “Zaclèn” (duckling, because of his passion for duck hunting) who for fifty years from the early 1900s travelled with his orchestra all over Romagna, playing dance music in his wooden sitting room which then spread, as evening fell, into the courtyard, fields, and squares of the towns. His orchestra included three violins, a clarinet and a contrabass. Among the many merits of Brighi there is that of having sped things up with the clarinet, which still today has a prominent role in liscio.


It was the artistic director of the recording studio La Voce del Padrone to suggest, in 1954, the title, and Secondo Casadei, who had initially entitled his song “Casetta Mia”, did not think twice about it: “Romagna Mia” was recorded in Milan. More than sixty years have gone by since then and Romagna Mia has become the most danced to song in all the dance halls of Italy, the anthem of Romagna for its people, making Casadei the “Strauss of Romagna”. There are many curious facts linked to the song, which since 1954 has sold more than 6 million copies and has been redone by artists of every kind, from Claudio Villa to Gloria Gaynor, from Deep Purple to Goran Bregovic (who covered this song, in a gypsy version, with Samuele Bersani at the Festival of Sanremo in 2012). Among the many anecdotes, one that stands out is that Pope John Paul II really liked this song and not only did he sing along with the chorus of Romagna groups visiting Saint Peter’s, but, as he stated in several interviews, he hummed this song also in more relaxing moments of his day.


In 1971, when Secondo Casadei died, he left Orchestra Casadei to his nephew Raoul, who had already been collaborating and playing with him for years. In 1973 Raoul Casadei rose in the charts with “Ciao Mare” and he invented the word “Liscio” which then became part of Italian vocabulary. With the success of Ciao Mare Lisco Fever exploded in Italy: more than 350 shows a year, millions of kilometers all over Italy and many hits: besides Ciao Mare, La Mazurka di Periferia, Romagna e sangiovese, Simpatia, Romagna Capitale and many other songs have become the soundtrack to a holiday in Romagna.



Apt Servizi Emilia Romagna – Tel. 0541-430190

Last modified May 23, 2016

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