ARTEVENTO CERVIA – World’s Longest-Running Kait Festival Returns to Italy for the 43 Time!

ARCHIVIO ARTEVENTO – Aquilone Aristide Prandelli – Photo by Wolfgang Bieck

ARTEVENTO CERVIA is the first event in the world that viewed the kite as visual and performance art, blurring the lines between contemporary expression, theater, dance, circus, and puppetry.

This year it will be attended by 250 professional kite artists from 5 continents and over 2000 enthusiasts from all over the World!


From 21 April to 1 May 2023, on Cervia’s Pinarella Beach (Italy), 250 designers and pilots selected from among the most significant interpreters of a millenary tradition, in constant dialogue with the environment, will join over 2000 enthusiasts for the 43rd Edition of ARTEVENTO CERVIA, the original festival dedicated to kites and the environment, which has become a cult event for both promoters of the wind art and lovers of green tourism as well as sustainable creativity. In simultaneous flight, the event will show the most complete presentation of artistic, ethnic, historical, giant, sport, acrobatic, and even combat kites! All visitors and participants will dive into the magical practice that was born over 2500 years ago.

In the enchanting location at the southern gateway to the Po Delta Park, amidst salt marshes, pinewoods and the sea, the world’s first event dedicated to kites as an art form has been held since 1981. It is in Cervia, in fact, that the ‘artists of the wind’, new voices of an avant-garde poetic language, yet rooted in the history of mankind, have found their elective home over the course of more than four decades, experimenting with the effectiveness of this original artistic medium. 

ARCHIVIO ARTEVENTO – Aquilone Gerard Clement – Photo by Wolfgang Bieck

International artists who have made art history of the calibre of Jackie Matisse, Yayoi Kusama, Tal Streeter, Mimmo Paladino, Robert Rauschenberg, Curt Asker, Niki de Saint Phalle, Emilio Vedova, Karl Otto Götz, Jean Tinguely and Tom Wesselmann, Kazuo Shiraga (whose kite was sold by the Nagel auction house in Berlin last February for a record sum of € 1,140,000) and many others have used the kite as a means of artistic expression, creating true works of art. Jackie Matisse, granddaughter of Henri Matisse, for example, was a real fan of wind art: one day she saw a kite flying over the rooftops of Harlem in New York – a “line drawn in the sky” – and became fixated “on the idea of creating kites… using the sky as a canvas”. In 1995, she signed the Art Volant Manifesto and throughout his life he has created multiple works of ‘flying art’ with his brightly coloured kites used for performances designed to emphasise the ephemeral force of ‘chance’ in the artistic act that dialogues with the natural environment.


And it is precisely through the kite, as the paradigm of a new language of artistic creativity, that the ARTEVENTO CERVIA festival celebrates for the 43rd consecutive edition the reason that has made it the destination of an unmissable pilgrimage, namely the fact that it represents the cradle of a specific artistic current that has found its “place of the soul” on the Cervia beach. It will be , suitable for a diverse audience and spectators of all ages and abilities;The programme includes displays of artistic, ethnic, historical, and giant kites, acrobatic flight displays to the rhythm of music, multidisciplinary dance-theatre and contemporary circus performances, exhibitions, didactic workshops, night performances, the Flag Ceremony, the Special Award for Flying Merits, the Night of Miracles, the STACK Italia acrobatic flight championship, installations, air sculptures, a market, a food area, and much more.

ARCHIVIO ARTEVENTO – Aquiloni Claudio Capelli – Photo by Gerhard Zitzmann

ARTEVENTO CERVIA – Historic ‘International Kite Festival’

In the name of a poetic of wonder between arts and cultures, the historic festival that has made Cervia not simply a kite capital but the world home of the art of wind, returns to celebrate the symbolic power of the rainbow with a record edition: 50 delegations from 5 continents will be present to promote peace, inclusion and environmental sustainability, with 11 days of unmissable entertainment. 


ARTEVENTO CERVIA for 2023 will welcome as Guests of Honour the young ambassadors of Maori culture in the world of the Kaimatariki Trust & Te Kura O Hirangi group, coming to Cervia from the City of Turangi. Welcomed to Italy under the patronage of the New Zealand Embassy in Rome, the Maori delegation of 27 performers will be the protagonists, on the beach of Pinarella, of an extraordinary show that will include, along with the presentation of the anthropomorphic aboriginal kite, also performances of kapa haka (an exhibition of different Maori songs and dances) and waiata songs on the central stage of the Festival Village and a meeting with the public at the Maori Tent, located in the centre of the Wind Fair.

ARCHIVIO ARTEVENTO – Photo by Team Maori

The Homage to ‘Images for the Sky’ with Mimmo Paladino and Master Masaaki Sato

The main theme of the 43rd edition of ARTEVENTO CERVIA will be a tribute to the “Images for the Sky” collection (created in 1989 by Paul Eubel under the aegis of the Goethe-Institut in Osaka) with the presentation of the restoration of Mimmo Paladino’s kite commissioned by the artist himself to Dr. Nella Poggi Parigi, one of the leading experts in the conservation and restoration of works of art on paper. Dr. Poggi’s consultant, as a scholar of the history and culture of kites, Caterina Capelli art director of ARTEVENTO CERVIA, followed the entire process of the restoration operation starting from its presentation in the prestigious venue of the Vatican Museums, during a conference that also emphasised the role of the Cervia festival as the main international observatory on kite art. On the kite constructed by Japanese masters Kazuo Tamura and Shoei Ogasawara, Campania artist Mimmo Paladino chose to depict a Vitruvian man with donkey ears surrounded by symbolic presences and golden brushstrokes, adding to the poetic value of the support the strength of a metaphorical representation that is both essential and powerful.


Also paying homage to “Images for the Sky” will be the presence of Wind Master Masaaki Sato.  It is to the latter, the protagonist of the 43rd edition’s collateral exhibition under the patronage of the Japanese Institute of Culture, that ARTEVENTO CERVIA assigns the Special Award for Merits of Flight 2023, presented over the years to personalities promoting environmental and social sustainability such as, among others, Lucio Dalla, Tonino Guerra, Franco Arminio and Gherardo Colombo. Master Sato, with the contribution of the cicada kite made for the Viennese artist Hundertwasser, was one of the masters custodians of the ancient art of the Japanese kite involved in “Images for the Sky”, of which he is to all intents and purposes one of the last precious witnesses. ARTEVENTO CERVIA thus wishes to pay homage to Eubel’s historic project that valorised the idea behind the festival, that of making the kite, a cultural asset with a history stretching back thousands of years and a symbol of peace and environmental sustainability, the perfect trait d’union linking East and West, past and future, tradition and innovation, knowledge of the hands and intangible cultural heritage, through the art that gives form and colour to the primordial desire to fly, celebrating the marvels of creativity between human dreams and needs, and above all making us feel united in our diversity, because we are all flying in the same sky.

ARCHIVIO ARTEVENTO – Installazione Fausto Marrocu – Photo by Mirella Prandi

Successful Format

ARTEVENTO CERVIA has achieved great success over the years thanks to a rich and unique format which is once again being used in 2023. Themes, artists and events are as follows:


PROTAGONISTS: among the Masters of the Wind, guests of the 43rd edition: Michel Gressier (France), among the personalities who drafted the Wind Art Manifesto together with Jackie Matisse; Kadek Armika (Bali), winner of the first prize for best original work at the Festival du Cerf Volant in Dieppe 2022; Makoto Ohye (Japan); Robert Trepanier (Canada), is part of the Quebec Ministry of Education’s directory for his teaching activities and actively collaborates with Cirque du Soleil and the company Theatre Ciel Ouvert; George Peters (USA), has realised more than 80 national and international interventions commissioned by private, public and corporate institutions and has curated the image of Barack Obama’s campaign for the State of Colorado; Carl Robertshaw (UK), has created visionary set designs for the Superbowl, the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the likes of Bjork, Anthony and the Johnsons, Peter Gabriel, Nora Jones, Katy Perry and Alicia Keys, and fused the world of kites and puppetry in the performance The Hatchling presented to Queen Elizabeth at the Platinum Jubileum; Claudio Capelli (Italy), the creator of the festival and founder of ARTEVENTO, the first to imagine a contamination between visual and performing arts modulated by the energy of the wind in the form of an international event.

GUESTS OF HONOUR: the Maori team – Kaimatariki Trust & Te Kura O Hirangi from New Zealand. The kite as an opportunity for a valuable encounter between cultures to celebrate peace and get to know the host countries not only through the tradition of wind art but also through performances of theatre, dance, performance disciplines and folklore.

WIND GARDENS: the largest open-air exhibition of air sculptures and wind installations from around the world to celebrate environmental art and promote wind power as an inexhaustible source of renewable energy.

EXHIBITIONS AND LABORATORIES: the informative and educational activities of the Kite Museum to get to know one of the most fascinating and versatile human inventions, the subject of anthropological, historical and scientific research and emblem of a sacred relationship between man and the environment.

MEMORABLE PROGRAMME: “The Night of Miracles” (an original immersive show that has become emblematic of the spirit of the festival: collective performance of wind art, music and lights on the seashore), the “Special Award for Flying Merits”, the “Flag Ceremony”, the Kite Parade, Kite Aerial Photography demonstrations, acrobatic ballets in time to the music, STACK sport kite competitions and the original proposal of dance, puppetry, theatre and contemporary circus to build a poetics of wonder through the contamination of the arts. On the programme, performances of kapa haka and waiata songs by the Maori Kaimatariki Trust & Te Kura O Hirangi Team, Balinese dance-theatre performances and shows by Circo Madera (contemporary theatre-circus, without animals)

FESTIVAL VILLAGE: ‘Wind Fair’ and ‘Grand Circus Bazar’, kite and craft market, contemporary circus chapiteu.

ARCHIVIO ARTEVENTO – Installazione Roberto Monti – Photo by Davide Baroni

Kite Photography

A unique exhibition of wind artists, ARTEVENTO CERVIA is for this very reason an unmissable appointment for the most extraordinary interpreters of KAP, the practice of taking aerial photographs using a device carried aloft by a kite, as the meaning of the acronym KAP makes clear: Kite Aerial Photography.

Practised for 136 years not only as an artistic medium, but also in the fields of archaeology, geology and zoology, KAP is represented at ARTEVENTO CERVIA by its undisputed masters and by a large group of enthusiasts determined to prefer the ecological flight of the kite to the more impactful solution of the drone for reasons of sustainability as well as artistic poetics.


Realised during the festival, the reportages set in the territory’s most identifiable locations become in turn an opportunity for in-depth studies, as in the case of the collateral exhibition dedicated to the undisputed Master of aerial photography Wolfgang Bieck (Germany), set in the evocative industrial archaeology area of the Magazzini del Sale (Salt Warehouses) in the historic centre of the city of Cervia.

ARCHIVIO ARTEVENTO – Aquilone Ron Gibian – Photo by Wolfgang Bieck


With the motto “we are the rainbow”, the festival dedicated to wind art chooses all the colours of the rainbow as its flag to celebrate pluralism, dialogue and inclusion as instruments of peace, while at the same time identifying in that colourful bridge between earth and sky the emblem of a sacred relationship between man and the environment, a perfect prodrome of the environmentalist spirit that makes this spring event the great festival of sustainability.


In a stimulating climate marked by psychophysical wellbeing, through the wonder engendered by its spectacle and rich programming, for over 40 years ARTEVENTO CERVIA has been boosting a model of interdisciplinarity and multiculturalism inspired by environmental sustainability and social responsibility, encouraging the activation of inclusive and conscious collective good practices and promoting some of the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Precisely on the common thread of sustainability, the festival will dedicate some artistic and popular insights to the bee, a pollinating insect emblematic of the rebirth and renewal of nature. ARTEVENTO thus celebrates the formative value of the experience of play and the effectiveness of active learning through the Educational Workshops of the Kite Museum, choosing the bee as the symbol of the training course dedicated to the youngest: a real school of kites.

ARTEVENTO CERVIA International Kite Festival is organised by ARTEVENTO with the patronage and cooperation of Regione Emilia Romagna, Municipality of Cervia, New Zealand Embassy, Japanese Cultural Institute, APT Servizi, Consorzio Aquiloni, BPER Banca, Cooperativa Bagnini Spiagge Cervia.

ARCHIVIO ARTEVENTO – Installazione George Peters & Melanie Walkers – Photo by Caterina Capelli

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