A step forward!

May 24th - 27th 2018, Assisi, Italy



Thursday, May 24 - 9:00 pm

Teatro dell’Orsa presents



Friday, 25 May - 9:00 pm

ALDES and Teatro Stabile dell’Umbria present



Friday, 25 May - 09:00 pn

Saturday, 26 May - 09:00 pn

Teatro delle Briciole presents



Saturday, 26 May - 09:00 pn

Officine della Cultura presents


Birba chi legge - Storytelling in Assisi

A Festival of Narration for Children of all Ages

May 24th - 27th 2018 in Assisi, Italy

Birbachilegge, The Mischief of Reading is a festival of narration both for Italian children and for families and children from all over the world who love stories and reading. We have organised a series of events in English: workshops, guided tours and readings of stories for children of all ages in the context of the wonderful Medieval (and Roman! and Renaissance!!) monuments and art of Assisi.

Listen to stories about knights and dragons in English at the castle of Assisi and then play medieval games there with Italian children… to bedtime stories and sing lullabies in the beautiful little frescoed church of Santa Chiarella. … Tour the underground Roman forum in Assisi and two underground Roman houses with frescoes and mosaics — lots of fun for children and their families to explore … all in English!

We also want the Festival to be a chance for your children to discover Italian culture and for you all to be tourists together in Assisi.
Go to program for a day-by-day guide to Italian Festival events (marked bilingual) suited to children and families who do not speak Italian: lively Italian musicals, dance performances, nature walks, traditional Italian outdoor games your children can play with Italian children.

English-speaking staff will be on hand at all bilingual events. You will also find English info on line (plot summaries, historical explanations, and more!) to help you and your children enjoy these events to the full.

Come back and visit us again as the Festival gets nearer for more English background info and support materials on these bilingual events!
And Happy Festival!!

The Organisers:

Established in 2003, BiRBA is a not-for-profit cultural organization with its home-base in Assisi, dedicated to the creation of school libraries (virtually non-existent in Italy) and in general to inspiring and encouraging children of all ages to read, both in Assisi and throughout Italy. In the spring of 2018, and in collaboration with the city government of Assisi, BIRBA will launch, BIRBA chi Legge - The Wonderful Mischief of Reading, a Festival of Narration for children of all ages.

During the festival, BIRBA will be collaborating both with local cultural organizations and with well-known and innovative troupes, theater groups and performers from all over Italy, all dedicated to culture and narration of all sorts to children

The Festival aims at excellence and at bringing books and stories to life not just for the children of Umbria (the Italian region in which Assisi is located) or of Italy; Birba chi Legge: The Wonderful Mischief of Reading was conceived of as an international Festival for children and their families from all over the world.


Venerdì 25 maggio - ore 21

Sabato 26 maggio - ore 21

Il Teatro delle Briciole presenta



Sabato 26 maggio - ore 21

Officine della Cultura presenta


Un passo avanti! tema dell'edizione Birba chi legge Assisi fa storie - Festival Assisi 24/27 maggio 2018

The theme of this year's Festival will be

A step forward!

For BIRBA, stories are A STEP FORWARD; they make bridges between past and future, between ourselves and others, and help us to cross them. Stories represent the geography of the possibile; they contribute to the creation of open minds which can pursue and find beauty and simplicity everywhere. Stories are the quiet teachers of children; they help students to approach and accept without prejudice a wide range of realities. They bring different points of view to life for children and help them to see what might otherwise be, for them, invisible. Imagination, awe, and wonder help children to step forward into a version of adulthood which is more complete; they help all of us, at any age, to become better people and better citizens of the world.

A step forward means marching into adulthood unafraid, with trust in the unknown which has become an essential part of the adventure of reading for children. It means having the courage to fight for one’s own ideals, as so many different and unique favourites characters have fought for theirs. It means a delighting in what is different and as a result a growing up with a broader awareness of oneself and others and an embracing of the new both in oneself and in one’s relation to others.

Birba chi legge, The Wonderful Mischief of Reading - A Festival of Narration is also a step forward for the little medieval city of Assisi; it is a step forward culturally, for it represents the important decision to affirm the value of reading and books, the journey of delight and discovery that they can be for all children. This is an important cultural first for Assisi. The Festival is the result of a fruitful collaboration among the schools, parents, cultural associations, city government and local institutions of Assisi, all united in their conviction that the sustenance of stories and literature is an essential part of every childhood.

With Birba chi legge, The Mischief of Reading - A Festival of Narration, Assisi becomes the ambassador of the value and importance of books and reading for children of all ages, and for all of us. And for BIRBA itself, the Festival is an important step forward in the realisation of its dream of creating a library in every public school, to foster in its turn the culture of books and the love of reading among children of all ages everywhere, across the social spectrum.

The Festival at a glance

"BiRBA chi legge - Stotytelling in Assisi"

“BiRBA chi legge” “The Wonderful Mischief of Reading”: a Festival of narration for children of all ages in Assisi, Italy.

A step forward!

From May 24h to May 27th, 2018.

From Thursday morning to Sunday evening (4 days).

Children of all ages from preschoolers to middle schoolers and their families, anyone who loves books and reading and storytelling, students at Assisi's nursery, primary, and middle schools.

- Plays, shadow theatre, puppet shows, itinerant theaters, dance performances, buskers and street performances. All day long, including matinees.
- Storytelling and itinerant storytelling throughout Assisi.
- Concerts of Medieval and Renassiance music.
- Guided tours of museums and archeological sites. 
- Storytelling workshops for adults.

- Events at local Assisi schools for Assisi's preschoolers, primary school students and middle school students.
- Hands-on lectures on festival events.
- Workshops with editors, authors and illustrators.

“Birba Chi Legge” or the Wonderful Michief of Reading will include several events, guided tours, and workshops in English, as well as in Italian.

The Festival will take place in the beautiful medieval city of Assisi, its squares, gardens, lanes, castle, woods and museums including the 1st century Roman Forum, the 12th century Rocca Maggiore (fortress), the Cathedral Museum and its 11th century Crypt of Saint Rufino (an underground maze of a place for children to explore), the Regina Margherita Park, and the Sacred Wood of St. Francis. Events will be held indoors and outdoors, in both public and private spaces.

Will be organized and curated by students of Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia and Scientifc Lyceum of Assisi.

Authors, Illustrators, Actors, Readers, Storytellers, Dancers, Musicians, Singers, Street artists, Art Counselors, Pietro Vanucci Academy of Fine Arts, Assisi Prince of Naples Scientific Lyceum.



Designed and planned by

L'Associazione culturale Birba organizza il Festival Birba chi legge - Assisi fa storie maggio 2018

In collaboration with

In collaboration with Città di Assisi

Under the patronage

Under the patronage Regione Umbria

Official Radio

Official Radio Subasio Radio

Media Partner

Umbria Webcam is Media Partner

Special thanks

Partner: CoopCulture, Museo Diocesano e Cripta di San Rufino, Humanities Spring in Assisi, A teatro Ragazzi!, Piccolo teatro degli instabili, FAI Bosco di San Francesco, Thriller Nord, Quelli del Bronx, Paola Orcidi Korè Studio

Under the auspices of Centro per il Libro e la Lettura

centro libro lettura maggio dei libri



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#iostoconbirba (I'm with birba)

We are a community of friends of Birba who have chosen to support the Festival in various ways. We like to name them all because we strongly believe in the importance and power of sharing dreams. So that they can come true. If you want to join us, take a step forward!

#iostoconbirba (I'm with birba) - restaurant

#iostoconbirba (I'm with birba) - friends

Tardioli Domenico, Portica 7, Bottega del Pasticcere, Franchi Massimo & C, Migni Francesca, Spadini Barbara Stefano & C, Sgargetta Francesco, Fronduti Sandro, Trionfetti Luciana, Romano Emilio, Antichi Sapori, Bar Pasticceria Sensi, Costantini Alessio, Trusa Marcello