Corvetto di Milano: 1st edition of the Embrace the Wonder Festival

When the little ones guide the adults, wishes come true and, in collaboration, stories and encounters that unite the whole community blossom.

I present to you a project born in 2018 in Milan thanks to the Cariplo Foundation in the context of The city aroundwhich involves the inhabitants of fragile urban contexts to regenerate unused areas or areas in a state of decay by making use of the association Labsus And Italia Nostra Onlus and which now leads to the first Festival Embrace the Wonder.

From 16 to 18 November 2022, with the Embrace the Wonder Festival, the Corvetto district will be populated by theater, book presentations and talking postersmade with the girls and boys of the nursery and primary schools of the neighborhood.

Participating in the festival is free: the complete program and registration on EventBrite. The venue of the Festival is the Politeatro di Viale Lucania 18 in Milan.

The festival is organized by ARTvocacy and Alchemilla. How did this initiative come about?

By involving schools and making children’s eyes become the new light that shines on the suburbs. The gaze of boys and girls is precious: they look at the world and the city from a different angle, full of imagination and far from the thought patterns of adults.

Redesigning the city

The winning idea was to adopt the model of collaboration agreements (real agreements between the Municipality of Milan and the protagonists of the initiatives: associations, informal groups and individual citizens; in which the individual actors assume reciprocal commitments and responsibilities) making them sign, obviously in a symbolic way, by the children.

Thus was born, in March 2022, In small terms and it is thanks to this initiative, curated by Spaziopensiero Onlusthat today the space first dreamed of, then designed and then created by the children of the Filzi Comprehensive Institute is a reality and has a name: The Garden of Wishes.

The common area near the school, from uncultivated and abandoned, has become an inclusive area with a basketball court, large patterned flooring, rows of colored seats, a fence that delimits the space and allows autistic children to play safely, swings and areas for free play, a track for bicycle and skateboard competitions and the Path of Diversity… All designed and conceived by the little ones and built with the help of parents and neighborhood associations.


Another area that has already signed the collaboration agreement is Porta Adriano, overlooking the Naviglio della Martesana. The boys and girls of the State Primary School are involved in this project Vittorio Bottego.

With the new school year, the workshops aimed at giving voice to the wishes and indications of the little ones with respect to their way of seeing the city will continue and there are already many schools that wish to participate.

In particular the Municipalities 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 for each of which a district is identified in which to carry out the intervention.

The choice of neighborhoods and schools, shared with the Municipality of Milan and the individual Municipalities, takes into account the socio-economic characteristics of the territories and the educational poverty indices of the schools; on the other hand, account is also taken of the presence of networks and active subjects who can undertake, also thanks to training on the subject of civic collaboration, to maintain and continue to nurture the collaboration agreements.

This will give sustainability to the regeneration processes initiated within the project. The selected districts are the following: Lambrate, Gratosoglio, Giambellino-Lorenteggio, Baggio, Villapizzone, Niguarda.

Courtyards, squares, gardens adjacent to schools will become places in which to build citizenship paths, training and a new way of teaching: bringing the school outside, creating trust in children and aggregation, making them responsible and developing a strong sense of belonging to the community.

A true experience of education for citizenship and democracy.

A Little Pacts

Sparks are being born that shine together and that must be looked after and favored. Those of children are the most precious because they show us a model of a city that is comprehensive, tolerant, liveable and usable for anyone.

In this regard, I take this opportunity to invite anyone interested to find out more aboutmatch which will take place on 19/11 during Bookcity Milano to the event dedicated to exploring these issues, starting from the experience of collaboration agreements. It is definitely a way to get in touch with various worlds.

I like to conclude by bringing a reflection as I always do in my articles.

How can we bring the idea of ​​Collaboration Pacts into our family life? And what if we did it in the condominium where we live, or in the neighborhood of the neighborhood, identifying common areas to redevelop, embellish, redesign, illuminate with a new light?

It would be nice if thousands of sparks were born. For my part, I have an idea that I will propose to the condominium where I live.

I’d like to put a bulletin board or container in the main entrance with books as a gift or exchange so that the words pass to other eyes, to other hands, to other minds … of all ages.

And who knows, what comes from.

I thank the Stilema Srl press office and the Sociologist of childhood Maurizio Murino for the material provided and their very kind availability.

Corvetto di Milano: 1st edition of the Embrace the Wonder Festival