Truly an opening between worlds where the reality or non, conjecture and meaning of Prof. Tolkiens works were discussed in conference (at times rather heatedly but always in good spirit) but also where you could lose yourself in a small corner of magic for a few hours time listening to music which stirred the soul, hearken to drum rolls announcing a pageant, medieval dance or beautifully costumed parade, hear the clang of swords in combat, or just settle back to enjoy the passing of time.
Wandering through the beautiful tree filled setting and many booths which offered everything from an incredibly extensive array of Prof. Tolkiens books together with those of Mr. Christopher Tolkien and all other manner of biographies, commentaries, mythologies, etc., to beautifully fashioned handmade jewelry, worked leather goods, swords, dirks, and axes forged in the antique manner, fantastic face painting, and Beleg’s famous Dragons’ Blood draught and biscotti.
If that wasn’t enough to warm the heart and stomach, then the food booths took over with meats and sausages, the famous local prosciutto, polenta and plenty of good beer to wash it all down.
For me, the array of books for sale was wonderful to see; all the best editions of Prof. Tolkiens extended works, essays, biographies, etc. Nightime brought concerts, Gandalf’s astonishing fireworks and, the best night of all, The Hall of Fire where bits and pieces of poetry and prose from The Lord of the Rings and other works by Prof. Tolkien were read aloud by anyone who wished to participate and share this magical torchlit evening.
All the peoples of this small corner of Middle Earth truly came together for an incredibly beautiful three days. The Italian Tolkien Society should be proud of their accomplishments. I look forward to next year’s meeting.
See pictures from the event here.