More on Decameron

“The Decameron is a collection of one hundred short stories, written in Italian (and not it Latin) by Boccaccio, between 1349 and 1353. Giving birth to Italian prose.

It is quite famous for his stories of amorous gallantry, from erotic to tragic ones.

The word Decameron comes from the ancient Greek δέκα / deka (“ten”), and ἡμέρα / hêméra (“day”); it is therefore the “book of the ten days”.

It opens with a brief preamble in which the author speaks in his own name. Mysteriously cured of an obsessive love, he decided to devote a little of his time to the pleasures of a readership mainly feminine.

Boccaccio describes the ravages of the Black Death which reached Florence in 1348 and the impact of the epidemic on the whole social life of the city.

While Florence is decimated, seven young women (friends, relatives or neighbors) of the Florentine high society happen to be gathered together in the almost deserted Sainte Marie Nouvelle church. Borrowing names: Pampinea, 28 years old, the oldest of the group; Fiametta; Filomena; Emilia; Lauretta; Neifile; Elissa, 18 years old, the youngest.

Referring to the sanitary situation, Pampinea launched the idea of ​​retiring out of the city to protect both their health and reputation. Three young men enter the church: Panfilo; Filostrato and Dioneo, and accept to join this project of “journey”.

Pampinée is designated “queen” of the day, organizing the departure. All the servants are to ensure the stewardship (kitchen, valets, etc.)

The next day, leaving Florence at daybreak they take refuge in an idyllic countryside, an heaven on earth.

Every new day begins with a poetic and colorful sunrise. This peaceful universe forms a marked contrast with the infectious atmosphere of the city contaminated by epidemics.

The confrontation of these two opposing aspects, which are the carelessness of a few young people in a flower garden and a population decimated by the Black Death, is an example of the style figure called antithesis. It is, moreover, one of the major twists of the Decameron.

To entertain themselves, they set up a rule according to which each must tell a daily story illustrating the theme chosen by the king or queen of the day. The first and the ninth day, to vary, have a free theme. Thus ten young men, each telling one news for ten days, produced a total of one hundred new ones. The title of the work indicates this pre-eminence of number 10 since deca means 10. They meet every day except Friday and Saturday to tell a story in turn about the theme chosen the day before.

The stay lasts more than ten days, because some time is devoted to other pleasures (banquets, dance, music…).”


Trust philosophy

European youth is highly concerned about the impact of migration and terrorism on the European way of life. The discussion is largely driven by media coverage on attacks in Western Europe and shipwrecks in the Mediterranean sea. “Stories” told about this new Europe evoke fear and threat of populations. In that context, it seems a priority to rebalance the situation in provoking moments when europeans, migrants and refugees may work together and trigger different “stories”.


Not surprising, much of the discussion on the relation between europeans, migrants and refugees is about trust. Especially amongst younger generations, it is now important to foster cultural exchange and to promote mutual understanding and common projects.

How to engage young people in a positive and responsible approach helping to construct inclusive dialogue built on respect and trust? How to create a space of awareness and common experience? How to answer to the European integration challenges with a constructive and creative output?

This is the approach presented by Trust Youth Exchange 2. Through discussions and artistic creation, this project wants to shed light on the diverse topics that are currently influencing the European youth. It will facilitate encounters between young people from different countries, cultures and social backgrounds, including migrants and refugees. We believe that the results of the exchange will positively stimulate the European solidarity and cohesion.

The exchange will take place in Leonessa and Rocca Sinibalda, 2 villages located 100km from Rome. Both villages have expressed the will to be open to European events in connection with the local community, and especially the young people.

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The youth meeting will take place as part of a cultural event involving italian artists and local population based on the Decameron from Boccacio and led by Teatro Rigodon.


The project will meet the expectations of the Erasmus+ program in that it will offer 4 youth groups from 4 countries a unique occasion to contribute to the european future in progress, questioning together a burning topic.

The youth groups addressed by the project will students and young adults, 18-30 years old. They will come from different backgrounds: students in politics, arts, journalism, law. Some will come from groups with fewer opportunities that benefit from artistic workshops locally hosted by the partners.

Concretely, the experience will offer a series of activities run by the young people during which they go both share knowledge and develop proposals. The journey will lead to artistic presentation in the frame of Decameron to be shared with the local community and more widely with other young Europeans via publications on the web.

take ownership

Participation in the meeting will enable young people to develop skills at different levels: knowledge on issues related to trust/migrants/refugees, learning/development of artistic skills (writing, theater, music …), and also social skills (working in inter cultural group, joint creation…).

The project will meet the need of young people to take ownership of a major stake in the society in which they are integrating.

The project initiator wishes that such an experience contribute to transform a complex and confusing topic in an artistic, stimulating and positive proposition from the young european citizens involved.