‹‹Don’t be afraid of disapprovals,
your bravery follows
the submissive times (…)››

Tito Balestra, ‘Non temere censure, il tuo coraggio’,
from ‘Se hai una montagna di neve tienila all’ombra’, Garzanti, 1979.


The Foundation owes its name and its entire existence to the poet Tito Balestra (Longiano 1923-1976), but also to his wife, Anna Maria De Agazio. After the premature death of her husband in 1976, in 1986 she donated the entire heritage to the Foundation, i.e. over 2000 works including oils, graphics and sculptures. The collection has continued to grow over the years thanks to many bequests and donations (over 900 pieces) from friends, relatives and artists who came in contact with the poet. This is why the Foundation needed a special space to replace the temporary exhibition, which from 1982 was held at a modern building in via Giovanni XXII.

Recognising the importance of the works donated, in 1989 the town of Longiano decided to create a Foundation, in which several bodies participate, including the Province of Forlì-Cesena, the Foundation Cassa di Risparmio di Cesena, the Superintendency of Historical and Artistic Heritage of Bologna and some of Tito’s family members. In 1989 the Foundation was legally recognised by the President of the Republic, and in the same year, it moved to the current location at the Malatestian Castle.

Since its inauguration in June 1991, the Foundation has pursued the aim of disseminating knowledge of graphic works and contemporary visual arts. We mainly pursue this goal through the permanent exhibition of part of our artworks, as well as through other activities: we organise temporary exhibitions, events and conferences promoted in collaboration with public and private bodies and other activities carried out over the years and planned for the future.

Particular attention is paid to educational activities and workshops. In 1999, the Tito Balestra Foundation created the CIDO (Italian Center for Operational Didactics) together with some members of the “Scuola Operativa Italiana” (literally the Italian Operating School). CIDO organises the Didactic Experimental Workshops and creates a space for researching expressive language. These activities make the Foundation not only a place for art conservation but also an opportunity to stimulate an “aesthetic experience”, especially among the new generations, through emotions and cultural exchange.