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As we arrived Spoleto was gearing up for the 56th Festival dei Due Mondi which makes it 41 years since I, as a young actor, first came to Spoleto. It was the 15th festival - 1972. Time flies when you're having fun.

In the interim much has changed. The festival itself came very close to dissolving a few years back when its founder Gian Carlo Menotti in his dotage passed the helm to his adopted son 'Chip' who was not only unpopular but eminently incompetent.

In recent years the tiller has been taken up by Carla Fendi - yes, that Fendi - and the film and theatre director Giorgio Ferrara in the hopes of reinvigorating it and perhaps even restoring it to its former glory.