“I am grateful to have received this award, which I didn’t expect, and that, for this reason, is even more welcome and makes me all the happier. For...
On October 17, 2014 the selection panel of 13 independent experts responsible for assessing the Italian cities competing to be European Capital of Culture in 2019, has recommended that Matera should be awarded with the famous title.
This award started in 1985. Since then, more than 40 cities have been designated European Capitals of Culture, and the initiative has become one of the most prestigious and high-profile cultural events in Europe. Each year, cities chosen as European Capitals of Culture provide living proof of the richness and diversity of European cultures.
Last year, many cities were competing to become the 2019 European Capital of Culture and when Matera, in Basilicata, Italy, with its incredible “sassi”, won the award, many other cultural projects were suddenly abandoned.
However Dario Franceschini, Italy’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, has recently announced that the other five cities that were competing against Matera, this year will receive one million euros each to realize the projects they presented at the contest.
So exceptionally for 2015, the Capital of the Italian Culture will be embodied by five different cities with their incredible treasures and attractions: Lecce (Puglia), Cagliari (Sardegna), Perugia (Umbria), Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna) and Siena (Tuscany) are each going to work on their cultural projects assuring a Summer full of unique experiences. Lecce will transform itself in an open air museum, with works of art scattered around bars, shops, restaurants, and schools. Cagliari will concentrate more on the contemporary with a projects that wants to unify Italy, Europe and Africa. Perugia will be contaminated by a mix of Middle Ages and modernity, while Ravenna will transform its streets and spaces to rediscover the old Darsena, and Siena will prepare for the Jubilee through a trip on the via Francigena, the ancient route that in medieval times connected Canterbury to Rome and to the harbors of Apulia.
This initiative wants to create more attention on these beautiful Italian cities and help their economies through art and culture. There will be exhibitions, shows, celebrations, concerts, but also plans to renovate poor areas of these cities, connect the center to the suburbs, restore monuments and buildings, and openings of new museums and archeological areas currently closed to the public.
But lets get more in depth with what each city will offer to visitors this Summer.
From the 16th of July, Ravenna will open the ancient Tardo Antico and Teodorician Port together with the new Archeological park. Lecce will be invaded by art and a children festival will be organized to involve them too. Perugia, as its mayor Andrea Romizi said, will focus on the shape of its “urbis”, rediscovering the history of its medieval city center and encouraging the young generations to be inspired by their history to face new challenges. Siena will offer a rich program of art, music, dance, and a unique project that in December will transform 24 windows of the city by displaying some contemporary artworks. Cagliari will involve artists and its inhabitants to interpret and redesign natural landscapes and urban views.
It will be a rich and interesting Italian Summer!