There Italian capital of culture is a city designated annually by the Ministry of Culture and chosen by a commission of seven experts appointed by the same ministry who, for a period of one year, has the opportunity to showcase his life and cultural development.

Promoter of the idea was, in 2014, Dario Franceschini, Minister of Cultural Heritage e

of Tourism, following the proclamation of the city of Matera as European Capital of Culture 2019.

It is an incentive that provides the opportunity for designated cities to enhance the cultural and landscape heritage and of improve services for tourists. It is a great opportunity for worldwide visibility and an opportunity for growth and regeneration. 

From 2015 to today, the title has been awarded to Cagliari, Lecce, Perugia, Ravenna and Siena (2015), Mantua (2016), Pistoia (2017), Palermo (2018), Parma (2020 and 2021), Procida (2022) , Brescia and Bergamo (2023) and finally Pesaro (2024).


Pesaro Capitale della Cultura 2024


Because the appointment as Capital of Culture can be a great opportunity to


Specifically, the call aims at support, encourage and enhance cultural activities assuming that the culture represents a important lever of innovation, social cohesion, well-being and economic development.


In fact, cultural events are key points for tourism development ed economic of a territory. They contribute to helping a city to reposition itself on the market, to create a new image of itself, to change its storytelling, generating benefits for the entire community.

If on the one hand the cultural initiatives attract more and more new tourists, on the other they strengthen the

cohesion, foster cooperation and nurture the pride of being part of a community. And so cities that have been forgotten for years or that have so far been little considered and known, become attractive and on everyone's lips. Not to mention the short and long term economic fallout.


For instance Palermo, Capital of Culture in 2018, it had direct economic repercussions of € 16.3 million against an investment by institutional partners of € 38.5 million.  Visitors spent an average of 628 euros on accommodation, meals, transport and other expenses. Pistoia, Capital of Culture 2017 has recorded a boom in tourist presences of 20.7% compared to the previous year. There were almost 70,000 arrivals and attendances around 160,000, a considerable increase, the best result recorded in the last ten years.

It then happens that a virtuous circle is triggered that pushes the administrations to continue on this path that has already begun to promote the city.

How does the application work? The candidate cities present the program of cultural activities planned for the entire time frame of a calendar year. A jury selects the finalist projects, which are asked to present a second, detailed and in-depth dossier. Among these, two Italian capital cities of culture are chosen for the next two years, which will each enjoy a financing of up to one million euros for the realization of the activities.

Bergamo Capitale della Cultura 2023
Bergamo capitale della Cultura 2023


The Capitals of Culture from 2022 to 2024.

In the year of the resumption of tourism, the Capital of Culture is the beautiful Procida. The project selected by the jury, "Procida, Culture is not an Island"  expected from April 150 events in 330 days, 350 artists from 45 countries. Ties, inclusive collaboration and eco-sustainability, these are the key principles of the program which includes projects for the enhancement and restitution of public spaces to the community, training workshops on topics such as eco-sustainable development, the future of the younger generations and the conservation and development of cultural identity of the island. There will be opera concerts, dance, photography and art performances. Find out more about the dedicated site.


In 2023 it will be the turn of two Lombard cities, Bergamo and Brescia, a choice desired by the parliament in favor of the territories hard hit by the pandemic. Two cities cooperating in one innovative and restart project after two years of crisis. The dossier "The illuminated city" is divided into four areas on which initiatives and events will be held that will make Bergamo and Brescia protagonists of the Italian and European cultural schedule throughout 2023.


In 2024 capital of Culture will be Pesaro, the city of Rossini, of music, of bicycles, an architectural jewel that has always invested so much in culture. The city won with a plural project which involved the fifty municipalities of the province and the system of cultural bodies, associations and professionals.

The dossier entitled "The nature of culture" it is developed in five sections and focuses on the role of Culture and Nature, considered the latter no longer as a resource to be exploited, but to be protected and as a community in which to live, without discrimination and social, gender and economic disparities. TO this link find more info on the candidacy of the city.