NEWS » Palermo to be Italy's Capital of Culture 2018

Palermo to be Italy's Capital of Culture 2018

Palermo, the capital city of Sicily, has been chosen to be the Italian capital of culture 2018. The decision was made by a jury appointed by the Culture Ministry. One million-euro was awarded to the city for promotion and investments which are expected to have a positive impact on tourists flow, as a consequence of the new cultural activities that the city will be now able to offer. The title of “Italian Capital of Culture” lasts for one year and allows the candidate cities to plan and promote cultural activities, in this way increasing the value of their artistic heritage. Mantua won in 2016, and this year’s winner is Pistoia. The other shortlisted cities for 2018 were Alghero, Aquileia, Comacchio, Ercolano, Montebelluna, Recanati, Settimo Torinese, Trento, and a joint Elima-Erice bid (including Buseto Palizzolo, Custonaci, Erice, Paceco, San Vito Lo Capo, and Valderice).


Palermo has scheduled many initiatives and cultural events for 2018, among them there is the promotion of an Arab-Norman route that will connect Palermo with Cefalù and Monreale (the path was recently granted UNESCO Heritage status). There will be also “Manifesta 12”, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, and the festival of migrant literature will be also implemented. This festival was created two years ago with more than 140 authors from the Mediterranean area.


The façade of Palermo’s Teatro Massimo was lit up with red, white and green lights to celebrate the awarding of the title “city of culture 2018”. The ex Convento di St. Francesco now turned into an Arabic cultural centre will be also inaugurated.


Palermo is a beautiful city and already attracts many tourists even if it's less of a tourist destination than Rome Florence and Venice. Many different nations and cultures have left a mark on the city of Palermo. Its strategic military and trading position attracted invaders from around the world, including the Carthaginians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Normans, the Swabians, the French and the Spanish Bourbons. Each of these different cultures had an impact on the city's architecture, language and art, therefore the city's cultural sights are extremely varied.


Many of the region's churches have been granted Unesco World Heritage status because of the mixture of Western, Islamic and Byzantine styles. In Palermo there are Italy's largest botanic gardens, and Sicilian food is delicious. The local specialities include both sweet and savoury specialities, from cannoli (crispy cream-filled pastry shells) to sfincioni (a variation on foccaccia) to arancini (breaded rice balls). 

Giulia Lombardo

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