The Ten Finalists have been announced! Ready to be judged and critiqued on January 14th and 15th. So, who are the contenders?
The shortlist of towns and cities proposing themselves for the title of ‘Italian Capital of Culture 2022’ has been shortlisted down to 10, by a jury chaired by Professor Stefano Baia Curioni.
These 10 finalists, have all presented a culture project for their city, which they hope to develop and come to fruition if they win. We can hear who it will be on 14th and 15th January 2021, when another expert jury will decide at a public hearing, to be held at the culture ministry here in Rome.
Currently it is Parma, the Italian capital of culture 2020- 2021.
These are the 10 candidates for 2022:
- Ancona – a city and seaport on the East coast of central Italy, with a rich history of merchants and invasions. Popular sights are the Ancona cathedral and Arch of Trajan.
- Bari – the capital of Puglia, one of Italy’s southern regions, Bari boasts impressive sights such as the Swabian castle and Russian church.
- Cerveteri – not far from Rome in northern Lazio, this UNESCO World Heritage site is home to the Necropoli della Banditaccia – a large architectural space filled with around 1,000 ancient tombs.
- L’Aquila – L’Aquila, which translates to ‘The Eagle’ in English, is a commune in central Italy known to have great importance during the middle ages and a geographical closeness to the Apennine mountains.
- Pieve di Soligo – a pretty town in the Treviso province, in north-east Italy.
- Procida – one of the Flegrean islands off the coast of Naples, this brightly coloured island has a rich history of pirates and smuggling. It is where they filmed Cleopatra (1963), starring Elizabeth Taylor.
- Taranto – situated in the nook of the inner heel of Italy’s boot, Taranto was founded hundreds of years ago by the Spartans and has always been a great spot to see dolphins.
- Trapani – based in Sicily, Trapani is an important fishing port and home to many impressive churches.
- Verbania – situated on the shore of Lake Maggiore, Verbania is only 40km from Milano and has impressive Villa Taranto, with idyllic botanical gardens.
- Volterra – a walled mountaintop town in Tuscany, this atmospheric town is where Stephanie Meyer, the author of the Twilight series, based the Volturi, the fictional yet famous coven of elite, regal and rich vampire rulers.
All these fascinating finalist cities have to present their projects in front of the jury during a public hearing at the culture ministry in Rome on 14 and 15 January 2021. Then the jury will narrow down the most suitable candidate (in their opinion) for this highly-regarded title. Culture minister Dario Franceschini will hand over the prestigious award.
Bergamo and Brescia have in fact been awarded cultural titles for 2023, in an empathetic attempt to rebuild these two towns which have been devastated by the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding and support will give the joint winners hope for the future. Yet we wait with eagerness to find out who will hold the 2022 title!
Whoever wins, it is safe to say that all 10 are captivating in their own right, and worth adding to your travel bucket list.