Mantua, the Italian Capital of Culture 2016

Mantua is a jewel of the Renaissance, famous throughout the world for its history, priceless art treasures and natural beauty. It has been awarded the title of Italian Capital of Culture for the year 2016.
This acknowledgement is the result of an ambitious project that is not limited to emphasising its historical heritage, but also aims to encourage the development of new cultural policies that combine tradition and innovation for a new Renaissance.

«On 27 October of last year, the day Mantua was named Italian Capital of Culture, the city accepted the challenge of cultural and economic regeneration, which requires three fundamental ingredients: teamwork, innovation and courage - said the mayor, Mattia Palazzi. - This acknowledgement gave the people of Mantua confidence and enthusiasm, and allows us to build important relationships throughout Italy and Europe. We have worked passionately to build an internationally scaled project based on a systematic approach that relies on new technologies and community involvement».
Mantua is the homeland of Virgil and the Gonzaga court, who attracted art and architecture geniuses - Leon Battista Alberti, Andrea Mantegna, Giulio Romano - and literary and musical geniuses - Torquato Tasso and Claudio Monteverdi. Together with Sabbioneta, it is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site: this is the Mantua that everyone has heard of, which enchants and astonishes tourists from all over the world.
However, the city has so much more to offer: its current multifaceted identity is the result of cultural stratification that occurred over the centuries, and the Mantua 2016 project will allow everyone to fully understand it. To understand its evolution, it is necessary to rediscover what happened during the more obscure centuries in the city's history. Uncovering memories, places, and artistic expressions has become a path of regeneration for the community identity.
Mantua's uniqueness lies not only in its art and architecture, but also in the beauty of its territory and in the variety of its cuisine. This city was built on water, and is still surrounded by a green oasis. Therefore, it is a destination for nature tourists, food and wine enthusiasts and sports lovers of all ages.
For its natural and historical characteristics and small size, Mantua is already a city with a human dimension. As the Italian Capital of Culture, it will be a workshop and an open laboratory for sustainable innovation where citizens and visitors can get involved. People can really become the main players in the city’s daily events, thanks to the Mantova Tourism app, one of the components of the technological platform designed for this year. The app allows for an experience an unprecedented interaction between the physical world and the digital world. Especially created residents who live and work in Mantua and tourists looking to discover the sights and events, the app provides useful information and allows users to check the availability and schedules of sites selected. Thanks also to the artificial intelligence that manages the technological platform, each user will be receive indications of personalized itineraries to better enjoy their visit to the city.
A full range of investments in technology have helped Mantua to advance to fourth position in the Smart City Index 2016, Ernst & Young's ranking of the most technological Italian cities.
2016 is the year for Mantua to open to the future, to become a national and international meeting place for the development of new cultural paradigms.
Without forgetting its heritage, the city plans to renew itself as a centre for ideas to accommodate contemporary creativity. Thinking of culture understood as the engine of civilization, prosperity, and economic progress, Mantua's governance is evolving towards a networking model to promote integration between cultural development and economic sectors.
A special committee of important people of culture has developed a broad program with thousands of events. In fact, until December, Mantua will become a "city-stage", thanks also to contributions from the nearly 70 other municipalities in the province and various local businesses and organisations that are already suggesting projects for the programme.
The heart of the event will be the historical centre, with its palaces, porticoes, churches and squares: a large, interactive museum that puts artistic expression in relation to the architectural heritage. Six thematic paths will allow visitors to discover the charm of Mantua in the different time periods: the 18th century, the contemporary era of creativity, the Jewish heritage, the ancient city of Virgil, and the city during the Risorgimento (Italian Unification) and also during the Renaissance.
The public is invited to participate dynamically in cultural events and, therefore, in the regeneration of Mantua’s identity through workshops, exhibitions, concerts and events that will break the boundaries between artists and spectators.