Italian Capital of Culture 2023: Bergamo Brescia, “The illuminated city”
In 2023, the cities of Bergamo and Brescia will live together as the Italian Capital of Culture. A project born to relaunch the two cities after the dramatic experience of the pandemic thanks to the determination of two mayors, Giorgio Gori and Emilio Del Bono, to make culture a wider instrument of unity.
Brescia. Bergamo. Two big and beautiful cities in northern Italy. Two poles of a metropolitan area with more than 2 million inhabitants, recognized in Italy and in Europe for their cultural heritage, their entrepreneurial history, their level of well-being and the quality of public and private investment, but also for their tradition of unity and attention to the needs of people and communities.
From this month of January, the Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023 project will open as a laboratory for new practices and new forms of collaboration between cultural institutions, companies, administrations and the voluntary sector. “The Italian Capital of Culture 2023 represents for Bergamo and Brescia an opportunity for rebirth – after the dramatic experience of the pandemic – in the name of culture, beauty and the discovery of the unexpected”, said Giorgio Gori, the mayor of Bergamo.
The festivities will officially begin on January 20, 21 and 22 with opening ceremonies in each city. From January 21, Brescia will offer an exhibition entitled “Lotto, Romanino, Moretto, Ceruti. I champions of painting in Brescia and Bergamo »while the Pinacoteca Carrara in Bergamo will present to the general public the new layout of its spaces on January 26 with the inauguration of the largest retrospective dedicated to “Cecco del Caravaggio, the most mysterious of Caravaggio’s students and models”. Programming will continue in February on “Festa delle Luci” (Brescia from February 10 to 19; in Bergamo from February 17 to 26). In March the opera will be celebrated, in Bergamo “The Donizetti Night 2023” that will change the face of the city around a hundred events that bring together almost 500 artists, and in Brescia on June 9 and 10 for the twelfth edition of “The Opera Festival” with 70 musical events in more than 50 different venues. In April, make way for music with Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia and Bergamo on the 28th and 29th. The theater will also be present at the Teatro Grande di Brescia which will welcome artists from all over the world, great choreographers and conductors, as well as young talents, at the opening, Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini under the direction of one of the greatest Italian baguettes, Maestro Riccardo Frizza. The season will also take place in Bergamo at the Teatro Donizetti and other theaters of the city.
The territory of Bergamo and Brescia, highly characterized by mountainous landscapes, will be celebrated through several photography exhibitions, including the exhibition. Luci della Montagna which will bring together the works of three great international names (Ansel Adams known for his black and white shots of American national parks, Martin Chambi, for his ethnographic images of the Andes and Vittorio Sella , one of the greatest mountain photographers). From summer, routes will connect the two cities: “The Way” will offer a pedestrian route to 37 cultural and “La Ciclovia” on the same principle but by bicycle with at least 27 municipalities involved.
A particularly well-organized and articulate, rich and eclectic program to promote both cultural and natural heritage. “In agreement with Bergamo, we immediately designed the Capital of Culture without an artistic director but trying to stimulate the creativity and vitality of our territories, not only of the two cities”said Laura Castelletti, deputy mayor of Brescia.
Many other initiatives will stimulate the program and make Bergamo and Brescia in 2023 important destinations for Italian and foreign visitors looking for new experiences and discoveries.
The reasons for an unprecedented choice
Confirmed in July 2020, the nomination of Bergamo and Brescia as the Italian Capital of Culture for the year 2023 was encouraged by the Italian government to respond positively to a proposal made by the two cities, united in the desire to “Grow Together – certainly in the most -dramatic period of pandemic experience.
A recognition of the history of the two cities, their artistic and cultural heritage, their ability to regenerate, to present themselves effectively in a current reality of construction, work, unity and change.
The candidacy, carried out through a process unique of its kind in Italy of “participatory planning” based on the practices of collective intelligence and co-creation, received the support of public actors (Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism, Lombardy Region, Province of Bergamo and Province of Brescia) and private (A2A, Banca Intesa San Paolo, Brembo). The result gave rise to the “Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023 File: La città illuminata” which was presented in Milan at the beginning of 2022 and expressed the capacity of the two cities to propose a cultural planning that can go beyond the traditional boundaries to combine on the themes of well-being, sustainable development and innovation around four themes:
– “The city of hidden treasures”, where the paths diverge from the historical centers to form a common heritage that invites discovery and wonder;
– “The natural city” where the relationship of individuals, communities and companies with natural resources is rethought through forms of housing, forms of consumption, transportation systems, but also those urban production activity;
– “The city that invented” to promote the innovation capacity of companies and their representative bodies, universities, as well as technical, artistic and cultural institutions;
– “Culture as a defense” where culture proves to be a tool for prevention and socialization, acting in the interest of individuals, through processes of integration and acceptance for the development of community relations.
Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023 constitutes both a testimony and a promise of a possible rebirth through the choice of culture, as a tourist attraction but also, and above all, as a key element in civil training, in those creative skills, employment and social and economic stability.
The project represents the first major experiment in cultural policy, on a national scale, aimed at supporting the growth of a territory while having an interest in its economic, industrial and social development. This will undoubtedly lead to the two cities positioning themselves on the map of “European culture”.
United by a common vision underlying the concept of La città illuminataBergamo and Brescia will undoubtedly offer many initiatives that will lead beyond 2023.
Find the full program: https://bergamobrescia2023.it/