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MATERA IS ITALY'S EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2019

Matera has won the title of European Capital of Culture and even though we're disappointed in Tuscany, this is a well deserved victory. From the start of the competition Matera has been an eye-catcher. The bottom-up approach of its bid was impressive and once the city council married the idea of Matera's candidature (it had initially been born by a private group of people), the committee was swift in connecting the young and creative local scene to European and international forces.


Young people putting up wooden chairs and tables in front of the Madonna di Provenzano church
Hang on there, this party isn't over yet! #Siena2019

In regard to digital involvement Matera was the benchmark for the other Italian candidate cities with its great website and busy interaction on every possible social media channel from day one of the competition. But what must have been most important to the jury, Matera put together a soundproof bid book called 'Open Future/Open City', which has already started to infuse the people of the Basilicata (once mainly known as Italy's poorest region) with a new, open-minded and positive attitude to their future.  

But Siena, Cagliari, Lecce, Perugia and Ravenna aren't planning to pack up yet. In fact the party has only started. The six Italian candidate cities have been working together on #Italy2019, a project that supports the further development of the ideas and topics from all the 20 bidding Italian cities. 

Dario Franceschini, Italy's minister of culture and tourism congratulated Matera on its win, but also specified that the recently established #artbonus act will provide the shortlisted cities with means to realize some of the proposed projects in their bid books. Whilst Steve Green, head of the jury made up of seven European and six Italian experts, reaffirmed during the press conference that the jurors had been truly impressed by the thoroughness of each single bid book put together by Italy's six candidate cities. Last but not least Tuscany's governor Enrico Rossi has already confirmed the 40 million Euro that the region of Tuscany was planning to invest into #Siena2019. 

So, keep creating Siena! Tuscany and Italy at large are in dire need of your fresh and inspiring energy, and #Siena2019's thought-through concepts which rethink one-way tourism and revitalize the country's cultural life and economic output. 


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