Brescia Capitale looks to the future: the pride of growing with culture

Brescia and Bergamo, like Italian Capital of Culture 2023, they have a great responsibility. Demonstrates that parochialism can be overcome, gives substance to an urban macro-region that opposes the Milanes and Veneto systems, harnesses their resources and skills to help Italy get out of the past and enter the 21st century,cultural and scientific innovation. A bet to make your wrists shake that Brescia and Bergamo can win. He is convinced of that Paolo Verri, highly experienced cultural director, former director of Matera 2019 European Capital of Culture.

The appointment in 2023 is a great occasion because these events “they serve to get processes going, to pressure a city to have a vision of itself», Adds Agostino Riitano, Director of Procida Italian Capital 2022. A year of projects and initiatives aimed at bringing« notoriety to the place, cultural identity and pride of belonging ».

Construction site

Verri and Riitano were yesterday (the second remote) guests at the meeting of GdB “Experiences and Opportunities” linked to the appointment of the coming year (the video of the meeting can be seen here). Together with them Deputy Mayor Laura Castelletti and the project manager of Brescia Bergamo 2023 Francesca Bertoglio (the debate, moderated by our director Nunzia Vallini, is visible on the website of the Sala Libretti section). “Brescia – says Castelletti – shows an incredible ability to suggestwhich come from big and small realities’.

The schedule is a construction site in constant development, Bertoglio emphasizes. After the summer, acceleration comes to the final sprint. The inauguration in the third week of January, presumably with President Sergio Mattarella. Meanwhile, before the end of the month, Castelletti announces “The municipality will open tenders for the 33 districts of the city so that the event is truly shared and the culture consolidates the community ties”.

The program is not descended from above, but the result of listening and dialogue: “All topics can be activators,” Bertoglio says. He cites the collaboration between schools, professional associations, hospitals, Confindustria.

The role of the school is crucial. Verri emphasizes that as well. «Brescia, compared to Bergamo, has the advantage of a great tradition in the field of education. We have to start from there ‘. For, he says, to build “new social models through new cultural models”. Culture, Verri repeats, “must revolutionize the minds of young people to enable them to meet the challenges of the future”. Castelletti confirms that among the initiatives will be a festival dedicated to education.

BsBg Capital’s theme is “The Enlightened City”, with four focus areas: Culture as a cure, the city of nature, the city of hidden treasures, the city that invents. The hundreds of projects that are being prepared will revolve around these axes. In recent weeks Cariplo Foundation and the two Community Funds evaluates the projects received for the calls, which expired on 5 May: 3.5 million must be paid for worthy proposals supporting.


There is anticipation in the city (and also in the province, which will also be affected by the initiatives) for what is being prepared. Paolo Verri, invited by Nunzia Vallini, is already providing some elements to measure the outcome of the 2023 event. If Brescia and Bergamo become more attractive to artists; if the people of Brescia and Bergamo want more awareness of their territory; if they are more proud of their cities, while overcoming parochialism: here, in these cases, Verri closes, “the challenge will be won”.

The theme of pride is important. Agostino Riitano also emphasizes: “In Procida, the pride of belonging is rediscovered”. He adds another measure of the capital’s success in relation to the island: “We will see how many young people choose to stay and build their future here”.

To Brescia the challenge is played on numbers (how many tourists can arrive)but most of all on the hoped-for confirmation of his (also) cultural calling. Verri, author of the recent book “The urban paradox. Nine cities in search of the future”, he says clearly: “The cities that work best are those where the most knowledge is distributed. Schools, universities, realities and cultural events .Culture, he recalls, “means devoting time each day to deepening.” Reading, cinema, theater, music, relationships … The guests of the debate also offer a key word for the 2023 event: ease of enjoying agreements with, a sense of belonging to be rooted, a community that needs to be kept cohesive.This is also capital.