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CULTURE Mantua, the Italian Culture Capital

mantovaBy Ada Treves

The twentieth edition of the Festivaletteratura in Mantua, the most famous of the many cultural festivals that are organized in September all over Italy has been like a very long party. A festive edition – during the year that has Mantua as Italian Culture Capital – that has seen a huge participation with an attentive and passionate public that started filling the many spaces devoted to the Festival already a few days in advance: more than 800 people for Jonathan Safran Foer, and roughly 600 for the opening concert in the Cathedral. The edition has managed to put together continuity and innovation, building on its very tradition but also experimenting with unknown authors and new original productions, building at the same time a network of collaborators that grows stronger every year.

Pagine Ebraiche, the monthly magazine of Italian Jewry – present at the festival as usual – has also followed the many presentations, dialogues and round tables giving to the readers of the daily online newsletter Pagine Ebraiche 24 a punctual account of how much the presence of Jewish culture keeps growing on every edition, showing an attention and an interest by the steering committee that is paired by an enthusiastic public. Writers and journalist, intellectuals and scholars discussing a wide variety of subjects connected with the Jewish culture, history and traditions going from politics to the Italian translation of the Talmud, have had a clear feeling of an attention that is growing larger every year.

The success of the whole festival is important notwithstanding the economic crisis: more than 70,000 tickets sold (about 3,000 more than last year) plus 65,000 people at free events (7,000 more than last year) for a total of 135,000 presences. Participation and interaction has increased also on Facebook and twitter, showing even there a reflection of the major issues of culture and current events discussed in these amazing days. The appointment now is for next year, from the 6th to the 10th of September, 2017.