Procida Italian Capital of Culture 2022

On 18 January 2021, the island of Procida was elected Capitale italiana della cultura 2022  (Italian Capital of Culture 2022), news that filled with joy and pride not only the inhabitants of the lovely Phlegraean island, but also the rest of the Neapolitan and Campanian population. This is the first time that a small municipality has won, because Procida has only about 10,000 inhabitants. Procida's adversaries were illustrious: Ancona, Bari, Cerveteri, L'Aquila, Pieve di Soligo, Taranto, Trapani, Verbania and Volterra, all competing for the award.

These are cities of great historical and cultural value, all of which submitted excellent projects that posed a serious challenge to the jury president Stefano Baia Curioni. The Capitale Italiana della Cultura (Italian Capital of Culture Award) was established in 2014 by Decree Law No. 83 of 31 May and was won by the cities of Cagliari, Siena, Lecce, Perugia-Assisi and Ravenna in 2015, the capital of Gonzaga, Mantova in 2016, the Tuscan city of Pistoia in 2017, the Sicilian city of Palermo in 2018 and the Emilian city of Parma in 2020/21.

The winner will receive one million euros from the Italian Government to be invested in the realisation of the submitted project.

Why Procida has been chosen as Italian Capital of Culture 2022

But what were the reasons that led the jury to award the prize to Procida?                                                 

As specified by Stefano Baia Curioni, the island was awarded not only for its extraordinary landscape and territorial values, but also for the very high quality of the cultural project presented. In fact, the prize is awarded not only for the beauty or historical wealth of the place, but, above all, for the socio-economic and cultural development prospects that the projects presented can bring to the local and national territory, even in the long term. An opportunity, therefore, for the whole Phlegraean and Campania region, for which Procida can represent a model to be followed.

So let's dwell a little more on the winning project, which was defined as being able to "convey its own poetic message and cultural vision to the whole country".

The Procida Island project that led to the victory

The title of the project is "Procida, culture doesn't isolate", a play on words intended to underline the future role of the Phlegraean town in the cultural sphere, both at local and national level. A leading role in the protection of cultural and environmental heritage and in the interchange between different realities: inclusion, not isolation, this is the way forward.

In order to achieve this goal, 44 cultural projects, 240 artists, 40 new works of art and 8 renovated cultural spaces have been planned over the 340-day programme. 

But what are the five programmatic points of the winning project?

The first, Procida invents, involves artistic events of various kinds such as exhibitions, cinema and happenings. The second, Procida inspires, sees the island at the centre of the creative imagination of the artists involved. The third, Procida includes, promotes the language of art as an agent of social cohesion and inclusion. The fourth point, Procida innovates, proposes the confrontation between the ancient traditions and the new frontiers of cultural heritage valorisation. The last programmatic point, Procida learns, presents a series of projects that strengthen the network of territorial alliances between public and private subjects in the field of cultural promotion and requalification. 

A project that satisfies all needs and that presents cultural heritage as a mine of inexhaustible resources, which can be used in all areas of public, private and social life. A beacon, a guide, as Procida will be from 2022 for the entire Italian peninsula.