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City of Literature
On 31 October 2017 Milan joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network when it was designated the first and only City of Literature in Italy.
Milan has always been a city of writers and readers. Writers born in Milan, who were able to share their love for their hometown, like Manzoni or Gadda. Writers coming from different parts of Italy, to find their place in a lively literary scene, as Nobel Laureates Montale and Fo. Writers coming from all over the world, to discover its discreet beauty, as Stendhal and Hemingway.
Milan is a city of books, not just because of the abundance of publishers, bookstores, libraries and universities, archives and research centers, but because they know how to work together for the joy of curious readers. Milanese readers rely upon a network of libraries (more than 200, public and private) and bookstores (over 400), and they crowd together in the different literary festivals, with authors coming from different countries and cultures. And of course Milan is the capital of Italian publishing, with 500 big and small publishers, and thousands of professionals working in the field.
Milan has a tradition of cooperation between the public and the private sector in political and cultural life. Several literary festivals take place in Milan and contribute to the dynamism of the literary scene: Bookcity (writers and readers animate the life of the whole city during 4 days, November), I Boreali (Nordic literature, with the Embassies and Cultural Foundations of Northern Europe, February), Writers (April), La Milanesiana (June).
Bookfairs such as Tempo di libri (a joint venture AIE-Fiera Milano, since 2017), Bookpride (independent publishers, since 2015) and Maremagnum (antique books; now Festival della Cultura) enrich the cultural environment.
The foreign cultural institutes in Milan (British Council, Centro Culturale Ceco, Centro Svizzero, Forum Austriaco di Cultura, Goethe Institut, Institut Français, Instituto Cervantes, Istituto Confucio etc.) contribute to the cultural and literary life of the city.
Being recognised as a Creative City will improve the awareness of all the actors of the literary scene of their role and the importance to act as a cohesive whole. A better knowledge of the literary heritage and the present landscape via new forms and media (apps, geolocalisation, enhanced reality), will give a deeper understanding and a better access to all citizens, particularly the different immigrant communities, and to visitors and tourists.