Mattarella attends inauguration ceremony to launch Procida as Italy's new culture capital.
Italian president Sergio Mattarella visited Procida on Saturday to inaugurate the tiny island in the Gulf of Naples as Italy's Capital of Culture 2022.
Under the title La Cultura non Isola, Procida has a one-year programme of 150 cultural events involving 350 artists from 45 countries, reports news agency ANSA.
"Culture is synonymous with peace" - Mattarella said during his visit to the colourful island - "Its authenticity lies precisely in the ability to promote curiosity which becomes understanding, friendship, coexistence, cooperation".
Mattarella used the occasion to once again condemn Russia's war on Ukraine, lamenting the "innocent blood, broken lives, ruthless crimes" and the "images that we thought we had consigned forever to the archive of unrepeatable horrors on our continent."
Located off the coast of Naples, Procida is one of the Flegrean Islands along with Ischia, Vivara and Nisida.
Measuring less than 4 sq km, its jagged coastline is 16 km long and its Terra Murata hill - at 91 m - is the island's highest point.
For details of its Capital of Culture 2022 programme see website