Italy unveils finalists for Italian Capital of Culture 2024

News in Italy: Shortlist unveiled for Italian Capital of Culture 2024.

Italy's culture ministry has announced the 10 finalists for the 2024 edition of the Italian Capital of Culture.

The shortlisted towns and cities vying for the title must present their bids via video link to a jury appointed by the culture ministry on 3-4 March.

The jury will then be tasked with recommending the most suitable candidate for the prestigious recognition to culture minister Dario Franceschini.

The following are the 10 finalists vying for the title of Italy's Capital of Culture 2024:

  • Ascoli Piceno, a town in the central Marche region
  • Chioggia, a coastal town near Venice
  • Grosseto, a city near the coast of Tuscany
  • Mesagne, a town on the coast of the south-eastern Puglia region
  • Pesaro, a city in Le Marche on the Adriatic Sea
  • Sestri Levante / Tigullio, near Genoa in the north-west Liguria region
  • Siracusa, a city on the east coast of Sicily
  • Paestum / Alto Cilento in the Salerno province of the southern Campania region
  • Viareggio, a coastal city near Lucca in northern Tuscany
  • Vicenza, a city in the north-east Veneto region

This year's Capital of Culture title is held by Procida, the tiny island in the Gulf of Naples, while the 2023 honour goes to Brescia and Bergamo after the government bypassed the usual application process in 2020 in a "symbol of rebirth" for the two northern cities devastated by the covid-19 pandemic.

In recent years Italy's Capital of Culture title was assigned jointly to the cities of Cagliari, Lecce, Perugia, Ravenna and Siena in 2015; Mantua in 2016; Pistoia in 2017, and Palermo in 2018.

The Italian title skipped a year in 2019 when the city of Matera, in the southern Basilicata region, became the European Capital of Culture.

In 2020 it was the turn of Parma to receive Italy's culture capital status, with the north Italian city keeping the title for a second year to make up for the negative effects of the covid lockdowns.

Cover image: Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza.