The Mediterranean by BoatDecember 28, 2021
Noto “All Ruined”January 28, 2022
City of Water and of Light
Siracusa looks to the future
The year 2022 starts with an important competition for Siracusa. The city is a candidate for the title of Italian Capital of Culture for 2024 with a cultural project called Città d’Acqua e di Luce - City of Water and of Light which the city administration states isn’t a “book of dreams” but rather a true, dynamic picture of a changing City, and which intends that many of the actions described in the Dossier for candidature will be completed in any case in the next few years and after 2024.
The Italian Capital of culture was invented by the then Ministry of Cultural Heritage to promote the projects of Italian cities which had competed for the title of European Capital of Culture 2019, later won by Matera. Since 2015, cities like Lecce, Ravenna, Siena and Mantova have been Italian Capitals. In 2018 it was Palermo and in 2023 Bergamo and Brescia will share the title. The competition for 2024 is between 24 cities, some provincial capitals such as Vicenza, Grosseto and Pesato, and many other smaller towns rich in immaterial and material cultural heritage.
«Siracusa, city of destiny, as Greek as Greece itself, still beautiful despite the offending buildings ...»
In the concept of the town administration, Siracusa aims at goals which can guide the city towards a season of cultural awakening which puts improvements to the quality of life and the urban ecosystem at the heart of public and private interventions and increases awareness of its cultural heritage.
Siracusa, city of destiny, as Greek as Greece itself, still beautiful despite the offending buildings, as Cesare Brandi wrote at the end of the last century, represents a unique historic and cultural stratification, recognised by Unesco in 2005. Confident in this extraordinary inheritance but aware that to be a Capital of culture, research and innovation in the future, that is not enough, the City has drawn up a programme of reorganisation of its services, renewal of its own story, production of culture intended not only as access to monuments or the participation in events, but as an active element of transformation, as regeneration of an urban environment which now lives cheek-by-jowl with the beauties and institutions that adorn it.
With these ambitious goals, the city administration has set up an organising committee which has produced a mass of results and wide engagement, perhaps in too brief a time, with the whole city.
Ph. credits Marcello Bianca
In September a citizens’ committee was formed, “open” to participation and “open-ended” in time, which many institutions and cultural, volunteer, sport, environmental and social organisations joined; Universities also took part along with organisations involved in formative and educational activities and multicultural social growth, professional orders, ecclesiatical authorities, politicians, intellectuals, artists and people from the world of the arts, media and journalism, representatives of the wide cultural reality to which the city belongs.
The final result of the project coordinated by Federculture and Civita Sicilia instructed by the city administration, is a Dossier of Candidature which is not yet public but which includes proposals for 15 interventions of recovery and restoration which will lead to the opening of 6 sites, 12 international exhibitions, 24 festivals, 12 awards, 10 multidisciplinary projects for schools, and 45 million euros worth of urban regeneration. These are part of the three thousand pages of proposals produced by the 154 institutions, associations and individuals that contributed for over a month at the Palazzo Comunale info point.
Now we can only wait for the first verdict which the Jury will pronounce on the 18th of January 2022 and if it is positive, the definitive one on the 15th of March. In the meantime though, if the proposal isn’t just a “book of dreams”, the city can set off on this journey.
Written by the editorial team, December 2021
Ph. credits Vittoria Gallo