Milan became the 24th UNESCO City of Literature in October 2017. 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.
Milanese readers are curious and demanding. They 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.
But Milan is also the city of fashion, design, architecture, and entertainment, known all over the world for its unique style, the result of a constant dialogue between tradition and modernity. New young talents come to Milan to study, and to test their skills. Milan attracts, nurtures, and mobilizes young talents. In this vibrant community, culture and the creative sectors, and especially literature, are the engines of the sustainable development of the metropolitan area, with several incubators and accelerators for start-ups, but also awareness-rising activities, and projects giving open access to culture, aimed at people at a disadvantage.
This unique blend of different experiences and identities gives to Milan its vibrant modernity : challenged by the problems of urban agglomeration, it shows us that we can, and must, find creative and sustainable solutions.
As a UNESCO Creative City, Milan can narrate its ability to be simultaneously international and inclusive. Milan attracts, nurtures and mobilises talents, offering an unparalleled context to people to test their skills, to companies to “go global”, to cultural organisations to showcase artistic excellence. The challenge is to narrate these achievements highlighting what is special about the City, and how individual experiences can be transformed into common good.