The Ministry of Culture has named L’Aquila the Italian Capital of Culture for 2026. The city will be granted one million euros to fund cultural events and initiatives throughout the year, including cinema, theatre, music, and visual arts.

L'Aquila Abruzzo
Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio in L’Aquila; Verdenex84, CC BY-SA 4.0.

 “L’Aquila is about to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the earthquake, an event that affected us not only as institutions, but also as citizens,” said L’Aquila’s mayor Pierluigi Biondi referring to the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that happened on April 6, 2009, killing 309 people in the city and surrounding towns. “Being the Italian capital of culture is not a compensation but an element around which to rebuild the social fabric of our community.”

L’Aquila was competing for the prestigious title with other nine finalists: Agnone (Isernia), Alba (Cuneo), Gaeta, Latina, Lucera (Foggia), Maratea (Potenza), Rimini, Treviso, and the Unione dei Comuni Valdichiana Senese (Siena). All finalists presented development programmes and the one for L’Aquila was focused on health, social cohesion, creativity, and sustainability. L’Aquila’s winning bid is pivotal for rejuvenating the inland areas of Abruzzo and emphasises the city’s goal to leverage culture for renewal and economic growth. The rich programme planned for 2026 will undoubtedly bring many visitors to the city.

See the beautiful video that was submitted in support of L’Aquila Italian Capital of Culture for 2026 candidacy here.

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