Matera and Plovdiv, 2019 European Capitals of Culture

Friday, 11 January 2019

Leeuwarden and Valletta passed the torch to Matera and Plovdiv. These two are the 2019 European Capitals of Culture. In the second most populated city in Basilicata (Italy), the opening ceremony of Matera European Capital of Culture 2019 will take place on Saturday 19th January 2019. In the second most populated Bulgarian city, the opening ceremony of Plovdiv European Capital of Culture 2019 took place on Saturday 12th January 2019, instead.

We remind you that the initiative “European Capital of Culture” has the aim to «highlight the richness and the diversity of culture in Europe, celebrate the cultural characteristics shared by all European people, increase the sense of belonging of European citizens to a common cultural space, promote the cultural contribution to the development of cities», as the European Commission explains.

Matera is the fourth Italian city nominated European capital of culture after Florence (1985), Bologna (2000) and Genoa (2004). On the contrary, Plovdiv is the first Bulgarian city to win the title.

Next year, on 2020, the European capitals of culture will be Rijeka (Croatia) and Galway (Ireland). On 2020, it will be the turn of Timișoara (Romania), Eleusi (Greece) and Novi Sad (Serbia*), while on 2022 the leading ones will be Kaunas (Lithuania) and Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg).


The program of Matera 2019 focuses itself on the motto Open Future and develops on five themes (Ancient Future, Continuity and Disruptions, Reflections and Connections, Utopias and Dystopias, Roots and Routes). We also report you the digital platform Matera Basilicata Events, where you can find information provided directly by the local cultural operators.

The program of Plovdiv 2019 starts from the slogan Together and is organized around four thematic platforms (Fuse, Transform, Revive, Relax). Another institutional source at your disposal is the website Visit Plovdiv.

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*Serbia is a Candidate Country, in other words a Country in the process of “comply” or integrate the Ue legislation in the National system

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