Milan, Italy

Milan became the 24th UNESCO City of Literature in October 2017, on the same day as Bucheon (South Korea), Durban (South Africa), Lillehammer (Norway), Utrecht (Netherlands), Manchester (UK), Québec City (Canada) and Seattle (USA) joined the existing 20 Cities of Literature in the Creative Cities Network.

With over 1,368,590 residents, Milan is the core of one of the biggest metropolitan areas in Europe. Its population is diverse and open to international influence, and among the creative industries, Milan is worldwide famous for fashion and style, architecture, design, entertainment and advertising.

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Milan is the hometown of many well-known authors, including Bonvesin de la Riva, Beccaria and Verri, and poets like Porta, Parini, Alessandro Manzoni, Giuseppe Verdi, Testori, Eco, and Nobel Laureates Montale and Fo. A great number of foreign writers have also famously written about their visits to Milan: Stendhal, Shelley, Wilde, Kafka, and Sebald.

Bookcity Milano is a literary festival that has taken place in the city since 2012, one that sees writers and readers animate the very life of the city. Other festivals, such as I Boreali (a festival focusing on Nordic Literature), Writers, and La Milanesiana, also colour the literary landscape of the city.

Milan is also home to over 200 public and private libraries, with the public sector providing access to a collection of over 1,350,000 books. A number of institutions in the city ensure that literature is at the forefront of their activities: The Laboratorio Formentini per l’Editoria opened in 2015, and is dedicated to the enjoyment of literature (particularly poetry) and the art of publishing, whilst Agenzia X provides space for research, publishing and cultural promotion.