Culture, Food and Nature: some good reasons to celebrate Italy in 2018

From Venice Architecture Biennale to the European Final of the Gelato Festival

2018 will certainly be remembered as "the year of Italy". This year is indeed celebrated as the year of Italian food in the world, a campaign launched by Italy's cultural and agricultural ministries to spread the cultural, social and aesthetic value of local food. And 2018 is also the year celebrating Palermo as the new Italian Capital of Culture, thanks to its cultural richness and beauty, its atmosphere, language, monuments, cuisine and urban fabric.

2008 fill also celebrate a new edition of the Ferrara Balloon Festival. From September 7th to the 16th, in the "Giorgio Bassani" Urban Park in Ferrara, over 180,000 visitors will take part to one of the largest festivals of hot-air ballooning in Europe.

In Prato, instead, the celebration of another never-ending Italian tradition is celebrated: the local "Textile Museum" is the largest cultural centre in Italy dedicated to the promotion of historical and contemporary textile production and art. It offers the opportunity to discover local and national fabrics and textile traditions.

2018 is also hosting another edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale, which is now one of the most prestigious cultural organisations in the world. The 16th International Architecture Exhibition will take place from May 26th to November 25th, 2018 in the Giardini and Arsenale venues, and in other locations in Venice.

Ice-cream lovers should stop by Florence in September, as from the 14th to the 16th of September the city will be hosting the European Final of theGelato Festival. Now in its 9th edition, the Gelato Festival is the most important event dedicated to the world of Italian gelato. A European competition that recognises the best Italian and foreign gelato artisans and the flavours they create for the tour.

In 2018 the new itinerary Garda by bike was launched, which has already become famous for being the most spectacular cycle path in Europe. With unrivalled panoramic views, the path will be 140 km long and cross three regions, Trentino, Lombardia and Veneto. The path's creators want to give cyclists the sensation of flying over the lake, and indeed a new "floating" bike path will offer the chance to cycle around Italy's Lake Garda.

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Claudia Astarita

Amo l'Asia in (quasi) tutte le sue sfaccettature, ecco perché cerco di trascorrerci più tempo possibile. Dopo aver lavorato per anni come ricercatrice a New Delhi e Hong Kong, per qualche anno osserverò l'Oriente dalla quella che è considerata essere la città più vivibile del mondo: Melbourne. Insegno Culture and Business Practice in Asia ad RMIT University,  Asia and the World a The University of Melbourne e mi occupo di India per il Centro Militare di Studi Strategici di Roma. Su Twitter mi trovate a @castaritaHK, via email a

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