chapter  11
22 Pages

The Immaterial City Ferrara, a Case Study of Urban Culture in Italy

Ferrara, a small Italian provincial town, has a rich cultural tradition dating back to its role as capital of the Renaissance Estense dynasty. After a long period of obscurity that lasted until the late 1980s, it has returned to the limelight, and once more culture is the reason for it. Thanks to the Great Events (Grandi Eventi)—major shows, important concerts, or production and performance of musical works-promoted by the local council (Comune) and thanks, above all, to the image of them presented by the media (which have coined the term), Ferrara now seems to have become one of the “cities of culture” in national and international competition. If the image of a city is a framework of meaning within which one can interpret what happens there, Ferrara’s image is now that of a producer of art and music of quality-exclusive, unique, and refined. In this respect Ferrara as a city of art and culture, that is, as a cultural object, is a successful product.