European Heritage Days 2015 (EHD) were promoted by the Council of Europe and the European Commission. They took place in Italy on 19 and 20 September 2015, under the coordination of the Directorate-General of Museums. Many State and non-State places of culture joined the event, with over 1,000 appointments. The audience participation went beyond expectations. Such result highlights the diversity and the huge dimension of Italian cultural heritage. It also showed the planning skills of our cultural institutions, as well as the close bond between different areas and their cultural identities.
About the theme
On the occasion of EXPO 2015 in Milan, Italy was the only country to suggest a unitary theme for EHD. Actually, the Directorate-General of Museums proposed “Nutrition and history of Europe: cultural and food identities at the roots of Europe”.
The theme, divided into six general categories, offered to the involved institutions the opportunity to structure events, special openings, experimental guided visits and cultural initiatives around this very peculiar element of Italian culture, connected to traditions and food and wine products which are appreciated worldwide.
The great attendance of museums, libraries, archives, archaeological areas, allowed a diverse offering of events with a high scientific quality and an original approach. In some cases organizations in the food supply chain were involved and that made proposals even more attractive.
The total cultural offer includes 1,103 appointments, representing an increase of 15.0 per cent with respect to 2014. Besides Lombardy (the region hosting EXPO), a great number of events took place in the regions which enhanced the inclusion of private institutions, foundations and local authorities to the events, such as Emilia Romagna and Liguria.
On Saturday 19 September (with an ordinary opening and pricing during the day and a special opening in the evening, with a 1 euro-ticket) and on Sunday 20 September (with an ordinary opening/pricing) there were over 380,000 visitors in State places provided with a ticket service and the gross income exceeded one and half million euros, with an increase in attendance of 35.0 per cent with respect to 2014.
That was an encouraging sign about the increase of the cultural demand in Italy and about the appeal of all the initiatives which are aimed at deepening the knowledge of our heritage under different perspectives, such as those connected with the history of food and its complexity.
European Heritage Days.
Every year, the Italian Ministry for cultural heritage and activities takes part in the European Heritage Days.