To Bergamo — for food, to Kazan — for music

In October 2019, Odre Azule, Director-General of UNESCO, declared 66 cities as UNESCO Creative Cities. Now there are 246 such cities around the world. Music, literature, arts and crafts, gastronomy — each creative city is interesting in its own way.

Big and small, famous and not so famous, cities which have chosen culture as the main strategy for their development are being added to the prestigious list of UNESCO on the annual basis. According to Odre Azule , “this contributes to political and social innovation, which is especially important for the younger generation.” In the era of globalization, the preservation and development of cultural characteristics is one of the main tasks of UNESCO.

This year, for example, French Angouleme has been included in the list of Creative Cities. A small old town north of Bordeaux has become a real Mecca for lovers of literature in general and, in particular, lovers of comics. In 2019, the 46th International Comics Festival took place in Angoulême. Angoule gathers both creators and fans of comics from different countries. During the festival it is offering over two dozen sites for guests from all over the world. In 2008, the International Comics Festival Town was opened in this French city. Everyone who is interested in stories told in pictures considers it their duty to visit it.

The Italian city of Bergamo is known as the birthplace of Gaetano Donizetti, the composer. But it entered the list of Creative Cities of UNESCO because of its cuisine. Local gastronomy is a real art. Bergamo is considered the birthplace of polenta — cereal from cornmeal that first appeared in the XVI century. Unusually shaped ravioli with meat, sage and melted butter — the casoncelli — also an invention of the Bergaman peasants. The great Gaetano Donizetti is not forgotten in the local cuisine: in 1948, the confectioners of Bergamo created a dessert named after him. Today, a round cupcake with a hole in the middle, bearing Donizetti name, is one of the main elements of local cuisine.

Included in the list of UNESCO Creative Cities is Russian Kazan. Kazan is known to music lovers all over the world. The Feodor Chaliapin Opera Festival, the Rudolph Nuriev Classical Ballet Festival, the Europe-Asia Contemporary Music Festival, the Sergey Rachmaninoff White Lilac Music Festival, the Sofia Gubaidulina Concordia Contemporary Music Festival to name just a few in the list of interesting musical events that attract music lovers from different countries to the Tatarstan’s capital.

Another Russian city on the UNESCO list is small Kargopol, located in the Arkhangelsk region on the banks of Onega River. It is interesting not only because of its ancient history, but also because of development of unique crafts and folk art. Wood painting, embroidery, gold embroidery and, of course, the famous Kargopol Clay Toys are of great interest to both art experts and the general public. The annual festivals of folk crafts of the northern region demonstrate how many interesting craftsmen live today in Kargopol and its environs. Polkan half-horse-half-man, Sirin fairy bird — these and other toys made by local craftsmen from red clay are appreciated because of their originality, elegancy, and bright colors.