The 'donut' by designer Edward van Vliet for the collection of the Italian brand Moroso, was part of Masterly – The Dutch in Milano, the Dutch presentation at the Salone del Mobile in 2016.


With its many leading venues, Italy is attractive for Dutch designers, architects and writers.

Italy is the home of many international and trendsetting cultural events, among them the famed Milan Design Week (400,000 visitors), the Venice Biennale (500,000) and the Turin International Book Fair (320,000).

Italy also has a number of top tier museums, such as Maxxi and Triennale. Important annual events include the RomaEuropa Festival, Club to Club, Pitti Uomo and the film festivals of Venice, Rome, Milan and Turin. In 2019, Matera will be European Cultural Capital. Milan and Amsterdam work together in the area of creative start-ups.

Offshore data shows that Italy has been among the top 10 countries visited by Dutch artists for many years. All of this offers opportunities for artists and creative entrepreneurs, which is why Italy has been selected as a country with a tailor-made approach in the Netherlands’ International Cultural Policy 2017-2020.

Promising disciplines
For the 2017-2020 period, the Netherlands will especially be focusing on (social) design, architecture and urban development, literature and the Dutch language. The Netherlands has an excellent reputation for these disciplines in Italy, where there is particular interest in them.

The greater part of cultural exchange takes place in Northern and Central Italy, because this is where the creative institutes have strong organisations. In the South, cities like Naples, Bari, Matera (Cultural Capital in 2019), and Palermo (Manifesta 2018) attract artists.

Just like in the Netherlands, urban themes such as cultural diversity and population density are very topical in Italy. In addition, the country has to cope with issues such as an aging population and the (re)allocation of built heritage, as does the Netherlands.

Strategic location 
Italy is strategically situated in the Mediterranean region and is very active in many EU programmes. Working with Italian organisations also offers access to networks in countries bordering on Europe.