The 2020 EAPC Congress will be held in Palermo at Fiera del Mediterraneo, the biggest congress venue in Palermo. Palermo is the biggest city in Sicily and its capital. It is located in the northwest of the island, right by the Gulf of Palermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Palermo, the regional capital of Sicily, is one of those cities with a very distinct, almost tangible atmosphere, a place of mystery, where reality often outperforms the traveller’s imagination and preconceived stereotypes.
Palermo’s history has been anything but stable, and the city has passed from one dominating power to another with remarkable frequency. Its strategic position at the heart of the Mediterranean brought wave upon wave of invaders, including the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Normans, the Swabians, the French, the Aragonese and the Bourbons just to name the most influential. The result of this quilted history is evident today in the vast range of architectural styles, the intriguing fusion of ingredients used in many local dishes, and in the many place names whose etymology bypasses Italian linguistic traditions.
In 2015, Arab-Norman Palermo and its neighbouring cathedrals were granted status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spread over a combined 6,235 hectares and including nine monuments – the Royal Palace and Palatine Chapel, the Zisa Palace, Palermo Cathedral, the Palermitan Churches of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio and San Cataldo, the Admiral’s Bridge, and the cathedrals of Monreale and Cefalù – the site provides, in UNESCO’s words, “an outstanding example of a socio-cultural syncretism between Western, Islamic, and Byzantine cultures. This interchange gave rise to an architectural and artistic expression based on novel concepts of space, structure, and decoration that spread widely throughout the Mediterranean region… The innovative re-elaboration of architectural forms, structures, and materials and their artistic, decorative, and iconographic treatments – most conspicuously the rich and extensive tesserae mosaics, pavements in opus sectile, marquetry, sculptural elements, paintings, and fittings – celebrate the fruitful coexistence of people of different origins“.
In 2018, Palermo was both Italian Capital of Culture and host city for Manifesta12, Europe’s most prestigious itinerant festival of contemporary art.