Informations and abstract
The paper describes the recent evolution and success in Italy of a new kind of festival, based on unconventional topics, like literature, philosophy, science, economy. Festivaletteratura in Mantua, Festival della Filosofia in Modena, Carpi and Sassuolo, Festival della Scienza in Genova, Festival dell'Economia in Trento are analysed. Statistics show that the participation - especially by young people - in these events is constantly growing and field researches highlight the psychological and cultural driving forces of their appeal. The Italian experience of cultural festivals, as it results from the four here considered, is peculiar: they are more than thematic events as much as they give the public an opportunity to stay inside some unique urban centres and intertwine their offering with that of different aspects of resources and cultural heritage of the places. Cultural festivals have an important relationship with young people, both as organizers and volunteers and as visitors and participants.