We did not have a chance to talk about it yet but there is a phenomenal town of Óbidos in Portugal, located around 90 km up to the north from the capital city, which recently has officially joined the list of Cities of Literature. This UNESCO programme is a part of Creative Cities Network that was launched in 2004 to “promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and the developing world.”
In 2016 Óbidos is organising the second edition of International Literary Festival – Folio, which this year will happen on the scheduled dates of 22 September to 2 October, pursuing a series of initiatives in this urban area, now known as literary village (Vila Literária). “Utopia is the general theme of the festival which will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the publication of Utopia by Thomas More (published in 1516); but several other anniversaries are highlighted in the festival’s programme which once again will be quite ambitious,” said Celeste Afonso, a councilwoman of Culture of the City Hall of Óbidos.
In addition to celebrating the International Year of Global Understanding, the festival’s programme will include several other anniversaries as central themes, i.e. the centenary of the birth of Virgil Ferreira, the 500th anniversary of the death of the painter Hieronymus Bosch, author of the triptych “Temptations of St. Anthony”, and the 400th anniversary of the death of the literary classics’ authors William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes.
Not only the official theme of festival makes this town utopian: “The strategy is to create, for all events throughout the year, a programme that goes through “the Literary Village of Óbidos”, linking literature to all arts and even economic activities,” Celeste Afonso told Lusa news agency.
It is worth to visit Óbidos not only during Folio festival in September, since the city itself is there to offer locals and travelers distinct experience full of genuine atmosphere throughout all year!
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