A harmonious mixture between music and culture in the most anticipated summer event in Tuscany

'Art does not consist of representing new things but in representing them with novelty'
(Ugo Foscolo)

The word 'mix' that gives its name to the Cortona Mix Festival takes you straight to the idea and objectives that lie behind this Tuscan summer event.

Stir means compose, mix, create, combine, put together and even shake. Mixing colours in painting is a way to create new shades and new colours. In the kitchen when different spices are combined special combinations are obtained.
The English word 'mix' is now a term commonly used in Italy to indicate a mixture, a fusion, a composition of elements: a mix of music, a mix of fruit, a mix of stories, and a mix of genres, as well.

It's not every day that you find in the same event a wealth of arts and artists such as in the Cortona Mix Festival program! The magic formula of combining music, theatre, literature, cinema, which in turn branch off into multiple genres, is that it creates an exceptional presence of many guests. The Cortona Mix Festival is a unifying event that each year cleverly combines, in the fantastic town of Cortona, the most interesting names and events of the moment.

Cortona Mix Festival

In addition to the summer edition, you can also take part in the Cortona Mix Festival Winter Edition, full of events and great artists! The Cortona Mix Festival welcomes you to spend a week with sounds, colours, images and words in the evocative setting of the medieval village of Cortona!

Intertwine, combine, mix, and amalgamate: these are the actions that take place at the Cortona Mix Festival since its first edition was held in 2012. There are many minds and organizers who are committed to creating, year after year, a crossroads of cultures and a presence of actors from various artistic disciplines. In addition to the support of the City of Cortona and Tuscany Region, there is also the participation of the Feltrinelli Group, the Orchestra of Tuscany, the Academy of Arditi and Officine della Cultura, with the commitment to offer a Cortona Mix Festival program with great quality every time.

The Cortona Mix Festival offers a new vision and an 'open' perspective towards the arts. The discs must not remain closed in their cases, let alone the words, between the pages of books: all expressions should meet each other! Only in this way, you can eliminate boundaries and judgments of merit, such as, for example, consider the problem of what is the most important or higher form; when in parallel, cultures are intertwined returning a dialogue rather than a separation.

The feeling you have, when participating in the performances of the Cortona Mix Festival is that culture is on the move and in continual metamorphosis passing from one art to another. What do you think? Does it attract you?


WORDS. Among the founders of Cortona Mix Festival, the Italian publishing house Feltrinelli Group has paid special attention to fiction and literature meetings with authors of stories and tales where genres are mixed with the goal of breaking the line between reality and fiction, testimony and imagination.
Participating in the event will surely help you find new books to read, and you can listen to the words of authors and publishers of independent or little-known publishing houses.

Do you like interviews? Do you like science fiction? Do you prefer so-called historical novels? Or topical inquiries? At the Cortona Mix Festival guests you will be able to choose the genre that most appeals to you! In addition, you will be invited to discover foreign and experimental literature that is often left out during a typical visit to the library. The words and the stories also soar through the theatre, mise en scène and shows that alternate during the festival. You could be attending a theatrical adaptation of one of your favourite books or movies!

Get ready to have a drink with the artist of an avant-garde comic and to ask questions directly to the author of a forth-coming novel: at the Cortona Mix Festival you can mingle with the guests!


SOUNDS. At the Cortona Mix Festival music is the driving force and the immediate leader of the scene. Of very recent origin, the Cortona Festival has supported since its inception the partnership with the Tuscany Orchestra, giving great importance to the classical repertoire. The presence of an orchestra and attention to classical music do not prevent the Cortona Festival from maintaining the principles of the 'mix', indeed they create innovative interpretations where tradition meets with the 'new' musical genres.

The public can choose to find the notes of the great masters such as Beethoven or Mozart or decide to participate in a rock evening: if you can, we suggest you take part in both calendar events! The Cortona Mix Festival has often hosted operas in experimental versions (as in the case of Bizet's Carmen in 2014) and dance routines related to very famous musical works (Carmina Burana, in the 2014 edition).

Finally, in addition to having had the honour to present rock Cortona Mix Festival guests like Steve Hackett (Genesis guitarist) and Max Weinberg (historical drummer of Bruce Springsteen), we cannot fail to remember that the Cortona Mix Festival is also considering folk music in its possible shades and mixtures (rock, new wave, punk). Are you familiar with the Modena City Ramblers? It's hard to stand still during the performance of this great Italian group!


IMAGES. Even the images of Cortona Mix Festival are related to music, which, as we said before, has a leading role in the action of mixing and interweaving of the arts. For example, many of the film inside the film festival 'Visions' are related to the events of famous singers or bands, such as Ryan White’s documentary 'Freda, the secretary of the Beatles'

In addition to music, the films organized by Cortona Mix Festival offer the audience the vision of international documentaries on subjects ranging from art, current events and biographies of great people.


LABORATORIES. The beautiful and innovative Cortona Festival is ready to get you involved and excited! Reading the Cortona Mix Festival program, you will find in fact many initiatives and workshops where you can challenge yourself. Writing classes for aspiring novelists or for those who already are committed to creating stories, meetings for young people in which to reflect on current issues through art and creativity, and much more…

Among the most interesting events of this type, is the Mix Prize, a prize sponsored by the Cortona Mix Festival for the best book recently published in Italy. Caution, not an Italian book, but one published in Italy, such as the novel '1Q84' by the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami which was honoured in 2012!

During the Cortona Festival, you can make up for your books deficiencies thanks to the presence of a temporary bookshop set up by Feltrinelli in the historic centre of the city.


PLACES. The town of Cortona seems to have been created especially for the location of a festival. Cortona Mix Festival in fact owes its success to the beauty of this Tuscan village, that makes you want to spend romantic evenings and sunny days.

Piazza Signorelli is the heart of the events as well as Piazza Garibaldi, Signorelli Theatre, Sant'Agostino, Casali Palace and the Diocesan Museum. Choose freely which appointments to attend in the day, many have free admission! We suggest also to immerse yourself in the Cortona Mix Festival by dining along the streets and enjoying the varied and great quality culinary offer of Street Food!


WINTER EDITION. Having been highly successful in the summer version, a Cortona Mix Festival Winter Edition was also proposed in 2015. In February events were organized mainly in the hall of the Signorelli Theatre, where the interest in music has moved, as always, in different directions in search of a contamination of genres. Singers, orchestra, classical music... Even in winter the Cortona Festival offers great moments and an exceptional cast.


CORTONA MIX FESTIVAL GUESTS.The Cortona Festival has had the honour of hosting national and international artists of great levels. In literature some of the guests have been Erri de Luca, Stefano Benni, Jonathan Coe, Simonetta Agnello Hornby, Francesco Piccolo, JR Lansdale, Wu Ming, Björn Larsson, Alessandro Baricco; in music Jovanotti, Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band, Modena City Ramblers, Stefano Bollani, Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra, Roberto Vecchioni, the Choir of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and of course the Tuscany Orchestra. As for the current issues, the organization of the Cortona Mix Festival has always sought to invite guests and intellectuals among which we mention the figures of Gad Lerner and Roberto Saviano.

So, some of these names mean anything to you? Are not you curious to find out who you could get to know, listen to and see in the frame of the splendid Cortona?


HAPPENINGS. During a trip, sometimes we forget to consider events and side happenings other than the tourist route that we have in mind. Visiting a place also means being in contact with the traditions and innovations that are developed within a particular area.

The Cortona Mix Festival is one of the most recent cultural events in Tuscany and has a new spirit which is evident in the programming of events and in the kind of choices that it proposes to its audience. It is a festival that will appeal as much to its citizens as to tourists, as it tries to take a comprehensive approach on the new musical and literature recent releases in Italy.

The purpose of the workshops is to engage the public and listen also to guests that are not part of the official Cortona Mix Festival program. Every point of view and every culture can add a precious item in this cross mosaic of arts. Anyone can enrich the event through their ideas and instruments; for this reason you will find within the same festival seemingly different figures: writers, musicians, actors, journalists, editors, cartoonists, dancers, scientists, comedians, everything comes together to create an immediate dialogue between the different views of the world.


The Cortona Mix Festival has been described as a real recipe for multicultural richness of expression. A culinary approach to literature, a concert is juxtaposed to a short film, a book is revealed in the plot of a theatre play and an interview recalls different suggestions... In a world so complex and expanded, the prospect of getting arts closer together offers the chance to keep an eye on all of them.

We cannot repeat often enough how this event is combined perfectly with the beauty of a magical place and in turn filled with different attractions, including museums and interesting monuments. Cortona is a town of Etruscan origin which offers one of the most interesting galleries inside the MAEC (Etruscan Museum) and some remains in the Archaeological Park.

Finally, we would like to remind you that from here you are near the city of Arezzo, the village of Montepulciano and the Val d'Orcia. Your trip will offer an opportunity to join a music and literary festival with the discovery of the places in this part of Tuscany.

Discover the Cortona Mix Festival program and get ready to mix ideas and emotions!

This is not the usual music festival or the classic writing review: the Cortona Mix Festival is an opportunity to experience in the same place the voices and thoughts of various arts and professions. Music and poetry were born to be together!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Past editions


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