The Festival was set up with the goal of spreading an idea of travelling that originates from curiosity and the desire to get to know the people, places, and cultures of the world, both near and far, promoting tourism engaged responsibly and with respect.
In Lecco town centre and important places of the province, scholars, writers, journalists, artists, and travelling enthusiasts take part in talks, debates, conferences, and present exhibitions, shows, and projections to analyse the common viewpoints with the countries and populations of the world from various points of view and disciplinary approaches. Showing respect for different cultures, focusing on to history, traditions, and responsible tourism are the values at the foundations of the programme of initiatives that have characterised Immagimondo since day one.
The Festival pursues a two-fold objective: bringing the world to Lecco and, at the same time, showing the world Lecco and the surrounding area. Travelling brings us into contact with the “other”, bringing to light the differences and particular features of every culture, expanding our view of the world and man; the decision to open up to the city, invading the squares, public showrooms, exhibition spaces, and the commitment to bring some stages of the Festival to the most important places of the province is aimed at a cultural and tourist reboot of Lecco. Immagimondo wants to promote the awareness of cultures very different to ours, but also local beauty, traditions, and resources.
- In 1998, the first edition of IMMAGIMONDO took place in the rooms of the “Don Guanella” boarding school in Lecco; the heart of the event, Tavoli dei Viaggiatori (Travellers’ Desks), was set up: expert travellers willing to share their passion for travelling with visitors and other travellers by describing their experiences.
- From 2000 to 2004, IMMAGIMONDO was held at the Trade Fair area of Osnago (Lecco), hosting more than 50 travellers.
- In 2005, the event moved to the larger pavilions of Lariofiere, the Trade Fair of Erba (Lecco).
- With the 2008 edition, the Festival returned to the city, expanding its programme. For two weeks, free cultural events were organised at prestigious locations in Lecco: town squares, Teatro Sociale, Palazzo del Commercio, Torre Viscontea, the Civic Library, the Monastery of Santa Maria del Lavello (Calolziocorte, Lecco).
- In 2013 and 2014, the Festival continued to bring life to Lecco’s town squares, spreading out to Civate for the Viaggi dell’Anima (Journeys of the Soul) and Mount Barro in Galbiate for an initiative dedicated to nature and the province.
- In 2014, Immagimondo modernised its image: the fascinating face of a woman with features from different cultures revealed in her clothing, jewellery, and hairstyle, a picturesque reference to the deepest meaning of the Festival, enhancing difference as the source of human and cultural wealth.
The Festival is divided into various sections:
- LibrInViaggio (Travelling Books): focused on new publications about travelling, which are exhibited and can be freely consulted by the public, in order to stimulate reading and develop greater awareness and curiosity about coming into contact with other cultures. The books are donated to the Lecco Civic Library after the Festival.
- Caffè del Viaggiatore (The Traveller’s Café): an event dedicated to presentations of books on the themes of the Festival. Authors who took part in past editions include Marco Aime, Renata Pisu, Claude Marthaler, and Antonello Sacchetti.
- Photography exhibitions: Monica Bulaj, Ivo Saglietti, Francesco Cito, Uliano Lucas, Marcello Bonfanti, and Giuseppe Tornatore are some of the most representative photographers who displayed their pieces in past editions. Immagimondo also hosted the works of Carlo Mauri, Walter Bosshard, Gotthard Schuh, and Fosco Maraini, and 2015 will see the photography exhibition Confrontier of Kai Wiedenhöfer.
- Conferences: opportunities to delve into subject matters linked to travelling, cooperation, sustainability, and contact between cultures.
- Projections of videos, documentaries of journeys by both amateurs and professionals.
- Talks with reporters, travel writers, and artists known to the larger public. Past guests include: Ettore Mo, Franco Brevini, Andrea Nicastro, Pablo Trincia, Sergio Valzania, Giancarlo Iliprandi, Vittorio Mangili, Remo Bodei, Marina Senesi, Giorgio Boatti, Corrado Ruggeri, and Roberto Napoletano.
- Laboratories of travel writing and photography.
- Educational/recreational laboratories for children aged 4 to 10 years old.
- Musical events: concerts, dance shows, and talks with musicians.
- Events dedicated to guest countries of the various editions: since 2012, Immagimondo has organised a series of events on Japan, India, and Argentina.
- Tavoli dei Viaggiatori (Travellers’ Desks), with their travel stories and photos.
- Borsa del Turismo Locale (The Local Tourism Point): an area dedicated to the presentation of the cultural and tourist aspects on offer in the Province of Lecco and to selling typical wine and food products. The event is co-organised with the Municipal and Provincial authorities of Lecco.
- Exhibition area reserved for responsible tourism, ecotourism, publishers, tour operators, and non-profit associations.
The statistics of the 2014 edition
- 20,000 visitors
- 25 travellers
- 20 exhibitors
- 45 publishers with over 170 books
- Over 70 events including talks, conferences, projections, and laboratories
- 3 photography exhibitions
- Over 3,000 visits to the photography exhibition on Patagonia
The Festival is designed to offer travellers, or those who would like to become travellers, a point of contact and a chance to meet and exchange information, experiences, and suggestions.
All the events during the 15 days of the Festival programme are free of charge. We would like to thank the Institutions, Bodies, and Sponsors who support the event. Thanks also to the numerous volunteers who help organise the Festival and to the public who have supported us down through the years.