The Sarzana Festival of the Mind or Festival della Mente is held every summer in different locations across the city of Sarzana, in the province of La Spezia. The festival's primary goal is to promote humanistic values and culture as well as to start a discussion about the state of today's society and the future. Participants from different countries, who belong to different generations, interact during numerous seminars, meetings, readings, workshops, cultural presentations, and performances. The programme also features activities for children and teenagers.
Held since the early 2000s, the festival is promoted by Carispezia Foundation and the Municipality of Sarzana and is directed by Benedetta Marietti. The scientific director is Gustavo Pietropolli Charmet. The three-day event features more than sixty activities aimed to shed light on how ideas are developed. Writers, musicians, artists, psychologists, architects and designers, historians, mathematicians, actors, philosophers, and scientists from Italy and abroad—all gather here to contribute to the understanding of the nature and characteristics of creativity.
Almost all events of the festival require tickets for admission. Tickets can be purchased in box offices in Sarzana and La Spezia, and on the official website of the festival.
Sarzana is located in the Liguria region of northwestern Italy, about 15 km (9 mi) from Spezia. The city boasts the beautiful Sarzana Cathedral, Citadel of Sarzana and the Castle on the hill of Sarzanello, founded during the times of emperor Otto I. Visitors can also go to the nearby coastal village Portovenere, a UNESCO World Heritage site.