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City branding and the popular music star: The case of Mina, Cremona, and ‘Cremona canta Mina’ (2018)

Haworth, Rachel


Rachel Haworth


Mina (born Anna Maria Mazzini, 1940) is arguably the best-loved and most successful female Italian popular music star. More than this, she has become part of Italian everyday life and cultural heritage, and an icon of Italy of which the country can and should be proud. Yet despite being known as ‘la tigre di Cremona’, Mina is not automatically seen as a symbol of the Lombard city where she grew up, but rather of an Italy that is broadly imagined and rarely defined in concrete terms. Indeed, the city itself has not sought to make prominent use of Mina’s iconicity in the generation of its own brand narrative. Rather, this narrative has been based on concepts of classical music heritage, diversity, accessibility, and community. But in 2018, the city organised a programme of events entitled ‘Cremona canta Mina’, setting in motion a broader narrative around the city’s relationship with the star, which contributed to rework the city’s image, by using our existing awareness of Mina as popular music star. By examining this programme of events, and in particular the ‘Ti racconto Mina’ exhibition, this article contributes to our understanding of how a popular music star can be used to contribute to and enhance the brand narrative of a city.


Haworth, R. (in press). City branding and the popular music star: The case of Mina, Cremona, and ‘Cremona canta Mina’ (2018). Italian Studies, 74(4),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 6, 2019
Deposit Date Aug 16, 2019
Journal Italian Studies
Print ISSN 0075-1634
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 74
Issue 4
Keywords City branding; Cremona; Mina; iconicity; brand narrative
Public URL