Travel to Euphemia, the city where stories are exchanged to nourish dreams

As part of Energy Cities’ inspirational day in Modena, we invite you to journey to the fictional city of Euphemia to rewrite the story of your city’s food and land policy


Publication date

October 2, 2023

Join us in Modena on October 18th to delve into the fictitious city of Euphemia, where markets are more than just sources of food and stories are traded to provide nourishment for dreams. 

Proceeding eighty miles into the northwest wind, you reach the city of Euphemia, where the merchants of seven nations gather at every solstice and equinox. […] You do not come to Euphemia only to buy and sell, but also because at night, by the fires all around the market, seated on sacks or barrels or stretched out on piles of carpets, at each word that one man says–such as “wolf,” “sister,” “hidden treasure,” “battle,” “scabies,” “lovers” — the others tell, each one, his tale of wolves, sisters, treasures, scabies, lovers, battles. And you know that in the long journey ahead of you, when to keep awake against the camel’s swaying or the junk’s rocking, you start summoning up your memories one by one, your wolf will have become another wolf, your sister a different sister, your battle other battles, on your return from Euphemia, the city where memory is traded at every solstice and at every equinox.

Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino

Sustainable Urban Food Policies at Energy Cities’ Inspirational Day in Modena 

Euphemia is one stop in the journey we’re taking you on for our Inspirational Day at the Annual Forum in Modena. You’ll have the chance to travel through a series of fictional cities representing each of Energy Cities’ hubs to explore the ideas, innovations, and visions they have to offer. 

Euphemia, Energy Cities Inspirational day in Modena, Grafting Cities, journey through italo calvino's invisible cities

Euphemia will be where you can engage in discussions on sustainable urban food and land policies. Urban markets and farms where food is produced and exchanged are more than just places of trade: they are places where new stories are told – places of urban transformation.  

In Euphemia, discover how your city can develop an urban food strategy, learn how to involve citizens in effective food policies, and get inspired by cities who have played an active role in shaping their own sustainable food policies. 

Read more on each session here. 

Journey through the invisible cities 

To discover the hidden potential of our cities, this year’s inspirational day will bring you on a journey through seven entirely fictional and enchanting cities drawn from Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities”. Italo Calvino’s novel is a poetic and imaginative exploration of cities, real and unreal, as narrated by Marco Polo to Kublai Khan. 

Besides Euphemia, you’ll have the chance to travel to Ersilia, where relations hold a city together and become the centre point of your city’s governance; to Isaura, where an underground lake will reveal the different ways to liberate your city from fossil dependency; to Andria, where the city’s alignment with constellations will spark discussions on how locally-produced community energy can drive the transition; and to Olinda, where cities grow within the city, showing you how to recover and revitalise your city’s spaces. 

What are you waiting for? 

Ready to delve into Calvino’s imaginary world to find radical answers and practical solutions for your city’s tomorrow? With a range of activities and interactive sessions, you can choose the topics that interest you the most and navigate through the different stages of this journey through Calvino’s “Invisible Cities” alongside fellow city leaders and experts. Make sure to register for Energy Cities’ Inspirational Day on Wednesday, October 18th!  

Discover the full programme of this year’s forum Grafting Cities. 


Invisible Cities, Energy Cities' Inspirational Day in Modena, journey through Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities

Illustrations by Lukas Verstraete