Mantova is a smallish city about two hours north of Bologna and the Festival takes over the entire centre of town with five days of events, hearing from writers and artists from all over the world.
Some things I am looking forward to:
Frank Zappa concert! (link is in Italian)
Another film is at the top of my list, Regarding Susan Sontag. I think I may have seen half of this documentary at a friend's place earlier this year. It was playing in the background but the entire room was dead to me as I scooched in close to pay attention to nothing else. A few people asserted that the film was a bit scandalous and less focused on her work than it might have been but I didn't notice that at all (and, again, I only saw half of the film).
Some other writers I am looking forward to seeing: Andre Dubus III, Kazuo Ishiguro, Massimo Carlotto, Joseph O'Connor, and others.
To me, one of the best things about my work is being able to travel to other Festivals, not only to see writers I know and whose work I admire, but to see new writers, to see other ways of organizing events, get ideas and see how different Festivals put together their programmes.
Mantova's Festival is a big one and something I've been looking forward to for some time.