Our hometown Sastamala is the book capital of Finland

Tampere has our heart, even though we are quite new to Pirkanmaa. We live in Sastamala but visit Tampere quite often. We have visited the theatres, art exhibitions, concerts, museums and different events with our two daughters. Our culture trips to Tampere have been a big part of our lives. It feels there’s always something going on in the city.

Tampere has somehow an exceptionally lovely spirit, I can’t quite explain it. It is a mixture of laidback and easy-going nature, a strong historical side of the city and enthusiastic youthfulness.

And our hometown Sastamala is the book capital of Finland. We have one of the best events in Finland every summer, the festival of old literature (in Finnish: Vanhan kirjallisuuden päivät). Tampere and its surrounding provinces would be a great choice as the European capital of culture 2026.

Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen work together as children’s books authors and illustrators. They are especially known for their books of Tatu and Patu. The family lives in Sastamala.