On 24 November 2020, on the occasion of the National Assembly of Re Mind Filiera Immobiliare “European and Italian Real Estate Policies“, Massimo Cimatti took part in a panel discussion regarding foreign investments in Italy. Speakers included Andrea Gumina (Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs), Carlo Corazza (Director of the European Parliament Office in Italy) and Paolo Crisafi (Re Mind Filiera Immobiliare Chairman). Also attending were Giorgio Palmucci ( ENIT Chairman), Ivano Ilardo (Ernst & Young Advisory) and Marco Mari (Re Mind Real Estate Manufacturing Managing Director and Gbc Italia Chairman). From the capital and connected in streaming Carla Cappiello (Chairman of the Order of Engineers of Rome) and Ruggero Giannini (Head of Urban Planning Order of Engineers).
Culture and tourism will save Italy
Massimo Cimatti’s speech highlighted the essential role of cultural tourism in enhancing the Italian territory, especially the so-called minor locations, and consequently in the social and economic development of the whole “Country System”. Real estate can make a decisive contribution to this process.
“Tourism and real estate go arm in arm since tourism needs spaces and places and, therefore, buildings. At the same time, many historic buildings scattered throughout the territory, abandoned and now deprived of identity, can instead be rethought and exploited for tourism, seeking to safeguard their history and original character, even becoming ‘attractions’ themselves. If they are part of a harmonious and organic project, these buildings can represent an important economic driver for tourism, culture, real estate and, in general, for the whole Italian economy.
Over the last few years I have been working hard to develop a hotel chain dedicated to cultural tourism, but to do so it is necessary for all those involved to give up their short-sighted vision limited to large Italian cities. It is essential to look at the small and medium-sized provinces, because ours is a land of wonders, yet to be discovered in terms of culture, tourism and even real estate. Wonders that, unfortunately, we often don’t even know about, since we concentrate on the habitual places. We are so ‘rich’ in beauties that we should not be content to show the world just Florence, Venice, Rome or Milan, but we should make people discover every corner of Italy that needs to be thought out, organised, enhanced and promoted from a tourist-cultural point of view.”
Joining forces for a wide-ranging cultural tourism project
Cimatti also emphasised the need for everyone’s commitment to succeed in this ambitious project.
“In cultural tourism I also encompass food and wine, crafts and local traditions. Even in the post-Covid era, tourists from all over the world will continue to look for ‘experiences’, and so we need to offer harmonious packages that allow them to enjoy the beauty and heritage of our Belpaese at 360°. We are a very small country compared to the rest of the world, yet if we are at the centre of it and still enjoy respect, it is above all thanks to our history and culture. To waste the ‘talents’ we have would be an unforgivable mistake.
Creating a cultural tourism project means putting all our strengths together. First and foremost, we need to simplify the regulations that will allow those who embark on this project to develop real estate assets that will be included in the project in a streamlined and effective manner, with the aim of following a single project concept that has culture as its common thread. In this sense, we certainly need the support of the government, especially in terms of infrastructural development, bureaucratic-administrative streamlining and tax incentives, which are crucial to attracting capital to Italy from abroad”.
The inspiration behind the French ‘Auberge de jeunesse’ project
“Taking my cue from a French project that could also be implemented in our country, there are many properties in Italy that could be developed for other purposes. Specifically, I am referring to the former colonies dating back to Mussolini’s time, which are now owned by various organisations, the State, private individuals and ecclesiastical bodies, as well as former boarding schools, monasteries or abbeys, which are particularly suitable for being used as accommodation for young people. In fact, we have recently been working on the ‘auberges de jeunesse’ category for about twenty former holiday camps, rethinking them in as 2.0 projects and combining them with a range of services suited to the new needs of young people. Starting from the French model, we are imagining a ‘Made in Italy’ solution that can be adapted to our context and our peculiarities.
Referring to another French model, this time that of the “mobile home”, we could apply a similar system to our country in the context of green tourism. In Italy we have a lot of unexploited land surrounded by extraordinary natural landscapes, and we are studying the possibility of creating “mobile homes” to exploit this land on a temporary or seasonal basis. All of this should be accompanied by a planned territorial marketing policy to bring tourists to these places, which are currently undiscovered.
All these projects require a great deal of effort not only in the present, but also in the foreseeable future. Thanks to these redevelopment projects, many areas of our beautiful country will be enriched in every sense and stronger.
The goal is therefore to contribute to the organic and harmonious development of the entire National System through our extraordinary heritage in every part and corner of Italy. In this way, major investors will no longer be interested solely in the large cities, which are by now overcrowded, but will also be attracted by other extraordinary places, which are less known, but for this very reason more authentic and still waiting to be discovered.”
Acknowledgements and conclusions
Dr Cimatti concluded his speech by warmly thanking Paolo Crisafi, Chairman of Re Mind – Filiera Immobiliare, for the work he is doing to bring attention to these much-needed issues and to stimulate a constant constructive and synergic debate among all the participants.
Watch the full speech by Massimo Cimatti at the National Assembly “European and Italian Real Estate Policies”: