The former Colonie Savonesi in Garessio (Cuneo): a new concept of holiday camps 2.0 by Agedi
garessio ex colonie savonesi

It was announced a few days ago that Garessio will have a new, very special bridge. A typical town in the Tanaro Valley in the province of Cuneo, Garessio is one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy”. The project, by the renowned designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, will replace the General Odasso bridge, swept away by the Tanaro river during the disastrous flood of October 2020.

Mr. Giugiaro, who is originally from Garessio, will work not only on the bridge, but also on the entire adjacent area. The single-span structure will be oriented towards light, mainly pedestrian traffic. Green areas and limited traffic zones promise to shape a new road system in the famous village in the province of Cuneo. A town which enjoys a strategic position equidistant from the Ligurian sea, the ski slopes, and the Langhe.

Agedi Group’s commitment to projects for the enhancement of small locations

For some time now, the Agedi Group has been involved in projects to enhance the value of properties located in ‘minor’ Italian locations, including Garessio itself. An extraordinary place, waiting to be rediscovered, which in the post-war period also earned the title of “Pearl of the Maritime Alps”, thanks to its natural beauty and the area’s wealth of food and wine.

In particular, Agedi group has designed a redevelopment project for the former Colonie Savonesi in Garessio. The project aims at recovering the original educational function of the old holiday camps and adapting them to today’s needs. The unique concept focuses on an accommodation dedicated to children and teenagers in an “edutainment” logic (a merge between the concepts of education and entertainment). In short, a holiday camp 2.0.

The rediscovery in recent years of oratories and sports centres for children during the summer season should be seen in relation to the need of families, due to lifestyle changes, to leave their children in safe places. Places where they can socialise and enjoy recreational, educational and sporting activities.

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garessio ex colonie savonesi

Project for colonies 2.0

The holiday camp 2.0 project, conceived for Garessio but which Agedi intends to replicate on a wider scale, provides a series of child-friendly services. It includes also an unforgettable educational and cultural offer, diversified according to the different age groups (up to 16 years), which will enrich the heritage of experiences and knowledge in the growth path of the young guests.

Safe – Healthy – Sustainable – Multidisciplinary – International – Inclusive – Memorable. These are the key words of the new “experiential” product designed by Agedi for young people and children. A format combining natural, cultural, and artistic resources, as well as production excellence and the customs and traditions of the destination area.

“Childhood and youth accommodation represents a real gap in the Italian tourism offer” – commented Valeria Genesio, Chairman of Agedi Italia – Despite the great educational, social and civic growth potential of a strategic and stimulating project such as this for the society of the future, few investors have come forward so far.

Luckily, things are changing and, especially from the perspective of investments based on ESG-Environmental, Social & Governance, this project is destined to give life to a real segment of the tourism and real estate market with significant economic potential and a high strategic, cultural, social and civil value. In this respect, the cooperation of public and private stakeholders such as companies, institutions and local associations will be decisive.”

In the project for the former Colonie di Garessio, due to the almost two hectares of outdoor areas available, the young guests will also have the opportunity to learn “hands-on” about agricultural activities and the food cycle. They’ll learn animal and plant life, the craft and social role of the farmer, the territory, and the surrounding natural environments.

A concrete way to bring the new generations closer to the world of the land, no longer in a virtual but in a realistic way.

The history of the Colonie Savonesi of Garessio 

The colonies developed on a group of buildings with a total covered surface area of 6,000 sqm. Known to all as the former Colonie Savonesi (or Colonie di Padre Cocchi), the complex’s correct name is actually “Santa Maria extra moenia“. Already a centre of political and religious life in the 13th century, from the early 20th century the complex became a centre for the educational and spiritual growth of children. Among them, many from the less well-off classes in western Liguria. Under the guidance of Father Giacomo Cocchi, the camps reached their greatest glory, accommodating nearly 13,000 children.

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The Colonie Savonesi then remained at the centre of life in Garessio for almost a century. For this reason, in the memory of thousands of people, Garessio and the former Colonie Savonesi are associated with images of joy, light-heartedness and childhood happiness.

The Colonie were active until the early 2000s, when adverse circumstances and new needs unfortunately forced their closure.

“Do not turn off their beautiful smile on their face: in all life’s trials let them

remember that they have spent a month in Paradise!”

(Father Giacomo Cocchi, founder of Colonie Savonesi)