Learning from #DestinazioneMarche in Italy : How cultural tourism in rural areas can work around several small producers & networks

Marche region, in central Italy near the city of Ancona, has welcomed the EUROPETOUR partnership with a wealth of interesting, small-to-medium-sized enterprises which are offering products and services for cultural tourism in rural areas, and do so very smartly and successfully.

Following our recent study visit there, we would like to introduce you to what we have learned:

success factors for entrepreneurship from marche region

  • (often) young persons dedicated to the region
  • Well educated / trained
  • Passion for good local products
  • Italian mindset & design orientation (a sense for beauty and “fancy packaging”)
  • Entrepreneurial ambition
  • Traditional product with an innovative development
  • Strong social media commitment

Take the example of Mrs Vittorino, the owner of Borgo Lanciano. She provided us with an excellent example for private investment in accommodation in rural areas. After buying the site from the church and researching the history of the place, she found it to be somewhat “earthquake-proof” and now enjoys receiving visitors for weddings, culture, art and local area history. On her mind still is to build a training center for tourism people and 40 more rooms.

Borgo Lanciano will enchant you with its luxurious countryside charm! (c) Elena Paschinger

Borgo Lanciano will enchant you with its luxurious countryside charm! (c) Elena Paschinger

 

Or Francesca Petrini, the owner of Fattoria Petrini: To build an innovative product from the well-known olive oil, she “simply” added essential vitamins to her oil, thereby creating a new product for the health market, as well as establishing new distribution channels, such as pharmacies. She produces seven different kinds of olive oils from her organically farmed, 10.000+ olive trees, amounting to some 13.000 litres a year!

Francesca Petrini treats us to an exclusive olive oil tasting at her estate. (c) Elena Paschinger

Francesca Petrini treats us to an exclusive olive oil tasting at her estate “Fattoria Petrini”. (c) Elena Paschinger

 

Then, there is Giorgio Poeta, who as the only honey producer in the world (!) makes barriqued honey in oak barrels (which formerly contained red wine of the region); the acacia honey he matures in this way remains in wooden barrels for well over nine months. Creating (and promoting) the hashtag #BeeUnique and #BeeMe, has earned him a strong reputation on Social Media, too: http://www.giorgiopoeta.com/en/.

Giorgio Poeta demonstrating honey harvesting techniques at his shop in Fabriano, Marche region, Italy.

Giorgio Poeta demonstrating honey harvesting techniques at his shop in Fabriano, Marche region, Italy. (c) Elena Paschinger

 

And let us share another very good cooperation example with you: The Camaldulese Monastery Fonte Avellana has developed as a conference centre with accommodation facilities, and runs a shop with products of the Camaldolese order. Karin Mecozzi, who is a herbalist, an author, as well as a member of the PETRARCA European Academy for the Culture of Landscape, cooperates with Fonte Avellana in courses, meetings, as well as botanical walks.

Talking about monastery shops: The Cistercian Monastery Abbadia di Fiastra also runs a monastery shop with a wide range of products of both the monastery as well as other local producers. It links in with a larger shop area of several monasteries that are represented in the  Monastery Shop “Terra in Cielo” in Ancona. This indeed is a good example of how to sell monastery products in a major networking effort.  We will definitely come back to this topic in our next meeting in Poland with the German-Polish Klosterland network, which is also developing this concept.

Last but not least, we learned that the art of calligraphy can be a business as well : Enrico Ragni, founder and director of the Malleus company  (and an enthusiast calligrapher) showed us how to innovate a traditional art like calligraphy. At Malleus artists create university certificates and precious documents of all kinds in a most artistic way. The old art of calligraphy is transfered to our time not only as an “art of writing”, but also as a philosophic way of  dealing with concentraction, relaxation  and beauty. Malleus also offers courses on calligraphy.

Malleus & the art of calligraphy (c) Karin Drda-Kühn

Malleus & the art of calligraphy (c) Karin Drda-Kühn

 

Our EUROPETOUR partnership learned a lot with these entrepreneurs, including about Social Media management for cultural tourism in rural areas. Many of these innovative entrepreneurs have built considerable communities and use social media as their main communication channels with their customers.

We will definitely come back on that in our Social Media guidelines currently developed: Stay tuned for more ! #EuropeTour

The EUROPETOUR team gathers at the honey-producing estate of Giorgio Poeta, in Marche region (c) Elena Paschinger

The EUROPETOUR team gathers at the honey-producing estate of Giorgio Poeta, in Marche region (c) Elena Paschinger

 

You can also learn more about creative cultural tourism in Marche, Italy, by visiting Elena Paschinger’s own travel blog at https://www.creativelena.com/en/project-space/getting-to-know-destinazionemarche-and-its-many-creative-cultural-delights-thanks-to-our-europetour-partnership/. Elena represents our Austrian partner Kreativreisen Austria.

#EuropeTour Project Meeting in Veliko TarnovoEuropeTour Project Meeting in Marche, Italy

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