Why would a globe-trotter like you choose to remain in Venice?
I feel home here. This city represents the crossroad of different cultures, a bridge between East and West. It symbolizes the indissociable bond between soil and water. I believe that Venice has the ability to attract the right people, the ones who will fall in love with it. When you choose to live here, it is certainly not for economical or logistical reasons. I chose to settle in Venice after travelling a lot around the world, mainly because of its unique character.
What is your relationship with the city, now that you have become a Venetian?
Venice is like a mother: she knows how to cuddle you and sing lullabies, but she may as well scold you when you take the wrong road. Then she forgives you. She touches your heart and lifts your spirits. Its waters act as a mirror, helping you to look deep inside and truly understand yourself.
You sincerely seem in love with Venice, I guess that you must want to protect it. What is your approach?
I want to show respect to Venice and its inhabitants, and contribute to preserve what the city has to offer as well as its beauty. Venice is multifaceted, each facet being made of people who might never meet. Many times I happened to meet tourists on the street and have a chat; then, I would watch the surprised look on their face when they would realize that there is a lot more to experience in Venice than just the “usual tourist attractions”, that the city is alive thanks to its many small, local businesses, great artisans and artists who preserve their precious knowhow and unique skills along with great creativity. I do not want people to treat Venice as a sort of Disneyland to be photographed for a few minutes of fame. I realize that when they are given a few tips, tourists are able to enter and discover another Venice, likely to be more authentic. The citizens are all quite tired and dissatisfied with “hit-and-run” mass tourism, which drains the city at a cultural and ecological level without really boosting the economy. I firmly believe that the whole Veneto region, still little known as a tourist destination or for its city brands (except Venice, Verona and Padua), would be able to attract cultured people, curious individuals, who wish to go back in order to discover another part of it. I have once organized an “educational tour” in the Veneto region; we visited the Treviso, Vicenza and Riviera del Brenta areas. The participating tour operators remained totally enchanted and amazed at discovering such beautiful new places. The Veneto region almost has it all: seaside, mountains, lakes, cultural sites, food, handicraft and still a lot more. I think that it is time to build a bridge between Venice and its surrounding area.
Concretely, how do you put your commitment into effect?
I have decided to create a system, a network that will help people to access leisure activities in Venice and in the Veneto region, even the most secret ones. I want to make this platform available to everyone, both locals and tourists. My goal is the following: to close the gap between visitors and residents, by shifting from a “traditional tourism” concept to a concept designed for individuals who are eager to discover a new area, to learn, to grow and to play an active role in order to do so. I am aware that many small businesses, which really offer creative and typical products of high quality, are struggling to survive mainly because of their inability to promote themselves efficiently; in fact, they are never really able to reach the end users. When you are unable to close sales, any speech about changing things are empty words. What I intend to create instead is a direct contact between supply and demand, thanks precisely to the opportunities offered by e-commerce and the international network of our staff so that the high quality products and services offered in Venice and the Veneto region get global exposure. I believe that this period of crisis can represent the best time to adopt a new business and territory management model with a “globally local” perspective. Venice is no longer forced to be filled with hordes of undiscriminating tourists; she can be chosen with a purpose in mind by those who are really able to appreciate and respect her, no matter if they are locals or foreigners.
● Bachelor degree in Political Science at the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies, France.
● Erasmus Exchange Program at the School of Political Sciences – University of Bologna, Italy.
● Master degree in Management, specialized in International Tourism Economy at University Toulouse 1 Capitole, France.
● Two-year Master degree in International Relations – Europe and Latin America at the University of Bologna, Italy, with offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
● Doctorate in International Cooperation and Sustainable Development, CIRPS (Inter-University Center for Sustainable Development Research), University La Sapienza of Rome, Italy.
● Tourism consultant for the South East Europe Project CMC “Clusters meet culture” led by the Unioncamere of Veneto. Italy.
● Technical project manager for the Veneto Region, Department of Economic Development; South East Europe Project CMC “Clusters meet culture”. Italy.
● Professor for various universities as well as foreign and Italian organizations (University of Bologna, University San Andres La Paz, University La Sapienza); Tourism and International Relation fields. Bolivia, Italy.
● Project manager for the NGO “COSV” and Sutjeska National Park; project of sustainable tourism development, IPA/EU program. Montenegro / Bosnia-Herzegovina.
● Monitoring and evaluation consultant of an emergency project for the NGO “COSV” in Darfur. Sudan.
● Coordinator of the relationships with the European Commission and International Organizations for the Italo-Bolivian Chamber of Commerce (ACACIB).
● Tourism consultant for the NGO “Oxfam”. Project “Integrated Natural Resource Management of the Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP)”, financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Pakistan.
● Tourism consultant for the NGO “CeLIM”. Project “Socio-economical Development through the Promotion of Sustainable Tourism”, financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mozambique.
● Tourism consultant, project manager and country manager for the NGO “COSV” appointed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Bolivia.
● Researcher at CIRPS (Inter-University Center for Sustainable Development Research) – University La Sapienza of Rome, with a mission in the Saharawi’s refugee camps. Italy, Algeria.
● Researcher at the Travel and Tourism Research Institute (TTRI), University of Nottingham, England.
● Marketing office at an adventure tour operator in Mexico.
● Tourism development program for the Regional Council of Guadeloupe.
The team at VivoVenetia
We are a team of curious and enthusiastic people who strongly believe in the VivoVenetia project and word hard to make it happen. Our staff coordinates an extended network of partners, who are actively involved in the online Portal and network development of VivoVenetia in Italy and abroad. We play an active role in selecting the best service suppliers of the Veneto region among the ones who embrace our goals and our values. We offer them our services and the assistance they need in order to operate as best as they can in the VivoVenetia network.