interregional initiative among 18 Italian Regions to promote 1000 villages as places of slow tourism authenticity and quality of life
This interregional initiative is based on the promotion of Italian villages with particular focus on an audience interested in sustainable and experiential tourism. The cultural heritage promoted refers to landscape aspects, cultural traditions, artistic and natural and also gastronomic heritage.
With reference to seaside villages, the following distinctive elements were defined in order to join the initiative: historical relevant characteristics and the presence of a community with social and economic qualities traditionally typical of a village.
To be and maintain the qualification of an authentic village, an active involvement of the local community is necessary both in the institutional part that must program resources and interventions for the recognition of the "authentic village", and in all economic activities capable of expressing tradition and cultural identity. A particular role is recognized to young people as determining elements for the future of the territory. The involvement activity is carried out through meetings and events open to the wider public.
The following actions have been implemented by the Abruzzo Region:
1. Identification and recognition of historic seaside villages;
2. Production of panoramic flights for all the historical villages;
3. specific collaborations have been activated, with the reference associations for the Borghi d'Italia
4. Use of regional funds to grant subsidies to municipalities for the recovery and restoration of villages

Resources needed

The initiative has been financed by the Abruzzo Region with the 2014-2020 Regional ERDF Operational Programme, with indicatively 20.000 € and with regional funds (140.000 €) granted to Municipalities to restore ancient villages and for the revitalization of micro enterprises

Evidence of success

This initiative has been recognized by the Ministry of Tourism as an opportunity to jointly promote the historical, cultural and environmental heritage of the villages. After the first year:
• 1000 Italian villages involved
• 200 celebrities selected as testimonials of the Italian culture
• more than 173.000 accesses to the webpage
• more than 274.000 interactions on FB
• more than 360 press releases
• 3 big events organized
• 6.107 pictures on Instagram during marketing actions

Difficulties encountered

No difficulties encountered

Potential for learning or transfer

The initiative has a high potential of transferability since it:
 offers a coordinated system of promotion of small and great excellence of the territory
 introduces a heritage made up of traditions, art, productions and local food and wine
 guarantees quality of life, feeling part of the village community
 focuses on the theme of the recovery and protection of the cultural, environmental and social heritage of the villages
 seizes opportunities and develops innovative tourism offer proposals
 creates new and different possibilities of employment, especially youth, favoring the permanence in small centers
 encourages sustainable tourism even outside periods of maximum tourist concentration.
The aim is to enhance the local identities by networking them and organizing them into homogeneous interregional itineraries, and to develop and coordinate the experiences of sustainable tourism thanks to the creation of tourist offers related to the small villages

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Abruzzo Region
Abruzzo, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 2017
End Date


Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by