An experience of integrated development of the archaeological and landscape heritage of the area: the Val di Cornia Parks Network System in Tuscany
The Val di Cornia, the last southern part of the Etruscan Coast in Livorno province is a strip of land opposite to the Island of Elba, behind the city of Piombino.
Its development, over the last century, was almost exclusively related to the iron and steel industry.
The 1990s industrial crisis demanded a rapid diversification of the area’s economy. The archaeological and natural heritage was at that moment seen as a “resource” to sustain the development of a non-invasive tourism.
Coordinated urban plans defined the areas to be protected going beyond the legal concepts of cultural and landscape heritage, overcoming the administrative borders and interpreting the natural and cultural features of the territory as a unitary common asset.
This land, largely taken away from the ponds and swamps that characterized its coasts until last century, retains now an extraordinary heritage of environmental and cultural testimonies, which make this area an attractive alternative destinations: "Tuscany Minor".
Greater accessibility to the park and museum system has increased the attractiveness and quality of the services offered. Main intertwined components:
3 Archaeological Parks
Castle, Rocca and Museums
4 Coastal Parks and natural Park of Sterpaia
Assets are managed by main stakeholders (local public administrations, private companies (tourism, transport, innovation), environmental and cultural associations, with tourists and resident both beneficiaries.

Resources needed

A mix of human resource contribution by partners and stakeholders, plus EU, National, Regional and local funding.
The management company has a capital of € 1.480.444.
During the period 1994-2007 the value of interventions was of € 25.240.523
Public 72% (approx. 50 % from EU), own resources

Evidence of success

Management agreements between organizations, stakeholder participation, coordinated & shared planning.
- Implementation of a conservation project for a large area by integrating: a) research, conservation and public use b) cultural & environmental assets, tourism services
- Creation of a business culture
- Economies of scale
- Organization of work based on principles of territorial mobility
- More effective promotion by creating integrated packages
- High self-financing capacity

Difficulties encountered

Search for financial resources has been difficult. The agreements between Tuscany Region and the Municipalities triggered a virtuous process . The direct involvement of stakeholders has also been fundamental for the enhancement and development of internal protected areas and associated services

Potential for learning or transfer

The cultural and landscape resources of a local area, namely history and the environment, are strategic factors of a modern supply of tourism services and facilities, and represent a point of departure for a new model of sustainable development transferable to other areas.
However, none of this can happen without:
- research and knowledge and conservation/planning of heritage and the landscape
- integration between cultural and environmental resources and services (System)
- synergy between local authorities and departments in implementing the project (integrated management)
- choosing a streamlined tool for the implementation of the project (efficient management)
- strategic coherence in the administration of the territories

Main institution
Parchi della Val di Cornia S.p.A.
Toscana, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 1993
End Date


Irene Nicotra Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by

Manuel Heinrich

Regionalmanagement Mittelhessen GmbH