Italy’s Tourist Monuments Take Matters in to their Own Hands


There was an irony noted in the press with some of Italy’s towns being introduced in to the UNESCO list of world heritage sites earlier this year, as while UNESCO is recognising these locations as places to be preserved, the Italian government is doing little to conserve its tourist sites.

With the recession sweeping through Europe, and indeed the world, austerity has been the keyword on many politicians’ lips, with governments tussling over which cuts to make. In Italy one of the industries to suffer from the funding slashes is the tourist industry, with so many of Italy’s areas of natural beauty or historical significance coming to feel rather neglected.

However, the UNESCO induction has certainly helped some areas by shedding light on them as worthwhile tourist destinations. Certainly it has helped traffic to the locations and therefore provided the local areas with some money to help sustain their attractions. Yet it would seem this isn’t enough, and the balance that is struggled with is a matter of preservation under an influx of mass tourism.

Thankfully there are many souls wishing to help the attractions they deem worthwhile by helping out with donations, in the past many heritage sites have gratefully received generous donations from those with the cash to spare, and that are willing to put some of the money in to a good cause.

Yet it is not just governments affected by the global crunch, and those donators have become growingly reluctant as they worry about their own finances. So some Italian organisations have introduced creative measures to surmount funding by garnering many mini donations, and allowing simple ways for people of slenderer means to help prop up valuable heritage sites.

In Italy, culture lovers are being encouraged to donate two Euros each by text message in a new campaign set up by the Italian Environment Foundation, and so far it is proving to be a successful way of garnering money for the spots that are in need.

This campaign mirrors a campaign set up last year for the upkeep of a park in Umbria, and to help fund the restoration of monuments damaged in the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake, going towards things like the restoration of an ornamental fountain. The campaign proved a great success and managed to raise $ 422,000, going a great way to cover the cost of this project.

Sustainable tourism is this season’s most fashionable phrase and certainly this initiative seems to be  rather forward thinking in its approach to preserving that which is important.

Sardinia is currently enjoying a good travel turn out with Sardinia villas being booked out over the summer, and it remains a popular destination in the off season in which many villas become cheaper, and the island attracts a more diverse range of holidaymakers, as opposed to the lavish visitors it is used to over the summer.

Many locals are very pleased to here about the money being raised for the restoration of local monuments, as tourism serves as the most prosperous industry for many small towns.