State-owned properties relaunch quality tourism
Valore Paese-Dimore, recovery of valuable public assets opens up a new opportunity for Italy
Over the last few years, the structural crisis in real estate has significantly slowed down investment in Italy, above all in the tourism sector. Valorisation of Italy’s cultural heritage may however lead to tangible opportunities for attracting capital, able to contribute to recovery of the real estate sector linked to tourism and a relaunch of the entire economic and production system. For this reason, the Agenzia del Demanio (the Italian government property agency) has for a while now focused its ef- forts on recovering buildings with great historic, artistic and landscape value, through the Valore Paese-Dimore Project. Over 200 state-owned properties have been earmarked throughout Italy to be converted into tourism accommodation, following the model of paradores in Spain and pousadas in Portugal. The initiative identifies a network of assets such as villas, castles, historic residences and lighthouses all over Italy and provides, alongside traditional hotel facilities, a wide range of cultural
services through a brand recognised on a national and international level with the aim of promoting the excellences of Made in Italy. Set up in collaboration with Anci, Invitalia and with support from the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Tourism, the Ministry for Economic Development, the Italian government agency for territorial cohesion, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Italian Confindustria Association of Hotels and Assoimmobiliare, the project has already brought positive results, thanks to virtuous forms of public and private collaboration. Villa Tolomei in Florence, a historic residence from the Rinascimento era, now transformed into a luxury hotel, is just one example of enhancement projects already completed thanks to the involvement of private investors. The case of the lighthouse at Capo Spartivento, in the province of Cagliari, commissioned to a young Italian entrepreneur licensed to develop it and convert it into a lu- xury hotel was the starting point for the Valore Paese-Fari initiative. Today the circuit includes 11 other lighthouses in Sicily, Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Tuscany, which will be converted into tourist-accommodation following the model of lighthouse accommodation.
The first call for offers for leases lasting up to 50 years has just closed after receiving 39 offers from Italian and international investors, from social and environmental associations, private individuals and exponents of national and local Italian business. These lighthouses, which still signal to those at sea, will in this way see the old keepers’ quarters enjoy a second life thanks to a sustainable redevelopment project, which will increase the market and social value of the properties themselves and make a significant contribution to local development and competitiveness of the country as a whole.