Sunday, September 22, 2013

Boosting Tourism in Viterbo

E. Frangipane, A. Delli Iaconi, G.Curti, A.R. De Alexandris at new BIC center 

This  week  saw two important events  in Viterbo  for boosting  tourism: a visit of an  international meeting,  Certess,  organized  by the Lazio Region and the 16th international workshop BUY Lazio. The first  took place in the new  building of BIC Lazio, once  the  city's slaughter house. 
Recycling  an old building to new use

CERTESS  workshop with G.Curti & Bruno Blanco  

international  delegates 

translating  for  BIC workshop 
I  was happy  to be involved   as translator, meeting people from Palma di  Majorca, Finland, Croatia, Poland and several other European countries. 

 pilgrim guide to  Papal Palace 
The  visit  included  a workshop, discussion  and exploration of Viterbo’s   medieval quarter accompanied  by  an authentically dressed medieval pilgrim   (Massimiliano Vinci)  who led the group along  the old pilgrims’ route, Via di S. Clemente,  to the Duomo  and Papal Palace.

The guests were surprised  to see how coins were   minted at the  workshop of Maestro  Marco Guglielmi who also dressed the part.  This eclectic  artisan  works in  ceramics as well as coinage and has published several books.

Master  coin maker 
Throughout the  weekend  Viterbo was  bustling  with over  200 delegates at  the 16th edition of Buy Lazio,where buyers and sellers meet to  exchange information and  offers for  touristic services. The workshop is held in the ancient papal palace whose  soaring arches and tufa stone halls  recall the papal court which met here in the 13th century.

Buy Lazio stands 
Snappily dressed young  men and  girls (with dangerously high heels considering the cobblestones and steep stairs) were busy  promoting the folklore, traditions, gastronomy archeology, environment  and special itineraries  that exist for tourists  in the  five  provinces  of the Lazio region:  Latina, Roma, Rieti, Frosinone and  Viterbo.
red carpet  at the Papal Palace 

Buyers converged on Viterbo from  24 different countries  as far away as Mexico, Norway and Russia with a large percentage from central and eastern European countries (Slovenia,Ukraine,Slovakia Luthuania,  Hungary, Austria,Poland) and  Scandinavia (Norway, Finland,Denmark,  Estonia Sweden).
 As I write, on Sunday morning, the foreign participants are being treated to a post-workshop tour of Tuscania, Bolsena and Tarquinia before heading back to their respective countires.

Things  have changed  in these past  16 years: instead  of  reams of papers and  heavy  catalogues  appointments are now set up electronically so that face to face meetings and exchange of business cards are all that is  needed  to make contacts  leading  to a future  of sustainable tourism  for the  Viterbo area and all of Lazio. 


  1. Thanks Mary, we have enjoyed a wonderfull morning in Viterbo, I think international delegates have been very satisfied. I hope a next event soon in ICULT!!!!!

  2. Let's hope the businesses within Viterbo wake up to the possibilities and don't continue to charge tourists special (extra high) prices! They also need to realise that tourists (especially Italian ones) will come on Sunday and so shops, tourists’ offices etc. need to be open. A general clean up and stamp down on the graffiti in the city also needs to be addressed

  3. Thanks for your comments Giulio and Christina, I agree wholeheartedly. We must catch up to Tuscany and Umbria, it requires a lot of hard work and youthful enthusiasm, but it can be done, especially with new talents and motivation which seem to have finally arrived in sleepy old Viterbo.

  4. Minting coins!? In plain sight!? For the country?? Or just for demonstration purposes? In either case, I need to learn how to do that! :)

  5. Great initiative Mary, Earlier this year there was a frankly disastrous meeting for the Strada di Sagrantino. 2 great guys came along and were quite firm on what would need to be achieved to put Sagrantino on the map for Montefalco before it was taken up by other countries. This is Montefalco's biggest asset, and needs nurturing, but the folks, in the main only see problems, not the bigger picture. It was a depressing few hours. We went, after the meeting, into the offices of the Strada di Sagrantino and offered to help in any way we could, advertising, translating, controlling the English on the brochures/website … very willing to help. Lots of nods, then … absolutely nothing. They never got back to us. Their 'problem' was/is that we don't always visit the cantine that are on their 'map'. Take that how you like, I don't see it as a problem. We weren't allowed to advertise in their office either because of this. We promote Umbria one guest at a time, if we can let them see the great things they can do here, and they go and tell their friends - word of mouth is a powerful thing.

    Mary Jane Cryan thanks Giselle, can I put this on the blog post comments ?
    4 hours ago · Like · 1

    Giselle Stafford If my waffle made sense, yes! You're more than welcome!

    Elizabeth Wholey Good question Mary Jane! I do it through Facebook to promote members of Le Vie del Buongusto and Slow Food Alta Umbria. Next March in Chicago I will have a table at the International Assoc. of Culinary Professionals "marketplace" and will bring products, give prizes, and generally yak my head off about how wonderful it is here. Unlike Giselle, I am getting a lot of encouragement from local people.

    Giselle Stafford We're doing something similar in January, Elizabeth, in Holland. I hope it's going to be a success!
    about an hour ago via mobile ·