Pro Loco Italia foundation is born for greater protection of intangible heritage

There are 20 thousand festivals that take place every year in Italy, connected to as many food and wine products, and are worth about 2.1 billion euros.

The ancient knowledge, the magic of folklore, the spectacular rites, the food and wine festivals. It is an immense intangible cultural heritage, the one that is guarded by the National Union of Pro Loco of Italy, which today, with the birth of the Foundation, the mission aimed at enhancing the identity and culture of the variegated Italian territory is strengthened. “The foundation was created to safeguard and pass on to the future our heritage linked to rituals, knowledge, local crafts which in many areas is on the verge of extinction”. This is what Antonino La Spina, president of Unpli and of the Pro Loco Italia Ets Foundation, said, interviewed by Adnkronos. (VIDEO)

The Pro Loco, with their events, are a fundamental driving force for tourism in the villages and this year, after two years of pandemic, there is a recovery. “The pro loco represent the most rooted organization in the local area with 110 thousand events in a year with over 88 million visitors” says La Spina.

The Foundation, which was presented in recent days to the Ministry of Culture, was born from deep roots thanks to the commitment of over 6,300 Pro Loco active throughout Italy who work every day in favor of their communities by providing over 25 million hours of volunteer work per year and demonstrating how the cultural identity of each community is the basis of daily activity. Unpli has always been committed to safeguarding and enhancing intangible cultural heritage, being among the 164 organizations accredited by Unesco.

There are 20 thousand festivals that take place every year in Italy, connected to as many food and wine products, and are worth about 2.1 billion euros. These are pre-pandemic numbers that have dropped a lot in two years but this year there are signs of “full recovery with 80% of the rescheduling”.

There are therefore many but only some can boast the quality mark certified by UNPLI. “We want to certify those realities that operate in an optimal way because for us the festival starts from a cultural aspect that concerns the knowledge of the typical product and the enhancement of the territory through the local product. – claims La Spina – The organization of the festivals in addition to having a cultural value also naturally has a significant economic impact on the territory “.

“The world of festivals is worth 2.1 billion euros considering the induced activities that lead to the local economy, to the small farms and artisans that produce excellence in the many Italian villages” reports the president. To date, 48 festivals are recognized as representative of the history and tradition of our country, but the process is ongoing for the recognition of others. “Unpli will bring calendars and events internationally thanks to an agreement with Enit also for the promotion of emotional tourism, therefore the possibility of living experiences in contact with nature, with the people and the beauties of the places.