September, 7th 2022
(by Giulio Bendfeldt) The data is all in all surprising: there are 129 “museums of taste” in Italy, 20% more than those found in Spain (107), forty more than the French “cousins” ( 88) and many more than in Germany (just 13!) To remain with the “European powers” of the agri-food sector. Of the 129 Italian museums, 46 are linked to the world of wine and, truly incredible, only 36 out of 129 have a website. Virtual tours – modeled on the Vivanco museum in Rioja – are not even talked about, of course.
In this regard, Ewan Henderson, Whiskey ambassador, explains in the recent report on food and wine tourism coordinated by Roberta Garibaldi: “The Scottish events industry has been literally overwhelmed by the pandemic. The biggest challenge is to build proposals capable of adapting to the current context. We think of the fairs of the distillates sector; from taking place in person, they have gone digital and, even if they do not offer the same experience, I believe that they will continue to be in this mode even after the pandemic is over. The changes related to digital that we have experienced in 2020 will show us the way to grow the sales channels directed to the final consumer “. In practice, before approaching a museum, enthusiasts visualize it digitally, then develop direct experiences in presence and, once they return to their homes, return to digital to share what they have experienced with their friends by reproposing it through the devices.
129 museums with a regional or territorial dimension – 20 in Piedmont, 18 in Emilia Romagna and 13 in Tuscany – which are added to as many as 103 wine roads (of these 10 do not even have a website) and no national hub as it is in France the Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, capable of intercepting half a million visitors a year.
In Verona, until before the administrative elections, there was talk of creating a Wine Museum in the city of Vinitaly able to stand up to the comparison with Bordeaux, involving an archistar to transform the entire area in front of Verona Exhibition Center, moving the four-lane avenue to an undeground tunnel, and thus creating a sort of agora from the fair to the Mercatali Galleries. An ambitious project, with an assumed budget of several tens of millions €, which saw among its promoters the current president of the Fair, Federico Bricolo, former senator for the Lega party – who took office shortly before the administrative elections – which had involved the current Minister for Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia. Before the summer, however, the administration of Verona changed its political color and the current mayor, Damiano Tommasi (wine producer in Valpolicella) never said a word about the museum project. A sign of coldness and perhaps something more as there is talk of reviewing the governance of the Verona fair itself again.
Yet the creation of a national hub is not a secondary factor in the growth of a market segment – food and wine tourism – which, at pre-pandemic values, invoiced € 12 billion, 5% of GDP, with 110 million attendance with a strong presence of American, British and German tourists with a daily expense greater than that of “other” tourists in the Bel Paese.
While waiting to know whether or not we will have a national hub, these are the ten trends that tell the story of Italian wine tourism and beyond: “Local is the new global”,
“The growth of bio”,
“Wine as a catalyst of reservations”,
“The potential of breweries as a tourist destination “,
“Opening the roads to bikes and hikers”,
“Digital turnaround for museums of taste “,
“Race to Unesco heritage”,
“A restaurant in difficulty, but eclectic and lively”,
“Agritourism, the place of well-being ” “Valorisation of Central-Southern Regions ”.