As part of the coaching activities of the EUROCITIES-led Culture for Cities and
Regions initiative, a group of five culture coaches visited Trieste and
Aquileia in mid-February. The team included KEA European affairs director
Philippe Kern, urban expert Nils Scheffler, and city-peers from Lincoln and
The coaches’ primary objective was to help Aquileia, a small provincial town with a UNESCO world heritage archaeological site, use its cultural heritage as a driver of economic and social development in the region. In light of its size, uniqueness, historic value, and state of preservation, the Aquileia archeological site lends itself to being used to boost economic and social development.
While the regional authorities are ready and willing to make these cultural assets a key driver of their development policy, the large number of stakeholders involved (region, local authorities, local public and private stakeholders) puts the brakes on the process.
The site has an enormous but as yet clearly underexploited touristic potential considering its geographical location (near the seaside resort of Grado, Trieste, and Venice). Discussions focused on possible policy actions aimed at building trust with the local community, which seems to be unaware of the site’s economic potential. These include joint activities with the population, including co-creation workshops. Policy actions were also discussed in order to make the work of Fundazione Aquileia, in charge of the management of the site, more efficient.
According to the coaches, Aquileia should adopt a more proactive approach to destination management and business development, and should improve cooperation with local actors in the tourism sector, and with relevant communication outlets (notably social media).
The report is available here