Best Italian Creative Destination Awards: interview with Sergio Emidio Bini, FVG Tourism Councilor

With the aim of enhancing Italian destinations that focus on culture, creativity and intangible heritage, the Creative Tourism Network® has created “Best Italian Creative Destination Awards”, a call issued within 2021, declared by the United Nations “Year International Creative Economy for Sustainable Development “.

Friuli Venezia Giulia was awarded as “Best Italian Creative Destination” (region category).

We took the opportunity to congratulate and interview the councilor for productive activities and tourism of the FVG, Sergio Emidio Bini.

Emidio Bini

Congratulations for the well-deserved award. Why do you consider it important to push creative / experiential tourism in your destination?

We certainly believe that the experience factor represents what makes the difference in a trip. For years we have been carrying on this belief as an opportunity to offer to those who visit us, so that they can discover and become passionate about our territory through its peculiarities.

We know that today the choice of a destination is not so much influenced by the agency’s promotional actions, but rather by the real experiences of tourists in the area. With this goal in mind, we launched the ambassadors project, which sees our region narrated by some special storytellers: what better voice than that of the inhabitants and enthusiasts to convey a place or an activity? Over the years, numerous examples have been collected, from the tour of the artisan shops, up to hugging the trees with an expert, to discovering the woods and forests of this small and very rich region. More and more tourists and visitors are now looking for the pure and authentic side of travel: immerse themselves in a tradition, eat in the places frequented by those who live there, get out of the more touristy routes to experience a holiday or a trip adapting to the rhythm of a specific place. We plan to make this “package” available to our guests.

In your opinion, what are the intangible assets (gastronomy, traditions, music, crafts, etc.) of your territory with the greatest tourist potential?

Enogastronomy and traditions are two excellent resources of our territory. A way to express the different souls of this region which, even in a small territory, find space coexisting and representing the true great wealth of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Daughters of different historical influences and dominations, the traditions and typical specialties that are brought back to the table are a perfect summary of what Friuli Venezia Giulia has to tell, a land of different dominations where in a few kilometers very different customs and flavors are preserved and preserved and stands out for its strong identity.

Our greatest intangible and intangible resource is on one hand also time, if we think that in two hours you can get from the sea to the mountains, crossing the plains, rivers and hills to embrace the lagoon, in a truly unique variety of landscapes. The narration agreed in this space allows us to meet, learn and experience cultural aspects that are new and unusual compared to what great destinations offer: micro-territory is synonymous with micro cultures, far from the over tourism destinations that have focused on large masses concentrated in a few, the most famous, destinations. We do the opposite: we diversify the offer with small masses distributed throughout the region.

Which of these resources would you like to promote most as it identifies and represents your local culture?

Certainly enogastronomy, which is the tool through which to promote the area. The Wine and Flavors Route, our “Route63” of flavors, was born with the aim of networking our realities – producers, restaurateurs, artisans – creating six ideal itineraries that summarize the territory: the Riviera, the hills, the mountains, the plains, the Karst and rivers. These paths ideally trace the boundaries of six different identities, blurred boundaries in a continuous contamination that has generated innovations and alternates great chefs in the kitchen. Food and wine because, in this period, with the limitation of travel and the elimination of tourism, it had the merit of knowing how to make flavors travel instead of people, crossing borders and bringing a little taste of Friuli Venezia Giulia to those who it is far away, arousing memories and arousing the curiosity to visit us as soon as possible.

Considering the various options available on your territory, what kind of creative tourist are you aiming for?

The curious tourist who wants to test his ability to get lost and orient himself on the territory. An unguided tourist who moves independently to discover the region and its beauties through relationships and taking advantage of authentic opportunities. An adventurer, an explorer in the footsteps of Robinson Crusoe, who arrives on a desert island and abandons himself by testing his adaptability and living engaging experiences, or the protagonist of the novel by Jules Verne, who encounters the challenge of a around the world in 80 days: whoever arrives in Friuli Venezia Giulia will win the bet and will be able to discover a small world in a short time. Here perhaps you will not find the great works of art and the artistic and cultural offer that a large city can have, but will appreciate the possibility of having more landscapes, environments and realities at your fingertips, of being able to enjoy the sea, the mountains , food and wine and history in an area with little population density, being able to take advantage of large spaces in the midst of unspoiled nature and in the enchanted villages of Friuli Venezia Giulia, 13 of which have been included among the most beautiful in Italy.

What are the advantages of creative development in your area?

With a view to territorial development, today we must work to respond to the laws of the post-covid market, taking into account the needs of the tourist, increasingly in search of new possibilities and models, who alternates the relationship with citizens to the use of the destination. This represents a fundamental part of the tourist product: it is necessary to interrupt the classic flow to put the management of the tourist relationship in the hands of the residents, able to truly tell the territory in its authenticity. Nothing different from our concept of “temporary citizen”, a theme that we have been pursuing for several years and through which we want to make the guest feel part of the community and the territory. A creative development generates advantages from an economic point of view, also promoting less known territories, which have equal dignity in comparison to others.

Interview conducted by Ilaria Coribello