What’s happening in my country

Italy

This page contains specific information about the planning and implementation of smart villages in Italy. The information aims to orient people on policy planning, key contacts and resources on smart villages. However, it neither aims to be fully comprehensive, nor necessarily reflects the official government or European Commission position.

Explore how smart villages are being implemented in Italy.

You can also visit the page of the Smart Rural 21 selected village: Ostana

Key CAP contact(s) :

Ministero delle Politiche Agricole, Alimentari e Forestali (National Rural Network, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry)
Key contact(s) :
Paolo Ammassari (Head of National Rural Network and Rural Development Unit)
Email : p.ammassari@politicheagricole.it
Website : https://www.reterurale.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/1

Support for Smart Villages under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

  • Smart Villages might be included in the National Strategic Framework (developed in the framework of the 2021-27 CAP Strategic Plan), but the tools and operational procedures between national, regional and local levels to ensure its implementation are yet to be defined.
  • Through the dialogue on the National Strategic Framework between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Regions (supported by the National Rural Network), thematic working groups and task forces were established that defined and delivered ten SWOT analyses and eleven policy briefs on the future development of CAP in Italy.
  • References to topics related to Smart Villages are made in the various policy briefs, in particular in the policy briefs on (i) ‘the promotion of employment, growth, social inclusion and local development in rural areas’ and (ii) ‘AKIS on renovating the agricultural sector through promoting and sharing knowledge, innovation and digitalisation processes in rural areas’.
  • Cooperation support and innovation support through EIP-AGRI to Smart Villages will be strengthened while the introduction of AKIS (Agriculture and Knowledge Innovation Systems) will be decisive to reinforce the innovation potential of Smart Villages. Key beneficiaries of these measures will be municipalities, rural and mountainous communities, union of municipalities and SMEs.
  • The discussions among thematic experts, social and economic stakeholders as well as civil society representatives, highlighting basic requirements and priority fields for intervention, are currently ongoing.
  • The potential connection between different funds with regard to smart villages (in particular with ERDF and EAFRD) was explored in 2020 and is part of a wider debate surrounding the approval of the Partnership Agreement.

Further information on CAP & smart villages :

I villaggi intelligenti nei piani strategici della PAC Italia ( 30/04/2024 ) - E40 (Language : Italian)
Smart Villages in CAP Strategic plan Italy ( 30/04/2024 ) - E40 (Language : English)
Smart Villages Support in Italy ( 06/09/2022 ) - E40 (Language : English)

Key NRN contact(s) :

CREA Ricerche (CREA Research) – Consiglio per la Ricerca in agricoltura e l’economia agraria (National Council for Research in Agriculture and Agriculture Economy)
Key contact(s) :
Raffaella Di Napoli (Coordinator LEADER Task Force - NRN)
Email : Raffaella.dinapoli@crea.gov.it
Website : https://www.crea.gov.it/web/politiche-e-bioeconomia/-/rete-rurale-nazionale

Activities of the National Rural Network (NRN) on smart villages

  • The National Rural Network (NRN) has an interest in smart villages and has given visibility to various initiatives at the European level, such as the ‘Smart Villages’ project funded by the Interreg Alpine Space programme, which has involved several Italian partners and produced policy documents on the transformation and challenges of Italian and European smart villages.
  • The NRN is focusing on smart villages in the 2022-2023 transition phase to drive the debate on innovative development of rural areas towards these topics in the next years. A national model will be tested and a series of workshops will be organised in collaboration with CREA to train local stakeholders and LAGs on smart village principles. The objective is to disseminate tools and methodologies, as well as support stakeholders in the realisation of pilot projects to be implemented at the local level.
  • The NRN participated in the ‘Smart Villages’ Thematic Group of the European Network for Rural Development Contact Point.

Support provided through other national/ regional policies & initiatives

  • The National Strategy for Inner Areas is an integrated strategy aimed at tackling problems such as depopulation, low access to services and lack of development strategies. The Strategy is funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds and national funds. Local integrated development strategies are financed in 72 pilot areas. Multilevel governance and place-based approach are combined in projects involving LEADER Local Action Groups, unions of municipalities, regional and local institutions in its implementation.
  • The National Ultra-Broadband Plan (part of the Cohesion Policy under the Digital Agenda priority) will be reinforced and will deploy its effects on a wider number of small municipalities, contributing towards the implementation of Smart Villages schemes.
  • The National Recovery Plan (PNRR) is focusing one of its main priorities on digitalisation and enhancement of digital infrastructure in rural areas, even though smart villages are not explicitly mentioned. These actions will be carried out in collaboration with the regions and as a continuation of the current Strategic Rural Plan (PSR), expected to be updated by 31 December 2021.

Key ressources :

Italian approach to support Smart Villages through the CAP and other policies ( 28/11/2023 )

A presentation showcasing how Smart Villages are programmed within the Italian CAP SP, featuring examples of good practices and other policies supporting Smart Villages in Italy, was provided during the 2nd European Smart Villages Pilot Observatory meeting held in Prague, Czechia, on November 27-28th, 2023.


Key organisations & contacts

The Association Borghi Autentici (“authentical villages”) is a network of municipalities and local communities that aims at supporting sustainable local development activities and promoting integrated development. It launched the concept of “hospitable community”, certifying villages engaged in sustainable tourism and soft economy as a way of economic and social recovery.

Key activities :
  • Creation and animation of community of practices and empowerment of local communities and stakeholders on sustainable development.
  • Organisation of conferences and events, as well as constant management of relations with other networks acting on topics related sustainable development


Key contact(s) :

Raffaella Di Napoli (Coordinator LEADER Task Force - NRN)
Email : Raffaella.dinapoli@crea.gov.it

CREA is the National Research Council for agriculture and agricultural economy.

It is the leading Italian research organisation dedicated to the agri-food supply chains and is supervised by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies. The organisation has 12 research centres (6 related to specific supply chains and 6 dedicated to horizontal topics).

CREA coordinates NRN activities and helps creating the connection among the Ministry, regions and local institutions involved in the implementation of rural development policies. CREA aims at improving the capacity of public authorities, informing stakeholders and beneficiaries on CAP strategic themes and measures.

Key activities :
  • Production of studies, in-depth analyses, guidelines and thematic reviews
  • Organisation of meetings, seminars, workshops and study-visits
  • Production of dissemination materials, videos and brochures
  • Managing the National Rural Network website



Further key resources

Smart Villages: LEADER support actions
Carlot Salot - Escartons and Valli Valdesi LAG ( 19/03/2024 )
Presentation providing an example of LEADER support to Smart Villages from a LAG’s perspective by Escartons and Valli Valdesi LAG (Italy). The presentation was given at the Smart Rural 27 project’s Final Conference of 18-19 March 2024, in Brussels, Belgium.
Language : English

Twinned Villages for Rural Utopia
Nicola Zanca , Robert Fekete - Municipality of Gaiba , Municipality of Olaszfa ( 18/03/2024 )
A presentation on the collaborative journey of Gaiba (Italy) and Olaszfa (Hungary) within the renewable energy cluster of the Smart Rural 27 project, showcasing their twin village collaboration.. The presentation was given at the Smart Rural 27 project’s Final Conference of 18-19 March 2024, in Brussels, Belgium.
Language : English

The Piedmon Region supports Smart Villages through the LAGs
Mariolina Pianezzola - LAG Tradizione delle Terre Occitane ( 28/11/2023 )
A presentation focusing on the rural development of the Piedmont region, with a special emphasis on the development strategies of Local Action Groups (LAGs), was given during the 2nd European Smart Villages Pilot Observatory meeting held in Prague, Czechia, on November 27-28th, 2023.
Language : English

Lighthouse factsheet of Ostana
VISO A VISO ( 2023 )
The factsheet outlines Ostana’s smart journey as a lighthouse community in ‘New Ways of Living – Youth, Culture & New Entrepreneurship’ under the Smart Rural 27 project. Focused on the natural alpine environment, public spaces, and ongoing projects (co-working spaces, library, educational facilities), Ostana aims to be a living laboratory for new ways of living in the Italian Alps. Their goal is to test strategies for attracting new residents that can be replicated in marginal, alpine, and rural areas across Italy and Europe.
Language : Danish

Communicating the smart village strategy of Ostana
Simone D’Antonio ( 09/2021 )
A guidance document providing information and proposed ways of improving Ostana’s (Italy) branding and promotion. It proposes a strategy for communicating the smart village strategy.
Language : Italian

Cohesion policy and resources for the implementation of the smart strategy
Simone D’Antonio ( 08/2021 )
A background paper providing guidance for Ostana’s (Italy) strategic approach to identifying the resources that could potentially contribute to the implementation of its smart strategy actions
Language : Italian

Strategic Plan
Marco Volontá - S.I.Ri.O. SRL ( 08/2021 )
A document outlining the transformation of Ostana’s (Italy) objectives, actions and indicators into a strategic intervention plan. The document usefully links the identified actions to potential funding sources. The overall objective is to keep the village alive and provide services to inhabitants through smart mobility, housing, cultural and social innovation, forest management.
Language : English

Mobility development plan
Marco Volontá - S.I.Ri.O. SRL ( 08/2021 )
The mobility development plan of Ostana (Italy) defines an executive and sustainable path for freight management services and tourists’ arrivals and departures. It lays the basis for the development of a management strategy for community mobility and a related action plan
Language : English

Carpooling intervention sheet
Marco Volontá - S.I.Ri.O. SRL ( 07/2021 )
A short document overviewing a carpooling system option in Ostana (Italy), intended to decrease the number of circulating vehicles. The sheet introduces the idea of a light transport vehicle with capacity of 7 to 9 people, coupled with a booking management platform
Language : English

Park and ride intervention sheet
Marco Volontá - S.I.Ri.O. SRL ( 07/2021 )
A short document overviewing sustainable solutions for reducing private transportation and carbon emissions in Ostana (Italy), including a dynamic system of booking and efficient shuttle services.
Language : Italian

The diverse mobility challenges and smart solution planning in Ostana
Silvia Rovere - Municipality of Ostana ( 18/10/2022 )
A presentation on Smart Rural 21 selected village Ostana’s (Italy) experience with smart rural mobility solutions. The presentation was given in the workshop “One size does not fit all: How to find adapted smart mobility solutions to your community’s needs?” at the Smart Rural 21 project’s Final Conference of 17-18 October 2022 in Sopot, Poland.
Language : English

Creative work with children
Elisabetta Percivati - Municipality of Ostana , EPI ( 18/10/2022 )
A presentation on Smart Rural 21 selected village Ostana’s (Italy) experience with youth engagement. The presentation was given in the workshop “How to keep young people busy, engaged and interested smartly?” at the Smart Rural 21 project’s Final Conference of 17-18 October 2022 in Sopot, Poland
Language : English

Preserving architectural heritage through vision and persistence
Laura Cantarella - VISO A VISO ( 18/10/2022 )
A presentation on Smart Rural 21 selected village Ostana’s (Italy) experience with preservation of architectural heritage. The presentation was given in the workshop “How to preserve natural, cultural and architectural heritage while entering a modern age (including dealing with mass tourism)?” at the Smart Rural 21 project’s Final Conference of 17-18 October 2022 in Sopot, Poland
Language : English

Technologies for Smart Communities and AURORAL middleware
Marcos Nogueira - AURORAL H2020 Project ( 18/10/2022 )
A presentation on the AURORAL Horizon 2020 project, given in the workshop “When is digital technology becoming a ‘game-changer’ in improving local services?” at the Smart Rural 21 project’s Final Conference of 17-18 October 2022 in Sopot, Poland.
Language : English

Ostana’s Smart Village journey
Laura Cantarella - VISO A VISO ( 17/10/2022 )
A presentation on Ostana’s smart journey, including how the village got engaged with the ‘Smart Village’ concept, and the ‘smart’ actions carried out and plans for the future. The presentation was given at the Smart Rural 21 project’s Final Conference of 17-18 October 2022 in Sopot, Poland.
Language : English

Smart villages: Revitalising Rural Services
( 09/07/2018 )
A video with Italian subtitles produced by the ENRD Contact Point summarising what a ‘smart village’ represents from different perspectives.
Language : English, Italian

7th Smart Rural Café, Ostana (Italy)
Laura Cantarella , Enrica Alberti , Silvia Rovere - Municipality of Ostana , VISO A VISO ( 14/12/2021 )
Enrica Alberti, Laura Cantarella and Silvia Rovere talks about the regeneration process of Ostana from structural, social, cultural and sustainable points of view. A particular focus is put on contemporary approaches for future development such as cultural events, residence programme and sustainable mobility.
Language : English

SMARTA project outcomes
Andrea Lorenzini , Giorgio Ambrosino , Brendan Finn - MemEx Srl ( 27/01/2022 )
A presentation given at the 3rd Smart Rural 21 Regional Workshop on the outcomes of the SMARTA project. Its objective was to enhance the policies and practices on mobility in rural areas, leading to sustainable and accessible rural areas in EU countries.
Language : English

Supporting e-mobility in Ostana
Marco Volontá - S.I.Ri.O. SRL ( 27/01/2022 )
A presentation given at the 3rd Smart Rural 21 Regional Workshop on ways in which e-mobility was supported in Ostana (Italy), explaining the intervention actions and strategic elements of the support.
Language : English

The relevance of smart villages in rural communities
Silvia Rovere - Municipality of Ostana ( 27/01/2022 )
A presentation given at the 3rd Smart Rural 21 Regional Workshop on the significance of smart villages for rural communities, delivered by the Mayor of Ostana (Italy).
Language : Italian

Supporting the ‘smart villages’ concept in Italy
Mara Lai - CREA Ricerche (CREA Research) – Consiglio per la Ricerca in agricoltura e l’economia agraria (National Council for Research in Agriculture and Agriculture Economy) ( 27/01/2022 )
A presentation given at the  3rd Smart Rural 21 Regional Workshop on the support framework for smart villages in Italy.
Language : English

Architecture and social innovation in Ostana
Antonio de Rossi - Politecnico di Torino ( 27/01/2022 )
A presentation given at the 3rd Smart Rural 21 Regional Workshop on architecture and social innovation in the village.
Language : Italian

Smart Approach of Ostana
Laura Cantarella , Enrica Alberti - VISO A VISO ( 27/01/2022 )
A presentation given at the 3rd Smart Rural 21 Regional Workshop on the smart approach of Ostana (Italy), its vision and holistic approach.
Language : English

How the Smart Rural 21 project supports Ostana
Simone D’Antonio ( 27/01/2022 )
A presentation given at the 3rd Smart Rural 21 Regional Workshop on ways in which the project is supporting Ostana (Italy), one of the 21 selected villages.
Language : English

Summary Highlights of the Smart Village Strategy of Ostana (Italy)
Municipality of Ostana , VISO A VISO ( 12/2020 )
The Summary Highlights of the Smart Village Strategy of Ostana has been developed in the context of the ‘Preparatory Action for Smart Rural Areas in the 21st Century’ project funded by the European Commission.
Language : English

Smart Village Strategy of Ostana (Italy)
Municipality of Ostana , VISO A VISO ( 12/2020 )
The Smart Village Strategy of Ostana has been developed in the context of the ‘Preparatory Action for Smart Rural Areas in the 21st Century’ project funded by the European Commission.
Language : English

SIBATER
Simona Elmo - ANCI- Association of Italian Municipalities ( 07/2018 – 06/2022 )
Project supporting municipalities of Southern Italy in mapping and using abandoned land for innovative projects, to address depopulation and promote local development and new work opportunities for youth.
Language : Italian

Villaggi intelligenti: il piano d’azione europeo (Smart Villages: the European Action Plan)
Alessandro Simonato , Aggiornamenti Sociali
Article on the European action plan on Smart Villages, with reference to European and national projects and strategies on the matter
Language : Italian

Associations of Municipalities in Inner Areas
Formez , IFEL-ANCI ( 12/2019 )
A publication focusing on administrative capacity of towns and villages involved in the actions of the Inner Areas Strategy.
Language : Italian

Strategy for Inner Areas – Case Study
European Network for Rural Development Contact Point (ENRD CP)
Case study on the Strategy for Inner Areas developed by the ENRD.
Language : English

The National Strategy for Inner Areas
Agency for Territorial Cohesion
Main portal of the National Strategy for Inner Areas within the website of the Agency for Territorial Cohesion.
Language : Italian

Interreg Alpine Space “SmartVillages” initiative
Swiss Centre for mountain regions Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für die Berggebiete SAB , University of Maribor
The project aims to apply a Smart Village approach and bring together – in so-called Regional Stakeholder Groups (policy makers, business, academia and civil society) to improve the framework for innovation through new forms of stakeholder involvement facilitated by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The test area includes Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland.
Language : English

Funded by