Developed under the Next Generation EU programme, the PNRR is Italy's investment and reform plan for recovery from the Covid-19 emergency. The plan earmarks €6.68 billion (along with €1.46 billion from the supplementary fund) for culture and tourism, through investments in heritage regeneration, enhancements in assets and skills, digitalisation and accessibility, targeting environmental and social sustainability.

Italy's investment and reform plan for recovery from Covid-19 and investments in culture

Developed under the Next Generation EU programme, the PNRR is Italy's investment and reform plan for recovery from the Covid-19 emergency. The plan earmarks €6.68 billion (along with €1.46 billion from the supplementary fund) for culture and tourism, central to Italy's economy and branding, through investments in heritage regeneration, enhancements in assets and skills, digitalisation and accessibility, targeting environmental and social sustainability, which thanks to the transversal nature of the PNRR's priorities, may leverage others, such as urban regeneration, enhancement of internal areas or assets confiscated from mafia, and promotion of equal opportunities for young workers, women and disabled people. Looking beyond questions regarding adequacy of funds and implementation, the PNRR has the potential to spur transformative change in the Italian cultural system, from a focus on aid and funding into cultural business with forward-looking vision, strategy, governance and planning, and innovative connections and cross-contamination with society. The details on the investments on culture (PNRR and supplementary fund) are as follows.

Investments in cultural heritage

Digitalisation [museums, libraries and archives]

The aim is to digitalize works held in museums, archives, libraries and cultural sites, so as to foster new uses of Italy's cultural heritage, the creation of new content and the development of high value added digital services by cultural/creative businesses and innovative start-ups (€500 million)

Removal of physical and cognitive barriers [museums, libraries and archives]

The aim is to remove the barriers, whether physical, architectural, sensory-perceptive, cultural or cognitive, that prevent full enjoyment of cultural sites, also through training of personnel and operators to develop a culture of accessibility and the necessary skills (€300 million)

Energy efficiency [cinemas, theatres and museums]

Improving the energy efficiency of public and private buildings in the cultural and creative sector, also with a view to reducing maintenance costs and at the same time encouraging the construction and engineering industry (€300 million)

Promotion of villages – National Plan for Villages (borghi)

The Italy's hamlets and villages (borghi) showcase a priceless cultural heritage across the country, beyond the traditional cultural city centres. With a view to promoting sustainable use and cultural regeneration of these villages, a National Plan for Villages is envisaged, together with redevelopment of public open spaces and urban design, local cultural and touristic services, promotion of new touristic routes and guided tours, and funds for local businesses (€1.02 billion)

Enhancement of rural architecture and landscape [private and no profit businesses]

Promoting the recovery of rural assets (rural buildings and agricultural facilities) often in a state of neglect, also to foster sustainable tourism in rural areas and local production (€600 million)

Parks and gardens of special historic interest

The restoration of parks and gardens of special historic interest is intended as a systematic approach to urban regeneration from various points of view: the improvement of quality of life and social inclusion, also among the younger generations, within urban communities, the protection of the environment and biodiversity, access to "beauty of public places", training of local personnel to preserve cultural heritage (€300 million)

Seismic safety [heritage places of worship and damaged works]

An earthquake protection plan for heritage places of worship is planned, including seismic safety measures for places of worship, restoration of the heritage of the Places of Worship Fund (Fondo Edifici di Culto) and the creation of storage areas for artwork in the event of natural disasters (art recovery), with the incorporation of the National Functional Centre for the protection of cultural heritage from anthropic and natural risks (CEFURISC) in order to apply the most advanced technologies and environmental systems to monitor, supervise and manage cultural sites (€800 million)

Minimum environmental criteria for cultural events in public contracts (reform)

The so-called "4.0 culture and creativity industry" (investments in the film and audio-visual industry and support for operators in the culture and creativity sector) will be adopted along with a reform for the systematic implementation of minimum environmental criteria for cultural events (exhibitions, festivals, cultural and musical events) when such events are financed, promoted or organised by public bodies. Specifically, social and environmental criteria will be included in the public procurement regime, leveraging this as a tool to pursue environmental sustainability in the public contracts market, including the entire supply chain.

Film industry and Cinecittà Studios Project [cinema and television]

The objective is to relaunch - also through digitization and technology transition - the film and audio-visual industry, with the enhancement of the "Cinecittà" Studios in Rome so as to improve its competitiveness at an international level, of the Experimental Centre of Cinematography Foundation, and in general of the professional skills of audio-visual industry operators (€300 million)

Capacity building for operators in culture [culture and creativity industries]

The aim is to improve the digital technology and managerial / economic skills (digital transition) of operators in the culture sector, as well as their skills in innovation, inclusive eco-design and circular economy (green transition) (€160 million)

Digital Tourism

A digital tourism hub will be created, that can be accessed through a dedicated web platform, along with a data lake for the study of data and demand and a support kit for basic digital services for small-to-medium tourism enterprises in operators in more backward areas (€110 million)

Support for tourism enterprises

Funding is provided for various actions to improve the competitiveness of tourism enterprises (tax credits and the establishment or strengthening of various funds) (€1.79 billion)

Caput Mundi - Next Generation EU for major tourism events

The next Jubilee event in Rome in 2025 is regarded as a launch pad for the promotion of tourist itineraries also outside the city with a view to mitigating congestion in the main tourist sites. There will be a dedicated app to guide tourists and propose dedicated trips in the city outskirts, which also could favour the removal of barriers and social inclusion. The objective is couched in terms of promoting movement from Rome to other regions, while the PNRR includes specific examples concerning Rome, its outskirts and surroundings (€500 million)

Reform of the tourist guide profession

The aim is that of providing a professional register, standardising and raising the standards of service, also through training and professional updating.

Investments for specific and already identified projects

Strategic plan for major cultural attractions [14 strategic projects throughout Italy]

€1.46 billion have been allocated under the supplementary fund established by Law Decree 59/2021, supplementing the PNRR. These additional resources are dedicated to the "Strategic plan for major cultural attractions", identifying 14 strategic projects to be implemented at major sites of national cultural interest in several locations throughout Italy (see list below).