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Ferrara is a splendid art city, and mayor Alan Fabbri is confident tourism will recover in 2022

By Friday, 11 February 2022 11:52
Alan Fabbri mayor Ferrara The mayor of Ferrara, Alan Fabbri

Ferrara, in the Emilia Romagna region, is a splendid art city, and its mayor Alan Fabbri is confident that tourism will recover in 2022.

Like all Italy’s art cities Ferrara was particularly hard hit by the Covid crisis, and Mayor Fabbri outlines the many measures that have, and are being taken, to ensure that visitor numbers increase this year. 

Exhibitions,  museums and theatre festivals  

”Over the last two difficult years we rolled out bids for projects to support cultural activities, and we set up security protocols allowing us to organize events when this was possible. Sometimes we had as many a ten exhibitions and musems open, and our theatre season of drama, opera and dance was a success, as was the November Ferrara Food Festival. On New Year’s weekend we attracted 1,800 visitors with the offer of free entry to our museums for an overnight stay.”     

Ferrara is twinned with Toledo in Ohio

“Ferrara’s image is going around the world: we are twinned with Toledo in Ohio, and we are targetting the US market in particular. In Europe the Petit Palais in Paris will host an exhibition dedicated to Ferrara’s great painter Giovanni Boldini, and the writer Manfredo Manfredini is the focus of studies in Germany.” 

Just 40 minutes from the sea and 30 minutes from Bologna 

"We are in a logistically strategic position, along the Bologna-Venice axis. Italo has recently upgraded its train schedules and we are just 40 minutes from the sea, and less than half an hour from the regional capital, Bologna. Visitora are attracted by the Renaissance soul of our city, and during the summer season, we organise themed tours for tourists stayaing on the Adriatic Riviera".

“In 2021 we had a 38% rise in tourist arrivals” 

With an annual €3 million being invested in tourism in Ferrara, and with the tourist tax contributing an average €800,000 Mayor Fabbri says that in 2021 the city saw an overall rise of 38% in tourist arrivals and 40% in overnights compared to 2020. 

“These are far from the pre-Covid figures, but they are an encouraging sign. The pandemic has deprived the municipal coffers of €13.2 million, but what is worse are the effects of the closures in tourism-related concerns.  We have allocated some €2 million municipal funds to support the hospitality sector, from hotels to farmstays.”

“We must offer visitors accessibility as well as quality services and products” 

"I think that Covid has contributed greatly to the redefinition of destinations, lifestyles and ways of approaching travel. This means a return to local tourism and a strong focus on quality. Low-value - adding mass tourism is now a thing of the past. Today, more than ever, it is essential to pay the utmost attention to hospitality, the environment and the integration of tourist services, offering visitors accessibility as well as quality services and products.” 

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