Storytelling, economic revitalisation and web 2.0 for Venice’s Rialto Market, a project promoted by the City of Venice’s Assessorato alle Attività Produttive, the department responsible for local economic development.
Rialto, the oldest area in Venice, has been hosting the Market for nearly one thousand years. Capital and nerve-centre of the Serenissima’s international trade, the Rialto was a hive of offices, banks, workshops thronging every day with people of all nationalities. Today it is an urban area rich in historic buildings, private homes, craftsmen’s workshops, shops, osterie, balancing a marked presence of Venetian residents with intense tourist flows.
In recent years the City of Venice Assessorato alle Attività Produttive launched an initiative to promote and support economic development in the Rialto area: after creating a new public transport stop, the “Rialto Mercato” landing stage, it refurbished a unique monumental site, the Campo San Giacometto, the churchyard of the Church of San Giacomo di Rialto (said to have been consecrated on Venice’s birthday) and now a bustling square that has hosted the city’s popular and commercial activities for over a thousand years.
To conclude this process the Venice Assessorato, in collaboration with the trade associations Confcommercio Ascom Venezia, Confartigianato Venezia, Confesercenti Venezia and CNA Venezia, has launched a local marketing project for the Rialto area.
Rialto cuore della città involves promoting sustainable tourism compatible with the local urban fabric and with its rich mix of historic buildings, private homes and local businesses.
The project involves a series of meetings with local residents and shopkeepers, a varied programme of events, concerts and workshops for kids, all taking place from March to April 2010, together with www.rialtovenezia.com, the website hosting and diffusing information on Rialto and a communication campaign targeting online tourist channels.
The programme of events is designed to narrate the history of Rialto over the centuries in an emotionally involving way, simultaneously enhancing visitors’ experiences as well as reinforcing the sense of belonging of local residents and traders.
The www.rialtovenezia.com website is structured as a multi-level communication platform:
STORYTELLING: a Google Map geolocalises services, events and points of interest so that users can get to know Rialto through a description consisting of places and images supplied by Venice’s most interesting photographers;
SOCIAL NETWORK: the different facets of Rialto’s digital identity distribute contents on the pages of the leading social networks and video, photo, itinerary and review distribution channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, etc.;
GUIDE: the various sections of the site will showcase the commercial activities and services offered by the area;
BLOG: the Blog section, dedicated to Rialto’s news and leading personalities, will keep up the relationship with the outlying area and surrounding city by means of interviews, videos, outside contributions and discussions;
PROMOTION: the online press office will carry out an intense site communication and promotion activity among search engines, travel and leisure-time channels, tourism portals and online journalism, to diffuse the name of Rialto in the web in a highly effective manner.
BRANDING: In the web the Rialto name will be linked to concepts associated with the historic market selling luxury goods, expressed in the site contents and in the programme events, concepts such as excellence, culture, tradition, art, sophistication and life quality.
Shows, jazz concerts, and activities for kids will liven up Campo San Giacometo, Campo Bella Vienna, la Pescheria, Il Mercato della Frutta e della Verdura, and the Ruga Rialto during March and April 2010.
Rialto Cuore della città is a project of the City of Venice Assessorato alle Attività Produttive, in collaboration with Confcommercio Ascom Venezia, Confartigianato Venezia, Confesercenti Venezia and CNA Venezia, , and with the support of APT Azienda di Promozione Turistica (local tourist board) APT Azienda di Promozione Turistica.
The project, events, website and communication are by Fnv srl, a marketing and communication company based in the Venice Cube incubator on the Giudecca island.