Isole Slow

Isole Slow


Status: in progress

Categorization: tourism, habitat and biodiversity, cultural heritage, agriculture

Country: Italy

Period: 01.01.2016 /

Contact info

Name: Roberta Pascolini

Organization: Lazio Region


Contact address: Via del Giorgione 129, 00147 Roma


Summary description: Slow Islands is a Slow Food’s project started in 2005 in Sicilia and Toscana with the objective of creating a sustainable tourism model based on Slow Food best practices, capable of activating a virtuous circle for the island local development. Slow Food is a global grassroots organization, aimed to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions. Besides education and dissemination activities, it supports SME by promoting their products through Slow Food Presidia i.e. autochthonous food products, naturally grown based on local biodiversity (sustainable agriculture) and made according to tradition. Slow Islands’ aim is to promote the Mediterranean small islands’ life and economy, giving value to the land and the agricultural practice. In 2014 Ponza and Ventotene Islands of the archipelago of the Pontine islands joined the Slow Islands network.

Type: local initiative

EU Challenges for sustainable tourism: (i) preserving and giving value to natural and cultural heritage and diversity, (iii) enhancing local community prosperity and quality of life, (iv) reducing the seasonality of demand

EU Principles: (i) taking a holistic and integrated approach (economic, social and environmental aspects), (iii) involving stakeholders, (v) promoting awareness and commitment

Reason of interest for COASTING: Slow Islands share with COASTING the objective to enhance and diversify local economies through the valorisation of natural and cultural (both material and immaterial) heritage in coastal sites that are targeted mainly in summer season. It aim is to identify and share an integrated framework to promote new pathways for a sustainable and durable development, beyond major economic and touristic trends, reduce human pressure on most attractive sites and avoid seasonality and touch-and-go visits.

Financial information

: 0.00 €

Financial sources: N/A

Background information

Territorial context: The Pontine Islands comprise two groups: Ponza, Palmarola, Zannone and Gavi to the northwest and Ventotene and Santo Stefano to the southeast. Ponza and Ventotene are populated; the smaller islands are not. Ventotene and Santo Stefano are land and sea conservation areas, supervised by the Ministry of the Environment, administration being in the hands of the Municipality. Even though the beaches are the most targeted attractions for mass tourism, Ventotene and Ponza also have several archaeological sites: the Emperor Augustus exiled his embarassing daughter Julia to Ventotene (then known as Pandataria); and Nero later did the same with his wife Octavia. The remains of the Roman Villa Giulia can be seen on the tip of the Eolo headland by the port. Over the centuries many other notable exiles arrived on the Pontine islands, including the early saint Flavia Domitilla, Sandro Pertini (a prisoner of the Fascists and later President of Italy) and Mussolini (confined here for a few days in 1943).

Relation to policies and strategies: The initiative is connected to various European policies. In particular it is linked to the Europe 2020 Strategy, regarding the low carbon goals (short-chain food and products, sustainable agriculture and mobility) and the sustainable growth (diversification of local economies, increasing of accessibility and tourism, avoiding migration and depopulation of marginal areas, reducing human pressure and exploitation of human resources, giving full access to disadvantaged groups, equal rights and conditions of well-being to local communities).

Regulation framework: 1. Rural Development Programme of Lazio Region; 2. Lazio Regional Landscape Plan.

Specific information

Objectives: 1. To promote non invasive tourism; 2. To promote inclusive tourism with respect of the fragile environmental and social balance; 3. To strengthen connection and transportation to facilitate off season tourism; 4. To foster agricultural sustainable activities and local products – good, fair and clean according to Slow Food philosophy; 5. To promote networking with the other island communities.

Developers (and governance): 1. Slow Food - NGO 2. Lazio Region 3. Municipality of Ponza 4. Municipality of Ventotene 5. Local stakeholders

Beneficiaries: 1. Local communities 2. Local farmers 3. Local touristic operators 4. Tourists

Innovation aspects: Through the focus on slow tourism this initiative promotes sustainable agriculture and sustainable tourism, the reinforcement of local identities, and an increased awareness on sustainable choices by producers and users. In particular, it contributes to expanding the tourist season to all year-round by encouraging slow activities. In terms of the latter, Slow Islands seeks to further highlight sustainable activities and encourage the tourists’ responsible behaviours.

Actions: Slow Islands aims to create slow-communities by engaging key local stakeholders, to create synergies among existing or new tourist facilities, agriculture and handcraft activities, traditional short-chain foods, ecosystem services, landscape identities and other site-specific resources. It will promote and implement actions and measures inspired by the “SLOW approach” as interpreted and experienced by internationally known initiatives such as Slow-Food and Slow-City.

Stakeholders involvement: N/A

Results achieved: Since the project is still ongoing, the following are expected results. The valorisation of territorial assets is expected to progressively add nodes into a territorial network that would remain otherwise isolated. The attractiveness of sideways touristic itineraries is desirable to become a diffuse characteristic archipelago and will depend on the capacity to show a widespread range of opportunities and progressively involve new communities.

Potential for learning and transfer

Challenges and obstacles: Challenges to be faced in the targeted islands include: socio-economic disparities (e.g. GDP per capita; unemployment rates); shortcomings in transport links; less attractiveness of rural area; migration and depopulation of marginal areas; environmental threats (climate change); high seasonality in tourism, often limited to beach areas and touch-and-go visits in high targeted sites; barriers to proactive management by public administrations.

Success factors: The practice in the Pontine islands is currently ongoing, but as main reference it is possible to mention the successful experience of Slow Food and Slow Cities. The slow approach combines ethical issues with market-oriented strategies and therefore represents a valuable solution to create synergies between private and public stakeholders, engage administrations to increase accessibility to regional resources, increase competitiveness of SMEs and job opportunities.

Transferability in COASTING project: The project approach inspired by the Slow Food philosophy, together with its objectives and actions are highly transferable to the COASTING project. Indeed they could constitute specific actions to be programmed and promoted in the context of a Coast Contract.