As the newly elected mayor of Riva del Garda, what do you believe are the priorities for the territory and what actions are you taking towards the achievement of your goals?
In this moment, the absolute priority is without a doubt that of ensuring the safety of my citizens and of those who find themselves in Riva del Garda. Once we have overcome this healthcare emergency, the priority will be that of dealing with the economic and social emergency. Ours, in fact, is an area of great touristic importance, and the travel restrictions resulting from the pandemic, combined with the forced closing of restaurants, tourist infrastructures, and stores, have without a doubt created great difficulty in the territory also from an economic standpoint. For this reason, one of my first initiatives was the creation of an economic table with various operators, so we can overcome this crisis as soon as possible.
Has being a woman influenced your goals and priorities? If so, in what way?
Most certainly. I believe that being a woman entails having a greater awareness of certain themes like the health and well-being of family, maternity leave, etc., but it also depends a lot on the person and individual experiences.
The pandemic is increasingly seen as an accelerator of trends: from the circulation of digital technology to the stronger focus on safety and environmental/social sustainability. What is your opinion on this and how will you interpret these new trends?
I believe that future development must unavoidably pass through sustainability. This means that our incredible heritage of nature, landscapes, and diversity must be safeguarded and protected. There must also be a focus on the development of services in favour of sustainability, improving the flow of traffic, while increasing the number of bike paths, pedestrian areas, parking lots, etc. At the same time, organic cultivations must be favoured. These are no longer options, but have become urgencies. The pandemic has made the importance of digital technology evident. In this field, we are still lagging behind, but I am sure we will soon close this time gap. I see Riva del Garda as a ‘smart’ city, which can be directly accessed from your smartphone, with the possibility of booking museums, reserving parking spots, while reading up on services and cultural initiatives, etc.
Do you believe this crisis without precedents, opens the way at the same time to opportunities for the Italian territory and in particular Riva del Garda?
Most definitely. I believe the pandemic taught us which direction to take for the future. As far as Riva del Garda is concerned, I believe that we must focus more on local tourism, which must be developed alongside international tourism, while replying to different needs and priorities with greater attention on the quality of services. We must also focus on a tourism that is fewer in numbers and higher in quality, and this also means increasing the offering in terms of tourist facilities, infrastructures, services, etc. At the same time, the unique quality of our territory, lake, and mountains must be promoted, as ideal places for a safe and fulfilling vacation.
What strengths do you believe Riva del Garda must make the most of in order to relaunch the economy of the territory after the Covid-19 emergency?
Ours is an incredible territory, because we have the lake, mountains, beautiful and uncontaminated countryside, but also important cultural centres like Trento and Verona, with museums of international relevance like MART (the Muse of Modern and Contemporary Art) and the Muse in Trento, as well as the MAG (Museo dell’Alto Garda) in Riva. Not to be forgotten is the Riva del Garda Fair and Congress Exhibition Centre for congressional tourism and business. There is then the food and wine legacy of the region, claiming products par excellence like wine, olive oil, and the broccoli of Torbole. Few other places are capable offering this extensive array of beautiful landscapes, culture, food and wine, leisure, and business. We must make the most of our uniqueness and bring all these elements together while creating synergies.
What are the next cultural, sports, and trade fair-related events you have scheduled for the relaunching of Riva del Garda after the stop caused by the pandemic?
We have currently confirmed all the appointments for 2021, which include in chronological order the traditional ‘Lake Garda42’ marathon from 20 to 21 March, and the event of reference for the world of sailing, ‘Garda Optimist’, scheduled from 1 to 4 April 2021, which next year will celebrate its 39th edition. There is then naturally Expo Riva Schuh, which will hold a digital edition from 16 to 19 January, and a physical edition from 13 to 15 June 2021.
With specific regards to Expo Riva Schuh, what role do you believe it will play in the near future for the territory of Riva and Alto Garda?
Expo Riva Schuh has always played a fundamental role for business and tourism in Riva del Garda, because every year it attracts businesses and visitors coming from all parts of the world, which use the event to learn about the latest seasonal trends in footwear and leather goods, while also appreciating the beauty of the territory and its food and wine excellences. In the near future, we will work together in a synergic way to develop the potential of the event even more.
How do you think the renovations currently underway for the renewal of the trade fair district can improve future events in the territory?
The renewal of the trade fair district had been awaited for some time now, because the existing structures were too small to meet the real needs. I am convinced that this will offer Riva del Garda the possibility to improve the level of services offered to exhibitors and visitors even more, and in this way, it will be able to promote its uniqueness, thereby making it the protagonist of the Italian and international trade fair panorama.