Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

You hear it around, always more often. This year tourism in Chianti marks the step. As compared with a good April, May and June were negative.

The data that will shortly arrive will confirm or deny the results, but the perception is this. Perhaps it isn’t like this everywhere, but there are zones of Chianti, (both Florentine and Sienese) where pessimism is beginning to reign. In Greve in Chianti, for example.

Donatella, from her wine shop in the village, says: “My opinion is that tourism has gone down regarding money spent per person. Budgets are lower than before. It is a tourism of the masses: in Greve, buses arrive, let people off. They stay for a short time and leave. Sometimes we work, others no. You can’t make predictions”.

“I think – continues Donatella – that the crisis regards shops more than restaurants: and it isn’t true that simply, if you don’t have the product, they aren’t interested. For wine, they go to the cellars and spend the day’s whole budget. If we think about tourist promotion…we remain in the past and live from memories. We should be a small  Cortina, Positano, Amalfi. Instead, we have a jewel that we aren’t able to give valorize”.

Michele has a souvenir and gadget shop in the piazza. He thinks it’s even worse. “In fact, I am closing permanently in October. I have already made my decision. I can’t work like this: the tourist period is always shorter, and we work only with them. It didn’t go well last year, but this year dealt the final blow: April, zero, May, just a little, and June, a bit the last week. For this I say, it’s enough. I am closing”.

Lara has a restaurant facing piazza Matteotti: “We merchants have to take care of ourselves, but the parking lots, green spaces, streets and piazzas are the responsibility of the public administration. For example, the other evening, there was “Tosca” in the piazza; these are beautiful things and if they did them more often, it would be good for all. But they should do a bit better regarding publicity and taking care of details”.

“According to me,” she concludes, “it isn’t true that there are fewer tourists. It’s that they come to the piazza, take a quick walk, and take off with the buses. Those in hospitality structures return there”.

We close with Federico, from the Albergo Casa del Sole. “This year, there are more Italians and tourists from the East. But there are fewer Americans, who used to abound. This is mainly because of problems of insecurity and terrorism. April, May and June were more or less like the past years. We predict a better July and August: let’s say that it is a year similar to two or three years ago. And worse than last year.”

Matteo Pucci