We at Life In Abruzzo are on an exciting new mission to help build a sustainable future for the region and further raise awareness of the beauty and magic of Abruzzo by stepping up to become a not-for-profit English language cultural association that:
- Supports and promotes local and international Abruzzese businesses worldwide, especially those focused on sustainable and authentic experiences.
- Connects the Abruzzese diaspora, encouraging their support for the region not just a hometown and helping to foster pride in their heritage.
- Attracts independent travellers who are looking for off-the-beaten-path destinations, rich in history, culture, and breathtaking scenery.
- Creates an active network and events for local ex-pats and those in Italy to learn more about the region.
Our new status will allow Italian-based companies to receive a tax credit when working with us, which is so important in these difficult times especially if you are a smaller family-run business!
The Reasons Behind the Change
Today Abruzzo is struggling to retain its younger population. If it continues on its present course, it will lose the equivalent of 1 province’s population by 2070! 26.5% of children in the region currently live in relative poverty. Abruzzo’s average commune spend for early childhood is €448 per child, against the national average of €906, Currently, only 46.7% of women in the province of L’Aquila are in work. We want to help increase life choices and improve status and equality by helping create more opportunities for parents and children to ensure they stay!
This coupled with the impact of Italy’s dramatic economic forecast of a 15% reduction in international tourists when the temperature rises by 2°C, and a 21.6% decrease once 4°C becomes normal, means we have to work and build together now. Agriculture will be the most exposed sector to climate change within the region quickly followed by tourism!
The current fragmented and ‘work for free’ approach in the region isn’t working. By fostering new ways of working, we can help and do our bit to reduce the brain drain and support & protect the region’s richness, communities and long-term development.
Through our quest to explore, show off and make good ‘Life in Abruzzo’, our new platform and offline events and training will generate income and exposure for local and international businesses by
- Providing a full directory of accommodations, restaurants, experiences, businesses, artisans, and producers that cater to the discerning traveller, but which also details Abruzzese-linked companies closer to home that showcase passion and commitment to support
- Create regular social media and chat opportunities for businesses to grow their brand and awareness to English language speakers and forge relationships
- Feature in-depth articles and stories on Abruzzo’s history, traditions, cuisine, and attractions from the businesses promoted on the site and pay for additional features from local gurus
- Offer a calendar of events and activities for home and abroad that includes cultural festivals, local workshops, and immersive experiences manned by those that host them
Tested and Tried
We tested our idea on local and international Abruzzese businesses, and there was a resounding yes from both. It brings everything we need as lovers of the region in one place that doesn’t require a wait-and-see game if the email has been read or payment. Ours will consist of the best of the best and be vetted to ensure each entry complies with our high standards.
The Life in Abruzzo community is run by 2 volunteers and reached a fantastic 365,000 people in 2022 via our combined blog and social media presence.
We raised more than €4k for UNICEF’s Ukraine fund and hope to raise more for the most recent earthquake victims with the launch of our group UNICEF e-cookbook to go live in July. We helped galvanise our ever-growing membership to donate €990 on the first day of fundraising for fences to keep our Marsican bears safe. At our Christmas lunch, our group donated to a local women’s charity that keeps trafficked and domestic abuse victims in Abruzzo safe whilst providing education, we care!
The New York Times and The Guardian, to name just two broadsheets, use the blog and community as a resource for Abruzzo as do many other journalists. Over the last 16 years, we’ve raised £4k for the L’Aquila earthquake through an art auction in London, helped with the PR for the No Oil Abruzzo campaign, created the Let’s Blog Abruzzo blogging conference, put on ‘Sunday Live in Abruzzo’ during the lockdown, successfully crowdfunded for films and books and won Abruzzo’s Words of Wine journalist competition. Most recently we translated a wonderful coming soon Abruzzese children’s fable and guidebook.
None of this is bad for a couple of people who squish their LifeInAbruzzo community efforts into their spare time, after work, after bringing up children and grandchildren in Rome and Abruzzo and England and Abruzzo. But imagine what we could do if we had a budget instead of finding free windows, and could replace some of our working days with paid work for Life In Abruzzo. This, in turn, would allow us to pay people and freelancers for great content, and cover the website expenses to keep us sustainable.
Seventeen years of dedicated community service in Abruzzo shows we do have the staying power, independence and impartiality. We are backed up by our trustees and where we don’t have the talent we will appoint and pay someone who is not a member of our family!
We will never charge readership fees as we want our work to be open-ended and available to as many people as possible to discover a little more about Abruzzo, but, we do believe that those who benefit from our work, i.e. businesses should partner with us and receive our full support and exposure for their investment in our association.
How You Can Help
By supporting our GoFundMe campaign, you will play a vital role in creating and bringing to fruition our English language-based cultural association in Abruzzo. This can help reach out further than a blog or Facebook group can ever do and secures a legitimate base and another talking point!
Your donation will help us cover the administration costs of setting up a cultural association, not cheap in Italy, quarterly accountant fees for the first year and marketing and press so that everyone knows our exciting new status.
As a token of our appreciation, we have prepared several exclusive thank-you gifts for our backers:
Pledge €15 or more and you’ll receive a forever big thank you on the ‘Donors Wall’ of our website and on social media, as well as receive regular updates on our new community project.
Pledge €30 or more and receive a digital limited-edition pair of evocative Abuzzo scenes by Peter Austin as well as receive regular updates on our new project.
Pledge €60 or more and receive a copy of our UNICEF e-cook book when published in the early summer which includes a favourite from Niko Romito, Domenica Marchetti and Vincenzo’s Plate as well as receive regular updates on our new project.
Pledge €120 or more and receive an Estella Canziani design on one of our ‘Don’t Let it Burn’ cloth bags, as well as receive regular updates on our new project.
Pledge €200 or more and become a site sponsor with a banner of your business when we launch our Abruzzo directory.
Together, we can work to preserve and grow the unique culture and heritage of Abruzzo, ensuring a brighter long-term future for its people and sharing its beauty with the world.
Grazie mille for all your support!
Sam and Pete
The Life In Abruzzo Team