Territorial cohesion and holiday traditions
With the goal of promoting tourism during the Christmas holiday, supporting events (e.g. markets, fairs, theatre performances, etc.), and keeping local traditions alive, 45 relevant projects on OpenCoesione with a total public cost of €4.8 million (source: Single Monitoring System data as at 30 June 2018 related to the 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 programming cycles) have been identified. Roughly two-thirds of the (29) projects observed concern representations of the nativity and the tradition of the nativity in Italy.
The projects can be broken down into three categories: projects that finance living nativity scenes, which attract a great deal of tourism; artistic nativity scenes set up in museums and other cultural locations; and training courses for expert artisans (six cases with ESF funding).
Another aspect observed were businesses that produce panettone, torrone and other Christmas treats and which receive cohesion policy funding in order to improve the competitiveness of their businesses by investing in research, innovation and employment, as well as new investments to improve production processes.
Twenty companies were identified in 10 different regions, including Piedmont (with 4 companies that produce traditional Italian treats), Sicily (with 3 companies), Abruzzo, Calabria, Campania, Lazio, Lombardy, Sardinia, Tuscany, and Umbria. The total public cost of the incentives provided is depicted in the intensity of colour of each region.
 The selection of relevant projects to promote tourism, events, and local traditions related to the Christmas holidays was done by conducting a text-based search on the keywords “natal” (the first five letters of “Christmas” in Italian) and “presep” (the first six letters of “nativity” in Italian). A determination of the companies benefiting from the incentives financed by cohesion policies was based on a comparison with the list of manufacturers of the typical Italian holiday treats pandoro, panettone and torrone. T