Verona Arena: record year for the «67 Colonne» project

The project 67 Columns for the Arena of Verona reaches the record collection of over 2.1 million euros, to which are added 2 million and 750 thousand euros deriving from sponsorships, starting from the Main Partner UniCredit. In four years, large companies and small entrepreneurs, united by the desire to be part of a cultural, economic and social operation of international scope, have contributed to the prosperity of a reality, the Arena di Verona Foundation, fundamental not only for the Verona area but for the whole of Italy.

The foresight of Gian Luca Rana, CEO Pastificio Rana, and Sandro Veronesi, Founder and President of Oniverse, the first to join the project, together with the media partnership of the Athesis Publishing Group, has certainly given an evolutionary push capable of generating increasingly stronger involvement on the part of many other business entities, in addition to Professional Orders and Trade Associations, in first and foremost Confindustria Verona. They were joined by numerous sponsors, including the new entries for 2024: Poste Italiane, ManPower, Consortium for the Protection of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO; in addition to the fundamental support of BBC Veneta for the Teatro Filarmonico.

Gian Luca Rana, CEO Pastificio Rana told Panorama: «I am extremely proud to support the 67 Colonne project in favor of the Arena Foundation for the fourth consecutive year. It is an initiative in which I have believed from the beginning and from which I see extraordinary fruits: thanks to the support of all of us entrepreneurs, the Arena Foundation has enriched the variety of its artistic proposals, thus attracting an even wider audience. Being able to involve many more people not only in Italy, but also beyond national borders, means bringing the Verona Arena back to the center of the international cultural and artistic offer, renewing its authentic splendor and promoting its role as primary Italian excellence in the world. For me it is an immense joy and an indescribable honor to be able to celebrate, in this unique setting, opera singing as an intangible heritage of humanity recognized by UNESCO. I deeply believe in the indissoluble link between entrepreneurship, culture and art. For this reason, I feel the profound responsibility and privilege of supporting projects like this, which aim to make Italy's immense cultural heritage an increasingly protagonist. Our country is capable of unsurpassedly inspiring all those who wish to nourish their spirit through beauty and culture.”

The fundraising activity created by the Arena di Verona Foundation is constantly growing: from 1.5 million in 2021, the success of 67 Columns for the Arena of Verona it continued with 1.6 million raised in 2022, 2 million in 2023 up to the current record result of 2.1 million achieved this year. It was 2021 when, while the entire world of live entertainment was counting the economic damage resulting from the pandemic, the Arena di Verona Foundation gave life, together with Oniverse and the Pastificio Giovanni Rana, to one of the most innovative fundraising activities that the world of culture can remember. 67 Columns for the Arena of Verona it is a tool fundraising and corporate membership in support of the cultural and economic activity which has its epicenter in the Verona Arena, symbolically identified in the 67 Columns of the third ring of the Roman amphitheater destroyed by the earthquake of 1117. The value and quality of the project, together with the economic impact on the territory and on the Arena Foundation brand, have determined a consistency in memberships which are renewed year after year with great mutual satisfaction, resulting in a turnover percentage value of less than 10%.

The mission of the 67 Columns for the Arena di Verona 2024 aims to consolidate the role of the Arena di Verona Foundation as a global testimonial of Made in Italy, standard-bearer of art and culture, as well as craftsmanship and tailoring, as was the case at the last Milan Design Week. And again, the leader of other excellent realities that accompany it during the international tours that have continued unabated since 2022 to promote the Festival and Italy in every corner of the world, from Korea to New York. The recent recognition of opera singing in Italy as an intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO, which will be celebrated in a special evening broadcast worldwide on 7 June in the presence of the highest officials of the state, represents a point of arrival and at the same time marks a turning point in the evolution of the Fondazione Arena di Verona brand, now ready to be, in all respects, an excellence of cultural, economic and social Made in Italy. This prospect of evolution is also confirmed by the numbers that the Arena di Verona Opera Festival is able to generate starting from the overall related activities estimated at 450 million euros, a measure of the significant economic impact on the territory.

The contribution of Pastificio Rana and Oniverse is evident not only in economic terms but also in terms of approach and entrepreneurial perspective: their prestigious presence outside national borders, in the respective sectors in which they are active, has stimulated the Arena di Verona Foundation to proactively expand the brand and its cultural products on the global market. The success of the internationalization process, which began in 2018 with the arrival of Cecilia Gasdia at the helm of the Foundation, is now a solid reality. Carried forward in commercial and communication terms (there are fifteen stops on the 2023-24 promotional tour, including Los Angeles, Tokyo, Seoul, Paris, Madrid, Sofia, Monaco, Brussels, Toronto and Washington), the internationalization of the Arena , consolidated over the last 5 years, has led to astonishing results: out of a total of over 400 thousand spectators every year, 230 thousand come from 125 countries. 57.7% of the Arena's audience comes from abroad, from an average distance of 800 kilometres. It is also necessary to take into consideration the importance and centrality that spectators recognize in the live experience in the Arena when planning their trip, considering that tickets are purchased on average over 80 days before the show.

These data, beyond the mere numerical value, highlight a fundamental aspect: the Arena di Verona Foundation is Italy's Ambassador in the world and driving force of national tourism within the borders, as ours is a country with a tourist vocation. The Verona Arena therefore presents itself as a cultural enterprise that presides over a particular sector of culture, that of opera, which has Made in Italy in its DNA and finds its main stage in the Verona Arena. An opportunity to underline the important results achieved was the evening dedicated to sponsors and columns, which was held last night in the Arena. Present were the Undersecretary for Culture Gianmarco Mazzi, the President of the Arena Foundation, Mayor of Verona, Damiano Tommasi, together with the Superintendent Cecilia Gasdia and the entrepreneurs who made the project great. Guest will be the philosopher, director and writer Igor Sibaldi.