The story was always the same, from convention to convention: “Cultural heritage is an asset for the country”, “Italy could live off culture”, “private intervention would be needed”. But nobody (or almost) who comes forward. Until they arrived who – tired of participating in public tenders with the related logics – decided to get involved and take on the business risk: with Kalatà they take over cultural assets, make them usable and usable, open them to the public by involving it with special visits and the economic accounts return. Yes, because Kalatà is a cultural enterprise, which has been a point of arrival after years of activity. «Before we were a cooperative and we worked as executors of projects for third parties, especially public bodies, for the use of tangible and intangible cultural assets. Since 2018 we have been authors, promoters and project managers and we have investments from third parties »says Nicola Facciotto, CEO of the Mondovì company.
The first challenge was the opening of the largest elliptical dome in the world, that of the Vicoforte sanctuary, in the province of Cuneo. With an investment of 100 thousand euros for the safety of the ancient walkways of the Piedmontese Baroque masterpiece, they launched Magnificat, a system of guided tours that over the years has reached 90 thousand visitors and in six months has gone to break-even.
In the process of entrepreneurial development Kalatà benefited from the acceleration path of the Foundamenta of SocialFare, the Turin center of social innovation. In general, the company obtains a multi-year concession at the end of which it returns the asset, including the improvements, to the owner. For its part, Kalatà returns to the investment thanks to visits and realizes margins.
After the trust gained in Vicoforte, the company inaugurated the historical route at the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Vigne in Genoa and last August it also opened the dome of the Basilica of San Gaudenzio in Novara. Visitors can climb up to one hundred meters to the top of the work of Alessandro Antonelli, the architect of the famous Mole. The initiative was commissioned by the Municipality of Novara, owner of the dome (while the basilica is an ecclesiastical asset), which will not spend even one euro, while Kalatà has invested 160 thousand euros for the safety of the walkways and the care of the set-up. . «It is going very well, we have doubled the management plan by intensifying visits, the Novara people have responded in an important and unexpected way but we welcome a large audience, which lives between Milan and Turin. We are in sold-out until early November »adds Facciotto, a musicologist by training. Strengthened also by the non-repayable contribution of 95 thousand euros from the Cariplo Foundation and a loan from the Compagnia di San Paolo, Kalatà plans to go to break-even during the concession period (six years), if not earlier.
In the coming months the team, made up of seven people, will also focus on Revelia, the platform, created in collaboration with Uncem and the Piedmont Region, which allows the management on demand guided visits to cultural heritage. The solution is designed for the cultural assets managed by local authorities, often the Municipalities, which have an inconsistent turnout of the public and are made up of small groups. The platform aggregates the demand and proposes guided visits to the achievement of minimum participation thresholds, with an optimization of the management costs and the qualitative increase of the offer.