€45 million invested foolishly by incompetents.
That is the Italian webmonster http://www.italia.it – the Italian National Tourism Portal, recently put on-line by the government itself after nearly three years of uncertain wait (the project was launched March 16, 2004).
Some background for those outside Italy: On February 21st, the winning image and identifying logo for the new Italian National Portal for Tourism was presented in a major press conference presided by Prime Minister Romano Prodi and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Culture with a special proxy on tourism [sic, from his official English biography] Francesco Rutelli, at Italy’s most important tourism fair, the BIT in Milan.
Just hours later, Prodi and his government fell to a no-confidence vote (he has since been reinstated), and in the meanwhile the new logo was met with doubt and question by both the mainstream media and the Italian web-based community, as it depicts an unusual combination of mixed typographical conventions, unclear metaphors and has as its most visually prominent element what is perhaps best referred to as a giant lopsided green pickle with a horizontal protrusion from one side to represent the “t” in itaLIa (many others in the past few days have preferred less worksafe descriptions, and yes, the real logo is written with an initial lower case “i” with the dot being “tricolor flag” red, and the internal “LI” in smallcaps – but it’s graphic design you know).
The logo is completed by the phrase “il paese di qualità”: “the country of quality”. The winners of the logo competition reportedly received €100.000 for this victorious solution, another point which immediately raised both eyebrows and questions. The following day the new portal itself, http://www.italia.it, was on-line and immediately met by contestation and indignation by the Italian web community for seemingly outdated web design, techniques, and methodologies, as well as the self declared violation of the 2004 Italian web accessibility law, the “Legge Stanca”. Originally there was a modified 15 second Giuseppe Verdi opera aria flash splash that was quite difficult to skip, a second flash based splash page, and a third home page in which to pick a preferred language from Italian, English, German and Chinese. Since then, the entrance to the site has been streamlined, but the site still presents a series of very dubious qualities as the main tourism portal of a major European nation, both in terms of the technological solutions applied as well as the specific contents for the individual areas.
The estimated costs, not completely clear as to what exactly is covered by which single budget voice, in any case seem to run upwards of €45million for the site to date.
Who we are
Thus this site. This blog, open to the contribution of all multimedia and new technology professionals in Italy, was born to document carefully, objectively, and analytically, point by point exactly why http://www.italia.it – the site which cost 45 (forty-five) 000.000 (million) euros (of taxpayers’ money) – is a poorly designed, poorly realized, and poorly written portal, and which is begging revenge for the scandalous waste of public funding, as well as for being an offense to the competence and seriousness of Italian web professionals.
The following people have contributed to this blog:
Thomas M. Alisi, Firenze – firstname.lastname@example.org
linkedin profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasalisi
Francesco Aprile (aka frap1964), Firenze – email@example.com
Chiara Baldi, Napoli – chiara.baldic[at]libero.it
Martina Becucci, Firenze – martina.becucci[at]gmail.com
press and content manager
Fabio Bosso, Torino – bosso[at]svpro.it
Luca Carlucci, Milano – firstname.lastname@example.org
linkedin profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lucacarlucci
Ercole Carpanetto, Caselle Torinese (TO) – ercole69[@]gmail.com
Marco Cenci, Sassoferrato (Ancona) – lacolica[at]hotmail.it
Bruno Cordioli (aka br1), Milano – br1[at]br1.com
Luca Corteggiano, Milano – lucacorteggiano[at]gmail.com
Damiano Dallatana (aka damidalla), Parma – damidalla[at]gmail[dot]com
Marco D’Urso, Salerno – marcodurso[@]hotmail.com
Matteo Galli, Omegna (VB) – teo[at]ratatuia.net
Valeria Gentile, Nuoro – gentile.valeria[at]gmail.com
Alessandro Ghezzer, Trento – aghost[at]iquebec.com
Chiara Giatti, Cento (FE), email@example.com
web master (from programming to accessibility)
Andrea Giammarchi, Ancona – andrea.giammarchi[at]gmail.com
Ada Guglielmino, Torino – adagug[@]gmail.com
Elena Lombardi, Prato – firstname.lastname@example.org
Manuela Manca, Cagliari – mirel.m[at]tiscali.it
Marta Mantovani, Siena – marta.mantovani[at]gmail.com
Fedora Marcotrigiano, Milan – fedoramarcotrigiano[at]tiscali.it
Marco Pugliese (aka Pugia), San Donato Milanese – pugia86[at]gmail[dot]com
Filippo Ricca aka rododentro, Roma – rizlaplus[at]excite.it
winemaker and interaction_information_interface:designer
Ilaria Salvalaggio, Firenze – ilariasalvalaggio[at]gmail.com
linkedin profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/1/273/78b
Alberto Santini, Caltanissetta – alberto[at]unix-monk.com
Studente di Informatica
James Siddall jr (aka old jacques), Venezia – oldjacques[at]gmail.com
Webmaster and designer
Lorenzo Spallino, Como – l.spallino[at]gmail.com
Daniele Tonon, Pordenone – tonon[at]vitamino.it
Designer and web designer
Vitamino – http://www.vitamino.it
Franco Toscano, Pagani (Sa) – Franco (at) email.it
Paolo Tramannoni, Recanati – ngt[at]studio-magazine.com
Writer and musician