€45 million invested foolishly by incompetents.

That is the Italian webmonster – 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itself,, was on-line and immediately met by contestation and indignation by the Italian web community for seemingly outdated web design, techniques, and methodologies, as well as the self declared violation of the 2004 Italian web accessibility law, the “Legge Stanca”.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 – 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 –
linkedin profile:

Francesco Aprile (aka frap1964), Firenze –
software engineer
Chiara Baldi, Napoli – chiara.baldic[at]

Martina Becucci, Firenze – martina.becucci[at]
press and content manager

Fabio Bosso, Torino – bosso[at]

Luca Carlucci, Milano –
linkedin profile:

Ercole Carpanetto, Caselle Torinese (TO) – ercole69[@]

Marco Cenci, Sassoferrato (Ancona) – lacolica[at]

Bruno Cordioli (aka br1), Milano – br1[at]

Luca Corteggiano, Milano – lucacorteggiano[at]

Damiano Dallatana (aka damidalla), Parma – damidalla[at]gmail[dot]com

Marco D’Urso, Salerno – marcodurso[@]
web developer

Gianna Ferretti, Ancona – giannaferretti[@]
University researcher, UNIVPM

Carlo Filippo Follis –

Matteo Galli, Omegna (VB) – teo[at]

Valeria Gentile, Nuoro – gentile.valeria[at]

Alessandro Ghezzer, Trento – aghost[at]

Chiara Giatti, Cento (FE),
web master (from programming to accessibility)

Andrea Giammarchi, Ancona – andrea.giammarchi[at]

Riccardo Giraldi, London –

Ada Guglielmino, Torino – adagug[@]

Elena Lombardi, Prato –

Manuela Manca, Cagliari – mirel.m[at]

Andrea Mancini, Firenze –

Marta Mantovani, Siena – marta.mantovani[at]

Fedora Marcotrigiano, Milan – fedoramarcotrigiano[at]

Marco Pugliese (aka Pugia), San Donato Milanese – pugia86[at]gmail[dot]com

Filippo Ricca aka rododentro, Roma – rizlaplus[at]
winemaker and interaction_information_interface:designer

Ilaria Salvalaggio, Firenze – ilariasalvalaggio[at]
linkedin profile:

Alberto Santini, Caltanissetta – alberto[at]
Studente di Informatica

Claudio Santori, Kulmakatu (FIN) e Serra San Quirico (AN) – info[at]

James Siddall jr (aka old jacques), Venezia – oldjacques[at]
Webmaster and designer

Lorenzo Spallino, Como – l.spallino[at]

Letizia Tasselli, Prato –

Andrea Todon, Prato –

Daniele Tonon, Pordenone – tonon[at]
Designer and web designer
Vitamino –

Franco Toscano, Pagani (Sa) – Franco (at)

Paolo Tramannoni, Recanati – ngt[at]
Writer and musician

15 comments so far

  1. Alistair Monaghan on

    Nice! 45m Euros….and it doesn’t work in Mozilla!

  2. […] blago rečeno, loš. Više informacija o tom talijanskom projektu možete naći na stranici “Italian scandal“. Eto kako su talijani reagirali, napravili drugu stranicu na kojoj prozivaju ove šta su […]

  3. OHMAN on

    Thats nothing, the german employment office portal portal cost 160 Million € and sucks even more…

  4. Gaetano on

    “Thats nothing, the german employment office portal portal cost 160 Million € and sucks even more…”

    I can’t believe it…

    In anycase here is a trick:
    search for “merda” (shit in italian)
    then press “Mi sento fortunato” (I’m feeling lucky)

    and… appears! tada’ or it should…at the moment is down…haven’t they thought about Nagios or something similar in the budget? Money over?? Come on I pay taxes! Use them as you wish, burn them!

  5. solomon on

    I get a no-show from the server from where I’m sitting! V. poor!

  6. Ben on

    How can that site possibly have cost 45 million euros – £22.5 million!!!

    It’s ridiculous, what have they spent the money on exactly?

  7. Macist on

    They just “stole” the money in that project. Thats all, and if u ask them where is the money – they will don’t know what to say.
    Please calculate (realize) how much money is it!
    €45 million!!! spent and nothing done! – have u other ideas? 🙂

  8. Niko Neugebauer on

    What a big pile of “merda” is that site. I feel your pain, guys ! I hope, that the responsible will have their money taken. I mean, that site is quite a “disappointing” even for 45.000 and even for 4.500 euros.
    The worse situation is with a logo, no hard feelings, but i feel that a country MUST contract somebody who has a connection with it. Contracting an english studio, is a dishonor, no disrespect for them, but there must have been an italian creating that logo.

  9. HelloWorld on

    Peace people

    We love you

  10. […] The project was launched March 16, 2004. Here is a blog with a lot of information on this scandal: […]

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  13. on

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