How did the Italian National Tourism Portal come to be?
We present here a reconstruction of the most salient dates and elements in the development of the portal. (Note to the English version: this being an Italian “happening”, many/most of the documents linked are only available in Italian, with English documents linked where we have been able to find translations).

P.S. we are still working on the completion of the translation, but have made all the information available as the work is in progress. Enjoy!
16/01/2003 – Italian Law n. 3 art. 27
The Ministry of Innovation and Technology is entrusted with the responsability of sustaining projects of national interest. A “fund for financing of strategic projects in the IT industries” is established.

24/12/2003 – Annual Budget Law 2004
The “fund for financing of strategic projects in the IT industries” is refinanced with an additional €181,5mil.

28/05/2004 – Ministerial Decree GU 14/06/2004
Fund allocation. The project “Scegli Italia” (Choose Italy) is born with an initial budget of €90mil., of which €45mil. immediately available (over three years).
Of these €45mil., 20mil. are destined to the technological platform and 25mil. to the contents.

28/02/2005 – RFO by Innovazione Italia S.p.A
Innovazione Italia, a key public company that answers to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, publishes the request for offers for the technological platform of the portal
Deadline for presentation 15/03/2005 (two weeks). No variations allowed.

14/05/2005 – Italian Law n. 80 art. 12
ENIT (l’Ente Nazionale per il Turismo – the Italian National Tourism Board) is transformed into an Agency: it will manage the portal in the end, and will need to support itself through the related sales of goods and services.
With a succesive decree the establishment of the National Committee for Tourism is planned.
The Ministry for the Environment is authorized to invest in the “Choose Italy” project for an additional €9mil.

04/07/2005 Innovazione Italia press release
Innovazione Italia, in a press release, announces that bidding was won by a temporary consortium of companies comprising IBM, ITS and Tiscover.
The portal is to be online within three months and managed until mid 2007.
Total cost: €7.850.000 + IVA (20% VAT tax)

08/09/2005 – Decree of the Prime Minister (published GU. 227 of 29/09/2005)
The National Committee for Tourism is established, comprised principally of ministers.
Several Italian Regions appeal to the Constitutional Court, claiming that tourism, according to the constitutional charter, is only their responsibility.

07/03/2006 – Minister of Innovation (Lucio Stanca, ex-IBM) Decree
How the €25mil. expense for the contents of the portal is going to be spent is defined.
€21mil. are reserved to the Regions; €4mil. are reserved for national interests.
The Regions need to present projects in order to receive financing.
The “National Committee for Tourism” is established, along with the operational support structures.

20/03/2006 – Region-State Agreement (signed 30/03/2006)
The Regions, it is clarified, will need to supply the contents of the Portal.
The Regions will cofinance their projects with an additional 10% quota.
The contents will be translated into 8 languages.
Four operational support committees are setup, which together with the portal, involve almost 60 people (unremunerated).

11/04/2006 – New national elections
The legislature ends. New elections are called. The Ulivo party (Center-Left “Olive”) wins the majority.
The central government and cabinet of ministers is substituted, changing the minister responsible.

17/05/2006 – Constitutional Court passes sentence
The Constitutional Court declares that the establishment of the National Committee for Tourism is illegitimate, thus creating a vacuum in the coordination of initiatives promoting tourism on a national level (including the portal).

21/07/2006 – The new Committee for Tourism Policies is established
The Prodi government revives national committee for tourism, now called the Committee for Tourism Policies: it comprises mainly the Regions and Tourism associations.

15/11/2006 – ENIT nominates new president
With a Presidential Decree, Umberto Paolucci, current president of Microsoft Italia, is nominated the new president of ENIT.

25/01/2007 State-Regions Conference
The representatives to the National Committee of the Regions for the portal are designated.

21/02/2007 – The new IT logo
The new IT logo is presented, picked through an RFO won by Landor.
Total maximum cost: €100.000 + IVA (VAT 20%)

22/02/2007 – Presentation of the portal at BIT
The portal is presented at BIT (Borsa Internazionale per il turismo – the International Tourism Fair) in Milan

22/02/2007 – The portal is put on-line
The portal goes online for the first time and immediately attracts a downpour of criticism and protest.
The portal is slow, full of errors, constructed shabbily in its technical aspects, and does not respect the Stanca Law for accessibility regarding websites. The booking platform, contractually obligatory, is not functional.

22/02/2007 – scandaloitaliano: the blog
This blog is born in order to delve analytically and in detail into the why the is both a poorly designed and badly realized portaln and how it represents, together with the new “it” logo, a scandalous waste of public funds.

26/02/2006 – begins
Programmers, project managers, graphic designers, writers, creative people in general, together with tourists and travel enthusiasts, breathe life into a project, designed with the latest technologies of the Web 2.0 era, intended to create an portal that is truly useful, efficient, and usable.
The first meeting is set for March 31, 2007.

27/02/2007 – Innovazione Italia is interviewed by
The engineer, Roberto Falavolti, CEO of Innovazione Italia, in an interview granted to, declares a contestation of the work of the temporary corporate consortium and the complete suspension of payments.
To date, Innovazione Italia maintains that they have spent “only” about €1mil., used to manage the bidding process.

05/03/2007 – The Margherita Party ICT Technology Observatory
The Observatory on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) of the Margherita party meet in Rome to discuss the portal RadioRadicale records the discussions and publishes the webcasts.

07/03/2007 – Parliamentary inquiry by Forza Italia
The Right Hons. Palmieri and Campa of Forza Italia, co-authors of the Stanca accessibility law, present a Parliamentary inquiry about the portal .

08/03/2007 – Veneto Region asks to be removed from the Portal
Luca Zaia, the Vice President and Director for Tourism of the Veneto Region (Lega Party) formally writes to Francesco Rutelli asking that all pages regarding his Region be removed from the Portal.

TODAY – … the Italianscandal continues ! 😐

In depth


Some of the most important posts, divided by category and in roughly chronological order by publication.
Of course you can also browse the many other posts as well.


History of an Italianscandal #1: the roots
History of an Italian Scandal #2: request for proposals, contracts, acts and reservations
History of an Italianscandal #3. the corporations: IBM/ITS/Tiscover
History of an Italianscandal #4. the committee wars


Ministerial documents
Documents from Innovazione Italia Spa…
The millions: more than 45. And they might have been 90
€21.000.000 to (+10% from) the Regions for from where, and why… PICO a little add-in to the al portal… and a small supplement of 35mil…


Accessibility 1: links in the text
Compatibility 1: Systems with support for the assistive technologies, 2. legal implications of the inaccessibility of
Accessibility of, the comment of a disabled person
Latest news: parliamentary questions about the accessibility of
Accessibility of Hon. Palmieri writes to scandaloitaliano and the Stanca Law, analysis of the parliamentary inquiry


Logo: Italia unida?
The logo of – the competition documents
Italian logo: a payoff that has left its mark – 28 times already
Il Marcio Italia
Rutelli receives 3250 No’s against the new “it” logo


“Who we are” disappears from a public test for embarassment?
Do .it: the rest of Italy for another portal
The triumph of ineptitude: interview of Falavolti, CEO of Innovazione Italia… IBM retreats (but they’re still working) while Rutelli is “open to”…
Update: the Veneto Region asks that its local pages be temporarily removed from the portal…


Contents: Tuscany
Contents: Lombardy
Contents: Liguria (and its movie houses)
Contents: Parma and Emilia Romagna
Contents: Friuli Venezia Giulia
Contents: Trentino
Contents: the Marche
Contents: Caltanissetta and the obscure mystery of San Cataldo


2 comments so far

  1. […] m-a impresionat) Blog care documenteaza “scandalul”> TheItalianScandal (clar si la […]

  2. […] If that’s the goal, OK. I welcome the intention of reducing duplications and wastes of money, in order to offer really needed public services at the lowest possible cost, with the lowest possible effort (as long as all the data are really open, of course). After all, the Italian government has already wasted many millions of Euros on not-so-successful public portals. […]

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