Italia.it, which should, perhaps, be the number one official tourism internet domain for Italy, has been resurrected, after having been abandoned a year or so ago. Unfortunately, the resurrection has led to a slight problem, in that Italy now boasts a total of three official tourism websites.
The new Italia.it site does contain quite a bit of information on Italy for tourists, even if the welcome message presented by suit-clad Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, does appear to be a little on the formal side for a site which is supposed to persuade people to come to Italy for a bit of relaxation. Maybe he should have donned his bandanna?
The English used on Italia.it is not perfect and someone has obviously become a little confused by the British English spelling of travelling, with two Ls, and the American English word which is spelt with only one L. Could be a crafty attempt at search engine marketing, or something like that, but this is doubtful in view of the fact that some other basic aspects of search engine marketing appear to have been overlooked.
Still, as the note to the side of the text, which will greet if your own curiosity causes you to click on the curiously entitled ‘Participate’ button, states, the site is a ‘demo’. Usually web types call these things ‘beta’ versions, but what the heck, most non-web mavens will probably find ‘demo’ easier to understand.
Good, Italia.it is back, it’s still rough around the edges, but at least it exists. And so it should, enough has been spent on what was initially a big white elephant.
Now all we have to do is to decide which of the magnificent three is the real official Italian tourism website.
Read on, but only if you are of sound mind and body.
So, one question might be: Which site should you visit to ‘discover Italy’?, a question which may conceivably be followed by, ‘Which is the official Italian tourism website?’.
You might well ask.
Italia.it is Official
The Italia.it site’s subtitle is ‘Italian tourism official website‘, which, if you can excuse the clumsy combination of adjectives, seems to give the impression that this is THE official Italian tourism website.
This would be fine, if this were indeed the case.
We must bear in mind, though, that the ‘Italian tourism official website’, italia.it, is only a demo, so it’s probably not officially official just yet.
Actually, there are some lovely videos showing off Italy’s regions on the Italia.it site. Here is the Abruzzo region video, along with Land of Hope and Glory musical accompaniment, on Italia.it, but don’t forget to look at the rest either.
Keep that credit card out of arms length though, as after viewing all the videos, I think you may well feel the urge to book a vacation, or two, to Italy, or at the very least place Italy close to the top of your most wanted holiday destinations list. After seeing the videos, you’ll perhaps start to understand just why I love living in this incredible land too.
ItalianTourism.com is Official Two
The possibly official Italia.it site has competition in the form of ItalianTourism.com, which is run by the official Italian tourist board, and ItalianTourism.com is, to all intents and purposes, an official tourism website about Italy. ItalianTourism.com’s subtitle is: ‘ENIT – the Italian government tourist board’. One assumes that the Italian Government Tourist Board is an official organisation, unless you know something I do not.
The next candidate for officialdom is the enit.it website.
Enit.it is official Three
Yes, there is yet another official Italian tourism web presence, in the form of the enit.it website, which should be, possibly, the (official) corporate site of the Italian government tourist board.
Guess what the subtitle of the enit.it website is? How about ‘ENIT – the Italian government tourist board‘? Sound familiar? Yes, it’s the same as ItalianTourism.com, which appears to be run by the same, official, bunch. Then, of course, we have the new site, Italia.it, which officially claims that it is official, through its ‘Italian tourism official website’ subtitle. Are you still with me? You are doing very well if you are, as I’m not sure I’m still with myself! It sure is confusing!
The question is still of course, which is the official official Italian tourism website? I really have no idea, and those hunting the world wide web might also end up asking themselves the very same question, I imagine. At least not too many people are going to end up searching for ‘enit’, as it is not likely to be one of the most natural expressions one would pop into search engines like Google when you are after information about sunny Italy. The unlucky few though, may end up on the official enit.it site and think it is the official tourist information website for Italy. Well, it does imply it is!
ItalyTourism.it is not Official
Just to make matters even more befuddling, there is another Italian tourism website, called, appropriately enough, ItalyTourism.it, which has nothing to do with the Italian government, and is, therefore, not an official Italian tourism website. There are also hoards of other websites which talk about tourism in Italy, and that is before the hapless web traveller happens on one of Italy’s official regional tourism websites, which are quite a mixed bag in terms of quality – I know, I’ve had a look at them all.
Eek! Just don’t even think about visiting Italy.com, it’s not official, anyway.
It does look as though the official left hand does not know what the official right hand is doing. Come to think of it, the official legs and the official head must be having a hard time understanding just what those official hands are up to too. Choosing which site to obtain, official, information from is a little like deciding which of Italy’s two, sorry, three (I got confused) police forces you should call when you have a problem.
Perhaps I’ve just found another of the reasons why Italy’s level of public spending is so darn high.
A Sensible Suggestion
If someone in the Italian government has not already thought of this, and I’ve no idea if someone has (I doubt it – but have not checked), then how about combining all three sites into one? Think of the savings, and the reduction in confusion. Maybe the higher degree of clarity would encourage more people to holiday in Italy too.
One can only hope that Italy’s newly appointed leggy Minister for Tourism, Michela Vittoria Brambilla, is looking into creating one single official Italian tourism website.
A Scurrilous Suggestion
Alternatively, if you have no idea which official Italian government tourism website you should visit, why not try Why Go Italy, which is run by down to earth Jessica Speigel. You are likely to find that Why Go Italy? is more interesting and less confusing than the official Italian threesome, even if it is unofficial!
How an Official Italy Tourism Website Could Look
And finally, and at the risk of convincing you not to visit Italy, take a look at this masterpiece of an official tourism website: Montreal – be sure to click on the (You might want to turn down the speakers on your PC!) Montreal in Two Minutes button – the video is spectacular, as are the others.
Montreal is but one city, Italy is a whole country. Why can’t clever, creative Italy come up with something like the fabulous Montreal website?
Answers on a comment, please.
By the way, I want to go to Montreal! That’s official!
With thanks to one of my tourism master students for showing me the marvellous multimedia Montreal website.
Here is the Blog from Italy post on the initial abandoning of Italia.it: Italia.it isn’t