Italy has announced plans to provide high-speed internet access at tourist attractions across the country, including all 51 of its Unesco World Heritage Sites as reported by several news outlets including La Repubblica and BBC. The list includes major seaside resorts, historic cities and entry points such as airports and stations as well as the UNESCO sites to be added under a trial scheme starting in early 2017. The Italian government has proposed creation of a nationwide wi-fi network, which users can access via a single personal login. The Italian Officials say the plans will make it easier for people to enjoy Italy’s natural and cultural attractions but it will remain to be seen whether there will be major impact on tourism in Italy.
Italy has the highest number of World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world. The country contains major archaeological ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum, to Palladian villas and Sicily’s Mount Etna. However, due to lack of state funding, the country has not been able to keep up with the upkeep and as a result has led to major concerns to the failure in preservation of some major sites including in Pompeii, where several walls have collapsed in recent years.
Earlier this year, in May, the Italian government announced that it would spend over 1bn euros on 33 cultural heritage projects. This is the biggest such investment in decades.