An EU-backed project has seen the stunning landscape of Matera in southern Italy inspire a furniture collection, put together by local craftsmen
The Basilicata region of southern Italy is rich in traditions and know-how, but has struggled to market and export its goods.
Hence the EU-backed "Mapping Basilicata" project.
Some 100 firms from three sectors: food, fashion and furniture, participated in the project to boost the image of local products abroad.
For "Mapping Basilicata", seven foreign designers spent 10 days in the area.
Inspired by the landscape, the light and ancient caves, known as 'Sassi', they gave their sketches and impressions of the city of Matera to seven local firms, who then put together a furniture collection.
"Casamatera" was born from this cooperation, one of three clusters of regional SMEs to emerge,
Euronews' Aurora Velez spoke to Patrizia Orofino, 'Mapping Basilicata' project manager, and coordinator of the international branch of Basilicata development
These are some of the highlights of their conversation. They discussed the roots of the initiative, the diffusion strategy and expectations for the future.
Aurora Velez, Euronews:
"How did 'Mapping Basilicata' start?"
Patrizia Orofino, 'Mapping Basilicata' project manager:
"Mapping Basilicata is a 'capacity building' project whose aim was to increase the international visibility of local companies. 'Mapping Basilicata' is dedicated to clusters in the area, focusing on three important sectors of our region: the sector of interior design, the sector of fine lingerie, and food. The project lasted approximately 24 months and was financed with both European and national funds."
"What has been the strategy to promote the project?"
"We set up an event programme to present the companies abroad and they were presented in England, Germany, USA and Russia. The work we did beforehand with the 'clusters' was also important. We promoted the cooperation between designers and companies to give life to a specific product."
"We want to continue promoting abroad the brands that were created inside 'Mapping Basilicata.' That' s the programme we are trying to set up.
The result had to reflect each of the brands participating in 'Mapping Basilicata'.
There will also be activities planned for Matera 2019. CasaMatera is thinking about a series of projects to coincide with Matera being European Capital of Culture next year."