We’re mixing things up here at Florence for Free this week. We’re excited that Fondazione Florens is pulling together an elite team of social media mavens to cover the Florens 2012 Cultural and Environmental Heritage Week. The conference will feature a brain trust of smarts working together to encourage investment in Florence’s natural and historical resources to promote organic (and exciting) city growth.
As you can imagine, this is right up our alley. How can we use social media – a (mostly) free resource – to introduce a wider audience to Florence’s charms? How do we make the city approachable for all types of travelers, dwellers, and tourists? How can we best help our beloved second home? We believe it’s by promoting its cultural strengths, stressing accessibility, and encouraging engagement with the living history and vibrant culture that saturates the city.
Unfortunately, cultural institutions and events are often first on the chopping block when it comes to budget cuts. Fondazione Florens argues it should be just the opposite in order to encourage growth, tourism, and investment.
Now, how does a blog that brags about finding free work-arounds into Florence’s most celebrated institutions pair with a group looking to base more of the city’s economy on its culture? That requires money, moolah, income – the same euros we are trying to keep in your pocket.
In reality, our mission does not differ much from Team Florens. We offer you tips on cheaper travel and sightseeing so that visitors can experience more of the city’s culture. We encourage travelers to have a well-rounded experience by providing options beyond the tourist traps. We hope our readers are more likely to support local businesses because they are better informed, which helps sustain Florence’s local network of merchants and keep its distinct way of life in tact.
No one wants Florence to feel like Disney World (stand in the middle of Via Calzaiuoli in July, and it already does – the street is complete with a Disney merchandise store). Rather, lets broaden the investment in Florence’s culture beyond city center and encourage guests to step outside the tour lines.
So our hearts are aflutter, our minds are abuzz, and we’re dedicated to helping Team Florens on their mission. Leading up to the conference, we’ll still post our favorite free Florentine pastimes, but pay special attention to how they are an integral part of the city’s culture, and consequently, its economy.
And – for full disclosure – a few special bloggers will be invited to Florence to report on the conference. It could even be yours truly. Can a girl get a woooooohoo?