Local Development

FEEM Basilicata

FEEM’s office in the Basilicata region opened in early 2007 in Viggiano, a town located in the heart of Val d’Agri, as part of an agreement signed by eni for the exploitation of the oil and gas fields in the area. FEEM’s mission is to contribute to the economic and social development of the region, and to support eni in its plan to develop the local resources and skills through networking, research activities and advanced training. Human capital and innovation are key drivers of economic growth, and leveraging on the existing networks and skills is central to the process of local endogenous growth.

Activities in the Basilicata region are carried out by a staff of more than 35 researchers and collaborators in coordination with FEEM headquarters and in close cooperation with private and public local institutions.

Activities are focused on three main areas:

  • applied research;
  • advanced training and education;
  • support to business and decision-making.

FEEM’s research efforts in the region are directed to the study of energy-related issues and to the analysis of sustainable tourism as an opportunity for local development.

FEEM in Basilicata supports local institutions in the dissemination of accurate information on issues related to energy and local development.

Finally, FEEM regularly organizes summer schools focusing on energy and sustainability issues, and training activities on energy and environment through seminars, labs, scientific theatre shows and e-learning activities.

Focus on: Sustainable Tourism and Local Development in Basilicata

FEEM’s Viggiano office has, in recent years, started a series of studies on Sustainable Tourism. This research work produced important results in 2017.

Sustainable tourism is an economic activity that produces wellbeing, environmental protection and local development, all at the same time. Enhancing the value of the various resources available is fundamental to promote local development and increase the appeal of the area to tourists. The best way for this process to take place is by analysing the territorial context in all its aspects (environmental, economic, social) so as to achieve a complete vision of what exists already and to implement the development initiatives that are best suited to the specific features of the territory.

The research projects undertaken by FEEM in this region are part of this approach, starting with the opportunities to enhance the value of the natural and cultural heritage of modern Basilicata, and considering tourism as one of the engines to promote employment that could generate economic and social progress. The projects examine interconnected topics and they can be considered pieces of a jigsaw. All together they form a complex picture of interdependent parts which illustrates both the broad synergies existing among the various proposed activities and the single guiding principle that inspires them.

In 2017 the Sustainable Tourism and Local Development research area in Basilicata included the following projects:

  • Assessment of potential tourism in the Parco Nazionale dell’Appennino Lucano Val d’Agri Lagonegrese, The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas and the strategic paths of development;
  • Business Tourism;
  • Events Tourism;
  • From “Film-Induced Tourism” to “Online destination image” of Basilicata;
  • Food Tourism;
  • Religious Tourism;
  • Green Road Basilicata;
  • From “enerAGRIa Energy Park and Learning Week” to “School Tourism on Energy”;
  • The potential of Cultural and Archaeological Tourism;
  • The “Diffused Hotel”: a strategic tool for sustainable development in protected areas.

The project on "The assessment of potential tourism in the Parco Nazionale dell’Appennino Lucano Val d’Agri Lagonegrese, The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas and the strategic paths of development" consisted in the progress of research activities in support of the protected area. Thanks to the collaboration between FEEM and CISET (Centro Internazionale di Studi sull’Economia Turistica, Università Cà Foscari, Venezia) the activities focused on the investments that the park should make in terms of products and markets to attract a greater number of tourists. In 2013, with FEEM’s support, the Park was granted the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism. The FEEM’s support to the Park has been reinforced in 2016 and 2017.

The project on Business Tourism in Val d'Agri starts from the study of the business tourism trend, analyzing the case study of business tourism in Val d'Agri. This is an area where eni’s up-stream oil and Southern District activities generate business tourism that has a multiplier effect throughout the local economy. The aim of the survey was to provide a scientific analysis of this effect and its impact on tourism and the local economy.

FEEM has contributed to the designation of Matera as «European Capital of Culture» in 2019 with researches on the promotion of Matera’s international image and studies on strengthening sustainable tourism. In 2017 FEEM has carried out analysis on big events and has supported the municipality of Matera in defining policy and strategies to enhance the overall image of the city.

The research on “Film-Induced Tourism” monitored the effect of the movie"Basilicata Coast to Coast" (BCTC) on tourism in Basilicata. The aim of the survey was to determine whether there is still a "BCTC effect" three years after the film’s release. The collaboration between FEEM and the Lucania Film Commission (LFC) was a milestone of the project, strengthened through joint participation in conferences and debates. FEEM has also offered support for the implementation of the LFC website. A new research project was launched in 2014 to investigate the “Online destination image” of Basilicata. The survey aims at providing a snapshot of the current web image of this region as a tourism destination. In 2017 the project continued to support local institutions.

Researches on Food Tourism has mainly consisted in analysis on development of tourism resources. 

The project on Religious Tourism aimed at enhancing the local tourism offer, with a focus on religious heritage of the municipality of Viggiano. In particular, research study has investigated the role of the religious tradition of the “Madonna Nera”, which is a regional sanctuary located in Viggiano and an important destination of pilgrimage in the South of Italy. The research activities have shown the results on potential development of this field of tourism.

A field survey was carried out within the"Green Road Basilicata" project focused on the integration of eco-tourism with modern models of tourism (sea, mountain and cultural tourism). The survey aimed at testing real interest in an integrated sea–mountain model, and at identifying the characteristics that make a product attractive to the market. The project has shown that networks and synergies are key for the promotion of modern tourism.

The project enerAGRIa shows that energy plays a key role in Val d'Agri, where educational tourism is based on the energy theme. The new project has closer links with the territory and new highlights have been added.

The project on “The potential of Cultural and Archaeological Tourism” aimed at investigating the characteristics of archaeological tourism in Basilicata in order to assess its competitiveness with other sites, with a local focus on the archaeological site of Grumentum.

The project "Diffused Hotel: a strategic tool for the sustainable development of a protected area" was aimed to assess the feasibility of this new model of hospitality in order to promote the requalification of the historical centers of the inland area of the Basilicata region. After defining the theoretical framework, research activities focused on the existing buildings and established actions aimed at valorizing the building heritage with innovative techniques in compliance with the local architectural style.

FEEM in Basilicata
Val d'Agri
Local Development team
Project leader


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