A vast heritage that from the North to the South of the country includes 37,708 private cultural assets. Historic houses, villas, palaces, castles and towers that constitute a real branched network throughout the territory. In fact, 28% of this dwelling is located in municipalities under 5,000 inhabitants, 26% is located in municipalities between 5,000 and 20,000, 15% in those between 20,000 and 60,000 and 31% is located in municipalities over the 60,000 inhabitants. An ‘endowment’ that constitutes about 17% of the total of the entire cultural heritage which, before the pandemic, welcomed 45 million visitors a year (compared to 49 million in public museums) in its more than 9,400 homes open to the public. A complex reality described in the II Report of the Observatory of Private Cultural Heritage, presented today in the Spadolini Hall of the Ministry of Culture. The Report, produced by the Bruno Visentini Foundation, and promoted by the Italian Historic Houses Association, Confagricoltura and Confedilizia, highlights that 31.3% of these assets are located in peri-urban areas or outside built-up areas. The report also shows that, compared to 2017, total expenditure for maintenance interventions fell from 1.5 billion to 1.3 billion. To affect is the -37% of ordinary expenses, which fell on average from € 24,600 to € 21,100 per property. Another fact highlighted by the research is that 38% of the companies in the residences state that they find it difficult to find craftsmen and restorers. The focus on maintenance activities was one of the main elements of the II Report. The most surprising figure is the -37% of the total expenses for ordinary interventions compared to 2017, which went from an average of 24,600 euros per property to 21,100 euros, with a simultaneous decrease in the private cultural assets involved in these types of works (from 28,000 to 20,500): alarming numbers, since their periodic maintenance is the best guarantee of conservation for the next generations. On the other hand, the extraordinary expenses (+ 4.8%), which can often be postponed or perhaps in the last year stimulated by the ‘Facade Bonus’, are the main ones: a commendable initiative and to be extended. The data that emerges, however, is that the overall expenditure falls from 1.5 billion euros to 1.3 billion. “The Report demonstrates – underlined the president of the Historic Houses Giacomo di Thiene – how the crisis generated by Covid and a complex tax system have reduced maintenance interventions on buildings. A worrying fact, given the centrality that these assets represent for our country both from the cultural point of view and from that of sustainable economic development. I remember that every euro invested in historic homes determines more than double benefits for the economy of the places in which they arise, contributing to the enhancement of an identity heritage that the whole world recognizes in us, on which we can and must continue to excel “.” To do so – he said – we need a much more concrete policy than the one put in place up to now, as well as actions that also act in the medium and long term to stimulate the training of workers who are disappearing, creating jobs for the many young people who are graduating in the faculties of management of cultural heritage. Very little would be enough: if we consider that private assets constitute 2 per thousand of the entire real estate assets, the reduced economic impact of any initiative in this sector compared to the state budget is evident, thus giving concrete implementation to articles 9 and 118 of the Constitution. ”As regards the labor market in the supply chains powered by historic homes, some professional figures are difficult to find, due to the reduced number of candidates or a generalized inadequacy to cover specific roles. Above all, the Report notes, that about 38% of companies say they find it difficult to find restorers or craftsmen: the level of knowledge of the subject and that of professionalism required, in fact, is often insufficient. on the depopulation of small villages, a trend already present in the 2020 survey of the Observatory. Well this year, in the three sample regions (Tuscany, Veneto and Puglia), the variable of ‘foreign citizens residing in Italy’ was introduced, which effectively compensate for the negative trend of those who have decided to leave the small territories. “This year’s Report demonstrates, once again, what many ignore or pretend to ignore: namely, that private real estate assets move the economy, create development, increase employment. Provided, of course, that it is not hindered by excessively binding legislation and too high taxation ”, remarked Giorgio Spaziani Testa, president of Confedilizia. “Historic houses represent a large part of the patrimony spread throughout the territory”, undersecretary for Culture Lucia Borgonzoni said, who responded to requests from the II Report, underlining that “in the Pnrr a billion euros is foreseen for the enhancement of our beauties historical-artistic and for the relaunch of the many small Italian villages, which offer enormous potential for the economy of our country. In particular, to enhance the identity of the places, from parks to historic gardens, we have foreseen an investment of 300 million euros, while for the protection and enhancement of the architecture and rural landscape, 655 million euros are allocated, of which 645 for interventions carried out by private parties. We therefore believe it is important to invest in villages and rural realities, collaborating across the board with the Ministry of Agriculture and Tourism for their relaunch, transforming them into attractors, and also with the Film Commissions, as a relaunch strategy, to enhance the film tourism of the areas. internal “.