Here’s the 2023 winners of the FAI "Places of the Heart" competition

Teresa Scarale
Teresa Scarale
Read Time: 3'
The national census of "I Luoghi del Cuore” confirms itself as the most important Italian campaign to raise awareness among citizens about the value of heritage and the need to protect and enhance it, as is in FAI's mission

FAI - Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano (Italiana Environment Fund – FAI) and Intesa Sanpaolo presented the results of the 11th edition of the national census of "I Luoghi del Cuore", which closed last December 15: with 1.500.638 votes collected in 2022 for more than 38.800 places, the census confirms itself as the most important Italian campaign to raise awareness among citizens about the value of heritage and the need to protect and enhance it, as is in FAI's mission. The ranking of the top-rated “Places of the Heart” was announced at a press conference. The three winning properties will receive, in return for a project, a contribution for restoration and enhancement (you’ll find the podium at the end of the article).


Thanks to "I Luoghi del Cuore" since 2003, interventions have been supported for 138 places in 19 regions of Italy, which were forgotten, abandoned or undervalued, but loved by their communities, who by voting for them saved them. The votes collected - a total of 11.100.000 have come to FAI in the 20 years of the initiative - are, in fact, the trigger of a virtuous process capable of multiplying the effect of the census: unknown and seemingly doomed places have gained such attention, both local and national, that others together with FAI - municipalities, regions and ministries, companies, foundations and associations - have mobilized to save them, so much so that Intesa Sanpaolo's support for this project has generated investments worth ten times as much. In the impact of this initiative, next to the economic value, there is a cultural and social value: thanks to "I Luoghi del Cuore" Italians discover or rediscover testimonies of history and tradition, symbols of the identity of their territories, and a collective feeling is kindled that is pure spirit of citizenship, which is realized in a widespread and transversal mobilization: in the 2022 edition 6.508 municipalities in Italy, 82.4 percent of the total, reported by citizens, individuals or associated in committees, which arose from the initiative of so many different subjects of civil society, from schools to parishes, from libraries to museums, from pro-loco to the municipalities themselves. The Republic, in its broadest expression, finds in "The Places of the Heart" the instrument to exercise its right and duty to the protection of cultural heritage, as prescribed by Article 9 of the Italian Constitution. «In this edition, in a particularly prominent way, “The Places of the Heart” gave voice to the “last”, to those places of Italian cultural heritage that are considered minor, that have never had the attention of the country, but instead deserve it, and that without the love of the people who voted for them would be lost. Giving back voice and dignity to the 'last': there is no more beautiful and truer mission for “I Luoghi del Cuore”, commented FAI President Marco Magnifico.


Gian Maria Gros-Pietro, president of Intesa Sanpaolo, commented, "Intesa Sanpaolo and FAI have been working together since 2004 to foster projects proposed by communities on the basis of the consensus gathered spontaneously. An extraordinary active participation of citizenship that allows capillarity of intervention and dissemination of art and culture throughout the country. Culture is a fundamental factor of social cohesion and economic growth; this is why the Bank's cultural activities are a qualifying element of our Business Plan 2022-2025». The ranking sees on the podium:

  • 1st place: the Chiesetta di San Pietro dei Samari in Gallipoli (Lecce area);
  • 2nd: place the Museo dei Misteri in Campobasso;
  • 3rd: place the Church of San Giacomo della Vittoria in Alessandria.
Editor-in-chief of Pleasure Assets. A professional journalist from Gargano, she holds a degree in Economic and Social Disciplines from Bocconi University in Milan. She writes about finance, economics, art, and luxury markets. Teresa has been part of We Wealth since its founding.


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