Veneto is still widely considered to be a region that is full of surprises and, in certain cases, one that offers an unexpected wealth of creativity with a density of innovative proposals, not only in the economic sector but also the cultural one. Over recent years, as a testimony to the excellence that is gradually building up in different forms of culture (visual arts, architecture, design, fashion, theatre, dance, cinema, and literature), Regione Veneto has been investigating the network of cultural and economic relations that derive from them. One such investigation, carried out in 2007, used an imaginary underground system of five intangible lines (design, art, fashion, performing arts and architecture) to portray Veneto as a creative, dynamic entity. Other studies, which all aim to show the spread of centres for cultural production in Veneto, highlight the need to enhance communication and coordination amongst the various actors (not only artistic ones) who play a range of roles in Veneto's creative production. (Figure 9.1)
The changes brought about by the spread of the information society, along with culture's important role in creating social inclusion and cohesion, have led to the need for a better understanding of the relations between culture, social development and territory.
It is the strong, inseparable link between Veneto's cultural heritage and the region itself that gives tremendous added value. This only comes about because it is possible to connect culture with its context, which often includes other resources such as the landscape, traditions, wine and food. It is also possible because of careful attention to the system of infrastructure and services for tourists.
Culture and tourism are two strongly linked sectors. Tourists are attracted to Veneto by its wide variety of historical and artistic heritage, as well as by its cultural events. The link is one of the main factors behind investment, which includes the promotion and development of competitiveness in regional tourism. Consequently, Regione Veneto has made a strategic choice to combine culture, hospitality, food and wine in a widespread promotional campaign abroad.
This combination is due to the importance, beauty and uniqueness of the region's architecture, its monuments and museums, not to mention the growing number of cultural events organised throughout Veneto.