Govone, the magic of Christmas… for tourism
Now in its 13th edition, the Magical Christmas Villageis the biggest market in Italy and the onlyone to be nominated for the Best European Christmas Markets 2020: a successfulregional marketing projectthatmakes the most of Made in Italy
Dear Father Christmas... This story could be the result of a lucky letter, written some thirteen years ago, delivered to Lapland and the wish granted by good old Santa Claus himself. Perhaps that is exactly what it is, or more prosaically, a case history of a unique rather than rare success story in the world of tourism. The fact is that the small town of Govone, surrounded by the wonderful wine-growing landscape of the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato area, overlooked by the Royal Castle, the residence of the Savoy from 1792 to 1870 included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is now the wonderful site of the largest Christmas market in Italy, the Magical Christmas Village, the only one to be nominated for the Best European Christmas Markets 2020.
Success under the tree
It all started with the “Associazione Culturale Generazione” (Generation Cultural Association) which, in 2007, «We started out as a group of friends, with the desire to boost the tourist period immediately after November-December», explained Pier Paolo Guelfo, organization a director of The Magical Christmas Village, the event that has brought the town of Govone to life over the Christmas period and which has become the largest Christmas market in Italy. The decision to concentrate on Christmas was a natural one, fuelled by both our own personal love of Christmas and the obvious time line coincidence which led to the first market. Over the years, what was supposed to be a side event has become a centre of attraction that has produced a 15% increase in tourist flows. This year, from November 16th to December 22nd, in Govone hosting 117 carefully selected Christmas artisan chalets from all over Italy. As well as creating a whole host of side events:
- the return of “Santa’s House”, an interactive live musical show by the director Vincenzo Santagata, which changes from year to year and is repeated every quarter of an hour, in 2019, it will recount the legend of the Rudolph the reindeer;
- every weekend is dedicated to a different theme, from children's literature to the Food Festival and the participation of renowned chefs from the area, such as the Michelin-starred chefs, Enrico Crippa and Davide Palluda.
- the majestic return of the original historic 1920’s train, in partnership with the Piedmont Region and the Italian National Railway Foundation. There are two opportunities - from Turin, on November 17th and from Milan, on December 22nd - to experience the joy of an unforgettable and thrilling carriage ride accompanied by elves, while tasting the sparkling wine of the Asti DOCG Consortium and Valgrana products.
Best European Markets 2020
The strategic choices made by the event organizers have proved to be a resounding success over the years, so much so that it has culminated in Govone's Magical Christmas Village becoming Italy's biggest Christmas market. The number of exhibitors increases every year: in 2018, there were 100 exhibitors while in 2019, there will be 117. «We have chosen to allow only the producers and not the resellers to exhibit their products, to promote quality crafts man ship and give a specific calibre to our market», continued Pier Paolo Guelfo. «The selection of participants is very important for us».
European Best Destination includes 20 Christmas markets among the nominations to compete for the Best Christmas Market award. And the nominations for next year include none other than Govone, the only Italian destination to be included.
The Christmas event of this town in the Italian province of Cuneo is proving to be something more than just a beautiful animated event. It is clearly an ambitious project with the strategic objective of being a catalyst for tourist flows. Contamination with the surrounding district is fundamental in ensuring a stay immersed in Christmas, including journeys on the historic train, spectacular scenery, excellent food and drink and magic all around.