That complaint in a decree that excludes activities from refreshments

San Francesco, take care of it. The last miracle they ask for the saint in the shadow of the Holy Monastery Assisi it is to make Conte, Franceschini and the entire government understand that the brothers, not the merchants, have taken the vow of poverty. Yes, because Covid has not just eliminated the business of bars, restaurants and clothing stores. It didn’t just hit the red areas. But it has also dealt a (near) fatal blow to the shops of the cities of art and religion that remain dry without travel, tourists and pilgrimages. “This year I had 80% less turnover than last year,” he says Michela Cuppoloni, owner of a souvenir shop in the center. The problem is that, like many other realities, Assisi has been cut from any repayment. Nothing 200% of the turnover. No lost money. No “firepower” from contian memory. And so the shopkeepers pray on the one hand that the patron saint of Italy, the cubs, the poets, the animals, the ecologists and – coincidentally – even the merchants, can get some public money for them. And meanwhile they protest.

Last night a group gathered on the square for the third time. “In March – Michela explains – we received 600 euros, just like all. But we haven’t seen anything since then”. Technically Assisi, as well as Loreto, Cascia, San Giovanni Rotondo, Pompeii and other “shrines” that live tourism, I’m not in the red zone. All types of shops can therefore remain open and the government has not included them in the various decisions. “But if I open and there is no one around, what kind of work do I have to do?” With tight regional borders and international flights that never stop, goodbye to the tourist coaches and the throngs of Americans drawn to the sanctity of these walls at the base of the Subasio. Souvenir shops under the Dpcm may remain open, but who do they sell their goods to when no one can get to town? It would be like keeping shopping centers open, but closing the roads to reach them. “Our activities – explains Michela – have no exact legal connotation. The government relied on payments ateco codes, and here in the village we all have it different, even if we sell the same things. The fact is, keeping them open without customers would only cost them. So I stay closed ”.

The merchants from Assisi say they are a “forgotten category”. And they take to the streets “in front of small historical centers that live exclusively on tourism”. In the August decree, the government, at the insistence of Minister Franceschini, had provided 500 million to the tour operators affected by the decrease in the number of visitors. Well done. Too bad that only provincial capitals or metropolitan cities with a lot of tourists can access it. Ultimately, there are 29, including Syracuse, Matera, Pisa, Rimini. But not Assisi and other smaller towns. It doesn’t matter if Assisi was the birthplace of Santa Chiara and San Francesco, it doesn’t matter if it is the City of Peace, home to two papal basilicas that have always been a world destination for pilgrimages, a place of visits by popes , heads of state, kings and queens. Carta sings: it is not capital, so it is out of contributions. So thousands of families are now “on the run”: “I’m lucky because I don’t have to pay the rent for the shop – says Michela – but here’s a girl who is desperate”.

The good or the bad is that Assisi in 2019 it welcomed about 5 million people. Of these, 1.3 million were housed in accommodation facilities. The ratio of residents to tourists (which is one of the criteria of the August Decree for the provision of refreshments) reaches the figure of 1 in 45, much more than the limits of the legislative act. For Istat it is one of the 50 cities with the most visitors, even more than some have admitted. But he gets nothing.

In a recent motion, the city council asked the mayor to speak out Conte, Gualtieri, Franceschini and so on, so that at least in the budget law, resources are found for the “sanctuary cities,” that is, “those small and medium-sized congregations whose places of worship and devotion, destination of international pilgrimage sites, confer prestige and relevance to the entire Italian nation” The goal is to get a non-refundable subsidy, because Covid has scrapped an entire sector that threatens not to recover. ”They didn’t even take the IMU away from us – Michela concludes does not want to realize that we will perish in this way. ”Unless St. Francis thinks about it.

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