Smart Villages support in Italy

How is the concept of Smart Villages defined?

No formal definition of Smart Villages in Italy.

Is digital a key feature of Smart Villages?

While no formal Smart Villages definition exists, according to stakeholders, Smart Villages are primarily implementing digital solutions with the aim of improving the capacity of villages to address the challenges of their territories, in particular in relation to mobility, communication and public services. Innovative solutions can i) reduce economic and social disruption and ii) help villages to adapt projects to the villages’ context.

The capacity to introduce innovation through the use of digital tools is considered key for improving small communities. The presence of digital services in small villages can boost the creation of new businesses and fight against the process of depopulation.

Is social innovation a key feature of Smart Villages?

Social innovation aspects are important for the development of Smart Villages. Interviewees perceive social innovation as a key future for successful smart villages development that should enable creating new positive effects in the community. The participatory approach should include different categories of stakeholders (citizens, final users of the services, enterprises, etc.). Social innovation aspects are also very relevant to support diversification of the economy of rural villages (recreation and leisure, social services, productive labour opportunities, social integration for immigrants) within the National Strategy for Inner Areas, which is an important supporting tool to the creation of Smart Villages.

How is the CAP supporting Smart Villages?

Ministero delle Politiche Agricole, Alimentari e Forestali (National Rural Network, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry)

Paolo Ammassari (Head of National Rural Network and Rural Development Unit)
Email :

CAP 2014-2020

Indirectly, no specific Smart Villages intervention.


LAGs across the country have had a focus on the development of smart villages within their Local Development Strategies. a possible national strategy.

CAP 2021-2027

To some extent / indirectly.


LAGs across the country have had a focus on the development of smart villages within their Local Development Strategies. This interest has stimulated debate about Smart Villages in local communities, also in relation to the importance to develop a common definition and a possible national strategy.

CREA Ricerche (CREA Research), Raffaella Di Napoli (Coordinator LEADER Task Force – NRN) Email :

CAP Network support

Yes, specific Smart Villages network activities.


Smart Villages Thematic Group

The LEADER team within the NRN is planning to set up a thematic group on Smart Villages in 2022 (activity included in the action plan of the 2014-2021 NRN for the period 2020-2022).

Training/ workshops on/ for Smart Villages

Related to the action mentioned above, at least one workshop will be organised on this topic.

Collection of specific examples/ good practices on Smart Villages

Within the activity of the thematic group, a call to collect Smart Villages examples is likely to be launched in 2022.

How are other policies supporting Smart Villages?

Yes, other policies are supporting Smart Villages.

The Smart Specialisation Strategies implemented within the ERDF and Cohesion Policy has been reported to have provided support to Smart Villages. This strategy is  being funded by different sources (Cohesion fund, ERDF, national and regional funds) and different types of calls; therefore, the implementation cannot be tracked comprehensively.

The National Strategy for Inner Areas is an integrated strategy aimed at tackling problems such as depopulation, low access to services and lack of development strategies. The Strategy is funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds and national funds. Local integrated development strategies are financed in 72 pilot areas. 

Smart Rural 27 – Smart Villages Taskforce

Smart Villages in Italy

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