Italy: How is the ‘young’ city changing the world?

Written by Anna Chapman, CNN Rome, Italy

Italy is an island off the coast of France, and over the past few decades, it has become synonymous with youth. Unashamedly European, its personality has come to encompass both generations and industries, whilst marrying a cosmopolitan outlook with a youthful spirit.

These days, it is dominated by young Italian talent from fashion to technology and popular TV formats are often based in Rome.

Where to look for youth in Italy:

Young parts of the Italian capital city are filled with booming tech companies from around the world, including goliaths such as Microsoft and Google.

Meanwhile, in the neighbouring Lazio region, Naples’ nightclubs are packed with young people and there is a distinct younger trend in architecture.

Founder of the digital magazine “MoreauPhot” Anne Remsen says that a number of projects set to open in the coming years, including the Restoration Milan urban platform, reflect this “youngness of the Italian,” although the city is also in the process of being regenerated.

What all around is “really focused on younger generations,” Remsen continues, “especially those who are mobile and like to work where they want and not where they are told to work.”

Massimo Viviani, founder of the Iddo fashion company, spoke about the “power” of young people and how this generation changes how the world sees fashion. He believes that there are more than a few developments to be heralded from the “diversity of the Milanese market” and the impact on youth is critical.

There is also evidence of a new younger generation adjusting and striving to become more digitally connected.

The helm of the luxury fashion house Versace has shifted once again this year with Donatella taking the reins and Giancarlo opening his brand’s Rome flagship store.

Kazai Village, an event designed to document the work of emerging Milan designers. Credit: Cosimo A. Mazzucchelli/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images

Milan was founded by a group of young men in the 18th century and these cultural, entrepreneurial and urban changes represent a relaunch.

According to a survey commissioned by Thomson Reuters, young Italian entrepreneurs, the age group this city is most likely to refer to as “important” in their life, were likely to consider themselves highly creative.

This keenness to succeed was mirrored in its response to regulation. When it comes to the environment, the 30-year-old Canadian tells CNN the group are “more experimental, but most often environmental is what we like to focus on.”

They show no hostility toward the Italian authorities, he says, explaining that the problem comes more in Rome — where environmental rules are less advanced. In Milan, the focus is on “integrating nature into the city through fairs.”

While the young community is conscious of the older generations in the country, they do believe that there is a responsibility on the shoulders of all members of the Italian population to adapt.

“Obviously it is pretty awesome, at the same time very frustrating,” says the Canadian, and continues to say that this environment is “great for business and culture.”

“We are definitely competitive. We can compete internationally.”

This cultural pace is reflected through increased support for the arts, museums and the environment, although pockets of the older generations have yet to catch up.

The artistic world is filled with dynamic, eclectic work. The Vienna-based photographer for “Nota la Sorella,” Sulik Oller is continuously working to keep his work apart from the noise of Instagram and his work, often resulting in more than 40,000 likes per piece, has the support of a corporate sponsor.

In Milan, Oller sees this “young” spirit continuing, and he believes there is not much room for people his age to leave.

“There is still a big culture there that is growing again,” Oller says. “Young, bold, smart, and it’s very close to the US as well.”

Leave a Comment