Everyone comes in Ciociaria! Considering the number of articles written in magazines around the world and the number of bookings, we are witnessing a boom in this beautiful land. And to think that until a few years ago it was only a symbol of authenticity but also of extreme rurality!
How Ciociaria achieved notoriety
Notoriety is something that comes from the outside, it is the way we are perceived by others and not the way we look at ourselves. It is a change of perspective and often what is a problem for us is a magnificent life experience for others.
There are a thousand different episodes that have contributed to changing the perception of Ciociaria but Sophia Loren is not among these. In fact, while in Italy the film La Ciociara immediately comes to mind (Sophia Loren was the main character), abroad this film appeared with the name Two Women and there was no mention of the name Ciociaria, which is also difficult to pronounce.
Notoriety started from North America, precisely in a Canadian city separated from Detroit in the USA by a tunnel under the Detroit river: we are talking about the Ciociaro Club of Windsor.
With the Town Ambassador Award I met and interviewed one of its founders, Rocco Maiuri originally from Ceprano, and I was able to learn how the Ciociaro Club has totally changed the feeling of millions of people touching their proudness.
Let us immediately clarify that the Ciociaro Club is not one of the clubs of emigrants who gathered around a territorial identity of a country, but it is a club in the Anglo-Saxon sense of the term. It extends over a property of 18 hectares with a restaurant that can accommodate up to 5,000 people, football pitches, golf course and even a church that reproduces the facade of the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Canneto in Settefrati (even if this has caused it quite a few problems with the Canadian bishop).
The management of the club was so efficient and elegant that Rocco told me how before the Ciociaro Club all the emigrants said they came from towns 'near Rome or Naples', because no one had any idea what Ciociaria was. Today, however, many emigrants (or their descendants) who come from neighbouring territories such as the province of Rome, Latina or upper Campania say they 'come from Ciociaria' because it is cooler.
Another Town Ambassador, Nancy Campbell originally from Piglio (https://www.discoverplaces.travel/it/racconti/incontri-con-persone-speciali/premio-town-ambassador-a-nancy-campbell-per-il- suo-amore-per-piglio-e-la-ciociaria) has contributed to giving a different image to Ciociaria by promoting art trips and exhibitions in this area (https://issuu.com/nancycampbell10/docs/scoprire_la_ciociaria_photobook_def).
Nancy is a painter and was the director of the famous Woodstock School of Art in Saugerties, near Niagara Falls. Intrigued by her Italian roots, she went to discover Piglio and the nearby towns and we met her by chance at Polledrara in Paliano on the recommendation of mutual acquaintances (read more). Since then, she continues with at least one trip every year in which she brings painters to paint Ciociaria en plein air.
Finally we must mention the Frosinone football team which not only distinguished itself in Italy, but went on tours in Canada and the USA (https://www.legaseriea.it/en/media/serie-a/tournee-canada-use-the-frosinone-programme), which started right from Windsor and exported an even more successful image for the whole of Ciociaria. I remember perfectly the comments of many of my Canadian friends who were proud that their Ciociaria was playing in Italian Premiere League, the most prestige of the tournament.
The return of emigrants who invest in Ciociaria
To complete the image of a territory capable of attracting attention and therefore also investments, some cases of emigrants or their descendants who also returned to invest in their territories of origin should be mentioned.
The most famous is certainly Cesidio Di Ciacca, Town Ambassador of Picinisco (https://www.discoverplaces.travel/it/racconti/incontri-con-persone-speciali/cesidio-di-ciacca-e-picinisco-la-storia- written-in-his-name), who appears almost every week on some prestigious television in the world with his story of a successful 'returning emigrant'.
But just ask a real estate agency to understand how Arpino is becoming a destination for all those looking for a house in a real 'Italian village'.
In our own small way, we can say that since we opened our small farmhouse (www.donnavittori.com) this summer we have had more foreign guests than Italians and we had the first tasting of our wines with a group of Swedes.
The DMO Alta Ciociaria
The awareness of the notoriety achieved by Ciociaria clearly emerged in the assembly of the DMO Alta Ciociaria – High Ciociaria (https://www.altaciociaria.it) when some entrepreneurs who manage important hotels in Fiuggi clearly spoke of how the perception of the value of Ciociaria is constantly increased over the years.
And we all applauded Paolo Novi when he spoke of an 'elegant' territory, where the initial image of rurality has taken on a more noble character over the years.
Perhaps today we can define Ciociaria as an elegantly genuine territory or one of elegant genuineness. To you the choice.