BORGOALIVE! #SmartNeighbourhood – Architecture Venice Biennale 2021


Concilio Europeo dell’Arte presents, on the occasion of 17th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia,the new exhibition ‘BORGOALIVE! #SmartNeighbourhood’, the continuation of the ‘BORGHI OF ITALY #no(f)earthquake’ project, a Collateral Event within International Architecture Biennale in 2018.

InParadiso Art Gallery, Venice

Free admission subject to availability (in compliance with anti-Covid safety measures)

from Tuesday to Sunday h 10.00 - 18.00

22nd May - 21st November 2021

Opening & Press Conference Thursday 20th May, h 11.00


On the occasion of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Concilio Europeo dell’Arte presents the new exhibition ‘BORGOALIVE! #SmartNeighbourhood’, the continuation of the ‘BORGHI OF ITALY #no(f)earthquake’ project, a Collateral Event within International Architecture Biennale in 2018.

InParadiso Art Gallery, Giardini Biennale – Venezia


The highly anticipated 17th edition of this Venice Architecture Biennale, finally rescheduled for 2021, represents the natural deadline for the CEA to show the national and international public of the Biennale the work that took place between the two exhibitions promoted in support of the Italian borghi. It has been a long period during while, despite the difficulties due to the pandemic, the objectives crystallized, the collaboration relationships were close, the issues to be addressed were shared.

Under the patronage of ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities), UNCEM (National Union of Mountain Communities ad Institution), Lombardy Region – the participants describe through three sections (panels, projects, installations, images), the challenges faced during this revitalization process of Italian borghi – the theme relaunched by CEA in Venice – by offering different perspectives, all combined in the broader project promoted by CEA: ‘I M ITALY’.


PR_BORGOALIVE! #SmartNeighbourhood


BORGOALIVE! Architecture Biennale 2021 – Venezia

The leitmotif of the exhibition, that takes place in the historic location of Concilio Europeo dell’Arte, InParadiso Art Gallery, is the renewed awareness that each Italian borgo, in order to stop depopulation and to start a rege-neration process, needs to adopt forward-looking policies focused on innovation, sustainability and on the actual use of technologies able to allow ‘reconceiving the borgo’.

This is not just a slogan, this is a true and actual ‘project aiming to re-build the habitability’ of these places, which represent the 70% of the national territory and that, for decades, have shown the willingness of reconnecting with the country. This approach would stop the marginalisation process that had affected the borghi for years, borghi that only today are at the centre of political, urban, economic and social attention.

The exhibition curated by Architect Roberto Pirzio-Biroli for Donau-Universität Krems (Department for Building and Environment) starts from here: from the actual case of the restoration (first, by considering the habitability) of borgo di Venzone (Udine) – elected as the ‘Most Beautiful Borgo’ of Italy in 2017, forty years after the earthquake in Friuli. The restoration, always led by Arch. R. Pirzio-Biroli, was successfully conducted following the ‘participated method’, now seen as resourceful option for the future of borgo of Accumoli (Rieti), after 5 years from the earthquake that hit Central Italy and the borgo.

Following Venzone example, the inauguration of the ‘School of the reconstruction of Venzone and Accumoli’ puts the inhabitants’ sense of belonging for the Community first, in agreement with the “project for the future” which represents the only tool for renovating and safeguarding the traditions and roots of the borgo.

CEA – Concilio Europeo dell’Arte – presents the planning for the development and actuation of the ‘I M ITALY’ project involving: on one side, ‘BORGOALIVE! Project’ addressed to all small Italian borghi that are willing to start and to advertise their regeneration path, carried out in agreement with the Best Practices established by CEA (Forum | Recovery | Smart | Green | Mobility | Healthcare | Youth | Culture | Cooperative); on the other side, the ‘Publishing Platform BORGOALIVE!’ and the App, both helpful for the production, management and promotion of opportunities and services provided by CEA to Italian borghi.

The City Council of Esino Lario (Lecco) was invited by CEA to show, at the exhibition in Venice, the goals achieved during the past years through the brave and innovative administration. These goals are the results of the so- called ‘Esino Method’ that, as explained by the Mayor, Eng. Pietro Pensa, is a ‘potion made of simple ingredients’: imagination, willingness, participation, planning, strategy; a simple approach that successfully led to regeneration and – in opposition to what observed in almost all the other Italian borghi – repopulation. The objectives have been achieved thanks to the active participation of the whole population: after planning the adoption of the 9 Best Practices at the basis of the BORGOALIVE project by CEA, Esino Lario receives, in occasion of the International Architecture Biennale 2021, the accreditation ‘1st BORGOALIVE!’ of Italy.

The borghi that participate to the exhibition present themselves to the rest of Italy and to the international public of this special – and long-awaited – International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, demonstrating that they are limitless sources of opportunities oriented towards technological innovation, sustainability, and regeneration for attracting old and new residents.

The borghi are proactive communities able to promote a new economic and sustainable model, while respecting and safeguarding the territory and their own identity.




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CEA – InParadiso Art Gallery

Giardini della Biennale

h 10.00 – 18.00 | free admission (in compliance with anti-Covid safety measures) | Monday closed

Castello 1260, 30122 Venice