by Paola G. Lunghini, Editor in Chief of Economia Immobiliare
Italian Defence Real Estate takes part in MIPIM 2009
The event was preceded by a last minute invitation to a press conference in Rome, where State Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa announced the participation of the Italian Defence Ministry in MIPIM 2009 with its own institutional stand. A colourful invitation card followed, confirming the presence of the State Defence Viceminister, Guido Crosetto, at the stand called "A Heritage of Value", on 11 March at noon.
This fired my curiosity, together with a good amount of scepticism, and induced me to rush to the Hall where the stand was, immediately after my arrival and registration.
Upon reaching the top of the escalator I believed the hot sun of the Côte d'Azur where the weather has been extremely beautiful was playing tricks on me: a group of people in "strange costumes" were crowding a stand that could have been defined as "nothing special" in terms of design and originality.
Of course those were no costumes, but real uniforms! The stand was surrounded by two dozen real officers of the Italian Army, Air Force, Navy, and Carabinieri Corps: Generals, Colonels, Majors and Captains who made up the staff of the stand representing our Defence Ministry in Cannes!
Ingenious this "Geniodifesa"! And in a few hours the stand of the Italian Armed Forces turned into a real attraction of MIPIM 2009.
Our "stand officers" not only boasted perfectly ironed uniforms, multiple stars, and golden braids, they were also attractive, friendly, fluent in English, smiling, and perfectly at ease in their unusual and difficult role.
Moreover the products that they proposed to sell (but were not yet on sale) were especially beautiful. They ranged from the Arsenal and the Island of St. Andrea in Venice to the Aragon Castle in Brindisi, from the Palace Brasini and the Arsenal in Taranto to the San Gallo district and the Cavalli barracks in Florence, from the Tagliavento barracks in Bologna to the Cavour stronghold on the Palmaria island in front of Portovenere near La Spezia, from the warehouses in Augusta ( Sicily) to the La Marmora barracks in Turin, from the Montebello barracks in Milan to the Defence Establishment in Pavia...
I was quickly won over and I, too, enrolled in the cause. I distributed dozens of invitations for the next day's presentation, when the Vice Minister would have been there, and I encouraged everybody I met to visit the stand of "our" Defence. They defend us and I spread their news, I used to say.
I believe there was nobody at MIPIM who did not peek in even for a moment into the "Geniodifesa" stand. Their staff was continuously busy answering all the information requests and offering consultation. It was a great success.
The event was given a lot of attention by the media and is strongly highlighted on the Ministry's homepage. Here is a shortened version of their account: "Cannes, 11 March. Today at the Italian stand at MIPIM the Viceminister of Defence, Guido Crosetto, presented the initiatives the Defence Ministry is carrying out for the revaluation of its vast and varied real estate assets. During the presentation held in front of a crowd of national and international investors and members of t