ARSENALIA: Heritage Gaming. A cluster of games to discover the Venice Arsenal


Venice, 11 July 2021 - Learn more about one of the most fascinating heritage sites in the city, the Arsenale of Venice, through games. An innovative approach designed for different types of users, inviting them to discover a site still unknown to many, with outstanding historical and patrimonial implications. This is the objective of the presentation which takes place on Thursday 15 July at 11.00 at the Venetian headquarters of the Council of Europe, in Piazza San Marco, in the presence of those who identify themselves as the "Patrimonial Community" of the Arsenale -to use a term proper to the Faro Convention, the Council of Europe's framework convention on the "Social value of cultural heritage", which has just been definitively approved by the Italian government.

The occasion is represented by the presentation of Arsenalia, a cluster of games created by the Venetian association Venti di Cultura in the framework of the European project I_Improve, funded by the Erasmus + program, as an output of the Venetian partner who has chosen the Arsenale of Venice as the project area. .

The project, which began in 2018 with a partnership that includes Sweden (Stockholm), Belgium (Ostend), Austria (Vienna), Lithuania (Vilnius), Poland (Gdansk) and Italy (Venice), which has now come to an end, aimed at the identification and development of experimental and innovative activities, in carrying out the usual cultural activities of the partners.

It is a board game, developed by Leo Collovini of studiogiochi and titled "The Doge's Secret"; an urban game developed by Marisa Convento and titled "Hunt for beads"; and the project for a digital game developed by Francesco Calzolaio with SPACE, entitled “Virtual Arsenal Museum”.

The idea that unifies the three games conceived by Venti di Cultura is to propose innovative cultural services for the Arsenale, capable of offering the visitor a visiting experience mediated by new tools. Heritage gaming is a driving force for inclusive and participatory processes of knowledge and sharing of cultural heritage. Hence, the Arsenalia system of games, making the extraordinary heritage of knowledge and stories of the Arsenale 'captivating' in a curious way, can put the visitor not only in contact with the cultural depth of the places he passes through, but can also animate them with the clash of work being done there.

Arsenalia therefore intends to offer a playful visiting experience, reconnecting the Arsenal with its recent and distant history, with the wisdom of the trades it housed and protected, with the adventures that departed from here to sail the known seas, taking the visitor beyond the physical and cultural walls that separate it from its immediate and remote context.

These tools were also developed with the help of the actors who have responsibility for the management of the Arsenale, and some of the associations that have been dealing with its cultural heritage for years. They are shared products that can be developed and managed by the actors involved, beyond the time limits of the European project.

Once again Venice is a bridge between the lagoon and Europe, as a place of cultural production, and the Arsenal of Venice, the crucible of the Venetian naval force which, for centuries, has dominated the Mediterranean, can return to being competitive today on the level of the cultural offer, as unique both as a proto-industrial model and as an architectural complex, perfectly preserved up to the present day.

At the presentation at the Council of Europe headquarters in Italy takes part: 

Carla Toffolo, International Private Committees for the Safeguard of Venice

Patrizia Vachino, Faro Venezia

Hesperia Iliadou, Committee for the Industrial Heritage of Europa Nostra

Cristina Bedin, Committee for Safeguard of Venetian Glass Beads Art

Giorgio Suppiej, Arzanà association

Simone Petrucci, Faro Trasimeno association

coordinating: Luisella Pavan-Wolfe, Council of Europe Office in Italy

introducing: Marisa Convento, Venti di Cultura and Committee for Venetian Glass Beads Art 

Francesco Calzolaio, Venti di Cultura, Faro Venezia, Europa Nostra IH Committee

Dario De Toffoli, studiogiochi

Paolo Alongi, SPACE

Venice, italy

The Urban Game by Venti di Cultura

Pictures of the itinerary of Marisa Convento's Urban Game of around the Arsenale