An irresistible invitation to visit the popular Marche region of Italy is being promoted not by any tourism agency, but by a charming 6-year-old. She made the video, in part, to help sadness over the coronavirus ‘fly away.’”
In a brief video, young Paola exuberantly addresses everyone in charming English, enhanced by her Italian accent, with the Adriatic Sea in the background:
“Hi everybody, my name is Paola, I am 6 years old. Welcome to paradise!
“I am here to show you my beautiful country. In this extraordinary place there are so many things to see, so come and visit us.
“This paradise is called Marche and I promise you that you will never forget this place. It will always remain in your hearts. Come and visit us. I love you! Bye bye. This smile is for you.”
The Marche region is traditionally popular with tourists attracted by its rich history and cultural heritage, as well as its seaside resorts. It is situated in the central-eastern part of the country, between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea.
Tourists are reportedly booking in region once again, possibly in part thanks to Paola’s promotional video, which was posted online by Valeria Mancinelli, the mayor of Ancona, the capital of the region.
Speaking exclusively to Zenger News about how it all started, Paola’s mother, Ana Lucan, said her daughter was very sad to learn that two police officers had been hurt protecting people from criminals, and she sent them a picture to thank them for their work.
When local police officers personally thanked Paola, she was inspired to be equally vocal on other matters, her mother said. When the coronavirus began to wear on people, Paola, also called Paoletta, decided she wanted to remind them of the wonderful things they had as well.
“She enjoys very much planning her initiatives and is very proud when they get a reaction. When things started to get really bad with the coronavirus, after talking to her grandmother, she had decided to put all the savings that she’d obtained from the tooth fairy together for the benefit of people that were less well off, buying coffee and tortellini, which she handed over to be distributed by charity,” her mother said.
Paola still wanted to do more, however, and because she had managed to learn English so well, and enjoys using it, she decided to do her part to promote the region.
“She likes speaking English very much, although she has not yet started studying it,” her mother said. “We are of course pleased that she has so many fans who share in her love of life, and her enthusiasm for everything she undertakes.
“What people see is what she is — she lives a life that is a mixture of fun, study, and of course love for her dog called Luna, although when it comes to sports, I have to say that she is a bit lazy,” her mother said.
“But she never fails to surprise us, always coming up with spontaneous ideas, and there’s never a day without a smile with her. I am happy that we can share some of those smiles with others.”
Introducing the video on Facebook, Mancinelli wrote: “This is not an official tourism promotion for our region, yet Paoletta’s resourcefulness has actually created the perfect testimonial.”
The mayor posted some of the things Paola had said in Italian for locals. She wrote: “I love our country” and “our region of Marche is fantastic, beautiful and it is wonderful to be part of it.
“And the food, I don’t know where to begin due to the huge amount of good things we have. I would like all the tourists to visit our region and to make the economy grow so that sadness will ‘fly away.’
“I love all the people from my region, and I do not want to see them sad again.”
Marche was voted the second-best place to visit in the Top Regions ranking of Lonely Planet 2020, published at the end of 2019.
The Italian government is also promoting national tourism, with some people receiving money from the government to go on holiday in the country to help boost the economy.
Families with children earning less than $45,328 (40,000 euros) will be given $566 (500 euros) for hotels and tourist apartments; couples will be granted $340 (300 euros); and single people will be given $170 (150 euros).
(Edited by Judy Isacoff.)
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