Ciao again! Today is our last day in Venice and we mainly had a free day besides our visit to the Fashion Consortium. The Consorzio Della Moda is an Italian only, private organization of around 48 smaller scale fashion industry members. Although the Consortium itself may seem insignificant compared to large scale companies, these companies have a network of up to 400 companies for their supply chain; in which they receive/distribute anything from cloth to merchandising proposals. In a way, the Consortium can play all roles in the supply chain from supplier to consumer, because of the wide range of members. The entire supply chain is based entirely in Italy (which increases process and customer service efficiency and their ability to respond to changes in trends) and stresses the “Made in Italy” label. Stressing this allows for them to get “state” money from the government to perform the functions of their business. The Fashion Consortium was founded to have a greater competitive advantage, with strength in small numbers, internationally. It was the companies themselves that decided to unite to compete cooperatively, so there is no actual “Consortium Company”, just the individual members. Each individual member has a weak internal structure so coming together allows for increased strength in the general market. Less important but still present in the United States which is a necessity in Italy, is tying in Italian history and culture to their designs and business models to truly give back and honor the “Made in Italy” label. Very unlike in the United States, most of the companies in the Consortium do not have a clear managerial role and are mainly family-based organizations of about 5-10 employees. Like in all countries, not only is merchandising important but technology and innovation to stay in the front of the herd. The Consortium also creates a platform to connect companies to three channels; business to business, business to consumer, and business to marketplace. The people we talked to said although they still have a lot to improve on for sustainability, they have started efforts by buying in bulk for packaging and energy. One specific program, Verona Valle, is focused on collaborating to highlight the depth Verona has to offer in different industries, like fashion, besides the stereotypical Romeo and Juliet. Overall, I am extremely sad to be leaving Verona tomorrow as it has been an unforgettably beautiful location with so much tradition and culture that has amplified my travel experience immensely. Everywhere you look, you see traditional Italian restaurants, dessert places, artisan shops, and historical monuments. However, there is also a slight tough of modern-ness with the shopping strip in the center of the city. I feel like Verona is slightly overlooked by the rest of the world but will always have a special place in my memory.