Today we visited the Fashion Consortium of Verona. The consortium is a group of locally based businesses in the areas surrounding Verona that work to cooperate and help each other gain internationally recognition while also remaining in healthy competition. Over 40 fashion related companies are active members, but over 400 firms are ultimately involved. They share resources and connections in the area which increases opportunities for all parties involved. Those that wish to be members of the consortium pay an annual membership fee to have access to the benefits the consortium offers. What I found to be the most interesting was how the firms remain in competition, while also working together. Our translator referred to it as “cooperative cats and dogs”! She also mentioned how the ultimate mission of the consortium is to have “made in Verona” be a known and appreciated label seen on the products produced. It was really heartwarming to see what this company is doing to help local artisans get the recognitions they are so deserving of!
Today was the shortest of all the days in terms of the academic activities planned. We had the rest of the afternoon free and my group spent it basking in all that Verona has to offer. We ended up watching the sunset from the castle of Verona and it was, dare I say, magical. The ambiance of the town, the company, and just really taking time to enjoy and reflect on our experiences was the perfect way to end our time in this fairytale town. I really hope someday I can return to Verona, it is one of the hidden Italian gems.