How to Establish a Cultural Enterprise in Naples: The Napulitanata Model

This is the story of a dream come true – a cultural enterprise in Naples that not only indulges in culture but also provides employment, operates internationally, and attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year. This place is Napulitanata, and today it has decided to unveil the secrets of creating a cultural enterprise in Naples. (ATTENTION, THESE WORDS ARE UNIVERSAL AND APPLY TO ANY CITY IN THE WORLD, you just need to know how to apply them!)

Are you from Naples and have you realized that you can EAT with culture?
Are you a young art enthusiast and would like to know how to create a cultural enterprise?
Are you wondering how cultural enterprises in Naples are significantly contributing to the strong tourist presence?
Then stay with us as we explain how to establish a cultural enterprise in Naples, the secrets to apply, and the mindset you need.

Cultural Enterprise in Naples. The Right Choice if You Want to Invest in Culture

Thanks to the continuously increasing tourist flows in Naples, a trend that emerged a few years ago and continues to grow annually, cultural enterprises in Naples can thrive joyfully. The truly incredible thing is that there seems to be space for everyone. From archaeology to art, from music to cinema, anyone wishing to explore the wonders of Naples can do so through a network of cultural enterprises operating in Naples, managing spaces that welcome tourists from around the world every year. An example of how this network is willing to collaborate and operate alongside very large institutional entities is ExtraMANN, a rich map of many cultural enterprises in Naples that have decided to join forces with a giant in the cultural world like the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. Among these entities, Napulitanata’s concert hall undoubtedly stands out – a cultural enterprise in Naples operating locally but looking beyond, towards Europe. The first concert hall exclusively dedicated to classic Neapolitan songs, attracting an impressive number of tourists every year, has become a fundamental stop for tourists and is among the most sought-after and beloved activities on TripAdvisor.

How to Start Your Own Cultural Enterprise in Naples

To realize your cultural enterprise in Naples, you must have entrepreneurial spirit! Passion, art, and theory alone are not enough. It requires analytical skills, planning, entrepreneurial spirit, and inventiveness. The spectacle offered by Napulitanata is not the sole determinant of being recognized as a successful cultural enterprise. Everyone aspiring to open a cultural enterprise in Naples should understand that the possibilities are endless, but nothing is given for free. Behind that one-hour concert lies a whole world of work, passion, and, most importantly, planning! You need to look beyond your nose, understand when it’s the right time to act, and when it’s the right time to pause before the big step. Looking at strategic choices, Napulitanata proves to be an entity that can see far into the future. Opened in 2017, it immediately understood, thanks to the artistic-entrepreneurial duo of Domenico Matania and Pasquale Cirillo, the direction to take with the concerts and what kind of entrepreneurial reality it should become. To achieve this, they had to first study their target audience. After deciding to create a concert hall for classic Neapolitan songs, thus filling a market gap, it was crucial to understand who to sell to. A fundamental aspect for enterprises is understanding that you don’t have to sell to everyone but rather to your market segment. The secret is who you want to address.

The surprising answer is that Napulitanata is not frequented by Neapolitans. Few locals want to discover classic Neapolitan songs, not because they already know them. Betting on Neapolitans would have been a futile move!

Attract the Customer!

The primary visitor to Napulitanata is the tourist! This brings along a series of considerations. First and foremost, the tourist needs to know that this reality exists. How do you do that? Discover communication channels, invest in online and offline social communication! One of the smartest things Napulitanata did was to create a network of partners already working with tourists. Napulitanata made itself known by playing around Naples, where tourists gather, or on typical Citysighseeing buses that tourists use to visit the city of Naples. But it also built relationships and networks with various other activities, primarily with the National Archaeological Museum (MANN).

After this, you need to see the type of customer arriving. The tourist at Napulitanata is a very particular tourist. They are awake, cultured, self-researching activities, have good spending capacity, and are of advanced age. What time should a concert of classic Neapolitan songs start for this type of tourist? How long should it last? What type of songs should be played? All these characteristics are outlined based on the type of customer you want to attract.

Ancillary Activities and Merchandising

One of the keys to Napulitanata‘s success is its ability to look beyond concerts.
Not just concerts but also many activities.
Over the years, it has organized important conferences and photography exhibitions linked to institutions such as universities and cultural entities in the area. The exhibition on PasoliniPasolini and Lomax” or the current exhibition focused on Caruso are famous.
But how were these exhibitions realized?
They were born thanks to a key tool in the Italian landscape for cultural enterprises: calls for proposals! Cultural enterprises receive valuable help from the Italian government through calls for proposals. Periodically, the government issues a call for a specific cultural area. Production awards for artistic and cultural projects that often determine the success of a project. But winning calls for proposals is not so simple. To do this, you need to plan a specific plan, ally with other entities operating in your field, and plan a series of initiatives together. It is thanks to this creative and managerial spirit that Napulitanata has managed to emerge in the world of cultural enterprises in Naples.

Another great merit of Napulitanata is having intercepted the demand for merchandising related to Neapolitan songs. Its store includes T-shirts, mugs, magnets, bookmarks, and the highlight… concert CDs! Some might say that betting on a CD in 2024 is a futile move. This is where Napulitanata‘s great analytical ability comes into play. After outlining its usual customer, understanding the age and tastes, creating a CD with recorded songs from the concert and making it available for purchase after each concert was a winning move. Two types: the concert CD and the one from the album produced by Napulitanata, the album Intrecci by M. Pasquale Cirillo, an album that combines Neapolitan songs with great classical music. (Intrecci is the debut album of the pianist Pasquale Cirillo.)

Would you have ever bet on a CD? Yes? No? The answer is not important; what’s important is understanding that if you sell that CD, it’s a winning bet!

Build a Winning Team

The strength of Napulitanata lies in its team! The musicians are all well-coordinated. Each one always does something useful, planned by President Domenico Matania and Artistic Director Pasquale Cirillo. But you don’t only need artists. As mentioned, Napulitanata is not just an artistic project; it’s also a business project. You need willing people who work on your projects. You need a good accountant to help you with complex bureaucracy. You need a press office to help you stand out in newspapers. You need a team that works with you and for you.
Napulitanata has created teams that work during concerts, in the hall, for online communication activities, and for organization.
Having a team by your side allows you to work serenely without having to do everything yourself, but the challenging part is undoubtedly understanding where everyone can excel and letting them do it! It may seem obvious, but the strength of a team lies in the leader’s ability to create it, keep it alive, happy, and enthusiastic.

Realize a European Festival

Undoubtedly, the great project undertaken by Napulitanata was the realization of a European festival. SEA and YOU was a real enterprise. Realized thanks to a European call for proposals (as mentioned before… CALLS FOR PROPOSALS, ALWAYS CALLS FOR PROPOSALS!), SEA and YOU sees the collaboration between Napulitanata, CajaGranada, and Ideal Fado. Three cultural enterprises in the traditional music sector. Three entrepreneurial entities that look beyond the music concert, whether it’s classic Neapolitan songs, Fado, or Flamenco.
Achieving a European project for a cultural enterprise in Naples is undoubtedly full of obstacles, but when it arrives, it brings immense satisfaction. Unimaginable.

To Conclude… How to Start Your Own Cultural Enterprise in Naples?

To realize your cultural enterprise in Naples, you need a few things. First, understand that not only with art but with managerial and entrepreneurial spirit can you emerge from the crowd of cultural enterprises in Naples. You must ensure you have a winning project and do it with trusted people who follow you in your crazy project and share your same follies. Because they will be follies, don’t forget it, just as it was a folly to open a concert hall for classic Neapolitan songs.

“Be hungry, be foolish.”

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By Davide Lancia