News from Italy

Corongiu e Ortelli

ANCIM president Mario Corongiu, mayor of Sant’Antiocco, and island of Giglio mayor Sergio Ortelli at the EXPO MILANO seminar

28 of the small Italian islands are united in ANCIM (Associazione Nazionale Comuni Isole Minori), founded in 1986, representing 36 municipalities with 200,000 islanders, and a key member of ESIN.

A matter of vital importance to the ANCIM and a matter of the heart of ANCIM’s general secretary Giannina Usai is health services on the small islands. This autumn, ANCIM and ANSPI, Associazione Nazionale Sanitaria Piccole Isole (, which is an NGO for health care on small islands, organised a joint seminar at EXPO MILANO on Isole Minore – Un Mare di Meraviglie (A sea of wonders), focused on island healthcare organisation, e-medecine and mobile health services.

Ancim 180915

Italy has recently established a National Observatory for the Health of the Smaller Islands and published an official guideline for healthcare on the smaller islands. Italy’s President Sergio Mattarela personally awarded doctor Nino Scirè, founder, a medal on the ANSPI congress on one of the Egadi islands: Favignana, west of Sicily, in september this year.

Nino Scirè

Doctor Nino Scirè

Italians seem to have a clear view of the disadvantages of small island societies. In the thoroughly elaborated UNESCO “Action Plan for the Aeolian Islands” (, north of Sicily, it is clearly stated that the islands have:

…“a lack of financial means or difficulty in the access to credit; insufficient abilities in terms of marketing; technological competences often not suitable; impossibility to effect economies of scale and economies of purpose; and scarce share to associative forms and excessive individualism.

To these structural characteristics of the system of entrepreneurship present in the islands it is added the cost related to the insularity, defined as the whole the economic disadvantages that the resident unities in the islands bear because of the over-cost of the importations.

The economic disadvantages that burden the Aeolian islands can be brought back to three categories: costs of transport, costs of distribution and costs of production.”

Sophia Loren could have been talking about small islands when she said: “Sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got.”

Islands of Sicily map

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