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For a brand new Torre dell’Orso


Ready! After a January spent on holiday, Dentoni is making up a new look to open again to our public. On Sunday, February 6th, we’ll open our doors again for our customers and we’ll do this with a renewed furnishing; specifically, we will offer our cakes and ice creams in brand new windows, about which we are going to write a piece in a few days, once the works are done with.

We apologize with all of you for writing that we would open again on January 31st, initially, but also for the company taking care of installing our new equipment these are not easy times, among quarantined employees and exhibitions cancelled after a long preparation. ✌🏻

Today, however, we speak about a pretty unusual subject for this blog.

Usually we mind, so to say, only “our own business”. For once, we do mind the public affairs, which do not concern us as a confectionery, but as citizens of Torre dell’Orso.

The news of the collapse of a piece of cliff right under the ancient look-out tower which, after the Two Sisters rocks, is the main symbol of our marina. At present, the area of the seafront around the tower is fenced just like a construction site and marked with the “Collapse Danger” writing. Some of us, here at Dentoni, has watched the event unfold under our eyes, casually looking at the sea from our seafront terrace right around the precise moment when the piece of cliffs was finally detached and fell in to the bay.

Together with the never ending erosion of the beach, which has been stealing from us, as soon as the first north wind, from 50% to 70% of the Orsetta corner, the degradation of the cliffs goes on undisturbed, in a crescendo of damages which, in the medium term (less then 10 years), represent the most serious threat to tourism. For sure the coastal erosion is nobody’s fault, but the lack of a decisive intervention on a problem which has existed for years now is a reason for reflection….serious reflection!

From December is also the news of the interesting initiative Vivarch Aps, in cooperation with the Center for Environmental Studies and Teaching Terra Aps and and Center for Environmental Education Roca Lands (CEA in the following, for the sake of conciseness), born last October upon initiative of the Melendugno municipality. The association, together with the CEA, has already won the public opening for the management of the wooden houses in our pinewood, picked as operational center of the CEA itself and poised to hosting environmental education courses. now, Vivarch and CEA are running, in partnership with the Melendugno municipality, to the opening “Puglia: Capitale Sociale 3.0”, supported also by many an entrepreneur from Torre dell’Orso, among whom there’s also us from Dentoni. If they won the opening, they could use the funds made available by the Region of Apulia to blow wind into the sals of the projects we have joined.

The long term vision that has pushed us to trust them and to hope in their success is simple but ambitious and, as every valuable thing, not risk-free. But let us begin with an introduction about Vivarch Aps, to provide a frame their role in this project.
Their presence on the Melendugno territory is not coming from nowhere.
For the last couple of years, the organization has been managing a part of the cultural heritage of the Melendugno municipality, in partnership and upon initiative of the municipality itself, among which are the archeological park of Roca and the Poetry Cave. Anyone wishing to gather more information bout the contents offered in Roca thanks to this cooperation can do it here.

By means of strict control of accesses to the Poetry Cave, which had been subjected, over the lat few years, to a dangerously increasing anthropic and unmanageable pressure after it was featured into the list of the ten most beautiful natural pools in the world, they managed to generate a cash flow that, by the provisions of the contract, is bound to be reinvested in our territory, surely after subtracting operational expenses.
But their initiatives are not over. After Roca, they are aiming at revolutionizing the management of the Torre dell’Orso pinewood ecosystem, fortunately already the target of a scheduled environmental improving intervention. And the entrusting of the two wooden structures in the pinewood for the aforementioned courses already represent a step into the right direction.

What does this have to do with our worries about Torre dell’Orso?
It’e easy to explain: the pressure of the sea on the beach and the rocks is a natural, hardly modifiable event, that is true; but, as the experience of Roca has proven, the anthropic pressure, growing by the year, can be successfully channeled, generating earnings that can be reinvested into our territory. This should be enough to illustrate the mechanism of the virtuous cycle that we hope will be triggered in Torre dell’Orso, as it has been in Roca, so that the result can be invested into the regeneration of our beach, perhaps through stream containment solutions.

More in detail: even if access to the beach is not as easily controlled as the Poetry cave, since the beach spans one kilometer, end to end, it is not impossible to act on the anthropic pressure it is subjected to by means of an incentive system, instead of a coercion-based one.
Promoting theme-specific activities that, in exchange for a moderate expense, motivate the tourist to skirt the simple laying on the beach, for instance participating in environmental education courses or guided excursions, by sea or by land, would allow to gather the resources which are so necessary for the investments we desperately need.
Put this way, it sounds too simplistic and we are aware. But the people suggesting the initiative have already proven capable in another context. Even if the specifics of Torre dell’Orso are different and, by their very nature, make the involvement of the public way more challenging, it is also true that the amount of people flocking Torre dell’Orso is way bigger than in Roca; therefore, is a rigid control system is able to involve 100% of the visitors, who visit the Poetry Cave only once during their stay in our surroundings, a much lower conversion rate could certainly finance the initiatives for Torre dell’Orso It is easy to provide rule of thumb estimates. We know that visitors converging on the Poetry Cave every day are several hundreds. Let us assume they are 500. All of them pay. Way more than a few hundred tourists populate the beach in Torre dell’Orso on every given summer day. Let’s assume there are 10 times as much. Therefore, a conversion rate of 10% would be enough to grant a similar result, in financial terms. Notwithstanding the fact that such activities could involve also local people.

Is this ambitious? Sure! Is it worth? In our opinion it is, because the ambition to build something significant underpins every success we achieve in our lifetimes and, without attempt, there is hardly any result. After 40 years of history, we can claim to know something about this.

We’ll write again in a few weeks to speak about our recent investment.
meanwhile, thanks for reading us and good luck to the Vivarch boys, whom we’ll keep supporting.

Mirko Serino and Franz Panarese

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