The Generali Group is actively involved in initiatives whose aim is to conserve and support the artistic and cultural heritage of the communities where it operates. Of these, Venice is a place of foremost importance, given the strong historic and spiritual ties that have linked the city and Generali for 185 years.
The company’s partnership with Venice Gardens Foundation in the restoration of the Royal Gardens aims to reconstruct and make available an important element in the history and art of the area around Piazza San Marco not only to the inhabitants of Venice but also to visitors from around the world. Piazza San Marco is a unique place and Generali is involved in a series of initiatives whose objective is to honor its past and safeguard its future: the restoration of the Royal Gardens marks the beginning of this journey.
Generali’s presence in Venice dates back to 1832 when, one year after the Group was founded in Trieste, an office was opened in the Procuratie Vecchie building, located on Piazza San Marco.
The Group’s history rapidly became intertwined with the history of the city, with many events that bear witness to these links.
In 1848, leading individuals in the company embraced the cause of the Republic of Daniele Manin, a hero of Italian unification. In the midst of the struggle for unification, the company chose to use the lion of Saint Mark as its symbol, rather than the Habsburg eagle.
Further evidence of the close ties existing between Generali and Venice can be seen in the posters made for the company between 1926 and 1938 by the outstanding poster artist Marcello Dudovich and in scores of historic photographs: in one from 1867, Giuseppe Garibaldi celebrates newly-unified Italy, standing at the windows of Procuratie Vecchie, while a crowd gathers below in the square; in another we see the initials AG carefully composed on the ground, as they were every day until 1974, by the company’s doormen when they spread seeds for pigeons. There is a photograph of the Fortuny tapestries with which Procuratie Vecchie was decked on important occasions; others of famous guests, such as one of Charlie Chaplin, shown on a visit to the company; yet others of the large gondola of the company’s nautical circle opening the historic regatta on the Grand Canal as well as images of many other events promoted by Generali.
Generali continues to be present in Venice in its offices in the Procuratie. For many years it has supported Fondazione Cini and the Fenice Theatre. Venice continues to express the Group’s spirit of internationalism and multiculturalism.
With the project to restore the Royal Gardens, Generali has once more interpreted its role as a patron of the arts in an innovative way. It has set itself the objective of sharing a unique heritage with the community in which it operates, confident that safeguarding and honoring culture will stimulate growth and development.
The Generali Group
Generali is an independent, Italian Group, with a strong international presence. Established in 1831, it is among the world’s leading insurers, present in over 60 countries with total premium income exceeding € 70 billion in 2016. With over 74,000 employees in the world, and 55 million clients, the Group has a leading position in Western Europe and an increasingly significant presence in the markets of Central and Eastern Europe and in Asia. In 2017 Generali Group was included among the most sustainable companies in the world by the Corporate Knights ranking.