At ISSIMO, we have a special relationship with the sea. Perhaps it’s because it’s such a natural extension of Italy. Maybe it’s the idea of what it represents: unfathomable depths and boundless possibilities – the promise of adventures and sunny days.
Or maybe it’s due to the fact that our three real-life counterparts– Il Pellicano, La Posta Vecchia, and Mezzatorre – all exist alongside it, constantly reminding us how inspiring and plain beautiful crystal blue waters can be.
Raffaella Giugni: Thanks for the interest in what we do! In a nutshell, our main mission is to safeguard our seas and their ecosystems. Most people might not realise it, but the sea covers 70 percent of our planet’s surface, produces 50 percent of its oxygen, absorbs one third of CO2 emissions responsible for climate change, and represents percent of the world’s inhabited territory. Simply put, it plays a pretty major role in providing a support system to life as we know it. When the oceans are at risk or in poor health – and they certainly are right now – we are at risk too. Marevivo hopes to correct that, or at least be an integral part of the movement fighting for solutions.
RG: We look at the different issues affecting our seas and develop programs, awareness campaigns and projects to tackle them. When we first established Marevivo, 37 years ago, we were the first association in Italy, and maybe Europe, to get people involved in beach cleans – at the time, plastic and trash were the more obvious problems affecting our coastlines, so that’s where we invested our initial efforts.
Over the years, we’ve expanded our reach. We often collaborate with schools and companies and have been advocating for the introduction of specific laws to safeguard the sea. For the past four years, for instance, we have been working on the Legge Salvamare (literally, ‘Save the Sea’ law), a legislation passed in May that allows fishermen who accidentally retrieve plastic from the sea through their nets to bring it to land.
RG: The Sciò family has been involved with Marevivo from the very beginning. They were some of the first to join our beach cleans and show their support. The “Adopt a Beach” partnership came about last year when we launched this project. We worked with the staff to clean three beaches around the three hotels and trained a few appointed employees on how to keep protecting and safeguarding the local coastline. Pellicano Hotels Group also gives guests the opportunity to make donations to Marevivo at the end of their stay, if they so wish, which has been a tremendous help.
RG: I’m glad you asked! Today, Marevivo is opening a photography exhibition titled ‘The Living Sea” at the Natural History Museum in Venice. It features stunning underwater images by Hussain Aga Khan, a marine photographer and fellow oceans advocate. If anyone needs any further convincing of why we should protect our seas, these photos will be it. Do visit if you’re in Venice – it runs until 11 September.
For more on Marevivo’s work, visit marevivo.it