The cultural and creative production system in ItalyThe Italian Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Craft and Agriculture (Unioncamere) and the Symbola foundation use the definition "cultural and creative production system” to analyze the financial impact of arts and culture in Italy. The system combines two different components. The first, defined as the “core” market, includes those activities that are strictly related to the arts and cultural industry. The second, the so-called “creative-driven” market, looks at the economic contribution of creative and cultural professionals operating in industries not directly linked to arts and culture. In 2021, the value added generated by the cultural and creative production system in Italy totaled roughly 88.6 billion euros, experiencing an annual increase but not catching up yet with pre-pandemic levels. In the same vein, employment in the Italian cultural and creative production system grew by less than one percent in 2021 over the previous year, remaining way below the figure reported in 2019.
When focusing on the “core” market of the cultural and creative production system, the following seven industries are considered: architecture and design, communication, musical and audiovisual, books, printed media and publishing, video games and software, museums and similar cultural institutions, and performing arts. In 2021, the value added of the video games and software industry in Italy reached nearly 14 billion euros, rising by 11.5 percent compared to 2019. By contrast, the value added of museums, libraries, and similar cultural institutions fell by roughly 388 million euros over the same period.