The construction of a powerful digital identity for the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo in Milan began in 2011 with the creation of a Facebook fan page about Milan Cathedral and various international cultural projects designed to offer the millions of visitors and all the people of Milan the extraordinary opportunity to become more closely involved with the Cathedral, a place of worship culture and art, and provide everybody with information about all the major renovation/restoration works carried out on the Cathedral for over 600 years.
The editorial project, specially created and updated daily for various social media channels, is focused around the emotional bonds tying ordinary people to the Cathedral.
The upgraded Facebook page about the Duomo di Milano is more performance-driven as part of a content-based marketing strategy designed to be both informative and edifying. The aim is still to make the history of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo more relevant and current and inform users about all the restoration and building work going on by drawing on a storytelling approach (a story about the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo’s historical background from its beginnings to the present day).
The editorial content is translated into English, so the main purpose of every picture included in the various creative formats is international recognisability.
The webpage is becoming increasingly popular and can already boast a very high engagement rate in its category.
The highly successful project carried out in partnership with Pietro Madaschi (whose photos are posted on the website: www.360visio.com) and the Municipality of Milan to create 360° panoramic photos inside the whole of the Milan Cathedral’s monumental complex turned out to be a key means of engagement: the interiors and exteriors of the Cathedral, the Terraces, the Duomo Museum, the archaeological area and the Church of San Gottardo in Corte.
This technique takes visitors off to a different place, often either unfamiliar or inaccessible, completely immersing them in a virtual rendering of the inside of the location being photographed and totally engaging them both visually and emotionally through a digital exploration of the setting, without forgetting the possibility of zooming in and looking around as if they were actually there. This creates a new kind of interactive vision providing clear and comprehensive information. High-quality panoramic images project a full “visual sphere that catches the eye and intrigues the onlooker.
Evidence of this passionate engagement can be seen by the astounding success of the 360° photo posted on the “Duomo di Milano – Duomo Cathedral” Facebook fan page, hashtag #Duomo360, on 22nd November 2016, taken from the unusual perspective of the pulpit on the Cathedral’s main altar.
There had already been 417,669 viewings within two days, hitting a peak on 27th December 2016 with a maximum coverage of 1,099,652 users. So far, a total of 12,561,121 tourists and worshippers have viewed the picture, posting 665,874 likes, loves and wows and over 100,000 comments from all over the world and over 111,000 shares.
This is just one small step towards future goals in terms of growth and incorporating the cultural heritage in communication projects, but it does reveal the potential of new media and technological tools in relation to the civic-social role that all our monuments, museums and parks could serve.
The Cathedral of Milan is one of the most distinctive landmarks of the city and its inhabitants, a frame around a picture painted through the endeavours, enjoys and struggles of people through the ages.
Innovation should be a means of social inclusion and a way of making public culture open and accessible to everybody.