Civic monitoring report
STECCA , an Incubator for the Enhancement of Local Traditional Craft Activities.

Sent on 16/03/2023 | By Team ASOC in English 2023 | @ old_youngmills

What we found out

Project objectives

The project started on the 7th July 2013 and was financed by the European Regional Development Fund ,which amounts at € 1,416,943.38, then completed on the 14th of December 2015 (Payments monitored € 1,416,943.38) within the Programming area 2007-2013 EU Structural Funds and ROP CONV ERDF CAMPANIA.The Entity involved , the planning and implementing body was the Municipality of TORRE DEL GRECO (a quite big town near Naples, Southern Italy) , concerning the theme of ENTERPRISES' COMPETITIVENESS .Its aim was the requalification of a dismissed urban area, the MMM ,Molini Mediterranei Marzoli, chosen in order to enhance local traditional craft activities. The PRIORITY was to promote Social inclusion and services for improving quality of life and territorial attractiveness.In addition, the GENERAL OBJECTIVE focussed on encouraging an inclusive society and ensure safety working and living conditions . Besides, as a SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE it aimed at the quality and equity of social and work participation through greater integration and accessibility of social protection, care and reconciliation services, and training, learning, and employment systems, with particular attention to equal opportunities and anti-discrimination actions.

Foreseen activities

According to the Municipal Council Resolution N.402 , the preliminary project was approved on the 8 July 2013 and it foresaw the RECOVERY AND REFUNCTIONALIZATION OF CONTAINER "M" in the area of MMM -MOLINI MEDITERRANEI MARZOLI- to build an INCUBATOR FOR THE ENHANCEMENT OF LOCAL TRADITIONAL CRAFT ACTIVITIES - INTERVENTION NO. 4 ROP CONV ERDF CAMPANIA 2007/13 - ( see the municipality act enclosed) . The project included all design documents, specifications, the architectural and system design together with the economic plan.

Project origin

In 2017 the Head of Municipality and its Council, launched a public call to assign the area of MMM to a no profit organization in order to create a hub, a business incubator inside the Stecca area.The call was won by ASCOM ( a Commerce,Tourism and Business association), thanks to its worthy project (see the report enclosed), which had a great impact on the territory since it matched together all the existing local businesses, including the traditional arts and crafts for the coral manufacturing and fishing activities. Then the monitored project was designed by the co-founder and a team of professionals, who worked out by taking inspiration from other similar world realities. Thus, they planned a project that surely sounds ambitious and challenging, but completely fitting the community needs from different points of view, in accordance with the principles of sustainabilty ( the goals of agenda 2030).


Mainly the whole community benefits, but in particular, Stecca hosts and assists aspiring entrepreneurs and many start-ups, supporting them from their birth by guiding them through the development of a business plan to their success. Youth of all ages, youngers as both children and teenagers, university students, may access the Stecca facilities and services . Stecca is an incubator where new ideas develop and are swapped, thanks to the collaboration between apprentices from various sectors,and people who decide to invest time and talent for the economic and entrepreneurial development of the territory itself. The daily activities are constantly in progress.The main role is the'front office,' i.e., information and consulting services for citizens and businesses. From 2019 to 2021, Stecca has seen a 57% increase in counselling service through training courses as well . Today Stecca includes several start-ups, whose co-founders have been interviewed by the Asoc Team. .


The European Fund has surely helped the planning and the fullfillment of the requalification, since the investigated area belongs to the historical roots and traditions of local inhabitants. Historically, Torre del Greco is a town , located in a famous archeological site, close to Pompei and Herculaneum, where Tourism industry is predominant. The importance of this town has also been due to the Coral manufacturing for all ages. The so called " coralline" were the boats, that everyday left the harbour and sailed fishing or picking coral, for arts and crafts manufacturing. This old tradition is still today alive .Both coral and shell artefacts are widespread all around the world. For this reason the need of joining the" old and new", the "past and present" is the main purpose of the project planners, optimizing local resources. From this idea, the name of the Asoc team originates: The old mills are the MMM, Molini Mediterranei Marzoli and the young ones, stand for the youth of The Gen Z.


All the administrative actions for the definition and requalification of the area have already been concluded. The restoring works have been completed for an area of 900 square mt. as it previously planned.


The team has decided to explore the area and check if the premises of STECCA (900 square mt )are really suitable and fit for the services offered to the local community. So The co-founder takes the scouts of the Asoc team all round, showing the Co-bar , a meeting place for everyone who joins there for co-working or just have a cup of coffee and have fun together. The indoor offices host the start ups, the rooms for meeting and training courses, an information office at the entrance as a reception point. The building looks comfortable and nice equipped with some hand-made colourful furniture , provided with recycled materials, adequate to young and "less"young people. A cosy and friendly atmosphere can be breathed all around, so that you can feel like home. Particular care is given to green energy, thanks to the installation of solar panels, even if they are not powerful enough to satisfy the needs of the whole structure. The interviewed startuppers cohabitate in perfect harmony and balance with each other. To check how well Stecca services are known by the citizens of Torre del Greco, the team has launched a survey inside the secondary school, Liceo Gaetano De Bottis. The results may be seen in the enclosed link . In all , the majority of the audience questioned, male and female students, under and over 18, unfortunately are not informed about Stecca, only a minority meets at the co-bar.


It is not well promoted and known in the local area of Torre del Greco, despite its stakeholders ' attempts to make the audience aware of Stecca's action through public regional events (Giffoni Innovation Hub and SMAU Campania) and monthly open events.


The project has reached its goals: The incubator plays its social, cultural and economic role. Its impact on the community is quite positive . Besides, it is a useful help for innovative start ups, for job training, as front and youth information office, as a place of co-working, as inclusive meeting point, offering free counseling service to everyone asks for support in building up a business plan. As a result of our monitoring process, we could notice that the Stecca has undergone an evolution process by widening its initial aims and addressees, focusing the attention not only on the traditional and local small companies and artisans, but also on the new technological world.


A few risks may occurr. The lack of local awareness of the vital importance of Stecca's services, unfortunately not well promoted at present , might reduce the number of visitors and customers, getting the stakeholders gradually to fail.

Ideas and solutions

First, as far as the environment and urban requalification is concerned, more funds are needed to complete the whole area and to implement new technological systems in order to foster green energy and make seawater cleaner. Safer places all around the Stecca building, the ones overlooking the sea, should be restored and sanitized by the Municipality, to create an eco-friendly environment. By doing so, tourism and lifestyle for local inhabitants could improve a lot.
Secondly, an informative campaign should be launched so that there will be many advantages for everyone. Schools might be involved and take active part in Stecca's events, aimed at students' training and acquiring new life skills, competencies as well.
A promotional idea might be to arrange temporary exhibitions, street markets for special events, interactive games and competitions to attract the citizens of all ages. Territorial events organised by the teams (Mercatorre /swap party see the poster enclosed)

Results and Impact of the monitoring

Dissemination of results

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Team blog / website


  • Architect, Municipality of Torre del Greco
  • EU Funds, Municipality of Torre del Greco

Contacts with media outlets

  • Blog or other online news outlet
  • Other

Contatti con le Pubbliche Amministrazioni per discutere i risultati del Monitoraggio

  • Concrete promises

Description of the case

More inhabitants are joining the public events at Stecca. More students are informed about the youth info-point. The START-UPs inside the incubator are offering their services and help-desk to school projects and training.
PCTO / stage or counseling aimed at the definition of a business Plan for a new start- up.New European funds have been asked to complete the requalification of the area within a huger Plan of the whole Vesuvian area, together with the local archeological sites.

Investigation method

How was the information collected?

  • Web research
  • Visit to the project's location, documented by pictures or videos
  • Interview with people responsible for the project's planning
  • Interview with the users and/or final beneficiaries of the intervention
  • Interview with other types of people
  • Interview with political leaders

The people interviewed are as follows : Architetto D'Angelo , urban planner and Council Manager Mrs. Ottaviano, both at the Municipality of Torre del Greco. At Stecca, we met the co-founder Mrs G.Esposito, project designer of the incubator, the startuppers, Mr.Andrea Speranza for Zeronetto (an educational platform for gaming addressed to children), Mr.Luca Vitiello for Aquamaro ( producer of Liquer "Bitter"Amaro del Vesuvio" with sea water , flavour of apricots and broom flower scent) and Mr. Charles Gray for Convox ( ex Minerva Academy ,school of English).

Main questions

Interview Question 1: Mr D'Angelo, architect : Will there be other architectural projects regarding unused and redeveloped buildings?
Interview Question 2: Mrs Esposito, Stecca's co-founder : Has there been an evolution of the project over time and did the European funds serve and cover all the expenses for the redevelopment project?

Main answers

Interview 1 Answer: For the Molini Marzoli, a series of activities are underway, planned by the local government with the municipal counselor, for which there are additional funds for the construction of facilities such as a high school specializing in nautical studies and the creation of theater-like spaces for the community, as well as other spaces managed by the university for research on coral and cameos, which are the main features of Torre del Greco.
Interview 2 Answer : Definitely, yes. The redevelopment project led to the creation of a structure of about 900 square meters, which is divided into spaces dedicated to training, coworking, and business offices for our startups. Initially, there was certainly a particular focus on the economic activities of Torre del Greco. Today we can say that our ecosystem extends to the Vesuvius area; so we no longer talk only about crafts in the strict sense, but also about innovation in a transversal way. In our long-term project, there is the goal of becoming a technological center, so to include spaces dedicated to immersive reality and technology transfer, and to think more and more innovatively and position this incubator as a reference point for the Vesuvius area.