NAPLES, ITALY - 16 OCTOBER 2020: Valeria Fascione (53), Campania's minister for internationalisation, start-ups and innovation, poses for a portrait in Naples, Italy, on October 16th 2020. She is the only regional minister in Italy with such a role, she says, proudly stating that Campania now has Italy's second-fastest growth for start-ups.
In the past few years Naples been fostering a growing community of tech start-ups and app creators. What has really changed the game for Naples' tech scene is Apple's recent arrival in the city. In 2015, Apple opened its Developer Acamdy in Naples, in conjunction with University of Naples Federico II, where students spend a year training to be developers, coders, app creators and start-up entrepreneurs.
And where Apple goes, others follow. In 2018, networking giant Cisco opened its own networking academy in Naples.
The hope is it will change not just Naples' reputation, but also its fortunes and so reverse a brain drain that's seen many of the city's young graduates leave to find jobs in the more prosperous north of Italy, or even abroad. Naples, and its region, Campania, is part of the Mezzogiorno (southern Italy and Sicily) which lags behind the rest of the country in terms of economic growth. Here the youth jobless rate was above 50% in 2019, among the highest unemployment rate in Europe.