Have a laugh at us…

(Update: the Alexa graph should display correctly now)

… while I’ll be banging my head against the wall for a while.

Today, the Italian Government officially rejected a formal request for information from a gathering of professionals and citizens who would like to understand why we have spent a whopping 75M$ (yes, that’s millions) for italia.it, our official national gateway for tourism, launched with a huge fanfare a few months ago. I’m not surprised: it would be highly embarrassing to explain why it took us the cost of a brand new Boeing 737-800 to come up with such an abominable example of poor web design, even poorer content and arguable usability.

I have to say that every time the stupid Italian portal makes the news, I have shivers down my spine and I feel the urge to grab a pickax and start a revolt. Just consider how our beloved website (blue) is faring on Alexa when compared to the national tourist sites of Britain (red), France (yellow), Spain (green) and Switzerland (black):

(Yes, even Switzerland – with all due respect – is kicking our butts as of late)

My cardiologist is probably happy about my ignorance of German and Chinese, as I guess my blood pressure would jump to unforeseen levels if the current translations are on par with the following gem fresh from the English version of the site (emphasis mine):

At the first glimpse of sunshine you rush out to buy a new bathing costume? You instinctively spout poetry in front of Parmigiano Reggiano? In that case, you are truly in love with Italy. And that’s an excellent reason for registering on Italia.it. We’ll get to know you know you better and understand what you like best about our country.

(from http://www.italia.it/wps/portal/en_enroll)

Now, nevermind my rants: please, do pay a visit to our portal. Given the sheer amount of money we wastedinvested, at a very least I would love to be paying less than 1$ per page view. Given the numbers, I think it will take quite a while.