Botticelli's Venus has become an Italian influencer — for the worse

The Italian Ministry of Tourism is under fire for promoting the country with a campaign, which has been (almost) unanimously frowned upon.

The initiative is called (in a strange language combination) “Italy open to meraviglia”, meaning “wonder”. “Hi there, everybody. My name is Venus,” the ad’s digitally altered protagonist announced on her Instagram. “But that’s something you probably already know. I’m 30, ok maybe just a wee bit more than that… And I am a virtual influencer. What does that mean? Well, I’ll take you with me on a journey around Italy to visit its most fantastic places and venues.”  


The campaign was first launched on Youtube on the 20th of April 2023, then on Instagram, before being deleted. In La Repubblica, the Culture Secretary and art critic Vittorio Sgarbi said: "Given that Venus is naked, it would have been better leaving her like that, instead of altering her appearance, as Ferragni does" — a nod to the influencer Chiara Ferragni


In addition to the campaign itself, the € 9 million spent on it has also strongly been criticised. Not to mention that Il Fatto Quotidiano revealed that many of the illustrations came from image banks and that the campaign goes as far as including... Slovenian landscapes.