A social budget is based on the principle of responsibility towards the community, and it takes into consideration all the multiple direct and indirect effects upon the territory of the activity generated, not merely in terms of material wealth, but also ethical values and positive relations with people at home and abroad.
As is well-known, the Rossini Opera Festival produces a notable economical, commercial and touristic income besides enhancing the image of the region, all of which catches and holds public opinion. In fact, the Festival has always been considered a typical case of productive investment in such an immaterial property as music. And yet this subject, though politically correct, conceals
a trap: the idea that, in the field of culture, everything that fails to produce profits and is, therefore, not self-supporting, must belong in the sphere of the superfluous, the hedonistic and, above all, the privately sponsored. Something which we could well do without in difficult times. But this is not the case. Fortunately, there exists a different kind of riches, no less important than the other kind, consisting of immaterial wealth, which the Festival produces and sustains, and which constitutes a patrimony of social values that are spread around the territory until they come to be a part of collective consciousness and of local custom.