Rilanciamo l’intervista resa a Law.com International da Guido Alberto Inzaghi sulle attività prestate dallo Studio per la realizzazione delle infrastrutture sportive che ospiteranno i Giochi Olimpici di Milano Cortina 2026.
'The Whole World Is Watching': The Legal Challenges of Putting on the Olympic Games
The opening ceremonies of the 2026 Winter Olympics are five years away, but the host city of Milan is already deep into planning for facilities, logistics and permitting.
Guido Alberto Inzaghi, co-founding partner of the Milan-based real estate boutique Belvedere Inzaghi & Partners – BIP, which is advising on several Olympics-related projects, speaks with Law.com International about the challenges of organizing the global event, how priorities for host cities have changed, and why a background in public law is indispensable to practicing real estate law in Italy.
Your background is in public law, yet you have made your career in real estate—first as head of the practice at DLA Piper in Milan, and now with your own firm. How did that evolution happen?
Real estate development in Italy is very bureaucratic. You need knowledge of town planning, public-private partnerships, how the government works, and you need good contacts. It is rare at most firms to have a public-law specialist as the head of the real estate practice. But in Italy, having a good approach on the public side is very important to getting anything done.
What are some of the unique challenges of advising the developers and sponsors of global events like the Olympics?
One of the biggest challenges is the deadline. Our clients have an obligation to construct those venues and have them ready on time. The public administration has to do the same, by granting permissions in enough time for the developers fulfil their obligation.
It is also our job to work on all the permitting with the city, the region, and the Olympic committee. Firms like ours that advise on big, multiyear projects are used to the complexity. But with the Olympics, the whole world is watching to see that we hit the target.
How have the priorities changed over the years for putting on major events like the Olympics, and how has that affected the areas on which you are called to advise?
Legacy is extremely important to organizers: what are you leaving behind from the event that will last and contribute to the life of the host city. I was chairman of the Urban Land Institute in Italy at the time Expo 2015 was being planned. That world expo, on food security, helped develop a part of the city that is still being used for big events today.
Two urban projects for Milan on which we are advising are now linked to the Olympics: the development of the Santa Giulia area with construction of an arena, and the development of seven disused railway sites into housing, first for Olympic athletes and eventually for social and student use.
Sustainability is also now standard in Olympic proposals. For the 2026 Olympics in Milan, the organizers committed not to build new infrastructures just for the games, and to use existing ski runs. There will be an Olympic village in Cortina d’Ampezzo, in the mountains, but it will be built to be dismantled afterward and the materials reused.
As real estate advisors, we base our advice on the clients’ projects, and that can take us into areas – green development, for example – that are very exciting.