Culture is a powerful and unique driver for economic and socio-cultural development. But in Italy nowadays the absence of systemic and integrated vision of cultural sector brings economical and social benefits which are non adequate to the fields potentiality. Starting from this premise, the paper focuses on the cultural sector in Italy and identifies a interpretative model of local development activated by culture, based on the relationships between heritage, intangible capital and cultural and creative industries. The model contributes to highlight from one hand the relationship between cultural sub-sectors, to the other hand the economic and cultural market spillovers that are determined within the cultural borders and in related sectors. In this perspective, the paper provides also guidelines and policy implications to operators and policy makers to support - through tangible and intangible cultural capital - the urban regeneration and development of the territories.