Firstborn of the European Cultural Itineraries (1987), the Way to St. James is today a milestone in terms of policies aimed at the conservation of heritage and sustainable tourism development. Since the generic term “Way” is used for all the Jacobean routes that from South to North, from East to West, cross the Iberian Peninsula, the analysis here proposed will refer to the French Route, itinerary subject of the international recognition. The first news of a Way of Pilgrimage linked to the Loreto’s sanctuary dates from the early thirteenth century. In the following decades, the increasing flow of pilgrims is channelled along one of the major main roads of the Papal States, the one that comes from Rome along the ancient Via Flaminia to Foligno, then crossing the Apennines to the height of the step Colfiorito and arriving at Ancona through the valleys of Chienti and Potenza. This route takes the name of Via Lauretana, linking the holy cities of Rome and Loreto. Along this guideline signs of Marian devotion are increasing and the transport infrastructure and accommodation necessary for the pilgrimage have been created, especially since the sixteenth century (Croce, Di Stefano, 2014). By means of a multidisciplinary and comparative approach based on a SWOT analysis, the project aims at examining the social and cultural identity of places and peoples, of food production linked to the farming activity, and of local activities such as handicraft and manufacture. Its starting point is the awareness that heritage has a flywheel effect in terms of promoting an innovative cultural tourism that activates forms of gentle mobility and is committed to the fruition of diffused cultural heritage and landscape. As far as the Way of St. James is concerned, the study scrutinizes the growth of the last decades, especially after the Jacobean Holy Year in 1993. Since then, its richness of cultural, ethnographic and landscape resources stood out. Such versatility has enabled an endogenous economic development of the crossed territories, also thanks to European structural funds. The contribution presents a balance of the realized policies that, although did not always reach the desired economic dynamization (Santos, 1999, 2006), have restored the identitary elements of the Way, among them the slow pace (Lois, Santos, 2011). Concerning the Via Lauretana, the research regards the process which has been started to achieve its European recognition; moreover, it is focused on the analysis of the cultural resources that will be part of the network. Particular attention is paid to the role of Loreto as a gateway to the territory for the promotion of diffused cultural heritage and local socio-economic development. Nowadays, the Way of St. James is a multicultural and multi-confessional itinerary, along which a new typology of post-secular pilgrimage is taking shape; while the Via Lauretana preserves the pattern of a religious pilgrimage. In spite of this, both are instrument of a territorial development and valorisation, in line with the evolution of the concept of Cultural Heritage that has been expressed at national and, especially, at international level by organisms such as ICOMOS, UNESCO, the European Council and the European Commission. From the point of view of sustainable development, they are strong identitary elements and precious cultural resources. Because of this, they represent a factor of attraction within a planning process that connects and enhances its excellence by networking two routes that are part of a complex system. This one would originate social and cultural benefits, the search for authentic experiences and the sense of places along the routes.

The Way to St. James and the Via Lauretana: a comparative analysis of the social, cultural and territorial effects

CERQUETTI, MARA;COLTRINARI, FRANCESCA;NICOSIA, ENRICO DOMENICO GIOVANNI;
2015

Abstract

Firstborn of the European Cultural Itineraries (1987), the Way to St. James is today a milestone in terms of policies aimed at the conservation of heritage and sustainable tourism development. Since the generic term “Way” is used for all the Jacobean routes that from South to North, from East to West, cross the Iberian Peninsula, the analysis here proposed will refer to the French Route, itinerary subject of the international recognition. The first news of a Way of Pilgrimage linked to the Loreto’s sanctuary dates from the early thirteenth century. In the following decades, the increasing flow of pilgrims is channelled along one of the major main roads of the Papal States, the one that comes from Rome along the ancient Via Flaminia to Foligno, then crossing the Apennines to the height of the step Colfiorito and arriving at Ancona through the valleys of Chienti and Potenza. This route takes the name of Via Lauretana, linking the holy cities of Rome and Loreto. Along this guideline signs of Marian devotion are increasing and the transport infrastructure and accommodation necessary for the pilgrimage have been created, especially since the sixteenth century (Croce, Di Stefano, 2014). By means of a multidisciplinary and comparative approach based on a SWOT analysis, the project aims at examining the social and cultural identity of places and peoples, of food production linked to the farming activity, and of local activities such as handicraft and manufacture. Its starting point is the awareness that heritage has a flywheel effect in terms of promoting an innovative cultural tourism that activates forms of gentle mobility and is committed to the fruition of diffused cultural heritage and landscape. As far as the Way of St. James is concerned, the study scrutinizes the growth of the last decades, especially after the Jacobean Holy Year in 1993. Since then, its richness of cultural, ethnographic and landscape resources stood out. Such versatility has enabled an endogenous economic development of the crossed territories, also thanks to European structural funds. The contribution presents a balance of the realized policies that, although did not always reach the desired economic dynamization (Santos, 1999, 2006), have restored the identitary elements of the Way, among them the slow pace (Lois, Santos, 2011). Concerning the Via Lauretana, the research regards the process which has been started to achieve its European recognition; moreover, it is focused on the analysis of the cultural resources that will be part of the network. Particular attention is paid to the role of Loreto as a gateway to the territory for the promotion of diffused cultural heritage and local socio-economic development. Nowadays, the Way of St. James is a multicultural and multi-confessional itinerary, along which a new typology of post-secular pilgrimage is taking shape; while the Via Lauretana preserves the pattern of a religious pilgrimage. In spite of this, both are instrument of a territorial development and valorisation, in line with the evolution of the concept of Cultural Heritage that has been expressed at national and, especially, at international level by organisms such as ICOMOS, UNESCO, the European Council and the European Commission. From the point of view of sustainable development, they are strong identitary elements and precious cultural resources. Because of this, they represent a factor of attraction within a planning process that connects and enhances its excellence by networking two routes that are part of a complex system. This one would originate social and cultural benefits, the search for authentic experiences and the sense of places along the routes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11393/217128
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