For a country like Italy, with its thousands of years of history, the relationship between tourism and history is a rather complex one: and this relationship is linked in an indissoluble manner with the question of how the concept of “heritage” is to be defined. In fact, even if we were to accept Lowenthal’s somewhat provocative observation that “heritage should not be confused with history”- History seeks to convince by truth....Heritage exaggerates and omits, candidly invents and frankly forgets..” – it is difficult to imagine tourism utilising history without some prior understanding of the concept of heritage. In the Italian case, at least two other factors need to be borne in mind. Firstly, there is the nation’s omnipresent cultural heritage accumulated over the course of centuries. A heritage the awareness of which has tended to mature in a cyclical fashion: paraphrasing Lowenthal once more, it could be said that in Italy, heritage has always existed everywhere. The Italian question confirms, amongst other things, Harvey’s claim that “heritage is not specific to the modern world since every society has had a relationship with its past” . Proof of the interest in the nation’s cultural heritage prior to the bourgeois revolution is provided by the fact that the first laws safeguarding the said heritage were emanated by the Papal State in the 17th century. The second factor concerns the roots of communal tradition, as expressed in the creation of a local heritage, its relationship with national identity not always being easy to define. We shall be bearing the aforesaid problems in mind when dealing with the utilisation of history in the promotion of Italian tourism in the 1950s and ‘60s, that is, during a period in which Italy finally managed to complete its industrialisation, while at the same time setting itself up as a capital of European tourism, together with neighbouring France.

Historical Tradition and Americanisation in the Promotion of Italian Tourism after the Second World War

BATTILANI, PATRIZIA
2008

Abstract

For a country like Italy, with its thousands of years of history, the relationship between tourism and history is a rather complex one: and this relationship is linked in an indissoluble manner with the question of how the concept of “heritage” is to be defined. In fact, even if we were to accept Lowenthal’s somewhat provocative observation that “heritage should not be confused with history”- History seeks to convince by truth....Heritage exaggerates and omits, candidly invents and frankly forgets..” – it is difficult to imagine tourism utilising history without some prior understanding of the concept of heritage. In the Italian case, at least two other factors need to be borne in mind. Firstly, there is the nation’s omnipresent cultural heritage accumulated over the course of centuries. A heritage the awareness of which has tended to mature in a cyclical fashion: paraphrasing Lowenthal once more, it could be said that in Italy, heritage has always existed everywhere. The Italian question confirms, amongst other things, Harvey’s claim that “heritage is not specific to the modern world since every society has had a relationship with its past” . Proof of the interest in the nation’s cultural heritage prior to the bourgeois revolution is provided by the fact that the first laws safeguarding the said heritage were emanated by the Papal State in the 17th century. The second factor concerns the roots of communal tradition, as expressed in the creation of a local heritage, its relationship with national identity not always being easy to define. We shall be bearing the aforesaid problems in mind when dealing with the utilisation of history in the promotion of Italian tourism in the 1950s and ‘60s, that is, during a period in which Italy finally managed to complete its industrialisation, while at the same time setting itself up as a capital of European tourism, together with neighbouring France.
Touring the Past. Uses of History in Tourism
58
72
P. Battilani
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/68310
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