18 June 2018

Heritage of memories – learning tourism in the mountains

Thanks to the collaboration underway in the Italian Mountain Lab – FISR project, special supplementary research fund for the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), headed by UNIMONT-University of Milan in partnership with the University of Eastern Piedmont and the University of Tuscia, there was an important conference dedicated to “learning tourism” on 22nd and 23rd June 2018 at Borgomezzavalle, as part of the IV Festival dell’Immateriale.

Tourism is an extraordinary resource for the development of mountain areas, capable of enhancing mountain communities and combating depopulation and loss of local amenities. New forms of tourism have been developing for some time according to principles of sustainability and responsibility which require the capitalization of cultures and the joint work of public and private stakeholders. This leads to a form of tourism that constitutes a real “learning tourism”, which brings tourists closer to nature and integrates them in the cultural dimension of a territory.

The conference, promoted by the University of Eastern Piedmont, by the Associazione Musei d’Ossola and by the Municipality of Borgomezzavalle, is part of the Italian Mountain Lab project events and has involved three universities.

The University of Eastern Piedmont was represented by the Dean Cesare Emanuel, who presided the morning session; Raffaella Afferni, Antonella Capriello, Carla Ferrario with “Heritage, communication and highlands, communication models for learning tourism”; Cesare Emanuel, Stefania Cerutti, Luigi Gaido with “Interaction with the territory: learning tourism in the highlands” Guido Lingua with “Roots and memories: understanding the specifics” and Maria Cavaletto with “The cultivation of hemp between tradition and modernity”. During the afternoon session, chaired by Roberto Barbato, Edoardo Tortarolo, Daniela Piemontino, Davide Porporato, Gianpaolo Fassino spoke about “Rediscovering and communicating mountain knowledge: a historical and ethnological reading of alpine tourist guides”.

The University of Tuscia was represented by Gianluca Piovesan, Stefano Poponi, Michela Picarozzi, Alessandro Ruggieri, Dean of the University of Tuscia, with a contribution regarding “Ecotourism: strategies and opportunities for development“.

As coordinator and scientific manager of the Italian Mountain Lab project, Anna Giorgi of UNIMONT intervened at the conference talking about “Italian Mountain Lab: a national project to transform the territorial and cultural resources of the mountains into added value” while Luca Giupponi presented “The botanical trail of Mount Cavallo: a UNIMONT proposal for the enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage of the Orobie Mountains”, a project that stems from the desire to promote tourism through a floristic heritage which is unique in the area.

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