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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to introduce a method for analysing a specific kind of contemporary tourism positioned between two different traditional customs: visiting museums and going to pilgrimage sites. The case studies provided are focused on Italian shrine museums where it is difficult to ascertain whether visitors are cultural tourists or pilgrims or a combination of both. Regardless, the tourist flows and networks created by Italian shrine museums can provide promising elements for local development. Four case studies that are representative of different regions in Northern Italy and have specific features in common have been chosen: shrines dedicated to the Holy Virgin; museums that exhibit different types of objects; and smaller museums and shrines.

The case studies are the Shrine of the Madonna delle Grazie in Garessio (Piedmont), the Madonna del Bosco Shrine in Imbersago (Lombardy), the Madonna della Misericordia Shrine in Genoa (Liguria) and, the Santuario delle Grazie in Rimini (Emilia Romagna). Each of the case studies is significant not only for how it illustrates both the different ways in which shrines and museums can be connected, but also how they impact on the cultural enhancement of the territory. The method we illustrate also makes it possible to evaluate different kinds of connections between other tourism institutions and experiences, with the aim of introducing well-defined actions capable of enhancing tourist experiences elsewhere.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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