Version classiqueVersion mobile

Middle Ages without borders: a conversation on medievalism

Tommaso di Carpegna Falconieri
Pierre Savy
Lila Yawn

b) Touring the Middle Ages

1) Middle Ages, tourism and cultural routes

Alessio Innocenti

Texte intégral

1Last year was the thirtieth anniversary of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe. It is interesting to note that some of these cultural itineraries refer to important medieval pilgrimage routes; this is the case for instance, with “St. James’ Way” and the “Via Francigena.” Both itineraries have experienced a growth in the number of tourists in recent years. Their success is due to two main factors: firstly, they are slow-tourism products, different from those for mass tourism; secondly, they are presented to the public as authentic experiences, strictly connected to the ones lived by medieval pilgrims centuries ago. In my paper, I seek to explain why it is not possible to assimilate medieval pilgrims with modern tourists and the ways these cultural and touristic projects use the Middle Ages as an element of attraction for tourists. While for a medieval man a pilgrimage was a journey undertaken mainly for religious motivations, a modern tourist decides to set out for different reasons, such as the desire to escape from the daily routine or the opportunity to visit cultural heritage sites. Furthermore, the idea of reconnecting modern tourists with medieval pilgrims and the importance of the authenticity of these experiences seem to suppose a clear dichotomy. The fast modern world is contrasted with the quieter and more peaceful medieval period, a time when it was possible to face a long journey on foot in order to visit important sanctuaries and churches.


Sapienza Università di Roma

© Publications de l’École française de Rome, 2021

Licence OpenEdition Books

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search