Tangible and intangible cultural heritage is a testament to human creativity and the foundation for a civilisation’s identity. Cultural activity is tasked with safeguarding and promoting people’s traditions as well as creating and bringing innovation to the forms of expression befitting every single individual. For this reason, it dissociates from any temptation to impose strict cultural models.
(Culture agenda 21, Principles)
LOCAL TURISM AND CITIZENS
Local tourism, with its evident potential in terms of growth, seems to constitute the main driving force behind any private and public attention given to cultural heritage and landscape conservation, though we believe the inhabitants of a location should in themselves be reason enough for its enhancement, in terms of local community as well as a means for increasing tourist flow.
CONVEYING THE TERRITORY’S VALUE
Running on parallel tracks destined by tradition not to meet, culture and productive life – and the public and private sectors – form the tapestry of today’s society, which can be developed further only if the capital of knowledge and know-how held by its inhabitants is allowed to circulate and fuel innovation: remembrance of the past and the understanding of our present are mutually reinforcing, translating cultural heritage into contents intended for this century’s citizens.
Museum networks, cultural asset networks, cultural districts: established realities
Museum networks and cultural asset networks have by now become well established in Italy, and there are also networks of networks, such as the Innovative Regions Network in Europe and Eurocities. Networks are a prerequisite for the development of a Cultural District. The difference between an arts city (like Florence or Venice) and a Cultural District can be reiterated as follows: mass tourism and profiting from cultural heritage are the former’s main focus, while the interconnection between innovation, creativity, appreciation of environmental and cultural heritage, cultural and/or technological advancement and qualified forms of entertainment is at the heart of the latter.
Hollywood and Bollywood – but on a smaller scale Rome, the Chianti region and the Langhes (also of interest for their evolution from a food and wine district to a multi-sector cultural district) – are all examples of Cultural Districts.
The Museum Network
“Terre dei Malaspina e delle Statue Stele” – “The land of the Malaspinas and of Stele Statues” is a project designed by the Province of Massa Carrara to guide citizens and visitors in the discovery of the territory’s museums.
By participating in a Provincial Museum Network, museums housing precious historical, artistic and cultural documents become an active part of a joint plan aimed at coordinating and strategically improving their visibility and content. The network helps users in the province of Massa and Carrara to orient themselves during cultural visits by offering the constant support of a comprehensive catalogue. “Reading” and “discovering” a territory through its unique features and treasures is possible today thanks to communication tools present in every museum and pertaining hamlet: plaques and totems geared toward enhancing visitors’ experience and their knowledge of this unique landscape and its illustrious history. One that the network has brought back to light with dignity.
The project is co-financed by the Region of Tuscany as part of the 2008 – 2010 Integrated Culture Plan.
The museum card is available in all museums and ensures, through the visit to at least 8 among the network’s museums, the opportunity to receive free of charge a complete set of system gadgets.
The basis for the Strategic Communication Plan is the concept of Learning Region (the territory/local learning system) which translates into generalised learning processes in the territory (that is, the forms of knowledge production and promotion in every usage) as a cohesion and sustainability factor, an essential component for promoting the territory.
We love and promote what we know: museums, parish churches and castles are expressions of different eras and a part of our identity, through which we are able to recognize our own surroundings.
To activate and promote such a depository of memory, we must:
Make evident, through a combination of tools (texts, images, digital instruments), the relationship between historic, architectural and artistic sites and artefacts and the context in which they were produced;
Reinterpret identity, reading it in light of its changes, so that appreciation of the past and memory are not conducted through nostalgia and by refusing modernity;
Reweave the threads connecting tradition with productive activities, not only in pursuing resources but by reconstructing the local productive culture (for example the commerce routes, agricultural and dietary traditions, transport history and so on);
IDENTITY AS A COMPETITIVE RESOURCE
1. from identity to image, to perception: interpreting the potential of demand and ensuring positioning;
2. tourism as a tool for recovering, revitalizing and re-elaborating the territory’s resources through culture;
3. tourism as a tool for strengthening the immaterial wealth and feeling of belonging to a territory through territorial marketing;
4. no longer planning in terms of “sustainable tourism” but rather considering the contribution tourism can give to sustainable development;
5. hospitality as a system: an interaction between locations and people
6. welcoming tourists and encouraging them to stay: a challenge for all to develop a shared hospitality plan uniting public bodies, operators and residents;
7. coming up with methods of involving the local community and increasing the public’s awareness