The third edition of the international festival dedicated to tourism and cultural heritage takes place in Santa Maria Novella’s Palazzina Reale and Palazzo Coppini (via del Giglio 10) from November 21 to 23, organized by the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation and the Life Beyond Tourism – Travel To Dialogue Movement. Cultural heritage, travel, the environment and dialogue between different communities in relation to the theme of tourist mobility will be at the center of the three days of talks, workshops and events. The format takes an innovative and interactive approach created by Movimento Life Beyond Tourism which aims to promote and enhance cultural heritage in all its forms.
The topics will be explored through cultural storytelling, scientific panels and practical case studies, enriched by cultural events such as film screenings, concerts and exhibitions. Free entrance for many events opens the doors to students, researchers, teachers and all those interested in issues relating to heritage and travel, with a particular focus on climate change and cultural diversity.
Participants come to the city from all over, including Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Japan, Nigeria, Taiwan and Ukraine. As part of the festival, a “phygital” exhibition by Luoghi Parlanti® will be set up in Palazzina Reale, consisting of a series of panels equipped with NFC/QR codes that give insights into cultural itineraries.
Corinna Del Bianco of the Scientific Committee elaborates: “The main purpose of the festival is spreading the values that we carry forward as a foundation in line with the UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity and the New Urban Agenda — Quito Declaration. We believe that culture and cultural diversity are resources for the enrichment of humanity capable of consistently contributing to sustainable development. This year, we tackled the topic of tourism head on…Mobility in its extreme availability or deprivation as a consequence of extraordinary events, climate emergencies and conflicts, proves to be an aspect at the basis of both undertourism and overtourism. Mass mobility impacts the environment through emissions, excessive consumption of resources, and the production of waste. Furthermore, it affects social and cultural balances, representing a challenge for communities subject to tourism and influencing the possibility of enjoying the nature and culture of a place.”
Ahead of his talk about the future of overtourism and cultural heritage on the third day of the festival, Carlo Francini, UNESCO Site Manager for the City of Florence, commented, “Unique occasions sometimes offer inspiration, such as piazza dei Tre Re, in which we regenerated a neglected space in the center, between via Calzaiuoli and piazza della Repubblica. Based on an initiative by Angeli del Bello, it was transformed into a welcoming place. Similarly, in regard to the reopening of the Vasari Corridor, it was suggested to move the exit of the Uffizi Gallery to the Boboli Gardens, thus offering a completely new perspective and a solution to the well-known critical issues presented by the current exit.”As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Florence has had a management plan since 2005, renewed in 2022, which indicates that some heritage sites are to be made more accessible. Francini continues, “Everyone wants to see the same things, it’s true, just as it’s true that we always say the same things. A reservation system for the most visited sites should become the norm, particularly for access to the most popular museums. An Italian example is Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan. Do you want to come to Florence? You have to think about your trip in advance. If you don’t have the chance to see those museums, you will go to see something else.”
3.30pm – Festival opening (free)
6.30pm – Inauguration and visit of the “phygital” exhibition Luoghi Parlanti (Talking Places – Conscious Territories and Itineraries) at Palazzina Reale SMN (free)
8.30pm – Opening evening with the conference-show Homo turisticus Evolution by Prof. Duccio Canestrini. The entertaining and informative event explores current tourism (15 euro). Tickets on Eventbrite.
9.30am – Learning journey, 1st session: Heritage and Tourism at Palazzina Reale SMN (free)
3.30pm – Cultural storytelling, 1st session (free)
6pm – Prime Meridian of Wine (2016), a docufilm on Georgian wine production and its traditions in the presence of director Nana Jorjadze, followed by a tasting of Georgian wines.
9.30am – Cultural storytelling, 2nd session (free)
2.30pm – Learning journey, 2nd session: The future of overtourism (free)
7pm – Screening of the film Genius Loci by Matteo Faccenda, attended by the director, diving into the evolution of the Genius Loci concept.
8.30pm – Jazz trio from the Cherubini Conservatory. To follow Spendid Tunes and the Amazing Grace Voices, Nigerian Yoruba music (free)