The Way of St. James, the network of routes to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, embodies the metaphor of the ‘path’ – in a proper as well as a figurative sense – of spiritual growth, slow and meditated, undertaken by the believer. Such routes have been travelled for centuries, and are so even today, using different means of transport, touching and ‘consuming’ human and environmental resources on the way. Over the last decades, the massive increase in pilgrims and the ‘widening of supply’ to serve them – considered as simple tourists – by the towns and territories on or near the various itineraries, fit the more general phenomenon of the consumption and spectacle of historical architecture, villages and landscape. This paper aims at tackling the dual concepts of preservation/consumption, taking the Abruzzo region as a relevant example because of its dense network of ancient and modern routes, cultural and sacral, covered by travellers and pilgrims, inspired – owing to background and culture – by different expectations and emotions, but united by the idea of the journey as a fundamental moment in their lives: the opportunity for an independent quest, crammed with active social participation, from which they return enriched. The identification and preservation of the tangible and intangible heritage of cultural and sacral itineraries in the Abruzzo region, collide with a reality poised between oblivion, resistance and consumption.

Road Travellers and Pilgrims in Abruzzo. Ancient and modern routes between oblivion, resistance and consumption

S. Ciranna
2019-01-01

Abstract

The Way of St. James, the network of routes to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, embodies the metaphor of the ‘path’ – in a proper as well as a figurative sense – of spiritual growth, slow and meditated, undertaken by the believer. Such routes have been travelled for centuries, and are so even today, using different means of transport, touching and ‘consuming’ human and environmental resources on the way. Over the last decades, the massive increase in pilgrims and the ‘widening of supply’ to serve them – considered as simple tourists – by the towns and territories on or near the various itineraries, fit the more general phenomenon of the consumption and spectacle of historical architecture, villages and landscape. This paper aims at tackling the dual concepts of preservation/consumption, taking the Abruzzo region as a relevant example because of its dense network of ancient and modern routes, cultural and sacral, covered by travellers and pilgrims, inspired – owing to background and culture – by different expectations and emotions, but united by the idea of the journey as a fundamental moment in their lives: the opportunity for an independent quest, crammed with active social participation, from which they return enriched. The identification and preservation of the tangible and intangible heritage of cultural and sacral itineraries in the Abruzzo region, collide with a reality poised between oblivion, resistance and consumption.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/138219
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