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Lucca and the potential of European Cultural Routes

The opportunities that the Forum and the Itinerary Program offer to our territory

The Forum of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, to be held in Lucca from 27 to 29 September, will be an important opportunity to reflect on the progress of the Program and its prospects.
One of the most important issues to be discuss between tourism-cultural operators who will arrive in Lucca will be the impact of the routes on the various territories and whether and how they contribute to sustainable development and the diffusion of knowledge and dialogue.
The Itinerary Program is in fact, also a great laboratory for the creation of new tourist and cultural products that can contribute to the knowledge of the territories and their development.
Some of the itineraries have become sources of innovation, wealth and value of territories, even distant from the great tourist routes, as in the case of the Santiago de Compostela Way.
The growth of Santiago has greatly contributed to the rediscovery of a sector such as the Roads and Environmental Tourism today among the most popular, as evidenced by the development of the Via Francigena.


Other routes are still at an early stage, but it is clear that many of the European Guides in recent years suggest trips that are just about the European cultural itineraries.
Of this current and of these laboratories, the territory of Lucca, for its history and its heritage, in some cases is part of the matter, in others it can be fully entered. Lucca has  been for centuries one of the most important stages of the Francigena Via, known all over Europe, for the presence of an important symbol as the Holy Face. Through the Francigena it is linked to walkways such as those of Santiago and San Martino to which the Cathedral is dedicated.


The area offers important examples of the Romanesque style of the Romanesque Route as well as a great tradition in vineyard cultivation (Iter Vitis) and of the Olive Tree (route of the olive tree).
As well as having important spa centers such as Bagni di Lucca and remarkable examples of Art Nouveau architecture (Reseau Art Nouveau Network).
The period of domination by Elisa Bonaparte has marked cities and territories, giving a small break in what was the effect of the Napoleonic adventure in Europe. In this sense, Lucca has a unique heritage that would allow it to become fully-fledged in the European Federation of Napoleonic Cities gathered by the Destination Napoleon Route as well as to develop tourist flows from France and other countries achieved by Napoleonic experience.

Likewise, the period in which Lucca was the capital of the Longobard Duchy of Tuscany with its legacies, such as the parchment collection kept at the Archbishopric Archives (Unesco heritage), places it in the rediscovery of an important historical period for the peninsula. A process that has yielded significant and significant fruits: the establishment of the "I Longobardi" network in Italy. The places of power (568-774 AD) inserted in Unesco; the application of the Longbard routes across Europe to the Council of Europe route; the opening of the exhibition "Longobardi. A People Changing History "at the Castello Visconteo in Pavia from 1 September to 3 December 2017, which will then move to Naples and the Hermitage of St.Petersburg.
Entering European networks can bring opportunities for promotion to the territory and its riches as well as collaborations to realize cultural and tourism projects that can attract funding, visitors, even more important events in a difficult time that has also put our test territory.