Developing IRT Approach in the Area of Central Southern Sicily Through Governance and Strategic Planning

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The paper presents a case study concerning the development of IRT approach in the area of central southern Sicily, the ample portion of territory surrounding Agrigento and its Archeological Area known as “The Valley of Temples”. This has been inscribed in the Unesco List of World Heritage in 1997, due to the fact that Agrigento was one of the greatest cities of the ancient Mediterranean world, and it has been preserved in an exceptionally intact condition. Its great row of Doric temples is one of the most outstanding monuments of Greek art and culture.Despite this uncommon characteristic, touristic development in the area is still latent and the “Valley” has become somehow a bulky presence, more than a resource for development.Any hypotheses of touristic development in this area has been mortified by the bulky presence of the “Valley of the temples”, that has assembled on itself every attention of the operators, who seem to found every hypothesis of tourism development in the area upon the wrong idea that the “Valley”, more than an unique resource, is the only resource of the area. Coherently, the rest of the territory and the same city of Agrigento have little appeal for tourists, who perceive the Valley as the only motive for visiting Agrigento, "a pearl" set in a non suitable context, while a lot of deserving areas of great interest are nearly unknown.Instead, the wide area surrounding Agrigento – which on the coast goes from Sciacca to Gela and can include the minor islands Linosa and Lampedusa, and in the inside goes up to Grammichele, Caltagirone, Armerina Plaza, Enna, Caltanissetta, S. Angel Muxaro, Caltabellotta, Racalmuto, while – own a cultural and natural heritage rich of tangible and untangible assets potentially functional to the development of new types of tourism, which can re-launch these inland areas, through the re-discovery of their authenticity and local identity: •small prehistoric archaeological areas and Hellenistic-Romans riuns, Palaces and Castels, abandoned sulphur mines which constitute today forms of industrial archaeology, fascinating landscapes and farms in the rural territory, sites of naturalistic interest, and other testimonies of merit;•unique local productions;•a tradition of quality in arts such as literature, theatre, music, singing, picture, sculpture.This area of Sicily is historically identified with the cultivation of wheat and the extraction of sulphur. By the mid of last century, with the decline of the former and the abandonment of the latter, these territories have been experiencing a progressive but constant loss of value and economic wealth,with the consequent loss of identity. As it often happens to areas experiencing such a decline, the loss of values, practices and customs has led to the abandonment of an important number of buildings - both in the historical centre of small villages and in rural areas -, some of which are of undeniable historical and architectural value.The Integrated Relational Tourisme (IRT) Model can contribute to activate those micro-centralities in close connection to agriculture, craftsmanship, small industrial enterprises and family businesses and all the existing activities in the area founding on the principles of the capillarity and subsidiariety.Public and private actors are working out a strategic planning aiming at the creation of synergies among: •Integrated projects of agricultural development, together to the expansion and the retraining of the tourist offer of the rural territories. •Politics of development and search in the sectors: energy, refusa
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine9
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2010


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