Let's go back to talking about the Roots tourism, this time recounting the experience of an Italian reality considered a pioneer and promoter of this type of tourism. It is about Raiz Italiana, an association based in Puglia and operating throughout Italy, engaged in study, planning and promotion of the journeys of the roots.
Their work is the result of years of research, trips abroad to discover the Italian communities of South and North America. Their mission is to help Italian descendants residing abroad to connect with their origins making known the places where their ancestors lived. And, at the same time offer a different way of promote Italy in the world, with particular reference to those foreign countries in which our compatriots reside.
Over the years, Raiz Italiana has gained an important experience to the point that today supports the work of public and private entities in the creation of an ad hoc tourist offer.
THE ITALIAN RAIZ EXPERIENCE
Everything has begun from the doctoral thesis of Marina Gabrieli, carried out as part of the doctoral course "Cultural Heritage and Territory”Of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, research carried out with the support of the ENIT Office in Buenos Aires and promoted through most of the Italian Argentine institutions and associations. Marina started with the idea of investigate the feeling of belonging of the Italian descendants of Argentina, with particular reference to the trips they make to discover their origins.
In 2017 the association wins the Public Notice "PIN - Innovative Apulians"(Initiative funded by the Puglia Region, Department of Youth Policies, ARTI, European Social Fund and the Italian Ministry of Economic Development): since then, it has started to become a point of reference in Italy for root tourism. He immediately collaborated with public and private bodies in the creation of tourist offers aimed at Italian descendants residing abroad and boasts, among recent works, also a collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Today Marina became National coordinator of the project "Tourism of the roots" PNRR at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Roots tourism is nothing new but, in recent years, interest has grown a lot with interesting implications in terms of enhancing and promoting Italy and the Italian spirit in the world. Just think of the many personalities known to the general public, such as Francis Ford Coppola, Madonna, Robert de Niro, who, having come to Italy to know the places of their ancestors, have contributed to making known small villages and unknown villages, today a destination for tourists and onlookers.
In short, a phenomenon that, in addition to giving identity and answers, arousing memories and emotions to those who return, it can help revitalize entire territories, moving the local economy, promoting employment, and enhancing all the historical and cultural heritage associated with it. Today more than ever, also thanks to the work of companies such as Raiz Italiana, and probably also to the crisis we have experienced in the last two years, we are becoming more and more aware of what the tourism of the roots can represent a great opportunity to promote and relaunch Italy in the world.
Raiz Italiana, how it works
The association works with both private individuals and public bodies and offers various services.
On behalf of travelers, he is responsible for carrying out genealogical and historical-family researches that allow us to reconstruct the history and identify the place where the ancestors resided. Next, it defines a tailor-made itinerary with the support of local guides and tour operators in which various experiences and activities are often included such as tours to discover the village of origin, cooking classes, local crafts courses, food and wine tours. If there are family members residing in the country, the association can trace them to allow travelers to talk to them, exchange information and rebuild family memory. In addition, for those who want to immerse themselves in Italian culture, it also offers language courses.
Raiz Italiana also proposes training and consultancy for public bodies and companies, aimed at consolidating skills in the various sectors linked to root tourism, support the activities of local and national administrations and organize training events.
"Guide to the Italian roots: a journey in the footsteps of your ancestors "
The Raiz Italiana association has long understood the great potential of root tourism. It was there first reality to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs creating a real guide aimed at Italian descendants: "Guide to the Italian roots: a journey in the footsteps of your ancestors". It is aimed at all Italians abroad who want to know the history of their family and places of origin. It contains useful information, suggestions and advice on how to carry out research on one's ancestors, ideas on the history and phenomenon of Italian emigration and information on the historical and cultural heritage of our Italy. An interesting tool for promoting Italy in the world downloadable from the site www.rizitaliana.it or from www.esteri.it.
We just have to wait for autumn, the period in which therelease of the announcement dedicated to Roots Tourism, which, connected to the Small Villages Call, will represent a great opportunity for those Italian territories that have been affected by the huge migratory phenomenon. The agreement between the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for the launch of the PNRR Project was signed last February.
Raiz Italiana is a social promotion association aimed at all Italian descendants residing abroad who are willing to discover their origins.
PIN Winner - Initiative promoted by the Youth Policies of the Puglia Region and ARTI and financed with resources from the ESF - OP Puglia 2014/2020 Action 8.4 and the Development and Cohesion Fund.
Info and contacts: +39 328 094 1119 | Opening hours to the public: from 9.00 to 13.00 and from 16.00 to 19.00. E-mail: email@example.com