High Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic

With the Patronage of

Presentation and New features ABSTRACT
The Devotional and Cultural Itineraries Tourism Exchange - The Soul of Places, the Soul in Places, which THIRD EDITION will be held from 18 to 21 June 2009, aims to bring together all the players (international buyers, Italian operators, institutional representatives for these particular areas, etc.) involved or interested in this particular niche of tourist activity, which brings millions of people every year to famous and less famous sites all over the world, for reasons ranging from profound faith to the desire to combine moments of inner serenity with opportunities for cultural discovery. The Devotional and Cultural Itineraries Tourism Exchange therefore confirms its role as a BIENNIAL opportunity (fourth edition: June 2001) to highlight and promote at an international level the potential openings for tourism, the quality and unique nature of the sites, and the cultural and leisure attractions available when visiting and staying at places of worship in Piedmont and Italy, focusing in particular on the lesser-known attractions.
Introduction to the Third Edition
In its first year the Devotional and Cultural Itineraries Tourism Exchange, inaugurated at the Sanctuary and Sacro Monte of Oropa in June 2005, emphasised the link between devotional sites and the landscape through visits to the Sacri Monti of Piedmont (Educational tour reserved for international buyers). Moreover, it coincided with the staging of the Passione di Sordevolo, a mystery play performed every five years, that will be held again in 2010.
For the second edition (June 2007), in the wake of the success of “Olympic Turin”, which confirmed the inclusion of Turin and Piedmont in the international cultural tourism circuit, the emphasis was laid on the theme of valorising devotional sites by linking them with other regional sites of historic, cultural and artistic excellence, as indicated by the Educational tour for international buyers entitled “Places of Worship, History and Art”, which is confirmed for the 2009 Edition.
According to this policy, the themes proposed for these in-depth visits reserved to buyers - which will gradually cover all the different areas of Piedmont - aim to highlight the efficacy of using a model of integration that links devotional sites with other attractions of outstanding cultural, historic-artistic, landscape-naturalistic significance, and also with fine foods and wine. Clearly, such a model is strategically important if applied to Piedmont as a whole, but could also be “exported” to other Italian regions.
Workshops and Technical events
It has already been mentioned how the themes used for the Educational tours reserved for International Buyers constitute the “leitmotif” that, from one edition to the next, allows the Tourism Exchange to explore every aspect of the integrated valorisation of devotional and cultural attractions. Alongside the Educational tours, the event offers two main highlights. The Fair for Institutional Exhibitors, which is held in the monumental portico of the Sanctuary and this year will be given greater national scope, above all in the form of “networking” between minor sites interested in the valorisation theme. Secondly, the WORKSHOP that aims to bring together tourist operators from Piedmont and Italy with international buyers from all over the world, and that will be held, for the 2009 Edition, in view of a forthcoming event of international significance, the Ostension of the Holy Shroud in 2010.