Monday 13th June 2022: An opportunity to discusss about Tourism, Cultural Appropriation and Archaeology around the ancient harbours of Altino and Torcello .

APPRODI project involved cities and territories that are characterized by ancient harbours that have always been considered marginal to cities’ development in touristic and cultural terms, thus scarcely attractive for visitors. The territorial challenge faced by the project has been to verify if and how ancient harbour sites could have a high but unused potential for economic growth as ecotourism destinations, involving community actors in cultural heritage valorization.

APPRODI main objective has been to promote and valorize cultural heritage in the Adriatic area by enhancing common and shared management and promotion tools of ancient harbours sites as touristic destinations and improving local communities’ involvement. The Venetian pilot focused on the Altino-Torcello network opportunities as a proxy to promote slow lagunar cultural routes to discover the roman harbour of Altino and its transformation in the early medieval Torcello port: the pilot verified the feasibility of a zero impact and zero infrastructures solutions for an innovative coastal and lagoon archaeological park (Torcello, Venice).

The project development demonstrates significant issues in a post-pandemic arena facing new touristic perspectives: a common top-down promotion of different ports in different geographical areas seems not to fulfil the local needs and could not provide the best environment to enhance the local stakeholder’s efforts.

The pandemic Covid19 seriously damaged and limited the action and showed a somehow lack of involvement in a standard, pre-defined and top-down designed promotion strategy. In this scenario, the identity role of archaeology is quite relevant. Thanks to the project, we understood that Archeological Heritage is Much more linked to a local community dimension when it becomes a touristic destination: local and regional tourists are mainly interested, and on the contrary, international and large touristic projects developed around archaeological sites are provoking tensions in local communities and are jeopardizing the local ecosystem.

For this reason, the University of Venice invited some of their stakeholders to discuss the role of archaeological heritage as an eco-touristic destination in the lagoon area, avoiding pre-determined assumptions about the benefits of tourism and aiming to better understand the nature of this cultural ecosystem.

For further details, please see the attachments.