High Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic

With the Patronage of

Presentation and New features ABSTRACT  
The event Devotional and Cultural Itineraries Tourism Exchange - The soul of Places, the Soul in places, which started in 2005 with its first edition, has decisively confirmed also in the following editions (2007 and 2009) to be able to bring together all the players (International Buyers, Italian and Piedmont operators, regional and national representatives for these areas and themes, and so on) involved or interested in this particular niche of tourism, 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.
In its first edition the Devotional and Cultural Itineraries Tourism Exchange, inaugurated at the Sanctuary and Sacro Monte of Oropa in June 2005 and lasting for four days (from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26), emphasized the link between devotional sites and their landscape through visits to the Sacri Monti of Piedmont Varallo and Orta (Educational tour reserved for international Buyers). Moreover, it coincided with the staging of thePassione di Sordevolo, a Sacred Representation performed every five years by the "Associazione Teatro Popolare di Sordevolo".
For the second edition, held from 21 to 24 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 raising awareness on devotional sites by linking them with other regional sites of historic, cultural and artistic excellence, as suggested by the Educational tour for international Buyers definitely entitled “Places of Worship, History and Art”.
At the third edition, the event asserted its reputation for quality and credibility in the regional and national panorama of events in this sector. From 18 to 21 June, tour operators from countries worldwide attended its Workshops and met organisations and operators from all over Piedmont and other provinces and regions of Italy: among this year's novelties was the presence at Oropa of buyers from Turkey, Russia, Australia and Taiwan, while attendance from the United States, China and Eastern Europe continued to be relevant.
With the fourth edition, that will be held from 23 to 26 June 2011, the Devotional and Cultural Itineraries Tourism Exchange therefore confirms its role as a BIENNIAL opportunity (fifth edition: June 2013) to highlight and promote at an international level the tourist potential, the quality and the unique nature of the sites, together with 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 sites.
Workshop, Educational and Technical Events
The themes proposed for these in-depth visits of the Educational tours reserved for International Buyers constitute the "leitmotif" which, from one edition to the next, allows the Tourism Exchange to explore every aspect of an integrated approach to the valorisation of devotional and cultural attractions. The visits, which will gradually cover all the different areas of Piedmont, aim to highlight the efficacy of using an integrated model, clearly strategic in the case of Piedmont, that links devotional sites to other attractions of outstanding cultural, historic and artistic significance, along with their landscape, environment, fine foods and wine.
Alongside the Educational tours, the event offers two main highlights. The Fair for Institutional Exhibitors, held under the monumental portico of the Sanctuary of Oropa, actively promotes the creation of a regional "network" - also of national and international appeal, as in the case of the European Association of Vie Francigene - among minor devotional sites interested in valorisation. Secondly, the WORKSHOP which aims to bring together sellers and operators from Piedmont and Italy with international buyers from all over the world. A section of Technical Meetings reserved to the Italian Tourist Offer was launched and re-proposed with increasing success since the 2007 edition. These refer above all to those sites and attractions outside traditional tourism circuits which may need "support" facilities at the Workshop.

Extract from:
Resolution passed by Piedmont Regional Council no. 21-13360 of 22 February 2010