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Il ruolo dei residenti nella valorizzazione del patrimonio culturale: i siti Unesco di Matera e di Alberobello a confronto

Patrizia Battilani, Antonella Cerabona, Sabina Sgobba


This paper focuses on the endogenous dynamics among inhabitants who can promote the development of World Heritage Sites. It analyzes the evolution of Alberobello and Matera, two towns in the South of Italy added to the World Heritage List (WHL), respectively in 1996 (for the «Trulli») and 1993 (for the «Sassi»). Over the last twenty years, they have registered a quite different trend in tourists’ overnight stays, such as they welcome more or less the same number of tourists at the present, despite the fact that Alberobello is a small village with 11.000 inhabitant and Matera a medium sized city with 60.000 inhabitants. Based on three different surveys and interviews, realized between 2007 and 2012, the paper investigates the economic impact of the Unesco designation in both the tourist destinations. In addition it analyzes the representation of the «Trulli» and the «Sassi», over the whole Twentieth century, by using the electronic archive of the Italian newspaper «La Stampa». It emerges a completely different public discourse about the two towns and monuments. If Trulli had always been represented in a positive way, the same didn’t happen for the Sassi which have been considered for decades the symbol of backwardness and poorness. As a consequence tourism development took a completely different path in the two towns. The main finding is that listing on the WHL can contribute to the economic growth of a local area, provided, of course, the local community endeavours to make this happen and shares the conviction that its cultural heritage is a resource.


Alberobello, cultural tourism; Matera; residents; Unesco World Heritage List

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/rst-2014-001-batt

Rivista di Scienze del Turismo. Ambiente Cultura Diritto Economia
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (15/09/2008 n. 530)
Online ISSN 2037-7908 - Print ISSN 2037-7916

Executive Editor: Nicola Boccella - Associate Editor: Azzurra Rinaldi
Editorial Staff: Andrea Billi - Patrizia Laurano - Antonio Magliulo - Angelo Quarto
Editorial Board: Alberto Abruzzese (Iulm Milano), Victor Aquino (Universidade de São Paulo), Sergio Arzeni (Ocse), Piero Barucci (Università degli Studi di Firenze), Nicola Boccella (Sapienza Università di Roma), Michael Crang (Durham University), Anya Diekmann (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Renato Guarini (Sapienza Università di Roma), Roberto Grossi (Federculture), Han Yong Liang (Zhejiang University), Jorge Lozano (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Michel Maffesoli (Université Paris-Sorbonne), Vanda Perretta (Sapienza Università di Roma), Marina Righetti (Sapienza Università di Roma), Azzurra Rinaldi (Unitelma - Sapienza Università di Roma), Irene Salerno (Sapienza Università di Roma), Pasquale Sandulli (Sapienza Università di Roma), Manuel Valenzuela (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)