Religious tourism has experienced a strong growth in recent years. It represents a complex and articulate phenomenon, in which the reasons and proposals related to the devotional and personal sphere are combined with a series of innovative opportunities that help reach a depth knowledge of a territory. The religious motive often means that pilgrims travel along specific routes to visit a number of shrines or even to complete lengthy itineraries. Increasingly, purely religious motives are becoming mixed with more secular forms of religious tourism, which often centre around specific religious sites. In this perspective, faith itineraries can be interpreted as drivers for territorial development able to evaluate the resources, the peculiarities and the identity of each place. This justifies and motivates the increase of several important initiatives which aim to make a significant contribution to the enhancement of cultural heritage and local development. Many of them are related to the most famous European cultural routes. As regard the Via Francigena, various projects are being hatched, highlighting some ‘minor’ ways of pilgrimage: this is what is currently happening in Piacenza Valleys, in the north of Italy, the case study of the research presented in this paper.



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