Heritage: Lands that gave us famous Authors

Instinctively we are attracted to places that have associations with great personalities. We attempt to solve enigmas of famous figures by following their steps and exploring the places they visited, were born in, died, liked, hated, returned to…. Is it an attempt to touch their halo? Is it a search for rare and exquisite period items, domestic and decorative objects? Whatever the answer, the travel industry cares about such interest. The section “Heritage” in this issue analyses writers’ museums as tourist products. Dante, the greatest icon of Italian literature, spent his life in Florence (his native city), Verona and Ravenna, where he wrote the Divine Comedy and where he died. But how much of Dante can a tourist find if one wishes to trace the great life there? James Joyce, a Dubliner, spent most of his life outside of his native country, but the capital of Ireland is full of associations with the author, his time and his characters. Several properties, organisations and the Irish Tourist Board joined their efforts and created a stylish and sophisticated tourist product. Florence and Dublin are powerful magnets for tourists. But what if a writer’s museum is located “in the middle of nowhere”? The National Trust of England demonstrates that it is possible to combine attractions of wild nature trails, romantic estates, old country pubs with the name of a famous author to make a unique tourist product.


«I Come to Bring you to the Other Shore» – How the Greatest Italian Poet’s life is Mapped on tourist routs

Justin N. Froyd

The core of medieval Florence and more specifically the area between the church of Saint Martino and Piazza dei Donati, was the 13th century location of the houses of the Alighieri family, as reported in many old documents. At the beginning of the 20th century, after several studies and researches, the Municipal Administration ordered the building of a house to celebrate the place of birth of Dante. Today, the building is the seat of the House-Museum of Dante, which was reopened to the public o...

With Dublin at Heart

Denise Chen

More has been written about James Joyce than about Shakespeare. The eldest son of a spendthrift who brought his large family from prosperity to poverty without relinquishing his standards, Joyce was educated by the Jesuits at Clongowes Wood College, one of the finest private schools in the country, until the money ran out. He was then offered a free place at Belvedere College in the centre of Dublin to continue his secondary education. He entered University College in 1898, having lost his Catho...

The Fair Country of Pygmalion

Laura Maudlin

The tiny Hertfordshire village of Ayot St Lawrence is hidden away in the depths of the countryside, though only an hour or so away from the middle of London. Shaw wrote that it was a 'twelfth-century village where the last thing of real importance that had happened was, perhaps, the Flood'. There are several suggested meanings for 'ayot': the most logical is that it means a 'gap' or an 'island' and even these days, when it rains heavily over the winter and the single-track approach roads flood...