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.