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Sublime Tourism and Political Conflict on the Slopes of Vesuvius in the Early Nineteenth Century

Dates:
  • Wed 08 Feb 2017 15.30 - 17.00
  Add to Calendar 2017-02-08 15:30 2017-02-08 17:00 Europe/Paris Sublime Tourism and Political Conflict on the Slopes of Vesuvius in the Early Nineteenth Century

HEC Colloquium Between December 1826 and October 1828, more than 2,300 people from 130 different locations in Europe and the Americas signed the visitors book to Vesuvius, kept at the Hermitage of San Salvator, half way up the volcano. Who were they? What were they doing there? What does their journey tell us about mobility, travel, tourism, Mediterranean society and politics in Restoration Europe? This paper argues that, although most visitors shared the view of their visit as a form of sublime tourism and the expression of romantic friendship, this did not constrain them from engaging in ferocious political and national quarrels on the mountain. As the evidence of the visitors book reveals, travellers to the volcano were not primarily in Naples for their leisure, but because of political, economic, military and strategic interests in southern Europe. Accounts that place this travel within a teleological narrative that traces tourism from the aristocratic grand tour to bourgeois tourism and culminates in the mass tourism of Cook and Stangen are woefully inadequate, not least because they treat a certain sort of leisured traveller as exemplary, and isolate recreational travel from other social practices. Using the evidence of the visitors book we can get beyond the misguided search for the category ‘tourist’ as an identity, and see tourism as a performance with complex relations to everyday life

Sala degli Stemmi DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala degli Stemmi

HEC Colloquium Between December 1826 and October 1828, more than 2,300 people from 130 different locations in Europe and the Americas signed the visitors book to Vesuvius, kept at the Hermitage of San Salvator, half way up the volcano. Who were they? What were they doing there? What does their journey tell us about mobility, travel, tourism, Mediterranean society and politics in Restoration Europe? This paper argues that, although most visitors shared the view of their visit as a form of sublime tourism and the expression of romantic friendship, this did not constrain them from engaging in ferocious political and national quarrels on the mountain. As the evidence of the visitors book reveals, travellers to the volcano were not primarily in Naples for their leisure, but because of political, economic, military and strategic interests in southern Europe. Accounts that place this travel within a teleological narrative that traces tourism from the aristocratic grand tour to bourgeois tourism and culminates in the mass tourism of Cook and Stangen are woefully inadequate, not least because they treat a certain sort of leisured traveller as exemplary, and isolate recreational travel from other social practices. Using the evidence of the visitors book we can get beyond the misguided search for the category ‘tourist’ as an identity, and see tourism as a performance with complex relations to everyday life


Location:
Sala degli Stemmi

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Lecture

Speaker:
Prof. John Brewer (California Institute of Technology)

Organiser:
Prof. Luca Molà (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)
Corinna Ruth Unger
 
 

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