It's April 2017 and time for the Giornale dell'Arte, which reports on the worldwide rankings of the most visited museums in Italy, to assess its data for 2016. The title may initially seem worrisome: "Crisis for European Tourism", however brightens up with a surprise ending "but not in Italy".
“Parisian museums experience a decrease, the Tate Modern and Metropolitan see an increase. In Italy Turin and Milan grow stronger."
An example? The Grande Museo del Duomo di Milano, which ranks in the top five most visited museums in the city and in the top 35 nationally with 302,499 visitors, up since 2015 according to the census conducted by the editorial staff of the "Giornale dell Arte" and "The Art Newspaper". In terms of welcoming international visitors and in the name of a new reception strategy that is in keeping with new visitor requirements, the Veneranda Fabbrica, with Expo 2015, opened itself up to a wide public, diversifying its languages and investing in technology so as to keep up with the tools of the third millennium.
In fact, the Giornale dell’Arte describes how the rebirth of cultural tourism begins with widespread projects and social networks, even involving the smallest entities, which may then be shared. Within the context of innovative and youthful policies, Italian museums are increasingly keeping up with technology and launching digital campaigns, hashtags like #creaturefantastiche featuring monsters, unicorns, and gargoyles with a Gothic and medieval look; and organizing "National Days" with increasingly varied and imaginative themes like the Landscape, Poetry, the smile, happiness, and water. Efforts to raise awareness via social networks and in the fight against terrorism are encouraged, given that, as stated by President el-Sisi of Egypt in February, museums and culture play a fundamental role in counteracting the disastrous effects of terrorism on the economies of affected nations.
Within this context of transformation and ongoing social evolution, the Grande Museo del Duomo di Milano has developed numerous ideas for visits and activities for families and children, like "A Night at the Museum", "Mystery at the Museum", "Father's Day #social”, and “Treasure Hunt”; modern art exhibits have been set up within the newly renovated Chiesa di San Gottardo in Corte, creating a relationship between Faith, Art, and History. Supplementary services have been introduced, such as "Askme", employing specific personnel and still active today, which serves to inform visitors about the rules and regulations regarding access to the monumental complex and to distribute informational materials. But this is just the beginning of the journey which the Veneranda Fabbrica has undertaken, a journey which envisions a future focused on the awareness that genuine development and true wealth can only be the product of cultural communication and open access to the world's ethnic, religious, and cultural heritage.