Museo Diffuso dei 5 Sensi Sciacca Cooperativa di Comunità Identità e Bellezza, Italy

Transforming individuals from passive spectators to inhabitants through an inclusive and bottom-up tourism innovation project managed by a community no profit cooperative.

Region: Sicily


Type of organisation leading the larger local innovation ecosystem

Civil Society

An inclusive and bottom-up tourism innovation project managed by a community no profit cooperative, which has become, in only two years, a community network with more than 55 engagement agreements. A big community engaged in building its own future responsibly.

Main challenges related to cultural tourism

The overall objective is to create an aware and competent community able to develop with its own hands its territories and connect it with buyers, consumers, and influencers alike in the cultural heritage and tourism industries to generate value-added markets using the uniqueness of the area: people and the “beauty” of the place where they live. We are aiming at:

  • Transforming individuals from passive spectators to inhabitants aware of their value and of the interconnection between them and the territory in which they live.
  • Creating a destination that can attract tourists all year and can develop in a sustainable way by benefiting everyone
“For Sciacca 5 Sensi Circular Cultural Tourism is about becoming aware of the resources we already have, of their value and, without creating anything new, enhancing them to create valuable and sustainable touristic products and services through a connected and competent community.”
Photo by Antonino Carlino

Current strategic planning

The whole project aims at using existing resources in a responsible way:

  • enhancing of existing resources, such as pre-existing buildings;
  • enhancing of the knowledge local people own and sharing of identities through meaningful storytelling and experiential, transformative and emotional tourism;
  • undergoing the process of using less plastic and reducing the use of resources.

Ideas and future perspectives

The overall outcome is that the whole community grows and develops in a horizontal, sustainable, responsible, and circular way through Horizontal Economy, Circular Economy, Responsible Tourism and Sustainable Tourism.

Two main steps:

  1. linking everyone who lives in the area and facilitating the awareness process about the resources available and how they can be responsibly exploited;

  2. start positioning the destination in tourists minds and ensure the destination is working as an ecosystem

Cultural heritage asset description

Museo Diffuso dei 5 Sensi Sciacca

The territory of Sciacca has an immense heritage of history, art, archaeology, landscape, crafts, architecture, agriculture, food and wine, environment and traditions that has the right to be rediscovered, protected, and valorised.

The goal is to create awareness of its value, stimulate action to make it usable through storytelling and create an economy in which useful and ethical are no longer in opposition—the Economy of Beautifulness.

The focus is on the identities and the competencies of the people living in the area. Day by day, as more people get involved in the project, new ideas, stories, experiences, and projects come up to narrate the history, traditions, and cultural heritage. They become resources that, transformed through storytelling and experiences, benefit the whole community.

Type of cultural heritage


Specific goal related to the selected asset

The vision is to create a community that is engaged for a sustainable and responsible development of its territory. An engaged community is able to guarantee viable long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities, and contributing to equality and poverty alleviation. The aim is to generate awareness, valorise, and make the cultural heritage available to tourists, whom they call and consider temporary citizens.

Europeanisation: linkages between local heritage and European history and culture

The tangible and intangible cultural assets are an expression of all the European and Mediterranean countries who conquered Sicily over history: the culinary culture, traditions, Sicilian language (recognized by the UNESCO as a language and not only a dialect) and architecture.

Photo by Ambra Favetta

European and international Cultural Heritage recognition(s)

  • The town of Sciacca is part of the Phoenicians’ Route, which is a “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” certified in 2003.
  • Additionally, among the identities they are valorising are found the Carnival and Anchovy and Sardines processing and conservation tradition, which are part of the REI (Registro Eredità Immateriali – Register of the Intangible Heritage (link) of the Sicilian Region.
  • Food and the traditions tied to it are also one of the key assets they are working on, and Sciacca, a town on the Mediterranean in south Sicily, is one of the cradle of the Mediterranean Diet, heritage-listed among the UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage (link).

Ongoing projects and best practices

The project connects people meaningfully and uses existing resources in a responsible way. To create a tourist destination, they did not build any new places or attractions. Instead, they connected different individuals among the community, who share the objective of living well in the place where they were born, and they valorised existing resources and made them available to visitors. The experience offered is based on the knowledge local people own, and to share their identities, few other resources are needed.

Photo by Davide Verderame