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L'Italo-Americano THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014 www.italoamericano.com 2 Imagining Italy in the late 19th century, it was a Country extremely rich in natural and - most of all - artistic treasures, yet many of them were still unknown or unavailable to the large public both national and international. In 1894, the Italian Touring Club was founded by a group of for- ward-looking entrepreneurs with the aim of conveying positive values relating to travel and tourism. The non-profit organiza- tion also collaborated to realize many important and innovative initiatives, such as the creation of cycling lanes, the installation of tourist signs, or the proposal to establish National Parks. Thanks to its intervention, less known Italian regions were appreciated and unveiled for foreign tourists to enjoy, and some of the first thematic guides and maps of Italy were published. By the 20th century, the TCI had become a prestigious institution recognized as a partner and advi- sor by the Italian Public Administration, and ever since it has continued to grow and evolve to move with the times. For example, with the advent of the Internet the Touring Club started a series of new web-based pro- jects, creating a virtual communi- ty for the members to share infor- mation and their travel experi- ences. This year, the Touring Club cele- brates its 120 anniversary: a longtime commitment to promot- ing tourism by helping preserve the Italian artistic, historical, and cultural heritage. On this special occasion, its mission and activity are spotlighted in the exhibition "In viaggio con l'Italia" (Traveling with Italy), organized by the City of Milan and on view until May 25, 2014. Through multimedia and interactive instal- lations it showcases images and memorabilia from the TCI's his- torical archive, illustrating the transformation of the means of transport and ways of travelling Italy, from the bicycle to the air- plane. But it also enters the culi- nary, artisan, and folkloristic dimension of our Country to 120 years of the Italian Touring Club in the name of quality tourism Continued from page 1 highlight the outstanding crafts and raw materials that lie behind the great success of Made in Italy worldwide. Other interesting initiatives of the Italian Touring Club include "Aperti per Voi" (Open for You), that allows to visit cultural venues usually closed to the pub- lic, and "Penisola del Tesoro" (Treasure Peninsula) to discover beautiful and little known inland areas. With over 280,000 subscribers, the TCI has always offered to its members a large network of experienced consultants, useful resources, and advantageous ser- vices to discover and travel Italy. A new loyalty card and a dedi- cated web site providing georef- erenced information available on tablets and smartphones have recently been added to the list of benefits. After all these years, the main objectives of the Italian Touring Club remain the same: promoting quality tourism in Italy, protect- ing the environment, and dissem- inating the knowledge of our Country to attract potential inter- national tourists. Nevertheless, in the contemporary society a new and crucial task has also emerged, that is the need to strengthen and renew the rela- tionship between fellow Italians who have emigrated abroad and their native Country. SILVIA SIMONETTI

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