Italian identity, global Mediterranean: tourism and cultural heritage in colonial and post-colonial Rhodes

Valerie Elizabeth McGuire

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Today Rhodes and other surrounding islands in Greece’s most Southeastern precinct – at the very maritime border with Turkey – are major destinations for summer tourism. An inchoate legacy of the Italian occupation of the islands between Ottoman collapse and integration with Greece (1912-47) is the Italian community in the islands, who is strongly represented as annual tourists and reflects a sizable portion of year-round permanent residents. More recently, the precinct has focused on developing the islands for cultural and heritage tourism while making efforts to distance itself from the resort tourism that characterizes the nearby Cycladic islands. Rhodes is a candidate for Europe’s cultural capital in 2017, and new efforts to rehabilitate the islands have corresponded with new investments into restoring Italian fascist architecture in the islands.This chapter takes a long view of these issues. It brings together latter day renovations and investments with the development of a ‘Mediterranean’ style to unify all Italy’s colonies in the Balkans, Mediterranean and Africa. It describes Italy’s own development of organized leisure tourism to Rhodes during the interwar period as a form of imperial rivalry with the French and British empires, but equally, to distance its own reputation as a backward country and belated imperialist.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranscultural Italies
Subtitle of host publicationMobility, Memory and Translation
EditorsCharles Burdett, Loredana Polezzi, Barbara Spadaro
Place of PublicationLiverpool
PublisherLiverpool University Press
ISBN (Print)9781789622553
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020

Publication series

NameTransnational Italian Cultures


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