In Dublin, tourism restarts in Joyce’s name: between festivals, culture and nature, there is a boom in visitors

Tourism in Dublin starts again in the name of one of its most famous fellow citizens, the great writer James Joyce. The event, which every year, on June 16, celebrates the deeds performed in a single day by the protagonist of his most important work, Ulysses, has filled squares, museums, theaters, pubs and much more with curious visitors and volunteers in time-typical costume. to be able to rebuild Bloomsday again after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. And with yet another reason in 2022, as it marks the 140th anniversary of Joyce’s birth and the centenary of the release of Ulysses. But above all, it marks the return of tourists to the Irish capital, as they have not been seen since the pre-Covid period.

This was confirmed by Marcella Ercolini, Director of Irish Tourism for Italy: “Bloomsday is perhaps the most celebrated date in all literature, and for us this year was really special for two reasons: Firstly because 2022 marks the centenary of the publication of Ulysses and other, because it finally took place again after two years of forced cessation due to the pandemic, which is why this living energy that Dublin has is tangible, and also the ability that literature has to involve so many people from different backgrounds. “Cultures and countries. It was another reason to visit the city and discover how such a strong glue as literature can still be a reason to visit a place that has so much to say from a literary point of view.”

From the Joyce Center, which hosted a concert featuring contemporary songs and performances by costumed actors, to Moli, the Museum of Irish Literature inaugurated shortly before closing due to Covid, visitors could enjoy the atmosphere of a day with Ulysses, and rediscover its protagonist Leopold Blooms places. A series of stages, marked with bronze plaques on the sidewalk, marking the movements of June 16, which entered literary history. There are those who have gone so far as to Sandycove, a seaside resort on the outskirts of Dublin, where the Tower stands, which has become a museum where the author stayed: a true pilgrimage of enthusiasts welcomed by The songs and recitations of the volunteers.

But a dive into literature could not help but pass one of Ireland’s most famous libraries, the Marsh Library, where one can sit at the same table where Joyce used to sit to read the collection’s precious volume: a custom for the author even ‘ certified ‘by the attendance book still available today. And to end the day, Dubliners and tourists gathered in the numerous theaters of the capital, offering shows created especially for Bloomsday, such as the historic Smock Alley Theater, where the stage was a remake of another great work that Joyce has dedicated to his hometown, ‘Dubliners’.

“This day was a first sign of the recovery of tourism, with a celebration that took place in vibrant atmospheres and that also involved other cities in the world, let’s think of the centenary of Bloomsday that took place in Trieste and a series of readings, made in Milan, Rome and other Italian cities, and it makes us understand how strongly this bond with Irish culture is also strongly rooted in Italian culture.We remember, after all, that Joyce is a writer who adored Italy , he also wrote in Italian, he called his children by Italian names; he had this great love for Italy, which he managed to bring together with the incredible love he has always had for Ireland “, continues the director of Irish Tourism, who among second on the occasion of Bloomsday, the students who came for the translation.competition dedicated to Joyce, launched in March during the Irish week, was handed out in Milan.

“With a lot of emotion and a pinch of pride, we celebrated the extraordinary students who took part in our literary competition with passion and dedication. We wanted it very much as part of our first Irish Week because we believe literature is an invaluable heritage, which can immediately involve those arriving on our island. The children of the Milanese high schools joined in large numbers with an enthusiasm and a love for Joyce, which filled us with joy and testified to the strong bond between our two cultures. Irish literature has played a fundamental role in the development of the English language, confirming that Ireland is an ideal destination for study stays at all levels, ”says the Director of Irish Tourism.

A country, Ireland, that has actually given a lot to the world from a cultural point of view. “Irish culture – Marcella Ercolini remembers – has really influenced many sectors and a lot of human knowledge. Let’s think of Dublin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or Belfast, a UNESCO city of music. So there are so many ways to experience places in a different way, which in Ireland have become symbols of very different cultural aspects ”.

“Apart from literary and cultural events, there are also many ways – he explains – to experience Ireland from the perspective of, for example, experiences to rediscover an authentic relationship with nature: In addition to the two main cities, there are many cities on the rest of the island that offer to experience a slightly more local and authentic culture, together with a relationship with nature that is useful through many organized experiences, we think of cycling tourism, horseback riding, walks in the many hiking trails and also for water trekking accessible through boats or canoes that provide you have the opportunity to enjoy a little life in the open air while spending a holiday in complete tranquility. So there are many reasons to leave and above all to return to Ireland ”.

And the success of the public that returned to the events just with Bloomsday testifies to the recovery of a sector that has suffered a lot in the last two years. “Tourism is well under way again: not only in Dublin – he emphasizes – but also in the rest of Ireland bookings are going very well and it also makes us look forward to autumn. Because it is not only summer but also longer seasons, given that a more and more verifiable and verifiable trend is that Italians tend to break up their holiday a bit during the year.And this is a very important factor because it allows you to visit countries even in times of less congestion ”.

For the relaunch of tourism, the focus is therefore also on seasonal adjustment. “It must be said that Ireland is a country that can be used all year round: the first objection that is naturally made to us – admits Marcella Ercolini – is the climate, but those who know Ireland know that the four seasons are lived. in a ‘now and that the weather is very variable but it is never too cold or too hot.So this sea condition allows you to have a changing climate but also never to cancel programs because it never rains all day and “There is not this scorching heat all day either. Then there are definitely ideal seasons, spring and autumn are the ones we recommend”.

“We focus mainly – says the Director of Irish Tourism – on activities that can be done outdoors, hence the whole outdoor world; from a cultural point of view, there are always festivals that are worth attending because they represent the true Irish heritage: folk festivals, about music, about food or special festivals like what the world has known as Halloween, but which it is in fact a Celtic festival of ancient traditions. In the autumn, the festival for the author of Dracula and the horror returns, where all fans of this literary and cinematic genre will be able to live these experiences, which in Ireland is also a way to get in touch with the local culture ”.

“Because the innate sense of hospitality – he notes – is something that unites us with the Irish. All the comments we get from our travelers or from fans of Ireland are precisely the authentic relationship they managed to build with the locals they felt welcome, part of the local community, despite the linguistic and cultural diversity, because the Irish are always trying to reassure visitors and share their reality, so these are our strengths – he concludes – and they are certainly valid elements for those who decide to spend a stay in Ireland “.

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