Apprendisti Ciceroni in Milan
The Cultural Heritage Education Programme “Apprendisti Ciceroni®” is a well-established programme that instills in young people an awareness of the value of the artistic, cultural and natural heritage in Italy. Students aged 14-19 years old are given the opportunity to study one or more important heritage sites in their region and to present them as tour guides to the public during special events organised by the non-profit organisation FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano. In preparation, students engage in training activities which take place both in the classroom and outside in the field using a methodology which has been developed by FAI over many years. As a result, the students feel involved in the social, cultural and economic life of their communities. They also feel encouraged to attune their understanding and knowledge of local heritage. The participants emerge from the programme with a new set of valuable skills whereby they lead tours at FAI events as well as for private and public cultural institutions.
The project is the embodiment of FAI’s primary goal: “the promotion, education, love and enjoyment of Italy’s artistic and natural heritage”. Landscape is a key word in this programme as it neatly links together the different aspects of this project together – history, geography, art, science and literature – and reflects the aims of the FAI school programme to encourage teachers and pupils to go outside of the classroom to re-discover the surrounding countryside. In this way, the landscape itself becomes a means by which the organisation can encourage young people to contribute to the protection of the landscape, to recognise it as a public asset and as a symbol of the participants’ identity.
Since its creation in 1996, the “Apprendisti Ciceroni” programme has enjoyed a considerable and sustainable rate of growth which is a testament to its growing excellence. As emphasised by the jury: “FAI has established an impressive network of teachers, professionals and volunteers and has reached thousands of students, all while promoting cultural heritage in Italy”.
“In targeting this audience of young students, FAI has managed to develop active citizenship among those who are less likely to visit cultural institutions with a well thought out and balanced programme of educational and outdoor activities which is extremely rewarding for the participants”, the jury noted.