The characteristics of our society are often contradictory. Despite the "liquidity" theorized by Bauman, aspects and practices deeply related (in appearance and/or in substance) with spirituality hold great importance in our days. Among these practices, we found the pilgrimages. In this article we analyse this phenomenon in one of its best-known forms, the religious pilgrimage, in particular that of the Camino de Santiago. Today this forms of “travelling”, the pilgrimage, is studied as a tourism product and a vehicle of local development, and many studies already analysed the profiles and the motivations of the “new pilgrims”, as well as their economic impacts. Nevertheless, we felt the necessity to meet directly the pilgrims and share this experience with them without any filter. We became part of them, by addressing their perception toward their overall experience, using a qualitative approach based on direct observation and unstructured interviews. We collected data during a 400 kilometres walk towards Santiago de Compostela, which enabled us to create a clear overview on this specific, increasing phenomenon: a pilgrimage between religion and tourism, authenticity and innovation, local development and intercultural dialogue.
- Intercultural dialogue