The author deals with different definitions of tourists, classifying them according to the purpose of the trip, their characteristic as social actors, distinguishing the Vacationer from the Sightseer, and categorizing touristic locations (centres, major centres, touristic cities). The tourist population tends to prefer symbolic places, such as the Tower of Pisa. Information is also given on presence and sojourn in Italian and foreign accommodation facilities and the presence of tourists in museum and archeological sites. The contribution of tourism to the development of cities is examined, distinguishing tourists with a romantic gaze and those with a collective gaze. Research on fruition models of different museums in Rome is presented and the new trends in tourism development are examined with reference to the most recent cultural events. One of the new trends explored regards the use of computer technologies and the increase in reproduction for virtual museums. All this risk making tourists’ visits dull and the presence (absence) of visitors with alienated looks.