One of the objectives of the Routes4U Project is the assistance to cultural routes projects in view of the certification “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” or to certified Cultural Routes for their extension, according to the priorities identified in the EU macro-regions.

The section below detailed the flagships priorities as defined so far by the EU macro-regions. Once the priorities established, recommendations and follow-up actions are implemented by the Routes4U Project.


In the framework of the Routes4U Project, a consultation procedure was launched within the EUSAIR Thematic Steering Group 4 on Sustainable Tourism to determite cultural routes priorities. The Steering Group 4 voted in favour of two projects: the Routes of the Olive Tree and the Roman Emperors Route.

Following the Routes4U meeting for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (6 June 2018, Venice, Italy), the Routes4U team distributed a questionnaire to EUSAIR Member States to identify the different contact person per country as well as potential members for EUSAIR Cultural Routes priorities. Furthermore, a publication will be made available last 2018 to measure the presence, impact and future of the Cultural Routes in the Adriatic and Ionian region.

Routes of the Olive Tree

The Routes of the Olive Tree was certified "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" in 2005.

The Cultural Foundation Routes of the Olive Tree established in Kalamata (Greece) acts since 2003 as the lead partner of the network. The route’s aim is to promote the cultural heritage related to the olive tree, a strong symbol of Mediterranean identity, with particular reference to its history, landscape management, folkloric traditions, art and gastronomy linked to the Mediterranean diet.


Routes4U Recommendations

Following the 2018 Routes4U meeting for the Adriatic-Ionian Region, a set of recommendations were made regarding the current situation of the network:

  • The Cultural Route should strengthen the relations between towns and rural areas (olive oil producing regions) as a strategic factor for cultural and economic development.
  • The network should include more members from the tourism and cultural sector to increase activities on the cultural tourism of the Routes of the Olive Tree.
  • With the intellectual support of the Routes4U, the membership of the Olive Tree Route should be extended in the Adriatic and Ionian Region.
  • The financial and operational viability of the Olive Tree Route needs to be improved through the introduction of an obligatory fee system for all members, taking other Cultural Routes as best practices. The resources should be allocated to increase the human resource capacities. Further models such as secondments or trainee-programmes should be evaluated.
  • The communication and visibility actions of the Cultural Route need to be improved to ensure that other Anglophone countries of the Adriatic and Ionian Region as well as the larger European audience is better informed about the Routes of the Olive Tree.

Roman Emperor Routes

No Roman Emperors’ Route exists so far that could encompass the Roman heritage in general in the Adriatic-Ionian Region.

However, the Cultural Route Roman Emperors and Danube Wine Route was certified in 2015 by the Council of Europe. It reflects the leadership of the Roman emperors in the introduction of Roman culture and the tradition of wine production in the Middle and Lower Danube Region (Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania).


Routes4U Recommendations

As a result of the 2018 Routes4U meeting for the Adriatic-Ionian Region, the recommendations below were made:

  • The Steering and Scientific Committee of the Roman Emperors Route and Danube Wine Route should analyse the possibility of extending the existing Cultural Route, formulate criteria for potential partners and clarify managerial aspects of a potential extended Route that goes beyond the Danube Region. They should also undertake a needs assessment with regards to the human and financial resources needed for an extended Cultural Route.
  • Stakeholders of the Adriatic and Ionian Region should make an inventory of potential heritage sites to be included in the Cultural Route, compatible regarding period, space and function as well as complementing to the already existing ones on the Roman Emperors Route and Danube Wine Route. They should submit their proposal to the Roman Emperors Route and Danube Wine Route.
  • In the framework of Routes4U, an analysis of the extension should be undertaken by an independent expert with regards to the proposed new sites and the criteria defined by the Steering and Scientific Committee. This study should include proposals on how to extent the routes without creating competition between the different heritage sites and how to enhance the competitiveness of the whole Cultural Route. The study should also include recommendations how to best involve rural, remote or under-developed areas in the extension to strengthen the regional development. Furthermore, the study should make proposals on the managerial aspects of the Cultural Route, e.g. through the creation of clusters.

Next steps

September 2018

October 2018

November 2018

Follow us #Routes4U