In the framework of the Routes4U Project, a consultation procedure was launched within the EUSAIR Thematic Steering Group 4 on Sustainable Tourism to determine 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, Routes4U published a Roadmap for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (October 2019) which summarises the research results and the conclusions drawn during the meetings, and highlights the steps to take in order to successfully develop the Cultural Routes in the Adriatic-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 Heritage Routes

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

Although the Roman Emperors and Danube Wine Route passes through several countries of the Adriatic-Ionian Region, its Steering and Scientific Committee argued that this Cultural Route could not be extended in the Adriatic–Ionian Region as one of its main theme is its relation to the Danube River. Therefor a study needs to be conducted to demonstrate the richness of the Roman heritage in the Adriatic-Ionian Region and its importance for the region’s tangible and intangible.


Routes4U Recommendations

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

  • 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.
  • In the framework of Routes4U, an analysis of the certification should be undertaken by an independent expert with regards to the proposed sites. The study should include recommendations on how to best involve rural, remote or under-developed areas in the Cultural Route certification 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.
Routes4U feasibility study

In the framework of Routes4U, a feasibility study on the Roman Heritage Route in the Adriatic and Ionian Region has been conducted, including experts recommendations on further steps to be taken with a view to applying for the "Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe" certification.

Available online

Next steps

June 2019

  • Publication of the expert study on a new Cultural Route on Roman heritage
  • Routes4U mini-grant to extent the Olive Tree Routes

July 2019

  • Consultation in Luxembourg on the Routes4U-support to the Routes of the Olive Tree and Roman Heritage
  • Expert study on extension of the Olive Tree Routes

October 2019

  • Stakeholders meeting for all macro regional priorities regarding to new Cultural Routes

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