The European Association of the Via Francigena ways (EAVF) participated in the final conference of the «Italy, Greece and Turkey on Foot» project, which took place on 6 - 7 February 2020 in Izmit, Turkey.
The conference was a closing event of a 12-months project, financed by the European Union, and led by a Turkish NGO Culture Routes Society in cooperation with the EAVF and the Greek NGO Trace Your Eco.
The final conference gave an excellent opportunity to present the results of the project, share best practices along the Via Eurasia and strengthen cooperation between the partners. It brought together over 80 international participants from institutions, associations, civil society, universities and private sector.
The Via Eurasia hiking route presents an opportunity of becoming a "cultural bridge" connecting Europe and Turkey crossing five countries: Italy, Albania, Republic of North Macedonia, Greece and Turkey, which will facilitate sustainable tourism development, intercultural dialogue and rural revitalisation.
During the morning session on 7 February the following results achieved within the project were presented:
• involvement of municipalities along the proposed cultural route in Turkey, Greece and Italy;
• study visit in Apulia, Italy and roadshows in Turkey and Greece;
• new visibility material as website, brochures, flyers, panels;
• exchange of good practices in terms of governance, capacity building and promotion;
• mapping cultural heritage along the way;
• development of strong partnerships and intercultural dialogue among the partners and local towns.
Luca Bruschi, EAVF director, shared best practices of the Via Francigena governance model with a special focus on the Via Francigena of the South.
A lead university of the Via Eurasia Scientific Committee - the Bogazici University – conducted workshop on sustainable tourism during the afternoon session.
On 7 February the Scientific Committee and the Management Board of the Via Eurasia discussed the consolidation of the route’s management structure and future actions to develop animation of the route.
During the project an intensive analysis and research was done by the Scientific Committee, in cooperation with the Head of the Management Committee Elena Dubinina, in order to prepare the dossier to be certified as a Council of Europe Cultural Route.
The submission of the dossier is scheduled on 30th September 2020.