Presentation of the Act

The Regional Association of Municipalities of Epirus is involved as Lead Partner, with the Union of the Provinces of Puglia to the implementation of the Act “BRIDGES OF HISTORY AND TRADITION” under the European Territorial Cooperation Program Greece - Italy 2007-2013. The two participants in the Act areas, endowed with a beautiful natural landscape, have a rich tradition and history in the construction of stone bridges, which are unique examples of folk architecture and craftsmanship, while the same stone, as a natural resource, has been the basis of economic and cultural development through time.

In recent years, therefore, there has been a revival of interest in the preservation of traditional monuments such as stone bridges are not only beautiful, but are marvels in engineering. Enthusiasts of these structures flock from around the world in these areas to discover these excellent works of art, and many of the bridges are connected to historical events.


Objectives of the Act

The main objective of the Act is to promote and preserve the cultural heritage of the two participating regions of Epirus and Puglia by enhancement and development of the traditional architecture and particularly the one of the traditional stone bridges. The combination of nature and architecture of the stone can offer enormous potential for the development of alternative forms of tourism.

In the specific objectives of the Act are included:

  1. The recording and classification of stone bridges in the area targeted by the Act.
  2. Improved signage and accessibility of the stone bridges, to be easily visited.
  3. The promotion and development of traditional stone bridges in the field of thematic tourism by exploiting historical, architectural and cultural elements.
  4. The amplification of border cooperation and exchanges, and the increasing the number of visitors to the area targeted by the Act.
  5. The promoting of the constructions of natural materials (stone) and the emergence of the traditional technique of stone.
  6. The awareness of human interventions and their harmonic blend with nature.
  7. The improving of attractiveness of the areas of intervention for the benefit of tourism development.
  8. The exchange of knowledge and expertise (in relation to the stone bridges) at local, regional and national level.


The Expected Results of the Act

The expected results of the Act are linked directly to the development of tourism in the Areas of Intervention.

More specifically:

  1. Increase of the number of total ratings for the regions by 15% by the end of the project. This indicator should be based on at nights’ accommodation, based on official data from statistical sources.
  2. Increase of the awareness of traditional stone bridges villages. The objective will be for the portal of the Act to attract at least 1,000 unique visitors each month.
  3. Encouragement of the small and medium-sized enterprises to participate actively in the implementation of the Act by providing digital content for the portal of the Act. The goal is to participate in this effort at least 300 small and medium sized (touristic) enterprises.
  4. They are associated with even further knowledge about stone bridges, through the operation of cross-border information centers. The Centers will operate:
  5. By distributing informational materials related to the architecture and historical value of the stone bridges (targeted population of beneficiaries: at least 300 professionals - engineers, architects, historians).
  6. By organizing (in Italy and Greece) two conferences with special guest speakers.
  7. By implementing educational workshops.
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