The Regional Association of Epirus Municipalities is involved as Lead Partner, with the Italian Carpignano Salentino and Zollino in the implementation of the Act «STONE AND TRADITION» under the European Territorial Cooperation Programme Greece - Italy 2007-2013. The area of ​​intervention of the Act includes the Regional Units of Ioannina - Arta (Greece) and the Province of Lecce (Italy). In particular, the area of intervention in Greece covers the territorial unities of Zagoria, Metsovo and Mastorochoria in the Regional Unit of Ioannina and the region of Tzoumerka that is jointly owned by the Regional Units of Arta and Ioannina.

 

The Objectives of the Act

The main objective of the Act is to promote and preserve the cultural heritage of the regions concerned. These two regions are endowed with a beautiful natural landscape that blends harmonically with the human constructions. The successful implementation of the Act will help to develop the cultural reserve of the areas and to increase their visitation with further development of alternative forms of tourism.

More specifically, the objectives of the Act are defined as follows:

  1. The exchange of methods and techniques of the art of stone.
  2. The support and strengthening of small-medium enterprises for their further development.
  3. The strengthening of the cross-border cooperation and exchanges, and increasing the number of visitors to Areas of Intervention.
  4. Promotion of natural materials (stone) that are used in construction and the use of stone in architecture as a traditional artwork.
  5. Dissemination of traditional arts as a coherent element in nature.
  6. Promotion and use of traditional settlements in the field of the thematic tourism.
  7. Promotion of cross-border cooperation between Greece and Italy in the areas of arts and culture.
  8. The improvement of the attractiveness of the Areas of ​​Intervention and development of mechanisms to support the tourism product.
  9. Exchange of knowledge and expertise (in relation to the skill of the art of stone) at local, regional and multinational level.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

 

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, the implementation of the Act is expected to bring results as:

They are associated with even further knowledge about stone bridges, through the operation of cross-border information centers. The Centers will operate:

  • 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).
  • By organizing (in Italy and Greece) two conferences with special guest speakers.
  • By implementing educational workshops.