Cross-border conference within the strategic project WALKofPEACE

News

The strategic cross-border conference WALKofPEACE was realized at the Municipality of Nova Gorica on November 26, 2019. It was organized by Soča Valley Development Center and “Fundation Walk of Peace”. Presentations were done by Slovenian and Italian experts in the fields of the heritage of First World War, tourism and regional development. The conference was held bilingual, in Slovenian and Italian languages, the simultaneous translation was provided. A guided tour of the Monument of Peace on Cerje was organized after the conference, where the WALKofPEACE project is conducting landscaping activities.

 

More than 100 participants attended the conference. Representatives from the Ministry of Culture, the Slovenian Tourist Agency and the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, mayors and representatives of Slovenian and Italian municipalities, as well as numerous organizations from the field of tourism, professional public, media and project partners were present. Klemen Miklavic, Mayor of

 

Municipality of Nova Gorica (PP), opened the conference. Welcome speeches were also contributed by Almira Pirih, director of Soča Valley Development Center (LP), Petra Culetto, State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Eva Štravs Podlogar, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Diego Bernardis of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Regional Council, Bruno Bertero, Marketing Director of the PromoturismoFVG (PP), Giulio Bodon, Directorate for Culture and Sports, Veneto Region (PP) and Fabrizio Oreti, Gorizia City Councilor for Culture and Tourism. The Consul General of Italy, Giuseppe D'Agosto, also attended the conference.

 

Almira Pirih, the director of Soča Valley Development Center and lead partner of the project, presented realized activities and expected results. In addition to arranging and valorizing the route in the program area, several studies and research works were made in the first year of the project, which will have a significant impact on the project results. There were also realised activities in the field of the Walk of Peace brand. In particular, she emphasized investments in the preservation, upgrading and regulation of heritage of the First World War, because they represent the largest part of funding under the WALKofPEACE project. In cooperation with the Municipalities of Tolmin, Kobarid and Bovec, the Soča Valley Development Center is responsible for the major investments. There will be realized renovation of the Javorca church, German Ossuary near Tolmin, Italian military chapel Bes and Kluže Fortress. An exhibition pavilion will be set in Kobarid with a restored ancient WWI fire truck. Project partner Municipality of Nova Gorica will contribute to the renovation of a museum with a modern information centre in Sabotin and the restoration of the WWI water through from Kambreško. The Italian partner VEGAL will restore the museum in San Dona di Piave. E.R.Pa.C has the documentation for the landscaping on the Musei di Borgo Castello Castle in Gorizia.

 

Maša Klavora, director of the “Foundation Walk of Peace” emphasized the importance of studying and arranging the legacy of First World War in Slovenia, Italy and Austria for more than 20 years. She highlighted the opportunity of WALKofPEACE project to upgrade the Walk of Peace brand through cross-border cooperation, which will promote the development of cultural tourism and raise awareness of the common heritage in the European area. 

 

Tadej Koren from “Foundation Walk of Peace” emphasized the importance of preserving the memory of the war over a hundred years ago through open-air museums, sacred objects and other memorials and remains in nature, as they represent the cultural and historical heritage of national and international importance.

 

The “Foundation” together with the project partner PromoturismoFVG, is upgrading the existing route Walk of Peace from the Alps to the Adriatic, which will be around 400 kilometres long. That is why Nicola Revelant from the PromoturismoFVG highlighted the opportunities of the Walk of Peace from a tourism perspective in terms of developing new tourism programs. Cinzia Gozzo form development agency VEGAL showed the heritage of First World War in the Venice area, joining the Walk of Peace brand as points of interest.

 

A special feature of the Walk of Peace brand is its extraordinary connection with tourism and culture. Maša Klemenčič from the Slovenian Tourist Board presented the Walk of Peace as a tourism product, which significantly contributes to the image of Slovenia and increases tourism incomes. Because it expresses a boutique experience that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world, the Walk of Peace was rated as a 5-star experience by presenting the story of a soldier from the Isonzo Front.

 

The project, worth 2,893,176  EUR, is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF Funding: EUR 2,459,199.59) under the Interreg V-A Italy-Slovenia Cross-border Program 2014-2020. The project runs from November 1, 2018, to October 31, 2021.

 

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