Speaking about sustainable tourism, try now to imagine what it would be like, to cycle your way from Sicily up to Greece, passing through Friuli Venezia Giulia? That's actually one of the interesting projects EUSAIR is driving forward: the ADRIONCYCLETOUR, an integrated project aiming to establish and develop the AICYR – Adriatic-Ionian Cycle Route. It consists of a cycling route running along the coasts of the entire Adriatic and Ionian basin from Italy (and all its involved regions, including Friuli Venezia Giulia which faces the Adriatic Sea) to Greece, thus crossing the EUSAIR concerned countries and also including its main cycle connections to the hinterland areas (inland network). The route will be integrated with the public transport systems (rail, road, sea) and serve both for cycle tourism as well as for sustainable urban and inter-urban mobility.
The northern and eastern parts of the entire proposed Adriatic-Ionian Cycle Route (the coastal network from Venice in Italy to Patras in Greece) coincides with the already existing Mediterranean Route – EuroVelo 8, part of the European cycle network called EuroVelo. That is why a good practice aimed at developing the Mediterranean Route was presented by the European Cyclists' Federation during the online workshop that Marche Region and Friuli Venezia Giulia Region organized in December. «We must take this chance to further enhance and promote our territory's cycling tendency, thus developing the so called slow tourism which enables to discover and appreciate even the most hidden beauties of Friuli Venezia Giulia», said Barbara Zilli, FVG Region's Head of Economic Affairs. The webinar helped giving an overview of the state of development of cycling ways in coastal areas and through the internal States of the Adriatic-Ionian region, and also helped better understanding how the project can access to the European funds of the 2021-2027 programming period.
Up to now, Friuli Venezia Giulia has nine cycling routes extending themselves over more than 1,000 kilometres on the whole. The main objective is to create a top interregional cycling network, which would be the key to ever-increasing sustainable tourism and mobility.
The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) is a macro-regional strategy adopted by the European Commission and endorsed by the European Council in 2014. The Strategy was jointly developed by the Commission and the Adriatic-Ionian Region countries and stakeholders, which agreed to work together on the areas of common interest for the benefit of each country and the whole region. It's one of the four EU macro-regional strategies and covers nine countries: four EU member States (Croatia, Greece, Italy, Slovenia) and five non-EU countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia). A tenth non-EU member, the Republic of San Marino, has just been included at the recent Forum in Slovenia.
EUSAIR's general objective is to promote growth, economic and social prosperity in the region by improving its attractiveness, competitiveness and connectivity. The countries are aiming to create synergies and foster coordination among all territories in the Adriatic-Ionian Region according to four thematic areas: sustainable tourism, environmental quality, connecting the region, blue growth.