This practice considers the creation of a cultural route in Puglia, italy through a bottom-up strategy and without significant public funds
The Cammino Materano is a “slow” itinerary that follows ancient paths and drover’s roads. The points of departure are at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in Bari, at the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas the Pilgrim in Trani, at the Roman column that marks the end of the Via Appia in Brindisi, and at the Roman amphitheatre in Lucera, while the point of arrival is the Cathedral of Matera dedicated to the Madonna della Bruna. This is a pilgrimage between Apulia and Basilicata, where countless pilgrims from the Mediterrean area and beyond passed over the millennia. The four ways of the Camino Materano celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Apulia and Basilicata made of cathedrals, medieval villages, rock-hewn churches, Greek and Roman ruins as well as farm houses, trulli, dry-stone walls and an extraordinary and authentic cuisine deriving from the peasant traditions. Yellow and green marks on the walls, rocks and trees signpost the route for its entire length of 170 km. The route is promoted and advertised mostly through the social networks, twitter, instagram and facebook. The Facebook page has 7200 followers and the cammino materano community group has 1900 members. In March we will have the project website www.camminomaterano.it. Many national outdoor media outlets have written articles about the camino and two novels were written on this topic. RAI (Italian National Television) dedicated a 1 hour feature on the cammino in a very popular TV show
The camino did not require any infrastructure work but used cattle tracks, paths and state-owned roads. Woods, parks, archaeological, architectural and landscape heritage were taken into account. The camino was built without regional funds but with regional staff support and voluntary work.
Evidence of success
The camino was inaugurated in January 2018; in less than a year more than 500 wayfarers and pilgrims, both Italians and foreigners, made this Camino. The number of wayfarers and pilgrims is expected to grow significantly in 2019.
Low participation of municipalities whose involvement will be very useful to: - Ensure cleanliness of the paths and the roads (part of the Camino)
Improve the promotion and the accessibility of the cultural heritage
Potential for learning or transfer
The camino raises the citizens awareness of the natural and cultural heritage of the region and implementing its conservation. The camino, seen as a tourist product, can provide sustainable development (social, cultural, economical) for the local regional communities.