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Exploring Tyrrhenian history with Gritaccess

© Michael Marcon

France and Italy launch a cultural themed network at ITB Berlin NOW

French and Italian tourism authorities have launched an initiative centred around the Tyrrhenian Sea with the aim of making the vast cultural heritage of this region between Naples, Marseille and the large islands more widely known.

The intention of the founders of Gritaccess (Grand Itinéraire Tyrrhénien Accessible) – which roughly translates as the easy, long distance hiking route in the Tyrrhenian region – is to create the core of a network of routes for walkers and cyclists leading to some of Europe’s most outstanding cultural attractions. A start is being made with the coastal region of the north central Mediterranean, between Marseille and Naples, Ajaccio and Cagliari.

The focus on cultural aspects was particularly evident at ITB Berlin NOW in that the presentation downplayed beach holidays, which are usually the main appeal for travellers to the region. In a deliberately atypical and innovative way these two countries are seeking to combine their shared values and cultural diversity in order to create a different offer for tourists. It is the initiators’ intention that travellers should be able to follow in the footsteps of the Corsica-born French emperor Napoleon, who left lasting traces as a result of his dramatic journeys to and from Paris, as commemorated by numerous museums and other memorials in various towns and cities. Other highlights include the Roman, Christian and ethnic heritage of the west coast of northern Italy with its commercial tradition going back many centuries.

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