Chris Grad - Feb 16, 2015
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A new religious tourism project has been launched in Italy. Abbeys of Trappist monks in Northern Europe and the attractions surrounding them are the central theme of the TATRA initiative.

On Tuesday 4th February, in the Sala delle Colonne at the University Luiss Guido Carli in Rome, a workshop presented the European project TATRA “The Flavor of Silence”, organized by the Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII with the collaboration of tourist association Federturismo Confindustria.

TATRA – “Tastes of Trappists” – is a fifteen-month project partially financed by the European Program for Competition and Innovation (CIP), realized by a consortium of seven partner states including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.

The project, designed to boost slow tourism by highlighting cycle paths and hikes, aims to create tourist itineraries focused on culture, gastronomy and wine in the areas surrounding Trappist abbeys in Northern Europe, most of which are currently closed to public.

“It is an important initiative,” says Antonio Barreca, director of Federturismo Confindustria, “to promote sustainable and religious tourism throughout the discovery of evocative places, not necessarily popular but crucial to religion, economics and culture in the area they are situated.”

Riccardo Saccenti of Fondazione Giovanni XXIII claims “TATRA represents the attempt to combine apparently different realities – tourism, along with all the commercial activities related to it, merges with the peculiar lifestyle of Trappist monks, whose mandate is a substantial balance between prayer, spirituality and work.”

Speakers at the conference included: Riccardo Saccenti, Responsible for European projects of the Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII, Giovanna Sainaghi, Director of the Ente Turismo delle Fiandre, Carmela Decaro, Director of the Master in Tourism and Territory and Professor of Comparative Public Law  at the LUISS Guido Carli University, and Antonio Barreca, General Director of Federturismo Confindustria. Concluding remarks came from the archaeologist Andrea Fiasco of the Museo Diocesano Pranestino Arte Sacra, who gave a brief speech on the Tre Fontane Abbey in Rome.


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