Hello everyone 😊!

My name is Salwa, I’m from Italy and it has been two months since I started this amazing experience as an IVY volunteer! These past two months have been amazing and I have learnt so many new things! First, let me tell you something more about myself and the project I’m participating in 😊

I’m participating in the Thematic project which is the acronym for ‘’tourism founded on innovation capacities’’ in collaboration with the University of Basilicata (Italy). The main objective of the project is to promote the development of a sustainable and accessible tourism economy in the ADRION region, based on natural, cultural, and historical resources. The ADRION region, in fact, is home to numerous natural and cultural heritage sites, many included in the UNESCO world heritage list that are needed to be protected from the risks of over-exploitation and the loss of cultural diversity. Another main objective of Thematic project is to increase the accessibility for tourists with special needs.

Since I was at University, I always have been interested in the tourism field and the study of our historical and cultural resources in our territory, so I’m very glad to be in the right place.

I studied foreign languages and foreign cultures and thank to my language skills I’m actively contributing to the project by translating a touristic guide on Matera and Pietragalla (Basilicata), dedicated to tourists with motor disabilities. This activity is called GATHER (guide for accessible tourism of cultural heritage in Basilicata) and it is promoted by University of Basilicata as part of THEMATIC Interreg Adrion Project. The aim is to promote the growth of cultural tourism in minor locations of the Basilicata Territory, improving the accessibility of all resources of cultural heritage, for all categories of visitors.

Matera is a unique town in Basilicata (South of Italy) which is considered the world’s third-longest continuously inhabited human settlement. Matera is called ‘’The city of Stones’’ because it was built from the tufa stones and since 1993 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. My contribution to this pilot project also concerns the collection of data to analyse the level of accessibility of the main touristic points in Matera, which in my opinion is one of the most exciting parts of the project!

I also participate in national events for awareness raising about sustainable and accessible cultural tourism and create digital content for the promotion of sustainable cultural tourism in historical and naturalistic locations, addressed to local communities and to the international tourists visiting the region.

So far, my experience has been motivating and inspiring.

This volunteering experience is giving me the opportunity to put in practice my language and translation skills that I gained during my studies and contribute actively to the project.

Since the University of Basilicata is the lead partner of the Thematic project, which involves other partners from different countries, I am also learning new things about European project management and cross border cooperation which are for me new fields to study better and to be further explored.

Here in Potenza I have found an amazing team that supports me to get familiar with the different tasks and activities and teach me new things every day!

I can’t wait for the next coming months!

– Salwa, IVY Project Partner for Interreg Adrion THEMATIC project at the University of Basilicata

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