A Cooperation Agreement was signed on May 20, 2021 between the Cultural Route “Historic Cafes Route” and the Cultural Route “Iter Vitis”. The Agreement has as primary goal to defend and promote the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Historic Cafes and Wine, but is also interested in developing cultural, creative, sustainable tourism with projects, programs, initiatives and campaigns in an international level.
Emmanuela Panke, President of the Cultural Route “Iter Vitis” stated on the occasion of the signing of the Cooperation Agreement: “The signing of this agreement with the Historic Cafés Route represents a further commitment on the part of Iter Vitis to cooperate with Cultural Routes that are already certified, but also with others awaiting certification. Nonetheless have a solid structure and share the same values defended by Iter Vitis and above all promote tourism linked to intangible heritage and agri-food traditions, but also to the importance of sharing moments of conviviality to preserve the spirit of the communities living in the areas where we want to build forms of sustainable and responsible tourism”.
Vassilis Stathakis, President of the International Cultural Organization “Historic Cafes Route” stated: The Collaboration Agreement with “Iter Vitis” is an acknowledgment of the hard work that “Historic Cafes Route” has done so far. “Iter Vitis” is already certified by the Council of Europe and represents an important Cultural Route. At the same time, the connection of Historic Cafes with wine and its History is timeless. Coffee and wine have been telling a very charming story for centuries: the story of human culture, the story of the flourishing of Arts and Letters. Historic Cafes are guardians of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage. They are cradles of civilization, highlighting the great history of humanity. The partnership of coffee and wine is a dynamic effort to develop cultural tourism, to give an alternative to those who are consciously looking for something different, something fresh, something out of the ordinary. I strongly believe that the signing of the Cooperation Agreement will definitely make Historic Cafes and wine an irresistible tourist destination with excellent prospects.”
It is worth mentioning that coffee and wine represent two themes linked for centuries to the history of mankind but also to the development of European and Mediterranean societies. There is an ancient link between wine and coffee and their varied connections are reflected in their cultural value. Historic Cafés as cradles of cultural, political and social life of the cities are a true example of interconnection, as they serve wine. Thus, wine and its unique culture are spread over time through Historic Cafes.
Anthropological research shows how important wine and coffee are in social cohesion processes. And we could definitely say that civilization was “built” on coffee and wine. It is worth mentioning that the cultivation of wine is linked with ancient Greece, from where “Historic Cafes Route” began. Greek mythology is full of stories about wine, while Dionysus, the god of wine is an internationally recognizable character. Wine and coffee coexisted for centuries and their link continues today, thanks to the valorisation of their ancient traditions and cultural identities and also thanks to the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe.
The Cultural Route “Iter Vitis” and the Cultural Route “Historic Cafes Route” can offer lots of information for historical study, cultural enhancement, sustainable commercial and touristic development, with a view to growing local territories and communities, as main actors of itineraries and stories.
It is worth mentioning that “Historic Cafes Route” is to be certified by the Council of Europe, while “Iter Vitis” is already certified by the Council of Europe.
With all the above as a starting point, the agreement aims to increase opportunities between the two Cultural Routes by encouraging a new co-planning and cooperation in terms of analysis, creation of combined tourism products between neighbouring areas, local upgrade actions and promotion of sustainable tourism related to local communities but also with European and international implications.