At the emblematic Gallerie d’ Italia in Piazza San Carlo, Turin was held the Conference “Historic Cafés Route – tangible and intangible heritage” on June 30, 2023.
The Conference was a co-organization of HCR and the Association of Historic Cafés of Turin and Piedmont. At the same day, a Certification Ceremony was held at the same venue.
The Conference had important speakers that elaborated the significance of Historic Cafés Route, but also, of the Cultural Routes in general. Michele Copolla, the Directors of Gallerie d’ Italia, Alberto Cirio, the President of Piedmont Region and Edoardo Cavagnino, the President of the Association of Historic Cafés of Turin and Piedmont opened the Conference.
Amongst the speakers were Maria Vittoria Poggio, Councilor for Culture, Commerce and Tourism of Piedmont Region, Rosanna Purchia, Councilor for Culture of the city of Turin, Paolo Bertolino, General Secretary of Unioncamere of Piedmont, Dario Gallina, President of the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Turin, Roberta Alberotanza (Former Task Force for the Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the CoE) and Barbara Toce (Former Vice-President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the CoE).
Also the Conference there were representatives of Cultural Routes certified by the Council of Europe that cross the Region of Piemonte, Andrea Archinà (Bureau Member of the European Association of the Via Francigena Ways and Mayor of Avigliana), Emanuela Panke (“Iter Vitis” International Federation), Eleonora Berti (European Federation of Napoleonic Cities), Renata Santoro (Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe, ASCE), Raffaella Caria (European Historic Thermal Towns Association, EHTTA).
On behalf of the Historic Cafés Route Board of Directors, Mr. Vitor de Sa Marques was present, to represent the certified by the Council of Europe Cultural Route. Mr. Marques also delivered the HCR certificate during the certification event, as the official representative of HCR in Turin to Edoardo Cavagnino, President of the Association of Historic Cafés of Turin and Piedmont.
You can watch the Conference and the Certification Ceremony here:
Mr. Vitor de Sa Marques also gave the following speech during the conference:
“First of all, I would like to greet all the national and local authorities present at this conference.
Secondly, I would like to thank the Associazione de Caffé Storici di Torino e del Piemonte for the invitation to be here today.
This speech will have 2 parts. The first is dedicated to the Portuguese Historic Cafés Association and the second is dedicated to the Historic Cafés Route, where I have the honor to be a member of the Board of Directors.
Historic Cafés Route
The Council of Europe certified the Historic Cafés Route as a European Cultural Route in June 2022. With this certification, the European Cultural Route of Historic Cafés will put into practice the values of the Council of Europe:
The Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe are a unique invitation to travel and to discover the rich and diverse heritage of Europe. They put into practice the values of the Council of Europe by bringing people and places together in transnational networks of shared history and heritage.
The Historic Cafés Route currently has 99 Historic Cafés members and friends* from 15 countries You can find in details all these information at HCR official website. There you can also find profiles of all our members, the collaborations, the participations, the events etc. I strongly suggest that you all visit constantly www.historiccafesroute.com. Please not that the map on our website will be replaced and updated soon, with more details (including both HCR members and EHICA members).
We are currently reinforcing our contacts regarding Historic Cafés in Turkey, France, Austria, Lebanon and Germany. That means that HCR is a Route that grows and expands in order to gain more power, more visibility. We still have contacts with more countries, as Albania and the United Kingdom.
Our goal is also to increase the number of collaboration agreements with other Cultural Routes.
We currently have signed 4 agreements with certified by the Council of Europe Routes, namely the Iter Vitis, The Phoenicians Route, The European Fairy Tale Route and the Women Writers Route in order to strengthen collaboration and promotion of the values, cultural and touristic aspect, tangible and intangible heritage. We also agreed on signing agreements with the Thermal Towns, the Important Cemeteries and the Route D’ Ardagnan. And this is only the beginning.
In this sector we can consider that there is a differentiated offer, of different products, directed to more demanding tourist segments, which can be classified in Literary Tourism, Architectural Tourism and Gastronomic Tourism. All the above are parts of the cultural tourism, that grows every year.
Regarding this matter, our Ambassador in Romania, also created and promoted a new cultural touristic product, a 3 day “city break” with visits at Historic Cafes of Romania, but also visits at important monuments, museums, etc. Romania is the first country to develop such a product and we are certain that Portugal, Spain and –why not? Italy will follow soon. Of course those touristic product will include also destinations of other Certified Routes of the Council of Europe.
Here I have to mention one more goal that all Cultural Routes must achieve. The Council of Europe has adopted the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Sustainability is also one of the three main themes of the Training Academy of the Cultural Routes. Sustainable development as well as Sustainable Tourist must be high in our Agenda. For your information HCR Executives, George Loverdos and Maria Mystakifou participate in this group of Cultural Routes. A special category has also been added on our website. Sustainability and practices are also very high as a factor of recertification.
Historic Cafés can reinforce the portfolio of national tourist products and, in this way contribute to the sustained growth of the sector.
As we address these issues, we are also identifying the contribution of Historic Cafés not only in the context of tangible and intangible heritage, but also in the economic, political, cultural social and ecological context. These are some of our differentiating elements, due to their authenticity and genuineness, which must be known. These are what distinguish us and give us notoriety and visibility.
We will be valuing, making our history known, recognizing and remembering our memories, our traditions and our identity, preserving and caring for this legacy, this knowledge, for future generations.
Historic Cafes Route has the sign of excellence, given by the Council of Europe and managed to create a very strong and important profile through its official website, but also the official social media –Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
Since all actions of HCR is promoted via the website and the social media, I kindly ask you to please join them and be a valuable part of our big family. It is very important not only to interact with our pages but tags and mentions are more than welcomed. Don't forget that in some cases HCR cannot share a post or story of yours if HCR isn't tagged and mentioned.
As a member of the Board of the Historic Cafes Route, I promise all of you that I – along with the executive team of the Route, Mr. George Loverdos, Route Manager and Mrs. Maria Mystakidou, Communication Manager are always at your disposal for anything you might need. It is important to be together in this trip, it is important to create and grow together.
Portuguese Historic Cafés Association
The Portuguese Historic Cafes Association is a unique paradigm in Europe.
In 2012 I started to create the Portuguese Historic Cafés Association by listing Historic Cafés in Portugal.
The Route of Historic Cafés of Portugal, with the participation of 23 Cafes, was officially presented in 2014 and was part of the program of the XVI Cultural Week of the University of Coimbra.
At the beginning the entire project was financed by me: the search, visits to the Cafés, the photographer, the designer the texts, etc.
In 2016 I was finally able to publish the book. “Portuguese Historic Cafés Route”, an improved version of the brochure presented in 2014. I managed to get funding from 2 private and 2 public entities. The book had 2 editions: one in Portuguese and one in English.
During that time, a partnership was established with the National Post Office (CTT) that allowed, at the end of 2016, to publish an edition of stamps dedicated to Historic Cafés. At the end of 2017, the book “The Cafés of Portugal: Tradition and Get-togethers” was published, including 39 Historic Cafés in Portugal- some from the Azores and Madeira. It was the result of my personal research between 2015 and 2016.
In 2018, the International Meeting of Historic Cafés with the theme: “Historic Cafés as Cultural Heritage” was held,. This initiative was included in the XX Cultural Week of the University of Coimbra and in the European Year of Cultural Heritage. It also had the support of the Historic Cafés Route, which at that time was called EHICA.
In 2020, the book “Historic Cafés as Cultural Heritage: The Meeting”, which contains all the contributions of the participants in the seminar was published. Once again, the meeting and the publication were carried out with the support of 3 public entities and 3 private companies.
In 2020, the Portuguese Historic Cafés Association wins the 1st prize in the category of “Transnational Thematic Tourism Products” with the project “Historic Cafés in the Iberian Peninsula”. This award is promoted by the European Cultural Tourism Network and has the support of the European Travel Commission and Europa Nostra.
The candidacy for this prize was made in partnership with my dear friend Fernando Franjo, Spanish journalist and author of the book “50 Historic Cafés of Spain and Portugal”.
The attribution of this 1st prize allowed us to participate, in the 2021 edition, of The Best in Heritage, in a partnership with the International Council of Museums and Europa Nostra, with support of Creative Europe.
As a result of this fruitful collaboration with Fernando Franjo, was the project that we call: Cafés no Caminho.
“Cafés no Caminho” introduces an unprecedented “product” by promoting Historic Cafés of Coimbra, Porto, Braga. Vigo, Pontevedra and Santiago as an alternative tourist / cultural pilgrimage crossing the cities and regions from Coimbra to Santiago de Compostela. On the same time, music, dance, art, exhibitions, gastronomy, enhance the intercultural and cross-border identity between Portugal and Spain.
But 2021 was very complicated, because of COVID19, in economic and financial terms, so we were unable to obtain funding for its implementation.
We continue to believe that the “Cafés no Caminho” project could reinforce the portfolio of national tourist-cultural products and, in this way to contribute to the sustained growth of the sector. Either way, this is what Historic Cafes Route is doing now, by creating a cultural touristic product. These kind of projects, are the future of the tourism.
In 2022, the seminar “Historic Cafés: A Meeting of Ideas” was held, in partnership with Historic Cafés Route and Café Santa Cruz
The main objectives of these 2 meetings (2018 and 2022) were:
– the participation of European institutions and entities associated with European Cultural
– to reflect on the importance of creating the National Day of the Historic Cafés;
– to propose the creation of the European Day of the Historic Cafés;
– the creation of a passport for those who visit Historic Cafés in Portugal and in Europe.
– The importance and the safeguarding the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Cafés for
the memory of people and places, the local identity and its authenticity;
– to identify the European dimension of the Cultural Routes passing through Portugal;
– to promote the participation of Historic Cafés from all over Europe, through the use of the
different existing digital communication platforms;
– contribute to the certification of the Historic Cafés as a Cultural Route of the Council of
On the same time, it is important to mention that I also participated at Fora and Seminars regarding Historic Cafes, culture and Tourism. That way I could be informed about all new entries.
The objectives of the Portuguese Historic Cafés Association for the near future are:
– continue to promote and publicize the Historic Cafés of Portugal;
– create touristic products regarding Historic Cafés in national and international level
– Create the National (and International) Historic Cafes Day;
– Promote Cultural Routes that pass through Portugal
Historic Cafés are treasures that honour our history, our memory, our traditions and are part of our historical legacy that we want to safeguard for future generations.
The day ended with a concert and gala dinner at the Caffè Baratti & Milano.
During the 30 th of June, the Mole Antonelliana of the Municipality of Torino had special lightening dedicating at Historic Cafes Route.