Minister pledges EU funds for Appian Way tourism re-launch

Roman consular road links Rome to Puglia

(ANSA) - Rome, September 23 - Culture Minister Dario Franceschini pledged Wednesday to deploy EU funds in boosting tourism for hikers along the Appian Way, the cobbled Roman consular road lined with antiquities that links the Eternal City to Puglia in Italy's deep south.
    "We are working on a big project for the Appian Way walk," Franceschini said at a presentation of the little-known route.
    The minister said he has been in touch with presidents of the four regions the Appian Way passes through, Lazio, Campania, Basilicata and Puglia, en route to the port of Brindisi, the ancient Roman port for Greece, and will meet them October 14 to coordinate the project.
    "If we succeed we will also bring resources from the European Union," Franceschini said.
    "The Appian Way unites areas where foreign tourists don't arrive, it revalues the South and recovers a unique archaeological heritage," Francheschini said.
    The minister paid tribute to Paolo Rumiz, a journalist for La Repubblica newspaper who recently wrote a series of articles about his journey by foot along the Appian Way.