Nature Friends – Italy


Programme and action: ERASMUS+ programme, Key Action 1: Study Visit

Dates: 21-30 May 2015

Venue: Novoli, Lecce, Italy

Participants: 2 (age limit: 18+)

Participating countries: Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Latvia, Portugal, Bulgaria, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Belarus

Please read the project info-pack.

Project report:

In the end of May, we got the opportunity to visit a town Novoli in the South of Italy. This project was study visit and the aim for us was to get the insight of what the Green Rope organization is involved in. The organization was established only 2 years ago and it consists of biology students from the University in Bari. They are so enthusiastic in what they are doing and love nature. In particular they work with and protect turtles and dolphins. The project was unique for the composition of nations. There were people from all parts of Europe and even Caucasus region. 22 participants came from Greece, Portugal, Italy, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, therefore we all could learn about nationalities we get hardly into contact elsewhere. 

The study visit was aimed at environment-friendly practices like a slow food that focuses on local food, cooking, and mostly vegetarian. The Italian culture, especially such people that we met were particularly about traditional style of cooking, everybody together, spending hours cooking, having a laugh all the time. We spent good part of our visit travelling around the region Puglia. We saw a beautiful lake Cava di Bauxite, a reminder of a bauxite mine. We visited touristic city Otranto where we all jumped into sea for the first time this year. In Otranto, city more presented and spoken of for its heavy industry and pollution, we went canoeing on the sea, which was for some of us first time in our lives. In Taranto we visited a natural reservation where birds like Flamingos, which we could see through binoculars, stop over to regain energy on their way from Africa to Europe and the other way round before winter.  We also visited Bari, the capital city of Puglia where we presented our project to people on the streets and got an opportunity to spend time in the old city full of Churches and old narrow streets where people still use to sit outside and spend days talking and socializing. On our journeys, we saw fields full of grapes and olives divided by traditional walls as a reminder of times when the law wasn’t enforced much. What we all were looking forward to was dolphin watching and it indeed was the climax of our visit. A boat that usually on the sea twice a day to take tourists to see happy dolphins in the nature took our group to the middle of the sea somewhere between Italy and Greece and we saw the dolphins jumping up out of water to take a breath and have a look at us. We enjoyed it all the more because we were told what hardship the dolphins in aquariums that if they don’t die they are capable of committing a suicide.

In intercultural evening, we learned Armenian, Belarusian and Latvian dances, Italian gestures and witnessed a great performance of a Belarusian traditional song. We were encouraged to express an idea of our own projects. As it turned out, many of us already had organized a project or were seriously going to create one and we saw very bright ideas of projects regarding travelling, recycling, cultures and others that we actually agreed we would have taken part in. The leader was very enthusiastic and he actually taught us to write a real project and showed us that if we want to do something, thanks to Erasmus+ and other projects it is as possible as never before.


 Tomáš Marek

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