Sixth partnership meeting Ferrara, Italy


On 10th and 11th of September 2019, the very welcoming city of Ferrara (Italy) offered its hospitality to our international partners by hosting 6th HICAPS All-Partner Meeting. The venue hosts from the Comune di Ferrara chose to conduct our meetings in the town hall of the medieval palace in the very center of the city - Castello Estense. This impressive fortification build in 14th century, once welcoming high nobility, knights, and lords, served equally well our partners from Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, and Poland. At the beginning of our gathering, all the participants were greeted by Ferrara Counselor for Tourism Matteo Fornasini. The importance of the meeting, and the project itself, was once more underlined by the opening words of the Counselor, in which he addressed the significance of the project in the goal of opening Ferrara and its heritage to wider public, but also the significance of connecting cities and places in wider European frame.


As the 6th meeting came in the key moment of the project lifetime that marks finalization of its actions and outputs, the meeting itself was of major significance. The first day partners from Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and Poland started the work with the discussion about the overall state of the project’s progress. This was taken as an opportunity to consolidate all the individual partners’ work, and to fine tune any possible discrepancies between different approaches that might ensue. Next, all the partners involved discussed the Work Package 1. Meeting participants were updated about the progress of the activities, and have begun a final preparation of the deliverables together. Among themes covered were talks about the concept of transnational strategy on evaluation of cultural heritage and potentials of historical parks, as well as the transnational strategy itself, and local action plans that all the partners have to develop on their piloting sites. Very important bullet of the day was the presentation of the finalized Work Package 2 – a package that focuses on developing documents which are going to be valuable asset not only to our project, but to all future potential beneficiaries. Partners in the meeting took into consideration all the lessons learnt while working on package, and defined any additional tasks that we can carry on in order to maximize the effects of produced outcomes. In this package, partners developed transnational guidelines on criteria about setting up priorities and selecting measures, various educational tools about the historical parks for schools and public, and handbook on landscape accessibility, all of which is available on our web-page, by clicking here.  After the lunch break, meeting day was concluded with the talks about the communication package of the project, as important aspect of creating visibility and expanding overall reach, and with the discussion about the Work Package 3, its state of the progress, and further preparation of the deliverables.


After the meeting, first day was enriched with a unique workshop prepared by our hosts. Taking all the partners in Ferrara’s Hostel, they offered us “Hands on… Laboratory on Do It Yourself to be a Ferrarese citizen”! Under the watchful eye and careful guidance of experienced donne, who are some of the most important guardians of the Ferrarese cultural heritage, our partners were taught how to prepare some of the Ferrara’s signature pasta!


Probably still under the impression of the previous night’s authentic Ferrarese experience, partners started second and final day of the meeting by continuing the discussion about the Work Package 3 from the previous day. Focus of this day was primarily of practical nature, as we discussed revitalization and infrastructural works on 8 pilot sites chosen in Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, and Poland. To conclude our formal gathering, partners closed with meeting of the Steering committee, and risk with quality assessment, just to underline once more all the tasks and obligations still to be done, and to be sure that our finishing line is straight ahead of us!


After two productive days of discussing, talking, debating, exchanging information, papers and ideas, our hosts decided it was a good idea to put our feet where our brains were – and change meeting chairs for bicycles! All the partners hoped on bikes (Ferrara is, in the end, well known as city of bikes) and went on a guided tour around the city which finished with the study visit to the park of the Este Wall. Being the site of our pilot actions, we shared a very positive feeling seeing the tables with our project’s name spread around the park. Seeing how we all contributed to this amazingly beautiful piece of green made us as humbled as it made us motivated and certain that the project is headed in the right direction. Also, observing all the people enjoying the park, we witnessed once more how crucial these parks are to the healthy and full life of one city. Finally, as cherry on our tour topping, partners took a balloon ascension over Ferrara. Giving us an unusual perspective of the Este Wall Park in the vicinity, our hosts bade us farewell with the gift of a truly unique experience. 


After all, back on earth, there’s still much work to do, but meeting reminded us of our strengths, and that our different backgrounds, connected through the Interreg community, only enrich our approach!

Grazie, Ferrara! Next stop, Velenje! :)