The Laboratory of Knowledge & Intelligent Computing (KIC-Lab), in the framework of the European Project QNeST PLUS (Quality Network on Sustainable Tourism) funded by the Interreg ADRION (ADRIATIC – IONIAN) Programme, participated in the «OPEN DAY QNeST PLUS Project and Quality Cultural Routes for Sustainable Tourism in Adriatic and Ionian regions», which took place in Lecce (Italy) from the 10th to the 11th of June, 2022. The first day, in the opening meeting, which took place at the City Hall of Minervino di Lecce, staff of the KIC-Lab presented the innovative application of QNeST PLUS. Through the quality network of local stakeholders, hotels and businesses of the wider tourism sector created within the project, touristic itineraries and tasting routes are presented to the tourists. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Anna Trono, while local stakeholders and partners from Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, and Italy discussed about the promotion of high-quality sustainable tourism.
The second day, the participants visited archaeological sites, monuments, and places of particular cultural, natural, and symbolic importance, such as Otranto, Grotte di Zinzulusa and Porto Badisco. They also lived the experience of the unique agricultural landscape of the area, the drystone routes, and the centenarian olive groves. They visited an oil press functioning as an Olive Oil Museum and more complex architectural forms, such as the Masseria Torcito. They got familiar with the way of life of locals and farmers and tasted local biological products, receiving a unique experience of the value of the Mediterranean Diet. The two-days event closed with a live concert in Porto Badisco, Lecce, where the band La Cantiga de la Serena performed songs including the dialect of Griko. The participants from Greece got to know a small part of Grecia Salentina (Salentine Greece), the linguistic islet in which the ancient Greek language “Griko” or “Greek of Salento” survives, functioning as a witness of an uninterrupted cultural heritage that unites the two countries.