Trikala, Greece - Cultural and Natural Heritage, Tourism development and Intergenerational learning

Through the community consultations with the local craftsmen, school administrations, teachers, students and the elderly residents it soon became clear that the cultural and natural riches of the area provide a broad spectrum of delightful discoveries for the local youth. To encompass it more fully intergenerational activities were organized in four thematic sessions:

  • Traditional local products and gastronomy;
  • Culture: Folklore and traditional handcraft;
  • Historical monuments – rural heritage; and
  • Natural environment and rural tourism.
  • The thematic sessions took place on a monthly basis.

The teachers received detailed information about the visits a month in advance, in order to prepare the students properly in class, including home assignments of research about the upcoming trips. The teachers also accompanied the students during the visits. In each thematic session, the elderly locals were the main trainers: demonstrating their skills and traditional family crafts, teaching the students, sharing their memories, ideas, and knowledge, and “stories” that were otherwise in danger of being lost.

The students visited the local sweets and liquor productions, the woodcarving school, the folklore museum, protected areas and tourism facilities, traditional water mill and historical monuments, accompanied by their senior counterparts.

Through these diverse sessions, the young inhabitants of Trikala had a chance to meet the people, who carry on the local cultural and gastronomic traditions, to discover previously unknown facts about their local history and heritage, to visit previously unseen historical monuments, learn how to cook traditional jams, collect traditional recipes, folklore music and personal stories from their own families, and consider their own future in Trikala, perhaps through traditional entrepreneurship, agriculture, nature and tourism.