TIRANA, December 15
Follow the legend of Aeneas through the archeological richness of the Mediterranean region. This is the aim of an international itinerary part of the Council of Europe cultural routes, which encourage cultural, archeological, and sustainable tourism. Travelers that will embark on Aeneas Route will have the opportunity to explore five different countries while chasing the imaginary adventures of Aeneas as written on the Aeneid by Virgil. The cultural route begins in Antandros in Turkey and continues to Greece, Albania, Italy, Tunisia, and back to its final destination in the Italian capital, Rome.
The itinerary includes visits to six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Butrinti among them.
It was the legend of Aeneas that captivated many European intellectuals who set on journeys to Butrint since the Renaissance period.
According to the legend, Aeneas reached Butrini (Buthrotum) after sailing from Actium. There he met Andromache, the widow of Hector, weeping her husband at an empty grave. Aeneas found out that prince Helenus, son of Priam, built Butrinti to look like a little Troy. “I greet a little Troy and a Pergamon who imitates the great” (vv. 349-350)
Helenus and Andromache advised Aeneas on how to avoid danger while at sea and how to appease the rage of Juno.
Butrinti was rediscovered during an archeological mission led by Luigi Maria Ugolini, who is said to have written in his diary that like Heinrich Schliemann found Troy because of Homer’s epic ‘Iliad’, he set out in search of Virgil’s Buthrotum because of the Aeneid poem.
The cultural route is a program launched by the Council of Europe in 1987. It aims to show that shared citizenship can be at the foundation of the European identity. There are over 30 cultural routes that help to enhance the heritage of each member state and to create networks that strengthen the feeling of belonging to a common European cultural heritage. Further on the project puts in practice the values of CoE, human rights, cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, and mutual exchanges across borders.
Moreover, the cultural routes provide a wealth of leisure and educational activities for all citizens across Europe and beyond and are key resources for responsible tourism and sustainable development.
Find more about the destinations to visit on the Aeneas Route or support the project Here.
Read also: Inside Butrinti Unknown War Bunkers