The mayor of Barcelona Jaume Collboni decides not to renew the 10 thousand licenses for short-term rentals to regain the meaning of his own urban nomenclature. In Italy, however, projects are multiplying to solve the problem in a less institutional way, that is, by walking.

From the Karst to Cilento, two examples of how designing a walking route means first and foremost doing one of the oldest things in the world.

Exploring, wandering in the midst of nature, in the woods, on the trail of paths beaten for centuries. And immerse yourself in the stories that each territory remembers and is capable of telling through the voices and commitment of those who live there. To look from above, both metaphorically and physically, at the eight-story tall ships that dock on the Mediterranean coasts, loaded with what the Catalans call "locusts", the tourists.

It takes a slow, rethought, meditative time. Solvitur ambulando, the Latins said.

The new Path of the Mediterranean diet, in Cilento

The protagonist of the first project is Pollica, two thousand inhabitants in Cilento. It is the original heart of the Mediterranean diet, theorized here by the scientist Ancel Keys starting from the 1950s and now recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Davide Fiz, digital nomad and inventor of the Smart Walking project, together with the environmental hiking guides Ilaria Di Gregorio and Fernanda Quaglia, left on May 30th to inaugurate, one step after another, the Path of the Lands of the Mediterranean Diet.

And he says: “I've been working in smart working for ten years, I've been walking for even longer. With my backpack on my shoulders I've been walking a little less, but long enough to know that I like it more than just "I go trekking when I have time". I want slowness, meetings, watching, and I want to be able to do it every day, not just if life gets in the way, because by now I've taken off the armrests and taken up the oars."

Meet those who live in the area

The three travellers, in the tradition of wayfarers and pilgrims, are learning about a historical, archaeological, naturalistic and architectural route, including churches, castles, palaces, food experiences - workshops, tastings and meetings with producers, chefs and cooks, artisans - and protected areas, which preserve a unique biodiversity heritage.

It is an opportunity to rediscover traveling outside the mainstream circuits, in contact with local communities.

Because the Mediterranean diet belongs above all to the community: it is a living and social experience that is discovered by meeting fishermen, farmers, producers of the various slow food products, chefs, grandfathers and grandmothers, but also researchers and startup developers.

In this corner of Cilento there is a territory that educates, a model of sustainable and fair development that underlies an alternative tourism model.

The Karst as a story

The second project worth mentioning is Estplore, created by Sara Famiani and Simon Ferfolja in the Karst territory of Trieste. A border territory, incredibly interesting especially because it is remote.

The two guides chose the path of aesthetic experience, as well as exploratory. Sara Famiani says: “In the role of guide, I obstinately seek that difficult balance between enjoyment of the territory and respect for those (human and otherwise) who live there and fear the crazy logic of tourist consumerism.

The northeast ecosystem is the place that I have the privilege of inhabiting: from here I leave every time for new explorations that can offer cultural, social and economic satisfaction to all involved".

Walking yes, but among the Aurina stone quarries for a contemporary dance show. Or in the woods and on the paths of the microscopic realities of the Julian Prealps in the company of 'mountain' writers.

The idea behind the Estplore itineraries is respect for the inhabitants of the area (human and otherwise, the two guides specify), custodians of the genius loci and historically attentive and sensitive to the concept of "invasion" and "border".

The invitation to walk: the alternative tourism out of control of the mass market

“Friuli Venezia Giulia, especially in its easternmost latitudes, has faced rapid and, for now, uncontrolled growth in international tourism in recent years,” explains Sara Famiani. Close and convenient to Austria, it is a quieter alternative to the crowded regions of Slovenia and Croatia.

And, above all, Trieste is the port of choice for large companies which, since Venice was banned from cruise ship traffic, dock in the city a few meters from one of the few squares overlooking the Italian sea: Piazza dell'Unità. Estplore is the result of a long professional incubation, but also of the desire to build viable alternatives to disposable tourism, which in a small urban area causes short and long-term problems term.

The solution, here too, is walking. Solvitur ambulandothrough the streets animated by dozens of bars with products from small local businesses, in the elegant streets of the Teresian village, in the winding streets of the medieval nucleus restored and reclaimed by the will of the former mayor Riccardo Illy.

To then venture just outside the urban area, into the Karst known in school books and almost never physically explored. To discover the memory, the historical story, the many religious and cultural communities. And understand that a territory is the result of individual projects that condense into a collective will capable of creating healthy alternatives.