Cleaning paths with Make it Blue!

The association of ACABRBIO, along with the project Make it Blue, and in cooperation with the European Solidarity Corps, has been trying to save the natural landscape of the Amalfi coast, specially focusing on the area of Tramonti, and in the protection of its terraces, the conservation of which is essential in order to achieve sustainability in the area. The terraces are one of the main elements of traditional lifestyle along the Amalfi coast. During centuries, people from Tramonti have managed to overcome the difficulties to cultivate the land, leading to the construction of the terraces, that allow people to produce different products while perfectly adapting to the mountainous orography. In addition, all those terraces needed to be connected, resulting on the construction of different paths that would link them with the surroundings cities.

Not so long ago, all those paths were often used by working people to collect and move the harvest of lemons – the main product of the Amalfi coast – from Tramonti to coat cities such as Amalfi and Positano, as they were the “supplier” of the ancient republic of Amalfi. However, during the last decades, these paths have been gradually abandoned, due to the development of tourism in the coast and the construction of new modern roads, designed for cars. As a result, some terraces have started to fall down, and old houses have started to collapse. The consequences of these are extremely harmful, as terraces help the land not to fall down the cliffs, as well as keeping sediments in the ground.

For all those reasons, one of the main goals of Acarbio is to protect and save the terraces and make it possible for local country people to live on the work in the terraces. As a youth project, we have been cleaning and recovering some of them. One of the main paths – now almost abandoned except for tourist – is the “sentieri dei formichelle”. During decades, local women used to carry packs of lemons over the heads, creating a lng human chain of working people that would move the entire harvest of lemons from Tramonti to Maiori. The look of such a unique way of working reminded people to the way ants work. And that’s how “il sentieri” was named after the ants.

Nonetheless, this path – just like many others–, once one of the most important for economic development of Tramonti, has now been forgotten and abandoned. The path where “the ants” used to work is now covered by grass, and it’s barely recognizable. But just until a week ago, as the Make it Blue project have cleaned the paths and make it possible to walk on it again.  We have been trying to rebuild them, as the main target of this association is both to recover and preserve its local heritage, and to keep its traditions alive.

Alberto Gonzalez Bullejos 


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