Former Parenzana railway line revitalised for recreation and sport

The Parenzana II project has continued the restoration, for recreational, tourism and culture purposes, of the disused railway running through Croatia and Slovenia which began with the original Parenzana project. The railway has been transformed into a cycle track, with sections from Vižinada to Poreč and from Lama to Dekani restored and a bridge at Livade rebuilt under the second project.

Additional tools

Cyclists on the Parenzana cycle path © Istarska županija Cyclists on the Parenzana cycle path © Istarska županija

" The project allows the cycle route to run the whole length of the Croatian and Slovenian part of the railway. Objects and services such as milestones, sightseeing points along with rest-places, informative tables, info points and bicycle parks add value to the route. The project has also had a big impact in terms of cross-border cooperation and friendship. "

Davor Dobrila, Region of Istria Tourism Department

Related tourist infrastructure has also been improved, thanks to the project. A full-size locomotive model has been made and exhibited at Vižinada, and milestones, multimedia info kiosks providing multilingual information on subjects such as the local area and emergency services, sign posts, thematic boards and rest areas have been installed along the path. In addition, four tour guides have been trained and the Parenzana multimedia museum, located next to the track at Livade, has been extended.

Local cooperation to benefit locals and tourists

The project aimed to combine the natural, cultural and technical heritage of the route with tourist events in participating municipalities as part of an integrated product. This was done to raise the profile of the Croatia-Slovenia border area and awareness of the importance and potential of the track, particularly among nature and cycling enthusiasts. A multimedia CD-ROM enabling users to search for information on the route and take virtual tours was also produced, as were videos and maps.

Cross-border cooperation and joint implementation of activities were essential for the success of the project and this should help to gather support for similar cooperation. Local municipalities will continue to maintain the infrastructure and take it into account when planning activities.

Encouraging sustainable transport

Through its awareness raising activities, the project helped to encourage the local population and tourists to use sustainable forms of transport such as walking and cycling so as to reduce road transport and related emissions. The route is helping to create conditions for enhancement of tourist services in surrounding rural areas in order to support long-term development by increasing the competitiveness of the region's tourism sector. The info kiosk system also encourages users to visit the surrounding area.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Parenzana II - Revitalisation of the Route of Health and Friendship” is EUR 612 485, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 520 612 from the Operational Programme “Slovenia-Croatia IPA Cross-border Programme” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date