The idea

VELE APERTE (Open Sails)
Sailing from Apulia to Jerusalem

May 12 – June 2019: retracing the ancient sailing routes

From the year 1000 the pilgrims boarded for Jerusalem from Venice and from the end of the Via Francigena, from the Apulian coasts of Brindisi, Otranto, Santa Maria Finibus Terrae (Santa Maria di Leuca).

It was not just a world of wars and crusaders, but also of peaceful coexistence between Christians, Muslims, Jews, Orthodox. They often dedicated to their business and to their trades rather than to arms.

So more cohabitation than wars.

  • Places of worship coexisted and inhabitants and pilgrims prayed freely everywhere.
  • Political and logistical relations were frequent among Muslims, Jews and Christians, even all over Italy.
  • Trade routes flourished throughout the entire Mediterranean region.

The destination is therefore Jerusalem.  It is reached through a non competitive sailing navigation on the ancient routes, touching the historic ports of the Eastern Mediterranean: Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Cyprus and Haifa.

  • “Three times holy town” is the place on earth where the greatest number of cultures and religions cohabit.
  • It is a “symbolic place” in the world, sign of the capacity for coexistence among people, despite everything!

Join and not divide

  • According to the principle of looking for the one that unites (and not what divides), our idea is to retrace the routes thinking of continuity: we demonstrate how the Mediterranean is a sea that unites, viable with easy routes, today at risk for political divisions and critical relations between peoples.
  • We look for the historical and cultural roots of Europe and the Mediterranean, through the knowledge of cities, places and exceptional environments !
  • We propose crews that, together with the diversity of people and motivations, can jointly go back together the ancient trade and pilgrimage routes towards a common goal and cultivate the friendship and typical solidarity of sailors.

from an idea of Alfonso Casale with Gioviano Facco, Mariester Negro, Federico Sacco and Giorgio Travaini.

The project

Browse the project brochure