The European Fairy Tale Route is an itinerary that links imaginary spaces to real places with the aim of highlighting the heritage of myths, values, and models of behavior which are the basis of our European identity. It enhances the tangible and intangible heritage of our continent, linking the characters of fairytales, folklore stories, legends, and oral traditions of the past with the authors, museums, parks, houses, libraries, and centers of reading. In a journey suspended between space and time, visitors can explore the enchanted places of the fairy-tale characters, and at the same time delve into the historical, anthropological, and literary culture of the stories, also experiencing the attraction parks in the tourist destinations of European fairy tales revealed by the route.
Fairy tales, as a common heritage shared by all the inhabitants of our continent, have had and still have a very active role in the education of children and continue to propose the fundamental values of solidarity, respect for differences, and care for environment to adults too. In fact, they are the basis of common feeling, and their re-proposition as an element of cultural diplomacy is the greatest goal of this itinerary, which aims to highlight shared ethics and propose evidence of the different models of behavior of each single culture.
Fairy tales should be considered as an important intercultural and educational tool relevant to improve democratic citizenship in our society and to live better together in Europe. Thus, the European Fairy Tale Route is a journey of (re)discovery of the characters and authors of European fairy tales, of enchanted places imagined as children, which is part of a new type of cultural and experiential tourism, where tradition is combined with emotion and imagination.
The EFTR aims to strengthen the economic, social, and cultural development by enhancing the areas along the itinerary in terms of visibility, cooperation, and sustainability. The European Fairy Tale Route became in 2022 a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe.
The Cultural Routes programme, launched by the Council of Europe in 1987, demonstrates in a visible way, by means of a journey through space and time, how the heritage of the different countries and cultures of Europe represent a share cultural heritage. The Cultural Routes put into practice the fundamental values of Council of Europe: human rights, cultural democracy, cultural diversity and identity, dialogue, mutual exchange and enrichments across boundaries and centuries.