By summer 2020 it will be possible to fly by seaplane to travel from Puglia to Greece. This is the objective of the Swan project (Sustainable water aerodrome network).
The possibility of connecting Nardò, Gallipoli and Taranto with the Greek islands proceeds in full sails. The resources of the EU 2014/2020 Interreg Greece-Italy cooperation program have allowed Swan to create a network that includes the port authority of Corfu, the Municipality of Corfu, the port system authority of the Ionian Sea – Port of Taranto, the Municipality of Gallipoli and that of Nardò, in addition to the support of the Italian Maritime Aviation and the Master Ludi company.
In order to encourage the development of seaplane tourism, the ports of Taranto, Gallipoli and Santa Maria al Bagno have been connected with those of Corfu, Paxos, Erikusa, Matraki and Othoni. Obviously to do this, infrastructures have been designed to accommodate the vehicles and which can be used for a series of services in the area (civil protection, environmental monitoring, rescue and assistance), as well as for information and cultural services.
It is not the first time that Puglia has tried to encourage tourism with “alternative” means. In the past, Otranto had worked on the hypothesis of a hydrofoil that could connect the city to Greece but the project was wrecked due to the commissioner of the transport company. Now, however, everything on the Ionian Sea suggests that the project will become reality. These are the words of the Councilor for the Environment of the Municipality of Nardò, Mino Natalizio: “Transport sees Puglia and Salento in a situation of evident difficulty despite being among the most popular tourist destinations at an international level. This project is a gigantic opportunity, because it allows you to create a connection with Greece on a seaplane that is sustainable and very suggestive “.
After a meeting held by the parties, we will move on to the general design and then to the executive one of the sea railways and mini terminals that will have passenger reception services, offices, first aid points, toilets and restaurants, environmental impact assessments and tests: this will be the most delicate phase of the whole project.
Being able to build suitable hydrosurfaces is the fundamental challenge to build an ideal bridge between Puglia and Greece: all sea waterways and terminals will have to be integrated with areas equipped for bathing and nautical tourism. But the suggestion has the flavor of a fairy tale with a happy ending.