Trikala, Greece

Trikala Community In Brief:

Trikala prefecture occupies the northwestern part of Thessalia and consists of 2 districts -Trikala and Kalambaka, including 4 Municipalities and 136 communities.

Natural and Cultural heritage

The area of Trikala, 3.384 km2, is mountainous and semi-mountainous, while its southeastern part lies in the great plain of Thessalia.

The natural vegetation of the Trikala flatlands is now extinct, replaced by modern, mechanized agriculture. The mountainous part of the region is mostly covered by vast forests (30% of forest in Greece), rich in species diversity, rare and endemic plants, and protected as part the Natura 2000 network. The mountainous area of Trikala is full of cultural resources: traditional villages, old bridges, and many old churches and monasteries.

The natural landscape and the “Rock Monasteries” of Meteora, are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1988, as a Natural and Cultural World Heritage Site, because of the unique harmonious combination of natural beauty – 60-70 gray monolithic rock pillars – and cultural artifacts: Christian orthodox monasteries of byzantine and post-byzantine religious architecture, containing paintings, icons and handicrafts.

Demographics and economic development

The population of Trikala comprised 131.085 in 2011i. Out-migration from the rural areas has been a growing trend: the percentage of people living in urban areas increased by 12.87% during 1991-2001

The higher percentage of the employment in the prefecture is focused in the sector of tourism and services (50,09%), following farming and animal husbandry (29,10%). The services sector has been steadily rising over the last ten years.

Activities linking Intergenerational Learning, ESD, Cultural Heriage and Tourism

Learning among the younger and the older generation used to be common within the families of the Trikala prefecture. In addition, retired people occasionally visit the kindergartens, in order to spend time with the children, or on the contrary, the children come to the elderly open care center.

The Big Foot project encouraged an organized effort of intergenerational learning on the community level, bringing together senior activist, teachers, students, craftsmen, family enterprises and protected area professionals.

The activities in Trikala were organized around four thematic sessions:

  1. Traditional local products and gastronomy
  2. Culture: Folklore and traditional handcraft
  3. Historical monuments – rural heritage
  4. Natural environment and rural tourism

The thematic sessions took place on a monthly basis. The teachers received detailed information about the visits a month in advance, in order to prepare the students properly in class, including home assignments of research about the upcoming trips. The teachers also accompanied the students during the visits.

In each thematic session, the elderly locals were the main trainers: demonstrating their skills and traditional family crafts, teaching the students, sharing their memories, ideas, and knowledge, and “stories” that were otherwise in danger to be lost.

Through these diverse sessions, the young inhabitants of Trikala had a chance to meet the people, who carry on the local cultural and gastronomic traditions, to discover previously unknown facts about their local history and heritage, to visit previously unseen historical monuments, learn how to cook traditional jams, collect traditional recipes, folklore music and personal stories from their own families, and consider their own future in Trikala, perhaps through traditional entrepreneurship, agriculture, nature and tourism.

The Final Product:

The Big Foot activities in Trikala were reflected in informative videos, but also in a Map of the local products, reflecting tradition in the handcrafts, recipes, and other cultural and natural places of interest. The map will be used to attract visitors and promote sustainable rural tourism.


Dimitris Papagianopoulos (responsible for the folklore museum of Pialia, former teacher)

“The project is most useful: both due to its work on relationship between generations and countries; The children in Greece, like in Gubbio and Berkovitsa, also forget and do not know any more the traditions.”