Civic monitoring report

Sent on 19/02/2024 | By Road to the sea | @

What we found out

Project objectives

The project that we are monitoring is related to the extension of the seaside of Campomarino (CB), consisting in the construction of a wooden walkway. It is financed by a programme called ROP (Regional Operational Programme) ERDF-ESF 2014-2020 CCI 2014IT16M2OP001, delevoped with decision C 4999 final of 14/07/2015 - axis 5 Environment, Culture and Tourism, with 615,626.00 €.
The Municipality of Termoli established the Specific Objective 6 C.6.6 - “Improving the conditions and standards of supply and enjoyment of heritage in areas of natural attraction”- and Campomarino is the beneficiary.
The construction of the walkway is part of a programme the Municipality of Campomarino is working on, whose purpose is to requilify the coastal area. We are analysing the project relating the area to be built that runs from “Lungomare degli Aviatori” to “Via del Mare”. This is a zone of high environmental value but unfortunately it is a degraded and unregulated area, where people illegally deposit their waste, putting the vegetation in danger. For this reason the aim is to convert this stretch and make it a much safer tourist area. Furthermore, the project involves the construction of a path for cyclists, pedestrians, people with disabilities and emergency vehicles, in order to guarantee safety for whoever wants to visit this new part of the seaside.
To sum up, the purpose is to create a secure infrastructure for the people and the environment, also keeping in consideration the needs of local bathing tourism activities.

Foreseen activities

According to the Landscape Report, which dates back to 02/04/2019 and was written by arch. Gaetano Piermarino, the project aims to create a path from “Lungomare degli Aviatori” (south side) to “Canale Due Miglia", connecting two areas that are currently divided by a pine grove, named “Sorantonio”, that runs along the promenade. Sorantonio was made artificially 50 years ago and it used to protect the crops from the strong wind caused by the sea. With its extension of 5 hectares, it borders to the South with “Via Vanoni”, to the East with “Via del Mare”, to the West with “Lungomare degli Aviatori” and to the North with the seaside.
The 540-metre long route consists of a wooden walkway and a steel structure of 2.80-metre width placed at an altitude of about 60 cm from the ground, in order to safeguard the natural ecosystem and its habitat. The track will be built inside the pine grove and will be illuminated by light points embedded in the pavement. Three relax areas are forecasted with eight 1.50-metre wide ramps, located near the crossroads between Via Vanoni and the coast. There will be road signs along the route, in order to signal the orthogonal streets, as well as a wooden fence and a special signage for cycling.
From the Preliminary Design Document that dates back to 15/01/2019, signed by the RUP of the Municipality of Campomarino, arch. Martino Colucci, we learn that the area covered by the intervention is part of a maritime state-owned area delivered to the IRIF (Istituto Ripartimentale delle Foreste di Foggia). In this area there are landscape and hydrogeological restrictions and it is classified as a SCI zone - Site of Community Importance (SCI area and SPA 7222216 Foce Biferno). In order to obtain the delivery of the area to the Municipality of Campomarino, the authorizations, from the Harbour Office, the Molise Region, the Forest Command of Campobasso, the Harbour Office and the competent State Agency, were essential.
From the interview with the architect, Mr. Martino Colucci, we can confirm what also appears from the Open Cohesion site: the project has not started yet, although the beginning of the works was scheduled for 01/10/2018 and the deadline for 31/12/2019.

Project origin

The procedure that developed the project that we are monitoring is contained in the Strategic Document of the Municipality of Termoli that the Municipality approved with d.g.c. n. 27/2017 - 5.1.1 Interventions for the protection and enhancement of areas of natural attraction of strategic importance (protected areas in the terrestrial and marine environment, protected landscapes) such as to consolidate and promote development processes.
The document contains the urban development strategy relating to the area of Termoli, called "The Dolphin Coast'', a collective tourism marketing project aimed at enhancing the nature and the material and intangible heritage of the coast of Molise. Geographically, the Dolphin Coast is identified with the Molise stretch of the Adriatic coast and includes the territory of Termoli, Campomarino, Montenero di Bisaccia and Petacciato.
The Strategic Document aimed at consolidating a process of co-design of the urban strategy. The representatives of the municipalities involved met in the preliminary planning phases aimed at defining the needs of the territory, the potential to be exploited and the horizons to be reached. This was possible thanks to the resources of the FESR and the territorialized FSE (managed directly by the Urban Authority) which are part of the Regional Operational Planning 2014-2020.
In addition, the Strategic Document contains a series of major works for the Municipality of Campomarino: extension of the promenade, construction of the bike path, completion of the tourist harbour, redevelopment of the pine grove, completion of the sports hall, enhancement of the forest "della Fantine". Some of them are already completed, others will be implemented in the coming years and will have a supra-municipal value. Among them, as you can see, there is the project that we are monitoring.
The forecast of the construction of the new promenade is also contained in the Municipal Beach Plan, adopted with Municipal Council Resolution no. 31 of 14/10/2016.
From the analysis of the documents published by the Municipality of Campomarino and the following interview with arch. Colucci, we learned that, according to the Beach Plan, the extension of the promenade should have been made of concrete. However, the Environmental Assessment Service of the Molise Region, with Determines Management n. 20/2014, expressed a negative opinion, referring to the risk to compromise the environmental habitat. This entailed the need to make an alternative to the Beach Plan, providing for the construction of a wooden walkway. This time, this suggestion obtained a positive opinion from the Region.
The design phase has not involved the local community in any way, nor there have been any presentation events organised. All the administrations involved have only fulfilled their obligations of administrative transparency. We tried to fill this gap, by launching a survey on various social pages (see 2nd step).


We believe that the extension of the Campomarino seaside can have a positive impact on several aspects of local life: from economy to social welfare, from safety to the environment. There are potential beneficiaries of this project. Residents and tourists could appreciate an additional area where they can have a walk, exercise or simply enjoy the sea landscape from a different view, making the area much more attractive. Some beach clubs, which are currently accessible only through an unsafe path and poorly signposted and illuminated, could have greater visibility with significant economic benefits. The wooden walkway can contribute to improving the quality of life of the local community by offering them a more accessible and regulated pine grove, with relax areas where they can spend their free time. However, it is important to carefully plan such works considering the needs and the point of view of all the stakeholders, also evaluating any possible negative impact.


Here are the needs of the local territory:
- linking two currently separate coastal areas;
- safeguarding the coastal environment and its habitat;
- ensuring sustainable economic and tourist development;
- encouraging cycling and walking;
- enabling disabled people and rescue services to reach the shore.
A path similar to the one designed by the Municipality of Campomarino was already built in Atlantic City. Arch. Colucci explained that the idea was born after a trip to the United States. The entire seaside of Atlantic City consists of a wide walkway, perfectly drivable, which is elevated so that it can preserve the fauna and flora below. Since it is made of wood, it can be disassembled, without being necessary to demolish. The Municipality of Termoli, as part of the same Urban Strategy action 5.1.1 - The Dolphin Coast - has planned a similar intervention aimed at the recovery and enhancement of the southern stretch of the coast, Rio Vivo.
All of these works are financed by European funds amounting to 384,000€. They waited for the green light to start from 2018 to November 2021, which explains the considerable delay. This was caused by both bureaucratic problems (allowed by the State Property Agency) and the nesting of a species of bird, the friar.


During the interview, Mr. Colucci reported that the plan was made and approved in 2019, but the works have not started yet because they have to be done on a marine state property area, which requires two main fulfilments to be used: to collect several authorizations from different authorities and to receive the area in concession. After gathering all the necessary assessments (from the Molise Region, the Forest Command of Campobasso, the Harbor Office and the State Property Agency), a problem showed up when the IRIF had to hand over the area to the Municipality of Campomarino: this was not possible until April 2023. In the meantime, the licences previously acquired expired and subsequent fulfillments were required.
During our monitoring visit on the part of the beach concerned, we verified the level of neglect and degradation of the area, especially in Winter, and the lack of any information plaque concerning the beginning of the works.


As already mentioned, Mr. Colucci explained to us that the plan was made and approved in 2019, but its realisation has not started yet due to the lack of delivery, in tight times, of the state property area from the IRIF to the Municipality of Campomarino. Thus far, the trees to be cut down in the pine grove have been already identified, together with the building company. Due to the landscape and environmental restrictions, such as the ones concerning the nesting of the friar, that make the construction impossible from March to September, the works are expected to begin in September 2024.


The weakness of the project, as far as we are concerned, is that many years have passed from the decision-making phase (2019) to the expected implementation phase (2024). The funds allocated may not be sufficient with the risk of exceeding the planned amount and delaying the implementation.
Nowadays, the 22-metre long low coast of Molise, including the Campomarino’s seaside, is quite retarded. The harbours of Termoli and Campomarino and atmospheric phenomena contributed significantly to the erosion of the materials employed to build the infrastructures: in the past years heavy rain and flood caused great damage. In view of this problem, the walkway should be regularly maintained.


In our opinion, the walkway could make the seaside more attractive as visitors could enjoy a pine grove definitely more redeveloped than now. From the inspection carried out, we were able to verify its state of abandon. The easy access to this stretch of the beach, which is now difficult to get to, would make the area more attractive for tourists, with significant advantages for all economic operators. This accessibility will also make it easier for the rescue vehicles to reach the seaside, so that more healthcare will be guaranteed to local people and visitors, considering some tragic events in the past.


There could be some risks in the future because of the bureaucratic delays that this project has been through. Changes in public funding or budget cuts could compromise the ability to complete the project as planned, causing further delays or even failure to carry out the work.
Furthermore, as already mentioned in the previews part (“Weak points of the monitored project”), the properties of the materials could deteriorate due to atmospheric phenomena, if the walkway will not receive the correct maintenance. If the infrastructure is not designed sustainably, the works could also have negative effects on nature.

Ideas and solutions

Our team believes that the effectiveness of the project can increase if the Municipal Administration of Campomarino will carry out a series of complementary actions.
To qualify the area and preserve its attractiveness over time, it would be advisable to:
- provide for new refreshment points;
- attract new investors;
- ensure accessibility for everyone, including the elderly, people with disabilities and families with children, through the installation of ramps for wheelchairs, prams and strollers;
- organise cultural events and activities (exhibitions, markets, concerts, parties);
- plan a regular maintenance programme and efficient management of the seaside, ensuring the safety and cleanliness of the area;
- implement tourism promotion strategies;
- raise local community awareness of respect and protection through awareness-raising campaigns involving schools, environmental associations and volunteering;
- reduce risks of fire, which often occur in the pine grove.

Results and Impact of the monitoring

Dissemination of results

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Territorial events organised by the teams
  • Media interviews


  • Journalist, ANSA Molise
  • Journalist, Termoli Online
  • Mayor, Municipality of Campomarino
  • Architect and RUP, Municipality of Campomarino
  • RUP, Municipality of Termoli
  • Representative, Europe Direct Molise

Contacts with media outlets

  • Local newspapers
  • National newspapers

Contatti con le Pubbliche Amministrazioni per discutere i risultati del Monitoraggio

  • Partial answer

Description of the case

We think that our civic monitoring work has been very stimulating for the people in charge of the project. First of all, we were kindly received at the town hall by Arch. Martino Colucci, responsible for the project, and Mayor Pier Donato Silvestri.
Mr. Colucci was very helpful in providing us with useful information and showed us several documents, otherwise unavailable. Moreover, after this meeting he constantly shared our activity on social media, while providing updates on the project to the people of Campomarino. This made us understand that our work has been useful and has spurred the administration to use this type of media to share the progress with the local community, after our survey showed that much of it was poorly informed.
Furthermore, Mr. Colucci and Mr. Silvestri were our guests at the final event of the ASOC project, hosted at our school on May 4th.
During the event, we showed the whole work of our team (Road to the Sea) to the administration and the students. After that, the architect and the mayor gave their speeches, confirming and discussing with us the data we reported.
This meeting was a great educational experience because it was an opportunity to exchange views on the project with who works directly on it.
The presence of Mr. Colucci and Mr. Silvestri at the event and the interest they showed in the ASOC project represent a strong recognition of the importance and efficacy of our work.

Investigation method

How was the information collected?

  • Web research
  • Visit to the project's location, documented by pictures or videos
  • Interview with the users and/or final beneficiaries of the intervention
  • Interview with other types of people
  • Interview with people responsible for the project's implementation
  • Interview with political leaders

On February 23rd, we went to the town hall of Campomarino to continue our research. There we interviewed Mr. Martino Colucci, architect and RUP, and we met the mayor Pier Donato Silvestri, who has been in charge since 2019. On the same day we visited the seaside of Campomarino Lido, where we interviewed Mrs. Adele Di Cicerale, owner of Lido Mare Chiaro, the only beach club that was open that day. We asked her about her opinion, in order to analyse different points of view (see interview PDF).
We also tried to interview some citizens, but unfortunately they refused to answer our questions. Many of them filled out our survey, launched during the 2nd step, instead.
A few days later we tried to arrange an appointment with Mr. Vecchiarelli, RUP at the Municipality of Termoli, since Termoli is the head of a project called “Beach Plan”, which involves the construction of the walkway in Campomarino. Our purpose was to discuss and verify the information that we gained, but unfortunately he could not meet us due to indisposition.

Main questions

1 - “Can you please tell us about the administrative history of the project related to the construction of a wooden walkway, for the extension of the promenade?” (Mr. Martino Colucci, architect and RUP at the municipality of Campomarino)

2 - “We made a survey which showed that the local community is really poorly informed about this intervention. Furthermore, people are worried about its environmental and touristic impact. What can you tell us about it?” (Mr. Martino Colucci, architect and RUP at the municipality of Campomarino)

Main answers

1 - “First of all, you need to understand what our main goal is. The seaside is disjointed. Because of that, a part of the beach is difficult to get to, especially for emergency vehicles. Tragic events in the past have made us understand that we needed to guarantee a greater level of safety and healthcare in this area, which is very popular among tourists and residents. That is the main reason that made us decide to build the walkway. Certainly, in order to do it, we had to safeguard the local flora and fauna, because this is identified as a SCI area (Site of Community Importance). Once the need was identified, how then was the intervention scheduled? The main programming tool was the Beach Plan, which needed to be examined by the Region. The Municipality of Campomarino has, therefore, elaborated its Beach Plan. In that programming we have planned both the extension of the seaside, made of concrete, and the construction of some small beach clubs. With a Strategic Environmental Assessment, the Region rejected the proposal believing that those works would have had a negative impact on nature, as it was already in danger due to the presence of the many tourists who visit that part of the beach in Summer every year. I was later able to demonstrate that the construction of the small beach clubs would have reduced the number of visitors, safeguarding that area. Only after several interviews with the Region, the agency expressed a favourable opinion. This caused a significant delay in the design phase. Also, we evaluated the idea of building a concrete promenade, because we had to cut down a lot of trees to make it. We wanted to preserve the pine grove, so we decided it was not the best solution. In that period, I was in Atlantic City, where a big wooden seaside was built in the area of Tramp skyscrapers and casinos. It is perfectly drivable and elevated and it can be removed without being demolished so that it does not affect the fauna. That is where the idea came from: around 2015/2016 the Beach Plan was modified and then approved by the Region. The funds intended for building the infrastructure were runned by the Urban Area of Termoli (identified by the Molise Region, with a Regional Council Resolution n. 56/2016), which involves the municipalities of Termoli, Campomarino, San Giacomo and Guglionesi. Campomarino received funds amounting to 615,626.00€ and that is when we started the design phase. In 2019 the project was approved and we gained all the necessary authorizations from several authorities. To start the works we needed to obtain the maritime state property area but the IRIF (Istituto Ripartimentale delle Foreste di Foggia), only gave it to us in 2023. In the meantime all the licences obtained expired, so we had to gather them again and it was also necessary to fulfil other obligations, such as carrying out an Incident Evaluation. We have already identified 100 of the 2000 trees of the pine grove that are in bad condition, to cut them down, but we are waiting for the clearance from the Region. However, even if we receive it soon, the works cannot be carried out from March to September because of the nesting of a species of bird, the friar. So, the construction can only begin in the coming autumn.”

2 - “Well, everything the administration does (Region, Municipality, Province) is published on the institutional websites, so the information about the walkway is officially provided to the community. Probably, or rather, certainly, people tend to use other media, like social networks. Maybe the administration should improve this information system, also because the local community should be involved in making this kind of decision, according to me. Of course, people at the moment have an idea about this project but they could give a real opinion only after the walkway is built. As I said before, according to the Beach Plan, the walkway will be elevated and made of wood, in order to safeguard flora and fauna. As far as it regards tourism, we want to requalify the pine grove in order to make the seaside more enjoyable. At the moment the pine grove is not practicable and vandals tend to deposit their waste there. Through this project we will make it a tourist area, where visitors can have a walk in the shade of the trees, which can offer a psychophysical wellbeing, especially on the hottest days. Also, during Summer, this part of the seaside is visited by about 15,000/20,000 people, including tourists, so we want to make it a safe place, unlike its current state. For this reason, we have made an agreement with the local beach clubs: in case of emergency they will intervene to ensure safety.”