Villanova Union, municipalities together for the territory: «We focus on tourism and innovation»
Not the aggregation of five separate entities, each intent on taking care of its own particulare, but a single, integrated body, aware that only deep cohesion can foster the growth of the territory. This is what the Union of Villanova Municipalities – which includes Villanova Monteleone, Mara, Monteleone Rocca Doria, Padria and Romana – has long since decided to be, putting in place policies of integration, mutual support, and shared enhancement of the infinite resources that this portion of Sardinia possesses. From the natural environment with the splendid forests, Mount Minerva of Villanova Monteleone, the karst formations and springs of Mudeju of Romana, the river and lake of Temo of Monteleone Roccadoria, to the caves, with in particular those of “Filiestru” and “Sa Ucca de su Tintirriolu”, in the territory of Mara, to the via ferrata of Monteleone Rocca Doria. From the nuraghi and archaeological finds that dot the entire territory, to what remains of the castles of Monteleone Roccadoria and Bonvehi in Mara, to the Palattu complex in Padria. From the “pinnettas de pedra”, characteristic of the countryside of several municipalities, to extinct volcanoes. From the shrine of Our Lady of Bonu Ighinu of Mara, to Santa Giulia of Padria, to St. Leonard and Our Lady of Interrios of Villanova Monteleone, to Santo Stefano of Monteleone Rocca Doria, to Our Lady of the Angels of Romana. From the greats of traditional culture-Remundu Piras in Villanova, Gavino De Lunas in Padria, Frantziscu Sale in Mara, the painter Brancaleone Cugusi in Romana-to the festivals, to the eno-gastronomic resources, to the murals that tell stories of life and work. So it is no coincidence that many of the Union's policies are geared toward the enhancement and promotion of the territory's immense heritage. «It is one of the central pivots of our administrative action – confirms Alessandro Mura, president of the Villanova Union and mayor of Padria – we are aware of the great resources of our municipalities, and so we are firmly committed to putting them into a system». Among the latest interventions in that direction is the “Inter-municipal project to enhance the network of trails in the Villanova territory”, intended to promote hiking tourism. «An additional positive aspect of the project – says Mura – is the possibility of being able to connect the Villanova network to those of other neighboring municipalities that are not part of the Union. But another of the flagships of the Villanova Union of Municipalities is the financing, with exclusive resources from its own budget, of 15 master's degrees in project management, digital marketing, digital innovation, and destination management, for the benefit of young graduates residing in the five municipalities. The master's degrees were geared toward the development of new skills required by the development of an area with a high vocation for tourism, which, however, also registers some weaknesses such as depopulation, insufficient road connections, and the lack of reception facilities. To overcome those weaknesses and leverage strengths – Romina Deriu, professor at the University of Sassari and president of the degree program in Public Communication and Information Professions, had this to say at the presentation of the Strategic Plan – «the highly strategic intangible resource is the training of young people». The very policies on which the Union is oriented.