Once a day, the port of Vlora receives above all fellow countrymen returning from Italy, who embark from Brindisi on the ferry of a Greek companion (flying the Panamanian flag).
For some years, tourists, visitors and “curious” have also embarked on that same ship to discover a coastal city (but just below a promontory), Vlora, and a nation, Albania that is harsh, wild and with endless spaces (there are five or six – Tirana, Durazzo and Fier the most important – cities populated by more than one hundred thousand people, the rest are countries, villages, countryside, mountains and coast).
Just after the independence of Albania and in any case in the 1990s, a massive investment campaign was launched (public and private, also involving international organizations, in particular the EU), for a sort of Albanian "Marshall Plan", which in the city of Vlora it is particularly evident.
A long and wide "boulevard" (Rruga Demokracia) cuts the city in half to a promenade that has nothing to envy, in terms of size (four-lane roads), location (between sea and mountain) and skyscraper-type structures ( hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs open day and night), to the most famous overseas.
A promenade that represents perhaps the most evident expression of a development that has taken place only a few years ago and which must still bear fruit.
"Boulevard and waterfront are always full of people. There are tourists - a local hotelier explains - but there is still no water." In fact all the bars, clubs, disco pubs are always full, but frequented by locals. "Even the flood of people pouring into the evening on the waterfront - he continues - are mostly Albanians who come to take their holidays here."
In short, Valona, like all of Albania, is still waiting (but does it really want to?) To become truly international and multicultural.