Via Francigena


The photo contest “Share Your Route” is back for 2023: join with your photos along the Via

After the great success of the first edition, on 1 June the photo contest dedicated to the most striking photos and videos along cultural routes in Europe starts again. “Share your route” is the initiative launched by the European project rurAllure, which communication is managed by the EAVF. The contest is aimed at pilgrims, walkers, cyclists and tourists who want to document and share their experience on the Via Francigena and other paths on their social media networks.

Participating is very simple! Just follow these 3 simple steps:
  1. Publish by 30 September a post or reel on your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter profile sharing your travel experience and the cultural heritage along the route.
  2. Tag the location of the shot, like and tag the @rurAllure page (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and don’t forget to include the contest hashtag #rurallure. It is essential that your profile is public, so to be certain that we will not miss your post.

Don’t hesitate to share a short text describing your experience, your emotions on the road, or your tips and tricks for other travellers: we will take it into account as well!

Via Francigena and many other itineraries

If you are travelling along one of the following routes, you can enter the photo contest:

  • Via Francigena. Don’t forget that you can be guided along your walk by the AllTrails App, which reserves a discount on the premium version for walks during this high season. The app, allows you to get the ‘trails’, i.e. the routes in the area for easy walking according to difficulty or other characteristics.
  • Via Romea Strata  
  • Via Romea Germanica
  • Camino de Santiago  
  • Sant’Olav Way – the pilgrimage routes to Trondheim (Norway) across Norway, Denmark and Sweden
  • Paths to Csíksomlyó / Mary’s Way / Via Mariae / Mária út

If there are too many photos to choose from, you can publish them all: a special prize will be awarded to the person who posts the highest amount of photos, while another category will reward the author of the most interesting publication.

The authors of the most beautiful and interesting posts will receive special hiking equipment (Ferrino backpacks and Garmont shoes) as a prize.

The deadline for posting photos and videos is 30 September 2023. After that date simply stay tuned through rurAllure’s website and social media channels for the announcement of the winners: the announcement will take place on 16 October 2023.

For more information you can consult the Terms and Conditions

Consult winning photos 2022 for the Via Francigena.

WITH KIND SUPPORT OF: AITR Associazione Italiana Turismo Responsabile, Attrezzatura Trekking, Cammini d’Italia – Plan, Walk and Share (, Cicerone Press | Guides for walkers, hikers, cyclists and trekkers,, Free Wheels ODV | Cammini Accessibili, per Tutti (, Ospitalità Religiosa, Smart Walking


Appetite comes by walking! Healthy and tasty ideas with Montana along the route

Eating well along the route is very important – not only to recover after walking several kilometres, but to stay healthy throughout the journey. The Via Francigena and its partner Montana continue to promote slow tourism throughout the Italian peninsula, together with an idea of sustainable nutrition, without giving up tasty flavours, with the Cammini Montana initiative.

The right nutritional intake during the journey

With the Cammini Montana initiative, the company intends to enhance the experience of a pilgrimage, such as the journey on the Via Francigena. This happens through the stories of a large community of walkers who love outdoor activity or have recently discovered this passion and want to undertake the itinerary with the right amount of energies, proteins and taste – to make the journey even more enjoyable.

Hence, Montana meat, accompanied by a slice of crunchy bread, can be a good compromise between a dish rich in ingredients – which can however make you feel heavy and lead to drowsiness – and a meal that is too poor or unbalanced in terms of nutrients and energy.

For a proper protein intake and a tasty meal, what is the best way to eat canned meat? You can combine different elements and create quick recipes such as garlic, coriander, beans, chickpeas, olives, feta, mozzarella… there are no limits to imagination, never forgetting to keep quality and sustainability in mind! So, watch out for the best products and above all, don’t leave any waste behind you!

Flavoured meat, yes or no?

How to season your meat without adding excessive fat or salt, is a recurring question that becomes even more pressing if you want to prepare a dish that is nutritious but not too caloric for the walk.

To overcome this, there is no need to think of incredibly unexpected versions of spiced meat. The secret is always simplicity and a balance between an appropriate nutritional intake and a yummy flavour. Montana has thus come up with a product that combines meat and vegetables and is a great Italian classic: gluten-free and preservative-free veal stew with peas, ready for use in only a few minutes (because it is already cooked!). Perfect to take on hikes and suitable for the entire family.

We can only wish you bon appetite…and buon cammino!


Mission: Sustainability. An interview with Enzo Ruini from Banca Generali Private

The Mauri Area of Banca Generali Private has been supporting the Via Francigena for many years now, organizing and supporting a number of initiatives such as the walk-events “I Love Francigena”. We interviewed Enzo Ruini, Sales Manager of the banking company, to delve into the ongoing collaboration with the EAVF.

Tell us about your personal passion for the world of walking and cycling itineraries and the Via Francigena in particular

I grew up in the countryside surrounding Florence with a passion for geographyas a relationship between man and nature. Despite the countryside was mostly neglected at the time, I developed such an attention to slow travel in the mid-1970s, at the point that I decided to involve my family and friends. Since then, many routes and paths have become central to slow tourism. The Via Francigena – of which I appreciate the richness oflandscapes and cultural heritage as well as the state of maintenance and accessibility – is certainly an example, and can be a driving force to revive the areas of Italy that are off the beaten tracks.

What does “sustainability” mean to Banca Generali Private and what pillars does the company lay upon to create a long-term system of values?

Even though we have a future-oriented attitude, we cannot forget about sustainability, which is the first pillar of the Bank’s corporate strategy as well as our modus operandi to relate with stakeholders; it is a core value, linked to the growth and enhancement of people, to the care for social contexts and environmental impacts. The other pillar is the trustful relationship between customers and their financial advisors. Their role goes beyond business goals in order to spread responsible investment principles and to contribute to sustainable development based on integrity, social responsibility and innovation.

The Via Francigena creates a network of local communities, people and companies. How do the values of Banca Generali Private intersect with the sustainable development of the areas crossed by the Via Francigena?

Banca Generali, which ranks first in the world – according to Sustainalytics – in the asset manager category as for the new ESG rating (Environmental, Social and Governance), cannot avoid walking side by side with the Association; in fact, we share the same respect for the land and its diversity, for natural and human biodiversity and for those values enshrined by ancient routes like the Via Francigena.

In the end, as the American entrepreneur James Rohn once said: “the key factor that will determine your financial future is not the economy; the key factor is your philosophy”.


EAVF: members met in Calais for the General Assembly

The beautiful Town Hall of Calais (Hauts-de-France, France) was the setting for the General Assembly of the European Association of the Via Francigena ways (EAVF), held on 26 May.

The EAVF network, réseau porteur of the Council of Europe for the protection and development of the Via Francigena, extends to 232 members along the entire European route and 92 friend associations.

The Assembly was introduced by EAVF’s President Massimo Tedeschi, and the Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart gave the official welcome on behalf of the entire local administration. On the agenda was the approval of the final balance sheets 2022 of EAVF and the subsidiary Francigena Service S.r.l. and the forecast balance sheets 2023. The balance sheet was presented in detail and transparently to all members and those who attended the proceedings. Among the other items discussed: an update on the activities in the English, French, Swiss and Italian sections; the presentation of the EAVF Strategic Plan 2023-2025; updates on the Council of Europe’s evaluation for the renewal of the certification to EAVF and on the progress of the project for the candidature of the Via Francigena as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Two significant moments

Two particularly significant moments also took place during the meeting. Firstly, the presentation of the public aknowledgements that AEVF awards to personalities who have distinguished themselves for their great work in support of the Via Francigena. The award went to Rev. Sandy Brown, pilgrim, writer and author of the three official guides on the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome published by the Cicerone Publishing House in London. Also awarded were Didier Morel, contact person of the Arras Compostela Francigena Association, for his great support for the ‘Road to Rome 2021‘ project and the development of the route in France, and Brigitte Soulary, President of the French Hiking Association (FFR) with whom the AEVF has signed a promotion agreement to promote the VF – GR 145 in the French section.

This ceremony was accompanied by the awarding of the prizes for international good practices along the Via Francigena. From over 80 proposals received, three initiatives were selected that combined culture, tourism and territorial development. The good practices collected by AEVF will be made available to all members to make them known internationally. The three prizes were awarded to the Kent Pilgrims Festival 2022, organised by the Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome, to the theatrical performance ‘The Legend of Sigeric‘ by the Amata Compagnie, and to the project ‘Your step is already history‘, promoted by the association ‘La Via Francigena in Tuscia-APS‘ and the municipality of Viterbo.

The new EAVF members

At the end of the assembly, 17 new members were welcomed: Union of Municipalities of the Pays de Lumbres, municipalities of Zudausques, Allouagne, Bruay-la-Buissière (Pas-de-Calais, Hauts-de-France); municipalities of Framont, Autet, Etuz (Haute-Saône, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté); municipality École-Valentin (Doubs, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté); municipalities of Cossonay and Villeneuve (Vaud); municipalities of Saint-Vincent and Issogne (Valle d’Aosta); municipalities of Capranica (Viterbo, Lazio) and Bassiano (Latina, Lazio); municipalities of Martano, Andrano, Tricase (Lecce, Puglia). The growing number of local authorities joining the EAVF (1 English, 42 French, 16 Swiss, 173 Italian) testifies to the level of awareness of the local territories to work together to continue to grow the Via Francigena in all its dimensions.

Finally, four new friend associations are also welcomed: L’Abbaye de Mormant revivra (Leffonds, Haute-Marne, Grand Est), Iride ASD (Rivoli, Turin, Piedmont), Asini nel Cuore APS (Sala Baganza, Parma, Emilia-Romagna), Toscana Vie Francigene 2.0 APS (Monteriggioni, Tuscany). Finally, the variant to stage 16 Orio Litta-Piacenza and the variant to stages 36-37 for Abbadia S. Salvatore were approved.

At the end of the meeting, it was announced that the next members’ meeting will be held in Pavia, on 20 October 2023, with the support of the municipal administration.


“Cammini in Europa”, a success for the exhibition dedicated to cultural routes

From 18 to 21 May 2023 the town of Fidenza hosted the Francigena Fidenza Festival, an event entirely dedicated to the Via Francigena and European cultural routes. Among the numerous activities taking place during the third edition of the Francigena Fidenza Festival was the photographic exhibition “Cammini in Europa“, which shared shots taken by pilgrims from all over Europe during their walking or cycling trips with institutions and the public.

Share your route

The exhibition is combined with the “Share your route” photo contest organised by the European Horizon2020 project rurAllure, which last summer launched a call on social media to involve pilgrims and tourists walking along the routes: the three Vie Romee, the Way of St. James, the Way of St. Olav and the Way of Mary. More than 3,000 photos were collected during the summer of 2022, which recounted on Instagram and Facebook the “on the road” experiences through images of the most significant moments.

During the exhibition in Fidenza, some shots from the routes were projected in loop on a canvas positioned at the apse of the church, while the winning images of each category were displayed on roll-ups accompanied by the biographies and stories of each traveller. More than 50 people took part in the inauguration, which opened with greetings from Mayor Andrea Massari and the Councillor for Culture Maria Pia Bariggi, and continued with musical accompaniment by singer-songwriter Jack Jaselli, author of the book ‘Torno a Casa a Piedi‘. One of the highlights of the inauguration was the award ceremony for some of the winners of rurAllure‘s photo contest, such as @Nappatravels who shared their experience with the present public.

rurAllure and the promotion of European cultural routes

More than 50 events enlivened the four-day festival, including exhibitions, walks, guided tours, in-depth studies, projects for schools, concerts and entertainment. “The beautiful way of Europe” is the claim chosen this year, a reminder of the thread between the past and the future that celebrates the union between the realms of itineraries, culture and spirituality, food and wine and the promotion of the territory.

The Festival was also an opportunity to present a Council of Europe Cultural Route, and this year’s choice fell on the Saint Olav’s Way through Norway. The second edition of the rurAllure photo-contest returns on 1 June 2023 with the aim of giving space for expression to pilgrims on their way across Europe.


POP: the new hospitality network for pilgrims

POP: pilgrims hosting pilgrims“, a new hospitality network, was born from the idea of a group of private individuals to create hospitality by pilgrims for pilgrims.

The network is developed at the Italian national level and covers several routes, including that of the Via Francigena.

Why a POP hospitality network?

The hostel managers, who have set up the network, want to achieve 100% pilgrim hospitality, and for this reason the accommodations adhering to the network must meet two essential requirements:

  • those running the hostel must be pilgrims
  • the offered dinner (and possibly also breakfast) is communal

This is because a pilgrim who offers hospitality knows perfectly well what the traveller needs: they know their basic needs, both physical and emotional. Taking off one’s shoes, soaking one’s feet, and having a cool drink take priority over registration and stamping the pilgrim credential.

Eating together on the other hand encourages discourse between people of different genders, ages, nationalities, and life experiences.

The POP network was created with several purposes:
  1. To increase the visibility of pilgrim accommodations that are often little visited because they are not positioned at canonical stage ends (several accommodations are situated in the countryside because of a lifestyle choice that associates hosting pilgrims with contact with nature and sustainability).
  2. To stimulate discussion among like-minded people on issues of common interest (issues related to bedbugs or other sanitation issues, hosting pets, donations, sleeping bags or blankets, etc.).
  3. Above all, the POP network wants to convey a certain spirit of sharing that distinguishes pilgrimage routes from ordinary treks. Until a few years ago, pilgrimage routes, of historical/religious origin, were traveled by a limited number of people, in search of something, often not definable, nor conscious. Over the years, the number of routes has multiplied, the types of accommodations and services as well, and consequently the typology of pilgrims, or perhaps better to say walkers turns out to be much broader, more and more corresponding to the varied humanity. We think that the opening of the paths to a wider typology of people is a good and positive thing. Nonetheless, we think that the spirit that many of us have experienced on the paths and that prompted us to open our homes, is being somewhat lost and the creation of POP is meant to stimulate walkers to experience it.
Current POP accommodations

For now, 5 facilities along the Northern Via Francigena, one on the Via Francigena in Southern Italy, and 4 others on other routes have joined the POP network, all run by specific people throughout the opening period; however, this is not a prerequisite, the POP network is open to any facility that shares the two cornerstones, regardless of who owns the facility and who runs it. Think, for example, of facilities that are church-owned and run by volunteer pilgrim host associations.

POP is still fledgling, for now we have a FB group, and we are asking different parties and guides who publish accommodation lists to call identity us with the “POP” abbreviation. The 5 accommodations along the Northern Via Francigena have also produced a promotional flyer.

Facilities (not individual pilgrims) who wish to join our network can contact Federico of POP Biutiful, Cavazzola, Federico and Rossana 3335287812,,

POP facilities include:
Via Francigena and Via Romea

POP- Domus Peregrini, Montefiascone (VT) Immacolata Coraggio (+39 3381838216) and Franco Steri (+39 3207772586),, on Facebook Immacolata Coraggio and the Domus Peregrini group.

POP- Lento e Contento, Vetralla (VT) Paolo Valotti (+39 3515039074) and Nino Muakyna (+995593905390),, on Facebook Lento e Contento and Instagram Lento e Contento Hostel

POP- Road to Rome, Capranica (VT) Travis Criddle (+39 3483595971) and Juliane (+49 15258918235),, on Facebook Road to Rome

Via Francigena

POP- Biutiful, Cavazzola, Federico and Rossana (+39 3335287812),,

POP- Temperance, Groppodalosio, Marco and Greta (+39 3757825734),

Via Romea, San Francesco in Toscana, via Clanis

Pieve la Sassaia, Rigutino (Arezzo), Giovanni Roberto (+39 3409812896),, on Facebook La Sassaia Rifugio del Pellegrino

Via Francigena in Southern Italy

Point 113, Strangolagalli (Frosinone), Enzo Cinelli (+39 3384422532),, on Facebook Point 113 Via Francigena del Sud

St. Francis’ Way in the Sacred Valley, Via di Francesco, Di qui passò Francesco, St. Benedict’s Way

Casetta Mariani, Cantalice, Valeria San Felice (+39 3494639384)

POP-Le querce di Tara, Rieti, Mauro (+39 3484273023),

Way of St Benedict

Violin House, Casamari Stage (Castelliri locality), Valeria Fiorini (+39 3497937639),

The POP network is ready to receive new adhesions from many other accommoations in order to grow and become larger, similar to the one already existing on the Camino de Santiago!


Smart Walking: a project for a smart life starts in the Via Francigena in Southern Italy

Working to live and not living to work“, is a phrase that has become a slogan regarding the working or super-working conditions of many people. It relates to the lack of time to devote to oneself, or simply to relax and catch breath. In Davide Fiz’s ‘Smart Walking‘ project, work balance seems more like a reality than an utopia.

Davide Fiz and his ‘Smart Walking’ revolution: mornings on the road, evenings at work at the desk

Davide Fiz, a freelance salesman of the Generation X, is no stranger to the experience of walking, as a lover and practitioner of outdoor life, but always in the free time slots from work. Taking up ‘arms and baggage’ and walking along a few trails, Davide was able to rediscover the pleasure of contact with others, of feeling the caress of the wind and the smell of the rain as well as the scents and flavours of the places visited – sensations he cannot be without.

That’s why in 2022 he started his ‘Smart Walking’ project: a journey that took him 2,500 km across Italy for a total of 20 long distance walks, accompanied by… his work. The revolution has been precisely this: to carry on his business (from early afternoon) without missing out on the enjoyment of the journey (5 hours of trekking per day taking advantage of the morning daylight hours). He does this along routes rich in nature and culture to be shared through his blog, to show everyone that this is a possible mission: to have a healthier lifestyle where (itinerant) work is in balance with one’s passion!

Visit the Smart Walking blog

Among his routes was also the Romea Strata for which he contributed to mapping points of interest for the European project rurAllure, discovering suggestive locations that characterise the itinerary and experiencing the stories of local inhabitants.

“Smart Walking” coast to coast on the Via Francigena in Southern Italy

This year, the “Smart Walking” project started on 9 March for its second edition “Smart Walking coast to coast: paths that cross – paths that unite” along the Via Francigena in Southern Italy, and more precisely with a walk departing from Minturno in Lazio in the direction of Monte Sant’Angelo in Puglia. An occasion not only to promote digital nomadism, but also to shed light on the itinerary and in particular the stretch in Southern Italy, as a destination not only for walkers, tourists and enthusiasts, but also as a symbol for a possible alternative, in which to experience the surrounding reality on foot as well as taking time to work!

Welcoming Davide in Minturno was Roberto Rotasso, the Via Francigena delegate for the Municipality of Minturno and manager of the Gruppo dei Dodici, an association for the historical and cultural promotion of the Via Francigena route in Southern Italy. In the Apulian stages (Via Micaelica), Davide had the support of Enopolio Daunio – which welcomes pilgrims and manages the Via Francigena infopoint in San Severo – and on arrival he was welcomed by Monte Sant’Angelo Francigena, an association for the promotion and enhancement of culture along the route.

Many subjects, including administrations, associations and private entities, supported the project, such as the Italian National Agency Enea, the Network Movimento Lento and the Italian Association of Responsible Tourism. Among these there naturally also is EAVF, which firmly believes in the value of this edition of Smart Walking, to promote the beauty of slow tourism and the Via Francigena, but also to contribute to the evolution of man from homo laboris to homo mobilis.