Via Francigena


Agreement between the Via Francigena and the Via Romea Germanica to promote the paths to Rome

Cooperation agreement signed between Via Francigena and Via Romea Germanica.

On 26 July 2023 the two Roman routes – Via Francigena, represented by the European Association of Via Francigena ways (EAVF) and Via Romea Germanica, represented by the Associazione Europea della Via Romea Germanica (AEVRG) signed a cooperation agreement.

Their respective presidents Massimo Tedeschi and Thomas Dahms met in Venice at the historic Caffè Florian, a member of the Council of Europe’s cultural itinerary of historic cafés, with the aim of implementing a series of actions and measures to implement and promote the paths leading to Rome.

An important step towards the thirtieth anniversary of the European certification of the Via Francigena, which was officially recognised as a Cultural Route in 1994, also considering the upcoming Jubilee 2025.

On this occasion, which was also attended by the vice-president of AEVRG, Liviana Zanetti, and her collaborator Isabella Mavellia, the involvement of the third Via Romea, i.e. the Associazione Europea Romea Strata (AERS), was considered so that it could take part in the agreement in the soon future. At the end of this meeting EAVF and AEVRG agreed that the technical coordination committee would meet as soon as possible to plan the next joint activities and thus begin work.

The three Roman associations have been working together since 2021 on mapping the cultural heritage of the routes to Rome as part of the three-year European project rurAllure for the pilot project Thermal Heritage.


Berceto: important improvements to the walking path

On August 3rd, the presentation of the regeneration works of the historical route in Berceto, a higly symbolic place of the Via Francigena at the European level and with which AEVF is collaborating, took place. Works will involve securing the itinerary, signposting, integrated communication systems and the cleaning of the route.

The event was held at the town hall of the municipality, in the presence of the regional councillor for tourism and transport, Andrea Corsini. On this occasion, Mayor Luigi Lucchi presented the works and projects implemented thanks to Development and Cohesion Funds from the Ministry of Culture, under the coordination of the Emilia Romagna region. It’s a 100% non-repayable contribution of 262,093.92 euro. 

The Project 

Emanuele Mazzadi, the project manager for the works, illustrated the improvements on the itinerary. These include cleaning weed vegetation and drainage. There are also plans to restore dry stone walls and ancient stone pavements made of sandstone from the nearby Cassio quarry. Finally, fountains and furnishings were set up to support the pilgrims.   

All materials (stone, wood) were sourced in the immediate vicinity also to minimise the environmental impact of the project. The use of “dry” technology (without the use of mortar or cement) for the recovery of low walls and pavements meets two requirements. Respecting tradition and counteracting climate change. Indeed, dry walls, which are permeable, allow water to penetrate underground. They also recharge the groundwater and slow down the flow of surface water during very concentrated rainfall. 

The indoor presentation was preceded by a walk to discover the beauty of Berceto. There was a visit to the cathedral and, above all, to the Ripasanta viewpoint, the pride of the area. Here the traditional ribbon-cutting’s ceremony took place, amidst the arches of hazel trees that accompany pilgrims arriving in the village.

The signage 

Particularly original is the signage, made of accoya. This wood comes from sustainably managed forests and is processed in a non-toxic way to make it more stable and durable. In addition, along with the CAI (Club Alpino Italiano) standard arrows indicating the distance from Rome to Canterbury, wooden hearts containing a QR-code have been made. 

By scanning the code you get a ‘virtual guide’ on your phone that shows the walker the beauty of the various places they are visiting. The ‘virtual guides’, conceived by the project manager, were realised with the IT consultancy of Davide Galli for Net Wight and with the support of Berceto video-maker Giacomo Agnetti. Twenty of these ‘virtual guides’ can be found along the Via Francigena in Berceto and can be viewed at this link:

It is a way of enhancing the territory, thanks also to the involvement of the ‘historical memories’ of the place. The ‘virtual guides’ include anthropologist Maria Molinari, geologist Giovanni Michiara and local history experts Giacomo Galli, Bruno Molinari and Aldo Torricelli. In September, work will begin on the recovery of the stretch of the Via Francigena in the municipality of Terenzo, where the ‘virtual guides’ will also be positioned: a way to tell the story of the area and to entice pilgrims to return to discover other beauties of our Apennines. 


General Assembly on 20 October 2023 in Pavia 

EAVF is meeting in Pavia (Lombardy Region, Italy) next 20 October for the General Assembly that brings together members and associations working along the European route. There are now 235 member municipalities and 80 Friend Associations present in the EAVF along the four countries of the Via Francigena: England, France, Switzerland and Italy. 

Pavia, already recognized as a Crossroads of Europe in 2012, is a symbolic place of the Via Francigena. The characteristic stretch of the Via in Pavia’s territory is 126.7 km long and involves many other municipalities: Palestro, Robbio, Nicorvo, Mortara, Tromello, Garlasco, Gropello Cairoli, Carbonara al Ticino, San Martino Siccomario, Valle Salimbene, Linarolo, Belgioioso, Corteolona, Santa Cristina e Bissone, Chignolo Po. 

In recent years, the number of travellers on the Via Francigena has been growing, as has the number of local authorities joining the EAVF. This demonstrates the importance and authority of this international network, which was founded in 2001 and has been recognised as a ‘réseau porteur’ by the Council of Europe since 2007.  

The general meeting at the Aula Magna of the Ghislieri College is scheduled for Friday 20 October from 2 to 6 p.m

On this occasion, some significant points for EAVF and the future of the Via Francigena will be discussed. We will discuss the periodic evaluation (cycle 2023-24) of the Council of Europe for the confirmation of the certification of the Via Francigena as “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” and of EAVF as réseau porteur of the Via Francigena. The members will have the opportunity to discuss the planning of activities on the occasion of the celebration of the 30th anniversary (1994-2024) of the certification of the Via Francigena as a European Cultural Route. It will be an important occasion to reflect on the past, present and future of the Via Francigena. Strategic points for EAVF will also be discussed on the agenda, such as the renewal of the management and iplementation of the web portal and app, the stipulation of new cooperation agreements with public and private partners, and finally the increase of EAVF membership fees as of 2025. 

As an addition to the Assembly, a rich program of cultural entertainment events is planned over three days from 19 to 21 October:  

  • on 19.10 (10.00 a.m.-5.30 p.m.), the event Conference on walking and sustainable tourism at the Aula Magna of the Ghislieri College in Pavia.  
  • On 20.10 morning, guided tour of the city of Pavia.  
  • On 21.10, a walking event I Love Francigena, the walk along Pavia’s Via Francigena.

Click here to view the full program of the event.

To register for the General Assembly, please fill out the following form (link).

The event is organised with the contribution of the Pavia Chamber of Commerce and the Fondazione Cariplo.


Conference on walking and sustainable tourism 

On Thursday, 19 October 2023, the Municipality of Pavia, the Chamber of Commerce of Pavia, and the European Association of the Via Francigena ways (EAVF) are organizing the “Conference on Walking and Sustainable Tourism” at the Aula Magna of the Ghislieri College in Pavia, with the contribution of Fondazione Cariplo.
The event is sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Culture, the Lombardy Region and the University of Pavia.

A particular focus is planned on the Via Francigena, a Council of Europe Cultural Route since 1994, that represents the main Italian artery of slow tourism. Tens of thousands of pilgrims and cultural tourists visit it every year, coming from over 40 countries. 

This gave rise to the idea of organizing the Conference in the city of Pavia, which is crossed by the Via Francigena and numerus paths and has been recognized as the ‘crossroads of Europe’ since 2012. The event proposes to deepen, with the intervention of the institutional, private and associative world, the state of the art of planning and strategies for the future, also given the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the European certification of the Via Francigena (2024) and the Jubilee 2025.   

The event will be divided into sessions. In the morning, from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., the theme will be the value of the paths as a boost to territorial development, starting from the activities promoted by the Italian Ministries of Tourism and Culture. The Minister of Tourism Daniela Santanchè is scheduled to speak. 

In the afternoon, from 3.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m., the focus will be on the themes of hospitality, accessibility and routes, and mobility.  

On 20.10.2023, again at the Aula Magna of the Ghislieri College (Piazza Ghislieri 4), the autumn session of the EAVF General Assembly is scheduled, intended for Members and Friend Associations, but also open to those who wish to follow the work.  

The event will be held in Italian.

Discover the Programme of the Conference (link pdf). 

To register for the Conference, please fill in the following form (link).


Transiting cultural landscapes: A project between Berceto and Calendasco for the regeneration of villages along the Via Francigena in Emilia Romagna 

Transiting Cultural Landscapes (2022-2026) – From the Guado del PO to the CISA Pass, regeneration of the villages of Calendasco and Berceto along the Via Francigena in Emilia Romagna” is a three-year project/process for the cultural reactivation of the territories between the first Calendasco (PC), and the last, Berceto (PR), Emilian municipalities located along the Via Francigena, and financed by the European Union through the Next Generation EU funds, within the framework of the Bando Borghi PNRR of the Ministry of Culture.  

The primary objective is to develop, through the regeneration of these territories, a new tourism and social economy. In the areas of interest of the project there are two of the most extraordinary places of landscape transition in Italy and to be rediscovered by local communities with a view to slow tourism: the Guado di Sigerico on the Po river (Calendasco) and the Passo della Cisa in the Apennines (Berceto).  

In addition to the two municipalities, the project envisages the participation of various organisations: Educarte, Cooperativa sociale per il turismo Berceto Nova, Associazione Appennino Ritrovato, Associazione Culturale Sentieri dell’Arte, Cooltour Soc.Cooperativa ARL, Associazione Arte e pensieri, Archivio di Stato di Piacenza, Frati e Livi Srl, and the Associazione Europea delle Vie Francigene. 

As many as 11 interventions are planned within the project activities: 3 tangible (consisting of the renovation of public buildings) and 8 intangible (such as guided tours and an ERASMUS for young pilgrims, aimed at triggering social innovation), and co-designed with the associations and stakeholders involved. 

Each intervention explores a different dimension of the TRANSITION (ecological, cultural, economic, etc.) that characterises contemporaneity.  

The start of work took place over the weekend of 8/9 July 2023, together with the first intangible (and cultural) intervention planned, namely the realisation of one of the three festivals in the two territories, the 6th edition of the Coscienza Festival, which is a partner in this project for the two-year period 2023 /2024. 

For more information, please contact: 

Vito Redaelli  

Project Management and member of SRSARCH Studio or visit the project channels: 

official project website 

Instagram page  

Facebook page  


Via Francigena: four-year evaluation underway to confirm European certification of the route

As announced at the General Assembly in Calais on 26 May, EAVF is undergoing the ordinary four-year evaluation (2020-2023) by the European Institute of Cultural Routes (EICR) in Luxembourg to confirm the certification of the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Santa Maria di Leuca as a “Council of Europe Cultural Route” and the qualification of EAVF as a carrier network of the Via Francigena.  

On 27.7.2023, the EAVF staff prepared and forwarded the evaluation dossier (in French) to Luxembourg: “I would like to emphasise the great ideal and strategic value of belonging to the large family of the Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes for the promotion of peace, dialogue between cultures and human rights,” said Association President Massimo Tedeschi

The evaluation process now includes:  

  • Appointment of an international evaluator who will prepare the evaluation report on the entire European route by December 2023, covering governance, management, network, activities, route management, signposting, reception, correct use of the logo; the appointed evaluator will be able to make direct contact with EAVF members, carry out on-site inspections or request questionnaires to be completed; 
  • EICR and Bureau of the Governing Board (of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes), having examined the evaluator’s report, give their opinion;  
  • the Governing Board meets in Luxembourg (April 2024) for its final decision; a representative of the Route is scheduled to be heard there.