Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica, in preparation for the 2025 Jubilee, installed a new reception point for pilgrims arriving in Rome from the Via Francigena.
After going through the State Police controls, you can find the reception point just before climbing the stairs that access the Portico of the Basilica, on your right side.
In this reception point in the Vatican you can collect your Testimonium, the official certificate certifying the pilgrimage to Rome ‘devotionis causa’, recognized to all those who have traveled at least 100 km on foot or 200 km by bicycle – as verified by the stamps present on the credential.
The reception point will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
For communications and reservations, please contact the appropriate office:
Tel: +39 06 6982 (switchboard) and ask for extension 82137
This finally allows Via Francigena pilgrims departing from Canterbury to cross the English Channel and reach France.
This is very good news after the uneasy situation that had been ongoing from March to now. We hope that this service will be maintained on a regular basis.
As a reminder, P&O Ferries is the only carrier offering foot passenger service across the English Channel, while neither DFDS nor Irish Ferries, the other companies operating on this route, have plans to offer foot service in the short term.
For those interested in crossing the Channel via ferry, you can reserve a seat directly on the P&O Ferries website. Updates on the service are also available in real time on the company’s Twitter profile.
On 6 June 2022 at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Rome, representatives of the European Association Via Francigena ways and the European Cultural Itinerary of Ss. Cyril and Methodius signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between the two itineraries.
The ceremony took place in the presence of the Ambassador H. E. Hana Hubáčková; the Councillor for Mobility Policies of the Municipality of Rome Eugenio Patanè and the representatives of the two associations, the Municipality of Rome, the Region of Zlín and Silvio Marino for the Region of Lazio.
The Memorandum of Cooperation was created to offer cultural tourism alternatives along both routes, while creating development and marketing projects. Targeted programs are also underway to mark out parallel sections of both routes, for example between Tuscany and Rome, where the tomb of St Cyril is located. Both paths are part of the over 40 cultural routescertified by the Council of Europe, whose program currently involves 36 European countries.
“The Via Francigena serves to develop dialogue between Anglo-Saxon and Mediterranean Europe. With this act we integrate Western Europe with Eastern Europe. Thus we can develop a dialogue throughout Europe, which is why this signature is so important“, said EAVF’s President Massimo Tedeschi.
“Rome is approaching a very important appointment because in 2025 we will celebrate the jubilee. Therefore, the paths of faith will have an even greater significance that year than they do now“, added Councillor Patané. “That is why we are betting a lot on this asset because it is a cultural, religious, historical and also economic asset. Therefore, we are very happy to work with you over the next few years to make this agreement we have found concrete, to make what was signed today a reality“.
The Cyril and Methodius Route is based on a millenary cultural tradition, linked in particular to the culture of the Slavic countries. The route links the places where Saints Cyril and Methodius, co-patrons of Europe, worked and where their legacy was spread by their followers. More than 1,000 km of marked paths have already been created in the Czech Republic and Slovakia using the routes of Czech and Slovak hiking clubs.
Combining the train with the routes of the Via Francigena for a sustainable experience and discovery of the territory: this is the aim of the partnership between Trenitalia (Gruppo FS Italiane) and the European Association of Vie Francigene, promoting together tourism and social and environmental sustainability.
The agreement allows all pilgrims to alternate walking with travelling by train, offering each rambler the best formula, based on their own timing and needs. For this very reason, Trenitalia has provided a 10% discount on tickets purchased by Via Francigena pilgrims.
This possibility is linked to the very characteristics of the Via Francigena, which intersects with over 200 stations located directly along the path and connected in turn with bus stops and other local public transport. In this way, pilgrims can reach the Via Francigena route with absolute ease by using public transport.
On regional trains, from 29 May to 26 September 2022, it is possible to take advantage of the Junior offer with which children up to 15 years of age travel free every day of the week, if accompanied by an adult over 25. Also available during the same period is the Summer Together offer at €39 for unlimited travel on regional trains from 12 noon on Friday to 12 noon the following Monday for four consecutive weekends.
For those who, on the other hand, wish to discover the Italian Peninsula on board regional trains, the Italia in Tour offer is available: unlimited travel for 3 days at €29 (€15 for children and young people aged 4 to 12) or for 5 days at €49 (€25 for children and young people aged 4 to 12).
DISCOVER ALL THE DETAILS
The discount is valid on regional trains, boarding and alighting at the stations listed in the regulations.
Thanks to the partnership with Trenitalia, the Via Francigena becomes accessible to everyone, even to those who are unsure about their fitness or don’t have much time at their disposal, ensuring the possibility of enjoying the walk, being in the open air and exploring the territory.
Two names build a strong message to give life to an emblematic itinerary.
From Canterbury, UK, to Santa Maria di Leuca in southern Italy, along the footsteps of Bishop Sigeric.
And the GR® 145 in France, which starts in Calais to reach the Swiss border after a journey of more than 700 km, building the Via Francigena.
It was here, in the north of France, that a partnership began when the FFRandonnée was invited by the EAVF to create a GR® (with the number 145) to promote this cultural route and facilitate its journey to Switzerland.
But who is the Fédération Française de Randonnée Pédestre? And what is its role within France and its territories?
Without going back over its history, let us recall that the FFRandonnée was born in 1947, when a few people passionate about walking and discovering the natural wealth of France created the first GR® routes (GR® 1, GR® 2, GR®3, GR®4, etc.), and today there are almost 350 GR® routes of various lengths, totalling nearly 120,000 kilometres. Over all these years, the FFRandonnée has developed a know-how through its committees that is now recognised.
This know-how concerns the design and development of the GR® routes and its criteria, the work for signposting and maintenance, digitisation with the enhancements that allow to share data, IGN maps, geographical information systems or mobile applications to be kept up to date. The FFRandonnée has recently revisited and strongly reaffirmed its major orientations in the current federal plan 2021-2028. It is important to share its ambition here:
-To make the FFRandonnée a protagonist of outdoor sports;
-To make the FFRandonnée an important social player, responding creatively to a changing demand for walking routes.
The collaboration between our two structures was natural. From 2021 we have an agreement to coordinate our actions. A team of walkers participated in part of the great itinerary set up for the twentieth anniversary of the European Association of the Via Francigena, Road to Rome 2021, and relationships were forged marking a turning point in our approach in this field, confirmed by cross-participation in our respective general meetings. A fine programme of collaboration project is in perspective, close to all our departmental committees and for the benefit of all hikers!
Claudie Grossard, President of the National Commission for Trails and Itineraries
We are happy to announce that, starting today, the Region of Lazio officially collaborates with our Association. Together we aim to enhance the quality of the Via Francigena legs that cross this territory.
The Lazio section of the Via Francigena is, in fact, particularly important for the development of the itinerary: not only because it accompanies pilgrims to their destination – Rome, the Vatican City – but also because from there the path leads them to Santa Maria di Leuca, the Italian Finis Terrae of the route. Lazio is therefore the bridge, the crossroad, the meeting point between the Via Francigena of Sigeric the Serious and the Via Francigena in Southern Italy.
The Via has 21 stages on foot in Lazio, 10 north – starting from Proceno, the Tuscan border – and 11 south of Rome, along the ancient Via Appia, leading to Minturno and the Campania border. Crossing the territory of Lazio allows exploring an infinite variety of landscapes, stories and eras, traveling among views that bridge between sea and land, local traditions and traditional gastronomic specialties.
Lazio therefore earns the privilege (and the responsibility!) of being one of the longest regions to cross. This is a challenge that we have decided to take up with the Region of Lazio, in partnership: by joining forces, we will be able to offer pilgrims a safe route where accessibility, signposting and refreshment points can make the experience of the itinerary unique, whether on foot, by bicycle or on horseback.
We will periodically update you on this important collaboration. If you have any reporting to share with us regarding the Via Francigena in Lazio, please do not hesitate to contact us: the opinion of our pilgrims is of essential importance to offer an itinerary which is increasingly beautiful to experience, one step at a time.
The assembly of the European Association of Via Francigena ways took place in Canterbury, symbolic location along the Via Francigena.
For the first time in the history of the EAVF, after 21 years of activity, the general assembly was hosted in the city of Canterbury, whose administration has been a member since 2005.
It was here, the following year, that the stone marking the km zero of the European route from the North Sea to Rome, to the shores of the Mediterranean, was unveiled.
On 27 April, the EAVF assembly was held in the Cathedral Lodge, in front of both the Cathedral and the symbolic km zero stone. Ben Fitter-Harding, City Leader at Canterbury City Council, emotionally welcomed all the participants from the four countries of the Via Francigena: England, France, Switzerland and Italy.
Before the beginning of the meeting, President Massimo Tedeschi recalled the difficult period for Ukraine and Europe:
“The Via Francigena is in fact a “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe”and is thus part of the programme launched in 1987 in Santiago de Compostela. This was two years before important historical events: the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism. The programme was born in coherence with the principles and values of the Council of Europe, founded – as we know – on 5 May 1949 with the Treaty of London, to promote, in the immediate post-war period, the principles of democracy, respect for human rights, intercultural dialogue and tolerance.
United Kingdom, France and Italy were the founders of the Council of Europe together with seven other European states. Switzerland joined in 1963; and the Vatican State, the place where Peter’s tomb is located, has the status of ‘permanent observer’. This means that all the states through which the Via Francigena passes are part of the Council of Europe. This is a fact that should be remembered and that we appreciate very much. The Via Francigena unites peoples”.
Important points were addressed on the assembly’s agenda: the economic budget for 2021, which includes the budget for the fantastic event held from 16 June to 18 October 2021 “Via Francigena. Road to Rome 2021. Start again!“; the renewal of the associative offices for the three-year period 2022-2025; the UNESCO candidacy of the Via Francigena and the projects of international cooperation such as rurAllure, Horizon2020 project.
Through the presentation of the docufilm “Road to Rome” we experienced, once again, the great emotions of the long journey across Europe that has connected 658 municipalities. A 20-minute video collecting faces and interviews from the event. In addition to this docufilm, 16 regional videos, 1,000 high-resolution photographs and 55 reels were made available to members.
The members confirmed Massimo Tedeschi as EAVF’s president for the next three years. This confirmation was voted for and applauded unanimously by all members. Also confirmed were vice-presidents Martine Gautheron (France), Gaëtan Tornay (Switzerland), Francesco Gazzetti (Italy), Aldo Patruno (Italy) and Francesco Ferrari (Italy), as deputy vice-presidents. The list of vice-presidents now also includes Tricia Marshall (England), Natacha Bouchart (France) and Silvio Marino (Lazio).
The renewal of the offices saw a substantial confirmation of the outgoing Executive Board with some new entries. Provinces and Departments Haute-Marne (Grand-East), Communauté d’Agglomération Grand Besançon (Doubs, BFC), Unione Montana Valle Susa (Piemonte), Lodi (Lombardia), Pavia (Lombardy), Communauté d’agglomération de Béthune-Bruay (Pas-de-Calais, Hauts-de-France). Municipalities: Orbe (Vaud), Aosta (Valle d’Aosta), Ivrea (Piemonte), Pavia (Lombardia), Medesano (Emilia-Romagna), Santo Stefano Magra (Liguria), Pontremoli (Tuscany), Altopascio (Toscana), Monteriggioni (Toscana), Gambassi Terme (Toscana), Montefiascone (Lazio), Acquapendente (Lazio), Donnement (Grand Est), Wisques (Hauts-de-France), Fasano (Brindisi, Puglia). The member regions and the municipalities of Canterbury and Rome are also members by right, as well as the municipalities of Champlitte, Fidenza and Piacenza, which host the offices.
The day following the general meeting was dedicated to the discovery and reconnaissance of the English route section of the Via Francigena. Administrators, volunteers and the EAVF group were on the trail, led by Giancarlo Laurenzi of the Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome and Peter Morris of North Downs Way, responsible for the maintenance of the route.
The signage is in excellent condition, with markers, trail signs and tourist information boards. Along the route there are contemporary art installations between Bekesbourne and Shepherdswell. The project has been funded under the Interreg Europe “Green Pilgrimage” scheme, which has provided significant resources for the restyling of the walk. Great news for all ramblers who will walk along this path.
We have been informed that in the municipality of Linarolo, due to road works on the provincial road 13, which will start on Tuesday 26th April 2022 and will last until 14th June 2022 (as per order of the Province of Pavia), the passage of pilgrims travelling along this stretch of the Via Francigena will also be prohibited.
In the image below you can find indications of a possible detour (in pink) through some sand roads that could be used as an alternative to the official route in order to overcome the interruption caused by the works.
Every pilgrim has a personal amulet. Some bring it from home, some find it along the way. An object of symbolic value, a good luck charm, a souvenir, or a mascot that accompanies us. What really matters is the meaning that will be forever associated with it, and with the experience of the journey.
From this realm of memories and evocations comes the work of Mirko and Silvia, two artisans, architects and passionate pilgrims who dedicate themselves to the creation of personalised souvenirs, mainly made in wood or ceramics, specifically dedicated to pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena.
Together they founded the Artio Design workshop in Aosta, becoming theofficial designer of the Via Francigena in 2020, offering objects made with natural materials which you can carry during your pilgrimage. Water bottles, key rings and wooden pins to hang on your backpack, leather bracelets, ceramic or stone necklaces, and much more: Artio Design also produces custom-made stamps and stickers, as well as shapes and signs in the style of a ‘medieval shop’ that tag places where you can receive a stamp on your credential. Each product can be 100% personalised with details, texts and images that make it unique and unrepeatable, just like each person’s experience along the way. We are delighted to renew our collaboration with this important company for 2022!
“Our aim is to provide pilgrims with a product adapted to their needs for lightness, compactness and recognition, and to offer retailers exclusive articles that will identify and enhance them on the Way“, reads the official website.
Slowness, the pleasure of the journey, the possibility to enjoy the moment without rushing to the arrival: this is the essence of slow tourism. Some move by foot, some by bike, some on horseback…and some by train.
With no doubt, the train too is considered an option for slow and sustainable mobility. Slow not because it covers a small number of km per hour, but because it allows to sit back, relax and enjoy the view from the window. Slow because aboard the train there is no need to worry about traffic or parking – we can simply surrender to the journey, waiting to reach the destination.
Think of those moments when you look out of the train window and daydream – that’s where the magic begins: on the train we do not only move physically, but we live a real experiential journey with and for ourselves – sometimes alone, sometimes with the people we love, sometimes with the new people we meet on the carriage.
For all these reasons, and many more, the European Association of Via Francigena waysbelieves the train is a perfect means to get closer to the Via Francigena, reaching our starting point to cover part of the itinerary, enjoy a daily walk, or even take some personal time to experience the landscape along the route, for those who are unable to travel along it.
Therefore, Trenord, one of the most important European railway managers for localised public mobility, which extensively serves Region Lombardia (Italy), enters the network of partners of the EAVF.
The Association shares indeed a common mission with the company, connected to responsible, sustainable, slow, ecological and proximity tourism.
Starting today, connecting to the Francigena itinerary in Lombardia is easier and easier: in the coming months we will give you all information through our social media channels, updating you about improved railway connections along the route: stay tuned!