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Sul Sentiero Blu: the Via Francigena movie hits the Italian theaters

The project CON-TATTO, organised by Rotary 2031 and Asl Città di Torino, saw 12 pilgrims affected by autism overcome a great challenge: to walk to Rome and meet the Pope. The project tackles several themes: the sportive and healthy features of walking, the scientific research conducted by Dr Keller applying the social skill training that is usually done in clinics in an itinerant and ever-changing context, and the story of the Via Francigena, highlighting its history, the visited places and the beautiful landscapes.

The story is presented in the docufilm “Sul Sentiero Blu”, directed by Gabriele Vacis and produced by Michele Fornasero‘s Indyca, and it was shown in major Italian cinemas at the end of February. The filmmakers became part of the team to develop a film in which the public can at the same time raise awareness about autism and enjoy the enchanting landscapes of the Via Francigena.

Experiencing this walk by looking at the world through the eyes of our fellows – I think this was the greatest emotion of the journey. I wasn’t walking for myself, but for them. The other leaders and I dedicated our entire walk to them: seeing them grow and gain their own personal victories is a truly unparalleled success‘ commented Luca Rivoira, one of the volunteers who accompanied the group on foot.

Watch the trailer of ‘Sul Sentiero Blu’:
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Terracina (Lazio): call for tenders to manage a historical building for hospitality and slow tourism activities

The Agenzia del Demanio has put on the market a selection of buildings located along historical-religious itineraries, cycle paths and near the Italian coast, through a series of calls for tenders. The winners will receive the buildings in concession with the objective of enhancing and adding value to local slow tourism realms.

The initiative wants to enhance Italian heritage connected to culture, tourism and soft mobility along the entire peninsula, encouraging social and cultural animation activities in these territories and promoting the availability of services supporting slow tourism.

Among the offered assets is one building located along the Via Francigena in the South, in Terracina (region of Lazio). It is the Ex Dogana Torre di Badino, a historic building dating back to 1610, designed as part of the Papal State’s defence system, from Circeo to Terracina, and commissioned by Pope Pius V in 1567. The port of Badino, which the building overlooks, offers many services related to recreative boating. The Badino canal also provides easy access to the Pontine Islands, Ischia, Capri and Procida!

This stunning seaside town, as well as offering several opportunities for water sports (sailing, kitesurfing, diving and fishing), has a Beach Arena where several national and international competitions take place, while the seafront is entirely crossed by a cycling path. Note that Terracina is not only crossed by the Via Francigena, but also by the Via Appia and the Ciclopista del Sole, making it an important crossroads for pilgrims, walkers and cyclists.

The call for tenders is currently open and there is time until 19 May 2022 to participate!

See the full list of assets and how to participate by clicking here.

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Hot baths along the Via Francigena featured in Italian magazine ‘Viaggi e Cammini’

On 18 February 2022, the new edition of Italian magazine ‘Viaggi e Cammini’, published by Sprea Editori, will be available in national news-stands. The magazine focuses entirely on walking trips and pilgrimages, with a broad selection of trails described in each edition.

This number contains an article dedicated to thermal heritage along the Via Francigena, object of studies of the European project ‘rurAllure’. The EAVF is one of the principal collaborating partners of this project. Indeed, the EAVF’s team which is working on the project has prepared the article together with partners from the universities of Madrid and Venice. Such international project aims precisely to shed light and enhance historical heritage bordering the main European routes, including, with particular focus, thermal heritage along the 3 key itineraries that lead to Rome (i.e., Via Romea Strata, Via Romea Germanica and Via Francigena).

Not everybody knows how many thermal sites exist along the Via Francigena route in Italy – some of which are freely accessible, others upon payment. These sites are not only great stops along your journey, but they also have an immense historical and cultural value and attraction, as the Etruscans and ancient Romans themselves used to love visiting them.

Discover them all in the magazine, which can be purchased in all Italian news-stands. Otherwise, it is possible to order a copy by clicking here.

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A Christmas message by “Spiritualitas in Francigena”

We wish to share a message for a Merry Christmas by Joseph de Metz-Noblat, Bishop of Langres and President of “Spiritualitas in Francigenam”, directed at the community of pilgrims and the EAVF:

Oh, how long are these nights at the beginning of winter. I can feel it once again, as I seek a warm shelter during my long journey along the “road of the Franks” leading me to Rome.

The cold and darkness are not only natural phenomena, but they also express the difficulties this world is experiencing: the coldness of war, of violence, of every type of opposition; the darkness of ignorance, of scorn and of blindness. Who will come to warm and light up our hearts?

I recall that the small baby in his cradle was born during the longest night of the year… But is it not him the one who opens the path towards peace and hope?

Indeed, as Jesus said: “Do good to those who hate you” (Mt 5,44) and he did so during his Passion. He presents himself as “the path, the truth and the life” (Gv 14,6). Walking in the countryside, I appreciate the signposts and the suggestions of local people, helping me to find my path. Maybe even on the path of my life?

This Christmas, I understand there is no need to be afraid, because Jesus is the light of the world (cfr. Gv 8,2).

Joseph de Metz-Noblat, Bishop of Langres, President of Spiritualitas in Francigenam

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Via Francigena on display in the Council of Europe

The exhibition “Cultural routes of the Council of Europe in Italy: European heritage” celebrates the Italian Presidency at the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Exhibited at the headquarters of this international organisation in Strasbourg, it highlights the 29 routes, out of 45, which are managed by associations based in Italy or have a strong network in this country.

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“Jews, Muslims, Christians on the road”: the Via Francigena shares its history

The European Association of Via Francigena ways (EAVF) will take part in a two-day conference in Rome on 15 December 2021 dedicated to traveling and the storytelling of journeys, venturing between historical routes and modern itineraries, between wayfaring and pilgrimage.

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‘The Way of St Benedict and the ancient roads in the Latin Valley’ in Cassino on 19 December 2021

Luca Bruschi, Director of the European Association of Via Francigena ways (EAVF), frontline walker during the Road to Rome 2021 and passionate promoter of the Via Francigena, will take part in the conference, open to the public, ‘The Way of Saint Benedict and the ancient roads in the Latin Valley’, in Cassino on 19 December 2021.

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Call for papers: “Cultural routes as resource for the enhancement and conservation of cultural heritage”

Between 25 and 27 May 2022 a session focused on cultural routes will take place in Reggio Calabria (Italy), aiming to debate on routes as a tool for innovation and tourism recovery after the recent pandemic crisis.

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“Via Francigena. Road to Rome 2021. Start again!”: the perfect project at the perfect time

Exactly one week ago, on the 18th of October 2021, the “Road to Rome 2021” relay march came to an end after 127 days by foot along the Via Francigena.