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Rome: new pilgrims’ reception and Testimonium pickup point

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:

email: accoglienza@fsp.va

Tel: +39 06 6982 (switchboard) and ask for extension 82137

Cellphone: +39 366 5775511

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The ferry from Dover to Calais restarts service for foot passengers

P&O Ferries resumed foot passenger service on the ferry between Dover and Calais as of Friday June 17th.

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.

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The docu-film about our journey on foot along the Via Francigena has been released

One year after ‘Via Francigena. Road to Rome 2021. Start Again!”, the 3,200 km relay march we covered last summer, the journey has become a docufilm. The movie collects stories of travellers along the epic voyage from Canterbury to Rome, up to the “Finibus terrae” of Santa Maria di Leuca, in Apulia, but it also highlights ongoing projects that enhance territories along the Via.

The European march led indeed to the production of a docufilm paying tribute to the memorable four months walking through England, France, Switzerland and Italy along Sigeric’s historic route, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the European Association of Via Francigena ways.

“Last year, with this great crossing of over 3,000 kilometres – two thirds of which in Italy – we bet on the relaunch of slow tourism: data confirm that the ‘start again!’ – slogan of the initiative – was a good omen. The number of people walking along the Via Francigena, in Italy and in other countries, confirmed this. The actions supporting the candidature of the Via Francigena as a UNESCO World Heritage Site have also achieved important results“, said Massimo Tedeschi.

More than 3,500 travellers followed the Road to Rome on foot together with 28 bloggers, 11 video-makers and dozens of journalists together with Tik Tok influencers, youtubers and Instagrammers. As a result, we created 16 regional videos, 55 reels, 1000 high-resolution photographs, 117 blog articles in English, Italian and French, 117 podcasts, a magazine entirely dedicated to the event, and 500 articles published across the international press.

Human paths were revolutionised within the journey, said Myra Stals, the face of Road to Rome who walked the entire journey, describing it as ‘an experience that involved my whole body and head, because walking every day through 16 regions and 638 municipalities was an experience moved by the heart. I call forth the willingness of all young people to find the space and the desire to set out on their own personal journey’.

Compared to 2019, there is an evident increase in the number of young people who decide to walk the Via Francigena: those under 17 make up for 5% (2% in 2019), while 13% are in the 18-24 age group. The highest percentage is in the 45-54 range (21%). The presence of young people on the route is an element of great importance that testifies to the attractiveness of this experiential and cultural journey, even for a target group that was little present on the Via until now. The itinerary is already being visited by 80 countries around the world: a success in which the growing presence of women was decisive, with the extra gear of an unprecedented Literary Pilgrim Relay from the Ilaria Canali “Girls in Gamba” community.

The docufilm ‘Road to Rome’, presented in Rome at the ENIT – Italian Tourism Agency headquarters, was attended by the Italian Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia, ENIT’s Director Roberta Garibaldi, ENIT Marketing and Promotion Director Maria Elena Rossi, together with Massimo Tedeschi, EAVF’s President, Sergio Valzania, writer and historian, and Myra Stals, EAVF’s social media manager.

“Paths that transform travelling into widespread places. A fil rouge, a storytelling made of people who meet along the way marking a return to authentic experiences. The trip charged us with expectations and emotions that have been enhanced with the arrival in Italy of the “Road to Rome” relay that had a tangible impact on all the Peninsula and all its unique cultures and lifestyles” declares ENIT’s Director Roberta Garibaldi.

Intesa Sanpaolo, the project’s main partner, also supported the presentation. Intesa Sanpaolo has in fact enthusiastically supported this exciting journey to discover enchanting places and villages, convinced that the promotion of cultural and sustainable tourism, which enhances the artistic and cultural heritage of territories, can also have important returns in favor of communities and geographical areas that are sometimes less well-known to the general public but no less interesting – and rich in opportunities.

Road to Rome was possible thanks to main sponsors and partners such as ENIT, Intesa Sanpaolo, SNAM and Puglia Promozione, as well as the valuable support of regions, administrations, local associations and numerous gold, silver, bronze and technical partners.

Discover the official partners of the project

The docufilm will be available to all members of the European Association of Via Francigena ways (municipalities and local associations) and to project partners. It will soon be on the official channels of www.viefrancigene.org with the three versions in Italian, French and English.

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Via Francigena at the Training Academy on Cultural Routes

The EAVF took part in the first post-pandemic Training Academy on Cultural Routes, organised by the European Institute of Cultural Routes and hosted by the Impressionisms Routes in cooperation with the District of Seine-et-Marne and the Ministry of Culture of France. The event took place on 31 May – 3 June in Fontainebleau, France and gathered 37 cultural routes with representatives from 17 European countries. 

The 9th edition of this training was focused on cultural tourism and explored the topics of innovative emerging trends and strategies, especially in the post-Covid environment. Elena Dubinina and Jacques Chevin from EAVF presented the Road to Rome 2021 initiative and the European project rurAllure in informal workshops on cooperation and visibility during the event. They highlighted the importance of joint actions among the routes and local stakeholders to enhance visibility of the cultural routes brand.

The region of Fontainebleau is a crossroad of cultures and routes, as it connects the routes of Impressionisms, Stevenson, Napoleon and D’Artagnan, which the participants had a chance to experience on guided tours to Barbizon, hike through the Fontainebleau Forest, visit to the Castle and watch a performance of local theatre.  

Conclusions of the Training Academy focused on enhancement of cooperation and brand visibility as well as creation of national working groups on cultural routes will be presented at the annual forum on cultural routes, which will take place in Crete on 5 – 7 October 2022.  

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Signing of the Memorandum between Via Francigena and the Way of Saints Cyril and Methodius

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 routes certified 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.

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Francigena Romea Marathon in Lazio: the Italian Minister of Tourism Garavaglia walks with us

More than 1,400 people cheerfully invade the Via Francigena and Via Romea path from Acquapendente to Bagnoregio for the Francigena Romea Marathon, with stages of 10, 20 and 42 km.

A virtually summery day, sunny and hot, over 30 degrees. A day of great celebration, which coincided with the anniversary of the Italian Republic. This year, the Francigena Romea Marathon was graced by an illustrious walker and guest, the Italian Minister of Tourism Massimo Garavaglia, who walked the Acquapendente – Bolsena stretch (25 km): an important signal of the Italian government’s closeness to the Via Francigena and slow tourism, a sector that is growing and expanding rapidly with important tourist-economic repercussions on territories. In this post-pandemic phase, there is an even greater desire for the Via Francigena, for open-air and outdoor walks, on foot or by bicycle.

I didn’t think I would make so little effort to walk 24 km“, commented Minister Garavaglia, “it is so nice to walk in the middle of forests and beautiful landscapes, chatting with so many people and in different languages. It was my first experience and it certainly won’t be my last“.

The Via Francigena Marathon is now ten years old, since the first edition took place in 2013. Right from the start, the formula was chosen to walk 10, 21 or 42 km, a distance that coincides with the length of a proper marathon.

The event has been consolidated year after year, becoming a moment of celebration for the entire area crossed – but also an example to follow, so much so that in the following years two ‘sister’ initiatives were launched: the Francigena Tuscany Marathon and the Via Francigena Marathon Val Susa.

The reasons for the success of the Latium Francigena Marathon are many: first and foremost, there is the great synergy between institutions (Acquapendente, San Lorenzo, Bolsena, Bagnoregio), associations (CAI Viterbo section and local associations) and private operators who work together in harmony. And then there is passion, lots of it. Behind the scenes since the first edition has been a great friend of the Via Francigena and lover of sport, Sergio Pieri, then an official of the Acquapendente municipality. Together with him, many other enthusiasts who have always collaborated in the spirit of sharing the Via Francigena. It is no coincidence that this successful event that brings families, young and old, runners and sportsmen to walk has since spread to other regions, becoming a fixed appointment also included in the calendar of annual initiatives in which the European Association of Via Francigena ways has participated since the first edition.

Minister Garavaglia’s presence was flanked by two other people from the Ministry of Tourism: Palmiero Perconti, advisor for Jubilee events, and Stefano Mantella, head of the PNRR unit. I had the pleasure of sharing this fascinating part of the journey with them and was surprised by the brisk pace of their walk at almost 6 km/h! But who said that the Ministry and the government don’t walk? Not only do they do it, regularly, but they are also well trained! Despite the brisk pace, there was plenty of time to enjoy the breathtaking scenery, to meet people and to thank the municipal administrations of Acquapendente and San Lorenzo, as well as associations who welcomed us with open arms. This is the beautiful spirit of walking.

During and at the end of the stage, there was plenty of time to reflect on the future of the Via Francigena, also in view of the Jubilee 2025, with reference to the services that are increasingly being requested by wayfarers. Minister Garavaglia emphasised, as he has already done on other occasions, that ‘that of the Via Francigena and the walking routes is an authentic tourism made of people and extraordinary excellences capable of promoting the economic rebirth of many areas. It is a form of tourism that is gaining more and more momentum and that from being a niche phenomenon is becoming a true mass trend that can give impetus to the restart of quality tourism‘.

This was an Italian Republic Day celebrated on the Via Francigena, with joy and moments of sharing, rediscovering the time and pleasure of meeting each other.

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Trenitalia – Via Francigena: partnership renewed for a sustainable experience

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.

*Click here for more information*

*Follow the instructions to take advantage of the discount*

*Consult 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.

Discover the special offers for those in possession of a pilgrim’s credential

Buy your Trenitalia ticket now

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I Love Thermal Via Francigena in Tuscany: traveling with rurAllure

On Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May, more than 50 people joined rurAllure to walk along stages 31 and 36 of the Via Francigena in Tuscany to explore the known and lesser-known treasures of these territories.

The European project rurAllure, of which the European Association of Vie Francigene is a member, has a founding objectives in enhancing the thermal heritage along the ‘Roman’ itineraries, i.e. those leading from all over Europe to Rome. Precisely with this focus, it organised two events open to the public and with free participation to promote the thermal territories along the Francigena in Tuscany.

Via Francigena Toscana

As rurAllure’s press release declairs, it has been ‘two days of beauty, including history, nature, culture and wine and food tastings to savour with all five senses the richness of the stages linking San Quirico to Castiglione d’Orcia and the one connecting Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano‘.

Terme Bagno Vignoni

EAVF joined the group for the entire weekend, visiting the Parco dei Mulini, the water square of Bagno Vignoni and the hypothermal springs of I Bollori e Putizza, along the banks of Rio Casciani, near Gambassi Terme. In addition to us, institutions, mayors and local councillors joined the group, as well as journalists and bloggers who shared the story of these two hikes through their communication channels.

The two walks were organised in collaboration with the municipalities of Castiglione d’Orcia, Gambassi Terme, San Gimignano and San Quirico d’Orcia, but also with the valuable support of Proloco Gambassi Terme and The Gambassi Experience.

Terme in Toscana Putizza

The Municipality of San Gimignano continues to believe in the Via Francigena, which represents our history and allows us to encourage healthy forms of tourism, made of people who walk and engage in outdoor activities to learn about our history and our culture‘, commented Carolina Taddei, Councillor for Culture and Education, Enhancement and Promotion of the Territory, Tourist Reception, International Relations, Image Protection, Twinning.

Paolo Campinoti, Mayor of Gambassi Terme, emphasised the importance of the Via Francigena, defining it as a ‘great opportunity for all territories not known to mass tourism to offer alternatives in the sphere of slow and sustainable tourism‘, while Claudio Galletti, Mayor of Castiglione d’Orcia, pointed out how the Via represents ‘an extraordinary vehicle for promoting tourism, which in recent years has contributed to increasing the visibility of Castiglione d’Orcia, playing an important role in increasing tourist presences‘.

rurAllure

The rurAllure project has developed a platform that offers pilgrims an overview of the best cultural locations along the route, including those that involve short diversions and that walkers would otherwise not be aware of.

Click here to discover all the stops and plan your visits

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Itinerant science at everyone’s service: walking and learning at the same time

Scienza Servizievole in Cammino (Itinerant Science at Service) is a rambling project that stems from Professor Daniela Lucangeli‘s idea of spreading scientific knowledge – a science that is experienced, shared and put at the service of the community.

From June to September, in fact, participants in the project, led by Giuseppe Giorato, will cross the Italian Via Francigena together with experts from the world of science, pedagogy, culture and professionals from the scientific community. Their knowledge will be offered at the service of educators, teachers, operators, researchers, specialists, but also of families and curious people who would like to join the walk.

The walk is organised in collaboration with Mind4Children, a Spin-Off of the University of Padua, Heart4Children APS and the Association for the National Coordination of Specialised Teachers and Research on Handicap Situations (CNIS), of which Lucangeli is President. The journey will cover 1800 km in 90 stages, starting in Valle D’Aosta and ending in Basilicata, Matera. Hand in hand with the journey, conferences, congresses and shows will be held on the very topics under study.

The very first date is 11 June in Turin, where the official presentation of the project will be held and Daniela Lucangeli and Alessandro D’Avenia will hold the conference ‘Step by step towards the School I would like: dialogue on a possible school’, in Italian.

Immediately after this presentation, the journey will begin: on 13 June it will start at the Colle del Gran San Bernardo in Valle d’Aosta, to arrive on 14 September in Matera, passing through Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Tuscany, Lazio, Campania and Apulia.

Stay up-to-date on the scheduled stages and events by following the ‘Scienza Servizievole in Cammino’ Facebook page.

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Thermal heritage in the Tuscan Via Francigena: seizing an opportunity

During the morning of 19 May, an informal technical meeting was held in Florence, at the headquarters of the Region of Tuscany, to discuss the project of the candidacy of the Via Francigena as a World Heritage Site. It was an operational meeting organised by EAVF to plan future actions following the European thematic study which has already been carried out.

The day continued with a round table, also organised by EAVF, focusing on the Thermal Via Francigena project and the sharing of activities within the European rurAllure project. One of the research areas of rurAllure sheds light precisely on the thermal heritage which is touched by the Tuscan Francigena route. Research partners University of Bologna, University of Padua, Iuav Venice, UAM Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and the Homo Viator Foundation are actively contributing together with EAVF. Elena Dubinina, international relations manager, Simona Spinola, communication manager, and Nicole Franciolini, project assistant, took part in the presentation.

The meeting was also an important opportunity to talk about environmental education, sustainable tourism, the involvement of local communities, the maintenance of the route, its usability through enhancement of public transports and, last but not least, all aspects connected to the promotion of the itinerary.

Taking part in the round table were Federico Eligi, Councillor at the Cabinet Office of the Region of Tuscany; Carolina Taddei, Councillor for Culture in San Gimignano; Marco Bartoli, Deputy Mayor of San Quirico d’Orcia; Erica Formichi, Municipal Councillor of Castiglione d’Orcia; and Paolo Campinotti, Mayor of Gambassi Terme. President Massimo Tedeschi and Director Luca Bruschi were present for EAVF.

Thermal springs become a richness within the local tourist offer and therefore make the Via Francigena more attractive, offering even more to its pilgrims. The Via is thus stronger if it is linked to thermal tourism. This is exactly the aim of rurAllure project“, emphasised EAVF’s President Massimo Tedeschi

Among the proposed ideas is the ‘I love Francigena Termale by rurAllure‘ event, a two-day walking tour (28 and 29 May) in which participants will discover on foot the thermal and cultural heritage located along the stages connecting San Quirico to Castiglione d’Orcia and San Gimignano to Gambassi Terme. This initiative is free of charge and open to everybody: the first of a long series of events to enhance an area that is so rich in opportunities.

Fill the form to participate