Pilgrims’ welcome restarts!

Travel along the Via Francigena restarts and many reception facilities reopen.

After a predictable slow start of the season, many hostels, religious structures, hotels and B&Bs have reopened their doors in the last few weeks. The European Association of the Via Francigena ways EAVF regularly updates the hospitality files divided into “pilgrims” and “tourists” sections. This work is done weekly by the staff with valuable help of volunteers and local associations.

It is understandable that many facilities struggle to coop with daily management, in particular reference to sanitation and cleaning due to the health emergency. Furthermore, management costs have significantly increased as the current situation requires great attention, responsibility, and precaution.

That is why it is essential to carefully follow the health guidelines while travelling along the route. Furthermore, it is equally important to leave a donation to your host, which is usually “forgotten” by 20% of pilgrims, damaging the entire Via Francigena hospitality system.

What is the current hospitality situation along the way right now? The route is indeed well equipped with pilgrim and tourist accommodations even if in most cases available places are currently reduced. It should not be forgotten that given the situation, this year it is mandatory to book your bed / room in advance.

The French section of the route does not report any particular criticalities with most of facilities being open.

Verification of the Swiss section confirms available beds along 200 km of the route; efforts are also being made to publish new parochial and offer-based structures online.

Along the Italian section, starting from the north you can find pilgrim hospitality in five stages with the sole exception in Aosta which offers a range of other accommodations. Numerous facilities have reopened in Piedmont, welcoming tourists with reduced prices. Lombardy has an accommodation gap on the border with Piedmont up to Mortara, however in Palestro in Torre Merlata you can sleep in a tent.

The situation in Emilia-Romagna is a little more critical, as hostels in this region have not yet reopened between Piacenza and Berceto. However, tourist facilities there offer preferential rates for pilgrims.

In Tuscany and Lazio many facilities actively welcome pilgrims. In cities of Lucca and Siena historic hostels are closed, although there are alternatives of campings, guest houses and traditional tourist facilities.

The accommodation situation along the Via Francigena in the South is being updated and monitored, as well as route conditions, safety and signs in accordance with the European Via Francigena manual.

You can download accommodation lists from the Visit Via Francigena hospitality platform. Other facilities are expected to reopen in late July and will be inserted in the accommodation files accordingly.

Find more information about the route following the link


#CycleToRecycle: Myra Stals arrives in Fidenza

Yesterday Myra Stals arrived to Fidenza, bringing her energy and enthusiasm of the #CycletoRecycle project.

Myra, originally from the Netherlands, has been living in Italy for 7 years. On 4 July she left Turin on her cargo bike for a long trip across Italy: 6500km and three months on the road. During the first part of the journey she will follow the Via Francigena, up to Santa Maria di Leuca.

CycletoRecycle is a project focused on environmental sensibilisation: during the journey Myra collects plastic waste, raising awareness about one of the biggest problems of our planet. Myra also conducts public  meetings with local communities, associations, citizens and presents her achievements in videos, LIVES and photos that can be followed on her webplatfom and Facebook page.

Myra was welcomed in Fidenza at the symbolical place – the Cathedral square next to the EAVF headquarters by the Mayor Andrea Massari and councilor Maria Pia Bariggi. Myra also met EAVF staff Luca Bruschi, Micol Sozzi, Luca Faravelli, Elena Dubinina and visited the office.

CycletoRecycle also includes a fundraiser for the #BancoAlimentare (Food Bank) for families in difficulty.

Today Myra left Fidenza for a demanding stage, passing Cisa pass on her way to Pontremoli.

A great story to follow and a splendid project to support. If you meet her on the street, welcome her with a smile: she will be happy to stop and chat with you!

To find out more and to follow his journey:


Cycle 2 Recycle project: bike for environment

Passion for cycling and environmental awareness are in the heart of the project “Cycle 2 Recycle”, developed by Myra Stals, a Dutch expat from Turin.

After years in academic coordination in Italian foreign universities, Myra changes her life to dedicate it to her passion for cycling and environmental protection.

The project was born from Myra’s first bicycle trip in 2016 when she crossed 18 European countries over four months; then leaving for the Balkans in 2018. That wonderful and intense experiences of learning new cultures and enjoying nature brought to light the devastating situation of plastic pollution along the routes she took.

In 2019 Myra decides to take action and founds Cycle 2 Recycle. Its main purpose is to make people aware of the great problem of plastic pollution.

The first edition of the project took place in summer 2019 when Myra pedalled for over 2000 km with a heavy unassisted cargo bike, crossing the Alps twice and collecting 43 kg of plastic waste – an equivalent of 4300 empty 500 ml bottles!

For 2020 edition “Cycle 2 Recycle for Italy”, Myra develops a new plan – useful for the environment as always, but also to many hard-hit people from the economic crisis due to the pandemic via fundraising for Italian Food Bank (Banco Alimentari).

Her 3-months journey starts from Turin on 4 July 2020 along the Via Francigena to Santa Maria di Leuca in Apulia, going to the Dolomits on her way back to Turin. She will be facing 6500 km, (unfortunately) several kg of plastic along the way and hopefully funds to support those in difficulty today.

Myra will accompany us on her journey with direct Facebook broadcasts on her page and will share her experience on the Instagram and Twitter profiles!

To date Myra has already reached the necessary amount to start her travel thanks to the crowdfunding campaign and generous donations, which will allow her to complete this adventure. Any extra donations will be given to the Food Bank.

If you wish to support her project, offer accommodations and catering with a reduced price or provide in kind technical assistance, please contact Myra on her website.

The European Association of the Via Francigena ways EAVF supports Myra in her inspiring project and wishes her a successful journey!


EAVF participates in the final conference of the «Italy, Greece and Turkey on Foot» project

The European Association of the Via Francigena ways (EAVF) participated in the final conference of the «Italy, Greece and Turkey on Foot» project, which took place on 6 – 7 February 2020 in Izmit, Turkey.
The conference was a closing event of a 12-months project, financed by the European Union, and led by a Turkish NGO Culture Routes Society in cooperation with the EAVF and the Greek NGO Trace Your Eco.

The final conference gave an excellent opportunity to present the results of the project, share best practices along the Via Eurasia and strengthen cooperation between the partners. It brought together over 80 international participants from institutions, associations, civil society, universities and private sector.

The Via Eurasia hiking route presents an opportunity of becoming a “cultural bridge” connecting Europe and Turkey crossing five countries: Italy, Albania, Republic of North Macedonia, Greece and Turkey, which will facilitate sustainable tourism development, intercultural dialogue and rural revitalisation.

During the morning session on 7 February the following results achieved within the project were presented:

  • involvement of municipalities along the proposed cultural route in Turkey, Greece and Italy;
  • study visit in Apulia, Italy and roadshows in Turkey and Greece;
  • new visibility material as website, brochures, flyers, panels;
  • exchange of good practices in terms of governance, capacity building and promotion;
  • mapping cultural heritage along the way;
  • development of strong partnerships and intercultural dialogue among the partners and local towns.

Luca Bruschi, EAVF director, shared best practices of the Via Francigena governance model with a special focus on the Via Francigena of the South.

A lead university of the Via Eurasia Scientific Committee – the Bogazici University – conducted workshop on sustainable tourism during the afternoon session.

On 7 February the Scientific Committee and the Management Board of the Via Eurasia discussed the consolidation of the route’s management structure and future actions to develop animation of the route.

During the project an intensive analysis and research was done by the Scientific Committee, in cooperation with the Head of the Management Committee Elena Dubinina, in order to prepare the dossier to be certified as a Council of Europe Cultural Route.

The submission of the dossier is scheduled on 30th September 2020.


Via Francigena Capacity Building: the EAVF Training Proposal for Public Bodies, Local Communities and Private Sector

To train local stakeholders and meet the demand for increasing experiential and sustainable tourism – this is the objective of the ” Via Francigena Capacity Building” training module launched by the European Association of the Via Francigena Ways (EAVF).The training is addressed to public bodies, tourist offices, trade associations, private sector and local communities. During the pilot phase, the project will cover the Italian section of the Via Francigena, to be extended to the entire European route in the nearest future.

Why Capacity Building?

To improve hospitality sector, stimulate increase in tourism flows and generate concrete economic benefits, it is essential to qualify the tourism product at a local level by training and direct involvement of stakeholders of the Francigena world. Numerous Italian routes compete thanks to infrastructure development and elaboration of tourist products and offers. To keep  a high level of quality and an outstanding offer it is necessary to respond with professionalism and excellent services to the specific needs of pilgrims and walkers.

Objectives of the course:

In this context the training offered by the EAVF intends to involve and train the main actors along the Via Francigena. Its focus is to improve hospitality services at local level for diverse users (pilgrims, hikers, tourists, cyclists, campers, etc.); increase customization of existing services or creation of new services (luggage transport, bicycle rental, hospitality, etc.) and promote knowledge and usefulness of already active territorial information and promotion tools (App, website, logos, events, etc.).

The training request emerged from the questionnaire realized by the EAVF and addressed to the municipal administrations along the Via Francigena. 80% of respondents consider it essential to increase skills of economic operators and local associations by focusing on the characteristics of tourism demand, communication, marketing and current issues such as sustainable and responsible tourism.


The EAVF offers a training course of different levels, adapted to the needs of a recipient. It offers a lab alternating theoretical / debate phases with practical and interactive experiences, work exercises useful for experimenting with different case studies. Specific sessions are foreseen to foster knowledge-sharing, information exchange, group cohesion and networking.

The adopted experiential methodology is interactive and homogeneous, with innovative didactic tools used onsite and remotely. The training course will be conducted by trainers – experts in tourism marketing, management of tourist destinations and participatory process, highly experienced in enhancement of Cultural Routes.

An EAVF certification is provided for Municipalities and operators who undertake the training course. A certification of participation or excellence is based on the achieved level and examination taken. Excellent achievements will be published on the website

For info and contacts: Tel. +39 0523 492792. Email:

Attached is the downloadable brochure.

All rights reserved

AEVF depliant Formazione.pdf


I love Francigena, success of the walking events in Emilia Romagna

The 2019 edition of I love Francigena closes with a more than positive outcome.

The event created by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) brought dozens of walkers to discover the route with two dates: 7th September along the Cassio – Berceto section and 14th September from Pontenure to Fiorenzuola d’Arda.

The initiative, free of charge, was included in the  “I love cammini Emilia Romagna” events, the project promoted by  APT Servizi Regione Emilia-Romagna, in collaboration with the Episcopal Conference of Emilia Romagna and the AIGAE association to experience the historical paths of Emilia Romagna from Piacenza to Rimini.

The first walk took place in the woods and along the dirt tracks from Cassio to Berceto, the last historic village before the Cisa Apennine pass towards Tuscany. The initiative took place with the collaboration of the municipality of Berceto, which welcomed the participants with a buffet with the mayor, Luigi Lucchi.

The second outing, in the Po countryside, was organised in collaboration with the Fiorenzuola in Movimento association, the municipalities of Pontenure, Cadeo and Fiorenzuola d’Arda. Walkers, accompanied by EAVF staff, were also able to admire some cultural and naturalistic places such as the Paderna castle, the castle of Cerreto Landi, the ford of the Chiavenna stream to finally arrive at the Collegiata of Fiorenzuola d’Arda. This last walk saw the participation of some local administrators: Manola Groups, mayor of Pontenure; Marco Bricconi, mayor of Cadeo; Toma Maria Lodovica, deputy mayor; Alessandro Genesi, Councilor for Public Heritage Works and Romeo Gandolfi mayor of Fiorenzuola d’Arda.

On this occasion the last stop also dedicated some time to tasting local dishes, thanks to the collaboration of the Parish of San Fiorenzo, the participants could appreciate the delicious taste of ‘torta fritta’ cooked by volunteers.

I love Francigena represents an opportunity to meet new people, discover the territory and enhance the route. With this perspective, the two mayors, Marco Bricconi and Romeo Gandolfi, took part in the walk and gathering after the ford of Chiavenna. The participants also helped the EAVF staff in the maintenance of signage and collection of waste. The two Francigena dates were organised with the support of Banca Generali Private.

More information here


I Love Cammini along the Via Francigena, two dates of slow walking in Emilia Romagna

Our appointment with “I love Cammini Emilia Romagna” returns in September. There are two dates dedicated to the Via Francigena to experience and get to know the route at a slow pace: 7th September from Cassio to Berceto and the 14th September from Pontenure to Fiorenzuola d’Arda.

The initiative is a project promoted by APT Services Emilia-Romagna Region in collaboration with the Bishops’ Conference of Emilia Romagna and the AIGAE association to experience historical paths of Emilia Romagna, from Piacenza to Rimini.

On Saturday 7th September we are offering the opportunity to walk 10.4km of the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe from Cassio to Berceto, the last historic village before the Apennine crossing of Cisa to Tuscany.

On 14th September “I Love Cammini Emilia Romagna” will lead you to the discovery of the Francigena in the Padana countryside from Pontenure to Fiorenzuola. The French dates are organised by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) in collaboration with Banca Generali and the association Fiorenzuola in Movement.

How to participate? The excursion is free, the only thing you need to do is to book at:

What do you need? Just a pair of trainers, preferably with a stiff, thick sole, a cap, a backpack and you are already ready to book on to one of the free weekends of the first edition of “I love Cammini Emilia Romagna 2019”.

The routes almost never exceed 10km – most of them are limited to 7 or 8km – and are suitable for everyone. We leave at around 9.30am and return in the afternoon. Each re-entry has been calculated so that you can get public transport home.

For more information visit: and


Interim management meeting of the cooperation project “Italy, Greece, Turkey on Foot”

On 23 – 24 July 2019 the Via Francigena participated in the interim management meeting of the 12-month  project “Italy, Greece and Turkey on foot“, which took place in a town of Misi, in the vicinity of Turkish Bursa.
The project, led by a Turkish NGO “Culture Routes Society” in partnership with the European Association Via Francigena Ways and Greek “Trace Your Eco“, aims to develop a transnational cultural route of Via Eurasia from Bari to Demre crossing Italy, Albania, Northern Macedonia, Turkey.

The management meeting was focused on governance and Council of Europe cultural routes priority areas – sustainable development, enhancement of memory, youth participation and artistic practices.

Mr Luca Bruschi, the director of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways, presented  best practice examples and their work of extension of the Via to the South.

The Municipality of Nilüfer, the host of the meeting, demonstrated their route development methodology and community based projects along the Mysian Ways.

In the framework of the meeting the EAVF participated in the study visit to discover the Mysian Ways (300km), the route of ancient Mysian civilization, which starts in a picturesque village of Misi and takes you to the Doganci Baraji lake.

During the visit the participants met representatives of associations and volunteers and visited a bakery founded by a local women’s association. The trip ended with an excursion to the museum of exchanged population which exhibits a story of migration in the region.

More information on the topic:

Culture Routes Society: Turkey, Greece & Italy on Foot Project – Bursa Meeting

Municipality of Nilüfer: Türkiye İtalya ve Yunanistan’ın kültür rotaları Nilüfer’de birleşiyor

The project is co-financed by the European Union.


Awaiting ‘I Love Francigena’, inspections concluded

The European Association of the Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) and Fiorenzuola in Movimento have completed their inspections in the Piacenza and Parma areas of ​​the Via Francigena.

The initiative, realised with the support of APT Emilia Romagna, has permitted verification and management of the route, from the Guado del Po to the Passo della Cisa, two landmarks of Sigeric’s route.

“We have verified the status of the route in Emilia Romagna and no particular problems have emerged – explains Sami Tawfik, EAVF project manager – where necessary we intervened by strengthening the adhesive signs. These days were also an opportunity to meet with the tourist information offices and people of the territory dedicated to the development of the Via Francigena”.

“We were really happy and proud of the important task that has been entrusted to us by the EAVF: the signage is a fundamental step of the journey – adds Daniela Ceresa for Fiorenzuola in Motion – It was a wonderful experience that led us to rediscover the places between Piacenza and Fidenza. From one sticker to another we crossed our countryside in full splendour and the town crossed by the route”.

Step by step, between stickers and smiles, volunteers and EAVF staff members met many pilgrims on the road, enthusiastic about the initiative. “These days have allowed us to prepare the ground for the two walks in September which will be followed by a further verification of the route,” adds Tawfik.

On 8th and 15th September the “I Love Francigena in Emilia Romagna” project will be brought to life. The travel event organised by the European Association of the Via Francigena Ways (EAVF), in collaboration with APT Emilia-Romagna, with the technical support of ItinerAria S.r.l. and Fiorenzuola in Movimento, will see the walkers along the Emilia-Romagna stretch of the Francigena. More information on the programme and registration will be announced in the next few days on the website, and

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Travel to Apulia for the project ‘Italy-Greece-Turkey on Foot’

On 27 May – 1 June 2019 the European Association of the Via Francigena Ways has conducted a study visit to the Apulia region in the framework of the cooperation project ‘Italy, Greece and Turkey on Foot’.

The study visit brought together participants from Italy, Turkey, Greece and the Netherlands and was a great success.

With an objective of learning Via Francigena best practices of pilgrims’ hospitality and routes development, the attendees explored the Apulia Region and discovered local traditions, customs and cultures.

On the first day having tasted famous local bread of Monte Sant’Angelo, the participants visited the ancient Sanctuary of Saint Michael the Archangel, the UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as were welcomed by local associations and representatives of the municipality.

The following day the group visited San Giovanni Rotondo – a place well-known for its Saint Padre Pio and saw a pilgrim’s hostel developed by the local government in a historic tower. Then the group had a chance to trek through magnificent Gargano National Park.

In the last days of the trip, the visit was focused on coastal towns of Trani, Polignano a Mare and Monopoli and their hospitality facilities, such as an Italian concept of ‘albergo diffuso’ – type of accommodation with rooms and apartments spread over in town with one information/ reception point.

The 7-km hike along the South Via Francigena on the coast was an exciting opportunity to experience the Via in real life.

Last two days were spared for enchanting city of Bari where Basilica San Nicola is erected with its all grandeur. In Bari the group had fruitful meetings with representatives of the Apulia region and the AEVF to learn good practices in terms of network governance, capacity building and promotion.

The study visit was a great opportunity to learn best practices of welcome and hospitality and a real discovery of the region.

We thank the organizers and all stakeholders who contributed to the study visit. The project ‘Italy, Greece and Turkey on Foot’ is financed by the European Union under the ‘Civil Society Dialogue V’ programme and implemented by the Turkish Directorate for EU Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Cultural Routes Society

Via Eurasia