On Thursday the 5th of August, two important occurrences converged on the Via Francigena stage, to celebrate, on foot, the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon and the 20th anniversary of the Association.
Important news is coming for those who are planning their next trip along the Via Francigena or other walking routes. Our website evolved in a new version, easier to navigate and increasingly complete of information.
From the 16th to the 19th of September 2021, in Fidenza (Parma), the first edition of the Francigena Fidenza Festival will take place: an international event dedicated to the Via Francigena and to all walking routes in Italy and in Europe.
The “Via Francigena – Road to Rome. Start again!” relay march, organized by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways with the support of ENIT, on August 1st reaches an important checkpoint.
On the 31st of July, on the historical Cisa pass in the municipality of Berceto, the first TWIN Cabin will be inaugurated. The accommodation structure will open to ‘slow’ tourists, traveling by foot or by bike along the Sentiero Italia CAI and the Via Francigena.
Written by Sabine Rostaing, in collaboration with her husband Nicolas and her son Matthias, who is a playwright, “The legend of Sigeric: the true story of the Via Francigena” puts together historical events and the stages of Sigeric’s Journey, the archbishop of Canterbury who set the basis (without knowing it!) of our Via Francigena.
The book, created in the style of a conte théâtrale, traces the story of this man in a semi-serious and engaging manner.
Lightly written, it leads us into the beauty of a trip across time. The text is supported by a glossary, helping us to interpret the language.
Through the official website, you can access more information and other contents for free, as well as podcasts and some extracts of the book’s text.
Extracts from the book: https://sygericfrancigena.com/extraits/
The official website: https://sygericfrancigena.com/
- The legend of Sygéric disseminates in Occitania : https://sygericfrancigena.com/legende-sygeric-diffuse-occitanie/
- The legend in Christian lands : https://sygericfrancigena.com/legende-entre-terres-chretiennes/
You can contact Sabine Rostaing to get a copy of the book: https://sygericfrancigena.com/contact
The beautiful cathedral of Canterbury and the Beffroi of Arras are two symbolic locations that framed the beginning of “Via Francigena Road to Rome”, the long march that started on the 15th of June and will end on the 18th of October in Santa Maria di Leuca.The rather rainy weather of these first days of journey did not influence the warm welcoming of municipalities, departments, tourist offices, local associations and the network of accommodation facilities involved in the project. From the 15th of June, the pilgrim’s stick, delivered by our friends of the Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome, is crossing Europe from North to South on its 127 days-long relay march.
Canterbury, Calais, Wissant, Guines, Licques, Tournehem-sur-la-Hem, Wisques, Thérouanne, Amettes, Bruay-La-Buissière, Ablain Saint Nazaire, Arras were the stages crossed in these first walking days. In between, many small municipalities of the English region of Kent and the French Haute France opened their doors to the Road to Rome, displaying the extraordinary cultural heritage that distinguishes them.
“Heritage” (together with “restart” and “Europe”) is one of the key words of this epic journey, which aims to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the European Association of Via Francigena ways with all of the 657 municipalities located along the route. The Road to Rome is also highlighting the UNESCO candidacy of the Via Francigena in France: this project is finding support and excitement among all encountered local communities.
Along the route, groups of hikers and pilgrims are joining our walkers, wanting to share their trip with the leading group of the Road to Rome. This is one of the most important results achieved until now: the strong participation of local territories, responding with pride and feeling part of a European cultural route and a pilgrimage route that culturally unites them.
At the forefront we also find the Fédération Française de la Randonnée and the Fédération Via Francigena France, which are accompanying the group along the French section and are highly contributing to the overall success of the Road to Rome.
Sunday 27th of June the group stopped for a day in the gorgeous city of Arras. The next stops are expected in Reims, Champlitte and Besançon, before arriving in Swiss territory.
It is possible to follow our daily stories, photos and videos of the trip through EAVF’s official channels.
WEBSITE: www.viefrancigene.org (with a map showing our daily movements).
An Educational Tour was led during the days 21, 22 and 23rd of June in the Italian area of Tuscia, in the province of Viterbo. The initiative was financed by the Chamber of Commerce of Viterbo and by Unioncamere Lazio, and was organized by Francigena Service S.r.l. with the technical support of SloWays, an expert partner of the European Association of Via Francigena ways (EAVF).
The press trip was held by a group of journalists: Giulia Armeni (Il Giornale di Vicenza), Dario Bordet (italiadagustare – Milano 24orenews – Roma 24orenews), Lorenza Cerbini (Corriere della Sera) and bloggers: Alessandro Bertini and Sara Dutto (Girovagate), Patrizia Ferlini (Saporiinviaggio). They were accompanied by: Anna Maria Olivieri (Responsible of Placement Services to Enterprises’ Internationalization and Marketing at the Chamber of Commerce of Viterbo), Marika Massotti (Social Media Manager at EAVF), Tullia Caballero (CEO of SloWays) and Agostino Cecchini, licensed tourist and trekking guide.
The event was important to allow journalists and bloggers to learn about the territory of Tuscia and the passage of the Via Francigena in this area, ancient pilgrimage route which, today, is crossed by millions of walkers. Participants walked across the woods and green nature, visited historical villages and met people who enrich local entrepreneurship with passion and originality.
The group began the tour with a walk along the Via Francigena, in the direction of Bolsena, coming across the archeological site of Poggio Moscini. The tour then crossed the histocial center of Bolsena, the City of Miracles (Città dei Miracoli), and the group took part in a handcraft workshop at a pottery and coloured ceramics shop called Terre di Rasenna. The day came to an end at a beautiful biological and holistic holiday farmhouse, “Valle dei Calanchi”, which applies homeodynamic agriculture in its land. The experience mesmerized the curious group of travelers.
The second day started with a visit at the historical center of Montefiascone (EAVF’s member municipality), with a visit at the Basilica di San Flaviano. Before starting the walk on the Via Francigena, the group enjoyed a break at the panoramic resting spot of the city, which overlooks the lake of Bolsena. Participants then walked along one of the most famous and beloved routes in the area, the Via Cassia Antica, with its authentic Roman paving. They then reached the farm Azienda Agricola il Molino, where Annalisa and Mauro welcomed them in elegantly restyled farmhouses with oil tastings and a rich lunch with local and high-quality products. Walkers were then joined by representatives of the Chamber of Commerce of Viterbo.
In the afternoon, the Educational Tour focused on the city of Viterbo, (EAVF’s member municipality). A stroll of the city center, with a visit to the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, was followed by a tour of the Pilgrim’s district. In the late afternoon time stopped when Lucia and Hans talked to the group about the ancient craft and art of binding books: participants were guided in the creation of a little handmade notebook.
The last day, the tour started with a walk from Capranica to the town of Sutri (EAVF’s member municipality). Participants walked through the woods, across little waterfalls and wooden bridges, and discovered the well-known sword in the stone. After a 6 km walk, across the Natural Park of the Ancient City of Sutri, they reached another archeological site. The tour ended with a lunch in the village of Caprarola, along an uphill street bringing to the famous Palazzo Farnese. An experience full of flavours and typical dishes.
This shared project revealed itself as a wonderful tool to recignize the value of this territory, thanks to the collaboration between various institutions and enterprises of the Tuscia Viterbese. It enhanced local promotion and the availability of services, resources and specialities of the area.
The European Association of Via Francigena Ways and SloWays support the Refill Now sustainability project, a map of all drinkable water sources along the Via Francigena.
Refill Now is a sustainable project created by an Italian start-up with a specific mission: “revolution the way drinkable water is consumed”, helping private companies and tourism destinations to provide alternatives that can decrease the consumption of plastic water bottles and other disposables.
Starting from the Italian Island of Elba and progressively growing across Italy, a shared network was built to identify public (fountains) and private (hotels, bars, restaurants and partners) water sources where walkers and citizens can refill their water bottle and minimize plastic waste. The innovative part of the project is the Refill Now Map, an interactive map, continuously updated and accessible through a QR code, which can be found on the project’s personalized steel water bottles. This allows to quickly and easily find your water supply without downloading an app or sharing personal data.
Refill Now is a solution which unites associations, cities, private companies (hotels, bars, restaurants, shops, Tour Operators) and citizens to minimize the impact on our planet and educate people towards responsible behaviors, both during their routine lives and during holidays. By developing this project we not only create a service for the community; we also value water as a resource and promote sustainable tourism, valuing the actions that companies are taking to reduce their environmental impact. Between the beginning of the project and May 2019 the consumption of plastic bottles decreased of about 1.5 milions. The European Association of Via Francigena ways shared and invited to the project more than 300 accommodation structures who are part of its VisitVieFrancigene network, raising awareness among hotel and restaurant managers. SloWays created personalized water bottles, financed the project and sensitized walkers to the use of reusable bottles and to the possibility to indicate the presence of water sources directly on the map.
See this video to discover how these water bottles and their QR codes linked to the Refill Map work:
- Reduce consumption of plastic bottles
- Facilitate localization of drinkable water sources through the map
- Incentivize the development of public and private drinkable water sources
- Promote sustainable tourism and responsible lifestyles
How can you participate in the Refill Now project? Buy a Via Francigena stainless steel water bottle on SloWay’s shop, use the QR code you find on it, share the project with your friends and help us map water sources along the route. An easy, fun and quick way to reduce plastic consumption and your environmental impact!
Tuesday 15th of June 2021 at 9:00 am a symbolic ceremony will be held at the Cathedral of Canterbury, next to the km 0 stone of the Via Francigena. The ceremony represents the starting of the event, with the blessing of the “pilgrim’s stick” which will accompany us for 3,200 km, all the way to Santa Maria di Leuca. At 1:45 pm a delegation of EAVF will be received by the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić.
- TUESDAY 15TH OF JUNE
Close friends of the Via Francigena, to whom the EAVF general assembly assigned “Public Awards”, will be in Canterbury: Edward Condry (former Dean of the Cathedral), Velia Coffey (former EAVF Vice-President), Colin Carmichael (General Director of the Canterbury City Council), William Pettit (former Responsible of International Relations at the Canterbury City Council) and Catherine Bradley (Kent County).
At the end of the ceremony, a group of pilgrims and walkers, led by Giancarlo Laurenzi, president of the Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome, will cover the Via Francigena up to Shepherdswell.
Meeting in Strasbourg at the Council of Europe
On the same day of the 15th of June, at 1:45 pm, a delegation of EAVF members, composed by President Massimo Tedeschi, Vice-president Francesco Ferrari, Vice-president Gaetan Tornay, Mayor of Montfaucon Pierre Contoz and EAVF’s Director Luca Bruschi, will extraordinarily be received by the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić. It is important to notice that all the States which will be crossed by the march – United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and Italy – are members of the Council of Europe, an organization founded on the 5th of May 1949 with the Treaty of London.
- WEDNESDAY 16TH OF JUNE
The group of English pilgrims will meet in Dover for a second meaningful ceremony, during which the “pilgrim’s stick” will be delivered to the ferry captain who will cross the English Channel to reach Calais, where walkers will receive it and start their great march towards Rome.
Launching videoconference in Calais, at 11:00 am
At the municipal headquarters of Calais the great march will be presented with the presence of: Massimo Tedeschi, EAVF President, Luca Bruschi, EAVF Director, Dominique Darré, municipal Councilor at the municipality of Calais, Daniel Pipart, French Randonnée Federation, Didier Morel, French Via Francigena Federation.
The conference will be in French language (one of the three official languages of the Via Francigena). The maximum limit of connected devices at the videoconference is 100 people.
We remind you that the event “Via Francigena. Road to Rome 2021. Start again!” will be shared every day on EAVF’s web and social channels: website, with news and blog, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and daily podcasts on Radio Francigena.