Via Francigena


Joining forces for sustainability! EAVF and SloWays together against plastic waste

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:

Project objectives:

  • 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!

Click here to buy the water bottle


Departure of “Via Francigena. Road to Rome 2021. Start again!”

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.


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.


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.


Italy welcomes Europe. The European Initiative “Via Francigena. Road to Rome 2021. Start Again” is about to begin.

The Italian National Tourist Board-ENIT promotes slow tourism and supports the march from Europe leading to Rome. The march will leave Canterbury on the 16th of June, passing through 5 nations and 637 municipalities, along the 3,200 km route.

The event celebrates the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the European Association of Via Francigena ways.

The great event is about to start – “Via Francigena – Road to Rome. Start Again” organised by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways in collaboration with The Italian National Tourist Board-ENIT. ENIT wishes to contribute to the rebirth of slow tourism in Italy and Europe, supporting the long march leading to Rome, which is both the Italian capital as well as a cultural and religious centre of both Europe and the World. It will be a long and leisurely walk, symbolic of starting again and getting back to walking, as well as looking hopefully to the future after a difficult year during the pandemic.

It is an event that gives value to the Via Francigena, putting the 3,200 km route on the map, as well as the five countries it passes through (The United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Italy and Vatican city). Road to Rome 2021 aims to be a moment of celebration: a route to be travelled on foot or by bicycle to re-launch the European spirit. The Pilgrim’s Staff will take the place of the Olympic Torch, and will be carried, step by step, country by country, along the way.

The march is aimed at everyone, and the walk will have a symbolic introduction on the 15th of June in Strasbourg, at the Palais de l’Europe, the headquarters of the Council of Europe. The event will see a delegation from EAVF met by the Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić. The meeting will underline the European humanistic values and intends to promote the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, among these the Via Francigena. On the 16th of June a group of walkers will depart Canterbury, after a short ceremony by the symbolic Mile 0 stone situated in the garden of the majestic cathedral. The walk will then arrive in Rome on the 10th of September, and from there go onwards to Santa Maria di Leuca, the so-called “finis terrae”, arriving on the 18th of October. Today, the Via Francigena, with its 148 stages in five countries – forms one of the most attractive European Cultural Routes. The growing number of walkers originating from all over the world highlights the shifting tendency towards cultural and sustainable tourism, and develops the intercultural and interreligious dialogue between the communities of walkers and the communities that welcome them.

The event is sponsored by the Visit Canterbury, the French Cultural Ministry, the Italian Cultural Ministry and Canterbury City Council and the Interreg Green Pilgrimage. It is supported by ENIT – Italian National Tourist Board, and the international main partners Intesa Sanpaolo and Snam. A further institutional partner is Valore Paese Italia, an Italian national programme to promote tourism and culture linked to adding value to public patrimony.

International bloggers, video makers and associations will join the route to tell the story of the journey. “ The EAVF’s initiative shares the desire to start again after the pandemic, adding value to the more minor and rural areas of Europe. Adding value to both material and immaterial patrimony is an objective that helps to strengthen the Via Francigena’s candidacy as UNESCO World Heritage. Furthermore, the walk will help to increase awareness and dialogue between cultures and people living by the North Sea, with those living by the Mediterranean Sea, keeping in mind common European values, and allowing the world to understand the beauty of the Via Francigena” claims EAVF President Massimo Tedeschi.

We join this symbolic march because we are aware of its imaginative power and its importance of keeping the dream of Italy alive. Italy presents itself to Europe and the World with a story and a route that also redefines the geography of hospitality. The event symbolises a way forward for the sector and binds up coordinated integration. Through giving value to the natural heritage, it will be possible to attract further tourism and to ease access to lesser-known destinations” declare Italian National Tourist Board President Giorgio Palmucci and director Giovanni Bastianelli.

This manifestation is very close to our mission and our values. The Snam energy network, which in Italy passes many points along the Via Francigena, connects towns and communities, communicates with different territories and guarantees a secure energy supply, ever more sustainable and in harmony with nature and the countryside. We work with the EAVF Ways and everyone who will accompany us in the next four months from Canterbury to Santa Maria di Leuca on a walk symbolising starting again, communication with people, common European routes, culture and environmental sustainability” comments Patrizia Ritigliano, EVP Institutional Affairs, ESG, Communications and Marketing at Snam.

This project sheds an optimist message: returning soon to enjoy the artistic and cultural heritage of Italy. For Intesa Sanpaolo the participation of the public in the arts and culture represents an essential value, inspiring continuous commitment in this context” comments Renzo Simionato, Head of Management of Agribusiness in Intesa Sanpaolo.

The Road to Rome is supported by the following Gold Partners: Lazio Region and Apulia Region; Silver Partners: Doubs Department, Valle d’Aosta Region, Piedmont Region, Emilia-Romagna Region, Liguria Region, Campania Region, Montefiascone Municipality, Viterbo Municipality, Civita association, Montana; Bronze Partners: Haute-Saone Department, Grand Besançon Metropole, Pays de Lumbres Municipalities Community, Champlittle Municipality, Pays du Grand St. Bernard, Siena Municipality, Banca Generali Private, Crédit Agricole branch in Dampierrre-sur-Salon, Zurich, Sport Power Patch. The technical partners for the initiative are North Downs Way, Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome, French Hiking Federation (FFRandonnée), Fédération Française de la Via Francigena, Federturismo di Confindustria, Trenitalia, Trenord, Artio Design, Sloways, Itineraria. Ferrino, Garmont and Alpek Bike are technical partners and suppliers of products for walkers and cyclists. The publishers Cicerone, Favre, Terre di Mezzo, Le Pélerin and Via Francigena magazines, Radio Francigena and Movimento Lento are media partners.

Finally, the project is supported by numerous local administrations and tourist offices in the towns the route passes through, who will host the group of walkers and who, together with local associations, will organise various activities.

Francesca Cicatelli

Direzione Esecutiva

Comunicazione e Ufficio Stampa

Via Marghera 2 – ROMA

Cell: (+39) 392.9225216



Luca Bruschi
Associazione Europea Vie Francigene
Cell: +39 329 6629306




–        Official Website:

–        You Tube video:

–        Press Kit:

The calendar:


The Road to Rome 2021 initiative was selected by the UNWTO as a best practice for the relaunch of sustainable tourism!

The “Via Francigena. Road to Rome 2021. Start again!” initiative has been selected and is now on the official platform of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO): the ‘Tourism for SDGs’ platform . It represents a showcase and best practice, accessible worldwide, aiming at the relaunch of sustainable and responsible tourism after Covid-19.

Click here to the article.

The platform, developed by UNWTO, frames a selection of inspirational stories, education and training activities, research projects, initiatives and events, including our relay march, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (so-called SDGs) , outlining the contribution of each of these practices to the global quest for sustainable development. As the UNWTO highlights, sustainable tourism must take full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts.

The 17 SDGs were defined in 2015 by the United Nation’s Member States to set clear and shared objectives to pursue globally and unitedly until 2030. Tourism is only one of the many sectors and topics tackled by the official goals, yet the contribution of the Road to Rome event extends across many of them. Most relevantly, not only the Road to Rome initiative but the Via Francigena itself contributes to develop decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11) and partnership for sustainability (SDG 17).

We are preparing a section on our website explaining how this is done in much more detail, and how the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) continuously works to get closer and closer to the achievement of these sustainability goals. As we never forget about, the very constitution statement of our Association outlines that sustainable development is the fundamental goal of our work!


Interministerial meeting on The Via Francigena

Il Ministero della Cultura italiano – Direzione Generale delle Biblioteche, Istituti Culturali e Diritto d’Autore ha riconfermato il suo support all’itinerario europeo della Via Francigena nel corso del progetto PER VIAM, come già ampiamente dimostrato negli anni passati, attraverso il suo lavoro di validazione, georeferenziazione del percorso e realizzazione di un portale istituzionale, .

Il Ministero ha portato la sua buona pratica nel corso di alcuni dei workshop del progetto e organizzato un incontro interministeriale a Roma che ha visto la partecipazione del Ministero del Turismo e Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico e permesso altresì un dialogo con gli Enti locali al fine di favorire un coordinamento nazionale a sostegno della Via Francigena.

Programma dell’incontro 

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Network of European Universities for The Via Francigena and the European pilgrimage routes

A network which includes specialists in several subjects and fosters multicultural dialogue through scientific research and exchange of best practices, in support of didactic and research activity on the Via Francigena and pilgrimage routes.

With the coordination of Università di Bologna, PER VIAM academic partners implemented a program of 7 workshops and 1 cartographic and photographic exhibition on the Via Francigena and pilgrimage routes. The last workshop announced the official launch of the European University NEtwork of Knowledge (EUNEK) Via Francigena and pilgrimage routes.

The first technical panel of the network took place in Rimini on January 16th 2013.


For more information about the European University Network of Knowledge Via Francigena and Pilgrimage routes and the seminars, please see the attached documents at the bottom of this page and visit the following web site:

1st workshop EUNeK

Religious routes and European Universities, Old Cultural Crossroads of Knowledge . A Francigena project from Midle Age, 6th of June 2012, Pavia (Italy) – organized by Università di Pavia.

2nd workshop EUNeK

Pilgrimage Routes as Cultural and Religious Tourism in European and Mediterranean Destinations: Sharing Experiences and Best Practices, Barcelona and Montserrat-Manresa (Catalonia, Spain), 9 – 10th July 2012 – organized by Universitat de Barcelona / Ibertur.


3rd workshop EUNeK

The role of the network in the development of the Via Francigena of the south, 16th July 2012, Rome – organized by Società Geografica Italiana.

4th workshop EUNeK

Colloque itinérant dans Paris, à travers trois endroits du « Carré d’Or » de Paris mis en place par l’UFIC, 12th October 2012, Paris – organized by Université Paris Sorbonne.


5th workshop

Politics and tools for the enhancement of the tourist destinations along the Via Francigena, 21th November 2012, Lucca and Altopascio (Italy) – organized by Fondazione Campus Studi del Mediterraneo.


6th Workshop EUNeK

The Via Francigena in Southern Italy and the routes in the Mediterranean area, Vaste -Poggiardo (LE) organized by Università del Salento, 7th December 2012.


7th Final Workshop EUNeK

Tourism and Landscape along the Via Francigena: a persistent network of knowledge for European territorial development, 16th -17th -18th January 2013, Rimini – organized by Università di Bologna. Scuola Superiore di Scienze Turistiche.


Pavia workshop

Colloque Paris Routes Culturelles

La Via Francigena nella cartografia storica e nel patrimonio fotografico della società geografica italiana

Lecce workshop

Lucca workshoop

Barcelona workshop

Il ruolo della rete nello sviluppo della Via Francigena del Sud

Rimini workshop



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Network of European regions along The Via Francigena : meetings in Florence (IT) and in Châlons-en-Champagne (FR)

The project Per Viam strongly encouraged a coordinated dialogue on a European dimension among the regional administrations crossed by The Via Francigena (14 regions) in order to encourage a common approach and find shared solutions on issues concerning all The Via (signposting, hospitality, European events, information and communication policies, etc.). Regione Toscana has developed in these years very good practices on planning and implementation of The Via Francigena product in the region. This action was thus lead by Regione Toscana and EAVF.

Two meetings took place in Florence, on 18th May 2012 and in Châlons-en-Champagne, on 24th and  January 2013, the latter hosted by Région Champagne-Ardenne. These meetings let all regional administrations and associations present the state of art of Via Francigena implementation in all European regions and increase a coordinated and integrated dialogue among them.

All the regions having participated at these meetings (10 regions out of 14) affirmed the importance to create a European interregional coordinating committee for The Via Francigena. The priority axis of cooperation within the Interregional Coordinating Committee were defined and approved in Châlons-en-Champagne.

Agenda Meeting Chalons-en-Champagne

Meeting presentations:


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Festival Via Francigena Collective Project 2012

The project PER VIAM – Pilgrims’ routes in Actions supported the Festival Via Francigena Collective Project 2012. The European Association of Vie Francigene, in cooperation with Civita Association promoted the second edition of the European Festival “Via Francigena Collective Project”, a great festival which gathered many activities organized by the territories, enhancing their outstanding cultural, religious and artistic features linked to the ancient pilgrimage route.

The second edition of the Festival took place from June to September 2012 and gathered more than 200 events. Via Francigena partners in all four countries crossed by this pilgrimage route – Italy, Switzerland, France and England – participated through actions enhancing the local living culture and benefited from a European common communication and targeted promotion of the axis “from Canterbury to Jerusalem”. The final event took place in Canterbury on September 30th 2012.

The Festival represents an important European initiative encouraging active participation of the whole network of Via Francigena. Therefore, the Festival was a fundamental step in the implementation of the European Project “PER VIAM Pilgrims’ Routes in Action” leaded by the EAVF.

Find the brochure of the 2012 edition at the following link:


Final press conference

Walk in the footsteps of pilgrims


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The project PER VIAM – Pilgrims’ Routes in Action was launched in Turin

The kick-off meeting of the European project Per Viam – Pilgrims’ Routes in Action was held in Turin at the headoffice of SiTI- Higher Institute on Territorial System for Innovation, on 4th April 2012.

The project PER VIAM is coordinated by the European Association of Via Francigena in partnership with Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs, European Institute of Cultural Routes, Regione Toscana, Canterbury City Council, Università di Bologna, SiTI – Higher Institute on Territorial System for Innovation, Nidaros Pilgrim Center.

During the meeting project partners could exchange about project objectives, expected results as well as planning project activities during the 12 months of project implementation. Project PER VIAM aims at improving European governance of Via Francigena as well as launch a platform of exchange with other pilgrimage routes certified by the Council of Europe: Saint Olav Way, Saint James of Compostela Pilgrims’ Routes, the Route of Saint Martin of Tours, Saint Michael’s Way.


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A tastier Via Francigena, with MITO single portions of Parmigiano Reggiano

Three new “Stop & Taste” spots are now open where pilgrims can have a taste of delicious Parmigiano Reggiano thanks to an agreement between the European Association of Via Francigena ways (EAVF), the Consortium of Parmigiano Reggiano and the Official Via Francigena Magazine emitted by editor Studio Guidotti.

We may hypothesise that Sigeric, archbishop who travelled between Rome and Canterbury in 990 a.d. describing his 79 itinerary stages in a diary – now base for the development of the route of the Francigena – had a chance to taste one of the earliest forms of Parmigiano Reggiano during his passage in the province of Parma.

This leads to the idea that modern pilgrims should have an experiential visit along the Via Francigena, devoted to the discovery of Parmigiano Reggiano. The title “Stop & Taste” already underlines the nature and the intention of the project: pilgrims are now able to stop at locations that take part in the initiative and taste this product, discover its characteristics, such as various aging techniques, and explore the variety of production sites spread across the thirteen municipalities in the province of Parma along the Via Francigena.

The list of locations taking part in the initiative is quite long, building a flavourful network of actors who want the Via Francigena experience to be increasingly special and tasty. The list can also be explored on the official EAVF website, in the purposely made section “Sosta e Gusta”.

  • Twenty cheese factories
  • Five markets
  • Fourty-one restaurants

The real news for Spring 2021 is the inauguration of three “Stop & Taste” spots in

  • Fidenza: Ufficio Turistico IAT Casa Cremonini Piazza Duomo, phone +39 524 83377
    From April to October: every day, from 9.30 to 12.30 and from 15.00 to 18.00.
    From November to March: from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9.00 to 12.30 and from 15.00 to 17.30. Closed on Mondays. Closed 25 – 26 December and 1 January.
  • Fornovo di Taro: Ufficio Turistico IAT Via XXIV Maggio 2, phone + 39 346 9536300
    Open year-round from Monday to Sunday. From Monday to Friday 8.30/12.30- 15/17; Saturday 8,30/12,30; Sunday 9/12
  • Berceto: Info Point, Piazza Don Giovanni Bosco 2, tel. +39 5251939109
    Open every day from 9:00 to 13:00

Pilgrims who visit these three “Stop & Taste” locations will receive a ‘MITO’ single portion of Parmigiano Reggiano and an informative pamphlet about the collaboration, explaining where to find this precious cheese along the Via Francigena. Whoever feels comfortable with it will also be photographed with their special sample, to share images on EAVF’s social media and with project partners.