Via Francigena


I Love Francigena takes Emilia Romagna by storm

Success for the 2018 edition of “I Love Francigena” in Emilia-Romagna. The event-trip along the Emilian stretch of Sigeric’s route sold out.


Dozens of passionate walkers took part in the initiative organised by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF), in collaboration with APT Emilia-Romagna, and with the technical support of ItinerAria S.r.l. and Associazione Fiorenzuola in Movimento.

On the 8th and 15th of September, the “I Love Francigena” group walked slowly along two legs of the route in the provinces of Parma and Piacenza: FidenzaMedesano and Fiorenzuola d’ArdaFidenza for an average of 22km. Between small stops and a landscape to photograph, the first day of “I love Francigena” ended in Medesano with the buffet and the welcome greeting from the community, represented by the deputy mayor, Michele Giovanelli.

On 15th September, “I love Francigena” visited the Piacenza leg from Fiorenzuola d’Arda to Fidenza, starting from the Collegiate Church dedicated to San Fiorenzo di Tours. The Francigena walk was enriched by the precious contribution of Associazione Fiorenzuola in Movimento and ended with refreshments and a greeting from the Councillor for Culture of the municipality of Fidenza, Maria Pia Bariggi.

The participants, coming from all over Italy and even from Australia, loved the experience, sharing the aims of the project conceived by the EAVF. “I love Francigena” was born to promote and develop the European path, with help from walkers.

I Love Francigena is an exclusive format of the EAVF that involves communities, administrators and local associations to develop the Via Francigena with specific attention on the environment – underlines the EAVF President, Massimo TedeschiAfter the success in Lombardy, this year in collaboration with the APT Emilia-Romagna, we have organised some walking-events in the province of Parma and Piacenza, with great success. We are very satisfied by these results, which confirm that “I Love Francigena” is a winning initiative with international potential, exportable in all the territories crossed by the Via.

The two days of walking from Fidenza to Medesano and from Fiorenzuola d’Arda to Fidenza were narrated through a social media campaign with #ilovefrancigena #viafrancigena and #emiliaromagnaslow on the institutional sites. An exciting experience, the result of teamwork that looks forward to the next editions.

More information here

Watch the videos: I Love Francigena September 15th and September 8th


I Love Francigena’s registration is full, awaiting the two events in Emilia Romagna

On 8th September the “I Love Francigena” debuts in Emilia Romagna, the first two days of walking along the Emilian leg of Sigeric’s route.

The initiative, organised by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF), in collaboration with APT Emilia-Romagna and with the technical support of ItinerAria S.r.l. and Associazione Fiorenzuola in Movimento, was born with the aim to animate, promote and enrich the European route.

Registration for the two events sold out in no time at all. The number of places was even increased to accommodate the growing number of participants. A real success of bookings arrived online ( which led to the early closing of registrations.

Sure enough, the hikers will be the protagonists of the trip which crosses two legs of the Francigena in the province of Parma and Piacenza. On the 8th September the participants will discover the Fidenza – Medesano leg (22,4km – medium). The day will begin at the station at 8:15am with a brief visit to the Cathedral. Between small breaks, guided visits and the Francigena landscape our participants will arrive at Medesano in the afternoon, where they will be greeted by the town administrators and an aperitif.

On the 15th September, “I Love Francigena” will animate the Fiorenzuola d’Arda – Fidenza leg (22,3km – easy), continuing the mission to discover the route, involving associations and administrators, making people aware of the territory and checking route maintenance, including signage. Participants will walk along easy, rural country roads, with their gazes turned to the horizon where the hills preannounce the Appennini.

An event to experience and narrate: the photos taken during the walk will be launched on the APT Emilia-Romagna and the European Association of Via Francigena Ways websites through a social campaign with the hashtags: #EmiliaRomagnaSlow, #ViaFrancigena and #ILoveFrancigena.

I Love Francigena is a wonderful project experimented last year in Lombardy. This year it will take place in Emilia Romagna thanks to our collaboration with APT – says EAVF president, Massimo TedeschiIt is an event that involves local communities, authorities and associations to promote the Via Francigena and its focus on the environment. It’s a format that gains approval and acceptance to share and extend on a European level in territories crossed by the Francigena”.

The two I Love Francigena dates have been organised in collaboration with and with the support of the municipalities of Fiorenzuola d’Arda, Fidenza and Medesano.

More information here

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I love Francigena, two days on foot in Emilia Romagna

On the 8th and 15th September 2018 the European Association of Vie Francigene (EAVF), in collaboration with APT Emilia-Romagna and with the technical support of ItinerAria S.r.l. and Fiorenzuola in Movimento Association has organised “I love Francigena“, an event-trip along the Via Francigena that aims to involve walkers.

Two slow, social days on the Emilian stretch of the Via Francigena, from Fidenza to Medesano and from Fiorenzuola d’Arda to Fidenza to get to know, discover and narrate the route, documenting it with photos and videos.

Participation is free and open to all, with a maximum of 25 participants for each of the walks. Registration is mandatory and can be done at: The “I Love Francigena” days aim to promote and enhance the European path, involving enthusiasts and walkers, raising awareness of the territory through local stakeholders (tour operators, associations, single enthusiasts) and important promoters of the Via itself. Finally, the walks are an opportunity to check the maintenance of the route and to update signage.

The photos taken during the walks will be published on the websites and social networks of Emilia-Romagna, through a social campaign with the hashtags #emiliaromagnaslow, #ViaFrancigena and #IloveFrancigena


Saturday 8th September 2018

Fidenza to Medesano (22.4km) – difficulty: medium.

From Fidenza the great plain is definitely behind us and we begin the slow and gradual ascent to the Apennines. We proceed quickly along country roads, easy and without traffic. In this section the Romanesque art, well represented by the Cathedral of Fidenza, is rich in references to the medieval pilgrimage“.

  • Meet at 8.1am at Fidenza (PR) railway station.
  • Short visit to the Cathedral of Fidenza (with guide), a masterpiece of the Lombard Romanesque style, and beginning of the journey.
  • Visit to Pieve di Cabriolo (2.5km from Fidenza), dedicated to St Thomas Beckett and built between the 12th and 13th centuries.
  • Packed lunch (provided by participants) near the church of Costamezzana (13km from Fidenza). Water points along the route: Siccomonte, Costamezzana and before Medesano.
  • Arrival in Medesano (PR) at about 5:00pm. Greetings from the administration and aperitif.
  • Return by free bus to Fidenza (train station).

Saturday 15th September 2018

Fiorenzuola d’Arda to Fidenza (22.3km) – difficulty: easy.

You walk along easy country roads, but with your gaze already turned to the horizon where the hills forewarning the Apennines loom. This section is characterised by the Abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba, where the Cistercian monks have resided for over 900 years; and the town of Fidenza, with its Cathedral, one of the most significant Romanesque monuments of the Francigena“.

  • Meet at 8:15am at Fiorenzuola d’Arda (PC) train station.
  • Short visit of the 15th century Collegiate in Gothic style.
  • Beginning of the journey.
  • Visit to the Abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba (5.5km from Fiorenzuola d’Arda), built in 1135, by direct initiative of the founder of the Cistercian order, Bernardo di Chiaravalle.
  • Packed lunch (provided by participants) in Castione Marchesi (14km from Fiorenzuola d’Arda). Water points along the route: Chiaravalle and Castione Marchesi.
  • Arrival in Fidenza around 5:00pm and greetings from the administration.
  • Return by train, ticket to be paid by the participants.

Recommended equipment: trekking clothing (breathable t-shirt, shorts, cagoule), trekking shoes with ankle protection and rucksack.

Look at how to purchase the official credential of the European Association of the Via Francigena Ways at:

Register at: For more information, write to Project of Pilgrimage Routes and Routes in Emilia-Romagna:

More information here


Awaiting ‘I Love Francigena’ in Emilia Romagna

he European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) and APT Emilia Romagna walk together for the Via Francigena.

Between June and July four days of inspection and fine tuning are planned in the Piacenza and Parma section of the route. The initiative, realised with the support of APT Emilia Romagna and in collaboration with the Fiorenzuola in Movimento Association, will consist of the checking and management of the route, from the Guado del Po to the Cisa Pass, two symbolic places of the Via Francigena. The days will be out in the field and activities will be coordinated by the EAVF staff.

The appointment, free and open to all, awaits “I Love Francigena“, the format devised by the EAVF with the technical support of Itineraria, which, in September, will involve the public and fans in two days of checking and discovery of some stages of the great European path.

A traveling celebration, with the aim of involving walking enthusiasts, tour operators and associations involved in the promotion and enhancement of the cultural route. A “social” event trip to which you can register shortly. The EAVF will narrate it with images and video interviews on the official Via Francigena Facebook page, on the site, in addition to the regional institutional website

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Network of European Pilgrimage routes

On 27th of July the European pilgrimage routes involved in Per Viam project participated at a study visit in Trondheim, the destination of the pilgrimage way of Saint Olav. The celebrations linked to Sain Olav’s day as well as the inauguration of the 50th edition of the Festival of Saint Olav let the participants make encounters and experience a very suggestive study visit.

This was also the opportunity for the pilgrimage routes involved to exchange about common issues, such as signposting, hospitality, ICT, transnational cultural events. The aim of this action is to create a permanent platform of exchange among the pilgrimage routes certified by the Council of Europe, with the assistance of the European Institute of Cultural Routes.

Pilgrimage routes platform


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“A pilgrim has many rights and as many responsibilities”. We have seen today in a concrete action, when a group of twenty people slowly travelled along the Via Francigena from Santa Cristina to Orio Litta and continued towards Piacenza, on 10 and 11 June 2017 committed to an engaging project: “I Love Francigena”.

The European Association of the Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) and Itineraria organised this project: a travel event to raise awareness among route enthusiasts in cleaning the route and maintaining the signage. The twenty pilgrims, led by the representatives of the two associations and armed with gloves and bags, walked along the European Cultural Route, becoming users and at the same time its protectors.

Walking along the two stages in Lombardy, a prelude before entering the Emilia region, you slowly approach the Po river, always visible from the top of the embankment, which flows lazily along the Po Valley.

The path offers a panoramic view of the Po valley landscapes that never stops: the farmhouses and the various colours of the cultivated fields follow one another and alternate in a fascinating polychromy that accompanies the pilgrim along his journey.

Walking these stage you see hostels, welcoming travellers with friendship and hospitality, and pilgrims, travelling alone or in couples, who share their experiences and create bonds between people.

The two days hike had a great success and excellent results. The second edition is already scheduled for 24 and 25 June 2017, which has the same objectives. Read more about the event here.

Luca Faravelli

View the video of this event!


Final meeting of the project Per Viam – Luxembourg

The project partners presented the project outcomes in Luxembourg, on February 21st 2013, hosted by the European Institute of Cultural Routes, in Neumünster Abbey. The partners also discussed about future cooperation. Project Per Viam put the base for a medium and long-term cooperation among all the partners on behalf of Via Francigena, European pilgiramge routes, cultural and slow Tourism in Europe.

You can find all the presentations of the conference at the following link:


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Turkey’s Culture Routes Society (CRS) is an NGO, which was established in 2012 in order to develop, maintain and promote culture routes and use them as a stimulus for rural development.

Culture Routes Society represents 18 natural and historical thematic routes and co-operates with official bodies in Turkey to encourage responsible tourism and to bring conservation and sustainability to the forefront of government policy. Among its members are route designers, travel agencies, service providers, as well as academics and botanists.

In December 2014, Culture Routes Society representatives met the European Association of Via Francigena (EAVF) authorities at the European Pilgrimage Routes Conference in Florence and agreed on a collaboration to apply to the Civil Society Dialogue Program with a mutual project that would allow them to take the first steps in combining and extending their networks.

The Europe to Turkey on Foot project, which started in Feb 2016, is financed by the EU and Turkish Republic and will last for a year. It aims to integrate the Turkish and European approaches in the management, communication and marketing of cross-border cultural routes as well as initiating the extension of Via Francigena towards the east by combining it with 3 existing Turkish routes. As part of the project, the European model of managing routes in collaboration with local administrations is studied and will be implemented by CRS and 3 project associate municipalities in Turkey: Inegöl on the Evliya Çelebi Way; Eğirdir on the St Paul Trail; Demre on the Lycian Way. In September 2016, a workshop was held in Thessaloniki to discuss the marketing strategy and develop an action plan in this regard together with local representatives including the Via Egnatia. The project continues with the support of Cultural Heritage Management students who will test-walk and evaluate the Turkish section and the result of this action will be exhibited by their photography and films in various places in Turkey. Finally, there will be 2 reports analyzing conservation systems in Europe and Turkey.

After the recent inclusion of Brindisi-Santa Maria di Leuca to the VF network, the route now can extend from Italy towards the east both by the sea and by the land and development of itineraries in rural areas is again the main target of this work. The cooperation between CRS and EAVF will continue further when this project ends and the new itinerary will eventually contribute to the intercultural dialogue by forming a bridge between Europe-Asia.

 Culture Routes Society


Please find here below the article issued on the magazine “Via Francigena and the European Cultural Routes”, n.42, November 2016

This information is produced with financial support of the European Union and the Republic of Turkey.  CULTURE ROUTES SOCİETY is responsible for the content of this document and can in no way be interpreted as the opinion of the European Union and/or Republic of Turkey.

Via Francigena 42_Turchia_mod.pdf


Eurovelo 5 – Via Romea Francigena : in Canterbury the first meeting of the European project on the itinerary by bike

In the end of May the first partnership meeting of the European project Eurovelo 5 – Via Romea Francigena, took place in Canterbury gathering eleven partners from five different European countries and focused on the development of the Via Romea Francigena by bike.


The project is in line with the increasing number of bikers along the Via Francigena. The project EV5-Via Romea Francigena was selected by the Executive Agency for small and medium sized enterprises (EASME) and co-funded by the European Programme COSME, aiming at supporting the diversification of cultural tourist products in Europe.

THE EV5-VRF is coordinated by the University of Lancashire in partnership with organizations in charge of national cycle routes networks, municipalities, departments, European networks and specialized tourism enterprises. It started on 1st April and will last 18 months. The European Association of the Via Francigena will coordinate the Work Package 2, devoted to the product development. The EAVF will carry out its task in cooperation with the European Cyclist Federation – which will transfer the methodology related to the Eurovelo label certification standards –as well as all partners which will map the Via Francigena by bike in their respective territories and outline local action plans and a transnational action plan. Joint promotion and communication will be also developed.

The first partnership meeting held on 18 May,  set the methodology, the managing tools and the activity calendar. EAVF was represented by Velia Coffey, EAVF Vice President and Deputy Chief Executive of Canterbury City Council and Silvia Lecci, EAVF project manager.

The European cultural route of the Via Francigena will contribute at increasing cultural attractiveness of the concerned territories, while taking advantage of sustainable tourism practices, such as bike tourism which according to a European Parliament study generates every year about 40 billions of Euros, in the countries of the European Union.

Project partners: 

  • University of Central Lancashire (United Kingdom) Lead partner
  • Saddle Skedaddle (UK)
  • Verde Natura (Italy)
  • Regione Puglia (Italy)
  • European Cyclists´ Federation (Belgium)
  • Brussels Mobility, Brussels Region (Belgium)
  • Luxembourg Cycling Initiative (Luxembourg)
  • Conseil General du Bas-Rhin (France)
  • Federazione Italiana Amici della Bicicletta (Italy)
  • Associazione Europea delle Vie Francigene (Italy)
  • ItinerAria (Italy)


Associated partners:

  • SwitzerlandMobility Foundation (Switzerland)
  • Regione Puglia (Italy)
  • DIRECCTE Alsace (France)
  • Toerisme Vlaanderen (Belgium)
  • Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo (Italy)
  • Tourism South East (UK)
  • Visit England (UK)
  • Ministère de l’Economie (Luxembourg)
  • Agenzia Nazionale del Turismo –ENIT (Italy)