Via Francigena

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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

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Leg 44 from Campagnano to La Storta: temporary change to the route

➡️ At the bottom of the text you can find the temporary route map and the link to download the GPX track ⬅️

Due to the temporary closure of the crossing of the section of the Via Francigena that from house number 1081 of the Via Cassia goes inside the Insugherata Park, in order to allow reclamation operations subsequent to the finding of dead wild boars due to “swine fever”, all pilgrims are strongly advised to follow the directions below.

Start from Campagnano and follow the traditional trail to the Sorbo Sanctuary. After the Sanctuary you continue into the Sorbo valley. When you meet the installation of a large chair on the left, you take a path to the right – marked as 207C – which then becomes 207G. You stay on the path skirting the forest, and then reach a wooden footbridge. Turn left here and walk for about 400 meters before meeting a path that returns in the bushes. You walk for about 1.5 km and two river fords will be necessary, that are not too easy.

At this point you leave the path traveling on a short stretch of a dirt road, near the locality Le Rughe. You cross Viale Europa and turn left onto Viale Africa.
You cross the entire parking lot of the Commercial Zone and come to a dangerous intersection. Be careful to follow the BLUE road signs for Rome. Alternatively, at the intersection the 36 line bus passes in the direction of Rome every half hour. All the way to La Storta.

For those who wish to continue on foot there are about 7.5 km of Via Cassia before finding Via Trionfale on the left, bringing to the center of Rome.
Alternatively, you can take the train at the train station in La Storta and get off at Monte Mario’s train station. At this point follow the bicycle path from Santa Maria della Pietà to Monte Ciocci. The new route is not yet official but has already been tested, especially during the Road to Rome 2021 initiative. The section is safe and leads pleasantly to a large square with a view of the “Cupolone”. From Monte Ciocci, you may follow a downhill road on the right, compared to the overlooking view; then, taking Via Candia, you will reach the area bordering the Vatican walls and finally St. Peter’s Square.

ALTERNATIVE
Continuing on the traditional route of the Via Francigena in 2 hours you reach the village of Formello and from there you can continue by bus (TPL) to the station of la Storta.

Travel time: 9 minutes
For schedules consult cotralspa.it

➡️ To view the online map of the temporary route click here

➡️ Download the GPX track

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Banca Generali Private for the EAVF: an interview with Alessandro Mauri

Banca Generali Private works with the EAVF to promote awareness about the environment and territorial development, through slow and sustainable tourism. Together we organise events and hikes in the ‘Mauri Area’ of Banca Generali Private: Southern Lombardia, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. Dr. Alessandro Mauri, Area Manager in these territories, which are also interested by the Via Francigena, told us all about it in this interview.  

When, but above all why was the cooperation between Banca Generali Private and the EAVF established?

A.M.: The cooperation between my managing area of Banca Generali Private (Southern Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany) and the EAVF was established in 2017 because it is important to us to walk alongside the many pilgrims of the Via Francigena, a cultural route that allows you to discover little known areas of our wonderful country and to promote awareness-raising actions on environmental sustainability, a theme which is very dear to our bank. Banca Generali also offers a set of investments that are consistent with the sustainable development goals of the UN Agenda 2030, which allows customers to build their portfolio by prioritizing some of the seventeen sustainable development goals.

What are the initiatives planned for 2022 to support the Via?

A.M: In 2022 we are going to support the Via Francigena through a series of initiatives organized by the EAVF. Concretely, we are going to support the walks of the “I Love Francigena” events, which was very successful in the past editions. These free walk events bring together tourists, pilgrims, enthusiasts, local associations and operators in order to jointly promote the areas crossed by the event.

What are the long-term goals of this cooperation?

A.M: We believe it is essential to raise people’s awareness of the environment and of the territory, which is something that the Via Francigena has been doing for ages. Our bank can provide economic and cultural support, helping to develop greater attention to these themes as heritage for future generations. I too have two children and I do hope I can do something concrete to leave them a better world.

What are the challenges of slow tourism and how do they intertwine with economy?

A.M: The real challenge is to convince people to practice tourism in a more sustainable and conscious way, for example by walking or cycling along the Via Francigena. This will help local communities to have immediate benefits – including economic ones – since not only tourists contribute to local economy but also, they produce an induced effect because pilgrims can – once they have ended their journey – come back again to those places as tourists.

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“I love Francigena termale by rurAllure”: come with us to the discovery of thermal heritage in Tuscany

Spring is back and with it come the walks organised by our Association, free of charge, to discover villages, heritage and territories crossed by the Via Francigena at a slow pace.

The next appointments will be on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May in Tuscany, to discover on foot the thermal heritage locations mapped thanks to the European project rurAllure along the stages linking San Quirico to Castiglione d’Orcia and Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano. This two-day event, entitled “I love Francigena termale by rurAllure” (see the programme in English here), will allow participants to immerge in the uniqueness of two stages bound by nature, history, art and gastronomy – with a special focus on the thermal sites located near the route, which have Etruscan and Roman origins. 

The Parco dei Mulini, where the energy produced by the water flow of the thermal springs was exploited until the end of the 19th century; the unique water square of Bagno Vignoni; the hypothermal spring of I Bollori and Putizza along the banks of Rio Casciani, near Gambassi Terme; these are just some of the most important stops on our programme. A certified guide will lead the group and we will have no lack of refreshment moments at many of the stopping points.

Pilgrims and enthusiast walkers will be joined on foot by the staff of rurAllure and the EAVF, local institutions and associations actively promoting slow tourism along the Via Francigena, and actors who are regularly verifying the state of the paths and the effectiveness of signposting. It will be an important moment for sharing and exchanging knowledge, with compulsory registration and free of charge participation.

☞ Want to join us? Follow these 3 simple steps:

Check out the programme at this link

Choose the stage and fill the form to make sure you’re on board

Find out how well you know the Via Francigena by taking our quiz

The event is possible thanks to the collaboration of the Municipality of Castiglione d’Orcia, the Municipality of Gambassi Terme, the Municipality of San Gimignano, the Municipality of San Quirico d’Orcia, Proloco Gambassi Terme and The Gambassi Experience.

How to become an “I love Francigena” partner

  • If you are a pilgrim, you can participate in all excursions both by staying connected to the EAVF channels (website, social media, newsletter) and rurAllure.eu, by following us with the hashtag #ILoveFrancigena. 
  • If you are a local authority, Region or private partner, you can participate in the co-organisation of the event by contacting us at the following email: segreteria@viefrancigene.org
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Birth of the Swiss Via Francigena Association

Meeting at their constitutive General Assembly in Aigle on 5 May, the municipalities involved by the Via Francigena – a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe that crosses the cantons of Vaud and Valais – decided to found the Swiss Via Francigena Association.

A European cultural route

The Via Francigena connects the city of Canterbury in England, to Rome and, since 2019, to Santa Maria di Leuca in the south of the Italian peninsula. This route was recognised as a cultural itinerary of the Council of Europe in 1994. It crosses Switzerland by entering through the Col de Jougne or the Col de Sainte-Croix to reach Orbe, Cossonay, Lausanne, Vevey, Aigle, Saint-Maurice, Martigny, Orsières, Bourg-Saint-Pierre and the Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard.

Local promotion…

The Swiss municipalities crossed by the Via Francigena wanted to set up a Swiss association to focus on the promotion of the itinerary in Swiss territories. The new president Gaëtan Tornay says: “The association wants to realise simple and concrete projects by creating promotion tools (leaflets, website, social networks, newsletter, etc.) but also events such as guided walks. It also wants to become a link between public and private actors to strengthen the reception of walkers, which must be at the heart of our concerns“.

…Internationally coordinated

This promotion/animation/coordination work will be carried out in close collaboration with the European Association of Via Francigena ways (EAVF), which has been active since 2001 in England, France, Switzerland, Italy and the Vatican State. Its President Massimo Tedeschi welcomes the birth of the Swiss Association of the Via Francigena (ASVF) with these words: “We need local references to help us better promote this magnificent European route in each country concerned. The creation of the ASVF is, therefore, a big step forward!

Source: Press Release of the Swiss Via Francigena Association

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Via Francigena, GR® 145, a beautiful synergy!

Two names build a strong message to give life to an emblematic itinerary.

From Canterbury, UK, to Santa Maria di Leuca in southern Italy, along the footsteps of Bishop Sigeric.

And the GR® 145 in France, which starts in Calais to reach the Swiss border after a journey of more than 700 km, building the Via Francigena.

It was here, in the north of France, that a partnership began when the FFRandonnée was invited by the EAVF to create a GR® (with the number 145) to promote this cultural route and facilitate its journey to Switzerland.

But who is the Fédération Française de Randonnée Pédestre? And what is its role within France and its territories?

Without going back over its history, let us recall that the FFRandonnée was born in 1947, when a few people passionate about walking and discovering the natural wealth of France created the first GR® routes (GR® 1, GR® 2, GR®3, GR®4, etc.), and today there are almost 350 GR® routes of various lengths, totalling nearly 120,000 kilometres. Over all these years, the FFRandonnée has developed a know-how through its committees that is now recognised.

This know-how concerns the design and development of the GR® routes and its criteria, the work for signposting and maintenance, digitisation with the enhancements that allow to share data, IGN maps, geographical information systems or mobile applications to be kept up to date.  The FFRandonnée has recently revisited and strongly reaffirmed its major orientations in the current federal plan 2021-2028. It is important to share its ambition here:

-To make the FFRandonnée a protagonist of outdoor sports;

-To make the FFRandonnée an important social player, responding creatively to a changing demand for walking routes.

The collaboration between our two structures was natural. From 2021 we have an agreement to coordinate our actions. A team of walkers participated in part of the great itinerary set up for the twentieth anniversary of the European Association of the Via Francigena, Road to Rome 2021, and relationships were forged marking a turning point in our approach in this field, confirmed by cross-participation in our respective general meetings. A fine programme of collaboration project is in perspective, close to all our departmental committees and for the benefit of all hikers!

Claudie Grossard, President of the National Commission for Trails and Itineraries

Jean-Claude Marie, Vice-President FFRandonnée