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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.

Methodology:

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 www.viefrancigene.org.

For info and contacts: Tel. +39 0523 492792. Email: formazione@viefrancigene.org

Attached is the downloadable brochure.

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AEVF depliant Formazione.pdf

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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

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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: camminiemiliaromagna.it

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: www.camminiemiliaromagna.it and https://www.viefrancigene.org/en/i-love-francigena-en/

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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.

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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 www.viefrancigene.org, https://camminiemiliaromagna.it and https://www.viefrancigene.org/en/I-love-francigena/

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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

Video

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Evento conclusosi il: I Love Francigena in France, 4 days on the road

After it’s success in Italy, “I Love Francigena” will begin in France with 4 days on the road from Champlitte to Bucey-lès-Gy in Haute-Saône.

The initiative launched by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways aims to enhance the route, raise awareness of the area and to check route signage and maintenance. These four walks will also be a great opportunity to explore cultural and natural heritage along the route.

Programme:

Saturday 18th May: Champlitte / Montot (13,5 km)

Saturday 25th May: Montot / Seveux (14,1 km)

Saturday 1st June: Seveux / Saint-Ghent (12,55 km)

Saturday 8th June: Saint-Ghent / Bucey-lès-Gy (12,6 km)

The walks begin at 10, packed lunch, coffee and refreshments offered at the end of the walk. Bus upon arrival to return to starting point. Event cost: 10€/walk (bus, Pilgrim Passport, t-shirt, Via Francigena in Haute-Saône guide).

Info and registration: limited places. Registration opens 1st April.

Champlitte, patrimoine et Via Francigena

email – viafrancigena.champlitte@gmail.com – 06 88 33 23 29

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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

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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 (https://camminiemiliaromagna.it) 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: https://camminiemiliaromagna.it/it/. 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

Programme:

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: http://www.viefrancigene.org/it/credenziali/

Register at: https://camminiemiliaromagna.it/it/. For more information, write to Project of Pilgrimage Routes and Routes in Emilia-Romagna: m.valeri@aptservizi.com.

More information here