“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!


I Love Francigena

Three weekend walks in June – free and open to all – on the Lombard tract of the Via Francigena. The aim is to work together towards the cleaning and maintenance of the great Italian itinerary.

The European Association of the Via Francigena, with the support of ItinerAria, has organised the ‘I love Francigena’ event on the 10th and 11th June and the 24th and 25th June. It is a travel event, an itinerary celebration, to make walking enthusiasts aware and involved in the cleaning of the route and the maintenance of its signage.
A third weekend is also planned for the end of the summer from Garlasco to Santa Cristina.
The event will include 4 days of walking, discovering the wonder of an ancient itinerary which is by now regarded at the same level as the route of Santiago de Compostela; 4 days to become a part of the walk and to learn the maintenance techniques of the route and its signage.
Participation is free and open to everyone. The first 20 people to sign up will receive a free ‘I love Francigena’ t-shirt.


First weekend: 10th-11th June, from Santa Cristina to Piacenza

Saturday 10th June
From Santa Cristina to Orio Litta (16 km)

9:45 – meet at the Santa Cristina and Bissone railway station. Start of the walk. It begins by skirting the low reliefs of the St. Colombano, dotted with vineyards, until reaching Miradolo Terme where it continues to the ancient Chignolo Po castle. A packed lunch by the castle and then back to walking, crossing the Lambro and arriving in the Lodigiano area where the route follows the river bank and the smaller banks of the paddy fields, until reaching Orio Litta.
Then dinner and overnight shelter at the medieval ‘L’antica Grangia Benedettina’.

Sunday 11th June
From Orio Litta to Piacenza (26 km)

9:15 – meet at the Orio Litta railway station. Start of the walk. The route begins by leaving Orio Litta and briefly joining with the Ford of Sigeric, or the “Transitum Padi”. From here the route follows the banks of the Po until reaching Piacenza. After arriving at the beautiful Emilian city and a refreshing break, the walkers will return home in the late afternoon.

Second weekend: 24th-25th June, from Palestro to Garlasco

Saturday 24th June
From Palestro to Mortara (24 km)

9:15 – meet at the Palestro railway station. Start of the walk. From the ancient Lombard town, where a famous nineteenth-century battle took place, the route proceeds through paddy and corn fields towards Mortara, an important city of the Lomellina.
Dinner and overnight shelter at the ‘Sant’Albino’ abbey, founded by Gaudenzio, a bishop of Novara, and potentially rebuilt by Charlemagne to give the Francs fallen at the battle of Pulchra Silva a worthy burial.

Sunday 25th June
From Mortara to Garlasco (22 km)

9:30 – meet at the Mortara railway station. Start of the walk. The route begins by proceeding through cultivated fields leading to Remondò e Tromello, another stop-over of Sigerics itinerary.
The route follows easy rural roads that become asphalt roads through towns. Arrival at the Garlasco railway station in the afternoon.

Saturday and Sunday 7th and 8th October
From Groppello Cairoli to Belgioioso

All the information will arrive very soon!

Other information
Route cleaning equipment and kit
A pair of gardening or work gloves are necessary. The organisation will supply the required equipment for the cleaning and maintenance of the path. Technical clothing for a walk along the route is advised (hiking shoes/boots, a rucksack, a canteen of water, sunglasses, a sun hat, sun cream)

– Overnight stay 10th June
At the communal hostel in the Benedictine grange (donation)

– Overnight stay 24th June
At the Sant’Albino abbey (donation)

Information and registration
The event is free and open to all.
It is possible to participate for one day without staying overnight.

For more information and registration: and


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:


See the other newsletters



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)