Via Francigena

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Francigena Fidenza Festival 2024. The fourth edition closes looking at Canterbury

The Francigena Fidenza Festival 2024 has closed the curtain after four vibrant days with great participation of the general public. It was a long “cultural bridge” connecting northern Europe with the Mediterranean via the city of Fidenza, which is located exactly halfway along the route (3,200 km long) and has been home to the headquarters of the European Association of the Via Francigena ways (EAVF) since 2001.

A glimpse of the 2024 edition

From April 11 to 14, the Festival hosted 50 outreach events, in-depth talks, scientific meetings, talks of national relevance, animations, music, and many hikes to discover the European cultural route of the Via Francigena.

On the morning of the closing day, an impressive 300 people set out on the Fidenza-Costamezzana-Medesano-Fornovo stretch for the “Lenti alla Meta” event.

The presence of Connie Nolan, city councilor of the city of Canterbury, gave great international relevance to the Festival and laid the groundwork for future collaborations with local governments, associations, and schools with a view to dialogue and cooperation. Nolan was received by Fidenza Mayor Andrea Massari and Councillor Maria Pia Bariggi. She also met with the mayors of Cadeo, Fiorenzuola, and Calendasco (Marica Toma, Romeo Gandolfi, Filippo Zangrandi), three municipalities located in the province of Piacenza. A special moment of discussion took place with the EAVF, the Festival’s partner, in the presence of President Massimo Tedeschi, Vice President Francesco Ferrari, and the entire Via Francigena staff.

AEVF contributed to the Festival with the organisation of three significant cultural and entertainment events: the Roveleto di Cadeo-Fiorenzuola-Fidenza walking relay on 12 and 13 April, which made it possible to visit abbeys and points of great historical and artistic interest; the workshop on the ‘Camminini in Emilia-Romagna’ (walking routes in Emilia-Romagna) on 12 April, in collaboration with APT Emilia-Romagna; and the scientific conference ‘Via Francigena towards UNESCO certification’ on 13 April, in collaboration with the University of Parma.

The Festival has reached its fourth edition and has now become not only a reference appointment,
but also a good practice to be made known throughout
the European network of Via Francigena ways.

We would like to thank the partners who supported us during the event for their cooperation: CAMCO, Garmont, and Ferrino, who have long been on the road with us to improve the experience of wayfarers 👣

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15 million allocated by the Italian government for walking routes in Italy

Positive news for the Via Francigena and slow tourism comes from the approval of the 2024 budget law by the Italian government.

With reference to the revitalisation and tourist promotion of the ‘religious pilgrimage routes’, the fund for the infrastructure of the ‘walking routes system’ in Italy has been refinanced for 2024, 2025, and 2026 by a total of 15 million euros. With these resources, it will be possible to fund many projects that were admitted in the Italian Ministry of Tourism’s recent call for proposals.

Five projects on the Via Francigena had already been accepted for funding in 2023 within the walking routes fund. Beneficiaries were the Province of Siena (Tuscany), the municipalities of Saint-Oyen (Valle d’Aosta), Pontremoli (Tuscany) and Berceto (Emilia-Romagna), and the Diocese of Massa Carrara-Pontremoli (Tuscany). Thanks to this recent extension of the ministerial fund, other territories are also included in the list: municipalities of Campagnano (Lazio), Otranto and Poggiardo (Puglia), Donnas (Valle d’Aosta), Santo Stefano Magra (Liguria). (Link to the complete list:

The Jubilee of 2025 is also at the core of the manoeuvre: a fund of 75 million euro in the year 2024, 305 million euro in the year 2025 and 8 million euro in the year 2026 for the planning and implementation of works and interventions functional to the event has been established.