The Via Francigena promotes an heritage connected to European cultural identities, starting from an historical itinerary that is conveyed by a group of roads, along which the history of Europe formed during the last centuries. To discover the Via Francigena is to walk a 2000 kms path across England, France, Switzerland and Italy, on the ancient footsteps of medieval pilgrims that walked towards great destinations, such as Rome, Santiago de Compostela or Jerusalem.
The Council of Europe granted a recognition of the Via Francigena as a “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” in 1994. The European Association of the Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) was created on the 7 April 2001 and was certified by the Council of Europe as a carrier network of the Via Francigena Cultural Route in 2007. Council of Europe Cultural Routes
By 2019 the EAVF unites 179 local authorities and 60 non-profit organizations in England, France, Switzerland and Italy as well as more than 300 private stakeholders in hospitality and tourism sectors.
It has a bottom-up approach that fosters the relationships between the actors involved in the enhancement of the route, connecting all institutions from the local to the European level. The Association actively works on protection and enhancement of the whole European stretch and promotion of the European values of intercultural dialogue, understanding and highlighting of common to Europe heritage. EAVF Statute, Habilitation letter 2016
Since 2017 the EAVF has been equipped with a limited liability operative structure (Ltd): Francigena Service S.r.l, with the aim to flank the institutional activity with activities and services of an entrepreneurial nature in regard to the suppliers of the Via Francigena and those who operate within the territories crossed by or in the network of the Via Francigena ways. Discover the activities of Francigena Service S.r.l.