Via Francigena

Francigena Fidenza Festival: the first edition was a smashing success

Sara Louise Costa
Sara Louise Costa
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Today, Fidenza is the “cultural capital” of the Via Francigena: a lab space for the development of Italian and European routes, calling together leading actors, ideas, proposals, and opportunities for confrontation. This is why the Francigena Fidenza Festival was born, with its first edition concluded last Sunday the 19th of September.

As the mayor of Fidenza Andrea Massari reminded us, “the Via Francigena is a common good that requires collaboration and partnership. Today we can confirm that the Via Francigena is a priority for the system of Italy. Having witnessed the success of this first edition, it’s mandatory to announce that we will have the Festival in 2022”.

These festival days were an opportunity to present the treasures of Fidenza and its territory as well as the entire European itinerary of the Via Francigena to a vast public. The event then had the objective of building a dialogue with other major routes, both nationally and internationally; this is why the two guest routes of this edition were the Camino de Santiago de Compostela and the Cammino nelle Terre Mutate, a supportive itinerary which crosses the area along the Appennino mountains which were heavily hit and “mutated” by earthquakes between 2009 and 2017. Many walkers came to Fidenza for the Festival and took part in the hikes organized by IAT-Informazione e Accoglienza Turistica, by Al Tuo Passo and by Fiorenzuola in Movimento association.

26 planned conferences as well as 15 hikes and guided tours allowed participants to learn about the landscape and cultural heritage of Fidenza together with some adjacent stages of the Via Francigena. The events, from the very technical ones to the performances of important protagonists from the historical and cultural realms and from the show business, registered a complete “sold out”. Some of the most successful shows were the performances of philosopher Umberto Galimberti and of the Corriere della Sera editor Beppe Severgnini; the conductor and writer Serena Dandini and Michele Serra from Repubblica. The public was struch by the beautiful historical excursus prepared by historians Franco Cardini and Renato Stopani, and the experiences of walkers Anna Rastello, Simone Frignani, Roberta Ferraris, Jacopo Caucci von Saucken, Enrico Sgarella, Paolo Piacentini, Pietro Scidurlo, Ilaria Canali, Alberto Pugnetti, Marco Gambaro, Monica Nanetti, Sandro Polci, Lucio Luca, Ermanno Ghiozzi, Graziano Tonelli, Carlotta Taddei, Alessandro Cannavò, Luchi Bruschi, Eugenio Caggiati, Umberto Gallo, Enrico Sgarella. The Francigena Fidenza Festival was also shared with a broader public through the livestream on the official website and social media, joint with the social media pages of the Municipality of Fidenza and ‘Fidenza al centro’.

THE BIG EXHIBITIONS WILL STAY OPEN IN FIDENZA UNTIL THE 7TH OF NOVEMBER

The meeting with architect Mario Botta was very valuable; he was on the stage together with Aldo Colonnetti and don Sergio Massironi: a ‘lectio magistralis’ about the value of architecture in relation to sacred and worship places. The inauguration of the two exhibition, purposely moved outdoors, was very crowded: the first exhibition focuses on the planning of sacred spaces (often destinations for historical routes), displaying three models of religious buildings (Mario Botta’s projects); the second exhibition is dedicated to the outstanding photographs of Riccardo Carnovalini, telling the story of his year-long walk across Europe. Both exhibition will stay open until the 7th of November.

The Francigena Fidenza Festival was organized by the Municipality of Fidenza, with the collaboration of Terre di mezzo Editore and EAVF-European Association of Via Francigena ways, and was accomplished with the contribution of Regione Emilia-Romagna, Destinazione Turistica Emilia, Parma 2021 and Fondazione Cariparma.
Partners: Mismaonda and Terre di Verdi. Media partner: Radio Francigena.

Source: Press office of the Francigena Fidenza Festival