The International Walk (IW2023) returns to the route of the Via Francigena in the South, in the direction of Rome, between 19 September and 4 October 2023, organised by the Associazione Gruppo dei 12 and promoted by the DMO ‘Francigena Sud nel Lazio’, under the patronage of the Lazio Region and the European Association of Vie Francigene (AEVF).
The history of the International Walk
The initiative came about thanks to the ‘Pilgrims Crossing Borders‘ event, a 3000km relay race that in 2015 took 60 pilgrims from Australia, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, the USA, the UK and Norway, through 15 countries in four months, from the city of Trondheim in Norway, via Rome, to Jerusalem, thanks to the work of Alberto Alberti, then President of the Associazione Gruppo dei 12 ODV, together with the German Via Romea Stadensis Association and the Italian Via Romea Germanica Association
Then, as now, one of the main aims of the International Walk is to bring together people from different countries who, thanks to walking the walk together, can share an interest in and passion for all that characterises it, namely history, art, nature and spirituality, and which they can experience with every step along the VFS in Lazio.
International Walk 2023
For IW2023 (places were already sold out in autumn 2022) 22 pilgrims are expected to participate from: USA, Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Spain, Denmark and Belgium, who on their arrival in Rome will receive the Testimonium in St Peter’s Basilica.
During the walk, the pilgrim is involved through a tried and tested format:
- greetings to the group of pilgrims from the municipal administration
- a welcome with local food and wine specialities
- entertainment with musical and/or folklore events by local associations
- short guided tours of the countries’ main historical/cultural/spiritual points of interest.
The programme of the event foresees several destinations:
The itinerary consists of a travel experience in which the route continually changes between paths through hills and countryside, sandy beaches along the Tyrrhenian coast, and the shores of 4 lakes, until venturing into forests and no less than 6 nature reserves that characterise this area of the Mediterranean maquis. There will of course be no lack of opportunities to come across Roman temples, Cistercian abbeys, monasteries and hermitages, castles and Renaissance palaces that characterise the villages along the VFS in Lazio. Passing through these places also means attending unique local folklore events where you can cheer your moments of rest with ancient music and performances, as well as getting to know the customs and traditions of the communities.
The two weeks that make up the journey will therefore be dense and full of meaning, since in addition to the sight of spectacular landscapes, marvellous views and other beauties of the Francigena South in Lazio, the focus is on the pleasure of meeting and sharing both fellow pilgrims and the people living in the places, which will be a precious memory for each pilgrim participating in IW2023, who will thus arrive in the corners of three different continents around the world.
To follow the story of the journey:
For further information, please contact the following addresses: